Insulated tumblers are one of those handy items that we all use, but never really think about -- that is, until you don't have one. Whether you use one for your morning hot coffee, or for some ice cold water after a power walk, having a good insulated tumbler can help you get through the day and encourage you to drink more fluids. Keeping the hot hot, and the cold cold is what insulated tumblers are all about.
If you're in the market for a new insulated tumbler, then let us help you pick the right one. We've put together the following helpful buying guide, and reviews of a few of our favorite insulated tumblers. You're sure to love our pick for Best of the Best, the Ozark Trail Vacuum Insulated Tumbler.
Considerations when choosing insulated tumblers
The main types of insulated tumblers are air insulated, foam insulated, vacuum insulated, and copper vacuum insulated. The air insulated models have air between the two walls, while the foam insulated ones have, you guessed it, foam. Both of these types of tumblers work well to hold heat and cold, although the air insulated version holds heat and cold for the shortest period (two to four hours.) Vacuum insulated and copper vacuum insulated models are the best at heat and cold retention. Copper vacuum insulated tumblers can retain heat or cold for up to 16 hours.
You have an almost unlimited range of size choices for insulated tumblers. Most of them hold between 8 and 32 ounces.
The majority of insulated tumblers are made from stainless steel and plastic. Stainless steel tumblers are durable and effective at temperature retention. They are also not microwave safe, and they are more expensive than plastic. Plastic insulated tumblers are easier to clean, but are not as durable, and don't hold heat or cold as effectively as stainless steel.
The type of lid on your insulated tumbler is important because it impacts how you drink. First of all, you don't want it to be a hindrance to your lips when you try to take a sip. You also want to be sure the opening in the lid is comfortable for you. Finally, the lid is another tool in retaining heat, and keeping your drink in the tumbler. Consider all of these factors when shopping.
Handle or grip
Some people like to have a handle on their insulated tumbler for added comfort or convenience. Keep in mind that many insulated tumblers that have handles will not fit into standard drink holders in a vehicle.
Whether an insulated tumbler is microwave safe is an important factor for many buyers. If you use your tumbler for coffee and want to be able to heat it in the microwave, you may have to choose a plastic model over a stainless steel one.
Stainless steel insulated tumblers are dishwasher safe, while some plastic ones are not. Weigh how important the convenience of washing your tumbler in a dishwasher is when making your choice.
Consider how easily your insulated tumbler fits into a drink holder or your bag. Although a handle is often the reason that many tumblers will not fit into a vehicle cup holder, it's not the only reason. Some tumblers are too wide to fit into cup holders. If you want the ability to take your drink on the road with you, then either choose an insulated tumbler that is narrow enough to fit, or one that narrows at the base for the specific purpose of fitting into a cup holder.
Most insulated tumblers cost between $5 and $50. More expensive ones tend to retain the original temperature longer, are more durable, and leakproof.
Q. What type of insulated tumbler keeps hot drinks the hottest?
A. Stainless steel is easily the most effective material for an insulated tumbler to retain heat. Copper vacuum insulated tumblers are a close second.
Q. Are insulated tumblers microwave safe?
A. That's a question for the manufacturer of your individual insulated tumbler. Some are microwave safe, and some are not. Obviously, stainless steel and other metallic materials are not microwave safe, but some of the other ones are.
Insulated tumblers we recommend
Best of the best: Ozark Trail Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
Our take: Solid and well-priced model with a lifetime warranty.
What we like: Keeps drinks insulated for hours. It's also rustproof.
What we dislike: Heavier than some of the other similar models.
Best bang for your buck: Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
Our take: Compact travel model which is super durable.
What we like: The lid locking mechanism makes it almost impossible to spill contents.
What we dislike: Because it's so narrow, it's not always easy to clean.
Choice 3: Yeti Rambler Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
Our take: Don't like condensation? No sweat with this tumbler.
What we like: Dishwasher safe and double-wall insulation makes this tumbler a winner.
What we dislike: Some say it's so smooth that it's easy to drop.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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