These days, finding a small stylish travel mug is a tall order. Sure, there’s a lot of talk about “going green” across the internet, but run to your local HomeGoods to get yourself a tumbler, and everything is 40 ounces with “Bride Tribe” written across it in that Pinterest scribble font. (Trust me, I was looking for one for my 50-something L.L. Bean dad.) The tiny cup shortage is almost enough to make you want to just use the damn one-use paper cup at the coffee shop. Almost.
But before throwing in the towel on individual sustainability efforts, let me assure you there are hot drink thermoses out there that are good-looking and not gargantuan. From insulated metal mugs to glass tumblers, I’ve found coffee containers for every occasion, all that will likely fit in your car cup holder and won’t make you look like an extra from “Bridesmaids.”
In case you aren’t a car cup holder scientist, let me enlighten you: The average car cup holder has around a 3.15-inch diameter and can hold most 12-ounce cups (though it’s impossible to know the cup holder diameter of every car ever, so you may want to measure yours before buying). In terms of pretentious Starbucks size names for hot coffee, a “short” (extra-small) is eight ounces, “tall” (small) is 12 ounces, “grande” (medium) is 16 ounces and the “venti” (large) is 20 ounces. (This is slightly fewer ounces than Dunkin’ Donuts regularly named sizes for hot coffee, which are 10, 14 and 20 ounces, respectively.)
For the purpose of this article, we found cups that are 12 ounces and smaller, partly because 12 ounces seems to be the most popular drink size for American coffee drinkers and partly because my Virgo king of a father painstakingly measures a cup and half of water (12 ounces) in a little Pyrex each morning when making his perfect cup. With my dad in mind, I’ve also selected cups that are fairly neutral in color and more minimalist-looking (no “girl boss” propaganda or neon florals), to ensure a reusable mug purchase that will actually be used.
Whether you sip coffee, tea, cocoa, hot toddies or anything else, we’ve rounded up the best small travel tumblers and reusable cups for warm winter bevies, so you don’t have to have a minor foot-stoping incident in the cup section the next time you’re at Marshall’s.
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A reusable glass tumbler for superior taste
For total coffee snobs and tea connoisseurs, a glass cup may ensure your daily drink tastes immaculate. Whereas metal and porous plastic cups can give off or retain flavors, glass is easy to clean and keeps your drink tasting pure.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces (it also comes in 8 and 16) with a base diameter of 2.4 inches, so it should fit in your cup holder. It’s 4.7 inches tall with the lid on.
Get it from Amazon for $26.
A collapsable thermos to pack in your bag
For commuting, traveling and just not having to carry around an empty mug all day after you’ve drunk your drank, this collapsable silicone mug folds up and fits right in your bag. It’s also dishwasher and microwave safe.
How big? This mug is 12 ounces (though it also comes in 16 ounces, with a straw), it’s 5 inches upright and 2 inches high when folded and its base diameter is 2 inches, so it should fit in your cup holder.
Get it from Amazon for $15.
A small travel mug with a handle
If you like a handle, this travel mug gives you the sensation of drinking out of a teacup or kitchen mug, only with vacuum insulation and a splash-proof lid.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces (though it also comes in 16). It’s 8.15 inches tall, with a 3.82-inch diameter. The handle may obstruct it from fitting in your cup holder, so check to make sure before you buy.
Get it from Amazon for $19.59.
For utilitarian chic you can take camping or to the office
With vacuum insulation and a locking lid, you can throw this tumbler in your hiking backpack without worry. Yet, the sleek, sweat-proof silhouette means you can take it to work and not feel like you’re bringing camping gear to the office.
How big? This thermos holds 12 ounces. It’s 6.34 inches tall and 3.3 inches in diameter, and should fit in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $17.85.
For the most “to-go” coffee in a paper cup feel
So this is the mug I got for my dad. (Hope he’s not reading this.) It looks like a literal paper cup from the coffee shop with the lid and paper holder. It’s made of bamboo so it’s super light, though not dishwasher safe. If you like the feeling of a paper cup but want to cut down on waste, this little guy is it.
How big? This exact cup is 8 ounces, though it comes in 12,14 and 16 ounces, too. The 8-ounce cup is 4.8 inches tall and has a 3.15-inch diameter, so it will fit in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $19.95.
A ceramic cup with a silicone covering for a soft touch
This mug has the heat retention of a ceramic interior with the soft touch of a silicone covering. With a rounded top, you can drink with ease from both the cup (without the lid) and from the lid.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces (though it also comes in 16). It’s 4.53 inches tall and 2.99 inches in diameter, so it should fit in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $20.93.
For pour-over fans and those who want to throw and go
With a twist-off, wide-mouth opening, you can make pour-over coffee directly in this travel mug. (There’s even a pour-over dripper that fits with it
.) Instead of worrying about lids and the little sippy hole and the flap that covers it, this mug just has a screw-on top like an old-school thermos. It’s totally leak-proof, so you’re safe to carry it in your bag.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces (though it also comes in 16.) It’s 5.16 inches tall and 3.39 inches in diameter, so it should fit in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $30.
For brand loyalty (and one-use coffee pod users)
If you use a Keurig to make coffee, you can brew it directly into this mug. It fits directly into Keurig machines and single-use pod makers. It has a leak-proof lid and non-slip sleeve to keep you caffeinated on the go.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces. It’s 5.7 inches tall and 3.3 inches in diameter, and should fit in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $11.99.
For a minimalist metal mug
For a fuss-free coffee to go, this mug doesn’t have a sliding lid cover that coffee can get under. It comes in six basic covers, all with a black top, with no visible logos, brand names, sleeves, seams or other do-dads. It’s as minimal as you can get, while still keeping your drink warm with double-wall vacuum insulation.
How big? This mug holds 8 ounces. It’s 4.25 inches tall with the lid on and has a base diameter of 2.6 inches, so it should fit perfectly in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
For easy lid cleaning
This is one I bought myself a few winters back. It doesn’t have a sliding lid cover, so it’s super easy to clean, and the straight shape just feels good in your hand and looks nice on your desk. It’s a basic, user-friendly winter thermos that’s great for taking your coffee in the car.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces. It’s 5.4 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter, so it should fit perfectly in most cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
A “sweat proof” grip for people with clammy hands
If you get clammy hands or don’t like to hold a hot cup, this stainless steel tumbler with a textured grip is your new best friend. Though it keeps your drink warm for up to six hours, it doesn’t transfer heat and keeps your hands sweat-free. (It’s also leak-proof and dishwasher safe.)
How big? This cup holds 12 ounces. It’s 5.4 inches tall with a 2.6-inch diameter, so it should fit in all cup holders.
Get it from Amazon for $20.
To feel like you’re drinking out of an artisanal ceramic mug you got at a craft fair
If you’re the Phoebe of your friend group and tend to go for the more boho/handmade aesthetic, this reusable cup is warmer and more whimsical than most metal and minimalist ones. It feels like drinking out of your favorite hand-thrown clay mug, but still gives you the versatility of a to-go thermos.
How big? This mug holds 12 ounces. It’s 4.7 inches tall with a 3.1-inch diameter, so it should fit nicely in your cup holder.
Get it from Amazon for $19.99.