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
A collapsable thermos to pack in your bag
A small travel mug with a handle
For utilitarian chic you can take camping or to the office
For the most “to-go” coffee in a paper cup feel
A ceramic cup with a silicone covering for a soft touch
For pour-over fans and those who want to throw and go
For brand loyalty (and one-use coffee pod users)
For a minimalist metal mug
For easy lid cleaning
A “sweat proof” grip for people with clammy hands
To feel like you’re drinking out of an artisanal ceramic mug you got at a craft fair