best coffee thermos reviews

Not only are paper cups unreliable, too hot to touch and, frankly, never big enough for our coffee desires, but they’re also terrible for the environment. A coffee thermos, on the other hand, is reusable, more affordable in the long run, and means you can enjoy quality coffee you make at home!

If you want to make the leap from Starbucks at work, or are just looking for a better way to have coffee with you on camping trips, our best coffee thermos list has something for you.

We tested the 10 best flasks with varying capacities, testing for both hot coffee and iced.

Best Coffee Thermos Comparison Table

ProductDetails 
Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA
Our Top Pick

Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA


  • 16oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel

  • Corrosion-resistant

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Stanley classic coffee thermos
Stanley Classic


  • 44oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Extra large size available

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Stainless King
Stainless King


  • 40oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Leak-proof stopper

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Contigo stainless steel coffee thermos
Contigo


  • 24ozcapacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • BPA-free plastic

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Fijoo
Fijoo


  • 17oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Triple wall insulation

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Yeti thermos
Yeti


  • 30oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Fits many cupholders

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Diller thermos for coffee
Diller


  • 17oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Sleek flip top design

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Leidfor thermos
Leidfor


  • 17oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Unique design in matte black finish

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Bavey travel thermos for coffee
Bravey


  • 19oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Insulated serving cup included

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Godage coffee thermos
Godage


  • 17oz capacity

  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel

  • Leak-proof

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Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA Thermos

Zojirushi SM-KHE48BA coffee thermos

  • 16oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Corrosion-resistant non-chemical treatment (stain and odor proof)

The Zojirushi thermos is vacuum insulated 18/8 stainless steel. It’s available in 8 colors and holds the size of a Starbucks Grande. You drink directly from this thermos via the plastic (BPA-free polypropylene) lid. It’s spill-proof and tight-fitting with a lock to ensure it won’t leak.

We loved this thermos for its non-toxic manufacturing process. The inside is electro-polished with trademarked SlickSteel. This is their alternative process to the usual chemical coating that’s applied to prevent stains. It’s corrosive-resistant, clean and chemical-free.

Keeps coffee hot at 187°F/86°C for 1 hour, and then 154°F/67°C for 6 hours. Iced coffee is kept cold for 12 hours plus.


Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle

Stanley classic

  • 44oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Available in extra-large sizes

The Stanley is deserving of the name “Classic”. We reviewed the 1.1qt (44oz) model, but it’s also available in 2qt, 1.4qt, 25oz and 16oz sizes. It’s a sturdy, green classic thermos. It has an 8oz capacity cup lid that’s also insulated. The handle of the 1.1qt model is easy to grip and large enough to fit a gloved hand through. Stanley designed this with the graveyard shift in mind – it’s ideal for the all-nighter where you need a serious amount of coffee to see you through.

It will keep your coffee hot for 24 hours and iced for 120 hours. The larger the thermos, the hotter it tends to stay.


Stainless King 40

Stainless King thermos

  • 40oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless steel
  • Leak-proof twist stopper and separate lid

A great thermos from the original Thermos brand. This is another model where you drink from the cup rather than the thermos altogether – actually, there’s a warning against drinking directly from the thermos. Instead, you slightly loosen the screw stopper and pour into the lid/cup. It holds a mighty 40oz capacity and matches other thermoses of a similar size for insulation time – 24 hours hot or cold.

Visually, it’s nothing special. It’s quite bulky, not something you can fit in your purse. It is available in several colors, however, and it’s always cool to touch even when the coffee inside is burning hot.


Contigo Stainless Steel Coffee Thermos

Contigo stainless steel

  • 24oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Easy to grip design in BPA-free plastic

The Contigo is a standard vacuum insulated stainless-steel thermos with additional plastic casing and lid. The main features that stand out are how easy it is to grip, how modern and professional it looks, and the affordability.

You can keep coffee hot for 7 hours or cold for 20 hours. That’s about average for the size. This is the best coffee thermos for long commutes to the office, rather than camping trips.

This thermos also comes with a lifetime warranty so if you notice the lid starting to wear down, you can quickly request a replacement before it leaks all over your things!


Fijoo Coffee Thermos

Fijoo bottle

  • 17oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel and copper
  • Triple wall insulation

A plain and simple thermos – because it’s what is on the inside that counts! We enjoyed testing the Fijoo as it was one of the best at keeping coffee hot for a long time. This is thanks to the triple wall insulation, which sandwiches a layer of copper in between the standard vacuum insulated stainless steel.

17oz is a small amount compared to some of the giants on this list, yet the Fijoo keeps that coffee hot for 8 hours – 2 hours longer than our best model on the list.

It uses the same inner screw and lid cup design as the Stainless King 40. It’s nothing fancy but it is BPA-free.


YETI Rambler

Yeti rumbler thermos

  • 30oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Cup shape design fits cupholders and the top dishwasher rack

The Yeti Rambler is a really great, on-the-go thermos that you drink directly from. It’s the kind you don’t feel embarrassed by when you hand it over the counter at Starbucks. It looks like a cup, fits comfortably in your car cupholders, and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

We particularly loved that it’s dishwasher safe! It holds 30oz, which is a decent amount. A large cup of coffee for sure. The magnetic lid part snaps closed once you’ve taken a sip – it won’t ever be knocked open by bumps in the road. This video about the MagSlider Lid explains it better!


Diller Stainless Steel Thermos

Diller

  • 17oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Sleek flip top prevents leaks

Unlike most standard vacuum insulated stainless-steel thermoses, the Diller is made with 18/10 steel instead of 18/8 – this sounds like it should make a big difference, but it doesn’t. As this article about steel types explains, the composition of 10/18 and 8/18 steel is exactly the same. It’s a marketing ploy!

If we ignore that slip-up, we find that this thermos is still good. It holds 17oz of coffee hot for up to 12 hours (24 hours cold) and is slim enough to fit most standard cupholders. It performs well and has the same sleek, modern look and feel as our best coffee thermos option.


Leidfor Insulated Thermos

Leidfor

  • 17oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel and silicone
  • Unique design and matte black finish

The Leidfor is a mid-range priced (at time of writing) thermos but with a high, professional feel. It holds 17oz in a stainless-steel vacuum insulated thermos, with a screw lid and cup cover. All plastic parts are BPA-free, plus the silicone gasket and non-slip base are SGS certified.

It’s marketed for outdoor adventures and camping, but honestly, we felt it looked so sleek it wouldn’t be out of place on a work commute either.

Leidfor gets scientific with their insulation performance. Their graph shows how liquids at 203°F/95°C drops to 131°F/55°C in 10 hours, so it could still be a warm drinkable temperature at 12 hours.


Bavey Travel Thermos

Bavey thermos

  • 19oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel and copper inner layer
  • Rubber-touch paint and insulated serving cup

The Bavey Travel Thermos is a simple, sleek thermos with 2oz more than the standard 17oz thermos that most manufacturers stick to. It has a non-slip silicone base and rubber-feel paint on the outside for comfort when holding or placing it down in awkward areas. It’s good for camping trips or hiking, which an insulated cup and leak-proof inner screw. It’s the same design as many – slightly unscrew to pour the coffee and use the lid which doubles as a cup.

We did like that the cup has a handle – it makes it slightly easier to grip when you’ve got gloves on! Coffee stays hot for 24 hours or cold for 18 hours.


Godage Coffee Thermos

Godage

  • 17oz Capacity
  • Vacuum insulated stainless-steel
  • Leak-proof, spill-proof and won’t “sweat” when cold

The Godage Coffee Thermos is visually pretty much the same as all other standard thermoses in the market. But it makes the best coffee thermos list thanks to its good performance. It will keep your coffee piping hot for 6 hours. After that, you have another 6 hours where it’s still hot and drinkable. Cold liquids stay cold for 24 hours.

The plastic components on the lid and the rubber non-slip base are BPA-free, as you’d expect. The capacity is just right for a days’ worth of coffee and the stainless-steel design doesn’t hold on to odors and stains easily. Overall, there’s nothing really that we can pick out as bad!


How to Choose a Coffee Thermos

There are 2 main categories that coffee thermoses fit into:

  • Bulky, strong thermoses ideal for camping and hiking in sometimes extreme weather conditions.
  • Sleek, cupholder-sized, modern and attractive thermoses for the office, school and day trips to the city, beach, zoo, etc.

Once you’ve fallen into a category, the next big thing to think about is the capacity – this should be easy to work out (more help below if it isn’t).

Lastly, there are the extra features to consider, from closures to non-slip bases.

Insulation

Every single thermos on our list uses vacuum insulated stainless-steel. It’s the superior material for thermoses, so it’s no wonder that all 10 use it. That vacuum prevents heat from being conducted away. When you have your mug on the countertop, it’s conducted through the mug into the countertop because they’re touching. Having air between the 2 layers prevents that heat from conducting.

There’s actually quite a bit more science behind it (this article explains it excellently) but the short answer is; insulated stainless-steel is the best you can get.

Adding a layer of copper between the insulated stainless-steel layers is something a few of our top thermoses do. The copper helps marginally, so don’t make your decision based purely on the copper layer.

Copper is a conductive metal and is terrible at insulating your coffee and keeping it hot. However, it is good at reflecting thermal infrared and high microwave energy. So the combination of stainless steel and copper makes sense.

Unfortunately, the difference it makes is very small as stainless-steel is very effective by itself. Chances are, the copper is simply added to make a thermos stand out from the rest of a market.

If you’re really worried about heat-loss or notice your thermos’ performance gradually declining, then check the lid/seal. This is where most heat is lost, as the lid is plastic, silicone or rubber, which doesn’t insulate very well. The best thermoses for insulation, therefore, have vacuum insulated stainless-steel used wherever possible, plus a very tight seal at the lid, plus an extra insulated lid that covers the seal (which usually doubles up as a handy coffee cup).

We know that got a bit science-y for a moment, so here’s the TLDR: vacuum insulated stainless-steel is the best, copper layers make a marginal difference, most heat is lost through the lid so make sure it has a tight seal and covering lid.

Capacity/Size

As you may have noticed, the larger the thermos the longer the coffee stays hot. So, when you’re deciding on the capacity of your thermos, you also need to think about the temperature and how long it will take you to drink it.

1 average mug of coffee holds about 8oz of liquid. Some larger mugs may hold 10oz or even 12oz. Some carafes on office drip coffee makers can hold up to 60oz or 70oz. This gives you an idea of how much coffee each thermos holds.

If you’re drinking just 1 or 2 cups in the morning, a standard 17oz will do. But even the best 17oz thermoses on our list struggle to keep coffee hot for longer than 10 to 12 hours… so, if you’re making coffee half a day in advance, it might be worth selecting a larger thermos. Sure, you might only have 1 cup and waste the rest, but it will still be hot by the time you drink it!

Other dimensions that are handy to know:

  • The dimensions/capacity of the cup, if there’s one included.
  • The size of the base (standard car cupholders vary from 2.5 inches to 3.5 inches – the majority are sized to fit a soda can so compare that to your thermos).
  • The size of the top (can you fit ice cubes through it? Can you reach through it to clean?).

Key Design Features

All thermoses are visually similar, but there are some hidden features to keep your eye out for.

  • Interior finishes – are they electrically polished like our top thermos choice, or do they use chemicals?
  • Exterior finishes – is the paint easily scratched, and will it peel off once it is scratched?
  • Metal choice – does it dent easily? It should always be food-safe stainless steel. 304 and 18/8 steel are the same thing and are what you should look out for.
  • Plastic – it should be BPA free. Check the manual to see if it’s dishwasher proof – if not, it may warp if you put it in there.
  • How to drink from it – do you need to pour into a cup, or do you sip directly from the thermos?
  • Seals – how well-sealed is it and will it drip everywhere? Some thermoses can’t be held upside down. If you need one that can withstand some turbulence, go for a screw seal with a lid/cup over the top.
  • Base and grip – does it fall over easily? Will it slip from your hands? Is the handle sturdy? Will you be wearing gloves when you’re trying to open it?

The great thing about thermoses is they’re all very easy to compare. Sometimes it just comes down to appearances, other times you’ll need this checklist of questions to narrow down your choices!

Coffee Thermos FAQs

How do you get coffee stains out of a thermos?

First, try some elbow grease if you usually just wash it in the dishwasher – attach the sponge to the end of a wooden spoon if you can’t reach to the bottom. If that fails, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and/or vinegar, plus boiling water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then clean thoroughly.

How long does coffee stay hot in a thermos?

On average, a good plastic thermos will keep coffee hot for 6 to 8 hours. An insulated, metal thermos can last anywhere from 6 hours to 24 hours. Our thermos with the longest time is the Stanley Classic Thermos with 24 hours for hot and 160 hours for cold liquids. Before adding your coffee to the thermos, fill it will boiling water for a few minutes then pour out – this warms up the thermos and stops it drawing heat away from your coffee, thus prolonging the length of time it stays hot!

How do you get the coffee smell out of a thermos?

For a metal thermos, follow the same baking soda method to get rid of stains, minus the vinegar that will create a new smell altogether if left too long. This will remove the smell from the flask fairly quickly. For plastic components or a fully plastic thermos, sprinkle with baking soda and leave overnight. As plastic holds on to odors more than metal, these thermoses require a longer soak time.

Can you clean a thermos with bleach?

Yes, as a last resort you can use a tiny amount of bleach (1 tsp) diluted in water to clean your thermos. Bleach is very harsh and potentially toxic, so only use a very small amount and check with the manufacturer first – bleach can permanently damage certain steel thermoses and any lingering chemicals in the flask can ruin the flavor of your coffee or even damage your health. Be careful with bleach!

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