Stainless Steel Tumbler vs Travel Coffee Mug | What’s the Difference?
LEARN HOW THEY DIFFER AND WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU
There are endless examples of the same word describing two different things, or two different words describing the same thing; even just writing that sentence was confusing enough.
But in the vast sea of homonyms, the terms 'tumbler', 'coffee mug', and 'travel mug' are three of the most common examples of this - and we're here to fix that.
Set the record straight and learn the difference between the two to finally discover which one is best for you in this ultimate guide to tumblers vs coffee mugs.
Topics Covered in This Guide
DEFINING TRAVEL MUG AND TUMBLER
Before we get started, let's clearly define what a travel mug is and what a tumbler is. If you already know, click here to skip to their differences.
WHAT IS A TRAVEL MUG?
Also known as a travel coffee mug, a travel mug is a 12oz to 16oz container made for drinking hot drinks on the go, such as coffee or tea. They are typically insulated, made of stainless steel, and are characterized by a screw on lid and attached handle.
WHAT IS A STAINLESS STEEL TUMBLER?
Also known as travel tumblers or insulated tumblers, stainless steel tumblers range from 20oz to 40oz and are best for both hot and cold beverages. They are usually double walled vacuum insulated, made of stainless steel, and are characterized by either straight sides or sides that taper down.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRAVEL MUG AND A TUMBLER?
Generally, there are four ways you can tell the difference between stainless steel tumblers and travel mugs by looking at the handle, shape, size, and lid; a travel mug is smaller with straight edges and has a built-in handle with a leak proof lid that screws on. A tumbler on the other hand is taller with tapered edges, does not have a built-in handle, and features a splash proof press on lid.
Most travel mugs have a handle built right into the lid for easy on-the-go transportation and access.
On the other hand, tumblers do not have a handle built in, but there are options to purchase a tumbler handle that slides on in order to convert it into a travel mug.
Travel mugs tend to have straight sides and are shorter than tumblers; tumblers however are taller and have a wider opening that taper down to a more narrow base.
Many styles of travel mugs come in 12oz and 16oz sizes, but generally do not go above 16oz. Some tumblers may have 16oz options, but they are most commonly available in 20oz, 30oz, and 40oz options.
Finally, travel mugs generally feature a leak proof lid that's screwed on. As mentioned above, there is also a handle attached to the screw on lid.
Conversely, tumblers are characterized by a push- or snap-on splash proof lid with a larger opening to allow for sipping out of straws; some tumblers even come with a built in straw.
Greens Tips: Travel mugs have a screw-on leak proof lid while tumblers feature a push-on splash-proof lid.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEAK PROOF AND SPLASH PROOF?
A leak proof lid is one that prevents any liquids from spilling out of a container if it were to be knocked over or dropped. A splash proof lid is one that prevents any liquids from spilling out due to minor disturbances such as walking quickly or bumps in the road.
In other words, leak proof lids are much better at containing liquids than splash proof lids.
DECIDING WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU
Naturally, the structural differences between tumblers and travel mugs point to different functions between the two, meaning each one is suited better for different lifestyles as outlined below.
WHAT SHOULD YOU USE A TRAVEL MUG FOR?
Given the more compact design and robust spill proof lid, a travel mug is a perfect fit for active, on-the-go, or outdoor lifestyles. For those who prefer to sip on smaller cups of coffee or tea throughout the day, travel mugs are the better option.
Greens Tips: The storage capacity of a travel mug is limited and they are better suited for hot drinks than for cold drinks.
WHAT SHOULD YOU USE A TUMBLER FOR?
Tumblers on the other hand can keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours and cold drinks cold for up to twelve hours and have a larger storage capacity - but are not as resistant to spills as a travel mug. For those looking for a bigger drink container for work, driving, school, or more sedentary activities, tumblers are the way to go.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SHOPPING
When shopping for a tumbler or travel mug, make sure that either one has all of the following six characteristics.
DOUBLE WALLED INSULATION
As outlined in a previous article, double walled insulation is key to keeping hot or cold drinks at the preferred temperature for longer periods of time and prevents your hand from being burnt.
18/8 STAINLESS STEEL
Aside from being eco-friendly, food-grade 18/8 stainless steel tumbler cups are made to last longer, prevent rusting, and don't leach a metallic taste into your drink; don't settle for anything less.
HIGH TEMPERATURE RATING
Check the temperature retention stats to make sure that the tumbler or travel mug you're browsing keeps hot drinks hot for up to six hours. When shopping for a tumbler, also confirm that it can drink cold drinks cold for up to twelve hours.
As we mentioned above, travel mug lids should screw on and be 100% leak proof while tumbler lids should be leak-proof. The plastic tumbler or travel mug lid should also be made from BPA free plastic.
CUP HOLDER FRIENDLY
Although it seems obvious, many people overlook this; make sure that the tumbler cups you're shopping universally fit in cup holders!
This isn't a deal breaker, but a tumbler or travel mug that's dishwasher safe not only makes it easier to maintain, but also points to the durability of the tumbler cups.
WHAT'S THE BEST TRAVEL MUG?
The best reusable travel mugs on the market are the Greens Steel Reusable Coffee Cups with Lid and Handle. Featuring a 100% leak-proof lid, six hour temperature retention for hot drinks, dishwasher safe 18/8 food grade stainless steel construction, and cup holder friendly base, you won't find a better option out there.
Greens Steel Reusable Travel Mug with Lid & Handle
100% leak-proof travel coffee mug available in 12oz and 16oz in three different colors. Comes with a lifetime warranty.Shop Now
WHAT'S THE BEST STAINLESS STEEL TUMBLER?
With over 60,000 reviews on our Amazon and website review pages, the Greens Steel BEAST Tumbler is the best stainless steel tumbler you'll find on the internet. Featuring multiple color and size options, an unbreakable shatterproof BPA free plastic lid, a cup holder friendly base, and made dishwasher safe 18/8 food grade stainless steel construction, the BEAST does it best.
Plus, it comes with two stainless steel straws and a straw cleaning brush all packaged in a sleek, eco-friendly gift box.
Greens Steel BEAST Tumbler
20oz, 30oz, and 40oz options available in 19 different colors. Comes with a lifetime warranty.Shop Now
CAN A TUMBLER BE USED FOR COFFEE?
Yes, a tumbler is an excellent option for on-the-go caffeination as it prevents any leakage and can keep your coffee hot for up to six hours. Plus, it's easy to clean and eco-friendly.
Overall, both drink containers serve the same purpose; choosing which one is best for you simply comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.
I personally have multiple travel tumblers and two travel mugs so I always have an option based on wherever the day takes me. If you're the same way, you can order multiple of both and save up to 25% with our limited bundle offer.
Thank you for stopping by Greens Steel, if you have any more questions just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be right with you.
All the best,