What Size Travel Mug Should I Get?

Most people with a preference (addiction) for caffeine tend to carry their sacred travel mug wherever they go. Whether you’re indulging at your office desk, in the car on your daily commute, or staying awake on a long road trip, you will no doubt need to consider the mug size in which your faithful caffeine companion accompanies you. 

It is advisable to purchase a travel mug with a size that is within the range of 15-20oz. This range corresponds with the standard cup sizes used by baristas in which most hot beverages are prepared. It also allows some additional space to accommodate extra liquid if necessary. 

While focusing only on the size of the travel mug is probably not the best way to choose one, it is one of the most important factors to consider. Choosing the right size also relates to other factors like your beverage of choice, the material the mug is made from, and the function it will serve in your life. 

Choosing The Correct Sized Travel Mug

One should note from the beginning that choosing the “correct” size travel mug will be based on your personal needs and preferences. But before taking a look at these personal considerations, however, we should focus on one of the most general elements in this topic: standard cup sizes.

Sources seem to provide slightly different measurements for specific beverage sizes. These sizes will most likely vary by country. We have integrated them to provide you with the most comprehensive list possible:

Cappuccino/Flat white5-8oz
Average Coffee Mug8-15oz
Average Travel Mug15-20oz
Travel Flask20+oz

Part of the reason for providing these measurements is that when you are choosing a size for your travel mug, you should probably consider the type of beverage you will be drinking from it most often. 

If you are primarily an expresso drinker looking for a strong fix of caffeine to start your morning, you needn’t choose a travel mug any larger than 15oz. Even 15oz would leave you with more space than you need.

On the other hand, if slowly sipping on a Grande-size latte throughout the day is more your cup of tea (or coffee), then it may be best to aim for a travel mug closer to the 20oz mark.

Anything more than 20oz puts you into flask territory. 

A flask has many uses. Besides carrying an exorbitant amount of caffeine with you, you can also use it for keeping boiling water to make several cups of tea or coffee throughout the day.

What Is The Best Material For A Travel Mug?

At the onset, it may not be entirely obvious how the size of your travel mug and its material are linked. In general, the composition of your travel mug is a secondary consideration but what links these two factors is insulation. 

Certain materials tend to hold heat better than others. While this point may seem trivial, it is still an important aspect to consider. 

Consider for a moment what you will be using your travel mug for. Perhaps you desire a larger mug to take a lot of liquid with you. If the material you choose does not retain heat well, then it’s likely that by the time you are halfway through your beverage, it may be cold.

Here are some common materials that travel mugs are made from:

  1. Ceramic. Ceramic travel mugs are usually made to look good. While they feature printed designs that make for excellent gifts, they are easy to break (especially if dropped) and not very reliable in keeping your beverage hot.
  2. Stainless steel. This metal is probably the best material to use in terms of durability and insulation. Unfortunately, this material may not provide the best experience in terms of taste. There have been many reports from coffee drinkers claiming these mugs make the coffee taste metallic.  
  3. Glass. If you are invested in savoring the taste of your coffee, this option may be for you as glass tends not to interfere with the taste of the liquid it holds. As you might imagine, it is fragile and, as well as this, not a very good insulator. 
  4. Plastic. Generally, a middle ground in terms of balancing insulation and durability. Usually, a plastic travel mug won’t break too easily and will keep your beverage warm for a reasonable amount of time. They are also relatively cheap; therefore, replacing them won’t be too much of an issue. The main downside of plastic travel mugs is that they are not very environmentally friendly; even if they are easy to replace- you probably shouldn’t. 

Matching Your Travel Mug To Your Lifestyle 

The last concern to account for when purchasing a travel mug is what function it will fill in your life. 

Will you be using it on your daily commute to work every day- finishing your coffee before reaching the office? In this case, a medium to small (15-20oz) size will most likely be perfect for you.

Are you more of an explorer who wants to go hiking in the wilderness? It may be best to take a flask-size mug with you to ensure you have an adequate amount of fluid with you. 

While these two examples may not be what you will use your travel mug for, they serve to illustrate the importance of size when it comes to the choice you make. It is imperative to choose a travel mug that is practical in terms of the purpose for which you will be using it. 

Think about how you will be carrying it. Will it fit in your rucksack without weighing you down on a long hike? Will it be too be to fit comfortably into your hand as you sip on it on the way to the office? 

If you are planning on taking your travel mug with you when your drive, you should think about the size of the cupholders in your car. While thinking about the amount of liquid a container can hold is paramount, do not forget that the dimensions of your travel mug are salient too. 

Usually, you can expect the average diameter of a car cupholder to range between 5-8cm. While this may be an easy aspect to neglect, there would be nothing worse than holding your travel mug between your legs as you drive.


While the size of your travel mug may seem like a trivial consideration at first, there is more to contemplate before you make the purchase. Your travel mug will most likely be your daily companion for an extended time; therefore, it’s important to get it right. 


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