The Difference Between Tumblers And Travel Mugs

Insulated, wide mouth, and stainless steel are among the wide variety of water bottle styles you'll find on the market today — and that's only the beginning. It can be ultra-confusing to decipher exactly what type you should go for with so many variations out there, but perhaps the most perplexing contrast is between tumblers and travel mugs. The former are typically marketed as bottles you can take on the go — so how are they different from the latter?

In short, travel mugs are generally sturdier options built for longer distances and more adventurous situations than tumblers, such as hikes or plane rides. Their name can be a little misleading, as they don't always come in a mug shape. While you can take tumblers with you outside of the house, they may fare better in car rides to the office, beach, or park. One major giveaway? Tumblers usually have an opening for a straw and may even come with a matching one. While this can make for a better drinking experience, the hole in the cup and the resulting potential leakage issues may not be as ideal for throwing the bottle into your backpack.

Defining features of tumblers and travel mugs

Because tumblers tend to come with a straw and an opening for it, they're often the bottle of choice for drinking cold beverages. On the flip side, travel mugs generally are the preferred option for holding hot drinks. Because they're usually insulated, made from metal, and feature leak-proof lids, they're typically better at keeping beverages at their starting temperature, whether cold or hot. Tumblers may keep their drinks cold for a little while, but because they're usually made out of plastic, they may warm up more quickly.

If you're still a little confused as to whether the bottle you're looking at is a tumbler or a travel mug, check if it has a handle. For the most part, travel mugs will have a handle on top so they can be easily carted around, whether you're camping or walking around town. Tumblers, on the other hand, are meant to be held just like a cup, so you won't usually see a handle here. Of course, these descriptions are not set in stone, and every brand's definition of these two bottle types may vary slightly. Feel free to use your tumbler or travel mug in whichever situation works best for you. But if you're a little stumped as to which one to go for, keep these distinct features in mind.