As the leaves begin to change and the crisp autumn breeze makes its way through the trees, many people can't wait to cozy up with a warm cup of coffee, hot cocoa or mulled apple cider. As the day goes on, however, our beverages don't stand up to the cool night air, and a tumbler is the perfect solution. Insulated tumblers maintain the temperature of your beverage so you can sip slowly without losing that warm, cozy feeling. One of the top picks to keep liquid hot on cool days or nights is the CamelBak Horizon 12-Ounce Tumbler.
Temperature retention: This is the main reason most people purchase a tumbler, and for good reason. Due to quality insulation, most tumblers keep beverages hot or cold throughout the day so you can enjoy some warm apple cider without it cooling down as you sit by the fire.
Spill resistance: Most tumblers have carefully crafted lids with varying levels of spill resistance, allowing you to sip as you walk without risk of spilling on your flannel.
Eco-friendly: Most coffee cups are single-use. With a tumbler, you can either skip the coffee shop altogether, or ask your favorite barista to make your drink in the tumbler itself and avoid the single-use cup.
Economical: More coffee brought from home means fewer lattes, thus saving money on coffee. Many coffee shops also offer discounts if you bring your own cup.
The best tumblers are well insulated, and insulated tumblers usually come in one of three methods: air insulation, foam insulation and vacuum insulation.
Air insulation: This type of tumbler has an air-filled space between the inner and outer walls of the tumbler, helping to maintain temperature and prevent condensation. Air-insulated tumblers usually keep drinks hot for two hours and cold for four hours.
Foam insulation: These tumblers have a layer of foam between the inner and outer walls to keep heat from transferring in or out, and typically maintain hot drinks for three hours and cold drinks for up to six hours.
Vacuum insulation: This insulation type maintains beverage temperature with an airless gap between the inner and outer walls of the cup. The vacuum method is the most efficient at temperature control, keeping drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 16 hours.
You typically can find tumblers ranging from 8-30 ounces in capacity. The size you choose depends on how many servings you want to take with you. Eight to 10 ounces is about one serving of coffee, 12-16 ounces is two servings, 18-20 ounces is about three servings, and anything more than 20 ounces typically has at least four servings.
Most tumblers are made from either plastic or stainless steel.
Plastic: A fall tumbler made of this material is less expensive than steel and easier to clean in a lot of cases, but it usually is less durable, less effective at maintaining temperature and sometimes can absorb the flavors of the beverages put in them. If you opt for a plastic tumbler, try to find one with a stainless steel interior wall so the temperature is maintained and you don't pick up unwanted odors.
Stainless steel: This material is reliably better at maintaining temperature. Tumblers that use stainless steel for both the inner and outer walls outperform tumblers with only one stainless steel wall. Stainless steel is more durable and shatter-proof than plastic, doesn't absorb flavors and maintains temperature very well. However, stainless steel usually is more expensive and often can't go in the dishwasher or microwave.
Since you'll be using your tumbler throughout the day, you want it to be easy to use. Keep an eye out for lid mechanisms you can maneuver with one hand so you can sip on your autumn beverage while you drive. Also keep an eye out for tumblers you can put in the dishwasher. If you opt for a hand-wash-only tumbler, keep an eye out for ones with larger openings so you can easily reach inside for thorough cleaning.
Tumblers vary widely in price, but you can expect to spend $5-$70. For less than $16, you'll find small plastic or stainless steel tumblers that hold no more than 10 ounces. For $10-$25, you'll find tumblers that hold 12-20 ounces. Large plastic tumblers can be found for less than $20, but large stainless steel tumblers cost $25-$75.
A. Not usually. Stainless steel is never safe to put in the microwave. Some plastic tumblers are microwave safe, but be sure to check manufacturer instructions.
A. While it can be annoying to drink out of a tumbler that doesn't have a handle, they can be beneficial for your daily commute. Most tumblers with handles don't fit in car cup holders, so tumblers made without handles usually are designed to fit in cup holders.
What you need to know: Made from a trusted brand, this tumbler provides quality durability and temperature control in a variety of colors perfect for any season.
What you'll love: Double-walled with stainless steel, this vacuum-insulated tumbler is tapered to fit in cup holders and features a spill-resistant lid.
What you should consider: The lid is not leakproof.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: Colorful and feature-packed, this tumbler has everything you could want at an affordable cost.
What you'll love: Designed to keep hot drinks warm for four hours and cold drinks cool for up to 16 hours, this double-walled insulated tumbler has a sleek design that fits most cup holders. It comes with hot and cold straws as well as brushes to clean each straw. The company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
What you should consider: It is hand-wash only.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: The top of the line in temperature control, Yeti provides this stainless steel tumbler in a variety of colors.
What you'll love: Made from insulated stainless steel, this tumbler holds the temperature of your beverage for hours and features a unique lid designed to strike the perfect balance between ease of use and leak resistance. This tumbler is dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: It is expensive. Some users experienced lid leaks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Collette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.