Sunday, June 9, 2019

Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers & Travel Mugs Review

Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Mugs & Tumblers for Home, Office and Travel

Today I'm reviewing my favorite Thermos insulated stainless steel travel cups. I use mine every day, whether I'm at home, at work, or on the road. Staying hydrated is important to everyone's health and wellness. If you're on a keto diet or low carb diet, you need to drink even more water to help avoid damage to your kidneys. So, to help me drink enough water daily, I keep a Thermos Stainless King Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler and a Thermos stainless steel hydration bottle next to me so I can take sips of water and hot or cold decaf or green tea throughout the day and refill the containers as needed.

Several years ago, my husband and I decided to replace our motley collection of plastic and probably BPA-laden water bottles and travel mugs (most of them free swag from employers and trade shows) with high quality, vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles and mugs that had the features we care about.

We really liked our new Thermos stainless steel hydration bottles, so we ordered two Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers to try out. We loved them so much that we ordered three more, one for my husband's office, one for my office and an extra for home. So, we now have six of these wonderful stainless steel travel cups, in Electric Blue, Cranberry, Midnight Blue, Raspberry, Matte Black and Matte Stainless Steel.

Note: The colors avaible change periodically, so several of the colors we have are no longer available and have been replaced by newer shades.

Prefer a Travel Mug With a Handle?

The Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug is identical to the travel tumbler except it has a handle.

Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug With HandleThermos Stainless King Travel Mug With Handle

Why I Love Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers and Travel Mugs

Large Capacity

Both the stainless steel travel tumbler and the travel mug version with the handle hold a generous 16 ounces of your favorite hot or cold beverage. Both the tumbler and the mug are 7.8" tall and 3.3" wide (excluding the handle on the travel mug), tapering down to 2-5/8" wide at the base so they fit in most cup holders.

Keeps Hot Drinks Hot and Cold Drinks Cold

I love being able to use my Thermos travel tumbler for hot or iced tea or coffee, hot or chilled apple cider, hot cocoa, cold milk or any other non-carbonated drink I'm in the mood to drink.


Thermos' Vacuum Insulation Technology

The most important criterion in choosing a travel mug or tumbler is how long it can maintain the temperature of whatever beverage you put into it. Thermos’s vacuum insulation technology and double-wall stainless steel construction mean that hot drinks stay hot for up to 7 hours and cold drinks stay cold for up to 18 hours if you preheat or pre-chill the travel tumbler with hot or cold water for 5 to 10 minutes just before filling it with your beverage.

Travel Tumbler Exterior Stays at Room Temperature

Whether you fill it with a hot or cold beverage, the outside temperature of the tumbler is not affected by the temperature of its contents. (Of course, if you take it outside on a very hot or very cold day, the exterior of any metal container will get hotter or colder, based on the temperature of its environment.)

No "Sweating" Even When Filled With Ice-Cold Drinks

Even if you fill it with ice cubes and a cold beverage, this stainless steel travel tumbler doesn't "sweat" — i.e., condensation doesn't form on the outside of the mug. So, I never have to use a coaster under this tumbler to protect my antique mahogany dining table, coffee table or end tables.

Leak-proof lid on Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumbler
The DrinkLock sealing lid has two openings

Leak-proof Lid

Thermos' DrinkLock sealing lid makes this travel mug leak-proof (unless you don't close the lid properly or reassemble it correctly after taking it apart for cleaning).

Dual Openings for Easy Access

There are slots on opposite sides of the lid that are controlled by a single lever. Sliding the lever to the side opens or closes both drinking slots simultaneously. So, when you pick up this travel tumbler, one of the openings will be no more than 1/4 turn away from your mouth.

Built-in Tea Bag Hook

The underside of the lid has a clever built-in hook for wrapping a tea bag string around or attaching the chain of a loose-leaf tea infuser.

Attractive and Functional Design

This vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumbler's graceful shape not only looks good but also feels good. The narrower "waist" (where the Thermos logo is) makes it easier for my small hand to hold this wide cup securely. Hand-washing is recommended and the surface colors and finishes stay looking great for years if you don't put these mugs in the dishwasher. There's also a selection of colors to choose from that changes from time to time. (I wish they still made the Electric Blue!)

Four Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers in different colors

Follow the Care and Use Instructions to Enjoy Your Thermos Stainless Cups For Many Years

We bought the oldest of our Thermos travel tumblers, the Cranberry and Midnight Blue ones, in 2015. As you can see, after four years they've held up extremely well. However, to keep your Thermos travel tumbler or mug looking and functioning well, it's important to follow the manufacturer's care and usage instructions.

Hand Wash Your Cup in Warm, Soapy Water

Although these Thermos stainless steel travel tumblers and mugs are top-rack dishwasher safe in terms of their function, the company recommends hand washing them with mild soap and warm water to preserve their attractive appearance.

Bottoms of two Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers, one with finish abraded by dishwasher and one hand washed
Worn finish on bottom edges of Cranberry cup after
dishwasher vs. like-new finish on hand washed blue cup

A few months ago, I found out the hard way what happens if you wash one in your dishwasher. I was feeling lazy and decided to put our Cranberry tumbler in the top rack of the dishwasher as an experiment. After washing it in the dishwasher this way a few times, I realized that the shiny, colorful finish had begun to wear off around the edges on the bottom of the cup.

Fortunately, the finish on the sides of the Cranberry tumbler still looks fine and the bottom hasn't gotten any worse since I went back to hand washing it. You can see in the photo that the bottom of my Royal Blue cup, which has always been hand washed, still looks like it did the day it arrived from Amazon.

I hand wash my Thermos travel tumblers with mild yet effective sulfate-free Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap, a soft sponge and long-handled OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush.

Don't Use Cleansers That Are Abrasive or Contain Chlorine Bleach

Abrasive cleansers (including dishwasher detergents), scrubbing sponges, etc., can dull or even wear away the finish on your Thermos travel tumbler or mug. (That is exactly what happened to the bottom of my Cranberry cup after I washed it in the top rack of my dishwasher a few times.)

The company also says not to use bleach or any products containing chlorine on these containers. Over time, some beverages, such as tea, can stain the gasket and seal if the lid is not washed promptly and thoroughly. Fortunately, replacement gaskets and seals are available.

If You Disassemble the Lid For Cleaning, Make Sure to Reassemble It Correctly

I don't disassemble the lid every time I wash my travel tumbler, but I do so fairly frequently to make sure I've cleaned it thoroughly. If you don't reassemble it correctly, your travel mug won't be able to maintain the temperature of your beverages as well and the lid may leak. I highly recommend reading and following the Thermos Vacuum Insulated Mug and Tumbler Care and Use Guide.

Thermos Stainless King vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumblers and mugs reviewed by Margaret Schindel

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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I have been looking for a quality travel mug. This sounds perfect. Love those colors, too. Here in the high country it is especially critical to stay adequately hydrated. Maybe I will drink more water if I keep a few of these handy. It will cut down on the plastic water bottles, for sure. So much waste when you resort to disposable bottles. I don't want to be that person... the one using plastic throw-aways.

    1. I think you'll love these! They certainly have helped me stay hydrated much better than when I was using plastic (ugh!) water bottles because they're so nice to use and keep my ice water icy so much longer. If you want a straight hydration bottle but don't need a container for hot drinks, definitely check out the Thermos Stainless Steel Hydration bottles I mentioned in the third paragraph. We love ours! :)

  2. Thermos is a name my family has trusted for generations. My dad had a Thermos he took to work when I was a child. It was one of the first gifts I gave my husband when we married and our children gave him a smaller Thermos for Father's Day. He ended up preferring the smaller one. I always wash them by hand. Ironically, I have never owned a Thermos travel mug, not even when I was driving our children to school every day. How very cool that it has a tea bag holder on the lid and the colors are beautiful. I'm going to add a blue one to my birthday wishlist right now.

    1. Sylvestermouse, the blue one is my favorite, too. (Yet another thing we have in common!) Thermos definitely is the most trusted name in vacuum-insulated food and drink containers. When I was a kid, Mom always packed our hot lunches and hot drinks in Thermos containers. You're very wise to wash them by hand. I think you'll love your Thermos travel mug if someone gets it for you for your birthday. I think if I order another one, I might try one of the mugs with a handle (and definitely that gorgeous blue!).

  3. I see so many people using insulated travel mugs these days. After reading the descriptions of your Thermos mugs, I can see why. Being able to keep beverages hot or cold for a long period of time in a spill proof tumbler is very handy. Not to mention being better for the environment than plastic throw-away bottles. Wonderful review, Margaret.

    1. Thanks very much, Elf! I don't even think of mine as "travel" tumblers because I use them every day (and, of course, for travel as well!). They've really helped me with my goal of staying hydrated, which is hard for me if I don't have a full, tall container of an ice-cold or hot drink next to me at all times. So glad you enjoyed my review!

  4. Excellent review! Thermos has always been a reliable brand. I don't currently need these, but I will certainly keep these in mind if we begin traveling again.

    1. Thanks very much, Barb! I'm delighted that you enjoyed the review. I use these every day, not just for travel.

  5. Margaret, excellent review! and yes, we have many of these on hand at home. I carry a container of water with me everywhere as well, even to the grocery store. lol.

    1. Thanks so much, Barbara! So glad to hear you own and enjoy these as well. Yup, I carry one of these, or one of our Thermos stainless steel hydration bottles (which are equally wonderful), everywhere I go, too!

  6. We each have one of these Thermos travel mugs and can echo your praise completely. We gave our son one when he was in university and he discovered that he could put coffee in his, throw it in his backpack and forget about it for hours (I think he said five) and still have hot coffee when he finally had a minute to think about it. After that, we gave one to everyone in our extended family. Nice review.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with these wonderful Thermos travel mugs, Brenda! I’m glad your family enjoys them as much as mine does.

  7. Margaret, you are so right about these Thermos Hot and Cold tumblers. I have one and I guard it with my life. I think maybe I should order a few more and then I would not have a heart attack when I don't quickly find the one I have. A great review on a great product!

    1. Thanks so much, Olivia! We're so glad we have extras. I don't know what we'd do otherwise if they ever stopped making these wonderful cups! :)


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