Thermal Mug Guide - How to Keep Your Coffee and Drinks hot or cold for hours

Whether you are out camping, getting in a round of golf or just trying to make the most of your breakfast in the car, a thermal mug is going to make your experience all the more pleasant. Thermal mugs keep your beverages hotter or colder for longer and can save you money while you enjoy yourself and make the most of your time. This article will cover how a thermal mug works and some things to look out for when buying one.

thermal mug
thermal mug

How Does It Work

The simple answer to this is Insulation. Each thermos and thermal container insulates the drink by putting a layer of air in between the drink and the outside of the container. This can be achieved either by a vacuum seal or by using insulating materials like foam. The heat will then warm the trapped layer of air in between and significantly slow down the cooling. When you go to bed at night your blanket is doing the same thing for you by trapping warm air from your body heat. The difference with at thermal mug is that because there is a vacuum the cold air from outside cannot enter.


The surface area to volume ratio is also a big factor. If you notice that your espresso gets colder much faster than your cappuccino part of it is due to this surface area to volume ratio. Your espresso is served at the same temperature as any other coffee but in a much smaller glass so there is more coffee touching the glass and thus heat conducted away. The size of a thermal mug is usually the size of a large cup of coffee or tea for this reason.

How Long Will My Coffee Keep Warm?

For hot drinks, expect 4-6 hours while cold drinks can be kept cold for up to 12 hours. Thermal mugs are incredibly efficient especially if you choose one with a vacuum seal lid. Although many people can’t wait that long to drink their coffee the mugs are made to keep your drinks at the right temperature throughout most of the working day. There are mugs that do come with a simple plastic lid so that you can sip your coffee without having to open anything.


Thermal mugs are popular with people who are on the move like security guards, drivers, and those of us who don’t like to get up from our desks too often. A good mug will perform almost identically in your office and outdoors. For this reason the mugs are popular with outdoors men allowing them to enjoy a hot drink long after they have left their camping bed and the fire has died down.

Look out for BPA

Today the range of materials used in thermal mugs including ceramic, stainless steel and plastic thermal mugs can all insulate your beverages effectively. What you should look for are thermal mugs that are BPA free. BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical that is often present in the lining of water bottles food cans and other containers. There has been research linking the exposure of BPA to some negative issues that affect the development and behavior of children. So take the time to make sure that the mug or other containers you buy are BPA free.

By using a thermal mug you are helping the environment by reducing plastic and polystyrene cups. You will also see the benefit in terms of saving money because you can bring your favourite coffee with you instead of paying more for your coffee at your local café particularly if you are taking it away.


Today’s thermal mugs come in an array of colours and patterns so you can be sure to find something that already has some of your personality in it. There are also mugs made for children with spill proof openings and other mugs with built in plungers and strainers for coffee and tea purists.


In the end nothing beats a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning the only thing that takes away the pleasure is the cold but that can easily be beaten with the right thermal mug.

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marimccants 5 years ago

Great tips!

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