Best Vacuum Flask Thermos, Insulated Coffee Mugs & Food Jars for 2020

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One of the few good things of 2020 was realising how pointless it is spending money daily on expensive takeaway coffee.

Depending on how you like your coffee, a decent filter machine and some good quality coffee can often compete well with many store-bought options and at a fraction of the price.

If you get a coffee machine, another good upgrade is a decent burr grinder for whole beans. Coffee Geek's coffee burr grinder recommendation is a good starting point.

With many of us now back in the office, and the weather getting cold, it is a great idea to invest in a thermos flask so you can continue to have high-quality coffee without paying the prices.

Furthermore, anyone wanting to be healthy and cut down on the costs; they are superb for taking your homemade soup to work with too.

Best Small Thermos

Umi. by Amazon – Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Flask – 500ml from £13.98

Amazon Brand - Umi Double Walled Vacuum Insulated Flask,...
  • Keeps your drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cold...
  • With an unbreakable inner and outer shell made...
  • This flask is leakproof and BPA free.
  • Hand wash recommended. Fully guaranteed against...

I'd be inclined to spend a little extra on a bigger bottom, but if space is a premium, then the affordable option by Amazon-owned Umi is a good choice.

Best Mid Size Thermos

Thermos Flask, Stainless Steel, Raspberry, 1.2L from £16.60

Thermos 81092 Flask, Stainless Steel, Raspberry, 1.2L
  • Thermos vacuum insulation technology for maximum...
  • Durable stainless steel interior and exterior
  • Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweat-proof...
  • Twist and pour stopper lets you pour without...

Under £17 for 1.2L from the biggest brand in the business, it is not even worth look at other options.

For context, a Starbucks Venti is 20oz so 590ml or a Grande is 16oz/473ml so that's 2 or 3 big cups of coffee you can take with you. Two Venti Americanos are about £5

Best Big Thermos

Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle, Stainless Steel, Green, 1.9 L from £45

Sale
Stanley 18-8 Stainless Steel-Double-Wall Vacuum Insulation...
  • HOT OR COLD FOR 32 HOURS: Fill the 1.9L thermal...
  • EXTREMELY DURABLE: Our leak-proof thermos bottle...
  • BPA-FREE STAINLESS STEEL: All contact surfaces are...
  • DISHWASHER SAFE: This thermos is designed to be...

It is big, and it is expensive, this will carry soup or drinks for multiple people, or a serious caffeine junkie.  

Alternative option: ONEISALL 91oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Flask from £38

There is big; then there is massive. This gigantic vacuum flask will hold 2.6L

Best Insulated Coffee Mug

Contigo West Loop Autoseal Travel Mug from £20.65

Contigo West Loop Autoseal Travel Mug, Stainless Steel...
  • 100 % SEALED AND LEAK PROOF: Auto seal technology...
  • ICE COLD OR PIPING HOT: Thermalock double-wall...
  • DURABLE: High-quality travel mug, BPA-free plastic...
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Dishwasher-safe lid hinges open...

Travel coffee mugs are the main option I go for, allowing me to make a good large cup of coffee on the commute to work, allowing me to skip Starbucks.

Best Insulated Food Jars

WisFox Food Flask Insulated from £17.47

WisFox Food Flask Insulated 304 Stainless Steel Food Jar...
  • LONG LASTING INSULATION:Food Flask keep your meals...
  • 750ML CAPACITY:The size of the Food Jar is 11 X 12...
  • PORTABLE ACCESSORIES:Come with storage bag,...
  • INSULATE FROM OUTSIDE TEMPERATURE:An air hole is...

If you want something a little more substantial than soup, an insulated food flask could be the solution. It's basically the same as the other, but the opening of the flask is much larger, allowing you to use a spoon. They come in multiple shapes, but I am greedy, and the largest I can find is 750ml

Alternative option: Thermos Stainless King Food Flask from £24.29

Obviously, a much more reputable brand and not much difference in size or price so certainly worth considering, Thermos also do a smaller 470ml model, but it is not much cheaper so I would only consider it if you are short on carrying space.

Best Smart Thermos

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug from £140

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug, 12 oz, Black, 2-hr...
  • Keeps your hot drink at the exact temperature you...
  • 2-hour battery life on a single charge. Or keep...
  • Control with your smartphone. Pair with the Ember...
  • Ember Travel Mug also allows you to set your...

This wouldn't be a tech blog without at least one smart product, the price of this mug makes it a little niche, but if you want your drink at a very specific temperature, then the Ember is the way to go.

This 12oz/340ml smart mug will keep your drink at a set temperature which you set via the app with temperature ranges between 50°C and 62.5°C.

This insulated mug then has a 2-hour battery life and will wake up and shut off automatically as the temperature moves up and down. The mug can then also be charged via a QI charging coaster (included) allowing you to keep your drink at an ideal temperature all day.

Affordable option: flintronic Travel Mugs from £10

You can't set your temperature so this may be no use for people wanting to avoid overheating their coffee, but this filtronic travel mug offers a temperature display allowing you to know when your drink is too hot or cold.

Best Portable French Press

Wacaco Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker from £49.99

WACACO Pipamoka Portable Coffee Maker, Mini Travel Coffee...
  • [ALL-IN-ONE] Brew and drink from a single device...
  • [THE TWO MINUTES BREW] Its patented construction,...
  • [HOW DOES VACUUM PRESSURE WORK] ADD: Fill the...
  • [LEAVE NO WASTE BEHIND] The stainless steel...

The Ember may be an impressive bit of tech, but a portable coffee maker will be a more logical solution for most coffee fans. There are lots of options on the market, all of which look impressive. The WACACO is the one I chose as it uses a twisting cap to generate pressure inside the mug for a quicker and superior brew (similar to the AeroPress concept). The biggest downside to this is that it is only 295ml.

Alternative option: BODUM Travel French Press Coffee Maker from £18.60

Same concept but this is a manual French press style coffee maker, and from reputable brand Bodum, it is cheaper and stores a bit more coffee at 350ml

Alternative to a thermos

Ember Temperature-Control Smart Mug 2, 284 ml from £99

New Ember Temperature-Control Smart Mug 2, 284 ml, White,...
  • LONGER LASTING BATTERY: Extended battery life on...
  • APP CONTROLLED: Ember smart mug allows you to...
  • USE WITHOUT APP: Ember Mug is functional without...
  • SAFE TO HAND-WASH: This stainless steel coffee mug...

I mostly work from home now, so my main problem is not keeping my coffee warm on the way to work, but keeping it warm as I get distracted by work while drinking it.

The Ember Smart Mug 2 is a bit more useful than their insulated mug, in my opinion. It uses the same concept, being a battery-powered mug that is then charged via a QI coaster, so I don't have to remember to place it on the coaster each time I take a sip.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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