Last Updated: 18-10-2019

10 Best Reusable Coffee Cups

There is a very high chance that if you are here, you are concerned about the impact which your coffee habit is having on the planet.

Not only is that daily visit to the coffee shop denting your bank balance, but the cups given out are rarely recyclable, and are only used once in their life cycle. In response, there is now a huge number of reusable eco-friendly coffee cups out there which you can take on-the-go.

From the usual plastic to alternatives such as steel, bamboo and glass, here are our top picks which both keep your drink warm and look great, too.

The Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Coffee Cups

1.
rCup

Specifications

  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 340ml

Travel coffee cups aren’t just about saving the planet and your purse. They need to keep the drink warm, not leak all over your work/laptop/new white jumper, and not require ten hands to open.

The rCup is the first cup made from other recycled cups. Around 50% of the cup is from this, with the inner part made from new substantial plastic for hygiene reasons. This is good quality though, so you’re going to get sufficient use out of it.

It offers 360° drinking, so the drink doesn’t come out of just one tiny hole. As we have all experienced, the latter can make it difficult to work and also cause more difficulty than ease. So, just push the inner part and you can drink from any angle without risking spillages. Just push again to close.

This requires just one hand, so would be great when driving, walking the dog or pushing a pram. Drinks stay warm for around an hour which should be plenty of time to drink it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Opening mechanism means little chance of leaks
  • Close to the drinking style of a normal mug

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard to tell if it is open or closed

2.
Ecoffee Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Bamboo, Silicone
  • Capacity: 340ml

Even though reusable plastic is seen by many to be suitable, you may be completely anti-plastic. Which is where a cup such as this bamboo option comes into play.

Bamboo is one of the newest materials when it comes to coffee cups such as this. It gives superior strength and is naturally sterile, with no flavour impairment or tainting. Because it is strong, it is one of the best materials if you are a little bit clumsy and there is a chance you could drop it or throw it into your bag where it could become damaged.

The silicone lid (latex free for anyone with allergies) hugs the cup for little chance of spillages. There is a little plug which seals the hole to prevent these too, and also keep it warmer for a bit longer.

Reasons to Buy

  • Strong material
  • Lid fits the cup securely

Reasons to Avoid

  • Stopper is not attached to lid so easy to misplace

3.
Bodum 11068-913

Specifications

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 350ml

Bodum flasks are amongst some of the most famous, with a unique style and the quality which comes with the brand.

They are amongst some of the best for heat insulation too, so if you do need the coffee to last for quite a while, the double insulated walls are fabulous. It is also made from stainless steel for an extra boost.

Thanks to the stopper, the coffee will remain in the cup. There is also a nice rubber sleeve around it so it is cool to touch and carry, and it is available in a number of finishes so you could match it to your bag or simply pick your favourite.

The big downside? Bodum admits it isn’t entirely leak-proof. Not one for the cramped morning commute on the train, but better if you want something at your work desk or on a calm car ride.

Reasons to Buy

  • Retains heat well
  • Easy and comfortable to hold

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the absolute best at being water-tight

4.
KeepCup BFIL16

Specifications

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 450ml

KeepCup are currently one of the biggest names in the eco-friendly coffee cup world.

This model is BPA free and non toxic, with a really solid cork sleeve which is substantial and doesn’t transfer the heat at all so is comfortable to hold.

It is maybe not the best for public transport commutes as it is glass, so instead could be great if you are in the safety of a car or you want something at work rather than nipping out on your lunch break every day.

Having said this, it is fully-tempered soda-lime glass so isn’t going to smash as easily as your ordinary drinking glasses and mugs. The sealable lid and stopper hole will keep the coffee securely in the cup, too.

The glass also makes it really nice and easy to clean, which is great as some others can have so many nooks and crannies or take on the colour of the coffee.

Reasons to Buy

  • Brilliantly stylish
  • A few colour options available

Reasons to Avoid

  • Risk of shattering if you aren’t careful with it

5.
Chilly’s Insulated Coffee Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Capacity: 230ml, 340ml, 500ml

One of Amazon’s best-sellers in the reusable coffee cups category, but we know that isn’t enough reason to pop it in our list.

So we are pleased to say it lives up to the hype, too. Chilly’s are perhaps best-known for their cold insulated bottles (which are also fab, although we aren’t about that cold drink life here at Daily Espresso).

These hot drink coffee cups use that same top technology to keep your drink in its perfect state for a long period. They are double walled and steel, so even if it is -20°C outside, the drink will remain toasty.

The steel is high grade 304, so impact resistant and very durable. Great if you will be putting it through a lot on your commute or day-to-day activities.

Reasons to Buy

  • Choice of colour and sizes
  • Coffee stays really hot for well over an hour

Reasons to Avoid

  • No way to close drinking spout

6.
Huskup Reusable Eco Coffee Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Rice Husk
  • Capacity: 400ml

You’ve seen the metal cups. And the glass. Even the bamboo. This Huskup is actually made from rice husks however, so is definitely one of the best when it comes to using the by-products of other industries if you are really concerned about manufacturing.

The husks are usually burnt in the fields to get rid of them, creating pollution, so this alternative is a fabulous alternative.

This also means it is biodegradable, so when it does come to the end of its life, it won’t sit in a landfill forever. Even the silicone lid and sleeve are recyclable. Unlike a lot of other cups on this list, it is top rack dishwasher and microwave reheat safe too.

On to the actual performance, and we are pleased to say it doesn’t retain the smell or flavour of past drinks so is great for changing things up. The lid stays on well, and although there is no way to cover the drinking hole (so you can’t pop it in your bag), it is safe enough to carry.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good size for longer drinks
  • One of the most eco-friendly options around

Reasons to Avoid

  • No way to cover open hole

7.
Zip Reusable Glass Eco Coffee Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 340ml

For those of you who love a pop of colour to brighten up a dreary morning before the caffeine has hit.

Zip is another well-respected name in the reusable cup world. Made from borosilicate glass, it won’t stain or hold the flavour of old drinks, or taint your drink on the first few uses. 100% plastic free, it is recyclable and non-toxic.

It is leak-free from ordinary movement. There is a drinking seal closure to keep it spill-free, and the thermal sleeve is anti-slip so comfortable and secure to hold. It is also nice and thick, which is somewhere where others can fail as the bands are too thin.

As it is standard barista size, it could be great to take into a coffee shop and get some pennies off your coffee while avoiding the dreaded paper cups. When you’re finished, it is dishwasher safe so can be thoroughly cleaned with no trouble.

Reasons to Buy

  • Vibrant colours
  • Nice chunky rubber grip

Reasons to Avoid

  • Glass could be impractical for some

8.
Huskee 12oz Cup & Lid

Specifications

  • Material: Coffee Husk
  • Capacity: 350ml

An award-winning design, the Huskee Cup has been engineered for use in cafes and retail establishments, but this lidded version is perfect for homes and those who want something strong and sustainable.

They are made from coffee husk, so as with the rice husk cups, this is a by-product from an industry and using it means less waste and more practical solutions by repurposing what would otherwise be redundant. There is 1.7 million tonnes of coffee husk wasted every year, so it is the perfect material for this kind of product.

It is comfortable to hold and cool to touch. Despite retaining heat really well, the outer doesn’t get too warm and it is nice and durable. It’s also dishwasher safe, so almost looks after itself.

You can also purchase extra lids, and even perfectly matching saucers if you’re using at home. They’re all interchangeable with each size of cup too, so you’ll never have to miss out if one is in the washing up bowl.

Reasons to Buy

  • Perfect no-waste solution to industry
  • One of the strongest cups out there

Reasons to Avoid

  • Limited to charcoal or natural colours

9.
bioGo Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Rice Husk
  • Capacity: 450ml

Using the by-product of the rice manufacturing industry means that this cup isn’t just working to reduce waste from the coffee world, but elsewhere too.

bioGo buy the husks before they are burnt (which causes pollution), turning them into these cups and also supporting the rice farms. If that isn’t enough, then 10% of their profits go towards beach clean-ups too. A truly eco-friendly firm.

It is double-walled, so retains heat nicely. Yet, it doesn’t get hot on the outside so can still be carried on your commute. We love the little handle on the top of the lid which makes a really nice change, so it could be great if you are off on a hike or need it to double up as a carabiner.

The design also puts you in mind, with a ‘nose-dome’ to prevent your nose clashing with the lid when you take a drink (face shape dependent, of course). The quality is high and strong and it has a nice capacity for all kinds of drinks from strong coffee to long lattes, and keeps them hot for quite a while too.

Reasons to Buy

  • Good price
  • Eco-friendly product and system

Reasons to Avoid

  • Handle forms the stopper for the mouthpiece which could result in a bit of splashing if used

10.
Stojo On The Go Coffee Cup

Specifications

  • Material: Silicone
  • Capacity: 355ml

Fewer cups are quite as on-the-go as this one. This is because it is collapsible, so once you have consumed your coffee and rinsed/washed it out, it will fold down so barely takes up any space in your bag.

This could make it great for anyone who travels light, or indeed is going travelling or camping. As it collapses, there is little risk of it becoming damaged. It is made from silicone, so while it isn’t the most substantial, it means it is a little less bulky.

It is one of the best for colour choices which is great if you want something very particular. And there is a cover for the drinking hole, so you don’t have to be too careful to not tip it over or spill it.

Because of the silicone material, it does hold the flavour a little bit which could be an issue if you like to change up the hot drink of choice. It also isn’t the best at keeping the drink warm. Still, we love the space-saving idea and the price, too.

Reasons to Buy

  • No bulk
  • Just press down to collapse – easy to use

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes a bit of work to remove past flavours

Reusable Coffee Cup Buying Guide

Sizes

They come in a range to match different consumption habits. If you like ordinary coffee or want the standard size, something around 350ml is perfect.

You can also buy ones around 120ml for espressos and shots, or over 450ml for long drinks or an extra long-lasting coffee boost.

We have listed all of the above in their millilitre equivalent, but bear in mind most are made in Australia or the US so come in fl. Oz. 4oz is the espresso size, 12oz is standard and 16oz is long.

Materials

Above, we have reviewed cups made from coffee husk, rice husk, silicone, glass, bamboo, plastic and metal. There are some other materials floating about out there too, and we fully expect further innovations as people start to become more aware.

The latter two are usually the best as retaining heat, so great if you need your coffee to last. The former two are seen as the best eco-friendly options, as they take by-products of food manufacturing to make the cup so really do reduce the impact of waste. Bamboo is the world’s most sustainable crop so is pretty friendly, too (for the moment).

If you travel a lot and need something substantial, glass or metal could be problematic as they may get damaged or break. But they’re seen as the easiest to clean and least likely to retain flavours, so could be best for those who like alternative hot drinks or the real flavour.

It can mostly depend on the design of the cup, too, as opposed to the material. You may need a firm grip sleeve, or the drinking hole to be covered. You may even prefer a cup sans drinking hole to emulate an ordinary mug, or need something lightweight.

In the end, it is down to personal choice, but choice is something you have a lot of when it comes to which reusable coffee cup to buy.

FAQs

Why are coffee shop cups bad for the planet?

Every single year, over 500 billion takeaway cups pile up in landfills. In the UK alone, we use 7 million every day – that’s 2.5 billion per year.

The rise in the number of coffee shops on the high street (which is a great thing) has unfortunately brought out the coffee industries worst side. ‘Single-use’ was Collins Dictionary’s word of the year for 2018, and that is a word which sums up coffee shop cups.

The work that goes into making them doesn’t match the use they get. Many are made from virgin paper pulp, so trees must be felled to make this. As seeing this is a big sacrifice for a cup which lasts around an hour before being disposed of, it is a huge question mark over the industry.

They aren’t recyclable, either. Despite many being made from recyclable materials and stating that they can be, many aren’t actually dealt with properly when they reach the centres. Most are made from paper but have a plastic polyethylene lining, which is tightly bound to the paper to keep your drink hot and safe. This can’t be separated easily.

Then there is the fact that many still have drink residue on. They must be taken to special facilities, but as only three exist in the entirety of the UK, only around 1% of all cups end up being recycled.

How can I wash a reusable coffee cup?

Always read the instructions first. Because of the alternative materials, many aren’t dishwasher safe so have to be cleaned by hand. If they can be, it usually has to be top-shelf only.

Travel and reusable coffee mugs can suffer from flavour retention and staining so always remember the following:

  • Rinse Out ASAP – You won’t always be able to give it a thorough clean straight away, but getting all of the coffee residue out should help
  • Clean After Every Use – Don’t be lazy and double use as you may with a china mug. For maximum hygiene and cleaning, wash in between refills
  • Baking Soda And Vinegar – This can not only banish stains but also any taste left behind. Wait for the reaction to finish, wash thoroughly and repeat if needed. This is also a great thing to do before first use to get rid of the plastic, bamboo or metal taste
  • Take Apart To Clean – From the sleeve to the lid and any covers, wash all bits separately to prevent build-up and germs. This includes around locking mechanisms and mouth pieces. You could use a small brush or soak them too
  • Air Dry – So you don’t miss any folds or corners. Always leave the lid off so no moisture and mould builds up

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