Here is some useful info on choosing the perfect thermos.
Check the Materials
The staple of the best thermos is the material used to produce the bottle. As you’ve probably noticed, every thermos, bottle, and mug on the list utilized the stainless steel – which is a universal material to use. Yet, there is a couple of versions that are better than others, so look out for these two: double wall or food-grade.
Double-wall stainless steel prolongs the time the beverage actually stays hot. The best examples are the Thermos Stainless King and Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug. For example, the first one flawlessly keeps drinks hot for the whole day! Food-grade steel, however, eliminates the aftertastes of previous drinks, and any funky odor that comes with them. Both the Hydro thermos, Yeti Rambler are able to do that.
Another important point is to make sure the materials are chemical-free. Usually, the chemicals that might be used are Bisphenol (BPA) and phthalate. Considering you’ll be using this bottle pretty often; you definitely don’t want to drink chemicals on a daily basis.
Choose the Proper Size
Thermoses come in so many different sizes from compact 12/16oz to fit your daily cup of coffee like Hydro Coffee Flask and Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG; or 40oz beasts like the Thermos Stainless King. So, the choice here is entirely up to you! Choose smaller sizes if you are looking for portability, and go big if you need a thermos to take for camping, picnics or festivals.
Pick Proper Insulation
No matter how good the bottle’s material is, it could all be useless if it provides no insulation. Vacuum insulated bottles, in general, have higher insulation properties and are completely air-tight. Make sure that the lid is leak-proof and doesn’t let through the air, as it will surely cool down liquid faster.
The higher insulation, the longer drinks keep their original temperature. Temperature insulation time is usually higher in the large thermoses like Thermos Stainless King. Still, some compact versions (I’m talking about Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA here) show some impressive insulation as well.
One last thing – the best way to test thermos insulation is by yourself, as some bottles come with manufacturing flaws! Pour boiling liquid into the bottle and leave it for several hours – if it’s not hot, return it right away!
Fancy a Cool Design?
The design of the bottle is a pretty personal thing, as well. There are a bunch of cosmetic and functionality features that may convince you to choose one bottle over the other. The simplest one is how the bottle looks! I personally think that the design of Hydro bottles (Coffee Flask & Water Bottle) is the winner here. As for functionalities, pay attention to the design of the lid, lid locks, and coating.
If you need a portable thermos, you should probably prioritize thermoses with flip-open lids and buttons for easy drinking and operation (you don’t want to spill hot coffee on you after all). When choosing the button, check if there is additional security like auto locks, which prevent the lid opening at the most inconvenient moments. And lastly, non-stick or powder coating allows for a comfortable grip and assure you that the bottle won’t slip out of your hand.
Is it Suitable for Daily Use?
Another critical thing is how easy it is to use the thermos. Imagine in what situations you’d want to use the thermos in (pouring your morning coffee, going out camping, taking it to the office or to play football) and choose which one would be most appropriate. If you live in the city and want to use the bottle for your coffee while commuting to work, maybe select the best coffee thermos Hydro Coffee flask.
For avid campers and hikers, YETI Rambler and Stanley Classic Vacuum Mug could be best. And if you are planning picnics, outdoor activities or staying in a camp for days, the most spacious options. When choosing large bottles, make sure you can drink from it quickly, like in the case of the Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle – the best thermos with a cup.
In addition to all of the basic features like body material, insulation technology, coating, and lid design, some bottles come with special goodies. Some come with a cup (Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle); others have additional lids so you can tweak the bottle to your liking (Hydro bottles), and others even have a strainer basket (EcoVessel PERK). Of course, you can simply choose the basic and bulletproof option, but who doesn’t want some extra perks, right?
Can you clean a thermos with bleach?
You can, but it is not recommended. Bleach if a very strong chemical, so there is a high chance you can damage the stainless steel on the inside. It’s safer to use dish liquid, baking soda, vinegar, and robust brushes.
What is the best thermos to keep coffee hot?
The ones with double-wall stainless steel and vacuum insulation. A couple of good options are the Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask, Zojirushi SM-KHE48AG, or the Contigo Autoseal.
What is the best way to clean a thermos?
Handwash! Even if the thermos is advertised as dishwasher safe, it’s always better to clean it with your hands. If there are some persistent stains, add some vinegar with baking soda, leave it overnight, and voila, the bottle will be spotless.
How can I maximize the effectiveness of a vacuum thermos?
If you want to keep the hot liquid hot longer, it’s always a good idea to preheat the bottle by pouring in some hot water and leaving it for a few minutes before pouring the drink of choice. Same works for cold drinks. Cool down the bottle in the fridge or freezer and pour away.
What can’t go in my thermos?
It’s not the best idea to add any liquid foods (like yogurt, smoothies etc.) as they usually have a pretty strong taste, which could add some unpleasant odor and aftertaste.
Why is copper used in some thermoses?
Copper is used in the inner lining and can accelerate the temperature insulation time.
There you have it! The best thermoses for every situation, activity, and even lifestyle. Despite the differences between them, there are some universal features you should keep in mind when choosing your bottle: body material, insulation time, leak-proof, and intended use. If the bottle checks all the boxes – you are set! But, if you want to make this task even easier, go with these recommendations: Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle – as the most reliable and universal option; Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask – as this flask fits most brewing systems (and I’m simply a coffee addict); or the Thermos Stainless Kings – for one beast of a thermos.