Last updated March 25, 2018.
Zojirushi is a Japanese brand known for producing high-end small appliances, vacuum insulated products and commercial restaurant and coffee equipment. One of the products I have enjoyed using the past few years is their stainless steel thermal mug.
Zojirushi’s stainless steel vacuum insulation mug will keep your beverages hot or cold for 6 hours
I cannot agree more with Zojirushi’s claim. I find the mug can keep drinks hot for up to eight to 10 hours even. Cold drinks on the other hand have lasted as described for up to six. It also keeps the exterior dry from any condensation, and this is important when you plan to keep your mug inside a bag or backpack.
The design of the mug is quite simple. It is vacuum insulated so there is no air between two layers of stainless steel. With no air, the temperature on either side of the wall does not transfer, allowing beverages to stay hot or cold for longer than usual.
The flip lid can be unlocked and opened with a single hand and with a press of a button. Looking inside of the lid you will see a silicon nub that fully seals the opening when it is closed to help with temperature retention.
The lip is designed with a single hole that is partitioned into two openings and allows your drink to flow smoothly into your mouth.
SlickSteal Finish versus Nonstick Coating
What is appealing to me about the SM-KHE model is that the 18/8 stainless steel interior is coated with a “SlickSteal Finish”. A method where electrolysis is used to treat the stainless steel to make it smooth and resistant to odor and stains.
This offered me more peace of mind because the interior is non-reactive and more durable/resistant to corrosion and scratching.
However, this is not to say the nonstick coating models are any worse. In fact, a number of feedback I have read indicates that:
- Some customers found the nonstick coating did not alter the taste of their coffee while the SlickSteal did.
- Many felt the non-stick coating was even more resistant to odors and stains. Making it ideal for coffee.
Easy to clean
Another thing I like about this mug is that the stopper and gaskets can be removed for a thorough cleaning and can be left out to fully dry before reassembling. This makes for a quick and simple hand wash and rinse after use.
The Wirecutter named Zojirushi’s stainless steel mug the best travel mug after considering over 98 other mugs over four years and spending close to 78 hours on research and testing. It dominated all of their tests and the only complaints they had was that it was too good at insulating, was too thin for some applications, and priced on the higher end.
“Exceptional vacuum insulated travel mug that keeps beverages hot for hours, even in cold environments. It has a well-designed exterior, an easy-to-clean interior, and a foolproof lid locking mechanism that you can operate with one hand. The mug is lightweight and slim, but that means it may not fit snugly in some cup holders. The Zojirushi is also on the pricey end for a mug, but after years of long-term testing, it’s the mug we trust most not to spill in your bag, and it’s hard to put a price on that.”
Amazon Canada Customers
Amazon customers are full of praise for the Zojirushi stainless steel mug and how well it keeps their coffee hot for several hours a day. However, many agreed that the price was expensive compared to its competitors, but rightfully so for the quality and performance you get in comparison.
Feedback about the maintenance and cleaning of the mug was quite polarized. Some appreciated the ability to take the mug apart for thorough cleaning while others felt all nooks and crannies were difficult to clean. Others also found it inconvenient to not be able to throw it into the dishwasher because of Zojirushi’s warning to only hand wash the mug.
Further, many customers who drink coffee while driving did not like the long slender design of the Zojirushi mug. It is too skinny for a typical cup holder.
“I must say it’s a great mug! I used to have a Contigo from Costco, and this one holds the same amount of liquid but is slimmer, and just as light. The insulation is much better! My coffee stays hot for 5-6 hours… like still burning lips hot! I have to make sure I cool my coffee a bit before closing the lid, or it’ll still be too hot to drink after 5 hours! Amazing insulation! My old Contigo would be room temperature and in that time. The spout is also great! It’s easy to sip, and not have a mouthful of piping hot coffee come out all at once. The lid also snaps open, so it won’t fall back on your nose when you tilt it! Super easy to clean, and I appreciate being able to get into all the nooks and crannies. The spout comes off, along with the seals and everything. No way I can clean my old Contigo as well as this mug.”
So what makes this the best travel mug?
It comes down to what you want out of your mug. If you want something that can keep your drinks hot or cold for as long as possible and be able to take it on the go, it will be difficult to find a better mug than the Zojirushi.
If you guzzle your coffee in less than a couple of hours, you will be fortunate enough to have many more options out there.
Zojirushi also backs their vacuum insulation of its stainless steel mugs with a five-year limited warranty. And in the event that your lid wears out or breaks, they are one of the few companies I am aware of that actually sells all of their individual replacement parts online.
The Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug is available in 12, 16 and 20 oz and in a variety of designs and colours.Check Price