Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (2022)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions some cafesaren't accepting reusable cups.

Reusable coffee cups are now commonplace in the line-up of orders at your local cafe. Popular brands include KeepCups and Frank Green, but there's hot competition from established homeware brands Avanti, Thermos and Bodum, along with smaller players. So what is the best reusable coffee cup?

We recruited five caffeine addicts to road-test nine popular styles and give their verdict on ease of use, design, leakage and more. We also lab-tested how well they retained heat.

On this page:

  • Where to buy reusable coffee cups
  • Which is the best reusable coffee cup?
  • Why should we use reusable coffee cups?
  • Ceramic, plastic, stainless steel or glass reusable coffee cup?
  • How we test

Where to buy reusable coffee cups

You can buy reusable coffee cups in kitchenware stores, some cafes and often direct from the companies themselves. Many are also available from major retailers including Kmart, Myer, Officeworks, Spotlight and Woolworths.

In the product profiles below we've provided links to buy the reusable coffee cups on various sites where available (read more about Shopping links on the CHOICE website).

Which is the best reusable coffee cup?

The products we tested are listed below from highest to lowest user trial score. See How we test for all the details.

1. KeepCup Original

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (1)

KeepCup Original

RRP:from $16 (340mL/12oz)

User trial score: 8/10

Heat retention score: 52%

Cup / lid material: Plastic / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 78 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Highest user trial score
  • Popular design, wide colour range
  • All parts are replaceable
  • Easy to carry
  • Hard to break, durable
  • Sealable lid
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Cover over the drinking hole protects it from dirty handling

Bad points

  • Stiff lid can be hard to remove

2. Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (2)

Klean Kanteen Insulated Tumbler

RRP: $55 (473mL)

User trial score: 7.2/10

Heat retention score:89%

Cup / lid material:Stainless steel / plastic lid

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 355 minutes

Buy now

(Video) Best Reusable Coffee Cups (2020 Review!)

Good points

  • Excellent heat retention, the best we tested
  • Good for large hot drinks (smaller sizes are also available)
  • Popular tapered design, with a stable heavy base
  • Tumbler lid is replaceable if the seal becomes worn
  • Hard-wearing steel
  • Parts are replaceable

Bad points

  • Not sealable
  • Triallists found the 473mL cup quite big to handle
  • 473mL size was too tall to fit under the cafe's coffee machine group head
  • The most expensive cup trialled
  • Not dishwasher safe

3. KeepCup Brew

RRP:from $30 (340mL/12oz)

User trial score: 6.4/10

Heat retention score: 51%

Cup / lid material: Glass / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 68 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Popular customisable colours
  • All parts are replaceable
  • Easy-to-carry style with silicone grip
  • Triallists liked drinking from the cup with or without the lid
  • Glass does not retain odours
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Cover over the drinking hole protects it from dirty handling

Bad points

  • Lowest heat retention of the nine tested cups – this is not the cup for those who like to take their time over a hot coffee
  • Silicone strip too narrow as glass can be too hot to touch
  • Glass needs to be handled with care
  • Stiff lid that can be hard to remove

4. Avanti Go Mug

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (4)

Avanti Go Mug

RRP: $12.95 (250mL)

User trial score: 6/10

Heat retention score: 54%

Cup / lid material: Porcelain / silicone

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 89 minutes

Good points

(Video) Avanti Go Cup Review - The best reusable coffee cup in Australia?

  • Variety of patterns available
  • Easy to clean
  • Porcelain does not retain odours
  • Pleasant to sip from the cup or the lid
  • Dishwasher safe

Bad points

  • Lid is flexible and easy to remove, but considered flimsy
  • The heaviest of the cups trialled
  • Porcelain needs to be handled with care – no silicone band
  • Opening not sealable

5. Cheeki Coffee Mug

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (5)

Cheeki Coffee Mug

RRP: $32.95 (350mL)

User trial score: 5.8/10

Heat retention score: 87%

Cup / lid material: Stainless steel / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 337 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Very good heat retention, while the outside stays cool
  • Replacement lids available
  • Sealable pop-up lid
  • Can drink from all sides – a bonus when driving
  • Hard-wearing steel
  • Dishwasher safe

Bad points

  • Narrow base fits in cup holders but could compromise stability
  • The lid can hold some residue after being closed causing drips, and is hard to clean. Only the lid is dishwasher safe
  • Too tall to fit under the cafe's coffee machine group head. Triallists found both the lid and cup hard to grip

6. Frank Green Smart Cup

RRP:from $36.95 (340mL/12oz)

User trial score: 5.6/10

Heat retention score: 54%

Cup / lid material: Plastic / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 91 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Popular design and colours
  • Replacement lids and bases available
  • Very light, comfortable and slender size cup to carry around, with a good grippy surface
  • If the lid is screwed on tightly it seals and won't leak, so it can go in a bag after use
  • Fits a bike bottle-holder
  • CafePay-enabled for cashless and cardless caffeine
  • Dishwasher safe

Bad points

  • Lid isn't microwave safe
  • Harder to clean the lid, and the outside grip attracts dirt
  • The rim isn't comfortable to drink from without the lid
  • Drinking hole isn't protected from contamination from handling
  • The button to open the lid is stiff

7. Bodum Travel Mug

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (7)

Bodum Travel Mug

(Video) Which Reusable Coffee Cup is Best?

RRP:from $19.95 (350mL/12oz)

User trial score: 5.2/10

Heat retention score: 59%

Cup / lid material: Plastic / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 131 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Lightweight, very grippy – 4/5 triallists liked the feel of it
  • Screw-on lid and good seal
  • Dishwasher safe

Bad points

  • Too tall to fit under the cafe's coffee machine group head
  • Large and plastic – bulky
  • You cannot sip from the cup lip, only through the spout

8. Joco Coffee Cup

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (8)

Joco Coffee Cup

RRP: $29.95 (340mL / 12oz)

User trial score: 5.2/10

Heat retention score: 52%

Cup / lid material: Glass / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 74 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Popular design with triallists – wide colour range available
  • Replacement lids, cups and bands available
  • Glass does not retain odours
  • Flexible lid is easy to put on but didn't feel secure
  • Glass rim was good to drink from
  • Dishwasher safe

Bad points

  • Glass gets very hot, but large silicone grip helped
  • Drink opening doesn't seal ("not the best when running to catch the train")
  • Glass needs to be handled with care

9. Thermocafe Travel Mug by Thermos

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (9)

(Video) Avanti Go Cup Review | Best Reusable Coffee Cups

Thermocafe Travel Mug by Thermos

RRP: $17 (450mL)

User trial score: 2.6/10

Heat retention score: 68%

Cup / lid material: Stainless steel / plastic

Time from 85°C to 40°C: 194 minutes

Buy now

Good points

  • Hard-wearing steel
  • Lid is easily detached and attached – has a seal that isn't waterproof but will stop drips and splashing
  • Easy to clean

Bad points

  • Too tall to fit under the cafe's coffee machine group head
  • Very large and bulky
  • Top heavy design means it could be knocked over easily
  • Triallists considered it ugly
  • Hand wash only

Why should we use reusable coffee cups?

It's now well-recognised that disposable coffee cups are largely unrecyclable and an environmental disaster across the world, filling up landfill and polluting waterways and our environs.

So is a reusable coffee cup a sustainable step forward? If you use one regularly–and over an extended period of timeit is.

A study from the University of Victoria in Canada created a 'break even' matrix for the energy inputs in production of disposable paper cups compared with reusable plastic, glass and ceramic cups.

The table shows how many times you'd have to use your reusable cup for it to become equally energy-efficient to the production of a paper cup.

Cup material Uses before energy-efficient to a paper cup
Glass 15
Plastic 17
Ceramic 39

According to KeepCup, using one of its plastic (LDPe) recyclable KeepCups for a year instead of disposable paper coffee cups will lead to a:

  • 36–47% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 64–85% reduction in water use
  • 91–92% reduction in landfill.

And somecafes– including those that are signedup to responsiblecafes.org– offer a discount if you bringyour own cup (around 50c on your coffee).

Ceramic, plastic, stainless steel or glass reusable coffee cup?

Which reusable coffee cup you prefer when it comes to look and feel can be subjective, but if you're after a cup that keeps drinks hotter for longer, our test found that the double-walled products retained the most heat, and of those, the stainless steel models performed better than ceramic, glass and plastic.

Size also matters

How much coffee fits into a reusable cup is definitely a consideration, after all short black drinkers don't need an oversized cup and a tiny cup won't cut it if you consume hot drinks by the gallon. Just bear in mind that if you want to use the cup to get your coffee from a cafe, it will need to be short enough to fit under the group head of the coffee machine.

We've included the size of the models tested in the profiles above, but most brands we looked at are available in a range of sizes, as follows:

  • Avanti Go: 250mL, 280mL, 410mL
  • Bodum Travel Mug: 12oz / 350mL (Bodum Joycup is available as 8oz / 250 mL)
  • Cheeki: 240mL, 350mL, 450mL
  • Frank Green: 6oz / 175mL, 8oz / 230mL, 10oz / 295mL, 12oz / 340mL, 16oz / 475mL
  • Joco: 4oz / 118mL (XS), 6oz / 177mL (S), 8oz / 236mL (S/M), 12oz / 340mL (L), 16oz / 454mL (XL)
  • KeepCup Brew & KeepCup Original: 6oz / 177mL (XS), 8oz / 227mL (S), 12oz / 340mL (M), 22oz / 660mL (L)
  • Klean Kanteen: 8oz / 237mL, 16oz / 473mL, 20oz / 592mL
  • Thermos ThermoCafe: 200mL, 230mL, 450mL, 470mL

See our product profiles for heat retention scores, user trial scores and a breakdown of good and bad points for each cup.

Best reusable coffee cups in Australia | CHOICE (10)

Thermal testing the cups in our lab.

How we test

User trial:Five people were recruited to each trial nine different reusable coffee cups. For each cup, triallists drank at least two coffees in it over a day, at least one of which was bought from a cafe. Triallists cleaned the cup after each use, and completed a survey form for the cup at the end of the day of use, which included giving each cup an overall rating out of 10. User score is the average of these ratings.

Thermal test:Cups were filled with boiling water and temperature loss was measured using thermocouples inserted through the centre of each cup's lid, and logged over a 12-hour period. The ambient temperature of the test lab ranged from 19.9°C to 20.6°C over this period. The heat retention score calculation was based on the amount of time it took for the liquid to go from hot (85°C) to lukewarm (40°C). The higher the score, the longer the cup keeps your beverage warm.

Good to know:The recommended retail price (RRP) and cup capacity stated in the profile is for the cup size we tested. Ounces (oz) are displayed where the manufacturer uses ounces on its website, but we've also included the measurement in mL for easier comparison. All plastic components are BPA-free.

Shopping links on the CHOICE website

CHOICE is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to helping consumers. Clicking a link will take you to a retailer's website to shop. While we make money if you buy through some retailer links, this doesn't influence any of our rankings. 100% of the money we make goes straight back into our non profit mission. We're currently testing this service and will consider providing more shopping links in the future. Tell us what you think.

(Video) Keep Cup vs Frank Green Reusable Cup Comparison

Stock images:Getty unless otherwise stated.

FAQs

What reusable cups does Starbucks use? ›

Any personal reusable cup. Cup must be clean. Starbucks-provided "for here" ceramic mugs or glassware do not qualify.

Are bamboo cups better than plastic? ›

Bamboo is, unlike plastic, free from pesticides or chemicals of any kind. Bamboo products do not contain the harmful BPA or phthalates, either, which often give plastic bottles that strange, chemical smell and taste.

Are bamboo cups healthy? ›

All bamboo cups contain melamine resin

Melamine is suspected of causing damage to the bladder and kidneys, while formaldehyde is a known irritant and can even cause cancer if inhaled. Still, as long as certain conditions are met, melamine resin is not considered a dangerous substance.

How many times do you have to use a reusable cup? ›

François Saunier of CIRAIG, a sustainability research institute, says that you need to reuse cups between 100 and 250 times to make them 'environmentally preferable to single-use cups'. That's because of the resources it takes to make them and repeatedly wash them up.

Does stainless steel make coffee taste different? ›

The chemical reaction that takes place between stainless steel and hot coffee does not melt the steel or do any harm to the mug, but it does harm the coffee, giving it some kind of metallic flavour, smell, and taste.

Does coffee taste better in a glass cup? ›

Glass. While glass also provides a neutral taste similar to ceramic, it's not quite as good at providing the optimal coffee experience. Since ceramic retains heat better than glass, your coffee will stay warmer much longer.

What is so special about Le Creuset mugs? ›

Le Creuset Stoneware Mug, Volcanic

The durable enamelled surface resists staining, chipping and cracking, and is easy to clean. Providing a totally hygienic surface, it will not absorb odours or flavours.

How do I get a free reusable Starbucks cup? ›

SEATTLE - In honor of Earth Day, Starbucks is taking another step to reduce plastic waste by offering customers free reusable cups. The Seattle-based coffee chain said the free cup coupon is for Starbucks Rewards members who use Paypal to reload their Starbucks Card or make a purchase of at least $5.

Can I bring my own cup to Starbucks Covid? ›

Only clean cups will be accepted; Starbucks partners will not be able to clean them for customers. In addition, the company is currently testing safe options for allowing personal reusable cups via the drive thru, but for now personal reusable cups will only be accepted in stores.

How much do Starbucks reusable cups cost? ›

So, how much do the Starbucks reusable cups cost? Technically, they're free, but they do cost an extra $1 at the time of purchase. However, if customers return the cup the next time they visit, they'll get the $1 back — plus 10 Starbucks rewards points.

Can you put coffee in a bamboo cup? ›

If you own a reusable coffee mug made out of bamboo, you might want to stop using it. A study by an independent German consumer group, Stiftung Warentest, found that bamboo cups can leach toxic chemicals when filled with hot liquids.

How long do bamboo coffee cups last? ›

Although bamboo coffee cups are strong, durable and reusable, they are also biodegradable. That means they rot and are absorbed into the earth after about a year in the soil. That's a lot faster than the more than 50 years normal plastic lined disposable coffee cups take to break down.

Can bamboo coffee cups go in microwave? ›

Most bamboo coffee cups can be put in the dishwasher, however due to the melamine PLEASE DO NOT PUT A BAMBOO CUP in a microwave. Always check the label/packaging of any specific cup to be sure.

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