Ditch the disposables with our pick of the best reusable coffee cups — made from recyclable plastic, bamboo and glass
A daily cafe visit can leave a serious dent in your bank balance and have a damaging effect on the environment. Choosing one of the best reusable coffee cups can help to tackle these issues and more. As a nation, we go through around three billion disposable coffee cups each year, and fewer than 1% of them are recycled in the UK. That’s because single-use cups, made from paper lined with polyethylene, are extremely tricky to recycle and can only be processed at a tiny number of specialised plants.
A reusable vessel is a perfect answer for people looking to cut waste without having to kick the caffeine habit. Made from recyclable plastic, glass or bamboo fibre, the best reusable coffee cups are sturdy, sustainable and way more stylish than a throwaway cup emblazoned with a coffee shop logo. It can save you money in more ways than one too. Many high-street chains offer discounts for customers who bring their own cups and it’ll also increase the chance of you bringing your own coffee from home.
If you’re looking for a spill-proof design that keeps your coffee warm, your hands cool and boosts your eco credentials, read on for our pick of the best reusable coffee cups for bean fans of all budgets.
How to choose the best reusable coffee cup for you
The first question is whether you want a travel mug or a reusable coffee cup. Travel mugs are designed to keep drinks hot or cold for hours on end during road trips and outdoor adventures; they tend to be made from stainless steel and come with features such as lockable lids and autoseals.
Reusable coffee cups have more of the look and feel of a takeaway cup. They’re intended for immediate drinking, so they’re more simply made from lightweight materials, with silicone or plastic lids and heat-proof sleeves to protect your hands while you sip.
What material should I choose?
Reusable coffee cups are typically made from recyclable plastic, glass or bamboo fibre. While plastic is lightweight and durable, it may affect the flavour of your coffee: something to consider if you’re a real aficionado. Glass is the best option for those who want to focus on flavour, and it’s really easy to clean. It’s much heavier, though, and likely to break if it slips out of your hands. Cups made from bamboo fibres are biodegradable and dishwasher safe, but you can’t pop them in the microwave if you need to reheat your brew.
What size should I go for?
Reusable coffee cups normally come in a range of sizes to suit different coffee consumption habits. A lot of them hail from the US or Australia, however, so it’s common to see volumes listed in fluid ounces. A 4oz cup such as KeepCup’s XS holds 118ml of liquid – so it’s ideal for espresso or piccolo – whereas Stojo’s 16oz (454ml) Biggie cup is designed for long coffee drinks and smoothies. If you just want a regular mug-sized coffee, the 12oz (341ml) size should suit you nicely.
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1. KeepCup Original: The best reusable coffee cup overall
Price when reviewed: £12 (340ml) | Check price at Bower Collective
Founded by former cafe owners, this Aussie brand brings together sustainability and style. Made from non-toxic BPA-free plastic, KeepCup’s fully recyclable lightweight cups come in five different sizes, ranging from XS (118ml) for espressos and macchiatos to large (454ml) for lattes and lungos. There’s also a range of on-trend colours to choose from, such as fennel, hibiscus and sumac – and each of the cup’s components (cups, lids, bands, lids and plugs) can be bought separately in different colours to create your own designs. There’s also a glass and cork edition made in Portugal using waste products from the manufacture of wine corks.
Key specs – Volume: 340ml; Weight: 90.7g; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: Yes; Material: Plastic
2. Ecoffee cup: The best eco-friendly reusable coffee cup
Price when reviewed: £9.79 (400ml) | Check price at NisbetsMade from bamboo fibre, the world’s most sustainable crop, the Ecoffee Cup leads the way in the environmental stakes. It’s fully biodegradable too, so once it reaches the end of its life you can crush it, soak it in boiling water and throw it on your compost heap (the silicone lid and sleeve are recyclable too). It does a great job of mimicking a shop-bought coffee cup as it feels like thick cardboard, but it’s surprisingly sturdy and dishwasher-safe. There’s a detachable stopper in the lid to prevent your drink from sloshing around, and it has a stylish dark navy colouring that stands out nicely.
Key specs – Volume: 400ml; Weight: 170g; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: No; Material: Bamboo fibre (silicone sleeve and lid)
3. Huskup reusable eco cup: The best biodegradable reusable coffee cup
Price when reviewed: £9.29 (400ml) | Check price at NisbetsRice husks (outer layers that protect grains of rice) can be found in everything from toothpaste to beer – and now you can sip your daily brew from a cup made from this natural byproduct. The material serves as an effective alternative to plastic, and, handily, this Huskup cup can be slung on your compost heap when you’re finished with it. It also comes with a recyclable (and removable) silicone sleeve and lid and is both microwave and dishwasher safe, although to prolong its life you’re better off handwashing it. The stylish design features an attractive bicycle print.
Key specs – Volume: 400ml; Weight: 259g; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: Yes; Material: Rice husk
4. Joco Reusable Glass Coffee Cup: The best reusable coffee cup for style
Price when reviewed: From £15 (237ml) | Check price at AmazonThis satisfyingly chunky (but surprisingly lightweight) cup from Joco is made from non-porous glass and is available in 4oz, 8oz and 12oz 170ml, 237ml and 341ml. It fits neatly under most professional espresso machines and because it’s made from borosilicate glass, it won’t affect the flavour of your coffee. For those who drink their coffee sweet, the cyclonic shape is also said to better distribute sugars and sweeteners, to prevent sugary gloop from accumulating at the bottom. The coloured heat-proof silicone sleeve is easy to grip and the splash-proof lid fits firmly onto the cup. Though not cheap, it’s a real connoisseur’s cup, and perfect for strolling between coffee shops, the office and home. Just bear in mind that it doesn’t fit into standard cup holders.
Key specs – Volume: 237ml; Weight: 300g; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: Yes; Material: Borosilicate glass (silicone sleeve and lid)
5. Circular and Co.: The best reusable coffee cup made from recycled single-use cups
Price when reviewed: £15 (340ml) | Check price at Amazon
If you’ve recently felt guilty about drinking from one too many single-use coffee cups, then make this your next purchase. Circular and Co.’s reusable vessels are made from recycled single-use cups that would otherwise end up in landfill, so you can feel guilt-free next time you take a sip of your morning coffee.
Circular and Co. also pride themselves on making the “world’s first 100% leak-proof reusable coffee cup”. The 360 degree drinking lid, push-to-open mechanism and air-tight seal mean you can drink from any side of the cup without worrying about spills. We’ve even had this upside down in a bag and not lost a single drop of coffee.
Key specs – Volume: 340ml; Weight: 210g; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: No; Material: Plastic polymer made from recycled single-use paper cups
6. TOPL Cup: The best reusable coffee cup for preventing spillages
Price when reviewed: £29 | Check price at Amazon
This intelligently designed cup features “SpillSafe technology” that successfully prevents you from losing any of your precious coffee should you accidentally knock it over. If the cup takes a tumble with the lid unlocked, a safety valve rapidly shuts, ensuring your beverage remains housed within. When locked, the lid creates a perfect seal and despite our best efforts, which included tipping it upside down and shaking it, we were unable to elicit any liquid out of its confines. It does, however, feature a built-in vent so you can still enjoy the delicious aromas your cup of coffee releases.
When you’re ready to drink, simply quarter-turn the twist-to-lock lid anti-clockwise and push down the central disc. Liquid can then escape in any direction, meaning you can drink from the TOPL from whatever angle you wish, with flow regulated to prevent large quantities of hot beverage streaming out. The vacuum-insulated cup does an impressive job of keeping your drinks hot while remaining cool to the touch and a silicone base provides added stability on slippery surfaces.
The TOPL, which is available in two sizes (227ml and 340ml) and five colours (charcoal, teal, stone, salt and coral) is simple to clean, too. The lid can be popped in the dishwasher, and rinsing the cup itself couldn’t be easier.
Key specs – Volume: 227 or 340ml; Weight: Unspecified; Resealable lid: Yes; Dishwasher safe: Lid – yes, cup – no; Microwave safe: No; Material: Polypropylene, stainless steel, silicone