We named the Circular&Co reusable coffee cup our best buy before, and we’re doing it again. Even after testing many different mugs, it’s still our favourite in all the factors we consider important – not least because the company helps tackle the problem of takeaway cups in more ways than one. The brand collects millions of used coffee cups from around the country, cleans and shreds them and blends the material with a recycled polymer to form the new cups. The result is a robust, high-quality travel cup that is designed to last a decade and is 100 per cent recycled again at the end of its life.
Britain has a love affair with coffee. As a nation, we drink about 95 million cups a day, with the average fan sipping two cups daily. Some people have their own at-home morning routine, while others frequently visit their favourite cafe or coffee shop for a takeout brew on the way to work.
Britons spend billions of pounds a year at high street coffee chains. It’s a habit that does not come cheap, and it could be costing the earth.
The UK’s fondness for takeaway coffee sees us disposing of 2.5 billion plastic-coated takeaway cups annually, and that number is set to increase by a third by 2030. Only one in 400 cups is recycled. The rest are sent to landfill, generating 152,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – equivalent to the emissions of 33,300 cars.
In light of this, and the single-use plastic hiatus – aka Plastic Free July – now encouraging us to make more eco-friendly choices, is now finally the time to start making the shift?A breakup between Britain and coffee shops is unlikely, so we need to limit the environmental impact in other ways, and reusable coffee cups could help.
Baristas will gladly make your regular drink in your own refillable cup, and some retailers even offer discounts or extra loyalty stamps if you have one. When you’ve finished your drink, take it home to wash up for use the next day. Your coffee experience will be all the better for knowing that you’re not contributing to waste and are doing your bit to care for the planet.
How we tested
There are dozens of reusable coffee cups available as brands try to help consumers be more environmentally conscious. To help you find the right one for you, we’ve whittled down the options to the ones we think are best. There are glass, stainless steel and silicone versions, those that look like takeaway coffee cups and others that more closely resemble a bottle.
Each one included in our roundup has been tested with hot drinks and some also with cold. We’ve rated each on drinking experience, functionality, ease of use, leak protection, design and looks. It’s time to quit your takeaway cup habit.
The best reusable coffee cups for 2023 are:
- Best overall – Circular&Co reusable coffee cup: £14.95, Circularandco.com
- Best for hiking – Klean Kanteen insulated tkwide with café cap: £25.95, Kleankanteen.co.uk
- Best collapsible cup – Stojo on the go coffee cup: £12.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for iced coffee – S’well traveler: £35.29, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for a post-workout brew – Lululemon the hot/cold bottle: £35, Lululemon.co.uk
- Best customisable cup – KeepCup design your own: from £12, Keepcup.com
- Best multi-use cup – Hermosa everything bottle: £30, Livehermosa.com
- Best for tea drinkers – SoleCup travel mug: £20, Ethikel.com
- Best smart mug – Ember travel mug²: £199.95, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for hygiene – BugBear antimicrobial knit cup: £18, Ethikel.com
- Best colour – Smidge citrus travel cup: £12.32, Smidge.co.uk