The classic Thermos. No name in the world of beverage containers is more ubiquitous than Thermos. So commonly used, in fact, that “Thermos” was deemed a generic term. But behind it all there is still the good old original, brand-name Thermos, a company that has been churning out quality products for over a hundred years. In this round-up, we’ll give our opinions in brief reviews of a range of different Thermos bottles. We’ll take a look at everything from old-school-style Thermoses to the latest innovations.
Distinguished by being the first company to offer insulated bottles on the market, Thermos products are to this day known for their high quality insulation. Utilizing double-wall vacuum insulation, the “bottle-in-a-bottle” technique, Thermos’ keep their contents at a stable temperature by isolating them from the outside world with a thin layer of vacuum. All of the Thermos products reviewed below include this type of insulation.
Let’s have a look at the best Thermos bottles!
Best Thermoses For Your Needs – Classic or Modern?
Packing top-notch 12 hours hot/24 hours cold insulation into a sleek and modern package, the 24oz Thermos Stainless King is an ideal everyday companion. For us, it represents perhaps the ideal coffee container for caffeine addicts on the go. Even you’re not craving some hot java, the 24oz Thermos Stainless King is an ideal beverage container for just about anything you want to drink.
With a wide-mouth opening, the 24oz Stainless King is easy to clean and can easily be filled with ice cubes or smoothies. It features a press-button, flip-open lid which can be opened with a single finger press. Unlike some larger Thermos models, this smaller Stainless King is comfortable to drink from like a normal water bottle. Even on the go, you can easily open the lid and get a drink with one hand. In our testing, if properly secured, the seal is great and offers quality leak-proofing. You can easily seal the lid with the small hinged lock and let it roll about on your car seat without worry.
Speaking of vehicles, the 24oz Thermos Stainless King is a little wide for some cup-holders, but still works in most. Overall it has a slightly bulky footprint for its 24oz capacity, but it makes up for this with its high quality manufacturing, materials, and nearly unbeatable insulation. At about $25, the price-tag sets it a bit above the bargain bin, but the quality of the design and execution make it a worthy investment.
Essentially the modern-day version of your grandfather’s classic Thermos, the Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle is, indeed, a king among bottles. With top-notch manufacturing, a time-tested and intensely refined design, and the insulation to keep contents hot or cold for up to 24 hours, there is a lot to like from the Stainless King.
We’re no strangers to the King. Actually, in October 2016, we did a complete review of the Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle. If you want the full scoop on the Stainless King, check out that link. We’ll wait.
Looking decidedly retro in this stunning plaid, the Thermos Compact Beverage Bottle is designed to carry and serve. The over-sized lid doubles as a serving cup, and Thermos has integrated their “Twist-and-Pour” feature to let you easily pour a serving without removing the lid completely (pictured right.)
With insulation rated to keep beverages hot for 12 hours or cold for 24, the Thermos Compact Beverage Bottle is ideally suited for coffee or tea. If you plan on bringing one or two servings of tea or coffee to share on a hike or a picnic, this is probably the Thermos bottle to do it with. Extremely compact, the 16 ounce capacity lends itself well to having a cup of Joe with a friend, but it’s certainly not ideal for carrying hot coco for the entire camp. For that you’d need something a bit bigger. However, if you want a simple everyday companion with a serving cup always ready at hand, the Thermos Compact is worth investigating further.
It’s price-tag of about $20 is also hard to beat. Several clever designs are available to choose from. Check them out!
Of all the Thermos bottles we tested for this best-of guide, the Thermos Work Series is the one that screams “old-school Thermos” the most. With its over-sized lid that doubles as a cup, its carrying handle, and its somewhat bulky design, the Work Series clearly means business. All of these features come in quite handy in you need them, but are probably unnecessary if you don’t.
At 40 ounces in capacity, this Work Series Thermos is ideal for taking an entire days worth of coffee for you (and maybe even a friend.) Or it could easily house soup, smoothies, or just about anything else hot or cold. The handy lid/cup means you’ll always have a dish to drink from or eat out of, even in a pinch at the work site. Backed up by time-tested Thermos-brand vacuum insulation, you can rely on the Work Series to keep your lunch warm or your refreshments cool, even in the freezing winter or the scorching summer heat.
While admittedly a little bulky in our testing, we found ourselves enamored with the look of the Work Series Thermos. But we could easily see how it is not for everyone. For those with a mind purely for its features, however, this is one of the top stainless steel bottles with lid and handle of its type. Plus, at around $30, this Thermos is a bargain even when stacked up to generic 40oz stainless steel insulated bottles.
With the Element 5 Bottle, Thermos has clearly taken a few hints from modern water bottle designs. Combining a modern look and form-factor with quality Thermos insulation, the Element 5 is both a Thermos and a water bottle worth remembering. Keeping liquids hot for 20 hours or cold for 24 hours, the Thermos Element 5 easily competes with just about any other vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle on the market.
Finished with an anti-sweat powder coating and equipped with a series of ergonomic grooves for easy holding, the Element 5 is very comfortable in the hand. At 32 ounces, it’s just at the edge between being a bulky bottle and a sporty bottle, but probably favors the bulky side. It doesn’t fit in most cup holders, but offers enough capacity to keep you going for most of the day on just a few refills. At around $20, the Element 5 is competitively priced, especially with a leading name like Thermos behind it.
With such an unassuming name, the Thermos Hydration Bottle is easy to over look. Yet this is a hidden gem of a water bottle. Ideal for liquids hot or cold, the Hydration Bottle can be used for anything from water to coffee to milkshakes to soup. Whatever you put in the bottle stays more or less the temperature you put it in, for 12-24 hours depending on external conditions.
At 18 ounces, the Thermos Hydration Bottle is an ideal companion for your car or as a gym water bottle. It fits in most cup-holders and has the smallest footprint of any of the Thermos models we’ve looked at on this list. While the 18 ounce capacity might not be enough water to keep you going without frequent refills, it makes an ideal size for coffee or tea. Equipped with a push-button lid which can be opened with a single finger, it is very easy to take a sip or a gulp from the Thermos Hydration Bottle. When you need to travel and not worry about leaks, it has a small lock which can be flipped over the lid to keep it secured in place.
Perhaps its best feature is its price-tag. At less than $20, it’s a serious bargain for such high-quality manufacturing from a leading brand.
Explore Other Thermos Options
In compiling this review of the best Thermoses, we had a chance to get our hands on all sorts of Thermos bottles and take them for a spin. But in narrowing it down to the six selections we deemed the best Thermos bottles, we had to leave out quite a few options. If none of the options above are quite what you’re looking for, check out the full range of Thermos bottles. You might also be interested in checking out the selection of Thermos travel mugs.
For even more options, view the full Thermos catalog. They make everything from Thermos-insulated food containers, kid’s Thermos bottles, to full-on coolers, and even vacuum insulated infant food containers and Thermos-brand sippy-cups!
The Company Behind Thermos
The history of Thermos dates way back to 1904, when two German glassblowers recognized an opportunity in an invention known as the Dewar Flask. This technology was the basis of all modern insulated water bottles – the vacuum insulation which separates a bottle’s contents from the outside world, preventing heat transfers – and interestingly enough, it was not invented by Thermos. Although the Thermos company patented the design, the original inventor, James Dewar, had no involvement with the company and never profited from his invention. More concerned with scientific progress than his own finances, Dewar never bothered to patent what would be one of his most successful and enduring inventions.
In our article “The Scientist Behind Your Insulated Water Bottle” we talk a lot more about Dewar and the early history of Thermos. Though in some ways the company’s earliest history has a hint of ruthlessness in it, there can be little denying they have done a great deal with their patent. Thermos became the leading name in beverage bottles worldwide for decades upon decades. By 1963, the word “Thermos” had been declared a generic trademark. This meant that the word “Thermos” was officially, legally recognized to have become so widely used that it superseded its original meaning as a simple reference to the brand Thermos and was now the de facto term for insulated beverage bottles.
Today, Thermos has brought its tried-and-true designs into the modern era with a range of new Thermos bottles geared towards the modern consumer. Despite changing on the surface, the high-quality insulation, excellent materials, and uncompromising manufacturing quality that made Thermos so ubiquitous to begin with is still showcased in every Thermos bottle.
Thanks For Checking Out Hydration Anywhere!
We hope this article has been helpful for finding the best Thermos bottle to suit your everyday needs. If you didn’t quite find what you were looking for in this Thermos bottle round-up, check out some of our other comprehensive water bottle reviews! Our Best Water Bottles 2017 contains several great options that have insulation quality as good or better than Thermos.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you back soon!
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We've been testing our way through the catalog of Thermos bottles to compile this review of the best Thermos bottles on the market. We take a close look at six insulated Thermos bottles.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.