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Do YETI Mugs Really Work?

YETI Test Blog

At Good’s Store, we hear some incredible stories about YETI mugs—those super-insulated, extra-tough, stainless steel, every-disaster-proof travel mugs and bottles that are supposed to withstand almost anything, all while keeping your drink hot or cold for hours.

One Good’s Store customer claims that she poured hot tea in her YETI mug before driving to church, but it was too hot to drink on the way there. So, she left the YETI mug inside her car while she attended the service. When church was over, her tea was still too hot to drink.

Or there’s the car fire story on YouTube: A truck catches fire with a YETI mug inside containing an ice cold drink. When the smoke clears, the YETI travel mug inside the truck still contains ice cubes.

A few weeks ago my cousin Lorelle and I discussed the YETI stories and wondered if YETI really does work. We decide to get together the next weekend and find out if YETI mugs really do keep coffee hotter than other insulated travel mugs.

We feel qualified to do this since we both like coffee and can read thermometers. In fact, Lorelle is probably even more qualified than I am, since she’s a barista at one of my favorite places to get coffee, the New Holland Coffee Company. We’re going to put YETI to the test and share our results with everyone who cares to listen.

Of course, we aren’t scientists, and my kitchen is not a lab, so we aren’t claiming these to be scientific results. It was a just-for-fun test, to see what would happen if we compared temperatures of the coffee after they’d been sitting in the mugs for a couple of hours.

It’s also a low-budget (or no-budget) experiment, and so testing the burning car story is out of the question. Instead, Lorelle borrows her sister’s YETI mug, and I raid our family’s stash of insulated travel mugs for similar sized mugs. We brew some coffee and get started.

First, we check to make sure both our thermometers were working correctly by dipping both into hot water at the same time. The thermometers both read the same so we’re good to go.

Then, we pour coffee into the four mugs, and put the lids on tightly. When we pour the coffee in the travel mugs, it reads at 170° F.

Pouring coffee into YETI mug

Next, we wait for two hours. Actually, it's more like two hours and fifteen minutes, since Lorelle has to run home and is late getting back. (As I said, this isn't very scientific.)

The travel mugs have now been sitting in my kitchen at room temperature (71°) for about 2 hours and fifteen minutes. It’s time to start taking the coffee’s temperature.

We test the two insulated plastic mugs first. The coffee in both of them now reads about 100°. Since they don’t even have sliders to close on the lids, it’s not surprising they are fairly cool.

Testing YETI against other travel Mugs

Two mugs are left. One is a Sea Foam color stainless steel YETI mug, and the other is a plain stainless steel mug my dad got as a gift from work. These mugs seem pretty similar:  both have rubber seals inside the lid and sliders that were tightly shut for the test.

“Let’s do the YETI mug last. It’ll keep us in suspense,” Lorelle declares as she plunges the thermometer into the non-YETI stainless steel mug.

Testing other mug against YETI mug

That one checks in at 110°, about ten degrees warmer than the plastic mugs. Now it’s only the YETI mug left.

Lorelle put the thermometer in and we watch as the needle climbs up. 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135… 138° is the final temperature. YETI has officially won!

Winning YETI mug

The results are:

Pink plastic mug 100°

Blue plastic mug 100°

Stainless Steel mug 110°

Sea Foam YETI mug 138°

So… what’s the difference? Why did the YETI mug keep the coffee 28° hotter than the other stainless steel insulated mug? YETI, of course, would tell us it’s because of their extensive testing and superior quality. I did notice while the mugs were cooling, the three other mugs all had heat escaping from their sides, while the YETI tumbler did not.

We could have tested more things (cold drinks for example, or having the mugs in cold temperatures instead of inside the warm house), but we’re satisfied and convinced that YETI does a better job at keeping coffee warm, at least compared to the travel mugs we were testing.

Lorelle drinks from the winning YETI mug.

Lorelle drinks from winning YETI mug

So, what’s your YETI story? Tell us in the comment box below!

If you’d like to learn more about the YETI travel mug we used in this test, you can view the YETI Rambler Tumbler here. Or see our whole collection of YETI Mugs here.



  • I have to be very careful with my Yeti cup. I have burned my mouth very badly more than once. They are great if you know your drink will be sitting there for a while, but if you want to drink it right away be careful!

  • Starting to use the Yeti Cup was a life-changing decision.
    It has completely changed the way I drink anything other than water. I use it on and average 5 to 10 times or more in a day. I want to drink hot or cold, hard or soft drink, local or branded, home made or from outlet.
    Explaining how this change feels is a difficult task in words. Now whatever I have to drink, I am sure that every sip from the first to the last sip will be at a stable temperature, so there is no rush, and I enjoy drinking for a long time with ease always.

    Ashok Gupta
  • This is great! I enjoy iced coffee in the summer. I’m sure it will stay cold for a long time. May I suggest that you try the new coffee that Lighthouse Vocational Services in New Holland is now selling? It would be a great way to help the participants. Thanks!

    Sharon Bouffard
  • I have large and small yeti cups and neither one keep my coffee warm I don’t understand why?
    I have a Contigo cup that is old and still keeps my coffee warm!
    Why aren’t my Yedi cups working😢

  • What a fun experiment! You ladies are much more scientifically capable that I am. Thank for sharing!

    Elizabeth Ricci

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