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This is the one I use:
Drawbacks: It does have a plastic cap and plastic handle. Pluses: It’s double-walled stainless steel, has a handle, has smooth stainless steel rim so you can comfortably drink from side of cup if you don’t want to drink from plastic lid. My co-worker bought it for me for my birthday several years ago.
Visit Flylady.net and check out the store. I’ve bought their travel mug and water bottle, both stainless steel. The mug has no handle but a rubbery grip (probably plastic) around the middle. The water bottle has a double cap, partly plastic, so you can drink from a spout or take the whole top off for filling with ice. The insulating quality of both these products is very good. Not perfect — I wish the water bottle had an hour-glass shape so it would be easier to carry on a walk; a handle on the mug would be nice. But they are reasonably priced and ALMOST plastic free. It’s a fun site for a lot of other reasons, too. (Housecleaning and clutter-busting ideas.)
Unfortunately, I think it’s a matter of trial and error to find one that suits you. I find that reviews aren’t always helpful, since they are so oriented toward each person’s experience and you can get range from 1 to 5 stars on the same product. You might try a local thrift shop, if you’re looking for very reasonable prices and willing to buy secondhand. (gross factor for some, but a good boiling water, soap, scrub should sterilize well). Good luck!
I have a Klean kanteen thermos and I love it. I’ve had it for several years now. If I drink it without the plastic cafe cap then I might splash if I took too big a swig. You might get around that with a glass dharma or steel straw. I can’t imagine where they are getting bad reviews.
The travel mug that I currently use for drinking hot tea is very good and keeps tea hot. It is not good at keeping stuff cold and sweats when I put something cold in it. I bought it either at Walgreens. It was only about $10.
My looks similar to this one at walmart.com, but mine has a rubber grip, not a handle. It is stainless steel inside and out.
I have also seen some porcelain mugs at Big Lots that are made to kind of resemble the Starbucks type coffee cup. They have rubber/plastic lids, though. Here is a link to what they look like.
I really like a mug with some way to close it. It is dangerous to leave an open cup on my desk.
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