If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you know that having a coffee tumbler or two is essential. Have you ever wondered how long tumblers should last, though?
Coffee tumblers typically last around a year if they’re made of high-quality materials. If made of lower quality material, such as plastic, you can expect them only to last a few months.
What makes the difference between a tumbler that only lasts a few months and one that can last for a year or more? Mostly it depends on the material the tumbler is made from and how it’s cared for. Let’s get into what this distinction looks like.
Factors That Affect How Long Your Coffee Tumbler Will Last
The main factors involved in how long your coffee tumbler will last are the material the tumbler is made from, how you care for it, and how frequently the tumbler is being used.
Coffee tumblers aren’t made to last forever, and if they’re being used daily, you can expect them to wear out significantly faster. However, good quality tumblers should last quite a long time. I say that, on average, they should last about a year, but when it comes down to it, these tumblers can last much longer, provided they’re well taken care of.
If you’re the type that collects coffee tumblers as you travel, then you should recognize that these tumblers are not built to last. Most of these tumblers are there for show. They aren’t built for long-term use.
So, let’s look at what factors influence the length the most, and then we’ll discuss how you can make your coffee tumblers last even longer.
What Materials Are Your Coffee Tumblers Made Of?
Material matters. You probably wouldn’t wear clothes made from low-quality material, so why are you buying tumblers made of low-quality material? Well, it’s likely because you didn’t know there’s a difference, but trust me, there is!
Coffee tumblers can be and are made from quite a few different materials. Some of the materials tumblers are made from, including stainless steel, ceramic, glass, plastic, and rubber. How long your coffee tumbler lasts depends almost entirely on what material it’s made from.
Tumblers made to be collectibles are almost always made from plastic intermixed with rubber. The problem with these is that plastic isn’t very durable. On top of that, if you put a hot drink in a plastic tumbler, the plastic will likely leach toxic chemicals into your drink.
However, plastic tumblers can sometimes be used longer than other models. Why? Well, for one, they’re more resistant to scratches. Moreover, they usually come with other supporting materials, such as rubber.
Just because you can use them longer doesn’t mean you should, though. As I said, plastic has a habit of leaching chemicals into your drinks, not to mention how these tumblers break down once the degradation process starts.
The Better Materials
Alright, so what materials should your tumblers be made from? You might have guessed that excellent quality materials include ceramic, stainless steel, and glass.
Most high-quality coffee tumblers are made from ceramic or stainless steel instead of glass because these two materials do a better job retaining heat. This is useful for keeping hot coffee hot. Of course, they’re equally as good at keeping cold things cold.
While glass doesn’t keep your drinks as hot or cold as ceramic or stainless steel, it’s still a much better option than plastic. The glass doesn’t scratch too quickly and can handle high temperatures without leaching chemicals into your drink.
In general, stainless steel is more popular and cheaper than ceramic and stainless steel tumblers. The nice part about stainless steel is that it’s probably not going to break if you should drop it. On the other hand, Ceramic tumblers can crack when dropped.
Stainless steel also tends not to stain, making it perfect for holding on to coffee.
How Often Do You Use Your Tumbler?
This is a significant factor in how long your coffee tumbler will end up lasting. It seems a law of nature that the more frequently you use an item, the quicker it wears out. Coffee tumblers are, unfortunately, not an exception to this rule.
If you are a daily coffee drinker, you can expect the tumbler to last about two months less than it would if it were used only a couple of days per week. Of course, if you’ve taken the time to purchase coffee tumblers, you use them daily.
Unfortunately, tumblers used every day also need to be washed every day, leading to the tumbler becoming scratched and breaking down significantly faster. You can help limit the degradation process by taking good care of your tumbler, which we will discuss in a moment.
Of course, you can always invest in multiple tumblers. At this point, they’ll all last quite a while. That gets expensive quickly, though!
How Well Are You Caring for Your Tumbler?
If you’re the type that leaves coffee sitting in your tumbler for days before washing it, you’re probably not doing a great job at caring for it. Leaving coffee sitting in the tumbler leads to needing to give it a more aggressive wash, thus causing it to break down quicker.
So, how should you be caring for your coffee tumbler? The main thing you should be doing is staying gentle with it. Whether regarding the tumbler’s daily handling or during wash time, you should always treat the tumbler with care.
When washing the tumbler, you should try to rinse the main cup rather than wash it with soap every time. You can wash it or send it through the dishwasher every couple of days.
How You Can Make Your Tumblers Last Longer
So, now that we’ve discussed some of the common culprits for tumblers not lasting as long, let’s talk about how you can help your tumblers last as long as possible.
Invest in High-Quality Products
The best thing you can do for yourself if you want your coffee tumbler to last longer is to be willing to purchase high-quality tumblers. Don’t invest in plastic unless it is only for short-term use.
I think stainless steel is the best option for a reusable tumbler, but you could also go with ceramic or glass. However, generally speaking, stainless steel is one of the best for keeping drinks hot or cold, as long as you have a lid paired with it.
Glass isn’t as durable as ceramic or stainless steel, but glass can be a great eco-friendly option for drinking your coffee at home. I wouldn’t recommend it for travel, however.
Don’t Leave Coffee Sitting in Your Tumbler
This should go without saying, but don’t do this. Leaving coffee sitting in your tumbler for hours – or days – is a breeding ground for bacteria that dig their way into the material and produce foul odors and unsanitary drinking conditions.
Any drink cup, including a tumbler, is meant to be used, dumped, washed, and reused. The best thing you can do for your tumbler is use it, and if you want to save the coffee for another time, simply dump it into a different container and stick it in the fridge.
Now, if you happen to be one of the people who like to sip on their coffee throughout the day, there’s not much you can do to leave it long-term. If you choose to do this, be sure and wash your tumbler well at the end of the day.
That leads up to the next point.
Wash Your Tumbler Regularly – But Not Too Often
Washing your tumbler is a balancing act because while you want to ensure that it’s clean, you also don’t want to use soap every time, at least not in the main cup.
Soaps can break down the materials faster, so it’s best to rinse the inside of the cup whenever you can and only wash it with soap every few days. Otherwise, the tumbler will lose some of its protective coatings, and suddenly you no longer have a decent drinking cup.
The one thing you want to ensure you always wash well is the lid, particularly around the mouthpiece. The mouthpieces of tumblers are breeding grounds for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. It would be best if you always used soap on the lid, which is almost always made from a mix of plastic and rubber.
Remember that the lid may break down faster than the rest of the tumbler. The good news is you can usually order just tumbler lids online.
I’ve written a complete guide and described what happens if you use an unsuitable mug in a microwave. You’ll also learn how you can test whether your mug is microwave safe or not. [Are Glass Coffee Mugs Microwave Safe?]
Tumblers are one of the best inventions for avid coffee drinkers. They’ve become increasingly popular, so it’s essential to know how to take care of them.
On average, coffee tumblers will last about a year if made from high-quality materials. However, if they’re made from plastic or other low-quality materials, they may only last a few months of daily use.
In any case, you should always be aware of how long you’re keeping them because, with continued use, any tumbler can begin to grow harmful bacteria. Wash, reuse, and eventually replace.