What Are Tervis Tumblers Made Of?

Tervis tumblers are a popular brand of insulated drinkware made in the United States by the Tervis Tumbler Company since the late 1960s. The name “Tervis” is derived from the words “thermos” and “viscosity” (https://www.tervis.com/about-tervis). Tervis tumblers have double-walled insulation that helps keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours. They come in a variety of sizes from 12 oz kids tumblers up to 30 oz tumblers and are known for their durability and customization options.

Tervis tumblers became popular in the 2000s and 2010s for their unique patterns, designs, and ability to customize the tumblers. They are frequently used for coffee, water, tea, and other beverages. The tumblers gained widespread use in offices, cars, sports events, travel, and daily life. Their distinct look and superior insulation helped grow Tervis into one of the most recognizable tumbler brands in the United States.


Tervis tumblers are made of a proprietary material called Tervis, which is a combination of plastic and glass. According to the Tervis website, “The Tervis tumbler is constructed in two layers. The inner layer is made using FDA-approved materials and fused together using dyes that seal in colors, creating an attractive finish. The outer layer is a durable, BPA-free, phthalate-free, durable polymer with excellent insulation properties.” (https://www.tervis.com/our-technology)

The combination of plastic and glass gives Tervis tumblers both durability and insulation. The plastic exterior protects against cracks and breaks, while the glass interior provides a smooth, non-porous surface that won’t hold odors or flavors. The air space between the inner and outer walls creates a thermal barrier that keeps cold drinks chilled and hot drinks steaming. Tervis touts their tumblers as “made strong and built to last.” (https://www.tervis.com/classic-insulated-tumblers)

Tervis tumblers are also BPA-free, meaning they do not contain bisphenol A, a chemical found in some plastics that has been linked to health concerns. The materials used comply with FDA standards for food contact. This makes Tervis an ideal choice for on-the-go beverages.

Manufacturing Process

Tervis tumblers are made using a specialized injection molding process that creates two layers of plastic with a layer of air in between (Fox13News.com, 2022). This double-wall insulation design is what allows the tumblers to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold.

The injection molding process starts by injecting hot, liquefied plastic into a mold. Once the plastic cools and hardens, a second layer of plastic is injected into the mold around the first layer. This creates two layers of plastic with an insulating air gap in between. The air layer prevents heat transfer between the inner and outer walls, allowing the tumbler to maintain the initial temperature of the contents for longer (Fox13News.com, 2022).

After the tumbler is molded, the decorative outer layer and lid are attached to complete the product. The end result is a durable, insulated tumbler that can keep drinks hot for up to 3 hours and cold for up to 9 hours (Tervis.com, 2022).


tervis tumblers come in a variety of sizes to fit different needs

Tervis offers a variety of lid options for their tumblers and mugs, designed for convenience and to prevent spills. The main lid types include:

  • Straw lids – These lids have an opening for a straw and help prevent spills. They come in different colors.

  • Flip lids – Flip top lids allow for easy drinking access. They flip open when needed and close securely when not in use.

  • Screw lids – Screw on lids provide a tight seal and are ideal for travel. They have threads that twist onto the tumbler lip.

The lids come in plastic material that is durable and BPA-free. Lid options are available for the different Tervis tumbler and mug sizes, including 24oz and 16oz sizes. The variety of lid types allow customers to choose the perfect lid for their needs, whether sipping on the go or at home.


Tervis offers tumblers in a wide range of sizes, from 10 oz cups for kids to 32 oz bottles for all-day hydration. Some of the most popular sizes include (source):

  • 10 oz – Great for kids and smaller servings
  • 16 oz – The original Tervis size, perfect for most beverages
  • 24 oz – Fits most cupholders, great for water, iced drinks, etc.
  • 32 oz – Large capacity for all-day use

In addition to traditional tumbler styles, Tervis also makes insulated mugs, water bottles, wine glasses, beer mugs, and more in sizes tailored to each use case (source). So whether you need a quick sip, a proper pint, or lots of hydration, there’s a Tervis to fit your needs.

Patterns and Designs

One of the most popular features of Tervis tumblers is the ability to customize them with your own photos, logos, or patterns. The Tervis website makes it easy to upload your own designs and create completely unique drinkware. You can also add custom text like monograms and names.

In addition to custom prints, Tervis offers tumblers with licensed prints from major brands like Disney, NFL, MLB, NCAA, and many more. They have an ever-changing catalog of designs celebrating pop culture, movies, TV shows, video games, and other interests. Tervis has established partnerships to provide officially branded tumblers that fans love to collect and use daily.

Between customized prints and their wide selection of licensed brand tumblers, Tervis offers patterns and designs to suit anyone’s personal style. The ability to customize Tervis tumblers with your own photos and logos makes them a popular choice for corporate gifting, event souvenirs, and personal mementos.

Microwave and Dishwasher Safety

Tervis tumblers can be safely used in the microwave and dishwasher for short periods of time, according to the Tervis website, but prolonged exposure to heat is not recommended.

If there is no microwave warning on the bottom, tumblers and mugs without lids can be microwaved for up to 30 seconds at a time when completely full of food or liquid, according to Tervis’ use and care instructions. However, Tervis advises microwaving tumblers for as little time as possible.

Tervis tumblers marked “dishwasher safe” on the bottom can be placed in the dishwasher, states the Tervis website. However, handwashing is recommended over frequent dishwasher use to preserve the tumbler’s appearance and insulation properties.

In contrast, Tervis specifically advises against microwaving their stainless steel products, as noted on their stainless steel care instructions page. The metal composition makes microwaving unsafe.


Tervis tumblers are known for their durability and ability to resist breaking. The tumblers are made from stainless steel with a shatterproof double-walled plastic inner lining. According to Tervis’ website, their tumblers can withstand accidental drops and impacts thanks to the materials used in manufacturing.

The plastic inner lining and air gap provides excellent insulation that keeps drinks hot or cold longer than other materials like glass or ceramic. Tests comparing Tervis tumblers to other brands like Yeti found that Tervis was able to maintain ice integrity and cold temperatures for over 24 hours. The durability and insulation makes Tervis tumblers ideal for outdoor activities and travel where bumps and drops are likely.

According to a review on Headhunters Fly Shop, “The Tervis is nearly indestructible. The double wall plastic liner is far tougher than any glass and the stainless steel outer wall protects it further. After 5 years of hard use, I have yet to crack one.”

Tervis provides a lifetime guarantee against defects in material and workmanship, showing their confidence in the durability of the tumblers. With proper care, Tervis tumblers can last for many years of regular use.


Tervis tumblers come with a lifetime guarantee against defects in workmanship. According to the Tervis Lifetime Guarantee page, if your Tervis tumbler has a defect, you can submit a replacement request and Tervis will replace it free of charge. The replacement process takes 4-6 weeks.

Specifically, Tervis states that “Classic drinkware that we deem to be defective in workmanship will be replaced on a ‘like for like’ basis only, meaning a sports team tumbler will be replaced with the same sports team tumbler.” So if there is a legitimate defect, Tervis will send the exact same tumbler as a free replacement.

In summary, the lifetime guarantee covers any manufacturing defects for the life of Tervis tumblers. Simply submit a request and Tervis will ship a replacement tumbler identical to the defective one free of charge.

Environmental Impact

Tervis tumblers are designed with the environment in mind. The tumblers themselves are made from recyclable materials and are BPA-free.

According to their sustainability website, Tervis has taken steps to use less plastic in their packaging by eliminating plastic bags and reducing the amount of plastic in their gift boxes. The packaging is now made with at least 35% recycled content.

Tervis also has a program where customers can mail back their old tumblers to be recycled and turned into new tumblers. This helps reduce waste and the need for new plastic materials.

So while the tumblers themselves are plastic, Tervis tries to be environmentally responsible by making their products recyclable, reducing packaging waste, and providing a recycling program.

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