The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute's tests reveal the one Commuter Cup that can, in its opinion, be called The Best. The Institute forwards its recommendation to Hammacher Schlemmer's buyers so they can procure the product for The Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, web site, and retail store. The Commuter Cup that is currently The Best can be found here.
Before undertaking testing, The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute surveyed consumers to learn which attributes are most critical when purchasing a Commuter Cup. They responded that Heat/Cold Retention and Leak/Spill Resistance are by far their most important concerns, followed by Ease of Use. These attribute rankings were applied to the data collected for this test.
Respondents were also asked which features matter most in a Commuter Cup. Based on their answers, the Best model must hold at least 16 oz., be made of stainless steel, be vacuum insulated, and be spill proof.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute then researched the marketplace from a reasonably wide range of competing product and obtained Commuter Cups that possess these desired attributes and features. Prior to testing, the Institute eliminated from consideration any models that did not have a required attribute or feature or if it had an obvious quality issue. Conversely, if a sample offered a unique benefit that distinguished it from other models, The Institute, at its discretion, may have included it in testing even though it may have been lacking a critical feature or attribute.
Testing involved evaluations by Institute analysts as well as a consumer panel. Each Commuter Cup was rated for its Heat/Cold Retention, Leak/Spill Resistance, and Ease of Use.
Heat/Cold Retention was both panelist and analyst assessed.
Panelist testing: Panelists recorded how well the commuter cup maintained the temperature of their drink while in use.
Institute testing: Analysts filled each cup with an equal amount of boiling hot water. The temperature of the water was taken and the lid was then fastened. Analysts took temperature measurements over an 8 hour period and assessed the loss in temperature at 2 different time periods in the process. The difference between the starting temperature and the temperature at each time period was calculated and scores were given for each time period.
After both evaluations, analysts took the average of the two scores and determined the final Heat Retention score for each cup.
Leak/Spill Resistance was both panelist and analyst assessed. Analysts pre-tested each cup by filling with liquid, inverting the cups, and shaking the cups. The amount of liquid that released during this process was noted. Those cups that had any leakage were disqualified prior to panelist testing. Panelists then assessed each cup, during extended use, for the following:
In each test, the cups that did not leak or spill received the highest scores. At the end of testing, the average of the scores was taken to determine the final Leak/Spill Resistance score.
For each Commuter Cup, panelists determined how easy it was to:
Panelists assigned a score each step, with lower scores indicating a process was very difficult and higher scores indicating it was very simple. After testing, analysts calculated an average ease-of-use score for each commuter cup.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute recommends that you consider these features when shopping for a Commuter Cup to ensure you will be completely satisfied with its performance:
Is the coffee shop the first stop on your daily commute? Bringing that latte or iced tea on the road is easier and more environmentally friendly with a stainless steel commuter cup. The vacuum insulation keeps drinks and soups hot or cold for hours, without the waste of a paper or Styrofoam cup. Locking lids prevent sloshing and spills while the cup rests in your car's holder - or even tips upside down in your briefcase or purse. Look for a streamlined design that lets you drink with only one hand, and a wide mouth that makes it easy to clean the cup and refill it again before your next trip.
As with any product, customers must read and follow the product's user guide, marking and labeling prior to use.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer. Although funded by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Institute functions independently of Hammacher Schlemmer. The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations. Decisions on specific products to test, the types of test to perform and how to interpret the results lie exclusively with the Institute's research staff. In addition, the Institute's status as a separate entity from Hammacher Schlemmer prevents access to sensitive information, such as inventory levels or product cost, which might influence testing decisions. The Institute's independence assures products are researched, evaluated, and rated objectively without commercial bias.