Yeti cups are made to keep water and other drinks cold for hours or even days at a time. They are also built to be tough, handle extreme situations and even go in the dishwasher.
But what about the fridge? Can you put a Yeti cup in the refrigerator? Or will the cold of the the refrigerator somehow damage the cup or cause issues?
I often want to prep my water bottle the night before and throw it in the fridge to keep it cold for the morning and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to break my cup or my Yeti bottles.
Yeti didn't seem to have a solid on this other than a warning about not doing it. So I decided to do some research and see if you can safely put it in the fridge and if not why. Here's what I found:
You can safely put Yeti cups in the fridge without issue. They are designed to handle cold and hot temperatures. What you can't do is put them in the freezer. The way liquids expand as they freeze can put pressure on, and break the vacuum seal ruining your cup or bottle. But the fridge should be fine.
The reason people think you can't is because Yeti (as well as other brands) say not to put the cup in the freezer but don't really give an explanation as so why so a lot of people assume it's bad to put them in the fridge as well.
What Does Yeti Say About Putting Their Cups In The Fridge?
I couldn't find anything on Yeti's website about whether or not you can put their cups in the fridge.
On their Rambler FAQ page under the care instructions they state “DO NOT place in the freezer.” But they don't expand on this or give a reason why.
They don't state not to put it in the fridge so we can assume that it's ok and there aren't any problems.
There is this reddit post where someone asks if it's ok to put their Yeti tumbler in the fridge (not freezer) and a user named Judy replies saying her husband works at Yeti. She says:
My husband works for yeti. He says the only reason you can’t put it in the freezer is because of expansion (of whatever drink you have inside the tumbler) when it freezes. He says the fridge is fine 👍
On the same thread another two users state they have often put their Yeti cups in the fridge without issue.
I put my ramblers in the fridge without the lid on them and have never had an issue.
Same here. I’ve cooled down hot liquid in the fridge
So while YETI themselves don't say anything about the fridge it seems that they are only worried about the freezer because of a freezing liquid's ability to warp the metal in the cup.
Will a Drink In Your Yeti Cup Get Cold in The Fridge?
When you ask the people on the web whether or not you can put a Yeti cup in the refrigerator they often respond with “why bother?” which doesn't exactly answer the question.
Give that Yeti cups are marketed as keeping drinks cold wouldn't it be smart to put it in the fridge to keep it even colder?
However, Yeti cups keep drinks cold because they are vacuum insulated. They have two stainless steel walls with a vacuum in between that stops most heat transfer.
This means the vacuum insulation stops heat getting in on a hot day, but it also stops heat getting out so hot drinks don't cool quickly. It also means it slows down how quickly a fridge can cool your drink.
If you were to put a cup of room temperature water in your Yeti cup and put it in the fridge, the insulation would stop the fridge from cooling down your drinks quickly.
Eventually the drink in your Yeti cup will cool down to the temperature of the fridge, but it'll take a long time.
To speed up the process of cooling it's a good idea to leave the lid off your Yeti cup when you put it in the fridge. This will allow your drink to cool down much faster.
Why Can't You Put Yeti Cups In The Freezer?
YETI clearly state in their care instructions “DO NOT place in the freezer” but they give no explanation as to why you can't put a Yeti cup in the freezer?
So why exactly can't you and what might happen if you do?
Yeti don't state why you shouldn't put it in the freezer but after doing my research I discovered this article by Contigo (a competing brand who make similar products) that explained it simply.
When liquids freeze, they expand and take up more space. As the liquid freezes and expands, it can cause your water bottle or travel mug to become deformed and misshapen.
Even worse, the expanding liquid might break the welds and seals holding your water bottle together. If you place a stainless steel water bottle in a freezer, you might unintentionally and up damaging the vacuum seal, causing it to lose its insulating properties and not keep your water cold for as long. Ironic, right?
When you place your Yeti cup in the freezer eventually the liquid inside will begin to freeze.
As it freezes that liquid will expand in all directions putting pressure on the inner walls of the cup. It won't just expand up but may also expand in towards the walls of the cup.
It is possible for the expanding liquid to actually bend and deform the inner wall of your Yeti cup and could deform the cup enough to compromise the vacuum seal.
Once the vacuum seal is compromised or broken the space between the inner and outer wall fills up with air and the cup no longer insulates as well.
Now instead of having a cup that can keep ice for 24+ hours you've just got an expensive metal cup that doesn't insulate very well at all.
Why Is It Safe To Put a Yeti Cup In The Fridge?
The reason we don't have the same issues in the fridge is because the fridge is not going to cause our drink to freeze and therefore it's not going to expand and deform our cup.
Yeti cups are designed to handle cold temperatures really well. People take them to the snow and use them in environments below freezing temperature all the time without any issues.
The fridge is no different. It's a cold environment that the cup can easily handle.
The vacuum insulate will insulate your drink and make it hard for the fridge to cool down your drink. It won't cool down as quickly as something in say, a glass cup.
But given enough time it will cool down your drink and you'll have nice cold drinking water in a nice cold cup for whenever you want it.
It also means if you have iced water or an iced drink that you want to keep cold for an extended period of time putting it in the fridge can help keep it cold longer because it's being exposed to less heat.
For a lot of people Yeti cups keep drinks cold enough all day and don't need to go in the fridge. But if you want to put your Yeti cup in the fridge by all means do it. It shouldn't cause any damage to your cup at all.