The perfect cup of coffee starts with the right mug.

By Megan Soll
September 14, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

We love all kinds of coffee gadgets to make the perfect brew and take full advantage of your favorite coffee beans, but the best coffee drinking experience starts and ends with your choice of the mug. Coffee and tea mugs are an essential part of any kitchen and have various styles for different purposes. These are our top picks for various categories, updated for 2020. Read on for details on all the styles.

The Best Coffee Mugs:

Factors to Consider

Deciding which type of coffee cups or mugs to buy can be daunting. Serving coffee for the family? Keep a set of quality everyday mugs on hand. Need to keep your drink warm the whole morning? Go with an insulated option or even a smart mug that’ll carry you through to lunchtime. Here are a few of the things we consider when choosing which coffee mug to buy.

Materials

What is the best material to use for coffee cups? It really depends on the situation. Insulated stainless steel mugs will go the farthest in the way of heat retention. Ceramic won’t retain flavors or smells, porcelain and bone china are the most sturdy, and glass looks sleek in any setting. Silicone sleeves or double-walled construction will help with both gripping and insulation.

Volume

How much coffee do you really drink in a sitting? Typically coffee cups are around 12 ounces, with variable options of up to 30 ounces for the large travel mugs. If you tend to drink half and leave the rest while running around getting things done in the morning, opt for a smaller 11-ounce size. If you’re a regular two cup drinker and know you’ll be pouring a third before you’re out the door, try an oversized mug. If you drink iced coffee, odds are you’ll need a bigger cup to hold both the ice and the coffee itself.

Features

How is the mug constructed? What nifty add-ons do you need? If you need an airtight travel option, it’s CamelBak, or for steeping tea and removing the leaves, it’s DavidsTea. Also, keep a lookout for the washing instructions; some great mugs require more care for keeping them clean; others are dishwasher safe and good to go at all times.

Best Everyday Mug: Crate & Barrel Hue Mug

Crate and Barrel

From hot coffee to mug cakes and everything in between, these mugs look great and do it all. They’re wide enough to house plenty of marshmallows on hot cocoa, lightweight, stackable, and the handle is the ideal size. The handcrafted and hand-glazed porcelain comes in 6 colors, so you can mix and match or grab a full set. And yea, they’re good to go in the dishwasher, microwave, and oven.

Crate & Barrel Hue Mug, $5 (or $19 set of 4) at crateandbarrel.com

Best China Mug: Royal Worcester

Amazon

Bone china is the most durable ceramic material. It’s dishwasher safe while still looking stately and can be used both everyday or reserved for special occasions. These mugs are arguably the cutest animal designs out there, a worthy gift for any season.

Royal Worcester Wrendale Designs Mug, $14 at amazon.com

Best Smart Mug: Ember

Amazon

Keep drinks hot with this mug, which you can control with your smartphone to keep it at the exact temperature you prefer. The charging coaster provides an hour of battery life, and the cup is safe to hand wash (can be submerged up to 1 meter deep).

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2, $70 at amazon.com

Best Stoneware Mug: Le Creuset

Le Creuset

Le Creuset’s stoneware speaks for itself, as it’s hardier than almost any other mug out there. Its density prevents cracking and rippling, won’t stain or scratch from metal utensils, and is nearly nonstick for easy cleanup.

Le Creuset Mug, $18 at lecreuset.com

Best Tea Mug: DavidsTea Nordic Mug

DavidsTea

This 16-ounce mug has a lid that doubles as a saucer, either for the mug itself or to hold the tea bag after steeping. The large handle makes it easy to grasp without getting too close to the hot base.

DavidsTea High Gloss Black Nordic Mug, $19 at davidstea.com

Best Travel Mug: CamelBak

Amazon

CamelBak's "hot cap" vacuum-insulated lid is leak-proof but makes it easy to twist and drink from any angle. Double-walled insulation keeps coffee hot or cold for hours without any condensation. Perfect for carrying in your bag on the way to work or backpack while hiking. It's available in 12-ounce or 20-ounce sizes.

CamelBak Hot Cap Travel Mug, $22 at amazon.com

Best Stainless Steel Mug: YETI Rambler

YETI is pretty synonymous with insulated drink containers, and their 14-ounce mug is no exception. It's the perfect camping mug (the handle is wide enough to hold with gloves on) but will serve you just as well when working from home. It comes in 19 different colors, so it's great for gifting as well as getting for yourself. It's dishwasher-safe, too.

YETI Rambler Mug, $25 at amazon.com

Best Insulated Mug: Hydro Flask

Amazon

For overall insulation, Hydro Flask's new travel coffee mug (in three sizes) keeps coffee hot for hours and has an easy twist-to-sip top. The dishwasher-safe thermos has the standard wide-mouth size that can use interchangeable lids and can serve as everything from a soup container to a water bottle.

Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Coffee Travel Mug, $30 at amazon.com

Best Glass Coffee Mug: Zwilling Sorrento

Macy's

For a beautiful home set of mugs, the insulated glass is stunning to look at as well as drink from. The borosilicate glass is dishwasher-safe and holds 12 ounces of liquid per cup.

J.A. Henckels Zwilling Sorrento Double Wall Coffee Mugs, Set of 2, $32 at macys.com

Best Ceramic Coffee Mug: W&P Porter Mug

Amazon

For something sleek and perfect for both home and car travel, the Porter ceramic mug is a smart buy. It has a silicone sleeve to protect your hands without a cumbersome handle but is still dishwasher-safe. It will retain heat but won't absorb flavors and doesn't resort to stainless steel (good for those who dislike the metal with their morning brew).

W&P Porter Ceramic Mug, 12 or 16 ounces, $25 at amazon.com

Best Porcelain Mugs: Snowe Home

Snowe

For simple and quality porcelain coffee mugs, this set from Snowe is a great option. They're lightweight and look delicate, but are made from the strongest quality materials that will handle the oven, microwave, and dishwasher with ease.

Snowe Mugs, Set of 4, $45 at snowehome.com