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.

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 mug. Coffee and tea mugs are an essential part of any kitchen, as well as having various styles for different purposes. These are our top picks for various categories; 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, like the double walled glass mug.

Features

How is the mug constructed? What nifty add-ons do you need? If you need an airtight travel options it’s the Contigo, or for steeping tea and removing the leaves it’s the Tea Forte. 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 hand crafted 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 Travel Mug: Contigo Autoseal West Loop

Amazon

There's a reason this Contigo mug has 16,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It's the ultimate thermos for keeping things warm for hours, for a reasonable price. There are over 20 colors, three sizes, and the autoseal technology makes it both leak proof and spill proof.

Contigo West Loop Travel Mug. $15 at amazon.com

Best Insulated Coffee Mug: YETI Rambler

Amazon

There are plenty of high tech coffee mugs out there, but Yeti makes some of the best insulated coolers and containers. The double walled insulation of these mugs and tumblers will keep your coffee or tea hot or cold for hours.

YETI Rambler 14 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Mug, $25 at amazon.com 
YETI Rambler 20 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, $30 at amazon.com
YETI Rambler 30 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler, $35 at amazon.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 for 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 Oversized Mug: CB2

CB2

This colorblocked mug brings the contrast, with minimalist shades and maximalist volume at 19 ounces. The dip-glazed stoneware is both dishwasher and microwave safe.

CB2 Black Dip Large Mug, $7 at cb2.com

Best Trendy Mug : Crate & Barrel Welcome II 

Crate and Barrel

A great single serve cup with an unglazed bottom is part of a gorgeous set of modern rustic style from designer Aaron Probyn. Good to go in the microwave, dishwasher, and even the oven up to 300 degrees.

Crate & Barrel Welcome II Mug, $7 at crateandbarrel.com

Best Porcelain Mug: Royal Copenhagen 

Macy's

These handmade porcelain coffee mugs come wrapped in a contrasting silicone sleeve (available in multiple colors) and hold 11-ounces, great for a single serving of coffee or multiple rounds of tea. They also offer matching espresso cups, for 3 ounces of espresso to sip. All cups are dishwasher safe, too.

Royal Copenhagen Fluted Contrast Mug, $35 at barneys.com, macys.com or bedbathandbeyond.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, $70 at amazon.com

Best Stoneware Mug: Le Creuset

Le Creuset

Le Creuset’s stoneware speaks for itself, as it’s hardier that almost any other mug out there. It’s 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: Tea Forte

Amazon

Tea drinkers will love this tall mug which comes with an infuser basket as well as a lid that works as a tray for the infuser once your tea is ready. The double wall insulated ceramic will also keep things hot for longer.

Tea Forte Kati Cup Ceramic Tea Infuser Cup, $20 at amazon.com

Best Portable Ceramic Mug: Ello

Amazon

This 16 ounce travel mug keeps hot beverages hot for hours and is perfect for commuters. All parts are dishwasher safe, and the ceramic won’t hold on to smells or flavors.

Ello Ogden BPA-Free Ceramic Travel Mug, $10 at amazon.com

Best Glass Mug: Wiliams Sonoma Double Walled Glasses and Tumblers

Williams Sonoma

A double walled glass mug is both sleek and practical. They’re dishwasher safe, won’t cloud over time, stay cool to the touch and never sweat with iced drinks. Choose between short or tall tumblers and latte, espresso or coffee mugs.

Double-Wall Glass Tall Coffee Mugs, Set of 4, $48 at williams-sonoma.com

Advertisement