The best coffee mug
Sure, coffee lovers are particular about their tastes in brew -- and they're every bit as picky when it comes to coffee mugs. Considering you drink out of it daily, choosing the perfect coffee mug is a big decision.
Just like java, coffee mugs come in an endless number of styles. There are plenty of materials to compare, including ceramic, glass, and even metal. Size is important as well, since mugs range between eight and 24 ounces. You also have your work cut out for you when choosing colors or designs, since some manufacturers have as many as 30 varieties for the same mug.
Read our buying guide to find your perfect coffee mug. We're including our favorite, Better For Your's Stainless Steel Double Wall Coffee Mugs. Its brushed stainless steel finish and traditional design is a fun mix of classic and contemporary.
Considerations when choosing coffee mugs
Ceramic: Ceramic is the most popular material choice for coffee mugs. This traditional option comes in a variety of colors and designs, not to mention finishes. They keep your coffee warm for a decent amount of time, though they can chip and crack more easily than other materials.
Glass: Glass is an attractive contemporary choice for coffee mugs. There's also something cozy about seeing the familiar hue of coffee just the way you like it. Unfortunately, as nice as they are to look at, glass doesn't keep coffee warm for long.
Metal: Metal coffee mugs are as tough and durable as you can get since they don't chip or crack. Their sleek style and minimalist profile is an attractive addition to any kitchen. Best of all, metal mugs keep your coffee warm the longest. However, they might not be right if you like traditional materials.
Plastic: Plastic coffee mugs are lightweight and durable and are often machine washable. They're not the most conscientious choice since they're not exactly eco-friendly and can contain BPA. Some consumers with sensitive palates also report an aftertaste when drinking coffee from plastic mugs.
Do you like the traditional cylinder style, or do you prefer an elegant take on shape? Mugs with a low center of gravity -- by way of wider bases and sometimes tapered mouths -- are less likely to fall over and spill coffee. Shape also affects how well the mug holds onto heat, with straight designs being the most successful.
When it comes to certain materials, namely ceramic and glass, the thicker they are, the better. Mugs that are thin and dainty might look nice, but they're far more likely to break. Thickness isn't a breakage concern for metal mugs, though thicker styles might be more effective at holding onto heat for longer periods of time.
How much coffee do you drink at a time? Yes, it's a serious question, especially when shopping for coffee mugs. If you like to drink a modest amount, you're better suited for mugs between six and 10 ounces. If you like to make one cup of coffee and drink it throughout the day, you're better off choosing mugs between 16 and 24 ounces.
As much as you need a practical, durable coffee mug, it should be aesthetically pleasing as well. Choose a color or design to suit your style preference, or aim to match mugs to the rest of your kitchen décor. Some people opt to build their own eclectic coffee mug collection by purchasing them individually.
Single coffee mugs cost a few dollars apiece. Novelty or licensed mugs can be as much as $25 each, while high-end mugs are as much as $50 each. If you're buying a set, expect to spend between $24 and $100 for between two and 24 mugs.
Q. I broke one of the coffee mugs in my set. What do I do now?
A. Chances are you can replace it individually, either at the retail level or through the manufacturer. If it happens to be a discontinued pattern or mug, you may have to purchase a matching one off-market, or simply use a similar style in its place.
Q. What's the best way to store coffee mugs?
A. Coffee mugs are often stored in cabinets or kept near your coffee station. If you'd like to save space, invest in a mug tree to stack mugs vertically.
Coffee mugs we recommend
Best of the best: Better For Your's Stainless Steel Double Wall Coffee Mugs
Our take: Modern mug that is as durable as it gets. Stands the test of time.
What we like: Quality craftsmanship with brushed finish. Shatterproof. Bonus points for matching stainless steel appliances in kitchens.
What we dislike: Expensive for just two mugs. Not intended for microwave use.
Best bang for your buck: Francois et Mimi's Ceramic Polka Dot Large Coffee Mugs
Our take: While on the delicate side, these mugs have a lively polka-dot pattern that brightens up kitchens.
What we like: Set of six ceramic mugs in different colors. Safe to handle as they don't get hot to the touch.
What we dislike: Since they're ceramic, they may chip and might not keep drinks as warm as other material choices.
Choice 3: Culver's SLAT Ceramic Mugs
Our take: Modern large-handled mugs. Durable for daily use and available in five colors.
What we like: Chip- and crack-resistant design. Solid base and center of gravity, so this 16-ounce mug doesn't tip over easily.
What we dislike: Pricey for four mugs. Color choices are only for the inside of the mug.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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