From Self-Heating to Stunning Stoneware, Here Are the 11 Best Coffee Mugs Out There
Put one (or more) in your regular rotation.
Published Aug 20, 2021 1:00 AM
Hardworking drinkware is a worthy investment, but finding the best coffee mug these days requires more than answering the question of what gets you going in the morning. Do you want fun handles that make you smile while savoring your favorite beverage? The easiest way to knock back a latte while dashing out the door? A sleek, minimal design or something with the warmth and weight of stoneware?
Casey Simring, the buyer for table- and barware at Food52, has tested dozens and dozens of mugs, so much so that her personal collection has spilled over from her kitchen to a box beneath her bed. “It really has to have the right hand feel, capacity, and shape for your personal habit,” says Simring of the ideal mug. “I really enjoy having the maker’s hand as part of my morning routine.”
As a mood ring for your morning and a steady work-from-home companion, there’s good reason to swap out that chipped mug from a 5K you didn’t even run for something that does double duty: looking good and making your caffeine consumption more pleasurable. Here are our 11 favorites.
- Best porcelain: Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Mug
- Best handle: Lolly Lolly Mug
- Best Memphis inspired: Recreation Center Blue Doodle Mug
- Best enamel: Bornn Multi Swirl Mug
- Best double-wall: Poketo Double-Wall Mug
- Best on-the-go: Fellow Carter Everywhere Mug
- Best value: Cast Reactive Glaze White Mug
- Best statement piece: Luxe Eros Confetti Mug
- Best stackable: Kinto Stackable Japanese Mug
- Best oversize: Helen Levi Snow Drift Giant Mug
- Best warming: Ember Smart Mug 2
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Ritual: Consider both the practical aspects of your routine and that hard-to-articulate reason you’re drawn to one mug over another. Potter Helen Levi designed her Daily Mug using skill and intuition, only to subsequently realize it’s the exact size as her childhood favorite mug.
Size: Eight to 12 ounces is considered the standard size for a coffee mug, with larger sizes used more commonly for lattes, teas, and iced beverages. Levi’s Traditional Mug (8 ounces) is beloved by “coffee people,” she says; she drinks tea with milk out of the Daily Mug (14 ounces); and the Mega Mug (“24 friggin’ ounces!”) was designed to accommodate her husband’s iced coffee habit.
Material: Porcelain is thin and light, while stoneware has heft to it. A matte glaze or unglazed surface chips more easily. Enamel is superdurable but absolutely cannot go in the microwave, so chronic reheaters should consider another material. Glass is particularly appealing for teas, allowing rich hues to show through. But unless the mug is double-walled, it can get very hot with a fresh cup or sweat with a cold beverage. Be sure to review dish-washing and microwave instructions before purchasing to make sure any mug you buy aligns with your preferences.
Our Top Picks
Best Porcelain: Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Mug
Best Handle: Lolly Lolly Mug
Best Memphis Inspired: Recreation Center Blue Doodle Mug
Best Enamel: Bornn Multi Swirl Mug
Bornn was founded by two sisters from Istanbul who grew up in Tokyo, Barcelona, and Los Angeles, so it’s no surprise that they’d produce enamelware meant to move. Toss this one in a tote for a picnic or bring it on a camping trip without stressing about breakage. It’s dishwasher-, stovetop-, and oven-safe, but enamelware can’t go in the microwave.
Best Double-Wall Mug: Poketo Double-Wall Mug
Best On-the-Go: Fellow Carter Everywhere Mug
Best Value: Cast Reactive Glaze White Mug
Best Statement Piece: Luxe Eros Confetti Mug
Best Stackable: Kinto Stackable Japanese Mug
Best Oversize: Helen Levi Snow Drift Giant Mug
Best Warming: Ember Smart Mug 2
Pro Tips for Mug Shopping
- If you have open shelving, your collection of mugs will be on display, so consider either a matching set or a uniting principle—like collecting one designer or various designers in the same color scheme—to create cohesion.
- A pair of mugs is a great housewarming gift or hostess present and will last much longer than a bouquet of flowers. Add a bag of your favorite local coffee and you’ll definitely be invited back.
How can I get stains out of my coffee mugs?
For stubborn stains, add soap and warm water, let sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft sponge. If that doesn’t work, put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in the bottom of the mug and add enough water to make a paste. Coat the stains and clean with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with water.
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
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