15 Best Mugs for Coffee and Tea of 2023
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Piping hot mug picks ahead!
Glance around the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen and you'll find a variety of coffee makers, tea kettles and, at any given moment, staffers sipping on a nice, hot beverage. Though most people (including our food editors) have a cabinet full of mugs, they end up gravitating toward a single, favorite vessel. So while there are specifications that make a good mug great, like material, size and durability, there is also a lot of personal preference involved.
We collected our staff's favorites, along with a few expert-approved picks, to put together this list of the best mugs for coffee, tea or any toasty beverage.
When evaluating the best mugs to buy, we consulted our analysts in the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, who regularly test all types of coffee and tea gear and have compiled comprehensive guides to heated mugs, travel mugs and coffee thermoses, to name a few.
We considered how comfortable they were to hold, how much coffee they could hold (and keep hot), durability, dishwasher safety and nitty-gritty details like the lip shape, handle design and weight. Here, we're recommending mugs that our editors and analysts use daily, plus a few extra picks that stood out for specific features, like stackability or a value price.
The heavy feel and slim handle of this luxurious mug make it equal parts sturdy and sleek, and it's our absolute go-to for afternoon coffee (with a splash of steamed 2% milk) in the Test Kitchen.
It's also a favorite of Nicole Papantoniou, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab. The 14-ounce stoneware mug with thick walls comes in a rainbow of colors, many of which feature a stunning ombré effect, so you can pick one that suits your personality.
Le Creuset is a brand known for its stellar quality and excellent heat retention and distribution. (The brand also makes our favorite Dutch oven.) At $20 per mug (at the time of publication), you can enjoy a piece of serious craftsmanship with your everyday cup of coffee or tea. The brand claims to be break-resistant and dishwasher-safe.
We love that this set of four, 16-ounce mugs is stackable, which is great for storing a whole set in a smaller space. The small indent at the bottom allows them to be stored on top of one another. The set of four is a great value for porcelain mugs.
If you consider your coffee or teatime to be your moment of zen, then you'll love the muted, natural colorway — though some reviewers wished they came in more than three colors. The extra-wide handle should be easy to hold too. According to the brand, these mugs are dishwasher and microwave-safe.
They have hundreds of five-star reviews, with users noting that they are sturdy, good quality and look great.
Papantoniou loves that the lid on this stainless steel, travel-friendly mug is easy to use and clean, and it helps keep stains invisible.
"I like the soft grippy handle and material of the outside. It's not entirely spill-proof, but it helps prevent splatter and leaks when you’re on the go," she says. The insulated mug (which keeps coffee hot for up to six hours, per the brand) comes in 6-, 12- and 24-ounce capacities and unique colors like "snapper" and "bark." One reviewer noted that it's perfect for enjoying your beverage outside, as the lid helps keep bugs and dirt away.
Insulated mugs work particularly well for iced drinks — Papantoniou uses this one at home for iced espressos — as they help prevent the ice from melting. And with minimal melting, your first sip will be just as strong and smooth as your last. It doesn't fit in a car cupholder, so Papantoniou purchased this genius cup holder adaptor to pair with her Hydro Flask. "Best investment I ever made," she said.
These beautifully designed, 15-ounce earthenware mugs come in a set of two, which can be tricky to find. Handmade from locally sourced clay in Mexico, they make a luxurious gift that you can feel good about: They're hand-cast, fired and glazed by a group of artisans with a process guaranteed by the World Fair Trade Organization.
Short, wide mugs will cool liquids down more quickly, as there is more room for steam to escape, which is why we like that these are tall and slim. They're ideal for keeping liquids hot, and they're easy to slip into a cabinet. We also love the unique, curved handle. They are microwave-safe, but hand washing is recommended.
While certain materials, like stoneware, can help keep your beverage hot for longer, they won't work quite as well as an electronically heated mug. Ember products have sensors throughout the mug that monitor the temperature of the liquid inside, and then turn on built-in heaters if the temperature drops.
In her Ember mug review, GH Institute deputy editor Sarah Wharton found this mug easy to use with a useful app that was simple to set up. In her Lab tests, she found that this mug held the set temperature for nearly its entire battery life (80 minutes) and it was comfortable to hold. While impressed overall, she did note that the mug is not dishwasher safe and will change the flavor of your coffee the longer it sits.
Choose from 10 muted or bright colors to find your new everyday cup. The solid colorways can hold up to 16 ounces, while the striped mugs hold 12 ounces. The simple design and value price make these a winning choice for upgrading your current everyday set.
The brand claims that the handle doesn't get hot, even when you microwave it, and it features a curved bottom that sits nicely in your hands. Enthusiastic reviewers say it can hold plenty of coffee (with room for milk) and that it brings joy to their morning. One reviewer even wished for clear cabinets to better display their Leeway mugs. Just note that the mugs only come in a set of four, so if you break one you can't replace it with a single mug.
But they're made of stoneware, which is one of the most durable types of ceramic, and we love that they're safe to put in the dishwasher — as any good everyday mug should be.
One of our editors uses this mug every morning at home. Its relatively petite in size at 9 ounces which is perfect for a typical 6-ounce cup of coffee, especially if your coffee tends to get cold before you can finish it.
We love the way you can watch your cream swirl into the coffee through the clear glass mug, and it makes it easier to monitor the color to gauge how much cream is needed. The handle is small, but our editor says it comfortably fits her index finger, which is all she needs to hold this lightweight mug, though may not be suitable for people with larger hands.
According to the brand, it's microwave- and dishwasher-safe, but hand washing is recommended to preserve the label.
While this 10-ounce, stoneware mug made in England isn't cheap, reviewers rave about the quality. Its design is inspired by Arabesque, a 1960s bold folk style pattern that gives it a charming, vintage feel.
The glaze is designed to prevent chipping and enhance durability. "This mug fits really nicely in my hands with the finger rests at the top and bottom of the handle," says Associate Food Editor Becca Miller. "It's really beautiful and delicate, but also sturdy. I've had a set for almost a decade and none of them have ever chipped." They're dishwasher-, microwave-, oven- and freezer-safe, according to the brand.
Looking for a great gift for coffee lovers? Let a friend or family member show off their school pride: "I bought my parents these college spirit mugs. They stack (huge storage win) and have a bunch of cute decals that are unique to each school," says Deputy Food Editor Trish Clasen Marsanico.
According to the brand, these ceramic mugs are safe to clean in the top rack of the dishwasher and hold 12 ounces of liquid. Reviewers also noted that they had a nice weight to them and could hold a lot of coffee. They are available in eight different school motifs, but we wish they had more.
Rae Dunn is popular for a reason: Its dishware offers cute sayings and phrases that can perk up your mood in the morning and look great on open shelves or in clear cabinets.
"When I had roommates in college, I'd race to get up in the morning to snag this sturdy cup that holds two full cups of coffee," says Miller. This line of dishwasher- and microwave-safe ceramic mugs is inspired by Disney characters, which is great for kids and nostalgic adults alike, but the brand comes in dozens of different collections.
At 16 ounces, this mug is definitely on the larger side, which is perfect if you enjoy a supersized cup. While the uneven lip gives it a handmade look, it might not be the most comfortable lip to drink from.
Made in a pottery studio based in south India, this mug holds two cups of coffee (or 16-ounces), has a nice weight and warms your hands as you hold it, according to reviewers.
According to the brand, the pottery studio where the mug is made works to bring jobs to rural communities in India, training 100 potters and craftspeople. Alaya also uses repurposed shipping containers and batch kilns to reduce fuel consumption, and the brand plants thousands of trees to help regenerate the soil and the local ecosystem.
The brand notes that there will be natural imperfections from cup to cup, as they are handmade. They are made of stoneware and are hand-wash only.
GH Institute Nutrition Lab Director Stefani Sassos loves these collectible mugs from Starbucks that feature charming sketches of cities and states: "Whenever I travel, I get one for my parents. We now have a collection of them from around the world and we reminisce on the travels! It’s a great gift and become a tradition in our family," she says.
The high-quality, sturdy ceramic mugs hold 14 ounces of liquid and weigh in at just over a pound, which some reviewers found too heavy. They are wider than they are tall, so they'd be great for eating soups or ice cream, too. They are microwave- and dishwasher-safe, according to the brand.
If you like to drink a lot of coffee or tea at once and don't want to invest in a heated mug, this stainless steel, large-format insulated mug is your best bet.
The double-walled, vacuum-insulated cup can hold 24 ounces of liquid (it also comes in 10-ounce and 14-ounce sizes) and will keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold. Perfect for taking on the go, it has a wide handle that's easy to grip, and the brand says it's puncture and rust-resistant with a splash-resistant lid. Every part of the mug is dishwasher-safe.
GH Food Producer Tina Martinez prefers sipping from the smaller size at home: "It keeps my coffee hot for hours. Perfect for enjoying a slow, leisurely cup on the weekends," she says.
These double-walled, 15-ounce glass mugs were a winner in GH's annual Kitchen Gear Awards, standing out for great heat retention (and for keeping drinks cold too). We also love the built-in recipes on the side of the glass. Whip up cappuccinos, lattes and an assortment of other drinks without having to memorize ratios or rely on your phone.
Plus, the double-walled design will prevent beverages inside from affecting the outside temperature of the glass, making these comfortable to hold. In our Lab, testers found that the measurements on the side of the cup were easy to read and the cup was easy to clean.
Available as a single cup or in a set of two, these make an excellent gift for espresso aficionados or beginners looking to improve their at-home barista game. It's microwave- and freezer-safe, but hand washing is recommended.
MacKenzie-Childs is known for its whimsical decor and ceramics, and the brand recently released a collection of 16-ounce, ceramic mugs celebrating various artists.
"I’ve been using the Coco Davez Artist Mug just about every morning, and it’s been such a treat," says GH's Senior Home Editor Monique Valeris. "It washes up well — there’s not one stain on the mug’s interior yet — it's safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave and the lively print is the perfect pick-me-up."
While it’s one of the priciest picks on this list, a portion of the sales from every mug is directed to a charity the artist supports as well as the MacKenzie-Childs Hands on Scholarship for Design.
In addition to collecting recommendations from our staff and surveying cooking and product experts, we evaluated each mug based on our previous testing experience with food and beverage-related products, like dinnerware, outdoor dinnerware, glassware, travel mugs, heated mugs and more.
From that experience, we know which brands are reliable, what materials to look for, and what features make one mug stand out from another. We regularly attend industry trade shows to learn about new trends and work closely with brands to stay up-to-date on the best technology.
There are a few key specifications to consider when finding the best mug for your mornings:
✔️ Size: Do you drink a few sips of coffee in the morning, or do you prefer to savor a supersized cup? Mugs typically range in size from 8 ounces (1 cup of liquid) to 16 ounces (2 cups of liquid), so choose something that fits your capacity preference. While there is no "standard" size, a common just-right size is 12 ounces. Your coffee may get cold before you finish drinking it in larger sizes, and smaller sizes may not hold a satisfying amount of liquid. Consider getting a few different mugs for different drinks; you may want a larger mug for hot cocoa than you would for coffee, for example.
✔️ Handle: A handle that is barely big enough to hook your finger around makes it difficult to hold the mug steady, which can be a problem if there is a piping hot liquid inside. Large handles that start near the top of the mug and end near the bottom are great if you like to hold the mug with the palm of your hand, but often indicate a heavier mug overall. Lighter, smaller mugs will have smaller handles that are great if you prefer holding the mug with just your thumb and index finger. You can also look out for finger rests on the top and/or bottom of the handle.
If heat retention is your number one priority, then an electronically heated mug is your best bet. For a more cost-effective option, consider stainless steel, followed by thick and durable stoneware or double-walled glass.
As an assistant food editor in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Samantha MacAvoy has written countless food and beverage-related product reviews, including a guide to excellent latte machines, a roundup of top-tested coffee beans and a comprehensive list of the best dinnerware. She is a certified coffee-lover and enjoys several cups, out of many mugs, throughout each week.
For this story, she tested several mugs and surveyed editors across Good Housekeeping about their favorite mugs, including Nicole Papantoniou, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab. Samantha also conducted extensive research and scoured customer reviews online to round out her recommendations.
Samantha (she/her) is an Assistant Editor in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, where she writes about tasty recipes, must-try food products and top-tested secrets for home cooking success. She has taste-tasted hundreds of products and recipes since joining GH in 2020 (tough job!). A graduate of Fordham University, she considers the kitchen to be her happiest place.
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6 Best Heated Mugs of 2023heavy feel and slim handle of this luxurious mugstackable, which is great for storing a whole set in a smaller space. lid on this stainless steel, travel-friendly mug is easy to use anduse and clean, and it helps keep stains invisibleThey're hand-cast, fired and glazed by a group of artisans with a process guaranteed by the World Fair Trade Organizationhthis mug held the set temperature for nearly its entire battery life (80 minutes)simple design and value priceIts relatively petite in size at 9 ounces which is perfectetite in size at 9 ounces which is perfectdesign is inspired by Arabesque, a 1960s bold folk style pattern that gives it a charming, vintage feelLooking for a great gift for coffee lovers?Looking for a great gift for coffee lovers?Looking for a great gift for coffee lovers?Looking for a great gift for coffee lovers?Its dishware offers cute sayings and phrasesMade in a pottery studio based in south India, this mug holds two cups of coffee (or 16-ounces)collectible mugs from Starbucks that feature charming sketches of cities and stateslarge-format insulated mugbuilt-in recipes on the side of the glassthe lively print is the perfect pick-me-up.Size: Handle: Material:PorcelainStonewareEarthenwareCeramicStainless steelGlassan electronically heated mug is your best betSamantha MacAvoyNicole Papantoniou