The Best Coffee Mugs of 2019

TOP PICK: The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug

Contigo Autoseal

Stylish and sleek featuring a leak and spill-proof "Autoseal" lid so you'll have less worries of spilling drinks inside your bag. It will keep your coffee hot for up to 5 hours with its double-walled, stainless steel vacuum insulation design. It's definitely the perfect companion!

A Quick Coffee Cup Buying Guide

Coffee cups are a dime a dozen, and we don’t usually think that hard when buying them. Here's a quick guide to help you choose the right one.

RELATED: Here are similar guides to finding the best travel coffee mug, and the best coffee thermos.
when looking for the best coffee mugs, pick a material that can retain your coffees heat for long

Material

The material of your coffee cup makes a huge difference to the drinking experience (and taste, as you'll see below).

Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages, and you should consider this when deciding on a new coffee cup.

Ceramic cups

  • Keeps hot water hotter, for longer
  • Leaves no aftertaste in your coffee
  • Fragile

Glass cups

  • Doesn’t depart any smells or tangs to your coffee and can be recycled
  • There is just something satisfying about drinking coffee from a nice glass vessel.
  • Does not retain heat as well as ceramic mugs (but does quite well)

Hard plastics

  • Often used to make recyclable coffee cups
  • Superb heat retention (1) and durability
  • Might give your coffee an unpleasant smell or aftertaste

Steel

  • Mostly used in travel mugs and thermos
  • Holds heat extremely well
  • Unbreakable

So what's the best material? Ceramic or glass for home use; and steel or plastic for travellers. Easy.

Design - Size, Shape, Color

There are many different categories of coffee cups to choose from. Design matters as well: The color of a mug can actually have an impact on the taste of your coffee (2) - something to consider before making your decision! A nice looking mug makes the whole coffee drinking experience much more enjoyable (yes, that's my personal opinion).

Try drinking the same coffee out of a disposable styrofoam cup vs an expensive ceramic mug and you'll agree. 

Consider things like color, size and shape. How big does your mug need to be? You want to get a mug that holds at least the amount of coffee you usually make for yourself.

“Experiments demonstrate that the colour of the mug affects people’s ratings of a hot beverage...it’s possible that colour contrast between the mug and the coffee may have affected the perceived intensity/sweetness of the coffee.”
- Biomedcentral.com

The 7 Best Coffee Mugs of 2019

I’ve created a list of the 7 best mugs for coffee lovers according to personality:

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURES
hg-table__imageTEEQUIO "Nosy Nose" Mug
  • Mug with a sense of Humor
  • Handmade
  • Inexpensive for an artisanal item
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageCONTIGO Autoseal West Loop Mug
  • Autoseal lid
  • Double-walled insulated stainless steel keeps coffee warm
  • Suitable for traveling, commuting, or sports
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageOSAKA Ryoan-ji Mug
  • Beautiful, Japanese-inspired mosaic design
  • Smart silicone ring helps hold mug safely
  • Double-walled ceramic insulates heat well
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageKeepCup
  • Recyclable
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Choice between plastic or glass
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageGiant Coffee Mug
  • It's a Big Mug- if that's what you want, you've got it
  • Machine-washable amd Microwaveable
  • Ceramic
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageCOASTLINE Glass Mug
  • Elegant class Design
  • Double-walled vacuum construction
  • Machine-washable and microwaveable
CHECK PRICE →
hg-table__imageYETI Rambler Tumbler
  • Stainless Steel construction is extremely durable
  • Especially good at keeping drinks cold
  • Also works as thermos
CHECK PRICE →

1 - The "Nosy Nose" Mug (For the stylish)

This “Nosy Nose Mug”, designed by Mexican designer Rafael Mucino, will definitely attract some curiosity amongst friends and co-workers.

Unlike the typical jokey mugs which merely have something funny printed on them, this mug’s design is playful in itself. It’s amusing in an offbeat way. As for the quality of the mug itself, it is definitely top of its class. The mug is handmade and glazed at a high temperature, to ensure safety and heat insulation.

According to Rafael Mucino, the mug was created “because having only one nose in life can be boring” - and who are we to argue with him?

The ceramic mug is on sale in the Mexican design collective Teequio. Although getting it shipped from Mexico D.F. might be a headache, the price for a handmade ceramic mug is a bargain - and if you know someone who’s going to Mexico City, you know what to ask for a souvenir!

PROS

  • Mug with a sense of humor
  • Handmade, glazed ceramic
  • Inexpensive for an artisanal item

CONS

  • Limited availability online

2 - The Contigo Autoseal West Loop Mug (For Travellers and commuters)

“Contigo

Contigo is one of the most popular brands for travel mugs, and with good reason: their product designs are both stylish and practical (3). If you’re the type of person who is often on the go, the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum Insulated Travel Mug might be your perfect partner. It’s my favourite stainless steel travel mug.

The main attraction of this coffee mug is the leak and spill proof “Autoseal” lid, which means you can carry it in your bag (4) without risking ruining your laptop (it's leak-proof). No hot coffee on you, or on your laptop!

It’s also double walled and insulated, keeping your coffee hot for about 4-5 hours, which is pretty good for a mug. If you’re an adventurer, you might appreciate the ease of having homemade coffee on the go.

PROS

  • Autoseal lid means you can carry it in your bag
  • Double-walled, insulated stainless steel keeps your coffee hot longer
  • Suitable for traveling, commuting and sports (fits in car cup holder)
  • Sleek design

CONS

  • Difficult to clean

3 - The Ryoan-ji Mug (For artistic souls)

This Ryoan-ji mug from Osaka Coffee is both beautiful and convenient. It comes in two mosaic designs, the blue-hued Hyousetsu mosaic and the Niji, which is accentuated with warmer colours. If you appreciate bright colours and Japanese design, sipping your coffee from these mugs will cheer up your day.

The Ryoan-ji is made from double-walled ceramic, which is a standard mug material with decent heat insulation. It also has a bright blue silicone ring which will help you hold the mug safely and comfortably.

The Ryoan-ji stands out with its minimalist design; it’s an elegant mug for everyday use.

PROS

  • Beautiful, Japanese-inspired mosaic design
  • Smart silicone ring helps hold the mug safely
  • Double-walled ceramic insulates heat well
  • Microwaveable and machine-washable

CONS

  • Rather small at 250 ml

4 - The KeepCup (For environmentalists)

“keepcup”

The KeepCup has been making waves for years (5) as the pioneer in switching from paper cups to a more environmentally sound alternative.

KeepCups come in different sizes and designs (6) to suit your preferences - whether your go-to is an espresso fix or a large cappuccino, you can have it in this reusable mug. The only condition being, of course, that you remember to carry it with you!

The older KeepCups were made from plastics like polypropylene and silicone, but they have now moved towards a more stylish design using soda-lime glass. BPA-free plastic is only used in the lid, while the handle is made from cork.

The choice between a glass KeepCup or plastic KeepCup depends on your personal choices.

PROS

  • Recyclable and better for the environment than paper cups
  • Wide range of sizes
  • Choice between plastic or glass
    Microwave-safe

CONS

  • Quite expensive (but worth it, in my opinion)

5 - The Giant Coffee Mug (For the really thirsty)

“Giant

Okay, so this Giant Coffee Mug is more of a joke gift, but it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a damn big mug for coffee. It would be a perfect birthday present for someone who goes through a pot of coffee each morning.

The Giant piece of art is pretty boring in design, just focusing on doing what it does best: holding a whopping 32 ounces (that’s almost one liter) of coffee. If this doesn’t get you going in the morning, nothing will. It’s a standard white ceramic mug, safe for the dishwasher and the microwave.

The latter option is especially helpful, because it might be difficult to guzzle down a whole mug before it goes cold. If you just want your coffee and have no patience for dainty little cups, this one’s for you.

PROS

  • It’s a big mug - if that’s what you want, you’ve got it
  • Machine-washable and microwaveable
  • Ceramic is a decent material
  • Easy gift option for coffee guzzlers

CONS

  • Needlessly big for most people

6 - The CoastLine Glass Mug (For glass lovers)

“coastline

The CoastLine Insulated Double Wall Glass mug is a looker with its sleek glass design. If you’re the type of person who agrees that drinking coffee from a glass makes you seem classy as hell, this is the mug of choice for you.

Simply put, this is a cup for those who have style and know it.

 Not just pretty, the CoastLine glass mug fulfills its function as a vessel. It’s constructed from mouth-blown, double-walled glass, which provides decent insulation. Its material makes it perfect for pour overs - just imagine seeing some sweet Vietnamese cà phê sữa đá drip down into this transparent beauty.

The CoastLine double-wall glass mug is also well suited for serving coffee-based cocktails. If you enjoy a decadent after dinner Irish Coffee or White Russian, a glass like this can make you feel like you’re transported to a smoky hotel jazz bar.

PROS

  • Elegant class design
  • Double-walled vacuum construction
  • Machine-washable and microwaveable

CONS

  • Fragile

7 - The Yeti Rambler Tumbler (For the adventurous)

“yeti

If you spend a lot of time camping, hiking, talking to squirrels or whatever it is outdoorsy people do, the Yeti Rambler Tumbler might be the mug for you.

The Yeti tumbler is constructed from double-walled, insulated stainless steel, and is engineered to be as durable as possible.

While the Contigo West Loop travel mug reviewed earlier is a great fit for those who do a lot of driving, commuting or walking in urban settings, the Yeti Tumbler is the mug of choice for those who need a more heavy-duty vessel.

The Yeti Tumbler is built to be durable - according to manufacturer, it is engineered to be virtually indestructible. It is also especially good at keeping drinks cold (7). Use it to keep your iced coffee chilled or brew directly into it with your french press.

Its very versatile, and this stainless steel mug is dishwasher-safe and has a BPA-free plastic lid.

PROS

  • Stainless steel construction is extremely durable
  • Keeps hot beverages hot, and cold beverages cold (works as a thermos)
  • Comes in different colors

CONS

  • Lid is not spill-free
  • Does not fit in your car's cup holders

FAQS

What is the best coffee mug to keep coffee hot?

The best mug to keep your coffee hot is either a steel-based or ceramic -based mug. We’d definitely recommend using a steel mug for traveling and if you appreciate the stylish kind, a well-designed, aesthetically pleasing ceramic mug for enjoying coffee at home.

What's the best reusable coffee cup?

The best reusable coffee cups are often made from hard plastics due to the material’s durability and superb heat retention. The drawback about hard plastics though is that it can give your coffee an unpleasant aftertaste and smell.

What is the best material for coffee mugs?

The best material for coffee mugs depends on how and where you want to use it, as well as personal preferences regarding design. Ceramic and steel mugs are best for keeping your coffee hot whereas glass mugs may be more satisfying to the eye, and mugs made from hard plastics are considered most durable.

Are ceramic coffee mugs safe?

Yes, ceramic mugs are totally safe as long as you don’t put them in the oven with your Sunday roast for five hours. Basically, don’t try to bake your ceramic mug and you’ll be fine.

Which are the best travel mugs?

The best travel mugs need to do two things extremely well: keep your coffee hot for longer periods of time and score high on the robustness scale. We’ve compiled a list of the best travel mugs for you that do exactly that.


THE VERDICT: What's The Best Coffee Mug?

While all of these mugs are great, one stood out as having the most unique and well thought-out qualities: Contigo West Loop. It combines good design with practicality, helping you enjoy the best coffee wherever you are. It’s difficult not to appreciate its innovative Autoseal lid design, which makes it the best travel mug on the market, and a great all rounder. The Yeti Tumbler is a good competitor, but loses points for not being spill-free.

“Contigo

However, someone who prefers to drink coffee in the comfort of their own home might prefer something else. For the homebodies, the expertly constructed CoastLine glass mug might give your daily brew an extra touch of sophistication.

Considering things like material and design is important to get a mug that matches the quality of your coffee.


References

  1. Dot Summer (n.d) What Is a Better Insulator: Paper, Glass, Plastic, or Styrofoam? Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/345286-what-is-a-better-insulator-paper-glass-plastic-or-styrofoam/
  2. George H Van Doorn, Dianne Wuillemin and Charles Spence (November 25, 2014). Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee? Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://flavourjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2044-7248-3-10#B17
  3. Joel Johnson (October 11, 2010). Lifechanger: Contigo Vacuum Sealed West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://gizmodo.com/5661307/lifechanger-contigo-vacuum-sealed-west-loop-stainless-steel-travel-mug
  4. Chris (October 2, 2018). Seriously, This is the Best Travel Coffee Mug You Can Buy. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://www.manmadediy.com/3988-seriously-this-is-the-best-travel-coffee-mug-you-can-buy
  5. N./A. (n.d.). Keep Cup. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://www.designboom.com/food/keep-cup/
  6. Jacqui Agate (February 7,2019). 10 best reusable coffee cups. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/house-garden/coffee/best-reusable-coffee-cup-a7510606.html
  7. Eric Lemke (October 28,2015). Liquid Test: YETI Rambler ‘Personal Drink Cooler’. Retrieved June 7, 2019, from: https://gearjunkie.com/yeti-rambler-tumbler-review
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Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.