Is Porcelain Or Ceramic Better For Coffee Mugs?

You may tend to choose the quirkiest or most popular mug while searching for new coffee mugs. However, you may want to consider how different styles and materials possibly influence the aroma and flavor of the coffee. Both porcelain and ceramic have been popular choices for coffee mugs.

Ceramic is better for coffee mugs. Ceramic has also been the most common and more popular choice of material for coffee mugs. It retains heat well and has a bigger capacity compared to porcelain mugs. Ceramic is very accessible and can be quite a bit cheaper than porcelain.

Depending on your situation and needs, both porcelain and ceramic mugs can work. There is not a great deal difference between porcelain and ceramic mugs. But some crucial differences make it more beneficial to have ceramic coffee mugs for everyday use

Which Is Better For Coffee Mugs: Porcelain Or Ceramic

Ceramic appears to be the better option for coffee mugs. One of the best options for choosing ceramic is that it keeps the heat well, which most people want. You ideally want to enjoy your coffee over some time without it getting cold.

Another advantage includes accessibility. Most stores, if not all, will have a range of ceramic coffee mugs. This large range is slightly different from porcelain, as porcelain mugs and cups are usually less common.

In terms of cost, ceramic is cheaper than porcelain. Affordability is a pro for most, whether you are buying a set of coffee mugs or only buying a single one as a gift, perhaps. Technically, porcelain forms part of the ceramic family that includes fine china. However, the ceramic family includes earthenware, stoneware, and pottery.

Two of the best features that make ceramic so popular for coffee mugs are its large capacity and is less breakable. A large capacity means that more significant amounts of coffee can go into the cup – very beneficial for those needing a bit extra in the morning. A ceramic mug won’t break too easily but should still be handled carefully.

Porcelain mugs are much more fragile, are best suited for adults, and may not be the best for everyday use. They also usually have less capacity than ceramic mugs as they are smaller shapes. 

Together with fragility comes the thickness of the walls of the mug. As you may guess, ceramic has thicker walls, and porcelain has thinner walls. For durability and heat retention, ceramic is better here. But if you are looking for more elegant looking mugs, then porcelain would be a great choice.

When Would Porcelain Be Better For Coffee Mugs?

Due to porcelain being fine china, with thin walls and smaller capacities, it has mostly been used as a “fancier” coffee mug. It is usually white, making it a classic and elegant look.

These mugs are perfect for a get-together with family or friends where you want to show off your best china. Glass is another possibility for presenting fancy-looking mugs. Overall, porcelain is a good option for coffee mugs, depending on your goals and price point.

The glaze of a porcelain coffee mug is one thing to be mindful of when shopping for mugs. The glaze has to be of good quality, which makes the mug smooth on the outside. Therefore, if a ceramic and porcelain cup has the same glaze, the coffee tastes the same.

What might make porcelain better is that the glaze on porcelain is usually good, but the glaze doesn’t have to be the best quality with ceramic. Ceramic mugs are available with almost any type of glazing, so some cups may be rougher than others.

What Is The Best Type Of Ceramic To Keep Coffee Hot?

Overall, ceramic is better at keeping coffee hot than porcelain. The thickness of the material is what keeps the heat for longer. Stoneware is a very dense type of ceramic and has thick walls.

Stoneware is available in many colors and designs and sometimes has a quirky, arty look. It is a non-porous material; therefore, it won’t do anything to change the taste of the coffee.

If you want to maintain the heat for even longer, you can first fill your cup with the boiled water and let it sit for a minute. This is because stoneware mugs will be pretty cold at room temperature, and by heating them beforehand, your coffee will cool even slower.

Coffee changes during its cooling down phase. So it’s essential to slow down this process so you can enjoy the full flavors of the coffee. The taste tends to be best at around 120 and 140°F. Ceramic and, specifically, stoneware mugs are best as they do not absorb or add flavor to the coffee.

Are Ceramic Mugs Dishwasher And Microwave Safe?

Lastly, a great advantage of ceramic coffee mugs is that they are both dishwasher and microwave safe. Remember to check for any metal details on the mug, as this will make it unsafe for microwaving. For all items you want to put in the microwave, it’s a good idea to check the labels

You can do an easy and quick test to see if your coffee mugs are microwave-friendly. Fill your mug halfway with water and microwave this for 30 seconds. Feel the temperature of the mug and the water. If the mug is hotter than the water, the cup is not quite microwave safe.

Ceramics are mostly dishwasher safe, whereas it is better to hand wash porcelain mugs. The mug’s glaze is what makes it durable and protects it during the dishwashing process.


The best material for a coffee mug appears to be ceramic. This observation is purely based on affordability, accessibility, good heat retention, large capacity, and durability. Ceramic is also a prevalent choice for coffee mugs.

Porcelain is not a wrong choice at all. It is the better choice if you are looking for daintier and finer-looking coffee mugs. Both ceramic and porcelain have pros and cons, depending on how they are used in your setting.


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