Which stoneware mug is best?

A stoneware mug is recognizable for its memorable style, with a textured surface and a handmade feel that gives it a personal, intimate and cozy vibe. What could be better for warm, comforting beverages such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate? It’s not just for looks, either. Stoneware is durable, too.

Whether you’re looking for a full set or just one special mug you can rely on, there are plenty of colorful stoneware options. Check out the Denby Halo Mug for a simple yet beautifully crafted stoneware mug with a lovely color palette.

What to know before you buy a stoneware mug

How it’s made

A stoneware mug is shaped from clay and fired at very high temperatures until it is vitrified, which means that the materials are transformed into glass. This provides the mug with a sheen while making the clay less porous and hard to chip. Stoneware is less prone to staining than your average ceramic and holds heat for longer. The finished product often has an artisanal look to it.

Care and use

Stoneware is durable and versatile. It can go in the oven, microwave and freezer. Most stoneware mugs are officially dishwasher-safe but retain their original look better if you hand-wash them. Use warm water and a nylon scrubbing brush to remove unwanted residue but stay away from abrasive chemicals. Don’t use a citrus-based dish soap, as it can harm the mug’s exterior.

Stoneware mug shapes

While there are dozens of stylish differences when it comes to types of stoneware mugs, the mug’s purpose is usually dictated by its general shape and how many ounces it holds.

  • Standard mug: Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, this is your traditional everyday mug for tea, coffee, hot chocolate and even ice cream. It holds around 8-16 ounces, but extra-large versions hold up to 21 ounces.  
  • Tea cup: Smaller and daintier than a tea mug, this cup is usually patterned with a matching saucer. It holds about 6 ounces.
  • Espresso mug: This is very small, and looks like a cross between a coffee mug and a tea cup, almost like a mug for children or dolls. It holds about 3 ounces.
  • Travel mug: This is a tall mug that comes with a lid to prevent spills. It usually has a large handle, but the ones without handles are more convenient for slim cupholders. It holds 12-18 ounces. 

What to look for in a quality stoneware mug

Rich color

Stoneware mugs are known for their heft, texture and deep colors. A stoneware mug should have rich, beautiful color that looks custom. The color should work with the texture to create a tactile beauty, eye-catching from a distance. One of the most noticeable facets of stoneware is how colors bleed into each other, often creating a gradient effect or lovably imperfect lines that look hand-drawn.

Consistency

One of the great things about stoneware is how each piece looks a little different, but there should be consistency when it comes to quality. Every stoneware mug produced by a manufacturer or artist should be durable, attractive and chip-free. If you are considering a custom mug and are unsure, look at reviews to confirm that buyers are consistently happy with the quality.   

Comfortable grip

A stoneware mug should have a handle wide enough to be held securely without being so large or wide that it’s heavy or awkward in your hands. The handle needs to be durable but also stylish. A decorative handle with finely crafted detailing or flourishes can elevate an ordinary mug into one that stands out from the rest.

How much you can expect to spend on a stoneware mug

A single stoneware mug costs $12-$30. A set of two costs $18-$40 and a set of four costs $25-$120.

Stoneware mug FAQ

How is stoneware different from earthenware?

A. Stoneware is a high-fired clay that is hard and non-porous, while earthenware is a low-fired clay that comes out a little coarser and more porous because it has not been vitrified. 

How is stoneware painted?

A. Stoneware is fired in the kiln before it is painted with an underglaze that provides the color. Then it is placed back in the kiln and fired until it is vitrified. 

How long does a stoneware mug last?

A. A stoneware mug can last for years. It is more likely to break through human error, such as dropping it on the floor, than by wearing out from use.

What’s the best stoneware mug to buy?

Top stoneware mug

Denby Halo Mug

Denby Halo Mug

What you need to know: This practical, earth-toned mug has a decorative handle and gradient rim. It holds 10 ounces. 

What you’ll love: The blues and browns are rich and textured. It’s well-made, lead-free and comfortable to hold. It’s microwave-, oven- and freezer-safe.

What you should consider: There aren’t other color options in this design.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s and Wayfair

Top stoneware mug for the money

Bosmarlin Large Geometry Stoneware Coffee Mug

Bosmarlin Large Geometry Stoneware Coffee Mug

What you need to know: This geometrically patterned mug is available in green, blue, grey and red. It holds 21 ounces.  

What you’ll love: It’s durable with a simple, yet stylish modern pattern. It’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe. It’s lead- and calcium-free.

What you should consider: The pattern is only available in one size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Food Network Biscotti Mug Set

Food Network Biscotti Mug Set

What you need to know: This is a set of four mugs, all matching in off-white with brown lips. It holds 13 ounces.  

What you’ll love: The set is beautiful and costs the same as some single stoneware mugs. The mugs are large and durable, with a vintage look. They are microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

What you should consider: They are a little heavier than you’d expect. 

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s

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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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