With the fast pace of modern life, it can be hard to find time for sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee before it gets cold. Whether you work from home or at an office, a mug warmer is a handy desk accessory that keeps your coffee, tea, or cocoa warm for hours, allowing you to sip on a comforting beverage even after getting called into a last minute meeting. A mug warmer can also be placed on your nightstand if you like to enjoy piping hot drip coffee or cappuccino while you get ready to start your day.
While mug warmers are generally designed to keep beverages hot, some models can also be used for other functions like warming candles or massage oils and heating up soup. Read on to learn more about how to find the best mug warmer for you.
- BEST OVERALL: NEW Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2
- RUNNER UP: nicelucky Coffee mug warmer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer
- BEST MUG AND WARMER SET: COSORI Coffee Mug Warmer & Mug Set
- BEST FOR DISPOSABLE CUPS: VOBAGA Coffee Mug Warmer
- BEST DECORATIVE: Norpro 5569 Decorative Cup Warmer
- MOST VERSATILE: Wireless Qi-Certified Fast Charger with Mug Warmer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mug Warmer
The following sections detail some of the most important qualities to keep in mind when shopping for the best mug warmer for your needs.
Mug warmers come in a range of sizes, though many are just slightly larger than the average coaster. They can be square, rectangular, or circular in shape. They typically have a surface area of around 5 to 8 inches in length with a height of 1 to 2 inches. Some compact models have very little surface area aside from the heating element, making them a good choice for desks or tables with limited space.
Wired vs. Wireless
Mug warmers can be either wired or wireless.
Wired mug warmers have either a USB charger or an AC power cord. Models that plug directly into a wall outlet tend to be more powerful, while models with a USB charger are convenient because they can be plugged into a laptop or a desktop computer. It’s important that the cord of your wired mug warmer be long enough so that it can be placed in a convenient location at a safe distance from your computer.
Wireless mug warmers don’t need a cord and instead require periodic charging. Alternatively, some mug warmers run on batteries. While wireless models may be more convenient for some users, note that these mug warmers are less powerful than their wired counterparts.
Mug warmers can be made from a variety of materials but are typically constructed from plastic or stainless steel and contain nonstick heating elements. Plastic mug warmers are generally the most lightweight and inexpensive options.
Stainless steel mug warmers are durable and provide a sleek, industrial look. If a mug warmer comes equipped with a compatible mug, it’s generally made from stainless steel or, alternately, has a stainless steel core and a ceramic coating.
Temperature Range & Controls
Coffee is generally brewed at around 200 degrees, and the ideal temperature to enjoy it is between 120 and 140 degrees. Most mug warmers are designed to maintain temperatures within this range so that you can enjoy a toasty drink for hours.
It’s important to note that most mug warmers aren’t powerful enough to heat up a beverage that has cooled completely. For best results, a hot beverage should be placed on the warming plate and should remain there when you’re not taking a sip.
The most basic models simply have one temperature setting, while more high-end products offer a range of temperature controls, allowing you to heat your beverage exactly how you like it. Some models have a light indicator to let you know when your drink has reached the desired temperature.
Auto Shut Off
Some mug warmers automatically turn off after a set amount of time. An auto shut-off function may be an important safety feature if you’re worried about accidentally leaving your mug warmer on. It’s also great for conserving energy and makes your device more eco-friendly. If you choose a model without this feature, it’s important to be mindful and ensure the mug warmer is turned off when it’s no longer in use.
Because mug warmers are meant to heat up beverages, it’s important that they are able to withstand the occasional spill. Most high-quality mug warmers have waterproof elements that are easy to clean, simply requiring a quick wipe down if any splattering occurs.
While a mug warmer is largely functional, you may want to match the device with the decor style of your other desk accessories, since it’ll be sitting at your workspace all day. Many models have a sleek, streamlined appearance that helps them blend in with your other electronic devices. Others have a more decorative look, with faux marble or wood grain finishes.
Our Top Picks
Now that you know more about mug warmers, it’s time to start shopping. The following picks consider all of the features above, including material, size, temperature range, and additional features. This list offers a variety of choices for a mug warmer that may suit your needs and budget.
The NEW Ember Smart Mug 2 is an innovative device that takes the standard hot plate-style mug warmer to the next level. The Ember system does include a charging coaster that is similar in appearance to other mug warmers, but it simply charges the mug which can then keep your beverage hot for up to an hour and a half at a time. However, if you keep the mug on the coaster it will keep your drink at your desired temperature all day.
This functionality sets it apart from most other models on the market because the mug doesn’t have to remain on the coaster to keep it hot. It allows you to set a specific temperature between 120 degrees and 145 degrees which can be controlled from an app on your smartphone. The mug has an LED light that lets you know when your drink is ready and a sensor that detects when the mug is empty so it can automatically power down.
The 10-ounce capacity Ember mug is made from scratch-resistant ceramic and should be washed by hand. It has a waterproofing rating of IPX7, meaning it can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water without incurring damage.
This nicelucky mug warmer has a compact design and features three temperature settings, letting you choose between 131, 149, and 176 degrees. It powers off automatically after 4 hours, but it has built-in memory that is capable of saving the last temperature setting you used so that it doesn’t need to be reset each time.
It can be used with mugs made from metal, ceramic, enamel, temperature-resistant plastic, and glass. It’s important to note that the warmer is not compatible with double-walled glass mugs or vacuum-sealed stainless steel travel mugs. It’s small at just 5.9 inches, by 4.27 inches, by 0.79 inches, and has a 24-watt power capacity.
This model from Mr. Coffee proves that you don’t need to spend a lot to get a high-quality mug warmer. The brand is known for its coffee makers, so it’s no surprise that they’re a go-to brand for mug warmers as well. This no-frills model is affordable and user-friendly, with a simple on/off switch and an indicator light letting you know when your coffee, tea, or cocoa is hot.
It has a 17-watt power capacity and, according to the manufacturer, it can heat up drinks in just 2 minutes. It measures 8.6 inches, by 5.2 inches, by 1.3 inches, and has an easy to clean surface.
This set from Cosori includes both a warming pad and a mug. The plate heats up to a maximum of 230 degrees, meaning that beverage temperatures range from 77 degrees to 158 degrees. The temperature is visible on an LED display. The mug is made from stainless steel and has a capacity of 17 ounces. It’s equipped with a cool-touch handle and a slip-resistant silicone sleeve.
The warming pad measures 5.4 inches, by 4.3 inches, by 0.7 inches, making it a solid compact option for those with limited desk space. While the heating pad is compatible with other mugs, it will perform best with the one included in the set.
If your morning routine involves grabbing a latte to go from your favorite coffee shop, this mug warmer from Vobaga can help you keep it warm all day. While most warming plates are only compatible with glass, metal, or ceramic mugs, this one can also be used with disposable paper cups.
The VOBAGA mug warmer has a 20-watt power capacity and three heat settings, allowing you to set the temperature to 104, 131, or 149 degrees. It automatically shuts off after 4 hours for added safety. The warmer base has a spill-proof design that resists damage from liquids. It measures 7.6 inches, by 5.4 inches, by 1.3 inches, and has an extra-long 60-inch power cord.
While many mug warmers on the market have a sleek, high-tech look, this one by Norpro has a faux marble finish that offers a more elegant appearance. It has a very simple interface with minimal controls. A neon light lets you know when the element is heated. One of the advantages of this model is its extra-long 60-inch cord, which is convenient if there isn’t an available wall outlet near your workspace.
The Norpro element has a diameter of 3.75 inches and the full dimensions are 5 inches, by 5 inches, by 1.25 inches. It has a 24-watt power capacity. The nonstick plate is easy to wipe down for a quick cleanup.
This device by Nomodo does much more than just keep your beverages warm. It’s a multifunctional product that can also keep a chilled water, a can of soda, or an iced coffee cool with its cooling pad. Plus, it wirelessly charges your smartphone with Qi technology. It works with any phone that offers wireless charging, allowing you to eliminate some of the cords from your workspace. The interface is simple: Press the power button once to activate the cooling plate, and twice to activate the warming plate.
It also comes with a coffee cup that’s the ideal size and shape for the warming pad. While the Nomodo device is compatible with other mugs, it works best with the one provided, because it’s specifically designed to transfer temperatures evenly. Its dimensions are 9.3 inches, by 6 inches, by 4.57 inches.
FAQs About Mug Warmers
Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about mug warmers.
Q. How do mug warmers work?
Mug warmers essentially function like miniature hot plates. They are powered by electricity and use a hidden heated coil to warm up your beverages.
Q. How do you use a mug warmer?
Most mug warmers are designed to maintain a beverage’s temperature. Many models may struggle to heat up a cup of coffee that has cooled completely. For the best results, place your hot cup of coffee or tea on the heating element and use it as a coaster by setting your mug back on the element whenever you’re not taking a sip.
Q. Are mug warmers safe?
Most mug warmers on the market are perfectly safe to use in your home or office. For added peace of mind, look for a model that has an automatic shut-off feature.
Q. How hot do mug warmers get?
Mug warmers generally heat beverages to between 120 and 140 degrees. However, the elements themselves can reach over 200 degrees.
Q. Can you put a paper cup on a mug warmer?
Some mug warmers are compatible with paper cups. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to establish whether it’s safe to use your mug warmer with disposable cups.
Q. Is there a cordless mug warmer?
Yes. You can find cordless mug warmers that run on replaceable batteries or can be recharged regularly. However, it’s worth noting their corded counterparts function more effectively, but if you prefer a cordless mug warmer there are plenty of options for you to choose from.