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Some say that the best thing you can do to start the day off right is to make your bed, but true sages know the day’s success lies in one’s caffeine fix. Whether you prefer coffee, espresso, or tea, picking your poison is only one half of the equation. You also need the perfect mug—after all, it’s one of the first things you see in the morning! (Or the last thing you’ll see at night, if you like a cup of calming tea before bed).
Here, we’ve rounded up the best coffee mugs to help you elevate your coffee, tea, or cocoa ritual to something truly special.
The watercolor glazes on these modern mugs will make you feel like you're drinking out of a work of art. The minimal gold band adds an element of sophistication that elevates the mugs to entertaining-worthy status (although we wouldn't blame you if you drank your morning coffee out of these every day).
We can't get enough of this recent collection by famed ceramicist Niels Refsgaard for the Danish brand Dansk. The hand-painted decorative patterns, low profile, and large looped handles, give the mugs a classic, retro vibe that's fitting for the iconic brand. The size is perfect for an after dinner cup of coffee or tea, but might be a little small for anyone who likes a big cup coffee in the morning.
Because travel mugs protect a valuable resource (our caffeine fix!), we want them to be leak-proof and well-insulated. And because they accompany us everywhere—our commutes, our desktops, or that highly-instagrammable camping trip—we also want them to look good on the job. The travel mug that checks all the boxes? Ello’s Campy Vacuum-Insulated mug: modern engineering with a vintage aesthetic.
If you’re looking to achieve a sophisticated style on a budget, these Japanese-inspired ceramics from Year & Day won’t disappoint. They offer a set of four modern, minimalist mugs in a few different solid, matte colors, at least one of which is sure to complement your current dishware.
The De Stijl Dutch art movement lauded the simple geometry of the straight line, so it’s quite fitting that these De Stijl-inspired mugs from the MoMA Design Store stack together for defined, vertical emphasis (and the characteristic charm of opposing primary colors!). Both art-lovers and small apartment-dwellers will clamor over these stylish space-savers.
Two iconic brands—Parisian ceramic studio Astier de Villate and NYC-based shop John Derian—come together in the perfect marriage of refinement and whimsy. John Derian's colorful decoupage (inspired by 18th and 19th century found imagery) has garnered a cult following over the years. Paired with Astier's delicate, vintage-inspired ceramics, it's a special mug worthy of the most delicious cappuccino.
If you're looking for unique, earthy mugs to fill your cabinets, you'll love these picks from A Question of Eagles. The matte, earth-toned cups are dipped in shiny, white glaze around the rim, which drips down to form a unique pattern on each mug. We love the combination of textures—it makes the mugs more interesting to look at, but also fun to hold while you sip your coffee.
Earth + Element mugs exude a rustic, dappled, earthy charm, which is fittingly matched by the company’s commitment to the environment. Their goods are exclusively packaged in biodegradable or recyclable materials, and their care instructions arrive on a packet of wildflower seeds. (Just be sure you’re planting species native to your area!)