Personalized Coffee Mugs Buying Guide
Posted April 25, 2016

How to Choose the Best Coffee Mug

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Coffee mugs are one of the most popular promotional items, and rightfully so. About 83% of adults drink coffee in the United States, with average consumption being 3.1 cups per day. You can practically find a coffee maker in every office, restaurant, gift shop, and home—all places where your company’s name can be visible. Finding the perfect custom mug for your audience might be a challenge, so we put together this guide to help match your audience’s needs with the right personalized coffee mug for your brand. First, consider what type of mug you need, as well as what material. There are also other factors to consider before purchasing your mug, such as price, unique features, where it’s made, how quickly you need it, and environmental aspects. It may seem like a lot of information, but we’re here to help you every step of the way to finding your perfect mug.


Here are our six most popular coffee mug types – diner, travel & tumbler, camper, bistro, classic, and café. Each has their own distinct characteristics.

Characteristics Pros Cons Recommended Use

Diner/Restaurant Mugs

Diner Coffee Mug

  • Classic diner mug style
  • Ceramic
  • Thicker body and handle
  • Variety of colors and sizes
  • Retains temperature longer due to thick material
  • Breakable
  • Home
  • Restaurants & diners
  • Hotels

Travel & Tumbler Mugs

Travel Coffee Tumbler

  • Most have spill free lids
  • Available in plastic and stainless steel
  • Some offer double-wall insulation or vacuum insulation
  • Variety of colors and sizes
  • Eco-friendly options available
  • Insulated
  • Many require hand washing
  • Can be heavier, depending on material
  • On-the-go lifestyles
  • Commuters & travelers

Camper Mugs

Camper Style Coffee Mug

  • Classic camping mug
  • Ceramic or stainless steel
  • Wide diameter
  • Some mugs are enameled
  • Lower price point
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry
  • Not as much variety to choose from
  • Camping & outdoor use

Bistro Mugs

Bistro Style Coffee Mug

  • Rounded & stylish design
  • Ceramic or glass
  • Variety of colors and sizes
  • Lower price point
  • Suited for round logos
  • Eco-friendly option available
  • Ceramic and glass materials can break easily
  • Home & office
  • Coffee shops
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

Classic C-Handle Mugs

Classic Style Coffee Mug

  • Ceramic & glass classic coffee mugs
  • Lower price point
  • Variety of colors and sizes
  • Full color imprint available on many
  • Ceramic and glass materials can break easily
  • Home & office

Café Mugs

Cafe Style Coffee Mug

  • Ceramic & glass mugs
  • Tend to be taller in stature
  • Modern design
  • Affordable
  • Variety of colors available
  • Ceramic and glass materials can break easily
  • Home & office
  • Coffee enthusiasts (since most are larger in size)
  • Hotels
  • Coffee shops

Diner & Restaurant Mugs

Diner and restaurant mugs tend to be heavy duty, with a thick body and handle which keeps drinks steaming hot for longer! They also give off that cozy old-time diner feel we all love. We offer our diner and restaurant mugs in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes, so you can find the one that matches up with your target audience’s needs.

Travel & Tumbler Mugs

If your customers have a lengthy morning commute or like to take coffee with them, travel and tumbler mugs are the only way to go. We have a wide assortment of travel and tumbler mugs to choose from, and some include vacuum insulation or double wall lining to keep drinks hot for hours. We carry travel and tumbler mugs in different materials and sizes, ranging from 10oz all the way to 52oz.

Brand recognition can play a large role in choosing a travel or tumbler mug. Consumers are more likely to use a travel mug from a brand they know and trust, since they’ll be carrying their mugs with them everywhere. Some of our top reliable travel and tumbler mug brands include:

  • Sovrano Travel Mugs: A quality brand offering many unique designs that won’t break the bank.
  • Contigo Travel Mugs: Very well-known and trusted drinkware brand. A higher price point, but these mugs offer innovative coffee tumbler technology such as a push button autoseal top!
  • Cutter & Buck Travel Mugs: Respected, upscale brand with high quality tumblers and mugs. A higher price point, but worth every penny!

Camper Mugs

Camper mugs tend to be wider in diameter and include a speckled finish. They’re also very lightweight, allowing them to be tossed in a bag and easily taken on camping trips. They have a lower price point and are available in both ceramic and stainless steel.

Bistro Mugs

With a stylish rounded design and a unique ear-shaped handle, bistro mugs are the top choice among many, especially coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, and hotels. Bistro mugs offer a distinctive look and they’re a great choice for displaying logos with rounded edges or flowing script. We offer many affordable choices in ceramic or glass, with over 15 colors to choose from.

Classic C-Handle Mugs

Our classic c-handle glass and ceramic mugs are extremely popular due to their low price point, classic look, and wide selection. Whether you’re stocking up on these for the office or handing them out at tradeshows, these custom mugs are a fantastic all-around gift. If you’re looking for a more modern twist on this classic mug, check out our selection of bistro mugs.

Café Mugs

Café mugs tend to be taller and hold more coffee than the average mug. Our café mugs feature sleek and modern designs, with plenty of room for displaying your brand’s logo. They are available in over 15 colors and range from 9oz to 18oz.


Now that you’ve chosen your preferred type of mug, the next step is determining the right material, which will depend on what specific qualities you are looking for. The most popular materials include ceramic, glass, stainless steel, plastic.


Ceramic mugs are durable, non-permeable, and feature a hard, smooth exterior, making it a great surface to beautifully and clearly display your logo. If you’re looking for a classic and budget friendly mug, ceramic is the way to go.

Pros Cons
  • Classic look
  • Budget friendly
  • Retains heat well
  • Non-permeable
  • Easy to clean
  • Can break easier than plastic and stainless steel
  • Heavier
  • Not recommended for traveling


Before choosing to purchase a glass coffee mug, consider its intended use carefully. Glass is classy, high quality, and non-permeable, making it a perfect corporate gift if you want to make an impression. However, these mugs are breakable and heavier to carry, so need to be treated with care. If you want the professional, classy look of a glass mug but don’t want to deal with the heaviness and fragility, a ceramic mug is the best choice.

Pros Cons
  • Great for iced coffee
  • Non-permeable
  • Long lasting
  • Breaks easily
  • Not recommended for traveling
  • Fewer color/style options
  • Heavier

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel mugs are durable, eco-friendly, and retain temperature better than any other material. If you plan on purchasing a travel or tumbler mug, stainless steel is the way to go, especially with options like vacuum and double wall insulation.

Pros Cons
  • Durable
  • Long lasting
  • Retains temperature
  • Many are vacuum insulated
  • Many styles available
  • Great for traveling & busy lifestyles
  • Heavier
  • Higher price point


Plastic is actually a very popular choice, due to its affordability and wide variety of designs. They make a great option for those searching for a travel mug on a budget! However, most plastic mugs do not retain heat for long periods of time. If this is a concern, stainless steel is the best choice for retaining liquid temperature.

Pros Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Wide assortment of options
  • Recyclable options available
  • Doesn’t retain heat as well


  1. Price

    We understand that you have a budget for your coffee mugs, and we’re here to help you get the best deal possible. We offer a wide variety of price options for our coffee mugs, making it easy for you to find the mug that fits within your budget constraints. If you are on a tight budget, we carry many affordable coffee mugs and depending on the quantity ordered, you can get your mugs for as low as $1.23 each!

    We want to help you find the perfect mug for the perfect price, so if you have any questions, call our team at 800-554-0127 between 9AM and 8PM ET on Monday through Friday.

  2. Lid Styles & Special Features

    There are a variety of lid styles and special features your travel and tumbler mugs can have, each having their own advantages.

    1. Common Lid Styles

      • Press-On: Easy press-on lid for ceramic travel mugs. Not recommended for those concerned with leakage and spillage.
      • Twist-On: Easy twist-on lid for ceramic, plastic and stainless steel. Not recommended for those concerned with leakage and spillage.
      • Push-On: Many push-on lids will feature a slide-lock drink opening and all have an easy push functionality.
      • Thumb-Slide: Perfect for avoiding leakage, so this is a great option for those who will be taking their mug on the go. Available in plastic and stainless steel, differing per mug.
      • Push Button Autoseal: The best option for avoiding leaks and helps to retain temperature longer. Available for some travel and tumbler mugs.
    2. Special Features

      • Double-Wall Insulated: Great for allowing your drinks to retain desired temperatures longer and helps to prevent dents when dropped! Many include a stainless steel exterior and BPA-Free plastic interior. Available for many different travel and tumbler mugs. One of our most popular double-wall insulated tumblers is the Evolve 16 Oz Infinity Tumbler, with double wall plastic insulation. Affordable and offered in many different colors.
      • Vacuum Insulation: Our vacuum insulated mugs offer exceptional temperature retention – keeping your drink hot for hours. Insulation is a premium feature, but worth it for those who take their mugs on the go. A great vacuum insulated mug is our 16 oz Morph Vacuum Travel Mug, which features a snap closure to keep your beverage from spilling.
  3. Eco-Friendly

    People greatly appreciate eco-friendly promotional products as it becomes a growing concern for many. We offer a variety of customizable eco-friendly mugs, made with environmentally-friendly materials, which will appeal to those trying to live a greener lifestyle. We carry eco-friendly tumblers, ceramic mugs, and more!

  4. Made in USA

    Show support to US businesses by buying coffee mugs that were made stateside. Many customers appreciate knowing their products were made and decorated close to home, so check out our wide selection of coffee mugs made in the USA, including café mugs, classic mugs, travel mugs, and more.

  5. Free 24-Hour Rush Production

    If time is a big concern when ordering your custom coffee mugs, there is no need to worry because we offer free 24-hour rush processing and production on over 100 of our personalized coffee mugs. Our team guarantees that your products will be made with care and are available right on time. If you’d like to learn more about how our 24-hour rush production works, contact our team at 800-554-0127 between 9AM and 8PM ET on Monday through Friday.

  6. Multi-Color Imprint Options:

    We do provide full color imprinting options on a variety of our mugs. If you see a  symbol underneath a mug, that means full color imprint is included in the price. We’re here to answer any of your questions regarding imprint options and are available to call at 800-554-0127 between 9AM and 8PM ET on Monday through Friday.

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InkHead Promotional Products
We make quality custom promotional products designed by you.
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