There’s nothing quite like that first cup of coffee in the morning. The only problem is that many of us get so caught up with work that we forget about our coffee until we go to take a sip and find that it’s ice cold. But thankfully, there’s a handy solution that doesn’t involve making a fresh cup.
A mug warmer sits right on your desk and will safely keep your coffee warm for hours until you’re ready to drink it. Not sure which option is right for you? We’ll walk you through the 10 best mug warmer models for your home or office desk.
Our best pick is the VOBAGA coffee mug warmer. With three temperature settings and an auto shutoff feature, it combines ease of use with great performance.
For those on a budget, we recommend the Mr. Coffee mug warmer. Basic, low-profile, and affordable, it does its job without any bells and whistles.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Mug Warmers
The VOBAGA coffee mug warmer is a great choice for home or work. It features a sleek, minimal design, as well as a high-quality build and state of the art materials. You’ll enjoy three temperature settings, too, so your drink will always be at the ideal temp for you. Choose from 104 degrees, 131 degrees, or 149 degrees.
You can use almost any type of mug with this warmer, as well. It is rated for use with ceramic, metal, glass and other materials. The unit also automatically turns off after four hours, so you never need to worry about accidentally leaving it on. This coffee mug warmer is heat resistant, fire resistant and spill proof, with an expected lifetime of 100,000 uses. Whether you’re searching for one for personal use or as a gift, this mug warmer is an excellent choice.
Mr. Coffee has been a household name for decades and this mug warmer is exactly what you would expect from the brand. Its slim design is unobtrusive in any home office or at work, and the extra-long cord means that you have an easier time plugging it in. With 17 watts of power, your coffee or tea will always be the right temperature.
You can use almost any type of coffee mug with this warmer aside from plastic or paper, which could be damaged. To use the warmer, simply power it on and turn it off again when you’re done. Note that this unit does not have an auto-off function, so you must manually switch it off.
Cleaning is a breeze with this unit, too. Unplug it, and then simply wipe down the surface with a damp cloth (wait for the warmer to cool if necessary).
3. Disney Mickey Mouse Mug Warmer
Are you a Disney lover? Perhaps you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who is. This Disney Mickey Mouse mug warmer is the perfect addition to any desk, whether at home or work.
The black and red design and mouse ear logo on the base tie directly in with the included 10-ounce, ceramic mug. However, you can use any similar mug with the warmer. Note that the logo is also the on/off indicator light, so you always know when the unit is on.
The extra-long cord ensures that you can easily plug in wherever is convenient. When you’re done using it, just turn it off (no auto shutoff).
4. Norpro Decorative Cup Warmer (5569)
Want to add a touch of style to your home or work desk while keeping your coffee or tea nice and warm? This mug warmer from Norpro could be a great choice. The unique white and gray exterior design mimics the look of natural stone, while the non-stick hot plate wipes clean easily.
The power cord measures a full 60 inches, so you can easily plug it in wherever you want. With 24 watts of power, your beverage will stay warm for hours, allowing you to take your time with it. Note that this warmer is compatible with most types of mugs, including ceramic, stoneware, and metal, but not with plastic.
When you’re done using it, simply turn the unit off. Note that this mug warmer does not feature an auto shutoff function.
5. COSORI Coffee Mug Warmer
Bring the clean, sleek beauty of stainless steel to your desk with this beautiful but functional mug warmer. COSORI’s design not only looks modern, but is also spill resistant, so you don’t have to worry about an accident shorting out the unit or damaging the display.
Speaking of the display, this mug warmer uses digital technology and blue backlighting to tell you the set temperature. Adjusting it requires nothing more than the touch of a button, and you can choose any temp from 77 degrees all the way to 131 degrees.
It also comes with an extra-long power cord, and the warmer works with glass, ceramic, and metal mugs. However, the manufacturer does recommend using a flat-bottomed, steel mug for the best results.
6. Home-X Mug Warmer
Want a way to keep your coffee or tea warm at the desk without adding unnecessary clutter? The Home-X mug warmer features a low-profile design and minimal appearance. However, it is still sturdily built for durability and longevity.
With 17 watts of power, you can easily keep coffee or tea at the right temp, and the unit is compatible with ceramic and glass mugs. Do not use it with plastic, steel, or stoneware mugs.
Note that this unit does not have an auto-off function. However, the power indicator light alerts you to whether the surface is hot. The manufacturer also recommends this as a base for wax warming.
7. Salton SMW12 Coffee Mug and Tea Cup/Mug Warmer
The Salton SMW12 makes a nice addition to any home office or work desk. Its low-profile design makes it unobtrusive, while still providing you with a convenient way to keep your coffee or tea warm for hours.
The warmer is rated for use with most types of mugs, including glass, metal, ceramic, and stoneware. However, do not use it with any type of plastic container.
In addition to warming coffee and tea, the manufacturer recommends this unit for use with wax warmers, as well as to keep sauces and gravies warm.
8. Smart Coffee Warmer by BESTINNKITS
Take the hassle out of keeping your coffee or tea warm with the BESTINNKITS smart coffee warmer. Simply set your mug on the unit, and it turns on. Remove your mug, and it turns off. No more worrying about whether you remembered to turn off the warmer or not.
This mug warmer is usable with most types of mugs, but the manufacturer recommends a thin-walled, flat-bottomed design for best performance. The mug must also weigh at least 13 ounces in order to trigger the auto on/off function.
The entire warmer is covered with a waterproof film so that spills won’t harm the unit and to make cleanup easier. It is also backed by a 24-month warranty.
9. Nicelucky Coffee Mug Warmer
Another state-of-the-art mug warmer, this option from Nicelucky is slim, sleek, and thoroughly modern. It features an all-black design with a red digital display for easy reading, and the extra-long cord makes plugging it in a breeze.
Unlike many other mug warmers, this unit can be used with a wide range of mug sizes, from five ounces all the way up to 21-ounce mugs and cups. You can also use ceramic, stoneware, glass, or metal, but avoid plastic containers.
The auto shutoff feature means that you never need to worry about leaving the unit on, and the one-touch controls make setting your preferred temp a snap. You can even choose between three preset temperatures. Finally, it is backed with a one-year warranty for your peace of mind.
10. BESTINNKITS Smart Coffee Set Mug Warmer
The BESTINNKITS 01002 Smart Coffee Set is an all-in-one solution that is perfect for the diehard coffee lovers on your gift list, or for your own desk. It combines gravity induction technology with a sleek, modern design that looks at home anywhere.
Simply place your mug on the warmer, and it activates. Remove the mug, and the warmer turns itself off. It’s that simple. With the long cord, you can also plug it in almost anywhere. This mug warmer features a waterproof design to help protect against shocks, but also to make cleanup easier. It is also fire resistant and shock resistant.
The included mug is designed specifically to work with this warmer. However, you can use other mugs or cups if you like. For the auto function to work, the mug must weigh at least 13 ounces. For the best performance, make sure your mug has a flat bottom.
Key Considerations When Buying the Best Mug Warmer
As you can see from the previous reviews, there’s a mug warmer out there for just about anyone. Whether you want something sleek and minimal, stylishly modern, or just the basics, there’s a mug warmer perfectly suited for your needs.
However, making an informed choice requires that you know a bit more about mug warmers, the technology used, and how it all comes together. Below, we’ll walk you through what you need to know when buying a mug warmer, whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
One of the most important considerations is the unit’s construction material. By this, we mean the outer housing of the warmer. You’ll find a couple of different options on the market today:
- Plastic – This is the most frequently used type of material. It is lightweight, affordable and relatively durable. However, thin-shelled plastic warmers offer less durability than those with thicker walls. White and black are the most common colors, but you’ll find a host of other options, including multicolored warmers and those designed to look like other materials, such as stone.
- Metal – Metal is used less frequently than plastic, but you’ll find a couple of examples in our reviews. Metal is durable and strong, and some options, such as stainless steel, can be quite beautiful.
The size of the unit is also important to consider. Yes, part of that is to make sure that it can hold your preferred mug, but you also need to make sure that it fits on your desk or counter.
Most of the mug warmers we reviewed are compact. The base is only slightly larger than the mug it holds. These are ideal for smaller desks or for cramped working areas where every bit of surface space must be utilized wisely.
However, you’ll find larger options on the market, including several from our list of reviews. Larger mug warmers are usable with a wider range of mug/cup sizes. You’ll also find that larger warmers are often (but not always) more powerful, able to keep larger volumes of liquid warm, and/or able to warm your coffee or tea to a higher temperature.
Finally, larger sizes often (but not always) go hand in hand with more advanced technology. For instance, two of the largest mug warmers on our review list include one-touch temperature adjustments and digital readouts. Smaller units are typically more basic, often offering only an on/off indicator light and providing no means to control temperature.
Which is right for you? Any of them can be. It’s really all about knowing what you want out of a mug warmer. Do you use a standard coffee mug and just want to keep it at a constant temperature for several hours? Then almost any option from our list will work. However, if you want a warmer that offers more adjustability in terms of temperature, you will most likely need to consider a larger size to accommodate that functionality.
All mug warmers must be plugged into an outlet, whether that’s in the wall or a power strip. Because of that, you’ll want to consider the length of the cord. A cord that is too short will limit where you can set the warmer, which may be inconvenient.
A longer cord lets you set up the warmer wherever it works best for you. If there is any excess cord, it can be bundled and then wrapped with a zip tie to keep it from being an eyesore. All of the mug warmers we’ve reviewed have long cords that allow you to set the unit up where it works best for you.
Heating Unit Size
When it comes to warming your mug, nothing is more important than the size of the heating element on the warmer. This is the circular area where you set the mug. Underneath is a heating element. The circular cutout is designed to allow maximum heat transfer from the element to the bottom of your mug.
Most mug warmers have a standard size heating area that’s just large enough for the base of an average coffee cup. However, if you drink from a larger mug, you might find that it does not fit into this area. Always check the heating unit size to make sure that it is large enough to hold your mug of choice.
“Warm” is relative when it comes to tea and coffee. For some, just above room temperature is more than fine. For others, the temperature needs to be closer to fresh-brewed coffee. Make sure you know the temperature capabilities of the warmer you’re thinking about buying.
The standard temperature for most mug warmers is around 110 degrees, although some are a degree or two lower or a degree or two higher. Basic warmers only provide a single temperature setting, as well.
However, some of the more advanced warmers on the market allow you to reach temperatures as high as 131 degrees or even higher. Others allow you to choose your own temperature from a range, or opt for one of several different presets.
When shopping for a mug warmer, think about your preferred temperature. Do you want to “set it and forget it”? If so, a basic model might be right for you. However, if you want to be a bit more in control, or prefer different temperatures for different beverages, then an adjustable warmer makes for a better investment.
For some people, there is only one choice of vessel. They have a preferred coffee mug or tea cup and will only use that one. For others, variety is the spice of life. The challenge is making sure that the warmer you choose is compatible with the drinking vessel(s) you prefer.
Most of the units we reviewed are compatible with a wide range of vessel materials. Ceramic, stoneware, glass, and metal are all pretty common options today. However, not all warmers work with all materials. Plastic is usually a no-no, but some warmers are only designed for use with glass or ceramic vessels. Others work better with metal.
Not only do you need to consider the material, but you also need to consider vessel size, shape, and bottom configuration. For instance, the two gravity induction warmers we reviewed work best with metal mugs with flat bottoms. Thick ceramic mugs and vessels with concave bottoms will not work as well (or possibly not at all).
Before buying a mug warmer, make sure that it will work with your vessel of choice. If you prefer a thick-walled, concave-bottomed ceramic mug, make sure that the warmer will heat it up. If you prefer glass, metal, or stoneware, find a compatible warmer.
Electronics and liquids rarely mix well. A single spill has the potential to short out your mug warmer, or even shock you in some instances. For safety, make sure that the mug warmer you choose is waterproof, or at least spill-proof.
If you were paying attention to the mug warmer reviews, you noticed that some units had to be manually turned on and off, while others offered an auto on/off function. Yet others had to be turned on manually, but had an auto-off function. Consider your options carefully here.
Manual On and Off: Most mug warmers on the market have a manual on/off function. There will either be an on/off switch on the base of the warmer, or one will be integrated with the power cord (usually a wheel-style switch in this case). These are the simplest to operate, but it can be easy to forget to turn it on or off.
These units have a bright power indicator light designed to help you remember to turn them off, and many feature a written reminder on the heating element surface, as well. Note that these will not turn themselves off – they will stay on until you turn them off. Because of that, they are usually lower-powered models to help reduce the risk of overheating and fire if left on for a long period.
Auto-Off: Some units have a manual on switch, but automatically cut themselves off after a few hours. Most units run for four hours, but some are adjustable. These are becoming more common on the market as more manufacturers realize the need for enhanced safety.
However, the feature is by no means universal, so if it is something you want on a mug warmer, read the product information to make sure it is available.
Auto On/Off: A select number of mug warmers feature auto on and off functionality. These are usually gravity induction models (there are two such models in our reviews). Basically, the weight of the mug is what triggers the unit to turn on. When you set the mug on the warmer, the weight closes the circuit and the heater turns on. When you remove the mug, the circuit opens and the heater turns off.
Because these mug warmers work based on weight, only certain mugs are compatible. For instance, the two included in our reviews require mugs that weigh at least 13 ounces. However, many of them have an upper limit, and mugs that are too heavy will not work with the warmer.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your mug warmer are both important considerations. Thankfully, there are simple way that this can be done. With most models, a clean, damp cloth is all that is needed to wipe up spills or dust from the surface. However, double-check the user manual or product information that came with your model. In no instance is a mug warmer safe to be immersed in water.
By this point, you should have the information necessary to decide which is the best mug warmer for your personal needs or as a gift. We’ve covered a wide range of models, from the very basic to highly advanced, sleek and modern to low-profile and barely visible. We’ve also discussed some of the most important features and functions to consider when shopping for a mug warmer, so it should be much easier to make an informed decision.