There’s a chill in the air, the theaters are full of Oscar bait, and one of your friends wants to go to a pumpkin patch next weekend. That’s how you know it’s fall. Obviously, you shouldn’t go to a pumpkin patch (pumpkins are available in grocery stores), and we can’t speak as to the quality of Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic diorama, but if you’re looking for a fun autumn activity, we suggest drinking something out of a mug.
Yes, a mug. Mugs are present January through December, but they don’t get the sort of yearlong recognition that plates, bowls, and cups receive. Right now, however, it’s mug o’clock. It’s time to hold your hot beverages close as you watch pumpkin carving tutorials on YouTube and attempt to knit a sweater. Any mug will technically do, but, seeing as you deserve the best, we put together this list of the absolute finest mugs you can acquire in exchange for money right now. These are the accessories of the season, in glass, ceramic, and more.
We’re recommending these products because we actually use, and like, them. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
The Mug You’ve Probably Seen On Instagram
Timeless. Comforting. Homespun. That’s East Fork in a nutshell, and if you have yet to make the acquaintance of this North Carolina-based ceramics company, it’s our pleasure to introduce you. Just like East Fork’s highly coveted bowls, plates, and serving dishes, these mugs are all handmade and come in a variety of rotating glazes. Harvest Moon (pictured above) is a nice upbeat option, but purists can go with your standard Eggshell.
A Mug We Think About Too Often
Another ceramics institution, Hasami Porcelain is for anyone who appreciates clean lines, functional design, and stoneware that looks infuriatingly good. Made in Japan from a mix of crushed stone and clay, Hasami’s (often unglazed) wares have a distinctly rough, organic sort of texture. If you prefer, there are glazed options as well, but we’re partial to the look and feel of these natural mugs, which come in a few different sizes.
In the back of your mind, you might be wondering why these mugs look distinct, yet somehow familiar. If so, you’re probably familiar with Dansk, the longstanding Scandinavian-inspired home goods company (recently acquired by Food52). Dansk’s most iconic piece of cookware is the Kobenstyle Saucepan, and these are pretty much that pan in mug form. Note the flared base, bifurcated handle, and relentlessly shiny glaze.
The One We Find At Boutiques
It feels like we see these Japanese mugs everywhere. Still, we wouldn’t call them ubiquitous or even mainstream. And that’s definitely a plus if, like us, you’re constantly worried about becoming cliché. The speckles and exposed clay base serve give these vessels personality, but the angular handle is the real selling point. (About 50% of any mug’s appeal lies in it’s handle.)
An Unusually Optimistic Mug
In a world where decor is trending toward an increasingly cheery, childlike aesthetic, the Poketo Rainbow mug is a no-brainer. With its desaturated rainbow motif and fifth-grade-pottery-class feel, this’ll help you recover from whatever noise your alarm makes every morning.
A Unique West Coast Option
We discovered the work of Portland-based Katie M. Mudd at West Coast Craft, and now we’re fans. Just look at these curved yet angular handles and the gently tapered shapes of the mugs themselves. Hands down, you’ll be the only one in your neighborhood who owns one of these.
Bright Mugs For The Color-Obsessed
As much as we love ceramics, we’re increasingly drawn toward glass mugs. We like the simplicity, and the colors are often a plus. Take, for example, these double-wall mugs from Poketo available in a range of hues that feel equal parts Y2K and 1970s.
The Mug That's Barely There
Similar to the glass options from Poketo — just a little smaller and lacking the double-wall construction — Hudson Wilder’s coffee/tea cups are for the true minimalist. If you tend to always wear the same color and decorate your home as if a gallerist might ask to borrow it for a show one day, these nearly-weightless vessels should be fairly easy to integrate into your lifestyle.
Simplicity In Mug Form
Is a mug still a mug if it doesn’t have a handle? Yes. According to Merriam-Webster, a mug is simply a “cylindrical drinking cup,” and that’s more or less what we have right here. These tulip-shaped Kinto coffee cups are made of heat-resistant glass with a double-wall construction for thermal insulation, and the subtle ridge in the middle acts as a sort of handle stand-in. If your home is getting too aggressively cottagecore and your friends have taken notice, use these modern-feeling mugs to balance things out.
The One That's Not Too Big
In addition to glass cups, Kinto also offers these stubby stoneware mugs in a few different glazes (some of which are currently sold out). With a capacity around 10oz, these mugs are on the smaller side, although that’s a big part of why we like them. Oversized mugs belong in gift shops and white elephant exchanges.
A Mug With Infinite Variations
Should you need a new hobby, you can always dedicate your life to collecting Studio Arhoj mugs. This Danish company has a seemingly endless supply of glazes, with new ones constantly hitting the market. Each mug is also hand-cast, so they all differ slightly from one another.
The Essential Diner Mug
Ah, the diner mug — so smooth, hefty, and utilitarian. You need a diner mug in your life, and, if you live in the NYC area, you might be familiar with Phoenicia Diner. It’s where a lot of people go for some pancakes or a tuna melt after aesthetically stomping around the Catskills for an hour or three. Grab one of their mugs online.
The One From The Future
Overall, we’re skeptical of technology. Some of it does seem alright, however, such as dishwashers, programmable greeting cards, and also this mug. OHOM’s Ui Mug uses magnetic induction to keep your coffee warm when you inevitably forget that you poured a cup, and the base also doubles as a phone charger. Staff Writer Anne Cruz swears by hers.
A Mug To Keep An Eye On
Inspired by the Bauhaus movement and the currently-trendy Memphis Group (who pioneered an aesthetic you might know as “the 1980s”), Not Work Related’s mugs are bright, playful, and perpetually sold out. Still, you should know about this ceramicist (Sarah Hussaini), and we encourage you to follow along to catch the next mug drop.
Another Barely-Obtainable One
Well, that mug sure looks cool. And the good news is: it’s sold out. Like so many other ceramicists nowadays, Lalese Stamps and her team at Lolly Lolly have found their work in high demand. If you want to snag one of these (or a variation) get your name on the waitlist on the Lolly Lolly website.
Something We'll Own One Day
Lastly, another consistently sold-out mug. If you find it annoying that we keep sharing mugs that you can’t actually buy right now, you should know that we’re equally frustrated. In fact, we’re pretty sure a few of these broad, rippled mugs from Mud Witch would solve most of our problems, similar to how having a child can always save a marriage. Follow Mud Witch on Instagram for shop updates and browse their website to see what mug variations you could potentially acquire.