Which smart mug is best?

Those who enjoy sipping a hot drink throughout the day face a dilemma when it comes to keeping their coffee, tea or hot chocolate at their preferred warmth. Even heavily insulated mugs and containers lose heat over time, meaning that plenty of perfectly good beverages are destined for repeat trips to the microwave or down the drain.

To keep your favorite drinks hot all day long, you’ll need a smart mug. These drink containers keep their contents at whatever temperature you choose due to their customizable electronic heating elements. The Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug allows for user control over your beverage’s temperature in a travel-friendly container.

What to know before you buy a smart mug

Smart mug types

  • Travel smart mugs include features that make them uniquely suited for drinking on the go. Their heating elements and battery are built-in, and many are designed to draw power from the outlets found in today’s cars. They typically hold more liquid than standard mugs and have a sealable lid. Due to their size, they may be cumbersome to drink from or store.
  • Standard smart mugs more closely mimic the look of a traditional coffee mug. They need to be placed on their included charging pad to keep continual heat. The charging pad is also usually where you will find your temperature controls and other options.


Due to their electronics, all smart mugs require hand-washing. Some models include inserts that can be placed in the dishwasher, but the other parts of the device will still need special care and consideration when it comes to keeping them clean and sanitary.


The electronics inside a smart mug run on batteries. To function, your smart mug will require regular charging, since a drained battery will prevent you from taking advantage of its features.

What to look for in a quality smart mug

App support

Many popular smart mugs allow you to use an app to control their temperature and customize other presets. This is convenient because you don’t need to be near your mug to tell it to start heating your beverage. 

Ease of use

Select a mug that is simple to use and has an easy-to-understand interface. Some mugs come loaded with features and smartphone notifications that might frustrate people who are just looking for a reliably hot drink. Avoid paying extra for smart features you won’t make use of.


Nothing says comfort like a mug filled with your favorite hot beverage. Surveys have shown that many people develop an emotional attachment to their favorite mugs as a result. Due to their technology and controls, many smart mugs look and feel more like kitchen appliances than something you may want to relax with. Select one that will be comfortable to use and enjoyable to hold. 

Battery life

While most smart mugs can function all day if they are resting on their charging coaster, battery life is limited when it comes to travel models. Select a smart mug with long battery life to keep you satisfied while on the go and keep you from needing to continually place your mug back on its charging pad.

How much you can expect to spend on a smart mug

Basic smart mugs can be purchased for around $40. However, leading models with advanced features and high-quality construction cost $100-$200.

Smart mug FAQ

Can you keep a drink cold with a smart mug?

A. No. Smart mugs are designed to keep liquids hot, not cool them.

Can you put a smart mug in the dishwasher?

A. No. Smart mugs require hand-washing because of their delicate electronic components. Running your smart mug through the washing machine will damage it.

Can you boil water in a smart mug?

A. No. These devices are meant to keep already hot drinks from cooling off, not warm up cold liquids. Additionally, they are unable to achieve the high temperatures required to boil water.

Can you put soup in a smart mug?

A. Yes. Any liquid food or drink can be kept hot with a smart mug.

Smart mug tips

Keep it charged

If your smart mug runs out of battery, you will find yourself back to square one. Keep your mug at full charge to keep your drink hot.

Find your comfort zone

Most people don’t have their perfect drink temperature memorized. A little trial and error with your smart mug will allow you to determine how hot you like your beverages and maintain that consistency with every new drink.

Protect your investment

Name-brand smart travel mugs are expensive. Avoid potential theft by not leaving them in your car unattended.

What’s the best smart mug to buy?

Top smart mug

Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug

What you need to know: This smart mug is stylish and efficient, with a long-lasting battery and included charging coaster.

What you’ll love: You can use this mug with or without its included app. It features an easy-to-read temperature display and has a sleek, modern design.

What you should consider: This model’s app can be cumbersome to use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond

Top smart mug for the money

Smart Temperature Control Travel Coffee Mug 

Smart Temperature Control Travel Coffee Mug 

What you need to know: This mug is specially designed for travel and plugs into your car’s power outlet.

What you’ll love: Easy-to-read display makes setting your ideal temperature a breeze. It is available in multiple colors.

What you should consider: Users have reported they wished this mug held more liquid and that its lid can leak if it is tipped on its side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2

What you need to know: This smart mug’s comfortable design and handy LED make it the perfect desktop companion.

What you’ll love: This smart mug will keep your beverage at your desired temperature for up to 1½ hours, or all day long if kept on its coaster. It features a customizable LED that lets you know your drink’s status.

What you should consider: Some people find this mug’s app unreliable and frustrating. However, it can be used without it. It is not suitable for travel.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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