If you’re in a hurry and just want to know what the best coffee mug warmer is, I highly recommend the Nomodo Wireless Mug Warmer as the best overall option.
There’s nothing worse than getting distracted by meetings and emails, only to return to your desk and instinctively take a swig of tepid – or far worse – cold coffee
Microwaving it only nukes the flavor out of it. More often than not you end up wasting time and coffee getting another brew going.
The good news is that there are some really impressive mug warmers that will keep your coffee at a perfectly maintained temperature.
(Head back to my massive home coffee brewing guide when you’re done for more help with this side of kitchen life!)
To help you pick the right one, I’ve reviewed the following popular cup warmers:
- Norpro Decorative Cup Warmer
- Nomodo Wireless Mug Warmer – BEST OVERALL
- Cosori Coffee Mug Warmer & Mug Set
- Mr Coffee Mug Warmer – BEST BUDGET
- Home-X Mug Warmer
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Coffee Mug Warmer Reviews
All the following mug warmers do a great job of keeping your drink hot.
I’ve included some buying advice after the reviews though, in case you want to shop around a little more.
Norpro’s signature cup warmer features a non-stick heating element. It’s very easy to clean mug rings and other spillages from.
As for the “decorative” element, well, you’ll have to decide for yourself. Personally I think it looks as though it’s been dropped from a great height, but you may disagree!
Be aware that the heating element of Norpro’s warmer only covers around 3.75 inches. Any mugs that are larger than this won’t be evenly heated.
Although there’s no auto shut-off on the Norpro, I do like that there’s a very clear, red indicator light that makes it obvious it’s in heating mode.
That’s handy when you turn the lights off for the night and don’t want to accidentally leave it on overnight.
The cord’s a generous length as well at 60 inches. That should be more than enough to reach the mains socket, wherever you want to enjoy your coffee.
- Warms up very quickly and reaches a high temperature.
- The widest heating element I found reviewing the more budget-orientated cup warmers.
- If you like the look of the decorative features, it’s nice to have an appliance that isn’t boring matte black!
- Several owners have reported the device stops warming properly after around 6 months of use.
- No auto shut-off, so you’ll need to remember to disconnect this warmer when you’re finished with it.
- All elements of the warmer get extremely hot. Be careful handling this thing after switching it off.
The best thing about Cosori’s warmer is that it comes with a dedicated 17oz stainless steel, insulated mug. That way you know the coffee is going to be kept warm evenly – it’s designed to fit just so.
It’s flat-bottomed to aid that heat distribution, and the handle is insulated as well so it’s very comfortable to hold.
Remarkably for a product at this end of the budget range, it’s also got touch controls for adjusting the temperature. That temperature is also clearly indicated on the LED display.
The plate itself does get very hot – up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s good for keeping your coffee at a temperature of between 77 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall I’m impressed at how flexible this simple device is.
Finally, you can buy replacement mugs separately and at a reasonable price. They’re pretty durable, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to add more clutter to landfill if it does wear out over time.
This is one of the best options on the market right now, and I think it would make an excellent gift set in particular.
- Comes with a really high quality mug designed to work flawlessly with the warmer.
- A really smart design, with a clear LED display for temperature, and touch controls for heat adjustment.
- Cost-effective to replace the mug if it’s lost or becomes damaged.
- You need to be careful with your first few sips each time. The stainless steel mug gets very hot.
- I’d have liked a slightly bigger cup, given how well this holds the heat over time.
- The touch pad is extremely sensitive. If you brush up against the thing you may end up tweaking the temperature or switching it on.
If budget is your main consideration, then Home-X’s mug warmer is a really basic unit that just about gets the job done.
It’s a very simple on or off device, but like the Norpro warmer it has a very clear, bright indicator light so you know when it’s on.
That light is a little more obscured by the housing though, and it’s situated directly by the mains cable. If you’re plugging this into a wall directly behind the warmer, it’s not as easy to see.
The heating element is again quite small at 3.5 inches. You should be aware as well that it’s only designed to work with ceramic or glass mugs. Check the cups you want to use are compatible before buying.
Still, it’s a very lightweight device. If you want something inexpensive and travel-friendly it’s certainly a good option.
- One of the most travel-friendly cup warmers I’ve reviewed.
- Can also be used to warm scented candles. Useful if you like the smell, but have kids and want to avoid naked flames.
- Activity light is harder to see under certain circumstances.
- The switch is located some way down the power cord, which means you’ll need to bundle the cord on your desk for easy access.
- It’s a very basic bit of plastic. It’s like the base unit of a cheap electric kettle!
- Quite slow to get going.
Mr. Coffee has carved a well-deserved reputation for high quality coffee products over the years.
The company’s mug warmer is another very basic affair, featuring a simple electric plate. It does have a generous 60 inch power cord though, so you can use it throughout the home.
It has a very small heating surface of just 3.25 inches, which is pity. I’d definitely recommend checking your cups will fit first.
If you’re buying with budget in mind first and foremost, I’d certainly recommend Mr. Coffee’s mug warmer over the Home-X device.
Because of Mr. Coffee’s reputation, you can have a little more certainty about its build quality and durability.
- A tried and tested brand delivering a dependable, no-frills coffee mug warmer.
- Easy to pack up and take wherever you need warm coffee.
- Surface is very easy to clean. Just give it a wipe down with a cloth once it’s cooled down.
- A generous cord length makes it easy to use all around the house.
- The heating element is the smallest of all the warmers I’ve looked at. Make sure your favorite cup will fit!
- The activity light is quite dim compared to other coffee warmers.
- Not the hottest warmer on the list, but good enough to just about get the job done.
- Heating surface isn’t entirely flat, which means there’s minimal contact between the heating element and your mug.
Finally, we have Nomodo’s combination charger, coffee warmer and drink cooler!
If you want maximum flexibility then this is the desktop option to go for. It does a pretty good job of keeping coffee hot, as well as keeping cold drinks chilled. I was really impressed by it.
There’s an added bonus for picking this one up too.
A dedicated wireless charging point means you can pop your phone on the other side of the warmer, and keep the juice flowing.
Personally I get quite nervous about putting expensive gadgets next to drinks that might spill. If you’ve lots of space to play with on your desk though, you’ll be less worried about this.
Just be aware that your devices will need to be QI-wireless compatible for the charging to work.
You also get a pretty high quality mug out of the box. As with the Cosori set I really appreciate this kind of addition, as you know the heat will transfer evenly, and your coffee won’t suffer as a result.
- Does a really good job of both keeping mugs warm and cooling cold drinks.
- Built-in charging point (for Qi-compatible devices) reduces desk clutter.
- Fan cools your phone while it’s charging up.
- The supplied cup looks smart and feels durable.
- Like the Cosori mug, you need to sip carefully at first or risk burning your lips.
- Makes a little more noise than the other warmers I’ve looked at.
- The charger isn’t quite as zippy as the product listing claims.
- The cup’s great but could be a little larger.
Of the five mug warmers I’ve reviewed my personal favorite is the Nomodo Wireless Mug Warmer.
I like the flexibility of being able to warm a cup of coffee or keep a can of Coke nicely chilled during the summer. It does a good job of both.
You don’t have to use the wireless charging point if you’re worried about spillages. If you’re not fussed about that then it‘s a really handy way of saving on desk clutter too.
Click here to find out more and read other reviews.
Buying a Coffee Cup Warmer
The coffee cup warmers I’ve mentioned in this round-up review are the best available today.
If you do want to look at other options though, these are some of the buying factors you need to think about.
The Different Types
You don’t just have to go for the standard heating plate. For the sake of thoroughness, here are the different types of mug warmers you can readily find:
You can think of these as little electric coasters, but designed specifically for keeping your coffee warm. These are a very good option for general use, and are commonly used for working at a desk.
Electric Cup Warmers
AKA the “smart mug”. These are fancier versions of the common travel mug, they’re heavily insulated, and are capable of retaining heat to a precise temperature of your choice. Expect to pay a premium for this kind of heated coffee mug though.
USB Mug Warmers
These are very much like the electric hot plate warmers I’ve already covered. As the name suggests though, these are powered through a USB hub. If you’ve got a USB mains plug, you can of course use them anywhere in the house.
Just watch out for cord length here. If you have a cluttered desk and you plug this thing directly into your laptop, you run the risk of making a very messy and potentially expensive spill!
Thermos Travel Mug
These have become a very common sight in recent years. They’re not so much an active warmer as they are a well-insulated thermos that passively retains the heat of whatever you put in.
Wireless or Cord?
I strongly advise against a cordless or battery-operated warmer. I’ve yet to use one that’s powerful enough to do the one main job you really need it to.
Many manufacturers have tried to overcome the problem – every one I’ve tried has disappointed.
It’s much better to find one with a discreet cord, and accept that it’s a necessary part of owning an appliance like this.
On that note, how long should the cord be on your cup warmer?
Generally speaking, you’ll want it to be as long as possible. That way you’ll have more options for positioning the warmer around the house, where mains socket distances will vary.
You can always tie a long cord up to make it shorter, but you can’t stretch out a short one!
Consider the footprint of the mug warmer.
If you’re going to use it exclusively in a cramped space like a busy work desk, you’ll want to be able to tuck it out of the way.
If you think you might take it with you on your travels, make sure it’s as small as possible and that the cord can be easily bunched up to save space.
You should also consider the diameter of the heating element so you can be sure your favorite mug will fit.
It’s worth noting that the vast majority of cup warmers are positioned around the same low price point.
For that reason, I would definitely recommend choosing something at the higher end if it’s at all possible.
A few extra dollars goes a surprisingly long way with these devices. They tend to be more durable, which means you’ll get a longer use out of it. That by itself will save you money in the long run.
As I’ve already mentioned though, be prepared to pay significantly more for the latest smart mug technology. Really think about how much benefit you’ll get if you go down this route.
Although these are very simple devices, with extra investment you can get some really useful bonus features:
Auto Shut-off: I’m naturally nervous about leaving heating appliances running unattended. If you like the peace of mind that comes with an auto shut-off, definitely factor it into your buying considerations.
Adjustable Temperature: If you really care about keeping your drinks at a certain heat, you can buy smart mugs that adjust the temperature automatically. This is typically the most expensive option though, so be prepared to pay a premium.