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Porcelain Vs Ceramic Mugs: Which Is The Best?

May 23,2024 | TeaTsy Team

Porcelain is made from refined clay and has a translucent texture. Ceramic is made from a mixture of clay, minerals, and water and is more porous compared to porcelain.

In the following sections, we'll dive into the key differences and benefits of these two types of mugs to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

What Is Porcelain?

Porcelain is a ceramic material made by firing a mixture of refined clays, including kaolin, at very high temperatures, usually 1200 to 1400 degrees Celsius (2192 to 2552 degrees Fahrenheit).  

The firing process creates a non-porous surface, which means that porcelain will not absorb liquids. Due to this property, many tea enthusiasts prefer to make their tea in a porcelain tea pot. It ensures the purity and flavor of each tea brew.

Porcelain has a glass-like vitreous surface that is smooth and translucent. Porcelain is resistant to scratches and stains but is also very brittle.

Porcelain  Mugs

What Is Ceramic?

Ceramics is a broader category of clay products than porcelain, made from a mixture of different minerals such as clay, quartz, and feldspar. 

Most ceramic mugs are made of earthenware or stoneware. These materials are fired at lower temperatures than porcelain, typically between 1800°F and 2400°F (982°C and 1316°C). This process results in ceramic mugs with some unique characteristics.

Ceramic is generally denser and heavier than porcelain. This density gives ceramic mugs a solid, solid feel in the hand and is often preferred for everyday use. Such as ceramic teapots.

Certain types of ceramics, especially earthenware, are more porous than porcelain. If not properly glazed, this porosity can cause the material to absorb liquids and stains. However, most commercial ceramic mugs are glazed to create a non-porous surface that is easy to clean and maintain.

Ceramic Mugs

Porcelain vs. Ceramic Mugs

When you are shopping for porcelain and ceramic mugs, it is best to compare the differences between them first, so that your buying experience will be better and you can make an informed choice, the following content is about the main differences between porcelain and ceramic mugs:

Click here to learn the difference between a cup and a mug.


Porcelain Mugs

Ceramic Mugs

Temperature Tolerance

1200 to 1400 °C (2192 to 2552 °F)

1000 to 1150°C (1832 to 2102°F)

Material Composition

High Purity Clay

Made from various clays (earthenware and stoneware) fired at lower temperatures

Weight and Texture

Lighter weight, smoother and more delicate surface

Heavy texture and rough texture give it a sturdy and durable feel that is not easily broken


Non-porous, does not absorb liquids, stains, or odors

More porous, especially earthenware, but glazing creates a non-porous surface for ease of cleaning


Generally more expensive

Cheaper prices


Commonly used for fine dining, special occasions, and decorative purposes.

Suitable for daily use, casual dining and a variety of occasions.


Typically, Porcelain Mugs are not dishwasher safe, it is best to check the manufacturer's care instructions to confirm whether they are dishwasher safe.

Ceramic Mugs are generally dishwasher safe, and it's a good idea to check the manufacturer's care instructions to confirm whether they are dishwasher safe.


Knowing these above differences between the two, if you are looking to buy a new porcelain or ceramic mug, you can visit the Teatsy Chinese teaware website, where we offer a wide range of types of porcelain and ceramic mugs to choose from.

Below are 2 of the main porcelain and ceramic mugs products that we feature on our website:

Product Name




Pairs Well With 

“Mountain” - Handmade Embossed Ceramic Tea Mug With Wooden Handle and Removable Infuser


Natural Dehua Clay

Height 12cm, Length 13.5cm


Green Tea

White tea

Oolong tea

Pu-erh tea

Black tea

“Lucky Kitten” Porcelain Tea Mug with Infuser

Fine Porcelain

Width: 12.50 cm Height: 10.50 cm


Green Tea

White tea

Oolong tea

Pu-erh tea

Black tea


Porcelain Vs Ceramic Mugs: Which Holds Heat Better?

Listed below is a table comparing the insulation capacity of porcelain mugs and ceramic mugs, which will provide you with a safeguard for your usage needs:





Wall Thickness



Heat Retention

Generally lower


Best for

Short, hot drinks

Longer sipping


Is Porcelain Better Than Ceramic Mugs?

The choice between porcelain mugs and other ceramic mugs depends on their intended use. Porcelain mugs are ideal when elegance and a refined appearance are desired, as they offer a smooth, glossy finish and a lightweight feel. However, they may not be as durable as other ceramic mugs. Other ceramic mugs, such as stoneware and earthenware, are more robust and practical, making them better suited for everyday use where durability is a priority.

Are Porcelain Mugs Microwave Safe?

Yes, porcelain mugs are microwave-safe. Porcelain is a type of ceramic material with low water absorption, which means it won't crack or break when heated in the microwave. This makes porcelain a convenient and reliable choice for heating beverages.

What is the Healthiest Material for Mugs?

The healthiest materials for mugs include porcelain, ceramic, glass, and stainless steel. These materials are non-toxic, durable, and can withstand high temperatures, ensuring a safe and enjoyable coffee drinking experience. Each material offers unique benefits, but all are considered safe and reliable for daily use.

Which Type of Mug is Better for Heat Retention?

Ceramic mugs provide better heat retention compared to other materials such as glass or metal.

How Should I Care for and Maintain Porcelain and Ceramic Mugs to Ensure They Last?

While most mugs are dishwasher safe, it is best to hand wash them with a mild detergent and a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid abrasives or harsh chemicals that may scratch or dull the surface.


Through the above, you will have a better understanding of the differences between china and porcelain mugs, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, which will also help you to be able to make the right choice when choosing to buy china versus ceramic mugs.

However, your choice will depend on your own preferences, how you use them, and how much you value aesthetics and functionality.