What is the Difference Between Cup and Mug?

The Difference Between Cup and Mug

A cup is used for tea and is smaller. A Mug is used for coffee or chocolate and is thicker.

Both are drink wares and used to drink beverages like coffee, milk, tea or hot chocolate. Both are made of ceramic/porcelain materials though they are also available in stainless steel, metallic and glass versions too. The main difference between a cup and a mug is its capacity. A cup holds typically 6 fl. oz. of liquid, which is 180ml, and a mug typically 8 fl. oz. or even greater, which is 240 ml. Another difference is that a mug is a type of cup that is sturdier and comes without a saucer while cup and saucer are visualized as a pair. A mug can be with or without a handle on its side. A cup is used majority to drink tea and a mug for coffee or hot chocolate.

All information about the difference is based on the main usage in the world. This doesn’t imply that the properties are strictly regarded to a mug or a cup, there are also combinations available. Below are accepted usage and properties for a mug and cup.


Classic White Cup
  • Capacity of 6 fl. oz. (180 ml)
  • Thinner
  • Majorly used for tea
  • Made of ceramic but even other materials
  • Always with handle
  • Handle could be smaller and hold with 3 fingers
  • Comes with a saucer (drive a single unit)


Classic White Mug
  • Capacity of 8 fl. oz. (240 ml) or greater
  • Thick material
  • Majorly used for coffee and hot chocolate
  • Made of ceramic but even other materials
  • With OR without handle
  • Has a handle large enough for all fingers
  • Use by Companies as a promotional tools (e.g. print logo on)

Just finished unraveling the mystery of mugs vs. cups? Ready for a chuckle? Check out our Top Funny Coffee Mugs Collection to get entertained!

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