What is an Electric Mug Warmer?

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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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An electric mug warmer is a piece of equipment that looks much like a coaster on which a drink would be rested in order to prevent rings from forming on a table. An electric mug warmer, however, is generally thicker than a coaster and may be slightly larger in circumference than a standard coaster. An electric mug warmer is designed to provide a person with a place to set his or her hot drink, such as tea, coffee, or cocoa.

When placed on an electric mug warmer, the drink maintains its desired temperature regardless of how long it takes to finish the drink. Therefore, the user never needs to worry about the drink getting cold. At the same time, the electric mug warmer does not cook the drink or heat it beyond its original temperature.

Although the electric mug warmer was originally designed with drinks in mind, it may also be used to keep bowls of soup warm. The circumference of an electric mug warmer is generally large enough to accommodate the bottom portion of a soup bowl. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to eat the soup from a mug in order to take advantage of the benefits of an electric mug warmer. A high-quality electric mug warmer also comes complete with an easy to clean surface. In this way, any accidental spills can be easily wiped away from the surface.


Another form of an electric mug warmer is a stainless steel mug designed to be plugged in. This type of electric mug warmer has a receiver in the bottom of the mug that allows a plug to be inserted in order to heat up the mug. While the liquid inside becomes heated, the insulation around the mug prevents the outside from heating up and burning the user’s hands. Generally, this type of electric mug warmer has an automatic shut off point once the liquid inside reaches a pre-determined temperature.

An electric mug warmer is not the same as a thermos. A thermos does not utilize electricity in order to keep liquids inside warm. Rather, it relies solely on the insulating properties of the materials used to make the thermos. In addition, liquid in a thermos will eventually get cold. Liquids heated with an electric mug warmer, on the other hand, will never get cold as long as the electricity is present.


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Post 3

@pastanaga - I've heard the opposite is the main problem, especially with USB mug warmers. Every time one of my friends gets one they end up complaining that they just don't do very much. They aren't hot enough to make all that much of a difference to the drink.

If I was going to get one I'd read the reviews very carefully to make sure it's not going to be a dud.

Post 2

@irontoenail - Well, being warmed from the bottom means that they would take advantage of convective heat transfer, so I don't think that would be an issue. That means that the liquid that was warm would rise to the top, and the liquid that was still cool would sink, so it would be closer to the source of the heat.

As for a desktop mug warmer being safe or not, considering how hot my laptop sometimes gets, that's probably not that much of an issue. You couldn't keep a cup at the same temperature it would be right out of the pot, but then you probably don't want to drink it at that temperature anyway.

Post 1

I don't know about having a mug warmer. I tend to think that if a cup of coffee isn't drunk relatively quickly, it's not going to taste all that good, even if it is still warm.

And I doubt that a mug warmer could keep it at a good temperature without becoming dangerously hot anyway. Most hot beverages need to be hot, not just warm and if they are being warmed from the bottom, it would need extra heat to make a difference.

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