The Standard Coffee Mug Dimensions

(Edited on 2014-08-26 to add volume information and additional measurements)

Despite all the thing that have been standardized in this day and age, one of our most important tools has so far escaped standardization: The coffee mug. At least I couldn’t find any such standard.

Everyone knows what the usual cylindrical coffee mug looks like, and they are somewhat similar in their measurements. There are, however, differences in the mugs from different manufacturers. They are clearly out to create the same product, but without international standards, the results are inconsistent.

Case in point: Here is a picture of five coffee mugs, and their measurements:

mugs

Diameter Diameter inc. handle length Height Height of handle 3 Wall thickness Measured volume (ml) Calculated volume (ml) Handle to bottom Mug bottom thickness 4
1 81 120 92 72 75 2 6 300 301 10 8.5
2 82 120 95 74 6 ? 1 3275 ? 1 ? 1
3 81 120 95 71 6 340 320 9 9.5
4 82 121 97 72 6 375 341 11 8.5
5 82 125 99 73 7 335 300 12 16.5
Edit 2014-08-26:
1 I appear to have misplaced this mug between the initial measurements and the volume measurements.
2 Re-measuring showed a different value, which I consider correct.
3 Measured from the point where the inside diameter of the handle is the highest. On mug #1 the handle actually widens all the way to the wall, whereas on the other mugs it starts to get narrower again before connecting with the wall.
4 Measured along the inside wall of the mug. Many mugs have a concave bottom that’s thinner in the center.
5 Guessing a bottom thickness of 10mm.
The calculated volume differs from the measured volume in nearly all the cases. This is most likely due to the taper of the wall thickness, as well as the fact that the profile of the bottom is not square. I double checked my volume measurements, so they should be fairly accurate.

This is a sorry state of affairs. No two mugs are the same, despite two of them having been ordered from the same custom mug service.

Some findings based on the measurements:

  • The diameter seems fairly consistent.
  • The handle width differs markedly in only one of the mugs. Mug number 5 has a handle that’s too long; The increased length of lever combined with the decreased ability for the fingers to support the side of the mug make it less enjoyable to hold cup number 5.
  • The mug height has a fair bit of variation.
  • The handle height also varies a lot.
  • The wall thickness (measured at the thickest point, the wall tapers towards the top in all the mugs) is fairly consistent.

All in all, mug number 5 is bigger than the other ones in nearly all the dimensions, making it the odd one out. Clearly not standard worthy. Other than that, going with the averages gives us a nice set of dimensions.

So, I hereby declare the Standard Coffee Mug Dimensions v1.0 to be as follows:

  • Outer diameter (a): 82mm
  • Outer diameter + handle length (b): 120mm
  • Height (c): 95mm
  • Handle height (d): 73mm
  • Wall thickness (e): 6mm (tapers down at the top of the mug)

Added 2014-08-26: Standard Coffee Mug Dimensions v2.0 defines some additional measurements:

  • Handle bottom to mug bottom (g): 10mm
  • Bottom thickness (f): 10mm

mug

If you are a coffee mug manufacturer, please update the dimensions of your mugs accordingly. Thank you.

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15 Responses to The Standard Coffee Mug Dimensions

  1. Forest Mars says:

    MongoDB in particular is one of the worst “offenders” if you are looking for standards compliant coffee mugs. Furthermore, their mugs are not event internally consistent as to the dimensions and volume from one to the next.

    Perhaps their coffee mugs will be… (wait for it)… eventually consistent.

    ƒ

    ps. full disclosure: I <3 my mongo mugs; they're practically the only ones I use. anymore.

  2. McDuff says:

    I myself am working on some mug designs and stumbled on this to look for the beginning base. Measuring the mugs in my cupboard most fall around the 98 height and 80 wide for that style. Of course I have a few of the narrower but taller variety. I think more needs to be set like the aim for a specific volume of fluid, this would in turn mean the length of the taper would need to be limited to, perhaps at the spot where that volume is reached to allow some ease to not spill when being carried. Given the nearness to a round number I was going to attempt my mugs at an even 100×80. I think round numbers make standards simpler to follow.

  3. McDuff says:

    Oh and another thing I noticed was the handle thickness and depth changed greatly by a few mm also.

  4. helene says:

    Despite the fact that this made me laugh, I have to thank you for your research, but I need dimensions for other mugs, and you did not say how much they hold, in ounces please. May I just comment that I was looking for this because:
    my espresso machine won’t accept mugs that size, it’s just too big. The only mug I can use is the Beatrix Potter mug with one broken handle (I am so grateful it had two of them in the first place) because it is shorter. Also, I would not want a big tall mug for my coffee anyway.
    So, here I am, browsing the Emma Bridgewater website, trying to understand if a half pint mug is the same as a baby mug and which is the size I want. (‘short and wide’ does not seem to bring up many usable answers.) You have given me the beginning of an answer.
    See, I have given you a sequel idea for this post. You’re welcome.

    • amplifier says:

      Alas, it appears that I don’t have anything at home that I could use to measure the volumes of the mugs. I’ll get back to this once I find something.

      • Keith Newnham says:

        Put it on scales, fill with water!! 1gram = 1ml of water!!

        • amplifier says:

          That would actually be a good idea, if only I had a scale. But now that this was mentioned again, I remembered that now I do have some disposable mixing cups at home, so I can measure the volume directly.

        • amplifier says:

          I have now added volume information in the table!

        • Paul Judik says:

          I recommend filling your mug with beer, drinking it, blowing into a breathalyzer then analyzing the results. For greater accuracy try drinking 10 mug fulls of beer and divide the results by 10 😉

  5. hollingsworthless says:

    So I was searching for a similar analysis of a standard coffee mug’s volume. I decided to do the math. Assuming uniform wall thickness in sides and bottom, the formula would be:

    π((d/2 – t)^2) * (h – t)

    where d = outer diameter, t = wall thickness, h = height, so:

    π((82mm/2 – 6mm)^2) * (95mm – 6mm)=
    π((41mm – 6mm)^2) * (89mm) =
    π((35mm)^2) * (89mm) =
    π(1225 square mm) * (89mm) =
    ~3.14159(109025 cubic mm) =

    ~342511.84975 cubic mm
    ~342.5 cubic cm (mL)

    which ends up being about 1.45 cups of coffee.

    • amplifier says:

      I’ve now used this formula to calculate an expected volume for the mugs, not taking into account the taper of the side walls.

  6. Jeramy says:

    Ha! Why standardize the mug it though? Diversity is healthy!

    I can sort of sympathize with you… Coffee pot makers do a similar thing. No one can agree how big a cup of coffee needs to be when the obvious answer is: 7.2 ounces.

    • amplifier says:

      I wouldn’t mind if the mugs were clearly different, but the manufacturers seem to be trying to make the same product and failing miserably. If you want to make a different mug, like null or null or null , hey, no problem!

      But if you’re trying to make a standard coffee mug, stick to the standard. Order, I say, Order!

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