What’s the difference between porcelain and ceramic mugs? Technically porcelain mugs are just one category of ceramic ones. Ceramic simply refers to any product made primarily from a nonmetallic minerals such as clay and then fired at a high temperature. The different kinds of ceramic mugs are defined by the type of clay used and the temperature at which they are fired. In general, ceramic mugs have thicker sides that are always opaque and their comparatively quite sturdy. Because of this, they retain heat longer than other mugs and in general, the ceramic mugs are dishwasher safe. Porcelain mugs are generally made from kaolin clay, feldspar, silica, and quartz fired at temperatures as high as 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. The mug vitrifies during firing so the surface will be non-absorbent this makes an exceptionally white translucent ceramic allowing light to show through. Porcelain tends to be a bit more expensive and hand washing is preferable. But they’re a great choice when durability is not a major concern and an air of elegance is desired. Fun fact: for a long time porcelain was referred to as China – fine china – because the process was developed in China. There you have it! All porcelain mugs are ceramic but not the other way around. Porcelain is fancy, translucent. Ceramic as a whole, is durable. Which you choose is up to you depending on the look the style you want, but either way you’re gonna get a great mug!