Your Guide to Drinkware

  • Mar 13, 2022

Mugs, tumblers, and bottles…oh my! There is an abundance of variety available when it comes to promotional drinkware, which can make it difficult to decide what is the best choice for your brand. With this short guide, you’ll learn the difference between the various styles of drinkware and the most common uses for different types of beverage holders. You’re on your way to becoming a drinkware aficionado!

Cups vs. Mugs

 Cup  Ceramic Mug

In some places, the words “cup” and “mug” are used interchangeably. Cups and mugs are both open containers used for drinking and holding beverages. In fact, a mug is a kind of cup! The defining factor that sets one apart from the other is the handle. Mugs typically have handles, whereas cups do not. Other notable differences include materials: cups are usually made of plastic or acrylic, and mugs are generally ceramic or stainless steel.

Mugs are great for hot beverages, like coffee or tea. Typical mugs hold anywhere between 8 and 16 ounces of liquid and come in an assortment of styles. Some of the more popular mug styles include the bistro mug, which is tapered toward the bottom and includes an ear-shaped handle; the camp mug, which has an enamel coating and a wider lip at the top; and the classic mug, which is essentially a cylinder with an attached c-shaped handle.

 Classic Mug Enamel Mug  Bistro Mug 

Drinking glasses also frequently get lumped in with cups. The major difference between a drinking glass and a cup is the material. While a cup is made of plastic, acrylic, or metal, a drinking glass is made of glass. Examples of drinking glasses include pint glasses, stemless wine glasses, and lowball or old-fashioned glasses.

 Stadium Cup  Paper Cup  Pint Glass

Promotional cups come in a few styles, the most popular of those being stadium cups, which are made of plastic and come in all sorts of sizes ranging from under 8 ounces to 32 ounces or more. There are also paper cups, for coffee and other beverages, and plastic cups like the kind you get sodas in at fast-food restaurants.

Tumblers vs. Travel Mugs

 Straw Tumbler Travel Mug 

Tumblers and travel mugs are likely the two drinkware items most often confused with each other. They have many similarities- both are often insulated, and both come in a variety of materials including stainless steel and acrylic. However, there’s one big difference that separates the two. Travel mugs, much like typical mugs, have handles, while tumblers do not. Tumblers can also be identified as different from travel mugs because many styles include a straw and lid, where the travel mug only has a lid.

Tumblers are available in many different styles. Some of the more popular varieties include the stainless steel tumbler, which is made of steel and is generally double-wall insulated; acrylic tumblers that often have a straw and lid, and can be either single- or double-walled; and the stemless wine tumbler, which is shaped like a stemless wine glass and can hold either your coffee or your wine- we won’t tell either way!

 Stainless Steel Tumbler  Tumbler Wine Tumbler 

Travel mugs, just like tumblers, come in all sorts of different materials and styles. Many travel mugs are made of stainless steel with plastic handles, though some are entirely plastic. These mugs are almost always insulated to keep your beverages hot on the go.


With the recent push in popular culture away from single-use plastics, reusable promotional bottles have become increasingly common. These beverage receptacles feature a body that can hold anywhere from 6 to 40 ounces of liquid, depending on the size, and a lid to keep everything contained.

Bottles can be separated by their lid type: there’s the sport bottle, with a push-pull lid; the twist-top bottle, with a lid that twists off; and the straw bottle, that features a straw for drinking which often flips up from the top of the bottle and folds down to prevent leakage.

 Sport Bottle  Twist Bottle  Straw Bottle

Drinkware comes in all shapes and sizes. Now that you know the defining characteristics of the major types, you’re ready to choose the perfect style for your brand. No matter what kind of drinkware you’re looking for, we have hundreds of styles! Contact us today to learn more.