Skip to Content
For The Essentials is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Candle Warmer vs. Mug Warmer: How to Tell Them Apart?

Candle Warmer vs. Mug Warmer: How to Tell Them Apart?

Some people may confuse a candle warmer with a mug warmer because some designs almost look and function the same. Both gadgets use heat to warm either a beverage or melt a candle to release the fragrance. However, key features can help you differentiate the two gadgets.

Candle warmers melt fragrance wax, while a mug warmer heats a cup of tea or coffee. They may be compact and easy to use or look similar, but they serve different purposes.

While many people consider them the same, and many even use them interchangeably, significant differences set them apart. Read on to find out the differences between candle warmer and mug warmer.

What are Candle Warmers?

Candle warmers are electrical devices typically used for melting wax, mostly the scented type. They melt scented candles to disperse fragrance into the air.


It works by producing heat from top to bottom and on the warmer’s sides. It melts the scented wax without the presence of a real flame since you don’t light a wick.

What are Mug Warmers?

Mug warmers are electrical devices designed to hold different cup designs. These mug warmers have an electrical plate at the bottom that provides heat to keep the cup’s content warm.

VOBAGA Coffee Mug Warmer

Despite the two products having similar end goals, they are distinct and stand out individually.

Below you find some of the differences that make them unique. You will know which of the warmers you need by the end of this write-up.

What are the Design Differences?

One of the ways these warmers differ is in their design. Mug warmers often come fitted with one heating plate that warms up the drink in your mug. The plate resembles a thick and big coaster with an indentation that holds the cup in place.

The plate comes in numerous decorative, minimalistic, and wooden designs.

Candle warmers are available in various designs and can either be plate candle warmers, lantern-style candle warmers, or crock warmers. All these candle warmers have a variety of sources of heat.

A good example is the plate candle warmer can accommodate different jar sizes since its heat comes from the gadget’s bottom section. In contrast, the lantern and crock-style warmers are more artistic than functional.

The crock warmer heats from the sides, and the bottom generally resembles a small crockpot. The warmer often gives the candle a fast and even heat. Lastly, on the other hand, the lantern-style warmer produces heat by melting the candle wax from the top.

Design Difference of Mug Warmer

When the wax surface melts, the fragrance disperses into the air.

The mug and candle warmers are both available in a variety of materials. You can get either of them in stainless steel warmers, silicon warmers, ceramic warmers, or rubber warmers. In addition, some of the warmers have an advanced design that may include water-resistant features, an LED heat auto display, and anti-slipping surface property.

What is the Difference in Working Mechanism?

The candle and mug warmer differ in their working mechanisms. Note that the plate-styled candle warmers typically work the same as mug warmers. These warmers have heating coils that provide the link to the heat source. The heat transfers, warming the liquid in the mug whenever the mug is on top of the heated plate.

On the other hand, wax melts when placed on the heated plate of a candle warmer. However, this does not apply to the crock and lantern-styled warming gadgets.

Mug warmers are also diverse. Some come with a cord that connects to the heat source, while others come with USB cables that connect to laptops. It is also possible to find cordless mug warmers, making them portable and easy to use regardless of your location.

Working Mechanism

On the other hand, candle warmers must come with a cord to allow prolonged use.

Mug warmers have sufficient energy or heat to keep your beverage hot, but they don’t boil it. In addition, several mug warmer designs allow users to select the temperature they prefer.

Some people love their coffee or tea lukewarm, while others would want it steaming hot. Candle warmers may not have such additional features.

How to use Candle Warmers

Candle warmers melt candles to release fragrance into the air. It is often used in spas and homes when trying to refresh the space or for aromatherapy. Fortunately, several candle warmers are available in the market to choose from.

It is also possible to use the candle warmer to heat tea or coffee, only that the beverage should be in small quantities. Generally, mug warmers are more powerful and hence can handle more beverages.

How to Use Mug Warmers

Mug warmers are excellent for people who want to drink warm drinks constantly. The mug warmer designs can accommodate different mug shapes and designs. As a result, you can comfortably use the mug warmer anywhere. The mug warmer can also work or serve similar purposes as candle warmers when needed.

Consider investing in a good quality mug warmer if you prefer owning multipurpose warmers instead of getting the candle and mug warmer separately. Always check reviews and buyer guides to ensure you settle for the best quality mug warmer.

Reviews will let you know if the mug warmer you choose can also conveniently work as a candle warmer if you want to choose a multipurpose warmer. Not all warmers are best suited for you so take time to find out which one would.

Final Thoughts

Compare Candle Warmer

Buying a candle warmer or mug warmer does not have to be complicated. Choose a warmer that matches your needs. Depending on the design, you can use some candle warmers and mug warmers interchangeably. Factor in all considerations, and choose a product that has positive reviews.

Check out testimonials and reviews on whether you want a multipurpose warmer or would be comfortable buying mugs and candle warmers separately. Whatever you settle on is majorly based on personal preference. Just be sure that you are getting value for money.