Originally Published: December 24, 2016
Updated: December 28, 2019
Question: Which mugs are Lead-free? What mugs do you use in your home?
Answer: When I first got my hands on a high-precision XRF instrument and started testing things for Lead, one of the very first things I tested was my favorite set of Chantal mugs. I actually had a whole set of these mugs in different colors and I had purchased them to go with my favorite Chantal tea-kettle. I was really surprised and upset that these mugs that I had purchased new at a reputable store in 2003 (made by what I assumed was a “reputable company,” no less) tested positive for Lead!
Those “favorite mugs” (pictured above) tested positive at 679 parts per million (ppm) Lead. Read more about XRF testing here!
Why is there Lead in mugs? How much Lead is “too much” Lead?
Total Lead content in the glaze or coating of modern mugs (as detectable with an XRF) is not regulated. As long as mugs are not leaching Lead at the time of manufacture (when they are brand-new), they are considered to be safe to use — even if the Lead content of the glaze is very high. However, for context, the amount of Lead considered unsafe (and illegal) in the paint, glaze or coating of a newly-manufactured item manufactured and sold as “intended for use by children” is 90 ppm or higher. The good news is that, since children’s items are regulated for total Lead content (as of 2008), newly-purchased children’s mugs legally must have coatings below 90 ppm Lead, and my findings have confirmed that manufacturers are generally complying with this law — although I recommend sticking with children’s items manufactured in 2011 or later, as it took a while for the companies and their supply chains to get up to speed in their compliance with the new regulations.
Since testing those first mugs, I have probably tested more than 1,000 mugs (they are one of the most popular things that people ask me to test and people often have collections of 20 or more mugs in their homes). Nearly all of the mugs I have tested have had at least some amount of Lead — some at ridiculously high levels (in the tens of thousands of parts per million!) added to many of the pattern transfers, or used as an ingridient to brightly-colored glazes that helps stabilize the color (as I understand it), but it is not necessary for this purpose — as some companies have demonstrated — it is quite feasible to make mugs that are completely Lead-free.
Please click here to see some #LeadFree mugs.
Can a Leaded mug poison the user?
Several years ago I learned of a case of a Seattle couple who were both sick — with an illness that their doctor was having difficulty diagnosing. After some investigation, it turned out that this couple were Lead-poisoned — from drinking their coffee from the same Leaded mugs each morning as part of their breakfast routine! Please check out the articles linked below for more information on that as well.
Coffee is very acidic (as are many teas, juices, and some other beverages) and will leach Lead from mugs over time (especially from mugs that have high Lead content, and are heavily used on a daily basis). This is even the case for mugs that ostensibly passed leach-testing at the time of manufacture.
If you have coffee every morning like I do, it is a simple investment in your health to make sure you have a Lead-free mug.
Click here to read about French presses
(my preferred way to make coffee)!
Other than possible free consumer goods XRF testing, which may or may not be available in your area, there is not a reliable, cost-effective consumer method for testing mugs for Lead and other toxic heavy metals. The most reliable “old-school” method for determining actual Lead content (as opposed to merely determining whether any is leaching at the time of manufacture) involves sending the mug to a lab for “digestive testing” — which is a method that traditionally necessitates complete destruction of the item that is tested — to determine the Lead content. That test generally costs in the $70 to $300 range per item, depending on the scope of the test (and also, unlike XRF-testing, can only determine the aggregate Lead content without a precise breakdown of the levels present in the surface glaze or coating vs. the levels in the base material/substrate)! Obviously, considering the inconvenience and expense of the existing testing options, it is much more cost-effective to limit your selection to known Lead-free options when choosing a mug!
#SaferChoice: Given the still-widespread use of Leaded glazes (and Lead-contaminated base clays) in ceramic mugs today, unless you have access to high-precision XRF consumer goods testing for testing every potential mug choice, it’s easiest/safest to just stick with clear glass mugs (so long as you make sure to avoid Leaded crystal)!
Click HERE to see some of the mugs I have tested for Lead — and their Lead levels.
Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links where a purchase made
after clicking will earn me a small commission without costing you extra!
Some Lead-free mug choices on Amazon:
The mugs listed below are mugs that are the same as (or similar to) the Lead-free (or Lead-safe) ones I have personally tested and some of the mugs we use every day in our home.
- These are the Lead-free mugs we are currently using in our home (by Duralex).
- Anchor Hocking 16-Ounce Glass Mugs
- Libbey 15-1/2-Ounce Tapered Mugs
- Libbey 13 oz. Robusta Classic Coffee Mug
- Luminarc Lead-Free Jumbo Mugs
- I don’t HAVE these, but I really would love to get a set! Insulated double-wall glass coffee mugs.
Other recommendations for Lead-free mug choices:
I recommend most new items from Ikea (although avoid the bright colors and decorations, as they have recently been testing positive for Lead again in some of these brightly-colored ceramic glazes!) and pretty much any clear glass mugs (except Leaded crystal). Most vintage clear glass mugs are either Lead-safe or Lead-free, too (again, make sure you look out for and avoid Leaded crystal, though)!
I used to recommend mugs purchased at Starbucks, because I had a streak there where every Starbucks mug I had tested was either Lead-free, or below 90 ppm Lead. However, that streak ran out recently (I think with the expansion of their mug selection – and likely the consequent expansion of the number of manufacturers they are using). So I no longer can recommend them for a guaranteed Lead-free mug.
Another great option for Lead-free mugs is something from a local potter who sources and mixes their own glazes. Potters will usually mark their wares “Lead-free” these days (if they are Lead-free), because that is a good selling point! If the mugs are not marked, just ask the potter if they know if they definitely use Lead-free glazes or not.
My favorite potter on the planet (who also does use Lead-free glazes) is Greg Williams/Ceramic Generations, of San Anselmo, California. I have known him for 30 years, and his pottery is so beautiful — each piece is a true work of art. He is an old-world artisan who still does business exclusively out of his shop and at craft shows, and does not have a website (but if you Google him you can quickly find his contact information)!
Read more about the concern for Lead in pottery here.
Things that I avoid when purchasing mugs:
- Avoid anything labeled “crystal” or marked “Leaded crystal” (exception: Libbey “crystal” mugs are Lead-free!)
- Avoid anything from Riedel or Waterford (just to be safe, since you don’t have an XRF at home to test those items yourself)
- Avoid anything mass-manufactured made of glazed ceramic (unless it is being sold as “Lead-free” – from a reputable company – and has been tested by a third party). Note: many products being sold as “Lead-free” have not been tested by a third party — and are, in fact, not Lead-free!
Continue reading below the image:
- Avoid anything with an enamel coating (like the contemporary one above — as well as those those classic speckled-blue-enamel-coated metal camping cups!)
- Avoid anything with decal image or logo applied to the surface inside or out (those decals are almost always very-high-Lead — especially if you can feel them with your finger tip / they are slightly raised above the rest of the surface of the mug).
- Avoid paint-it-yourself-pottery mugs (unless a known third-party has tested their glaze for total Lead content).
- Avoid Almost anything from a dollar store or thrift store (it’s just not worth the risk).
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you for reading!
Some articles that may be of interest:
2003 Chantal “Made In China” mugs
As high as 679 parts per million (ppm) lead
Non-detect for arsenic
These were my mugs (before I started testing everything I own with an XRF!) … I was totally bummed to let them go, but now I have only lead-free mugs in my house!
Thanks for all the information about safer mugs. I actually have Corelle mugs right now. =( I had considered going with glass ones like the options you listed but I found myself afraid the glass would explode and cause injury (I came across a ton of reviews describing that). So I started hunting around for additional lead-free options.
Some folks on Amazon are under the impression that these Le Creuset mugs are lead and cadmium free, and Wellness Mama endorses them as well. I was wondering if you’ve tested any? I know a lot of other Le Creuset items came back with lead, cadmium, and arsenic in your testing.
I may have tested some of those, but I don’t recall doing so (I have tested thousands of items and they’re not all stored in my head at this point!) However I HAVE tested some ceramic Le Creuset things that were positive for very high levels of lead, so when I have tested an item that is inconsistent in that way I am not comfortable making a recommendation. To wit; I recently tested a new white Corelle mug purchased in October 2016 with a set of Corelle dishes, and I was surprised that it was lead-free! Since I have tested so many of their mugs and found them to be high lead, and only tested this one that was lead-free – I am not willing to make a blanket statement about the newer Corelle mugs (like I could say “Newer Corelle mugs appear to be lead free” – but that would be an irresponsible statement as lead content is as much dependent on color as on age… and it is still possible that the new white ones are unleaded but the new ones in other colors may still have lead (as their recent counterparts have.)
Thank you so much for your swift and thoughtful reply. I truly appreciate all the work you do!
Emily H Eubank says
I have some old Centura Corelle coffe mugs. Have you tested them. They were my Mom’s and she has been dead almost 40 years.
Tamara- can you tell me the name of the corelle dishes that had the lead free mug?
What about Joyjolt?
So what is the pattern name of the white Corelle mugs you tested with no lead? I’d like to get some.
I really don’t recommend them – they vary batch-to-batch
Tricia Peterson says
I just got the set you said was safe, Corelle Bella Faenza. Then saw on Amazon the mugs sold separately had the California prop ⚠️
The mugs have trace levels of Lead – yes, that’s correct.
Are plain undecorated opal mugs lead free?
Do you have a recommendation on non glass, lead free mugs? Thank you so much for all you do BTW. You are a beacon of light in the fog. 🙂
All of the items I have personally tested from Ikea recently have been lead free. Some Ikea items might test positive for lead below 90 ppm and that is considered safe by all standards today (US and European), so Ikea is a good place to start if you want ceramic mugs. I don’t have any other recommendations though – in terms of another brand of ceramic mugs that have consistently tested lead free. I personally use a stainless mug or a glass mug… plus I have a few handmade ceramic mugs made by local artists that are also lead-free.
Thank you that is helpful. IKEA sounds like a good place to start. Do you have any recommendations about which colors might be more likely to be no lead vs low lead?
Todd Richardson says
I am looking for a stainless steel mug. I presently use a Yeti Rambler but have come to suspect that it has lead in it. Which stainless steel mug do you recommend?
This is a few years later, but I would would make an educated guess and say that you’re fine with your Yeti. If you visit their website, you will notice that they not only educate their visitors about Prop 65 but specify which products have the label (none of their ramblers).
However, if you’re still worried, you could try Hydroflask (newest models only though).
Beate Nilsen says
Seems to me, Ikea has a LOT of Made in China prods. Why do you think their stuff is safe?
I base my statements specifically on the XRF testing I have done.
Thank you for all the work that you do. My own mother like myself has a weakness for pretty crockery but I know the dangers of these seemingly innocent, everyday items and do not trust companies to be completely transparent about their products (I have e-mailed quite a few companies, all of which reply with a fairly standard response). I wish to replace our mugs and plates for the health of our family with a mixture of glass and ceramics. Do you still recommend the ceramic mugs from IKEA and which ones are currently lead free?
I googled “lead in Chantal tea pots” because I found a Chantal tea pot I really like. However, it’s made in China, 2003, and I wonder if it’s likely to have the high lead level you detected in the mugs you have.
Thank you ~
Approximately 6 years ago I purchased clear glass mugs with a pedestal base at the Dollarama Store. Is there heavy metal concern with cheap glass mugs?
I was wondering about Fiesta brand mugs?
They claim to be lead free.
I have a set of 4 mugs from them and drink coffee from them every morning.
Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information.
Mega gulp! Why do you warn against the speckled enamel mugs? My daughter’s Waldorf school uses them
They are almost always positive for lead, and sometimes very high lead.
Tamara, my child uses these in our home.
I am wondering if enameled items such as these that are made in Poland might meet higher standards than some of the others that are manufactured elsewhere. I purchased these a few years back with the understanding that enameled items like this are generally safe (I also have some Graniteware brand kitchen items and wash basin), and I tend to trust items from a reputable company like Nova Natural that sells items made from safer materials, often from Europe. Is this set something I should remove from our home?
I have a few Graniteware pieces at home because they claim on their website that their products are “lead free” & inert. I bought them when I tossed my non-stick several years ago. Have you tested any current/newer granitware brand pieces? They’re made in the USA & more black with speckles than blue. A lot of the blue speckled come from other companies out of China (not that I think everything from China is harmful).
I am not familiar with Graniteware as a brand. Here’s an affiliate link to one of their pots on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uehJwe
If this is representative of the types of pots and pans you are talking about, I have not found that type to be consistently lead-free. Look up “enamel” on my site and you will see similar items that I have tested (or enamelware.) https://tamararubin.com/category/enamelware/
Georgia Bolton says
I have a large porcelain cup made in Indonesia ..does it have lead
I just bought VM International (located in Riverside, CA) 14-oz. red coffee mugs. I found them at Smart&Final…The label says made in China. Do you know if these contain lead? Thank you!
Dianne Feeney says
Do you know if all Stainless Steel doing mugs are lead free?
There are ones for cold drinks like water and other for hot drinks such as the portable coffee mugs with lids and handles. Trudeau makes many styles.
Klean Kanteen insulated mugs are lead free. Not all brands are though. Some may have lead hiding in the paint or solder.
Are you testing lead content or lead leaching? Because I thought the numbers for leaching were MUCH lower than 90ppm.
Just lead content, as measured with an XRF.
Hello how come some plates and glasses have grayisb discoloration? Is that lead? Have Corelle plates too have grayish color starting to show…
It might be metal from your silverware scratching off on to the plates.
According to this page:
Cookware can leach no more than 3ug/mL (microgram per milliliter, also equivalent to 3ppm or parts per million) for flatware, and no more than 0.5ug/mL for things like mugs, cups and pitchers.
I recently bought a set of RCR Cristalleria Italiana lead-free crystal classes. Is it possible for crystal to be lead-free?
Shari Bayes says
Tamara, have you tested Fiesta brand mugs?
K patenaude says
Have you tested Disney mugs at all?
Yes… look up “Disney” in the search bar on this site.
Have you ever tested any items from Crow Canyon Enamelware?
I’d love to know this too! I was looking into enamelware such as roasting pans and have looked at Falconware but am not convinced they’re safe, then came across Crow Canyon for the first time and they actually claim they are lead free. I’m guessing someone may have to post you one to be sure though?
Laura Flaxman says
Would love to know about Crow Canyon as well. My children are currently using these. Tamara- I know you’re not taking unsolicited dishes in for testing right now, but if you’re interested in testing a piece by Crow Canyon I will happily send you one. Thanks!
Also interested in the crow canyon testing. It says lead free verified by third party testing on their website but would love to see their results.
I have been wondering about Padilla mug sets.. They have a unique Southwestern look and I’ve been thinking about buying a set. They claim ‘entirely lead free’
Another I’ve wondered about, I have a couple pieces from, is Sunset Hill Stoneware. They claim to be the ‘america’s cleanest greenest pottery’ I have a few of their souvenir-style mugs. Unfortunately for me they’re gigantic portions, but they are quite heavy-duty.
Thank you for testing items to help make our homes safer!
Am I correct in assuming that the only lead-free glass mug on your list is the one that actually says “lead-free and the others are lead-safe? The lead-free one happens to be the jumbo one, which I don’t really want; but if the others aren’t lead-free, I’ll go with it. Thanks for your help!
The clear glass ones are generally lead free (the modern/newly manufactured ones with no marks or writing.)
Hi! Firstly, THANK YOU Tamara, for all your hard work helping us all! It is definitely appreciated. I’ve been doing my own minor research as I switch to healthier choices and found that we have to beware that just because a particular dish tests positive or negative apparently doesn’t mean the whole brand is safe (or not). We also cannot judge by if something is white, or clear glass, made in China vs. France, etc. I just realized this while browsing the Luminarc catalog, where they have symbols on each style of dish/glass/etc to indicate different things, like “lead/cadmium free”, dishwasher safe, tempered, etc. I was shocked to learn that one company could make such a variety of products, which by our naked eyes, we would never know the difference between them!
I am not associated with Luminarc, nor have I even bought anything by them yet. I am merely sharing their catalog so everyone can see that SOME (even with designs & colors) are lead/cadmium free, while OTHERS (even clear glass) are not. So I guess we need to ask companies about very specific items when we contact them. Apparently we cannot judge ANYTHING with our eyes or even our common sense. And as you can see in this catalog, they have some children’s character dishware (Disney, Hello Kitty, Coca-Cola) and again, SOME is safe and SOME is not!! We cannot think “Disney” is a brand that makes dishes; they sell their images &/or have other companies make their stuff, and apparently don’t care what they use as long as it brings in the bucks. (sorry, true)
I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. I found a company called HF Coors it looks really promising. Do you have any experience working with this brand? They say they are made in America and lead and cadmium free.
I also found these double wall insulated glass mugs from Epare. They say they are made from Borosilicate glass.
Do either of these look safe and good to you? I wanted to check with the expert before I purchased. Thanks! And Happy New Year
Here’s an HF Coors mug I tested: https://tamararubin.com/category/hf-coors/
Those glasses ARE likely lead free, they are exactly the type of mugs I recommend. I haven’t tested that exact one but new clear borosilicate glass is generally a good choice. Here’s my affiliate link for that same product (I receive a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you if you purchase something after clicking on one of my links!) 🙂 http://amzn.to/2CYSpLe
I’d never looked at HF Coors until now… My husband and I are currently salivating over the “Mimbreno” line… Love these! Very expensive, though!
We usually drink out of glass mason jars. Do you know if these are safe?
Hi again, I found one other company claiming lead and cadmium free.
Their stuff is simple and classic looking, but all white. Let me know what you think!
Interesting. Based on the work I have done, it is possible they are basing their lead-free claims on leach testing, not on total lead content. I have not tested those.
Is cadmium ever found in plain clear glassware? I don’t know anything about it and I’m having trouble finding info. I am wondering about the Libbey Robusta coffee mugs (which you linked above) as well as some Luminarc “Baroque” drinking glasses (that I received as gifts). I am not even sure if the Luminarc are lead-free, as I can’t find info on it anywhere.
Not in my experience. (or if so very rarely, it’s not something I have made a note of.)
Have you seen this latest FDA report of lead in worldwide ceramic ware? Helpful.
This is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing it with me. I hadn’t seen it. Maybe this work is making a difference!
I just received a mug that was supposed to be made in England, Harliqun by Churchhill. On the box it says made in China. Is that the box or mug that is made in China?
Most likely the mug.
Alyson Coleman says
Are osaka boroscilicate glass mugs on Amazon lead free?
I’d have to see the product, but most borosilicate glass is lead free if it has no painted markings or decorations.
Alyson Coleman says
It has small white logo on the front of the glass. That’s it everything else is clear. There’s no colored paint.
The small white logo is usually lead paint, and it is often very high lead content lead paint (between 5,000 and 28,000 ppm in my experience.)
Alyson Coleman says
Well, I just bought these and I threw the box away to return em in so I’m stuck with em. Guess I just won’t the kids drink from them. I have a hard time finding coffee mugs that don’t have lead potential.
You can test the logo with a lead check swab, it will turn red if it is lead. Can you email me a picture of the cup/design? TamaraRubin@mac.com
Janet walker says
I have two favorite mugs that were gifts and can’t find out about lead…one is from lighthouse Christian products and the other from tri-coastal design (which has a raised “mom” that I can feel) and both made in China…how can I get info?
Most mug companies are not regularly testing them using an XRF. If you want you can e-mail me photos and I can make an educated guess, or you can scroll through the mugs I have tested and look for similar mugs. TamaraRubin@mac.com
Hi there. great info! I have been using simon pearce pottery for years along with their glassware. I assumed that this was all lead free cadmium free given the cost. I just spoke with a customer service agent from simon Pearce and was told that the glass does contain cadmium – no lead and the pottery is lead free/cadmium free. would you think that the cadmium in the glass is dangerous? I spend a fortune on this stuff bc I want to be safe and now I am surprised and disappointed to know that there is cadmium in the glassware.
I think it really depends on the levels and which components might have lead or cadmium. You could send me a picture and I could give you a better idea if I have tested something similar. TamaraRubin@mac.com
Krista Pederson says
Hi! I was wondering if dinnerware made in Germany is less likely to be leaded. I’m looking at Johan Haviland Bavaria white dinner plate set.
Nope. I have found some incredibly high lead pieces from Germany, both old and new!
I googled this topic after watching an episode of house in which he suggested someone always got sick because of his mug having lead. I’m an adult who drinks tones of coffee daily and have been suffering from a lot of cognitive issues. I had never suspected lead as a possible culprits. What are the symptoms of such an exposure ? Is there a way to heal after exposure ? My mugs are glazed and are from crate and barrel but they no longer sale them ( I got them in 2008) I happen to love these mugs, just noticed they are from china … do I need to throw them out ?:( thanks
Hi. Can you e-mail me a photo of the mugs? TamaraRubin@mac.com
Here’s a post I wrote about symptoms: https://tamararubin.com/2017/01/what-is-the-impact-of-lead-poisoning-in-adults-including-college-age-students/
Here’s a post I wrote about natural chelation: https://tamararubin.com/2017/01/natural-chelation/
I was looking for mugs on the Ikea website, and there they have some mugs that have a note “No cadmium or lead added” under the “Materials and environment” tab of each product, while there are some mugs that don’t have that description. Do you think those mugs that have “No cadmium or lead added” are safe to use? Thanks!
I haven’t tested brand new mugs from Ikea – so I can’t really evaluate that. In recent years nearly all th Ikea examples I have tested have either been negative for lead or came in well below 90 ppm. There was one exception that I recall but the year made was unclear.
It’s possible it is marketing and they have always been doing that (last 5+ years or so) but haven’t gotten around to switching their branding on all the models yet (perhaps they are doing additional testing and factory compliance before auditing that?) This is pure speculation though.
What about the Corelle mugs that aren’t ceramic but made of the same material as the plates? I am assuming the plain white versions are ok?
Yes – the plain white glass mugs should be negative or low in toxicants, depending on the age.
Is Rachael Ray Cucina dishwater safe from Lead & cadmium? I get conflicting info online. Thanks
What are your recommendations for travel coffee mugs. Non glass?
Cheryll Bennett says
I was checking one of my mugs with the company that makes them and they say lead free, califorrria compliant. I hope it’s true. Just in case you’re interested the company is Sunset Hill Stoneware and they make stone mugs here in the USA. https://www.shstoneware.com
Thank you for sharing this. Aside from the Ellen one Tamara tested and the potter she recommended here I have come up empty on finding a truly lead free mug. I’m either finding only claims that the glaze is lead free, or no claims at all.
I found the part on this website where they state both the clay and glaze are lead free for anyone interested:
though I do wish they had test results posted to back up their claims (haven’t found them yet at least).
Cheryll Bennett says
Here’s another “lead free” made in Bend, Oregon, mug from a local potter. States on website lab- tested. https://www.mugrevolution.com
I actually looked at this company but thought their information on their “nontoxic” clay was vague. They don’t list the actual MSDS from Clay Art Center (their supplier) so we would have to look it up ourselves to make sure nontoxic meant lead (and other heavy metals) free. Here’s the info I’m referring to:
Q: Do you make the mugs from non-toxic clay?
Yes. The clay that is used to make your mugs is certified 100% non-toxic, and is made from raw materials from the USA. The clay manufacturer, Clay Art Center in Tacoma, Washington states the following on the MSDS for the clay used to make your mugs: “This product (and all of its components) is in compliance with the U.S. EPA 15 U.S. C.2604 regulation. This product is certified as NON-TOXIC, and conforms to ASTMD-4236 and C-1023 under the federal Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA).”
I don’t personally know what any of that means and I don’t’ think the average person would either.
Thanks for checking. That response is typical, basically that the government ok’d it as non-toxic, therefore it’s non-toxic. Many don’t look beyond that.
if you use a ceramic cup that has a lead containing glaze, and you just drank hot coffee out of it, there is a chance that a few minutes of contact with the ceramic that the coffee would leach lead? or do you have to have hot liquid in contact with the ceramic glaze for a long time at consistent high temps?
I found some mugs that are made in Japan. On the bottom of them they say OTAGIRI, design. Gibson Greeting cards, inc. wondering if they are safe to use. Thank you.
Much “Made In Japan” pottery is lead-safe or lead-free, but not all. I cannot know for sure without testing, but generally “Made in Japan” is a good place to start!
I’m looking specifically for a “travel” mug to take tea or coffee to work in. It seems that nothing is safe—-I’ve been researching and finding there are all kinds of things that stainless steel can leach in, and then the glass travel mugs I have found, have either a plastic or silicone top to drink from. It seems you just can’t win. What is a safe bet for a travel mug?
Thanks for your great work!
Are all Libbys clear glass mugs free of lead & cadmium also are Cornell dish & mug sets that are made in usa free of lead & cadmium
I’ve been using glass coffee mugs for 25 years now. Mostly Libbey brand. I noticed you did not recommend the slightly smaller, traditional Irish coffee pedestal mug style in your recommendations above. Is that due to personal preference for larger size OR due to lead content? I’ve tried to find them in your index and via search, but none turned up. Have you tested these? I have just ordered more Libbey, 8.5 oz clear glass Irish coffee mugs, https://www.amazon.com/Libbey-2-Ounce-Irish-Coffee-Clear/dp/B004ZK5HLS/ref=pd_day0_hl_79_2/139-7887396-6567550?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B004ZK5HLS&pd_rd_r=242d020f-6945-11e9-aa29-13293a7f6817&pd_rd_w=ZDExJ&pd_rd_wg=Fr2RS&pf_rd_p=ad07871c-e646-4161-82c7-5ed0d4c85b07&pf_rd_r=18747FP9SXJFJ1NJ73WE&psc=1&refRID=18747FP9SXJFJ1NJ73WE
I didn’t read every reply but what I did read had no mention of Homer brand. They r USA made lead free dishes. A bit pricey but when u consider u and ur families health it’s worth it. U can buy as little as one dish or a place setting at a time. I love the great variety of color choices. I try to avoid China made anything especially toys. The high level of lead is allowed to be sold in the US but not in Europe. Many products made in China for us r not allowed to be sold in China. An other great example is candy w/ #40 red and #5 yellow. Manufacturers here and abroad make European bound candy w/ alternative safe dyes but use the unsafe dyes in the US destination because it is cheaper for them. We need to have better accountability for unsafe products allowed by our government. Sites like this is a big start in spreading consumer awareness. Thanks and keep it coming.
Hi Lee! Thank you for commenting. Here are some Homer Laughlin pieces I have tested: https://tamararubin.com/category/homer-laughlin/
I just read ur tips about keys. That’s scary not only r keys very handy but it’s teething infants that r readily exposed. Another very high unsafe item is hose fittings especially brass fittings. Children love to play w/ water hoses and put them in their mouths. All the pediatricians I have used lately do a lead exposure questionnaire. The problem is it’s almost exclusively about the date of homes and lead based paint. I had no clue lead was in so many other items. Maybe this questionnaire could ask about the child and if he has any symptoms that they could list for signs of lead poisoning.
Hi again Lee! Yes – that’s a good idea. Unfortunately the issue is that the most common symptom of lead exposure is no symptom at all (in terms of immediate exposure impacts). Symptoms don’t usually appear until some time later (except with an acute exposure like my kiddos have.) Here’s a post about symptoms: https://tamararubin.com/2017/01/symptoms/
Here’s a post about Lead-free hoses: https://tamararubin.com/2018/06/lead-free-made-in-the-usa-hoses-approved-by-lead-safe-mama-discount-code/
I also wonder about Graniteware. I have a few of their broiling pans. Their website has this under FAQ’s
Question: Is there any lead or metals that can leach out of the GraniteWare cookware?
Answer: No, GraniteWare is all natural, free of any unhealthy chemicals, PFOA or PTFE. Its pure porcelain surface is inert – it will not alter the taste, color or nutritional value of your food.
Hands full! Will respond a.s.a.p., but wanted you to know I saw your comment Danny!
Thank you! Hope its lead free !!
I took a look at your page of recommended lead-free or low-lead clear drinking glasses that are 10.5 oz, 16 oz, etc. I’m glad that the ones I looked at were all made in the USA (I try to only buy things made in North America when possible for me), but the flat-bottomed glasses looked like they weren’t capable of holding as much liquid as I’d like. I drink a lot of water, so it’s annoying to have to keep on getting up from my seat and walking to the kitchen to refill my glass over and over again. I think the largest one you had was maybe 16 oz? I think it didn’t have a completely flat base, which is what I want, because I put them in the dishwasher and I don’t want to have to deal with pooling of dirty water with bits of wet crumbs floating in it on the top rack, and then spilling onto the clean dishes below when I take them out of the dishwasher to hang on a hook so their bottoms (and whatever part of the outside the water happened to trickle down) can dry off, even though I had set my dishwasher to heat dry mode. I know IKEA sells some mugs that have a notch or two in their bottoms, so that the water doesn’t pool while it’s being washed in the dishwasher, but the capacity of the cups is still too low for my taste. I would only drink water from German steins if it was up to me! I like to stay as hydrated as possible! I’ve seen only a couple or so other brands that have drainage notches like IKEA’s do, but they weren’t made in North America, so I’d like to hold out to buy ones that are.
Penni Caldwell says
I have some beautiful handmade pieces of pottery from a local artist. I am now leery of these, can I send a piece to be tested?
Thanks for educating us! I found these cadmium and lead free mugs THAT AREN’T GLASS 🙂 made in America. If true, maybe you can add to your Amazon store for those of us who shy away from the possibility of glass shattering with temperature changes. The black ones are so cute and I’ve been enjoying them. Serami 22oz Black Ceramic Large Soup or Cappuccino Bowl Mugs with Thick Walls, Set of 4 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HS1CZZR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uvl9Db5W2FXHV
Maria, I clicked on the link you wrote above, and on the Amazon page it lead me to’s Q&A section, the seller USAtoZ answers that the mugs are manufactured in China by an American company that owns a factory in China; not in America like you wrote.
Thanks for your work and sharing the information.
I make sauerkraut in a big pottery crock I got from the Farmer’s Market. Now I wonder if I should switch to mason jars instead.
Can I assume Vision cooking pots are OK?
Time to make a pilgrimage to the Corning Factory Store.
Amuse advertises a 16oz white coffee mug that is lead and cadmium free. Have you or can you test these? Have you tested Sweese mugs, also supposed to me toxin free?
Erin K Ropposch says
I would also love to know about the Sweese mugs that claim they are “lead free and non toxic.” Does that mean no other heavy metals, or just a low enough level to be ‘FDA approved’?
They are not Lead-free, but they are “Lead-Safe” and likely have Lead-free glazes.
Here’s a post with test results from that brand: https://tamararubin.com/2019/11/2019-sweese-brand-ceramic-mug-sold-as-lead-free-eco-friendly-29-ppm-lead-safe-by-all-standards/
It still bugs me that they claim “Lead-free” and I would not buy from that brand as a result. This is a good option for a truly Lead-free mug that I have tested: https://tamararubin.com/2019/12/bennington-potters-blue-glazed-ceramic-coffee-mug-lead-free-really-great-gift-choice-31-00-including-shipping/
Sherri King says
Hi Tamara, Thank you for the information regarding lead in our daily used items as I would have never thought about it. My question is if you have ever tested Mar-Crest Daisy Dot pottery from way back when. I have several pieces of that and do use it for many things. I am looking to get some home tests to begin testing my plates, mugs, etc.
Hi, thank you for this! I have a question about the bodum mugs you recommend. I’m interested in the ones with single wall (tempered glass), but the ones with the double wall are made from other type of glass (borosilicate). When you say the glass of this brand is lead free, are you aware of this? Do you mean all the types of glass they use are lead free?
Teresa Sammon says
Thank you so much for your very important work. Does Pyrex and Anchor Hocking clear glass bakeware, older than 10 years, have lead? I want to make my kitchen lead free, but not do unnecessary replacements. Thank you!
I’d like to know this, too, please!!
Marie Holman says
Have you tested Noritake Stoneware “Pleasure” (8344) Made in Japan? I’ve searched as best as I can and nothing comes up, so thought I’d ask. thank you!
if you cannot find the pattern (or one similar to it) on the blog – I probably have not tested it. Put “Noritake” in the search bar. Here’s how to send a piece in to me for testing: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
Thank you so much for your hard work!!
I have question regarding mugs… I purchased some Corelle Winter Frost plates and I decided to buy a Bella Faenza mug because I figured if the plates are safe, the mug should be safe (plus, it’s super cute!). But seeing how it’s not on your list, I wanted to ask whether you’ve tested the Bella Faenza mug and whether you’d consider it safe.
Thank you one again!
If it is made out of the same material, it might be okay. The plates are vitrelle glass. If the mugs are porcelain, then likely no.
Just wondering if you have tested the Zwilling Sorrento coffee mugs? They are borosilicate but have a small logo on the bottom – I can’t tell if it is painted or etched in? Thanks!
Irene Manzi says
I found white glass mugs! Are these good?https://www.target.com/p/glass-stackable-mugs-12-5oz-white-set-of-6-made-by-design-8482/-/A-53142661
Of your lead free mugs you suggest are there any that are the best ie no cadmium and barium also? I noticed you have tested many children’s mugs – would be great if you had the chance to come across and suggest lead free children sized glass or ceramic mugs as well . Thanks for everything you do so pleased to have found your blog
Sue Fitzpatrick says
God bless you for all you do!
I just happened upon your site today and am disappointed at how clueless I have been. :0(
I hope to order a set of Corelle’s Bella Faenza Dinnerware once they have them back in stock.
My question is, can you please tell me where to get some safe big ol’ soup mugs? Something at least 16 ounces, with handle?
I am grateful for you, thank you again.
Hi Sue, thank you for commenting!
I think these mugs are a good investment. They are too big for me (I have fairly small hands) but they make a good soup mug and are lead-free (and an heirloom quality piece): https://tamararubin.com/2019/12/bennington-potters-blue-glazed-ceramic-coffee-mug-lead-free-really-great-gift-choice-31-00-including-shipping/
Alternately you could buy something in clear glass off of Amazon – here’s my affiliate link for an option: https://amzn.to/3hYgjK8 – I have not tested these exact mugs but I would expect them to be Lead free. The thing to look for is any painted logo markings on the bottom – which can be lead paint (on glass mugs) but otherwise clear glass is a good choice (the Dollar Store might have some options too!)
Ronaldo Rodan says
Hi Tamara! I’ve been looking for you. I recently purchased a fellow products (fellowproducts.com) mug to drink piping hot. I used an immersion blender to mix my fats and realized coating (white) chippings. Now I’m wondering about consuming this byproduct and the lead -after reading your post. Are there concerns? TYSM
Hi! Can you please help me none of those mug options say microwave safe for things like reheating coffee or hot chocolate? Which is good for that and lead free?
This is what I use in my home. They are microwave safe (as stated in the ad) and I use them in my home in my microwave without issue: https://amzn.to/347KEAA (affiliate link)
I was an engineering project manager in the R&D group at Thermo Fisher Scientific for almost 10 years and worked on several updates to the XRF technology. It’s so wonderful to see the XRF being used by an individual to help those who don’t have access to one otherwise!
Tonia Mcgee says
Hi Tamara, I have these Metlox Poppy Field rasied zinnia dishes.
Can you send me an email address to send the pictures to you to see if you have tested
I have read that the Vernon dishes were recalled at the time for excessive lead, but I’m unsure if these dishes were also recalled.
Thank you for letting me know.
Do you know if the mugs made by Gossby are safe? They are ones with designs of people and pets and writing on the back. Saw them advertised with Christmas logos. Wanted to buy one for a Xmas gift for my sister but don’t want her to get lead in her tea. Thanks.
Hello, have you ever tested the epare brand double insulated coffee mugs? It says they are made from borosilicate glass. Please let me know… I’m very worried. Thank you for your time
Hi Rachel, I don’t believe I have tested that brand. They are likely Lead-free unless they have any painted markings – in which case the painted markings may be painted with Lead paint.
Thank-you for your quick response. Overall is anchor hocking a lead free brand to purchase? Im trying to buy straight from your list, but I do not like the style of the anchor hocking mug you have posted. Also I was wondering if you have personally tested the last option of the double insulated coffee mug by “sweet concepts” because there is not a lot of information on amazon because they have the wrong product information. Thank-you again for your time.
Yes Anchor Hocking is a good brand as long as there are no decorations or painted markings.
Is Libbey crystal mugs microwave-safe?
Thanks very much for your articles.
Could you please advise if Denby mug and rice bowl made in England are safe to use?
Also recently we bought a Staub Cast Iron cocotte in white truffle, and found the interior has very fine white spots all over on the black enamel. We contacted the seller and were told it’s normal, just the spray of paint.
We emailed the Staub web twice regarding this, but never got a reply.
I’m afraid the white paint comes from the out enamel, which is not supposed to be on the interior?
Hi Tamara! I am so happy to have found your website. Question: I bought some 8oz Ball mason jars, made in the USA, but they are called “Quilted Crystal Jars”. Did I just buy myself a one way ticket to lead city? I know Ball jars are safe, but then I saw your note about things being labeled as crystal. Oops. Any insight would be great. Thanks so much!
Hi Tamara. thank you so much for this very useful information. I was considering buying a glass coffee mug that is decorated on the outside, like this one:
Do you think anything could get into the coffee from the vinyl or other substance used to decorate? Thank you.
Rose Muilman says
Hi Tamara. I’ve been drinking coffee out a Chaleur Master Impressionists mug made in Taiwan. I heat a bit of milk in the microwave before adding the coffee. The inside of the cup where the milk ends became distorted looking; still smooth but wavy looking and grayish. Not sure if this represents lead leaching. Your expert opinion is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Nada Bin Hareez says
Hi Tamara , thank you for your useful information, what you think about thermos mug ?
Do you have a link to the type of mug you are referring to? I am certain Thermos makes lots of different products that one might describe as a “mug”.
Hi Tamara, just found your site, have you ever tested staub cookware, its sold as non toxic,lead free,cadmium free cookware, we have invested in 2 pans before i found out what to check for. Thanks for your reply
Yes I have tested Staub – here’s a little video that shows how to use the site efficiently (there are over 2,700 posts and pages):
Hi Tamara and once again, your work is truly valued and appreciated. Do you know anything about the company La Rochere? I heard that their glassware is lead free but Im not positive. They also make dishes, etc. Thank you for any advice!
Hi Danielle, I am not familiar with that company, sorry!
Here’s how to send me something to test: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
Have you tested Rae Dunn products? They are so cute but not sure if they are lead free. Do you test these mugs yourself or send them somewhere to be tested?
Jannefer Wanjiru says
This is awesome.Tamara,I would love to know about Luminarc plain white plate.could there be a possibility of lead,since I have seen some Luminarc plate with decor flowers.
Hands should also be thoroughly washed after handling these dishes as they most often also test positive with a reactive agent test ( like a LeadCheck swab ), which means there is likely available lead on the surface of the dish and that can easily wear off on your hands.
American Mug Pottery from AmericanMugPottery(dot)com says they are made in the USA and are Lead and Cadmium Free. Do you know of and/or tested their products? The bottom line for me is, I drink hot water and tea. I want a safe mug that holds a least 8 fluid ounces an costs up to $20.00 and is easy to find/purchase. Please advise. Thank you.
Are dishes susceptible to cross contamination, because I’m getting lead free bowls/plates but I’m still deciding on mugs and will be receiving the plates first. Should I wait to till I get the lead free mugs before I wash everything in the dishwasher, or can I just go ahead and put the lead mugs in with the non lead dishes?
Jeanne Heib says
I was wondering about Polish Pottery , bowls and coffee cups. Do they had lead or other toxins?
Hi Jeanne – there are several examples on the blog – just put “Polish” or “Poland” in the search bar to see the related posts.
This is so depressing. But important and helpful to know, of course! I hate boring/non-pretty mugs, and even though I am in the process of replacing all of our hand-me-down red-glazed ceramic plates and bowls we’ve been using for a good decade (in the microwave, dishwasher, chipped and probably leaking lead and cadmium like a faucet), I was hoping that somehow mugs would magically be special and exempt. But of course they aren’t, and how sad because there are so many fun mugs! Obviously health trumps aesthetics (but not without mourning pretty mugs).
Debbie Moore says
If the stainless steel mug is 18/8 food grade is it lead and cadmium free, and I have another question, if the stainless steel mug has a color on the outside, I think they call it powder coating is that safe and non toxic. Thank you, so much.
Hi Debbie – it really depends on the brand. Check out this post too:
Erica S says
We were gifted tons of Celebrating Home dishware. Have you tested any of their products? The company no longer sells their dishware but I own tons of it. Is also be happy to send you a piece for testing if that’s an option. I’m new to researching but as the old addage says, know better so better.
I am not familiar with that brand off the top of my head. Check out this video for ways to search the blog:
Also here’s how to participating in the testing reported here on the blog:
Adam Barnes says
I use tupperware coffee mugs
How old? I would never use plastic for coffee… for reasons other than Lead.
I recently purchased an Ello ceramic travel mug. Have you tested their products? Ello lists their products are lead free.
Thank you in advance for all of your work!
I will look into that brand. Just remember that just because a brand SAYS they are Lead-free does not mean they ARE Lead-free.
Here’s a good example of that: https://tamararubin.com/2019/05/one-of-my-most-disappointing-finds-recently-2019-forlife-q-tea-cup-with-handle-purple-lead-free-mug-541-ppm-lead/
Thank you for commenting!
Do you happen to know about Alpilco porcelain from France. Very popular and carried at William Sonoma.
Excellent site. I have an antique Anchor Hocking 16 ounce glass mug and I am pretty sure it is made from leaded glass. It glows ice blue under UV light which generally means it has lead. Good to know the new ones are lead free as it is my wife’s favorite cup!
Wow I had no idea about any of this before. Will be reading your site with interest. Have you ever looked at the Moomin mugs? They have a lot of imagery so I have a bad feeling 🙁
I am not familiar with that brand. Here’s the post about how to send something in for testing.
Lihsueh Cheng says
When you said to avoid anything from Dollar Store, it refers to ceramic mugs, but does it also apply to glass cups/mugs?
Really just ceramics – any thing with painted or glazed decorations or branding (some of their wine glasses are painted).
W C says
Have you tested any Sabatier Canna dishware or mugs? I have searched and can’t find anything on them.
That name does not sound familiar. Here’s how to participate in the testing we report on this website:
Thank you for commenting.
Debra Nichols says
How can I rent or purchase a scanner like the one you use?
You need to get trained and certified in using it first.
Do all the year 2000 series city and country Starbucks collectible mugs have high level of lead? In one of your posts, you mentioned that initially mugs you tested were lead free from Starbucks. I have one that says made in Thailand (Oslo) and the rest in China.
Some Starbucks mugs are Lead-free, like this one: https://tamararubin.com/2018/07/leadfree-white-starbucks-espresso-mug-c-2014/
Others are Lead-safe with low levels of Cadmium, like this 2018 Oregon mug: https://tamararubin.com/2018/11/lets-play-a-game-lead-or-no-lead-guess-2018-oregon-espresso-mug-from-starbucks/
Then… there’s this 2017 California mug… https://tamararubin.com/2018/04/2017-starbucks-coffee-company-you-are-here-collection-14-oz-california-mug-6397-ppm-lead-90-is-unsafe-for-kids/
This is an interesting post that may be helpful: https://tamararubin.com/2018/04/asktamara-do-starbucks-mugs-have-high-levels-of-lead/
Also, here is the “Starbucks mugs” category link if you’d like to browse others that Tamara has tested: https://tamararubin.com/category/starbucks-mugs/
Hello there! I’ve just stumbled upon your site and I find it very informative.
I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for lead free/ safe ‘ fine china’ tea cups and saucers. I have been looking at yard sales for the traditional made in England ones so i can have an actual tea party with my kids, but I’m glad I read this article.
That’s a tough one! As you can see from Tamara’s “teacup” category, they are typically off the charts.
Louise Willenbacher says
I just purchased Le Creuset Stoneware Set of 4 Heritage Mugs, 13 oz. each, Meringue. Are they safe?if. Ot I will return them to Amazon.
Thank you so much
Tamara does not have test results for the Le Creuset Stoneware mugs on her website yet. If you are interested in sending one in for testing, here is some info: https://tamararubin.com/2019/08/tamara-can-i-send-you-one-of-my-dishes-to-test-for-lead/
Here is the category link for “Le Creuset ceramics” which include some test results for some ceramic pieces: https://tamararubin.com/category/le-creuset-ceramics/
as well as Tamara’s “Le Creuset” overview post: https://tamararubin.com/2022/04/le-creuset-overview/
Hope that helps!
Alan Lee says
Good post guys!
Hi Tamara! I wonder how safe to use drinkware, dinnerware and cookware that made of (anodized) 100% pure grade 1 titanium.
Hi Tamara, Have you done any testing on the classic vintage white Victor coffee mugs that used to be used in diners across the US?
Maureen McR says
I don’t suppose there is any hope for vintage Duraline Vitrified mugs being lead-free ?
I sent a link for an example.
I tried drinking coffee from my De Simone demitasse cups a few times over the past couple days and was wondering why it tasted so bitter. I tried some in my usual cup (also ceramic) and didn’t have that same bitterness, so I licked one of the De Simone cups and found that the taste was coming from the cup itself. Then I found a lead recall notice for De Simone from 1987. What a shame. Back to the shelf for them so they can just be decorations.
Tamara, can a metal item be sealed with something to make it safe? If so what product to use?
Hello! Thank you for this greatly informative article. My family has been using Fiestaware mugs every day for years and now I’m a bit worried.
By any chance have you tested these for lead?
Let me know please if old duralex ( i have green tea mugs from duralex from France ) they’re old probably 30yo
Christina Anderson says
I was just reading your newest post about the Stanley tumbler and saw that it said not to use coffee in any stainless tumbler. I am always on the go with my coffee. What would be best to use for traveling with coffee? I typically make iced coffee, so would a plastic reusable cup with a reusable straw be OK to use with coffee?