That’s actually a tough question to answer. They are two totally different promotional products. I would say in regards to the imprint area that custom mugs would be a far better choice than custom pens. Just because the imprint area is so much larger and easier to work with on custom mugs.

But, if I had to answer your question right away I would go with custom mugs are far better. Just because I wrote an article, reasons why custom mugs are the perfect promotional product. And to answer your question even more so, I provided reasons why custom mugs are better than custom pens in this article.

Imprint Area

Like I mentioned above, in regards to the imprint area, custom mugs are a better choice than custom pens. Custom mugs not only have two sides like a custom pen but a much larger imprint area. The large imprint area has so many advantages. So, there really is only one choice here to go with when it comes to imprint area and that is with custom mugs.

Unless you have a really simple linear logo at which point a custom pen would be a fine option here. It all depends on your logo style and your personal preference when it comes to branding your promotional products. Along with the imprint area your working with of course.


You’re going to be spending more money when it comes to purchasing custom mugs over custom pens. So, in this category custom pens will be better suited for a smaller budget or for a start-up company. For pens, you’re looking at a minimum of $1-$2 and for custom mugs a minimum of $4-5. This could be a big price difference for a company with a limited budget to work with.

Taking a further look at custom pens, we found this article breaking it down for you as what to expect for the cost of promotional pens. See you can get these even cheaper than what I mentioned above. So these are your budget-friendly option.


This should actually be the next article I write, the usefulness of custom mugs. You can do so much more with custom mugs than custom pens. So, when comparing the two, custom mugs beats custom pens in this category. For instance, you can put things in a custom mug other than coffee. But, just remember the more items or gifts you add to that custom mug the more the cost will increase per item. And then you’re looking at having a corporate gift vs a promotional item. If you were to take my advice I would keep it simple when it comes to promotional products and go with just a coffee mug.

We also know that promotional pens are pretty useful. In which everybody can use a pen. And they probably get more impressions than a coffee mug. Because most likely a coffee mug is only being pulled out in the mornings. Whereas a promotional pen can be used throughout the day and is small enough to carry around with you for more impressions.


Some recipients might even have a preference. Like if you’re a coffee shop owner, well then your end-users are going to prefer a custom coffee mug. Or even a beverage company, coffee mugs would most definitely be the preferred choice here. So what industry you’re in plays an important role as to what promotional products you pick for advertising your business.

But, really you can’t go wrong with a custom pen in any industry. So, I’ll have to go with the preferred choice of custom pens on this one. Although, my studies contradict me when you see that custom mugs are searched more on Google than custom pens. Then again promotional pens are the most searched on Google when searching for “promotional” products and not custom. Just check out my research.

And according to TSNN (Trade Show News Network) in their article 8 tradeshow giveaways that people want, you’ll see custom coffee mugs. It happens to be number five on their list. Where custom pens did not make it to the list as a giveaway that people want.


I’m going to also go with promotional pens on this one. Because I’ve seen ASI’s studies as far as how many impressions each promotional product make. And I know pens are up there on the number of impressions. As you’ll find in the below image.

Promo Products Make an Impression
Promo Products Make an Impression

So after writing this article, I’ve totally made a 180 from custom mugs to custom pens and then back again. It really is a toss-up. You’re going to have to go over each category mentioned above and see what matters most to you as a business. And of course, what type of impact your promotional product of choice is going to make.

Elyssa McGregor

Hi! I'm Elyssa McGregor. I love helping people succeed online and promoting businesses with our wide range of promotional products. I have a love for search engine optimization (SEO) and getting companies out there on the world wide web. How can I help you?

View all posts

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *