Hug Cup is an innovative reinterpretation of the traditional ceramic mug, replacing the conventional side handle with a central grip tunnel that serves as an internal handle for those living with joint pain or osteoarthritis.
Kitchen cups and mugs have been endlessly reimagined through design over the years. The cup’s simple form makes room for innovative design across industries, from ceramic to inclusive reinterpretations. Designer and ceramic artist, Eszter Imre offered their own take on the conventional ceramic mug, casting a center finger tunnel that makes holding the cup feel like you’re hugging warm tea and makes holding the mug easier for those who struggle with holding a mug’s traditional side handle.
Imre’s Hug Cup was created to drill home the designer’s belief that, “we give special attention to things we use in our everyday life. We like to have a personal relation to the objects we touch closely, such as a cup.”
The internal handle is a unique take on the mug’s traditional side handle, allowing users to securely grip Hug Cup while feeling the warmth of the liquid contents inside. Describing the mug in their own words, Imre states, “The whole cup creates an intimate tunnel through the cup itself for your finger, you may enjoy the heat of your beverage without burning your palm.”
While Hug Cup’s innovative handle is playful, it is also a solution-based design. For those living with joint pain, more specifically osteoarthritis, gripping mugs is a feat on its own. The central tunnel on Hug Cup allows users to hold onto the mug without altering the way their hands naturally fall. By simply sliding your thumb through the internal handle, half the battle is won. In creating Hug Cup, Imre notes, “It’s a fun, engaging object that wouldn’t make you feel like an outcast from society due to your special needs.”
Designer: Eszter Imre