A drinking glass is an essential part of any kitchen. You fill it with water after your morning run and wine after a long day at work. There are plenty of glasses for all drinkers, including tempered glass, which is shock-resistant to hot and cold beverages, and lead-free glasses that can be stacked for easy storage, no matter your style or design taste. Crystal tumblers are great for high-end sipping and durable tumblers for everyday use. These materials are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
To help you figure out which drinking glasses are right for your needs, I tested them at home, side by side, and assessed each set on its design, size, durability, and overall value. A plethora of different drinks were consumed to ensure that these drinking glasses are truly the best. We have highballs, goblets, and more.
As a result of my testing and conversations with experts, here is my list of the best drinking glasses for your home kitchen and bar.
Our Top Picks
Best Drinking Glasses Set: Top 8 Picks
1. Libbey Polaris 16-Piece Tumbler Glasses Set
With this all-purpose tumbler set, Libbey checks off a lot of boxes: there are enough glasses to serve 16 people, the glasses feel durable in your hand, and the curving design makes them feel more elegant than their price suggests.
There are eight tumbler glasses and eight 15-ounce rocks glasses in this 16-piece set. Despite being slightly rounded at the bottom, the glass looks lightweight, but it’s weighted, so it provides stability. Both sizes have a classic design, so they won’t look dated in a few years. The set is dishwasher-safe, affordable, and made in the United States.
Its generous capacity impressed me during testing – the highball can serve an extra-strong gin and tonic or water with plenty of ice to keep you cool on a hot day, and the rocks glass is ideal for a Negroni.
Libbey remains one of the best drinking glass options on the market for any occasion, and Jonathan Stanyard, who runs the bar at Seattle’s Feast, agrees. “Libbey has a huge range of not only styles, but also quality levels.” According to Stanyard, most of the glasses are built well and stand up to a lot of abuse.
2. Red Co. Vibrant Splash Highball Glasses
The vibrant 13.25-ounce glasses from Red Co. each have a different bottom color, so you can tell which glass is whose two ways: It adds some fun to your glass, but it’s not overwhelming in design. The hues are infused into the bottom, so they won’t fade or wear out over time. I liked how sparkling water made the drink shimmer ever so slightly with the color of the glass, no matter what color it was, whether red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple.
This glass feels delicate and elegant on the top, but the bottom is weighted, making it easier to set down and less likely to tip over. Having a cold beverage on a hot day causes condensation, so ripples on the bottom of the glass help with that. It includes six glasses that are dishwasher safe, and Red Co. also makes a matching set of lowball glasses if you prefer consistency.
3. Libbey Ascent 16-Piece Assorted Glassware Set
It is particularly appealing to stock your glassware cabinet for the first time—perhaps after moving or moving into your first apartment—with Libbey’s Ascent glassware set. A set of 16 glasses includes eight rocks glasses and eight rounded highball glasses. They hold 13.3 ounces for the rocks glasses and 16 ounces for the highball glasses. The chunkier, angular base of the glass adds stability to the glass. You can make generous-sized drinks with both rocks and highball glasses due to their large capacity.
These are both great everyday glasses, and at such a reasonable price, you might want to buy a couple and use them for parties, too. They’re surprisingly durable, so I wouldn’t be surprised if one cracked. These low-effort, high-design glasses match any home design and are surprisingly versatile. Use them for ice water or mix cocktails, mocktail recipes, and refreshing punches. Dishwasher safe.
Libbey’s glasses are purchased at all the restaurants and bars that Dean Hurst oversees at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida. “Libbey has a wide range of styles and budgets,” he says. “They stand up to constant washing and polishing in a small bar space.”
4. Bormioli Rocco Bodega Mini 7.5-Ounce Glass Tumbler
The glasses look light and delicate, but they are made from tough tempered glass, which is resistant to thermal shock, breakage, chips, and everyday wear. They can be stacked as well, making them ideal for everything. I observed that they fit neatly inside each other for easy cleaning and storage during my tests. Your kitchenware and glassware cabinets will look great with the minimalist design, regardless of how colorful your place settings are.
You can use these glasses for everything from wine and water to coffee and desserts. They are dishwasher-safe, and have a tempered finish to prevent cloudiness.
Some people may not enjoy the thicker glass, but I found it appealing because it reminded me of a low-effort glass served on an Italian patio. When friends come over, use these vessels to serve Negronis, small portions of beer, sparkling water, or house wine. Their low profile and durable glass ensure their versatility. Additionally, they keep your hands safe from the chill of ice thanks to the thicker glass.
5. Fferrone Dearborn Glasses
There’s nothing better than a good pair of glasses—you know, the kind you bring out for a party. Fferrone makes one of the best options, combining vintage flair with contemporary detailing. Former architect Felicia Ferrone makes the glasses in Chicago, and while they’re American-made, they’re inspired by mid-century Italian design.
These glass pieces look incredibly stylish perched on a table since they are hand blown without using molds, with fluted sides and curved bottoms. I found them a bit awkward to sip from, but if you’re looking for a high-style glass, this is an easily overlooked design detail. The glass holds temperature well and has a pleasant weight.
There are a number of glasses available with this brand, including standard water glasses, stemless wine glasses, shot glasses, Collins glasses, and stemless Champagne flutes. These glasses are a bit more expensive, but they’re made from near-indestructible borosilicate glass. Despite their price tag and quality, these glasses are dishwasher-, oven-, and microwave-safe, surprising for such an affordable glass.
6. Lanfula Decanter and Glasses
“There’s a particular style of whiskey glasses that I just love the feel of,” says Benjamin Pozar, who helms the bar at Fogo de Chão in Bedford, Texas. “The base is a square, which is twisted out. It has a fantastic weight and is great for sipping straight spirits.”
There are six attractive glasses and a crystal decanter in this set made of high-quality, lead-free crystal with a unique curving shape. I found the glasses to be very heavy, even empty, giving them a nice, solid feel in my hand. If you like to sip and swirl an Old Fashioned in a cozy chair, this weight is just what you need. However, the lip is pretty thick, so it isn’t ideal for a high-end Scotch.
A cocktail with this glass would certainly be a pleasant experience if you’re not one to ponder the subtleties of cocktails.
7. Riedel Nick and Nora Cocktail Glasses
There’s nothing chicer than Riedel’s Nick & Nora Cocktail Glasses. Wrigley Mansion’s resident mixologist and bar manager Anthony Escalante says, “The design is a very clean, classic style, but they’re also purposely built, so you can use them in any bar program without sacrificing quality for durability.”
They look delicate and expensive, but they’re dishwasher safe and affordable. The glass is light and airy, while the base is nicely weighted. My at-home tests show they’re surprisingly resilient.
Its ultra-thin glass upper construction and durable base make it a standout when it comes to design. Due to the curvature of the glass, the drink flows straight to the middle of your palate, giving you all the right flavors. It comes with two 4-ounce glasses, but the stem has some noticeable seams, which aren’t a dealbreaker.
8. Tervis 16-Ounce Clear Tumbler Set
The thought of plastic glasses may conjure up images of red Solo cups, but upscale plastic tumblers can also be useful for your drinking needs. Think of them as the perfect vessel for drinks on a patio, porch, or picnic. You can use plastic for al fresco drinking if you tend to break glasses (or have clumsy members in your household). It’s resistant to spills and drops.
In the world of plastic glasses, Tervis is a fan favorite. Designed to hold 16 ounces of drinks and keep them hot or cold for extended periods, this tumbler keeps the outside sweat-free as well. The tumblers are made with BPA-free and melamine-free materials, and they do not come with lids or straws.2
During my testing at home, I found that although the lip of the tumbler is thicker, it’s curved, making the liquid flow right to my mouth. I also found it to be very light—an excellent option for, say, making drinks by the pool. Even if your cup is loaded up with ice, the double-walled design kept our hand at room temperature and my drink freezing cold, just as it should be.
No matter what you choose, these durable glasses can seemingly last a lifetime. The standard option is minimalist and clear, but you can personalize them with your initials, favorite color, or personalized message.
Drinking Glasses: What to Look for
Ease of Cleaning
You can easily wash glasses in a dishwasher, but if you don’t use a lot of glassware, it’s also simple to swish, rinse, and dry them, particularly if you don’t fill your dishwasher every day. Make sure your drinking glasses are dishwasher safe if it is important to you.
If you have kids, it’s wise to consider whether the drinkware you choose will be easy for them to hold or sturdy enough to handle small bumps and accidents.
The glassware you choose has to be something you like, but if you want to limit your number of glasses, it’s a good idea to pick ones you can use every day with your regular plates and silverware, and maybe even the nice dinnerware you only use on special occasions.
How do you clean cloudy drinking glasses?
It’s likely that your glasses are cloudy when they come out of the dishwasher because of hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content and leaves calcium and minerals on your glasses. You can clean your glasses gently with a dishcloth by mixing white vinegar and water (some people use nail polish remover, too). Alternatively, you can soak the glasses for 30 minutes in a mixture of vinegar and water.
The fogginess may actually be etching caused by excessive washing, which can’t be repaired. For this reason, always hand wash crystal and higher-end glasses to keep them pristine.
Are drinking glasses recyclable?
It may come as a surprise to learn that drinking glasses cannot be recycled. Most drinking glasses contain additives designed to make them safe to drink from, which changes their melting point.
Although your unwanted glasses may be old to you, they may be brand new to someone else. Consider donating them to a local thrift shop.
If you’re looking for a more creative alternative to the Libbey Polaris set, Riedel’s cocktail glasses have a chic and quirky look, while Tervis’ tumblers are great for outdoor drinks.