Consider how essential a drinking glass is in your kitchen. You use it to replenish after your morning run and fill it with your favorite wine at the end of a workday. No matter your lifestyle or design taste, there are plenty of options for all drinkers, including tempered glass, which is shock-resistant to both hot and cold beverages, and lead-free glasses that can be stacked for easy storage. There are chic crystal options for high-end sipping and durable tumblers for everyday drinking. All of these material options come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
To help you figure out the best drinking glasses for your needs, I tested them at home, side by side, and evaluated each set on its design, size, durability, and overall value. Dozens of various beverages were consumed in order to make sure these drinking glasses are truly ideal. From highballs to goblets, we've got you covered on all fronts.
Libbey Polaris 16-Piece Tumbler Glasses Set
Rounded bottom may take getting used to
Libbey’s all-purpose tumbler set checks off a lot of boxes: There are enough glasses to serve 16 people total, the glasses feel durable in your hand, and the curving design makes them feel far more elevated than the price tag suggests.
This 16-piece set includes eight 17.75-ounce tumbler glasses and eight 15-ounce rocks glasses. Both sizes have a classic design, so they won't feel dated in a few years. The slightly rounded bottom gives the glass a lightweight look, though it's weighted, so it provides stability. This lead-free set is American-made, affordable, dishwasher-safe, and fits into any setting.
I was a fan of the generous capacity during testing—the highball can hold 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 generously portioned 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 variety of not only styles, but also levels of quality," Stanyard says. "I find most of the glasses are well-constructed and hold up in a busy environment."
Price at time of publish: $39 for 16-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 16 | Dimensions: 3 x 6.34 inches (tumbler), 3.3 x 4.23 inches (rocks glass) | Capacity: 17.75 ounces (tumbler) 15 ounces (rocks glass) | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"I often find Collins glasses are too large, but this one has the perfect amount of space. On the flipside, I often find highball glasses don't have enough space for my larger ice, and that's key to making the perfect highball, so this feels like the best of both worlds."
Runner-Up, Best Overall
Red Co. Vibrant Splash Highball Glasses
Great for larger households
Easy to clean
Elegant yet functional design
Thin glass is fragile
Red Co.’s vibrant 13.25-ounce glasses all feature a different color on the bottom, which is great for two reasons: It adds a little fun to your glass, while not being overwhelming in design, and it's easy to tell whose glass is whose. Since the hues are infused into the bottom, it won't fade or wear out over time, either. When I added sparkling water to the glass, I liked that it made the drink shimmer ever so slightly with the color of the glass, whether red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple.
While the top of the glass feels delicate and elegant, the weighted bottom stabilizes the glass, giving it a nice feel in your hand and making it less likely to tip over when you set it down. Ripples on the bottom of the glass help manage any condensation that happens with a cold beverage on a hot day. Six glasses are included in the set, and all are dishwasher-safe. If you’re looking for consistency, Red Co. also makes a set of matching lowball glasses.
Price at time of publish: $29 for 6-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 6 | Dimensions: 2.75 inches x 5.75 inches | Capacity: 13.25 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"I love the arching curve of the glass and the ripples on the bottom. It holds condensation really well and makes every highball look super refreshing. Though these are budget-conscious, they're also elegant. I'll be filling these up with Scotch highballs all through the summer."
Libbey Ascent 16-Piece Assorted Glassware Set
Built to last
Holds condensation well
Too large for child-sized hands
Libbey’s Ascent glassware set is a particularly appealing option if you’re stocking your glassware cabinet for the first time—perhaps after a move or for your very first apartment. There are 16 glasses in a set, including eight rocks glasses and eight rounded highball glasses. The rocks glasses hold 13.3 ounces and the highball glasses hold 16 ounces. Note the chunkier, angular base: It makes the glass feel stable in your hand. The large capacity on both the rocks and highball glasses means you can make generously-sized drinks.
Both are excellent everyday drinking glasses, and for the price, it might be wise to stock up and use them as your go-to party glasses, as you'll never fear if you drop or crack one. In fact, I'd be surprised if one did actually crack because they're surprisingly durable. These low-effort, high-design glasses match any home design and are incredibly versatile. Use them for ice water or mix cocktails, mocktail recipes, and refreshing punches. All are dishwasher-safe for quick cleanup.
Dean Hurst, beverage director at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida, purchases Libbey’s glasses at all the restaurants and bars he oversees. “From the tough to the elegant, Libbey reliably covers options for a wide range of styles and budgets," he says. "They hold up well to constant washing and polishing in a tight bar space.”
Price at time of publish: $34 for 16-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 16 | Dimensions: 3 x 5.9 inches (tumbler), 3.5 x 3.7 inches (rocks glass) | Capacity: 16 ounces (tumbler), 13.3 ounces (rocks glass) | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"I love the curved lip. It allows water and stronger-proof drinks to flow smoothly into your mouth. Both the rocks glass and the highball are the perfect weight, too. Each holds condensation well and provides ample room for whatever you're sipping."
Best for Cocktails
Riedel Nick and Nora Cocktail Glasses
Noticeable seams in the stem
Riedel’s chic Nick & Nora Cocktail Glasses are bartender-approved. Anthony Escalante, bar manager and resident mixologist at Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Arizona says, “The design is a very clean, classic style, but they're also purposely built, so you can get excellent usage from the set in any bar program without having to sacrifice quality for durability.”
While they look expensive and fragile, they're affordable and dishwasher-safe. The top of the glass is light and airy, while the base is nicely weighted. It's surprisingly resilient to drops and varying temperatures too, according to my at-home tests.
As for design standouts, I liked the whisper-thin glass upper construction and durable base for stability. Thanks to the curve of the glass, the drink flows straight to the middle of your palate, letting the flavors of the cocktail hit in all the right places. On the contrary, there are some noticeable seams on the stem, which aren't exactly a deal-breaker. This set comes with two 4-ounce glasses.
Price at time of publish: $40 for 2-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 2 | Dimensions: 3.03 x 6.02 inches | Capacity: 4 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"Often, Nick and Nora glasses only hold a portion of a full-size drink, but this option is slightly larger than the standard, so there's ample room for a martini. That said, there's only enough room for an olive or two. Sorry, olive fans."
Bormioli Rocco Bodega Mini 7.5-Ounce Glass Tumbler - Set of 12
High-end but low-effort appearance
Made with tough tempered glass
Beautiful and simple
Small in size
These drinking glasses are ideal for anything and everything. Even though they look light and delicate, they’re made with tough tempered glass, making them resistant to thermal shock, breakage, chips, and everyday wear. This means they also lend well to stacking. During my tests, I observed that they fit neatly inside each other for easy cleanup and storage. The minimal design will match everything in your glassware and kitchenware cabinets, including the most colorful of place settings.
These glasses come 12 to a set, and each holds 7.5 ounces of everything from wine and water to coffee and desserts. When you’re done with them, pop them in the dishwasher. The tempered finish protects them from getting a cloudy finish.
The glass is thicker, which some folks may not love, but to me, it had the draw of a low-effort glass served on a patio in Italy. Use these to dole out Negronis, small portions of beer, sparkling water, or your favorite house wine when friends roll up. The low profile and durable glass ensure these vessels are versatile. The thicker glass also protects your hand from the chill of ice.
Price at time of publish: $40 for 12-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 12 | Dimensions: 3.25 x 2.25 inches | Capacity: 7.5 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"I like this. Sure, it's not the best for tasting high-end spirits or sipping fine wines, but this glass is a dinner party essential. It has a low profile that doesn't command attention on a table, is minimalistic in design, and is an ideal glass for filling with sparkling water, Negronis, after-dinner drinks, and more."
Fferrone Dearborn Glasses
Extremely durable material
Stunning in design
Blown by hand
Slightly awkward to sip from
Everyone needs a good set of glasses—you know, the kind you bring out for a celebration. Fferrone makes one of the best options to splurge on, combining vintage flair with contemporary detailing. The brand’s glasses are made in Chicago by former architect Felicia Ferrone, and while they’re American-made, the design pays homage to mid-century Italian design.
Each is carefully blown by hand from borosilicate glass without the use of molds, featuring fluted sides and a curved bottom that looks incredibly stylish perched on a table. Note the inside of the lip is also fluted. I found them slightly awkward to sip from, but if you’re looking for a high-style glass, it’s an easily ignored design detail. It has a pleasant weight and holds temperature well.
Your glass options with this brand include standard water glasses, stemless wine glasses, shot glasses, Collins glasses, and stemless Champagne flutes. While they are on the pricier side, they're made with near-indestructible borosilicate glass. If you happen to tip one over, chances are you’ll be safe from smashes. They're even dishwasher-, oven-, and microwave-safe, which is surprising for a glass at this price point and quality.
Price at time of publish: $138 for 2-piece set
Material: Glass | Number of Pieces: 2 | Dimensions: 2.36 x 6.69 inches (Collins glass), 2.76 inches x 3.94 inches (water glass) | Capacity: 13 ounces (Collins glass), 10 ounces (water glass) | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"This is one of the most stylish glasses I've ever seen. With tall fluted sides and a curved bottom, it's a showpiece for serving drinks. Though the design is high-style, it has a few awkward pieces, like the thicker lip and the scalloped interior, but apart from those hiccups, the borosilicate glass is beautiful and unexpected. It's a statement piece."
Best for Whiskey Drinks
Lanfula Whiskey Decanter and Glasses
Includes matching decanter
Great for gifting
May be too heavy for some tastes
“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.”
Made with high-quality, lead-free crystal, the six appealing glasses and matching crystal decanter have a unique curving shape. I found the glasses to be very heavy, even when empty, giving them a nice, solid feel in my hand. For the folks who want to sit in a cozy chair and sip and swirl an Old Fashioned, this weight is perfect. The lip is pretty thick, though, so it may not be ideal for a top-shelf bottle of Scotch.
If you're not one to ponder the nuances of a whiskey and prefer to sip it in a cocktail, this is certainly an excellent choice.
Price at time of publish: $54 for 7-piece set
Material: Lead-free crystal | Number of Pieces: 7 | Dimensions: N/A | Capacity: 27 ounces (decanter), 10 ounces (glass) | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"The matching decanter is a showstopper. Break it out at a dinner party for the nightcap. And for the price? It's a no-brainer set for gifting to my favorite whiskey lovers."
Tervis 16-Ounce Clear Tumbler Set
Break- and spill-resistant
Double-walled construction is effective
Lids and straws sold separately
Though the notion of plastic glasses may bring your mind to red Solo cups, upscale plastic tumblers can come in handy for your drinking needs. Think of them as the ideal vessel for patio, porch, or picnic drinks. If you tend to break glasses (or have clumsy members in your household), plastic can be a great solution—it’s resistant to drops and spills for all al fresco drinking needs.
Tervis is a fan favorite when it comes to plastic glasses. The shatter-proof tumbler holds 16 ounces and keeps drinks hot or cold for an extended period of time. The thoughtful double-walled construction keeps the outside sweat-free, too. Each tumbler is made with BPA- and melamine-free construction. Note that these glasses do not come with lids or straws.
In my home tests. I found that even though the lip of the tumbler is thicker, it's curved, allowing the liquid to flow right to my mouth. It's also very light—a wonderful option for, say, making drinks by a pool. Even if the cup is loaded up with ice, the double-walled design kept my hand at room temperature and my drink freezing cold, just the way it should be.
The standard option is minimalist and clear, but you can also opt for a personalized cup including your initials, favorite color, or a personalized message. Whatever you decide, these durable glasses can seemingly last a lifetime.
Price at time of publish: $35 for 4-piece set
Material: Plastic | Number of Pieces: 4 | Dimensions: 3.4 x 6 inches | Capacity: 16 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe: Yes
"It's an ideal vessel for all your outdoor drinks. It's super resistant to drops and spills and is the perfect size for a can of soda. I'm keen to pick up the matching lid and straw to prevent further spillage."
The Libbey Polaris set is a solid choice if you want excellent glasses that last. If you’re looking for more creative alternatives, Riedel’s cocktail-specific glasses are quirky and chic, while Tervis’ tumblers are a great, durable choice for outdoor drinks.
How We Tested
We sent eight drinking glass sets to our spirits expert and product tester, Kate Dingwall, who tried each out with water and different cocktails, such as gin and tonic, to determine which drinking glasses are truly the best. Each drinking glass was rated on design, size, durability, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each drinking glass' strengths and weaknesses.
What to Look for in Drinking Glasses
Ease of Cleaning
While washing glasses in a dishwasher is the easiest option, if you don’t use a lot of glassware, it’s also simple to swish, rinse, and dry your glasses, especially if you don’t fill the dishwasher every day. Consider whether it's important to you that your drinking glasses are dishwasher-safe.
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.
Of course, you’re going to choose drinkware that you like, but if you want to limit the number of glasses you own, it’s a good idea to pick ones you can use every day with your normal plates and silverware, and perhaps even the nice dinnerware that you only bring out for special occasions.
How do you clean cloudy drinking glasses?
If your glasses are coming out of the dishwasher cloudy, this is likely because of hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content, which leaves a buildup of calcium and minerals on your glasses. Luckily, the fix is easy. Make a quick solution with white vinegar and water (some folks use nail polish remover, as well) and use it to gently clean the glasses with a dishcloth. Alternatively, you could let the glasses soak in a bucket of vinegar and water solution for 30 minutes.
If a vinegar solution does not help remove the film, the fogginess may actually be etching caused by excessive washing. Unfortunately there’s no remedy to this, so if you want to keep your glasses in pristine condition, always wash crystal and higher-end glasses by hand.
Are drinking glasses recyclable?
This may come as a surprise, but drinking glasses are not recyclable. The majority of drinking glasses have various additives to make them safe to drink out of, which changes the melting point of the glass—so most municipal recycling facilities are not equipped to process them.
That doesn’t mean the glasses can't be upcycled. Consider donating your unwanted glasses to a local thrift shop. While they may be old for you, they may feel new to someone else.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Kate Dingwall is an experienced spirits writer and glassware collector. She has been writing about the bar and spirits world for five years, including extensive coverage on glassware. She owns a concerning amount of glassware, from art deco Karl Palda decanters to 1800s crystal coupes (and she’s happy to wax poetic about all of them) and personally tested all eight picks in this roundup.
Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application.