Updated December 04, 2019 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

The 10 Best Drinking Glasses

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in February of 2015. Whether you just need an inexpensive set of drinking glasses to start off your collection or are looking for quality drinkware for serving cocktails at your next dinner party, we've got you covered. Our comprehensive and varied selection of glassware has something for everyone, from basic tumblers to beautiful, handcrafted vessels. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best drinking glass on Amazon.

10. Schott Zwiesel Tritan

9. Arc International Luminarc Pub

8. La Rochere Napoleon Bees

7. Marquis by Waterford Markham Hiballs

6. Circleware Windowpanes

5. Fitz and Floyd Trestle Collection

4. Bormiolo Rocco Rock Bar

3. Novica Confetti Festival

2. Libbey Cobalt Flare Tumblers

1. Duralex Picardie

Special Honors

Baccarat Four Elements Each old-fashioned tumbler in the Four Elements set from Baccarat is handcrafted with meticulous care in France and inspired by the four elements that make up the company's legendary crystal. They hold between 15 and 17.6 ounces, are just shy of 5 inches tall, and must be hand washed. baccarat.com

Mario Luca Giusti Loved and admired by luminaries like Steven Spielberg and Valentino and showcased in luxury stores and hotels throughout the world, pieces from Mario Luca Giusti are both colorful and elegant. Crafted from durable acrylic, their offerings run the gamut in size, shape, hue, and charming designs. They are rigorously tested for quality, BPA-free, tasteless and odorless, and freezable. mariolucagiusti.com

Artel Rope Highball A piece of art in its own right, the Rope Highball glass from Artel is mouth-blown and features a hand-engraved coil of braided rope with slightly frayed ends, two loosely tied knots, and a detailed anchor on the bottom. Its imagery suggests a nautical theme in a simple and sophisticated way, with the added benefit of adding a lovely texture. artelshop.com

Editor's Notes

November 27, 2019:

Purchasing a set of drinking glasses seems like a simple task, but there's actually a surprising amount of thought that goes into how they're manufactured. That's why we chose vessels made from durable materials, like tempered glass, in various shapes, colors, and sizes to facilitate many liquids and cater to varying needs.

Tempered glass is superior for many reasons. It is durable, resistant to thermal shocks, not prone to chipping or cracking, won't cloud or etch, and safe for the dishwasher. However, due to the way it's manufactured, things like thermal stress and surface damage can cause it to break unexpectedly. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. You can extend the life of your glasses by treating them with care. Don't subject them to unnecessary thermal abuse (such as taking a chilled glass from the freezer and filling it with boiling water) and let them cool after removing them from a hot dishwasher. If you'd rather not take the chance with tempered glass, consider other types, like the soda-ash used for the Arc International Luminarc Pub or crystalline, like with the Marquis by Waterford.

We let go of the Amici Monterey Highballs due to availability concerns, offering up the Libbey Cobalt Flare in their place. These glasses are beautiful, durable, and over 17 ounces in capacity, making them just as good as any pint glass if you're a beer lover who doesn't mind that they're not translucent. They're well-suited to margaritas, too.

We also said goodbye to the Libbey Carrington 16-Piece Set, which we felt weren't durable enough to merit sticking around. Instead, we added the stylish Fitz and Floyd Trestle Collection, which are perfect for a cool drink of lemonade, juice, water, or tea, as well as elegant enough to house wine or fancy cocktails at a party.

Drinking Glasses that Matter

Simple juice glasses are perfectly fine for juice, water, and soda, but sometimes the beverage or occasion calls for something more.

Red plastic cups–or drinking straight from the bottle–may be all the rage at college parties, but once you graduate, you really need to reach for something more mature.

Simple juice glasses are perfectly fine for juice, water, and soda, but sometimes the beverage or occasion calls for something more. Enter fine glassware.

Glass is created by the heating of sand or other rock particles until they become molten. A craftsman (or a machine) then inserts a tube and blows air into it, expanding the mass and forming it to the shape desired. It is considered an art by many, and cannot be an afterthought when it comes to drinking.

For cocktails or other alcoholic beverages, the design of the glass is important to the integrity of the drink. Some glasses are meant to hold ice, while others are thicker to keep the drink chilled by the glass itself.

The length and width of the glass can also affect air flow and help to enhance the flavor of whatever it is you are drinking, or, if you choose the wrong glass, to hide the hard work put in by your barkeep.

There is a science behind something as simple as a drinking glass, and far more than meets the eye.

Drinking Glasses: All for One, But Not One for All

If cared for properly, drinking glasses can last for many years. This makes your decision all the more important to get right.

Handmade is always a hot commodity, as minor imperfections in the glass make each individual item unique.

Glass does not contain toxins that are present in plastic. The fact that it also lasts for years without needing to be thrown out or recycled makes them more environmentally friendly and economical. Some are even made from recycled glass themselves.

Colored and hand-blown glasses are sure to be in style because of their beautiful designs. Handmade is always a hot commodity, as minor imperfections in the glass make each individual item unique.

To go the old-fashioned route, crystal glasses are stunning and provide a classy clinking sound that other glasses cannot match. However, they must be hand-washed to prevent clouding.

You also have to consider what it is that you are drinking. If you're a big beer drinker, or have a family that likes to kill a pint from time to time, then why not splurge and buy a set of pint glasses? If you're into cocktails, you cannot go wrong with a highball, old-fashioned, or tumbler style. Of course, these can also double as water or juice glasses for regular use.

A History You Can Drink To

For over 5,000 years, man has been drinking out of glass-based cups. The first ones may not have been clear and were likely a bit bulky.

But the convenience of not having to squeeze the last drops of water or wine out of an animal's bladder-turned-drinking-pouch was undoubtedly a bit refreshing.

If one could not afford their own glass, wooden cups were used.

Early glasses were chalices, akin to what we expect the Holy Grail to look like. They were large goblets with short stems that could have been decorated with jewels depending on the wealth of the owner. Lower classes had smaller glasses which looked more like metal than crystal. If one could not afford their own glass, wooden cups were used.

By the 1890s, glasses became mass-produced and imperfections were weeded out. Drinking glasses took all shapes and sizes from the simple to the elegant.

The French mastered the art of the wine glass, while the British took care of the beer.

Alcohol is a rather large part of human history, and for a lot of that time, the glass was right there holding it.

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Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated on December 04, 2019 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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