Drinks And Proper Glasses To Use For Each One Of Them

After considering 50 options and spending more than 60 hours testing, we think the Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar tumbler is the best all-purpose drinking glass for most people. It is lightweight and durable. We tested it on a marble floor and it survived multiple counter-height drops. Bormioli’s classic bistro style makes it suitable for almost all occasions.

Our pick

Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar

Bormioli’s Rocco Rock Bar Glass is extremely durable, stacks well and doesn’t stick. It is a bistro-style glass with a similar design to Duralex Picardie, but costs half as much.

Buying Options

The lightweight Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar drinking glass was the most durable glass we tested. This glass is made of tempered glass, which is a heat-treated type of glass that is stronger and more resistant than regular soda-lime glasses to breakage. It can be used for hot or cold beverages. Many of our testers loved the size of the glass and said it could be used for water, juice, beer, or wine. The Rock Bar glass is thicker than the Duralex Picardie upgrade, but it sticks well and doesn’t stick.

Budget selection

For those looking to spend about a dollar per glass, we recommend the IKEA 365+ tumbler. The 365+ tumbler, like our main pick, is made from tempered glass. It was able to withstand repeated drops of 3 feet onto a marble floor. The 365+ tumbler’s casual, simple design is a good match for many types of dinnerware. Its tapered shape makes it easy and convenient to stack and hold. The 365+ tumbler comes in a set of six glasses and can be purchased in either 10 or 15 ounces.

Duralex Picardie

A more elegant all-purpose drinking glass

The classic French bistro-style Duralex Picardie is a favorite. Although this tempered glass is slightly heavier than our main pick and can sometimes stick together when stacked, its form is more refined.

Buying Options

We recommend the pricey Duralex Picardie glass for those seeking a more elegant drinking glass for everyday use and an ice cube tray. It is a pleasure to hold the Picardie glass. The slight flare of its lip made it the most enjoyable glass we tried. The Picardie glass is made in France from tempered glass and was strong enough to withstand three-foot drops on a marble floor. Although the Picardie glass weighs slightly more than our top pick and can sometimes stick together when stacked, it is usually available in a wider variety of sizes. There are limited marine sizes and a set of six 8-ounce glasses that come in a mixture of colors from MoMA Design Store.

IKEA Godis

The best soda-lime glass

This non-tempered, inexpensive glass is narrow and tall, making it ideal for drinks and water. Although the IKEA Godis stacks well it takes up more room in a cupboard than other choices.

Buying Options

The IKEA Godis glass is taller and narrower than our other glass picks, which makes it a great shape for both water and cocktails. It is similar to a collins cup, but slightly wider and tapered so that it can be stacked (two 14-ounce glasses stacked together measure 8 3/4 inches high). The Godis glass is not heat-resistant and should not be used to drink hot beverages. It was able to withstand a three-foot drop onto hardwood floors, but not onto marble floors. You won’t feel disappointed if you drop one of the glasses onto a hardwood floor. You can buy the IKEA Godis in six glasses in two sizes, 8 and 14.

Great also

We recommend the US Acrylic Classic 16-ounce Water Tumbler for outdoor use, or if you have young kids in your family. The tumbler looked just like regular glass. It also didn’t crack or fade in the dishwasher during our tests. It can be used for water or cocktails because it is wider than most collins glasses. Although the US Acrylic glasses stack well, they take up more space than other choices because they are so tall. These glasses come in six packs and are available in multiple sizes, including 9, 12, 16, and 24 ounces.

A more elegant all-purpose drinking glass

The classic French bistro-style Duralex Picardie is a favorite. Although this tempered glass is slightly heavier than our main pick and can sometimes stick together when stacked, its form is more refined.

This non-tempered, inexpensive glass is narrow and tall, making it ideal for drinks and water. Although the IKEA Godis stacks well it takes up more room in a cupboard than other choices.

Why you should put your faith in us

We reached out to experts like Jane Cook, Ph.D., who was the former chief scientist at Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG), in Corning, New York. William C. LaCourse is a professor at Alfred University, Alfred, New York. Zachary Rudolph is an artisan glassblower and has taught classes at Santa Cruz’s Bay Area Glass Institute. We also asked Leigh Krietsch Boerner (Ph.D.), our science editor to investigate the most common materials used in making plastic drinking glasses.

To see how tempered glassware holds up in a busy restaurant setting, we contacted Szoke Schaeffer, former co-owner of Concord Hill, a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York.

We also reviewed several reviews of drinking glasses from New York Magazine, The Kitchn, and The Spruce. Finally, we searched for drinking glasses at Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Webstaurantstore.com, and Amazon.com.

Michael Sullivan, my name is Michael Sullivan and I have reviewed wine glasses, champagne glasses, dinnerware, food storage containers, and other kitchen equipment for Wirecutter. I tested 13 glasses for the 2017 update of this guide after researching more than 50. This guide is based on the work of Eve O’Neill, senior editor at Wirecutter.

You have to choose between plastic and glass

Are you unsure which type of glass to choose? We’ll help you decide.

If you are looking for:

  • You prefer a tough, durable safety glass that will not break and shatter into small pieces if it does.
  • Drink hot and cold beverages out of your glasses
  • You want something that can be used for everyday and formal occasions.

If you are:

  • Glass that breaks easily and is less durable will not be a problem.
  • Drink only cold beverages from the glass
  • You want something that can be used for everyday and formal occasions.
  • You want something light and durable that won’t break?
  • A casual glass to drink with your kids outdoors or for outdoor use?

Tempered glass: A few words

Tempered glass is great for tableware, as it is very durable and less likely to break from thermal shock. Sudden or extreme temperature changes, such as when you pour hot liquid into a glass, can cause the glass’s parts to expand at different rates. This can lead to it cracking from stress. On rare occasions, minor damage (like nicks and scratches) can cause tempered glass to break unexpectedly (read more on why and how this happens). That said, tempered glass is often referred to as “safety glass,” because when it does break, it crumbles into cube-shaped pieces rather than long, thin shards–this is why tempered glass is used for side and rear windows in cars and glass shower doors. Our experts say that spontaneous fractures in tempered glassware are very rare, especially if you take care of them.

Soda-lime glass is broken into long, thin shards (left), while tempered glass breaks down into cube-shaped parts (right). Photo: Michael Hession
Some drinking glasses are made from borosilicate glass, which is highly resistant to thermal shock. It is more fragile than tempered glass, and therefore more expensive. For a primer on the difference between a crystal, nonleaded crystal, and soda-lime glass, see our guide to the best wine glasses.

How did we pick?

From left to right: The Bormioli rock bar glass, IKEA365+ glass, and Duralex Picardie glasses, IKEA Godis glasses, IKEA Godis glasses, and the US Acrylic water glass. Photo: Michael Hession
We compiled a list of the top features we look for in an all-purpose drinking glass after speaking with our experts and years’ worth of long-term testing.

No matter if you choose glass or plastic, the best drinking glass is clear and simple. We believe this is because you will be reaching for it more often than any other glass in your home. It should also be suitable for any occasion, casual or formal.

Drinking glasses are used so often that durability is important. Tempered glass was the most durable glass we tested. Some glasses could withstand repeated counter-height drops on a marble floor without cracking. The soda-lime glasses that we tested broke each time they struck a marble floor at a height of 3 feet. Our roundup also included plastic tumblers, which were unsurprisingly the most durable glasses tested. Although some glasses did sustain minor scratches and scuffs from repeated drops on marble floors, none of them broke.

While the size of the glass is up to you, our long-term testing has shown that we don’t recommend any smaller than 10-12 ounces as an everyday drink glass. We looked at a variety of sizes so that everyone could enjoy the glass. Our testers stated that they prefer smaller glasses, such as 4- to 6-ounces, for juice, cocktails, or wine, while larger glasses, 12 to 16-ounce, are better for water and iced tea.

Zachary Rudolph, an instructor at the Bay Area Glass Institute, told us a great glass “can’t be too wide because you want to be able to get your hand around it. It should feel good in your hands. It shouldn’t feel heavy. When you hold it in your hand to drink, your lips should fit around the rim. Your nose shouldn’t be blocked by it. It should also have a thick bottom to prevent it from sliding off the table. This is a common practice. Although stability is essential, it’s important that the glass doesn’t feel heavy or cumbersome.

Good drinking glasses shouldn’t be too thin. Our testers preferred thin-rimmed glasses that felt good against their lips. Thin glassware can feel bulky and more like a storage container than a drink glass.

The glasses should be stacked well so that they take up less room in a cupboard. We still included non-stacking glassware in our roundup, for those who have plenty of cupboard space or prefer straight-sided glasses.

We looked for glasses that were sold at multiple stores and had little to no design changes over the years. It’s frustrating to break glass only to discover it can’t get replaced. We looked at glasses ranging in price from $1 to $5 but didn’t test any high-end options. If you are looking to purchase a set of four or more glasses, then the $10 and above are more expensive.

Additionally, we ruled out many glasses meant for restaurant use, like these Anchor Hocking glasses, because they’re sold only in sets that are too large for some households. The glasses should be sold in small sets of four to six or open stock so that broken glass can be replaced easily.

What we tested

Each glass was evaluated by our testers for its size, shape, weight, and overall appearance. Photo: Michael Hession

We tested a variety of glasses for our 2017 update: tempered glass; non-heat treated soda-lime, plastic, and nonleaded crystal.

We selected 13 finalists (both plastic and glass) and ran drop tests. We dropped the glasses from 3 feet high onto marble and hardwood floors. To test if the glasses would break, we also struck the glass’ rim against a marble counter. Two temperature tests were performed to determine if glass can break from sudden temperature changes. First, we took hot glasses out of the dishwasher, filled them immediately with ice water, and then, after waiting for about an hour, we put them in the freezer and fill them up with boiling water. We were surprised to find that none of the glasses cracked in either of these tests. To see if the glasses would crack, fade or become cloudy, we washed them 20 times in the dishwasher.

We tested the durability of each glass by dropping them from a 3-foot high counter onto a marble flooring. The soda-lime glasses fell every time. The IKEA Godis glass is shown above. Video: Michael Hession

We tested all tempered glasses and they survived three-foot drops on a marble floor.

We invited Wirecutter’s parent company, The New York Times, to test our glass selections in our kitchen. They were able to take a sip from the glasses and give their opinions. We covered each glass with the manufacturer’s stamp to prevent testers from being influenced.

Our pick: Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar Glasses

Bormioli’s Rocco Rock Bar Glass is extremely durable, stacks well, and doesn’t stick. It is a bistro-style glass with a similar design to Duralex Picardie, but costs half as much.

Options for Buying

We think the affordable Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar glass is the best all-purpose drinking glass for most people. This classic bistro-style glass is lightweight, durable, and dishwasher-safe. Tempered glass allows it to be used for hot or cold beverages and can bounce off hard floors without damage. Rock Bar glass comes in many sizes and has all the features you want in an everyday drinking glass.

The Rock Bar’s tempered glasses lasted through extreme abuse, including freezing temperatures and boiling water. It didn’t crack even after it was subject to 12 counter-height drops on a marble floor. It also survived drops of 8 feet onto a concrete floor and 3 1/2 feet onto a linoleum one. (In fact, this glass is so durable, Montessori Services sells a small 2-ounce size for 1- to 2-year-olds.)

The Bormioli rock bar glasses stack compactly and don’t stick. Photo: Michael Hession
Rock Bar’s “excellent stackability” was praised by our testers. Two 12.5-ounce Rock Bar glasses can be stacked together to measure 6 5/8 inches high, even though each Rock Bar glass measures 4 3/4 inches. The glass’s ridge around its perimeter allows you to perch comfortably on top of another without being too tight. We were not able to test this with Duralex Picardie or IKEA Vardagen glasses, as they sometimes stuck together when stacked.

The Rock Bar tumbler can be used for many drinks. Photo: Michael Hession
We think that the Rock Bar glass is timeless and functional, in addition to its durability. Many of our testers loved the versatility of this glass. They said it could be used for water, juice, beer, and even wine. It is also a good size for espresso. Rock Bar glasses have a wide mouth that is easy to drink and doesn’t touch your nose. Its tapered design makes it easy to hold and its faceted sides make it even easier.

The Rock Bar’s classic design is appropriate for any occasion. Photo: Michael Hession

Flaws, but not dealbreakers

The Bormioli glasses are extremely durable but all glass is naturally brittle. They should still be handled with care and stacked gently. Also, it’s important to remember that tempered glass can, on rare occasions, spontaneously shatter after sustaining minor surface damage (see more on why and how this happens). For tips on how to care for your glassware and avoid shattering, see our care and maintenance section.

Some testers thought the bistro style of this glass was outdated restaurant glassware. Others liked the design and thought it was timeless and classic. Glassware tastes vary and are subjective. We recommend that you choose glasses that you enjoy using.

The Bormioli Rock Bar Glass (above) has slightly thicker lips than the Duralex Picardie upgrade. Photo: Michael Hession

The Rock Bar glass’s slightly thicker lip and more prominent ridge in the middle is less elegant than the Duralex Picardie upgrade. One tester also felt that the Rock Bar glass was less comfortable than the Picardie because of the ridge. The extended ridge allows Rock Bar glasses to stack well and not stick.

We found minor imperfections in all the glasses that we tested, including occasional bubbles or ripples. The Bormioli however had less imperfections than most of the competitors.

IKEA 365+ Glasses – Budget Pick

At about a dollar per glass, the IKEA 365+ tumbler is an affordable and durable glass that can withstand the rigors of daily household use. It was almost as durable as the Bormioli Rocco rock bar glass in our tests. It was also resistant to thermal stress and did not chip against a marble countertop. It’s also made from tempered glass, which allows it to be used for both hot and chilled beverages. Its casual, simple design is a good match for many types of tableware. The 365+ glasses can also be stacked without sticking because they are tapered.

IKEA 365+ glass is simple and suitable for daily use. However, it can also be used for formal occasions. It looks similar to the Duralex Unie glass, which costs about five times as much and proved to be less durable in our tests. The 365+ glass is not as wide as other picks, and it comes in smaller sizes. It’s therefore not suitable for wine and coffee. The majority of our testers stated that they would only drink water or juice from the 365+ glass. The 365+ glass’s tapered shape makes it easier to stack and hold. It feels balanced, according to one of our testers.

The IKEA 365+ glass’s simple design pairs well with many types of dinnerware. Photo: Michael Hession

IKEA 365+ comes in six sets and can be purchased in either 10 or 15 ounces. We also tried the 6-ounce size, which is no longer available. However, we didn’t like it as it was too small and had a narrow mouth that made it difficult to drink from. Some testers felt the 10-ounce size was too small.

The IKEA Vardagen glass (right), which is nearly identical to the 365+ glass in terms of price, durability, and size range, was also well-liked by our testers. Photo: Michael Hession
The IKEA 365+ glass has a similar shape to the IKEA Vardagen glass, which our testers also liked. Some people thought it looked plastic-like, like something you would see in a restaurant. Some liked its retro style and ribbed sides. The Vardagen glass, which is smaller than the 365+, has similar durability, price, and design to the 365+. However, it comes in a more attractive shape. Just remember that, like our other tempered glass picks, both the 365+ and Vardagen glasses are strong but not invincible, and will last longest if treated with care.

Upgrade pick: Duralex Picardie Glasses

The classic French bistro-style Duralex Picardie is a favorite. Although this tempered glass is slightly heavier than our main pick and can sometimes stick together when stacked, its form is more refined.

Buying Options

For those seeking a more elegant glass for everyday use, we recommend the Duralex Picardie. Although it is more expensive than the other choices, its contoured shape and slightly flared lips make it a delight to drink from. The Picardie, made of tempered glass is strong and can withstand drops on a marble floor for a long time without cracking in our tests. It is lightweight enough to be lifted easily and stacks well. It’s versatile enough to hold a wide range of hot and cold beverages. It is also readily available and can be purchased in many sizes.

The Picardie was not the last man standing in our drop tests. However, it survived eight three-foot drops onto a marble flooring. In a previous test, it also survived an 8-foot drop onto a linoleum surface. This is still quite impressive considering it’s made of glass. In fact, the Picardie glasses are so durable that Lexi Mainland, a writer for the blog A Cup of Joe, even recommends them for toddlers.

The Picardie, like all the glasses tested, survived the hot-to–cold and cold–to–hot tests. So if you put an ice-cold beverage into a warm glass right out of the dishwasher it will be fine. However, we recommend that the glass be allowed to cool down before pouring any liquids. They nest nicely together but can sometimes get stuck, so you will need to gently wiggle them. The 12 5/8-ounce glass was tested and we found it to be a great all-purpose size. The 16-ounce size is for those who like to guzzle.

Duralex Picardie’s glass is comfortable to hold, and it is enjoyable to drink from. Photo: Michael Hession

It’s clear that the Duralex Picardie is a classic at French bistros and family tables for many decades because of its elegant design. According to its website, Duralex began producing glassware in 1946. Although the company has been in various hands over the years, its glasses are still made in France. Szoke Schaeffer is the co-owner at Concord Hill, a Brooklyn restaurant. He told us via email that he likes the sturdy, yet casual, look and feel. These glasses are instantly recognizable and bring comfort and nostalgia. However, design is subjective. These glasses can be timeless and classic depending on your personal taste or old-fashioned and trendy. The Picardie’s timeless design was appreciated by the majority of our testers.

All of the glasses that we tested had minor imperfections. The Duralex glasses were no exception. You can see small bubbles, particles of sandy material, and striations when the glasses are held up to the sunlight. These flaws can’t be seen unless you are looking for them. However, it is something you should know before buying.

Picardie glasses come in various sizes, ranging from 3 to 17oz, and limited quantities in marine. The MoMA Design Store also sells the 8-ounce glass in a set of six colorful options.

Notes for long-term testing

Some readers have commented that their Duralex glasses spontaneously cracked. As discussed in a separate section of this guide, all tempered glassware has a small risk of randomly breaking, usually due to minor past damage or flaws. Szoke Schaeffer is the co-owner of Concord Hill and has used Duralex Picardie glasses for three years. We wanted to find out if this was a more common problem with Duralex. She stated that there has been no spontaneous breakage but that the glasses have occasionally fallen on hard surfaces and shatter into tiny pieces. However, she said that they are durable and can withstand the demands of busy restaurants. We believe Duralex Picardie glasses are a good choice for home use.

We’ve noticed that sometimes the Picardie glasses stick together when they’ve been stored in a cabinet. This is not a problem, but it can be annoying.