We Tested 12 Sets of Drinking Glasses—Four Stood Out

a group of drinking glasses on a blue background
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

Drinking glasses are a necessity, whether you’re rehydrating with water, serving a casual spot of wine, or want to sip some orange juice with your pancakes on a Saturday morning. 

But when we decided to tackle reviewing glassware, the sheer scale of options was a little intimidating—how do you narrow it down? Plus, talk about subjective! Just because you might like drinking from bright pink round orbs doesn’t mean the next person will. 

In an attempt to narrow down the field, we chose highly-rated offerings and kept untraditional designs to a minimum (though a few more colorful options did slip in). 

In the end, we were surprised at the winners, which were neither the plainest nor the fanciest of them all; instead, they were versatile, reliable, solid (yet still nice-looking) picks.

The Winners, at a Glance

Our testers loved these glasses. Everything about their design felt intentional and functional: the slightly flared lip made drinking water smooth, while the faceted sides helped you grip the glasses. Plus, after accidentally dropping a glass on a concrete floor, we can assure you of their durability. 

A few bucks cheaper than the Duralex, these glasses have a similar look (faceted sides) and vibe (cafe/diner). They were durable, sturdy glasses that were a pleasure to drink from.

If you want a plain Jane glass that does the job, this no-frills option is a good pick. It’s the LBD of drinking glasses—it works for any occasion.

These cute (albeit, somewhat small) glasses were easy to grip, thanks to their slightly smaller bottoms—which also made them great stackers.

A far cry from childhood jam jars (which, if we’re honest, made great glasses), these stunners scream “I’m an accomplished adult.” But beyond their gorgeous aesthetic, all of our testers found these glasses great in practical ways, too. They were sturdy with a just-right lip thickness, and the pretty etched lines had a practical purpose: they helped you grip the glass.

The Tests

pouring seltzer into the riedel glass on a blue surface
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly
  • Drinking Water Test: We had three users with different hand sizes use each glass to drink water. 
  • Stacking Test: We stacked all the stackable glasses and examined how easily they fit together. 
  • Seltzer and Ice Test (Winners-Only): We filled our winning glasses with 1/2 cup of ice and topped it with seltzer. We sipped from them and let them sit for 10 minutes to see if any condensation formed. 
  • Durability and Cleaning Tests (Winners-Only): We hand-washed our winning glasses with soap and water. We then dropped them in the sink three times, as if the glass slipped out of our hands while washing them.

What We Learned

Thicker Glasses Were (Usually) Better Than Thin Ones

hand holding seltzer with ice in riedel over blue surface
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

While the Our Place glasses bordered on too hefty (one user found the 4-millimeter thick rim impeded drinking), there was a sweet spot when it came to thickness. Overall, we preferred glasses with rims that were two to three millimeters thick, like those on the Luminarc and Duralex, respectively. Thinner glasses, like the 1-millimeter thick Borosil and the 1.5-millimeter-thick glasses from Fable, felt fragile and chintzy, with users complaining they had “sharp rims” and that they felt “very breakable.” We also preferred glasses that had thick bases, like the Riedels, which helped the glass stay put on the table and gave it a nice weightiness. Glasses like the Libbey Polaris, which had thin bases and curved bottoms, felt like they’d knock over more easily. 

Faceted (or Grooved) Exterior Sides Were Good for Grip

hand holding duralex with ice and seltzer in it over blue backdrop
We loved faceted sides because they were easy to grip.Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

We found, rather surprisingly, that testers preferred glasses that had faceted sides (like the Duralex and Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar) or that featured grooved lines on the exterior (like the Riedel). Instead of being annoying, these facets and lines helped us grip the glasses securely, as opposed to perfectly smooth sides. At first glance, the Ichendorf Milano Laguna Tumblers looked to have grooved exterior lines, but, puzzlingly, they were actually on the inside of the glass, which didn’t help with grip at all. 

Users Disliked Plain, Straight-Edged Glasses

the bormiolo rocco glass with its slightly flared shape versus the straight-sided borosil glass
Users preferred glasses with a bit of flare to them over straight edged, almost rectangular-looking glasses.Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

A few glasses in the lineup, including the Borosil and Fable, featured almost rectangular silhouettes, with no flaring whatsoever. Some users thought these glasses looked “clinical” and more closely resembled chemistry beakers than drinking glasses. Conversely, users loved the elegant, ridged lines on the Riedels, as well as the classic silhouettes of the Duralex, which one user said resembled the glasses her grandmother used. While the Bormioli Rocco bodega glasses were the plainest of our winners, they did feature a slight flare outwards from the thicker base, which aided in grip and also looked nice.

Quality Craftsmanship Made an Impression—and Sloppy Manufacturing Did, Too

a closeup of one of the libbey ascent rocks glasses showcasing the divot in the rim
Some of the glasses in the Libbey Ascent set had noticeable defects, like the divot in the rim pictured here.Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

Most of the glasses we tested came in identical sets, with no variation between glasses: each Luminarc, Duralex, Bormioli Rocco, and Riedel looked exactly the same (save for the tall glasses in the Riedel set, which looked different from the rocks glasses on-purpose). But when we unboxed the Libbey Ascent set, which included highball and rocks glasses, we were surprised to find that many of the glasses varied in terms of production quality; many had uneven bases that sloped off to one side inside, and one glass even had a divot in the rim. When you’re buying a set of glasses that you might break out when guests are over, do you really want glasses that look shoddily made? We wouldn’t. 

Glasses That Stacked Were Easy to Store

a hand stacking bormiolo rosso glasses
We liked glasses that stacked easily and sturdily.Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

While many of the glasses we tested claimed to be stackable, a few really stood out: the Duralex, Bormioli Rocco, and Luminarc. The Luminarc, in particular, was a lovely stacker, with a smaller bottom section that slid easily into the wider top part of the accompanying glasses. 

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Drinking Glass

a seriously good drinking glass is slightly tapered, has a thicker bottom, faceted sides, and is durable
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

While looks depend on your personal preferences (whether you like to go flashy all the time or prefer subdued elegance), there are a few things to look for in a good drinking glass: it should have a thicker bottom, taper outward slightly, and ideally have a goldilocks thickness of between two to three millimeters. It should also be durable (because accidents happen), easy to grip, and each glass in the set should be defect-free. 

What we liked: Testers loved the faceted sides and slightly blooming opening of this durable glass—which also survived a drop on concrete, a minor miracle. They said it “looks good in a diner-esque/mini milkshake way,” and is a “good daily driver glass.” It was a pleasure to use whether sipping water, seltzer, or even a spot of wine (sacré bleu!). It also was easy to stack, making for efficient storage. You can also purchase this glass set in smaller and larger sizes, if the mid-sized offering isn’t your cup of tea—er, water?

What we didn’t like: Our only minor qualm was that the facets went up high on this glass, which caused one users’ hand to slide upwards. Other than that, this is a fantastic glass. 

Price at time of publish: $35 for a set of six 12.62-ounce tumblers.

Key Specs

  • Lip thickness: 3 millimeters
  • Number in set: 6
  • Diameter of opening: 3 3/8 inches 
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces
  • Capacity: 12.62 ounces
  • Materials: Tempered glass
  • Stackable: Yes
  • Cleaning and care: Dishwasher-safe
the duralex glass on a blue backdrop
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

What we liked: With a similar, classic cafe aesthetic, this offering was slightly cheaper (and smaller) than the Duralex. We liked its similar faceted sides, tapered base, and just-the-right-thickness rim. It also stacked well. 

What we didn’t like: One user wished the facets continued higher up on the glass. 

Price at time of publish: $24 for a set of 6. 

Key Specs

  • Lip thickness: 3 millimeters
  • Number in set: 6
  • Diameter of opening: 3 1/4 inches 
  • Height: 4 3/4 inches
  • Weight: 9.7 ounces
  • Capacity: 12.5 ounces
  • Materials: Tempered glass
  • Stackable: Yes
  • Cleaning and care: Dishwasher-safe
bormioli rock bar glass on a blue backdrop
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

What we liked: These simple glasses featured a slim profile, perfect rim thickness, and a slightly weighty base to keep ‘em steady. While they might not have the curb appeal of fancier glasses, they really were great for drinking anything—water, juice, seltzer, margaritas…the list goes on. Plus, their neutral design means you can pair them with pizza as readily as a fancy steak dinner (we do have to say, they look particularly nice filled with rose next to a platter of oysters). They also stack nicely. 

What we didn’t like: Some users found the smooth exterior a little harder to grip. 

Price at time of publish: $46 for a set of 12.

Key Specs

  • Lip thickness: 2 millimeters
  • Number in set: 12
  • Diameter of opening: 3 3/8 inches 
  • Height: 3 1/2 inches
  • Weight: 6.3 ounces
  • Capacity: 12 ounces
  • Materials: Tempered glass
  • Stackable: Yes
  • Cleaning and care: Dishwasher-safe
bormioli rocco glass on a blue backdrop
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

What we liked: These petite glasses featured a smaller lower-half which was easy to grip and—per our designation—made them super easy to stack. They also featured a thicker bottom, which helped them stand nice and steady. If you want an even smaller, squatter option, they are also available in a 9-ounce size (though this size it out of stock at the moment). 

What we didn’t like: These are wee glasses, so if you like to gulp down huge amounts of anything, they might not be right for you—they’re better for dainty sipping. However, if you’re nostalgic for drinking out of jam jars, these glasses kinda have that vibe (minus the cute illustrations). 

Price at time of publish: $26 for a set of 6.

Key Specs

  • Lip thickness: 2 millimeters
  • Number in set: 6
  • Diameter of opening: 2.75 inches 
  • Height: 4 3/4 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 ounces
  • Capacity: 10.75 ounces
  • Materials: Glass
  • Stackable: Yes
  • Cleaning and care: Dishwasher-safe
the luminarc glass on a blue backdrop
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

What we liked: This set of fancy glasses comes with four rocks glasses and four highballs, all of which feature an art-deco-esque design. These are the glasses you find at good bars; they’re pricey, have a nice weight to them, and look fantastic in the glow of a candle. On a practical note, they were surprisingly durable, and every single tester who used them loved the grooved lines on the exterior, which made gripping easy. 

What we didn’t like: While we found the rocks glass near-flawless (though one user thought sloshing might be an issue, since they are squat), testers weren’t quite as enamored with the highball glasses for everyday sipping. They were narrow and seemed more apt at holding a crushed ice cocktail that you sip with a straw rather than a glass of OJ swigged at breakfast. Also, this set is PRICEY. 

Price at time of publish: $120 for a set of 8.

Key Specs

  • Lip thickness: 2 millimeters
  • Number in set: 8 (four rocks and four highballs) 
  • Highball diameter: 2 1/2 inches
  • Rocks diameter: 3 1/4 inches
  • Highball height: 3 1/2 inches
  • Rocks height: 3 1/4 inches
  • Highball weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Rocks weight: 11.3 ounces
  • Highball capacity: 10.9 ounces
  • Rocks capacity: 10 ounces
  • Materials: Tempered glass
  • Stackable: Yes (technically you can stack highball inside the rocks glass)
  • Cleaning and Care: Dishwasher-safe
riedel glasses on a blue backdrop
Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

The Competition

  • Fable Glassware Set: While these glasses were surprisingly durable considering how thin they were, their thinness was a downside in a tactile sense; users thought they were too slim and that they verged on the boring side of plain. 
  • Libbey Polaris 8-Piece Tumbler Set: With a simple but elegant design, these glasses had a lot going for them—save for the curved bases and very tall height (6.25 inches, the tallest of the lineup), which made them feel tippy. 
  • Libbey Ascent 16-Piece Tumbler And Rocks Glass Set: This set had potential, but its downfall was quality control: a few of the tumblers and rocks glasses had defects, including divoted rims and uneven bases. 
  • Borosil Simple Glass Tumblers (Set of 6): Simple can be nice, but these glasses verged too close to chemistry beaker territory. The rectangular silhouette and thin glass were not popular with testers. 
  • Ichendorf Milano Laguna Tumblers (Set of 6): Oh these glasses looked so nice, but sometimes good looks don’t guarantee a good user experience. Testers were puzzled to find that the grooved lines were actually on the inside of the glass (negating any grip they may have lent) and while the little raised edges on the rim were pretty, they were uncomfortable to sip from. 
  • Fortessa Tableware Solutions Modo Basic Bar Glasses/Schott Zwiesel: While these glasses were elegant and had a thick base, the top was very thin (a mere one millimeter thick) and felt fragile. 
  • Our Place Night + Day Glasses: While some users like the appearance of these glasses (and the fact that they come in a fun range of colors), others thought drinking from them was akin to trying to drink from a candle holder since the rim was four millimeters thick. However, they did stack nicely and feel sturdy. 


What size drinking glasses should I buy?

It depends on your needs and desires (an annoyingly vague answer, we know). While some people might be totally cool with rocks-sized glasses, other might want highballs to pack full of ice. The good news is that many glasses come in sets with smaller glasses and taller ones, so you can get the best of both worlds. But if a set of glasses catches your eye and they only come in one size, take a gander at the dimensions and capacity. 

How many glasses are in a set?

It really depends on the set, but six glasses was the most common set amount in our testing. 

What is the best way to clean drinking glasses?

All glasses can be hand-washed, but there’s also the option to just pile ‘em in the dishwasher. All of the glasses we tested came out of the dishwasher unscathed and glinting.