The best drinking glasses are the Duralex Made in France Picardie Clear Tumblers.

Photo: Marcus McDonald

When it comes to glassware, the sexier vessels — a coupe, a flute, a wineglass — tend to get all the glory. But a simple water glass (which can be just as appropriate for juice, wine, iced coffee, or, yes, a G&T) gets more use than any of those options — and is just as worthy of praise. Whether you’re in the market for a basic stackable matching set or something bolder to spruce up your dinner table, the choices are many. To help you find the best drinking glasses, I asked 28 of our favorite restaurant, beverage, and interior-design experts how they take their H2O. Then, I tested and added in a few affordable picks of my own, as the Strategist’s unofficial home-bartending expert (and if you want to know about the best barware to pair with your new drinking glasses or the bar cart to place them on, I’ve got you covered there, too).

Drinking glasses come in a variety of materials that will determine both the look and the durability of the vessels, as well as whether they are dishwasher- or freezer-safe. Our experts agree that while thin glass looks sophisticated, it is more fragile than tempered options. And if you have kids (or are clumsy), opting for practically indestructible acrylic is probably your best bet.

The amount of ounces each glass can hold will affect more than just how quickly it takes you to reach your daily hydration goal. Aside from aesthetics, the size and volume of the glass will influence what type of drinks you can make. If you plan to use your drinking glasses for highball cocktails, you’ll probably want to stick to tall glasses that are 12 ounces and above, whereas short glasses under eight ounces will be best if you’re partial to a glass of red wine or a neat whiskey at dinner.

Most of the glasses down below are sold in sets. Your entertaining needs, budget, and the amount of space you have will all determine how many glasses you should purchase. A set of two is great for just you and your roommate, whereas sets in larger increments are best if you’re the entertaining type. We’ve even included a few restaurant-grade styles sold in bulk (that you may want to go in on with a friend or two, since you probably won’t need all 72).

Duralex Made in France Picardie Clear Tumbler

Material: Tempered glass | Volume: From 8.75 oz. | Number in set: Six

Duralex’s Picardie glasses are a personal favorite of mine — and very popular among our panelists. It’s easy to see why: They are available in assorted sizes, so I always have the right one at hand if someone wants water, juice, or a stiff drink. More important, the thick tempered glass is extremely durable, meaning I don’t need to be too precious with them: I like to break them out during casual weeknight dinner parties, and I never worry about throwing them in the dishwasher afterward. And even though they’re affordable, the glasses look and feel expensive. As Tracie Battle, a senior designer at online interior-design service Havenly, says, their “classic look will never go out of style.” Hudson Wilder founder Conway Liao and author (and former Lucky Peach executive editor) Rachel Khong also swear by these glasses. (Khong says that her set is “still going strong after many, many years.”) This 18-piece set includes three sizes and six glasses in each size.

Bormioli Rocco Dailyware Bodega Glasses (Set of 12)

Material: Tempered glass | Volume: From 11.6 oz. | Number in set: 16

Bormioli glasses first appeared on the Strategist in tasteful person Joanna Goddard’s “What I Can’t Live Without” back in 2017. The glasses, which are very elegant but not flimsy, have only amassed more fans in the years since. This set of Dailyware Bodega glasses from Bormiolo Rocco — which includes eight shorter double-old-fashioned glasses and eight taller highball glasses — is interior designer Katrina Hernandez’s choice. She uses them in both her house in the country and her Brooklyn apartment. “They’re perfect for water or a cocktail,” she says. “It’s a set of two sizes, but both are relatively shorter and more modern.” The Bodega is also a favorite style of Julie Mulligan, the owner and designer of cocktail lounge and restaurant Lot 15, because it’s “versatile and low maintenance but still chic.” She says they can even be used for displaying flowers. “They have a great smooth lip to drink from and the price is just right,” she adds.

Toyo-Sasaki Glass 13 oz Fino Stacking Glass (Set of 6)

Material: Thin glass | Volume: 13 oz. | Number in set: Six

If you prefer very thin glassware (brave), Toyo-Sasaki has some of the best on the market. Amanda Spina, the general manager of Williamsburg’s Four Horsemen restaurant and Nightmoves bar, swears by these short stackable glasses from the Japanese brand. “I always want precious, delicate, thin Japanese glassware at the restaurant, but it’s got to be strong enough to fall onto a rubber mat and not break,” says Spina. “And it must be stackable.” These glasses, which are each about four inches high, tick all those boxes. “They’re a little more unique and contemporary than the ubiquitous Duralex,” she adds, “but just as practical.”

Libbey Esquire 5 oz. Side Water Glass (Case of 72)

Material: Glass | Volume: 5 oz. | Number in set: 72

If you want something a little cheaper, Libbey is an industry standard. The petite Esquire side water glass isn’t just great in a restaurant setting, though — it’s ideal for the home. The thin glass, slightly curved shape, and weighted base make it a little more interesting than your standard, straight-side water glass. Intended for the service industry, these glasses come in a case of 72, which is more than an average household will ever need. But if these appeal to you, consider splitting a case with a family member or friend (or several family members or friends). The cost-per-glass comes out to just a tad over a dollar, which honestly can’t be beat.

Our Place Short Night & Day Glasses
Very Good Deal

Material: Glass | Volume: 12 oz. | Number in set: Four

If cabinet space is limited, shorter glasses may be the way to go. I love this handsome set from Our Place that was gifted to me last year — and was featured in last year’s print gift guide — because not only are the glasses short, they’re stackable. Available in sets of both four and eight, these heavy-bottomed beauties feel wonderfully hefty in your hand, look more expensive than they are, and are great for drinking everything from water to old-fashioneds to wine. In addition to the clear color shown, they also come in five other colors. (Bonus: If you can’t decide, the brand also sells multi-sets.)

Riedel O Water Glasses (Set of 2)

Material: Glass | Volume: 8 oz. | Number in set: Two

For something less fussy, you can’t go wrong with these simple Riedel glasses. “I love the silhouette,” says Shelley Kleyn Armistead, a partner at Gjelina Group who is in charge of the interior design and tableware at all of its restaurants. “At the restaurants, we actually use them for wine because there’s something about them that feels friendly and approachable, a contrast to how wine is so often served.” Of course, they also work beautifully for water. Not too big and not too small, “they feel like glasses that should be used for daily enjoyment,” as Armistead puts it. Plus, they’re dishwasher-safe.

Spiegelau Classic Bar Longdrink Glass (Set of 12)

Material: Glass | Volume: 12.25 oz. | Number in set: 12

If you prefer to drink out of a tall glass, Spiegelau (which also happens to make beer glasses) has you covered. “At home, I use these 12-ounce Collins glasses, which are tall and a handsome vessel for cocktails” says Nick Rancone, the owner of Twin Cities–based restaurant group Twist Davis Group. While their stature makes them perfect for serving drinks like a Tom Collins, gin fizz, or even a mojito, Rancone likes these because “they’re multipurpose enough to use for just plain water, too. I like that it can do double or triple duty.”

Luigi Bormiolo Classico SON.hyx Highball Glasses (Set of 4)

Material: Glass | Volume: 16.25 oz. | Number in set: Four

Bormiolo also makes great highballs that are super sturdy. “This set is minimal in style and works well for several different drinks, whether a simple glass of water or a mint mojito,” she says. Battle adds that they’re also a great choice if you have kids since the thick glass is quite durable — meaning they won’t necessarily break if they get knocked over — and they’re dishwasher safe, too.

Libbey 133 9 oz Highball Glass (Set of 36)

Material: Glass | Volume: 9 oz. | Number in set: 36

If you’re short on space, Libbey has made a second appearance on this list, this time for its tall glasses (which are just as great as its short glasses, above). This stackable highball glass is a favorite of Employees Only co-owner Igor Hadzismajlovic for its convenience. “We use the 9-ounce highball glass by Libbey at home, which is stackable and a must for a tiny New York apartment,” he says. “It’s actually the same glass we use at Employees Only too. They’re thick enough to eliminate breakage, which is especially important for a glass that is most frequently used.”

Aita Tall Handblown Glass Set, Amber Base

Material: Glass | Volume: 11 oz. | Number in set: Two

For daily glasses with a little more flair, I recommend these Hudson Wilder glasses. They’re handblown from strong borosilicate glass that’s not just shatter-resistant but also resistant to thermal shock, so you can use the glasses for both warm and cold drinks. Anna Polonsky, founder of the food-focused strategy-and-design consultancy Polonsky & Friends, loves to set a dinner table with these drinking glasses, too. “Hudson Wilder really creates timeless tableware,” she told me. “They stand out without being too much. The base makes them special, but they’re also hardy enough not to feel too precious.”

Degen Face Vessel (Medium)

Material: Glass | Volume: From 2 oz. | Number in set: Sold individually

After getting a Neal Drobnis Face Vessel as a birthday gift two years ago, Strategist writer Erin Schwartz loved it so much they bought a second. “These are great glasses for that mead of Valhalla, night water: The glass is very thick and thus stays cool, and the blobby shape makes them easy to grasp, like a sippy cup,” says Schwartz. The glasses are available in three sizes, and the patterns resemble a smiley face, plus each one is unique. “They’re also great for people who trail half-empty water glasses behind them from room to room — they look more intentional left hanging out on a table or a bookshelf than a standard drinking glass; more evidence of the theory that you can eliminate clutter by just making your clutter cute,” adds Schwartz.

Ichendorf Milano Venezia Wineglass

Material: Crystal | Number in set: Six

Don’t let the stem on these goblets fool you. According to Spina, while these roughly five-inch goblets are “billed as ‘wineglasses,’ they’re really not the best for wine because of their open shape.” What that shape is great for, though, is good old H2O. “They happen to be perfect for water with lemon,” Spina says, thanks to their tall profile and bell-shaped glass. The elegant form and the fact that they’re made in Italy make them even more distinguished. (Pictured as a set of four, the price shown is for six glasses.)

Mamo Single 7:2 Multipurpose Glass

Material: Borosilicate glass | Volume: 7 oz. and 2 oz. | Number in set: Sold individually

These glasses were mentioned in a holiday-party piece we published by event planner Lilli Sherman. It’s a two-for-one deal since the larger bowl can be used for regular drinks and the smaller one as a shot glass. Sherman says it’s also good for sipping amaro and other digestifs.

Duralex Gigogne Glass Tumbler Drinking Glasses

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Cabernet Glass
Very Good Deal

$72
for 6

$96

now
25% off

Libbey Carats 12-Ounce Double Old-Fashioned Glass

• Tracie Battle, senior designer at online interior-design service Havenly
• Igor Hadzismajlovic, Employees Only co-owner
• Katrina Hernandez, interior designer
• Rachel Khong, author and former Lucky Peach executive editor
• Shelley Kleyn Armistead, partner at Gjelina Group
• Conway Liao, Hudson Wilder founder
• Julie Mulligan, owner and designer of cocktail lounge and restaurant Lot 15
• Dominique Pariso, Strategist writer
• Anna Polonsky, founder of food-focused strategy-and-design consultancy Polonsky and Friends
• Nick Rancone, owner of restaurant group Twist Davis Group
• Erin Schwartz, Strategist writer
• Danny Seo, editor-in-chief of Naturally, Danny Seo magazine and sustainable-living expert
• Lilli Sherman, event planner
• Amanda Spina, general manager of Williamsburg’s Four Horsemen restaurant and Nightmoves bar
• Emma Wartzman, Strategist writer

Additional reporting by Samuel Anderson, Lauren Ro, and Emma Wartzman.

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