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The Best Drinking Glasses For Everyday Use

It’s a tall order to name the five best drinking glasses sets out of the thousands of options out there. Luckily, I spent nearly two decades as a drinkware buyer for a top tableware retailer, so I come armed with a list of tried-and-true faves.

For this review, I narrowed the field down to glassware brands that have proven records in busy restaurant environments and also sell consumer sets at great prices. My top picks in drinking glasses sets all combine foodservice durability with great styling and convenient design perks, like damage-free stacking. 

Of course, all are lead-free, dishwasher-safe, and offer many size options including rocks, double-old fashioned, tumblers, and highball glasses.

Looking for plastic glasses?

After closely comparing the contenders in terms of durability, style, sizing, and price, the following get my vote for the Five Best Drinking Glasses.

1. Best Stackable Drinking Glasses: Picardie Glassware by Duralex

Picardie break-resistant tempered drinking glasses
Resilient Picardie glassware is made by Duralex, which invented the tempering process to create more durable glass products.

Picardie’s French bistro heritage really shows in its styling. This is the casual glassware that you’ll find in sidewalk cafes throughout Paris. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see the smaller tumblers used to serve table wine in casual settings throughout Europe.

Picardie tumblers are the go-to drinkware line for many busy restaurants and bars stateside, too, plus an excellent choice for home use. Here are the three reasons Picardie takes the number one spot for stackable glasses:

  • Duralex invented tempered glass more than 80 years ago. Its tempering process makes Picardie glasses extremely chip and break-resistant. Rims stay smooth and glasses often survive drops — even onto hard surfaces.
  • Picardie drinking glasses come in many sizes and colors and all are designed to stack without damage to rims or bases. Few glassware lines can boast that convenient perk!
  • Picardie is 100% dishwasher and microwave safe, plus its tempered finish resists scratches, so glasses look great for years.

Where to Buy Picardie Drinking Glasses

Picardie glassware is sold through major kitchen retailers and department stores. However, Amazon carries the largest selection on a regular basis and has very competitive pricing.

2. Best Pub-style Beer Glasses: Nonix by Bormioli Rocco

Nonix beer and pub glasses by Bormioli Rocco

Classic pub-style glassware is really trending right now, probably due to the variety of tasty craft beers on the market. A great brew certainly deserves a great glass and Nonix is the perfect pairing for everything from ales and porters to IPAs and wheat beers. If the glass you serve in is as important as its contents, you can’t go wrong with Nonix pub glasses.

Fun Facts about this unusual and popular drinking glass design:

  • Commonly thought to have originated in the UK, the “Nonic Glass” (pronounced no-nick) is a US invention patented in the early 1900s.
  • It was designed for bar use as a more resilient version of the standard straight-sided pint glass, the bulge makes it break-resistant when tipped over (a common bar mishap!).
  • The bulge design lets glasses stack without sticking and provides a more comfortable grip than a straight-side pint glass.

Nonix pub-style drinking glasses made our list because the rim and sidewall are not too thin or thick and they feel great in hand (yes, I have these). Nonix glasses also deliver the dishwasher-safe finish and clarity that Bormioli Rocco glassware is known for — all at a great price.

Where to Buy Nonix Drinking Glasses

Bormioli Rocco glassware is readily available in the better kitchen and department stores as well as online. Amazon carries a great selection of Bormoli Rocco glassware, including Nonix at the price listed below.

You can find many other versions of the Nonik-type glass from different manufacturers on Amazon, too.

3. Best Variety of Decorative Bar Glassware Sets: Circleware

Circleware decorative drinking glass sets for bar and home
There are just a few of the many glassware designs that Circleware offers in its all-purpose bar and drinkware sets.

Circleware is a terrific line if you want decorative everyday drinking glasses or barware at a great price. Circleware’s Pint & Whiskey bar sets are a particular favorite of mine because they have standard sizing across many decorative styles, which is hard to find. Of course, Circleware also offers plain styles alongside its array of patterns and textures.

Along with the sets highlighted here, Circleware makes wine glasses and stemware, plus many other glasses and tumbler styles. If you’re in the mood to browse, you can literally spend hours online looking at the wide variety this brand offers.

Where to Find Circleware Glassware

Circleware is a common consumer brand, but the largest year-round selection is on Amazon. Most sets are very economically priced and Prime-eligible, too — yet another reason to choose Circleware if it fits your style and size needs.

4. Best Colorful Drinking Glasses: Libby Glassware

Libbey Impressions Blue Ribbon is one of many eye-catching designs from this leading glassware brand.
The cobalt blue slash across Libby’s Impressions Blue Ribbon drinking glasses is bold and eye-catching.

Libby glassware is renowned for its variety of styles and makes both restaurant and consumer lines. In truth, Libby gives all glassware brands a run for their money across every drinkware category, but its stunning colorful styles are worth calling out in this best-of list.

Where to Find Libbey Colorful Glassware

Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, grocery stores, and department stores generally stock basic Libbey glassware sets year-round. Clear sets are easy to find, but colorful sets can be harder to locate in stores. Shopping online is generally your best bet for these specialty styles. Try major store sites along with Amazon, Wayfair, Overstock, and other large online marketplaces.

Best Footed Drinking Glasses: Libbey Glassware

Libbey offers a huge selection of footed goblets and specialty glasses
Libbey’s All-Purpose Footed Goblet is a best-seller for both restaurant and home use.

Libby also takes the top spot for footed drinking glasses, mainly because they offer a huge variety in this particular style. If you like to dress up tables with footed water and iced tea glasses, or want specialty styles like footed pilsners or Irish coffee mugs, check out Libbey’s vast selection. I doubt you’ll have to look further.

Where to Find Libbey Footed Drinking Glasses

Best-sellers like the All-purpose Goblet and Gibralter Footed Iced Tea & Water Glasses can be found in most kitchen, department, and online stores that stock Libbey. Specialty footed glassware styles like pilsners and Irish coffee mugs are easier to find online. As usual, Amazon offers the biggest selection of Libbey glassware year-round.

That’s a Wrap

In truth, I could spend all day writing about the hundreds of terrific glassware options on the market. I’m a tabletop nerd of the highest order.

But at the end of the day, the choice comes down to what appeals to you. I hope my roundup of the best drinking glasses for 2019 helps narrow your search a bit by highlighting my faves and top picks from tried-and-true brands.

If you’d like more options for break-resistant tempered and annealed glassware — similar to my No. 1 pick, Picardie — check out my full review of break-resistant glassware and plastic alternatives.

Thanks for reading! Have any questions, comments, or faves of your own? Please share in the comments below. Cheers! Krista

2 Responses

  1. I’m finding that my glasses are etching and looking cloudy. We’ve now switched to soft water. Is there a good brand of drinking glasses that have been proven to be more durable against etching? THANKS!

    1. In restaurants, SAN and Tritan plastic drinkware tends to retain its clarity longer than other plastics. The tempered glassware from Picardie also tends to retain clarity better with a water softener — the tempering seeps to help with the etching. Hope this helps! Krista

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