Truly unbreakable plastic glasses are made from one of three different types of plastic — polycarbonate, Tritan, or polypropylene. Plastic glasses made from other types of plastic, like acrylic or SAN, aren’t unbreakable. They might be labeled break-resistant or shatterproof, but they can break when dropped.
Here are my top-rated unbreakable plastic drinkware picks in Tritan, polycarbonate, and polypropylene, plus other plasticware options to consider.
1. Unbreakable Plastic Glasses Made from Tritan
Tritan plastic is fast displacing polycarbonate as the go-to material for unbreakable plastic glasses. Tritan was developed specifically as a BPA-free alternative to polycarbonate plastic, which contains BPA. Whether you’re shopping for unbreakable plastic glasses that look like glass, colorful plastic tumblers, wine glasses, or stemware, you can find it in Tritan.
Key facts about Tritan unbreakable plastic glasses:
- Tritan is and always has been a BPA-free plastic.
- Tritan glasses resist cracking and breaking even under severe impact and thermal shock.
- Tritan plastic drinking glasses are dishwasher-safe.
- Tritan plastic glasses look like glass, it offers the same clarity as glass drinkware, but it’s not as scratch-resistant as glass (no plastic is).
2. Plastic Glasses Made from Unbreakable Polycarbonate
Like Tritan, polycarbonate plastic glasses are unbreakable, deliver glass-like clarity, and are dishwasher-safe. Polycarbonate is a very proven material and glasses last for years in both household and commercial use.
In tests, polycarbonate proves more durable than Tritan plastic when it comes to scratch-resistance. Because of this, polycarbonate plastic glasses are widely used in busy hotels and restaurants for outdoor and poolside service. With that track record, you can be sure they’ll hold up at home.
Strahl Plastic Drinkware is widely recognized as the top-rated brand in polycarbonate plastic glasses. I stocked and sold the Strahl line for over a decade so I can attest to its quality and resilience. It’s simply fantastic. Here are some of my top drinkware picks from Strahl:
Here are other polycarbonate plastic drinkware brands to consider, too.
Key facts about polycarbonate plastic glasses
- Dishwasher-safe and more scratch-resistant than similar plastics.
- Ultra-tough polycarbonate plastic is used to make all sorts of durable goods like motorcycle windshields, bulletproof glass, and shatterproof eyewear lenses.
- Polycarbonate is proven over decades of use and recently celebrated its 70th birthday as a consumer-use plastic.
- Not a BPA-free plastic, unlike Tritan. Check out our post and video about BPA to learn more.
3. Casual Drinkware Made from Unbreakable Polypropylene
Polypropylene plastic glasses are more casual than the glass-like varieties crafted from Tritan and polycarbonate. These unbreakable plastic glasses are generally low-cost, can be solid-colored or semi-opaque, and come in a wide variety of colors.
Key facts about polypropylene plastic glasses
- Polypropylene plastic glasses have a different feel than glass-like polycarbonate and Tritan drinkware.
- Polypropylene drinkware is softer and slightly rubbery by comparison — think Tupperware and Rubbermaid plastic storage containers.
- Glasses made from polypropylene plastic are popular for kids’ drinkware and casual looks.
Other Types of Plastics Used to Make Plastic Drinkware
Plastic glasses made from acrylic plastic and an acrylic blend called SAN plastic are quite durable and reasonably priced. However, glasses made from these plastics aren’t quite as tough as those made from polycarbonate, Tritan, and polypropylene.
The major difference is that acrylic and SAN plastic glasses can crack if dropped on tile or other hard surfaces, unlike unbreakable Tritan and polycarbonate plastic glasses.
Key facts about SAN and acrylic glasses
- Acrylic and SAN glasses come in many styles including plastic glasses that look like glass, colorful tumblers, and decorative textures.
- SAN is extremely scratch-resistant and withstands commercial dishwasher temperatures even better than Tritan and polycarbonate.
- Glasses made from SAN and acrylic ten to cost less than Tritan or polycarbonate drinkware.
- SAN glasses are widely used in the foodservice industry for restaurant, bar, outdoor dining, and catering use.
How I Test & Review Unbreakable Plastic Glasses
I’ve sourced plastic glasses and tableware for over a decade for both consumer and commercial customers. I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to plastic glasses. I consider a plastic glass “unbreakable” if it doesn’t break when dropped on tile floors or knocked around in the sink or dishwasher. Basically, under normal use in homes, restaurants, and bars.
Excessive force, such as dropping from a 10th-floor balcony, is not considered normal use. Plus, it’s really dangerous to those below! I can’t promise any plastic glasses (or unwitting victims) will survive if you decide to test them this way.
However, I admit that in a crazy moment I did test Strahl plastic glasses by dropping tumblers from a 4th floor balcony onto a concrete pool deck below. And they didn’t break! Strahl plastic drinkware simply rocks when it comes to durability! But so do many others listed above.
If Strahl impresses you as it did me, see about this standout collection and the best deals we found in our Faves! Strahl Unbreakable Plastic Drinkware review.
That’s a Wrap
I hope this review of the top plastics used to make unbreakable plastic glasses helps you find the perfect plastic drinkware. If you have any questions or wish to add plastic drinkware faves of your own to our list, please share in the comments below. Thanks for reading. Cheers! Krista