Versatile and durable, plastic drinking glasses are safe, practical beverage vessels for special occasions and everyday use. They’re shatterproof, easy to clean, reusable, and some are dishwasher safe and free of bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical in some plastics that can be harmful to humans.
Plastic drinking glasses come in many colors, shapes, and sizes, so it’s easy to find the right one for uses ranging from everyday meals at home to picnics at the beach. Read on to learn some of the most important features to look for, as well as recommendations for some of the best options on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: STRATA CUPS SKINNY TUMBLERS 12 Colored Acrylic
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: US Acrylic Palmetto 20-ounce Clear Plastic Tumblers
- BEST FOR COLD DRINKS: Tervis Clear & Colorful Insulated Tumbler
- BEST FOR WINE: Vivocci Unbreakable Elegant Plastic Wine Glasses
- BEST FOR MIXED DRINKS: Tiger Chef Polycarbonate Shatter-Proof Glasses
- BEST FOR CHAMPAGNE: Tiger Chef Plastic Champagne Flutes
- BEST FOR KIDS: US Acrylic Spectrum Unbreakable Plastic Tumblers
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Plastic Drinking Glasses
Consider the types of beverages you plan to serve, as well as the type of occasions you’ll be using the plastic glasses for. This will help you pick the best size, shape, and material for the plastic glass. Read on for more factors to consider when choosing the best plastic drinking glasses.
- Capacity: Plastic drinking glasses come in many sizes. The amount of liquid a glass can hold determines its size. Typically, plastic drinking glasses come in sizes ranging from 8 ounces to 24 ounces.
- Diameter: Also note the dimensions of plastic drinking glasses. Children with small hands and adults with arthritic hands may need glasses with a small diameter so they can hold them comfortably.
- Height: Storage is a factor to consider when buying plastic drinking glasses. Many sets stack conveniently for storage. Consider the height of the plastic glasses and whether they’ll fit on shelves and in cupboards in the kitchen.
Manufacturers make plastic drinking glasses from several types of plastic, including acrylic, polycarbonate, polypropylene, SAC, and copolyester. These materials are durable and shatterproof, making plastic drinking glasses a good choice for outdoor entertaining and everyday use.
Researchers link some chemicals used in plastics to health hazards, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. These chemicals can leach into the liquids in the plastic glasses. For this reason, shoppers might look for plastic drinking glasses labeled free from BPA, bisphenol S (BPS), acetaldehyde (AA), and estrogenic activity (EA).
Plastic glasses are a go-to for many people because they are economically priced, reusable, and, unlike beverage holders made of real glass, shatterproof. Plastic glasses come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, so there’s one that’s right for almost every need.
Plastic drinking glasses come in barware shapes for serving alcoholic beverages. There are plastic wineglasses, champagne flutes, highball glasses, and more. They also come in standard glass shapes for generic beverages ranging from iced tea to soda.
Plastic drinking glasses can be the workhorses of a kitchen due to their versatility and durability; one never needs to worry about them being dropped and broken. And even though plastic glasses may be shaped for specific uses, there are no limits on their versatility. Feel free to drink morning orange juice from a champagne flute or lunchtime lemonade from a stemless plastic wineglass.
Lids and plastic straws add to the plastic glasses’ versatility. Some glasses come with them included; other manufacturers sell lids and straws separately. Adding a lid and plastic straw to a plastic drinking glass makes it extra versatile for outdoor activities.
Ease of Cleaning
When it comes to cleanup, plastic drinking glasses are easy to handle. There’s no fear of dropping and breaking these glasses because they’re durable and shatterproof.
Note manufacturers’ recommendations for cleaning plastic drinking glasses. Some should be hand-washed only, while others are dishwasher safe.
In some cases, plastic glasses are dishwasher safe only when placed on the top rack of the washer, away from the heat source. Check product descriptions for the specifics.
Our Top Picks
Just ahead are some popular plastic drinking glasses, which were chosen based on the above shopping considerations.
These tumblers come with screw-top lids and plastic straws, making them a good pick for on-the-go, shatterproof sipping. Remove the straws and lids and they’re good drinking glasses for home use. These tumblers have double walls so cold drinks stay cold and warm drinks stay warm. Their lids and straws are color-coded in 12 hues, so it’s easy to tell whose drink is whose at a gathering.
Each tumbler is 8.5 inches tall, 2.5 inches in diameter, and has a 16-ounce capacity. The slender design makes them easy to grasp. They’re made of BPA-free plastic, and because they are not dishwasher safe, hand-washing is recommended.
This set of 16 tumblers is a good pick for a wide variety of uses. The roomy 20-ounce glasses can accommodate a range of beverage types in indoor or outdoor settings. They come in clear plastic or multicolor sets, and the price won’t put a dent in the bank account.
Made by US Acrylic, these tumblers are food safe and BPA-free. They’re durable, shatterproof, and dishwasher safe, so these plastic glasses can be used over and over again. Each tumbler is 6.25 inches tall with a 3.5-inch diameter at the mouth, and the set can be stacked for easy storage.
Tervis’s insulated 16-ounce tumblers keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot longer than most other plastic glasses. Double walls prevent condensation on the outside of the glass, so you don’t have to hang on to a slippery glass full of melting ice.
Tervis has been making high-quality plastic glasses for more than 70 years, and the brand is known for its durability. These tumblers are safe for the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer, so they can stand up to years of use. They’re made of plastic that’s free of BPA and melamine. Lids and straws are sold separately; buy a set, and these tumblers can be used for on-the-go sipping.
These stemless plastic wineglasses are a good pick for sipping your favorite vino by the pool or by the ocean. Because these glasses have a 20-ounce capacity, you can sit and sip a long time before needing a refill. These glasses are dishwasher safe and durable enough for daily use. No stem means they are less likely to break because the slender stem of a wineglass, even a plastic one, is its weakest point. These glasses are made of plastic with zero toxic chemicals, so there’s no danger of BPA, bisphenol S (BPS), estrogenic activity (EA), and acetaldehyde (AA) leaching into your beverage.
Glass barware gives an elegant vibe to any occasion, but glass barware also can get dropped and broken. Tiger Chef brings you the sophistication of glass cocktail tumblers without the fragility. These shatterproof, polycarbonate plastic tumblers are durable, reusable, and recyclable.
Each glass has a heavy base that makes for a well-balanced glass that won’t tip over easily. Made of crystal clear polycarbonate plastic, the tumblers look like real glass, and their surface is stain resistant. Each tumbler holds 12 ounces of liquid and is dishwasher safe. Tiger Chef makes an entire line of plastic barware ranging from martini glasses to margarita glasses.
Celebrations call for champagne, but why bother with expensive and fragile glass flutes when these polycarbonate plastic flutes are available from Tiger Chef?
Featuring the traditional champagne-flute shape, each glass holds 7 ounces of champagne (or other liquid) and stands 9.5 inches tall, including the stem. Made of crystal clear polycarbonate plastic, they look and feel like real glass but are much sturdier.
Unlike the super-thin, disposable plastic flutes sometimes used by caterers, these champagne flutes are durable and intended for repeat use. They’re dishwasher safe, stain resistant, shatterproof, and recyclable.
In households with kids, plastic drinking glasses are a must. This set includes 16 plastic 10-ounce tumblers in eight colors. Manufactured by US Acrylic, these drinking cups are made from polypropylene plastic that is BPA-free. Each cup is 4.25 inches tall with a 2.87-inch diameter at the mouth, so it will fit in little hands.
The colorful cups make it easy to identify whose drink is whose. Use these tumblers for indoor dining, or take them to the playground or beach. For added convenience, these cups are dishwasher safe in the top rack and stackable for easy storage.
FAQs About Plastic Drinking Glasses
You might still have questions about plastic drinking glasses. Here are answers to some commonly asked queries.
Q. Do acrylic glasses feel like a real glass?
Acrylic is a plastic that resembles glass. Although it mimics the look and feel of glass, acrylic is shatterproof, unlike real glass. It feels as smooth to the touch as glass but is much lighter.
Q. How do I wash my plastic drinking glasses?
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for washing your plastic drinking glasses. Some are dishwasher safe in upper and lower racks. Others are dishwasher safe in the upper rack only. Some plastic glasses must be hand-washed because they will melt in the dishwasher.
Q. How long do plastic drinking glasses last?
That depends on the quality of the glasses, the frequency of use, and how they are handled. If they’re washed and dried immediately after use, stored properly, and handled with reasonable care, plastic drinking glasses should last a few years.