Domino Editors Pick Out the Best Drinking Glasses for Casual Nights In and Cocktail Hour
Starting with a fluted find under $3.
Published Dec 21, 2021 1:05 AM
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Frequent entertainer or not, stylish glassware instantly levels up the sophistication of your dining table—even if it’s set with more budget dishes and hand-me-down flatware (guilty as charged). If you hope to display your finds on open shelving, want to impress guests when they come for dinner, or simply add some dazzle to a bar cart, the best drinking glasses will infuse a touch of design wherever you put them. And no matter if you prefer durable borosilicate or vibrant colors, a simple silhouette or something a bit more sculptural, the glassware in Domino editors’ personal collections (plus a few they’re eyeing to buy) are not only delightful to hold but even more fun to sip from, whether you’re pouring water or wine.
- The versatile one: Lenox Peach Glassware
- The affordable one: Marta Optic Double Old-Fashioned Set
- The timeless one: Maison Balzac Gobelets
- The stackable one: Bormioli Rocco Stackable Wineglasses
- The easygoing one: West Elm Bodega Glass
- The colorful one: Estelle Colored Rock Glasses
- The miniature one: Sophie Lou Jacobsen Small Ripple Cup
- The mix-and-match one: Ichendorf High Rise
The Versatile One: Lenox Peach Glassware
Single or set: Set of four | Capacity: 13 ounces | Dishwasher safe: No
What we like:
- Fun color
- High-quality glass
- Hand-wash only
Why we chose it: See your drink of choice through peach-colored glasses.
“Why does rosé get to have all the fun? These peach-tinted glasses give a rosy hue to sparkling water and beverages alike,” notes Megan West, Domino’s head of brand innovation and creative studio. But the cute color of the Valencia collection from Lenox—a long-standing brand (we’re talking 100-plus years in business) known for quality glassware—isn’t the only feature to admire. The curvy shape is sure to catch the eye of anyone passing through your kitchen, and the cheerful color and sleek design will elevate any pour, no matter your drink of choice.
The Affordable One: Marta Optic Double Old-Fashioned Set
Single or set: Single (or set of eight) | Capacity: 11 ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What we like:
- Don’t have to worry about spending a fortune on replacements
- Versatile for serving and sipping
- More delicate than the original
Why we chose it: For less than $3, this fluted update on a classic cup can be yours.
Marta glasses have been hanging out on the kitchen shelves of Domino’s HQ and in our editors’ homes for years now, and it’s really no wonder why—they’re affordable and tasteful, and the edges are micro-thin. Deputy commerce editor Samantha Weiss-Hills swears by them, having purchased dozens of the classic versions over the years for easy dinners and big parties, with very little breakage. (Digital commerce director Sophie Muira is also a fan.) And don’t let the name fool you into thinking this short tumbler is just for serving spirits. The price tag means you don’t need to worry about losing one or two in the shuffle of a party, and we love that the squat shape doesn’t soak up cabinet space. They’ll even bring visual interest to your tablescape without overwhelming dishes or linens.
The Timeless One: Maison Balzac Gobelets
Single or set: Set of four | Capacity: 15 ounces | Dishwasher safe: No
What we like:
- Light as a feather
- Individually mouth-blown
- Cool and warm colors for mixing and matching
- Avoid using alkali soaps
- Liquid first, then ice
Why we chose it: Colorful yet translucent tumblers sold in a set of mixed hues.
This set is at the top of Miura’s holiday wish list. “Aussie designer Elise Pioch creates such beautiful, ultrathin glassware in sunset and sorbet hues,” she shares, pointing to the designer’s delicate candle and incense holders in the same colorful borosilicate glass. If you’re the type who likes to keep your bedside looking colorful and curated, go with the medium size, which sits just so atop Maison Balzac’s best-selling J’ai Soif carafe.
The Stackable One: Bormioli Rocco Stackable Wineglasses
Single or set: Set of six | Capacity: 9 ½ ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What we like:
- Worry-free maintenance
- Not as clear as crystal
Why we chose it: Stemware that won’t shatter at the slightest stumble? Sign us up.
“There’s something freeing about using glasses that you know won’t break,” says associate style editor Julia Stevens—and that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a stem (the key to keeping your sips cool). “These durable, stackable, dishwasher-safe wineglasses have taken me from alfresco roof hangs to cozy fall dinners.” Weight in the hand and featuring a thicker stem, this set is made from tempered glass (about four times stronger than the regular stuff) and also sold as champagne coupes. But you don’t need to save them for a bottle of bubbly. We also find them to be the perfect vessel for after-party sweets like layered mousse or sundaes.
The Easygoing One: West Elm Bodega Glass
Single or set: Set of six | Capacity: 12 ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What we like:
- Less than $30
- Made in Spain
- Looking for a good gift idea? Add a monogram for $12
- Bowl shape is best for red wine more than white
Why we chose it: A distinctly short tumbler that perfectly balances weight and size.
Bodega glasses are good for everything—spices and sauces, wine and water, even ice cream and hors d’oeuvres. This classic, wide-mouth design is like a good pair of jeans: It fits any aesthetic for a table that needs to be dressed up or down. Deputy editor Julie Vadnal has had them for years and still gets compliments; they win points for the perfectly balanced size and weight. “And obviously, you can put them in the dishwasher,” adds Vadnal, describing her set as a little heavier than the Marta. “I bought them because they remind me of the water glasses at Cookshop in Manhattan.”
The Colorful One: Estelle Colored Rock Glasses
Single or set: Set of six | Capacity: 8 ¼ ounces | Dishwasher safe: No
What we like:
- Coveted colors
- Matching decanters
- Goes in and out of stock
Why we chose it: For cheering in style.
If our style director, Naomi deManana, is being honest, she prefers stemless glassware unless she’s toasting with champagne. Then? It’s all about pinkies out. These rock glasses, though, are still perfect for all occasions. “The Estelle glasses come in so many cool colors,” says de Manana, though the blush is a personal favorite. Brand founder Stephanie Summerson Hall was inspired by her grandmother’s collection of colorful cups (two china cabinets full!) and left her lawyer day job to start the company, which has been a go-to for everyone from designers to sommeliers since its launch in 2019. The options are endless, from light pastels to moodier shades, though each has a jewel-like quality that can’t be matched.
The Miniature One: Sophie Lou Jacobsen Ripple Cup
Single or set: Set of six | Capacity: Varies | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What we like:
- Can double as a vase
Why we chose it: A wavy, petite silhouette to turn your daily hydration routine into an artistic ritual.
Skip the utilitarian sets and splurge on the rippled look of Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s Ripple cups. A pleasure to hold and even more fun to look at, it’s easy to picture placing a set of four minis—each piece in a different colorway—atop a floating shelf in the kitchen. They’ll inject a bit of playfulness into getting those daily ounces of H20, and bubbly cocktails will look equally as chic in them. Their petite-ness somehow makes the curvy edges even more sumptuous to the eye.
The Mix-and-Match One: Ichendorf High Rise
Single or set: Sold separately | Capacity: 8 ounces | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What we like:
- High-quality glass
- Free shipping on orders over $200
Why we chose it: Trendy colors mean this isn’t your average tumbler.
Tumbler glasses are a favorite of deManana, and she loves that the color of these—pink, amber, and light blue—come off more like a barely there tint. A brand coveted by glass connoisseurs for using quality materials (borosilicate, traditional glass, crystal) and clean shapes, Ichendorf Milano has been in business since the early 1900s. This sleek, modern cup is made from handblown, featherlight borosilicate. Although sold separately, this means you can mix and match with the High Rise Carafe, on which you can stack your cup when done.
On Our Radar
- Weiss-Hills has a thing for green right now. She’d love to add both Il Buco Vita’s tumblers and Bitossi Home’s petite water glasses to her collection.
- Kate Spade, and make the shipping Amazon Prime–fast. “I love a stemless wineglass, and these feel a touch festive with the blush footed bottom,” notes West.
- Treat your nightstand to some Technicolor fun with the Lateral Objects Gradient Glass in the Rockaway style (an amber to purple combo exclusive to Coming Soon).
How We Chose These Products
We asked Domino’s commerce and style editors: What are the best drinking glasses? Whether it’s for juice or sipping sherry, our picks are as versatile as they are beautiful. We’re suckers for options all over the spectrum, from punchy palettes to classic designs to the latest launches; we listed those worth splurging on and ones you can offer up to friends after-hours with little worry about them shattering.
Our Shopping Checklist
To be perfectly honest, there’s a glass for every type of beverage these days, so these were chosen with everyday use in mind. Size and shape largely influence the purpose of your cup. Traditionally this means that a short tumbler is reserved for juices, a stem and rounded bowl for wine, and tall and slender vessels for water and highballs.
As you might have guessed, the best drinking glasses are made from, well, glass. But not every cup is made the same. Borosilicate glass is a designer favorite for being featherlight but still durable against heat (which is why it’s actually the choice for lab beakers). It’s not as tough as tempered glass, though. You might be more familiar with it as the protectant screen on your cell phone—it’s designed not to shatter into sharp chunks but rather the likes of small cracks (though if you’re set on something that won’t break, stick to plastic). The cream of the crop is crystal; it’s ultrathin and extra-clear, which ups its price tag (and fragility).
Q: I want to heat up my drink—are drinking glasses microwave safe?
While glass cookware is typically pretty safe to put in the microwave, that isn’t always the case for drinkware, and it isn’t something we’d recommend. Glass heats up far more easily than say, ceramic, meaning not only will it be incredibly hot to the touch, but there’s a chance of the heat forcing it to crack or split if left in heating for too long.
Q: My drinking glasses are starting to look cloudy; what should I do?
First, it’s helpful to know why your glasses aren’t looking as clean as the day you brought them home. Our best guess is your water (is it hard?) or a struggling dishwasher. It wouldn’t hurt to see if adding a rinsing agent keeps the issue at bay. Do you have nail polish remover lying around? That stuff really does get rid of everything—just add some mild detergent and give it a rinse. But if rubbing down your glasses with the same chemicals you use to remove plastic polymers makes you cringe, soaking cups in a vinegar and water solution before wiping them down with a soapy washcloth is a safe bet.
Q: I don’t want to throw my current drinking glasses away, but I’m ready for a new set. Is it possible to recycle them?
Unfortunately, recycling rules vary vastly by state (and even county), so check with your local refuse company before tossing in a blue bag. Consider alternative ways of enjoying your glassware before putting them out to the curb: Repurpose your cups as vases, storage, or potpourri vessels, and see if your local thrift store will accept them for someone else to enjoy.
The Last Word
No matter the occasion, whether regularly hydrating or setting the table for a monthly dinner party, the best drinking glasses are a joy to sip from. If you’re on the lookout for a new set or a statement piece to display and add to your eclectic mix of cups, the design options are endless, but take a nod from our editors—who have used and tested plenty of cups. They agree the best drinking glasses for everyday use are simple and uniformly shaped to house a multitude of beverages.