When it comes to glassware, the sexier vessels — a coupe, a flute, a wineglass — seem to get all the glory. But a simple glass cup (which can be just as appropriate for juice, wine, iced coffee, or yes, a G&T) gets used more 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 for something bolder to spruce up your dinner table, the choices are many. To help you in your search, we asked some of our favorite restaurant, beverage, and interior-design experts how they take their H2O (and more). Below, our 19 panelists recommend their favorite water glasses, including 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). To make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we’ve categorized their picks by style and size.
Duralex’s Picardie glasses are a favorite among our panelists. It’s easy to see why: They are available in assorted sizes, so you’ll always have the right one at hand if someone wants water, juice, or a stiffer drink. More important, as Tracie Battle, a senior designer at online interior-design service Havenly, says, their “classic look will never go out of style.” She explains that they are made of thicker tempered glass, which “offers more durability and a more expensive look.” Hudson Wilder founder Conway Liao and author (and former Lucky Peach executive editor) Rachel Khong also swear by these glasses, with Khong saying that her set is “still going strong after many many years.” This 18-piece set includes three sizes and six glasses in each size.
Battle also recommends Libbey’s Polaris glasses for their “super-unique shape,” which has a rounded, weighted base that feels hefty while still being sleek. This set comes with eight drinking glasses and eight smaller rocks glasses, offering the best “bang for your buck, at just over $2 per glass,” she says. They’re BPA-free and dishwasher-safe, too.
This set of Dailyware Bodega glasses from Bormiolo Rocco — which includes eight shorter double wall insulated mug and eight taller highball glasses — is interior designer Katrina Hernandez’s choice. She uses the glasses in both her house in the country and her Brooklyn apartment. “They’re perfect for water or a cocktail. It’s a set of two sizes, but both are relatively shorter and more modern,” she says. Hernandez adds that they’re thin, but not “scary thin where you feel they could break in your hand at any moment.” She also appreciates the rounded edge of the lip as well. 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 that it’s “great for all kinds of home drinking and serving” and can even be used for displaying flowers. “They have a great smooth lip to drink from and the price is just right,” she adds.
If cabinet space is limited, shorter glasses may be the way to go. Both Liao and Amanda Spina, the general manager of Williamsburg’s Four Horsemen restaurant and Nightmoves bar, swear by these shorter, stackable glasses by Japanese company Toyo-Sasaki. “I always want precious, delicate, thin baking 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.” Liao agrees, noting their stackable design makes these “perfect for New York apartments.”
Amazon sells Bormioli Rocco’s 12-ounce Bodega tumbler — which is roughly the same height as the Bodega double old-fashioned glass in the brand’s assorted set above — on its own in a 12-pack.