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Drinking Glasses

Everyday glassware gets so much use in your home that it helps to have a range of pieces. One size can be too small for some beverages, while other sizes are too large. Which sizes and shapes should you have on hand, and where do you need to use them? At Pottery Barn, we are here to answer a few frequently asked questions about the types of glassware that see you through most of your meals, with or without kids in the house. Here’s what you need to meet your essential glassware needs.

Everyday Durability

You can find most types of drinking glasses made from various materials, including durable soda-lime glass, which is BPA-, lead-, latex- and phthalate-free; and acrylic or polystyrene for outdoor use, which are also BPA-, lead- and phthalate-free. For indestructible indoor and outdoor use, consider glassware made from Schott Zwiesel Tritan® crystal, a hard glass that’s dishwasher-safe and resistant to chipping and breakage and looks at home on both casual and formal dinner tables.

Tumblers and Water Glasses

Tumblers are short- to medium-height glasses, sometimes with semi-thick bottoms for added insulation. They’re some of the most durable and commonly used drinking glasses in any household. People use them not only as water glasses and beverage glassware for casual meals, but for cocktails, too. If you prefer to keep a set of tumblers in the bar for your old-fashioned drinks, you can find more elaborate designs, including hand-cut sets made of crystal or glass and even acrylic versions for your outdoor cocktail hours. Taller, thinner tumblers, often called caterer’s tumblers, are often grouped on a table for larger events, adding a coordinated look of matching glassware.

Juice Glasses

Do you usually want a sip or two of fruit juice in the morning? A small juice glass accommodates your needs and fits safely on bedside or end tables for convenience. Simple in their shapes and sizes, juice glasses are also useful for sipping other beverages – even cocktails. They’re also ideal for serving small beverages to kids whose hands are too little for bigger tumblers and water glasses.


Goblets are the elegant cousins of tumbler water glasses, and though you can use them on a daily basis, they look just as comfortable on a more formal dinner table, too. Plain clear glass or a dimpled honeycomb texture are great for everyday use when you want a little pizzazz on the table. Equally festive are acrylic goblets for outdoor cocktails and drinks. Their durable, shatter-resistant construction means if they accidentally fall, they don’t crack. Goblets hold an average of about 14 to 16 ounces of liquid.

Taller glasses, in various shapes with tulip edges or smooth, cylindrical sides, are versatile enough to hold beverages that require a column of ice to keep cold. They can also accommodate the length of a straw or iced tea spoon.

It’s easier than it seems to build your collection of drinking glasses. Most sets include four or more of each type of glass to help you quickly complete your list of bar and dinnerware essentials.