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Pretty glasses are all fun and games, until you actually want to use them. If you bust them out for a backyard pool party, you run the risk of spending the whole time worried someone might knock them over with a pool noodle. Storing them is precarious business—raise your hand if you’ve fallen victim to one inexplicably falling off the shelf—and cleaning them requires the precision of a dental hygienist to prevent stems from snapping. This is why shatterproof outdoor drinkware has been our go-to this summer.
Typically made of acrylic or plastic, these drinking vessels are much less fragile than glass. They not only survive tumbles on concrete but also dishwashers. (Though, word to the wise: Most can’t be microwaved or hold extremely hot liquids.)
Now you may have concerns that opting for plastic or acrylic drinkware means sacrificing style, as images of flimsy plastic Champagne “glasses” from your last New Year’s Eve party rush in. No fear: There are plenty of shatterproof drinkware that look just as chic as any glass you’d proudly display on your open shelves. Here are a few of our favorites for all the highly specific occasions you may find yourself in this summer and beyond.
If you’re into wine but low on shelf space
Some of us in this world are working with very little kitchen cabinet space—and even less floor real estate for a luxury like a bar cart—meaning we’ve resorted to gingerly perching our drinkware on whatever shelves are available. In a home with a pet or a small child running around, one wrong move and all your precious stemware can come crashing down. These stackable sets of stout wine glasses solve both problems. Each glass nestles inside one other like Matryoshka dolls, allowing you to take advantage of any unused vertical space. And since these glasses are acrylic, you won’t have to worry about anything breaking if an overenthusiastic pup runs into your shelf.
If you’re a design geek
Your friends with living rooms showcasing Eames chairs and actual Noguchi lanterns can appreciate this elegant vessel. These tall ribbed chalice-like cups come from English designer Aaron Probyn. A fixture in the design world for the last 20 years, Probyn has consulted with numerous companies and retailers to craft unique midcentury-modern-esque pieces, like this fluted set with just the right balance of understated glam.
Or another fluted option…
If you’re feeling nostalgic for your childhood cups
Sometimes all I want on a hot summer day is to sip a nice, cold Coca-Cola out of my grandma’s vintage glasses. She’s probably had them since the ’70s, and they remind me of when soda was a treat only indulged during special occasions and visits to her home. Luckily, I can get my nostalgic fix with these bubbled highball glasses. They come in two sizes—18 and 24 ounces—making them ideal for lemonade, sparkling water, or a whole can of pop I’m cracking open for hot days ahead.
If you want a drinking vessel that doubles as tablescape decor
Everything about these goblets makes me want to drop my current task and just admire them. The wavy shape, the pleasingly bold colors—it all screams a specific brand of effortless cool that TikTok serves up on my FYP every day. These are statement glasses, groovy and chalice-like, and they take center stage of any table they deign to grace. All to say, they double as decor, so you can keep the tablescape low key.
If you’re hosting on a budget but still prioritize ~aesthetics~
We get it: We can’t be spending all our money on frivolous yet fun glasses. Not in this economy! Enter these modular acrylic glasses. Their multipurpose shape and size lends them to a variety of uses and beverages: water, cocktails, seltzers, or maybe even a little bit of whiskey.
If you couldn’t manage to book your trip to Europe this summer
For whatever reason, you couldn’t make it out to Europe like all your friends did this summer. Worry not—this set of angular wine glasses looks like they were plucked right off a café table on the streets of Positano. They’re made by the reliable Fortessa Tableware Solutions and available in shapes specifically tailored for red or white wine. We’re particularly into the current colorways: sunset-esque amber, sage that resembles sea glass, aqua that mirrors the shimmering blue of the Mediterranean, and classic clear for anyone who wants to channel a five-star restaurant in Monaco. Pour some of your favorite nonalcoholic aperitivo, lounge out on your beach towel, and it’s basically like you’re in the French Riviera.
If you’re just on the hunt for some new glasses
Okay, so maybe you just need a super basic set of new glasses—but ones that won’t break, work indoors as well as outdoors, and still look good. Look no further than this thick, stackable, clear glass with a subtle texture that resembles stone. It can be bought as a 19-ounce highball or a 14-ounce regular glass, and it will look at home anywhere you serve it, from your standard family dinner to your Labor Day weekend pool party.