How Many Drinking Glasses Should You Own?

The amount of glassware and the type you own can say a lot about you. There are as many types of drinking glasses as there are personalities! You may be wondering whether you have too many glasses, or maybe you are concerned that you do not own enough. We have thoroughly investigated and have found the answers to your questions about the number of drinking glasses that you should have on hand.

Though the answer varies due to your unique situation and budget, the generally followed rule of thumb can provide a number to start with. To determine the amount of glassware you should have, take the number of people usually served and multiply this by four. If you entertain, you would want to take the average amount of guests and multiply that number by four.

Now that you have a general idea of how many glasses you should have on hand, you may have other questions. Keep reading to find out about the different types, how you should store them, and the safest option for your home!

Water being poured into the small drinking glass, How Many Drinking Glasses Should You Own?


To Determine The Number of Glasses You Need, Multiply By Four

Many event planners use this rule to have as many as three or four glasses on hand for every guest. Though this is a social rule, we can also use it for our households. This is an easy guideline to use since glassware usually comes in casings of four or six. Following this guideline will also allow you to account for accidents, time spent in the sink or dishwasher, and unexpected guests.

How do I Choose the Right Drinking Glasses?

Water being poured into a small drinking glass


Choosing the right drinking glasses can be a little daunting. Here are some thoughts to consider to help you get started selecting the best drinking glasses for your home.

How Often Do You Use Glassware?

If you use glassware often or it's the only material you will own, you may consider owning more sets. If you want glassware to have on hand just in the event of a guest or for a special evening, then owning as little as one or two different types of drinking glasses per family member would be okay.

How do You Typically Use Drinking Glasses in Your Home?

Your household could be one that does not entertain and would only be using glassware for juice, water, or soda. In this case, owning a set or two of highball glasses or tumblers in addition would be ideal.

If you're a host or hostess who entertains often or drinks wine and beer, you would want to have these glasses on hand. Since there are different glasses for different drinks, you would also want to consider what types of drinks your typical guest would have. Needing variety in your glasses will increase the amount you should have.

What is Your Budget for Drinkware?

Drinking glasses come at all different price points as well. When deciding how many glasses you need in your home, it is also helpful to first decide how much you want to spend on your drinking glasses. Since glass is breakable, you will want to weigh the cost of investing in harder-to-break glass or your average chalice.

What is The Safest Glass to Drink From?

When choosing your drinkware, safety may also be a concern. There is growing evidence to suggest that there are concerns with cadmium and lead in some drinking glasses. To avoid this, purchase glasses that are labeled lead-free. Untinted, enamel-free glasses will generally be cadmium-free, as this substance is found mostly in red enamel.

Another safety feature that is now offered is glasses that are made with tempered glass. Glasses made with this material will be less breakable and will hold up for longer. These drinking glasses are lead and cadmium-free and are also made from tempered glass. They will not chip into your drinks or form fissures!

See these tumbler glasses on Amazon.

Why are Glasses Different for Different Drinks?

Glasses are made differently for different drinks, primarily to provide the best taste, temperature, or presentation. Restaurants will use the trick of different size drinkware to control the beverage costs.

Drinks such as water, lemonade, soda, and iced tea are lower-cost drinks. They are typically served in tumbler or goblet style glasses for this reason. They are also served with ice, so the shape and size of these glasses make them more desirable for serving these beverages without providing many refills.

Wine glasses are usually shaped differently due to desired aromatic effects of the wine. Wine enthusiasts will tell you that the type of glass can also affect the flavor profile. Fine wine glasses have the thinnest lip so as not to interfere with the wine. It also provides a pleasant mouth-feel to the drinker.

For red robust wines, the added surface area of a large bowl allows the wine to breathe. Serious wine tasters appreciate noting the different flavors and textures along with the hints and notes in the fragrance of the red wine. The shape of the wine glass plays a large part in this.

See glasses for red wine on Amazon.

White wine glasses have more of a "U" shape. Because white wine is served chilled, these glasses typically will have longer stems so that the temperature of the wine stays cool longer.

See glasses for White wine on Amazon.

For a bubbly, champagne-like drink, choose a fluted glass. The taper on these glasses is thought to retain the crisp carbonation of these beverages.

See these flutes on Amazon.

The universal wine glass is becoming a popular choice due to its unique design. It provides a thin lip and tapered edges for proper aeration.

See these Universal wine glasses on Amazon.

Drinking glasses for beer also come in different shapes and sizes, most suited for their aroma, texture, and taste. In restaurants, they will usually serve beer in pint glasses that are thick so that they can be chilled and not warm up easily from being held.

See an example of these on Amazon.

There are many more types of drinks, and the glasses they are served in are numerous. As you can see, a lot of thought goes into each one by its makers to determine how you can enjoy each beverage to its fullest.

What Size is a Normal Drinking Glass?

The standard drinking glass is considered 8 ounces.

See this highball drinking glass on Amazon.

The more common glasses used for drinking casual beverages are around 12 to 16 ounces. Drinking glasses for juices are generally smaller.

See this set of 13 ounce glasses on Amazon.

How Many Ounces is a Juice Glass? 

Though you can use any glass for juice, there are definitely some traditional and professional ideals surrounding this little glass! A juice glass typically holds between 4 and 6 ounces of liquid. They usually stand no more than 5 inches tall, with some being shorter and rounder.

See this 5 ounce juice glass on Amazon.

Should Glasses Be Stored Up or Down?

Like all choices in your kitchen, this one has definitely had some debate. The general consensus is that you should store the more delicate rimmed glasses with the mouth up. This will keep your fine crystals from chipping and scraping. Those who opt to store all their glasses rim-up, note that you would only want to do this with completely dried glassware as unsightly watermarks can form in your glasses.

Most other glassware is fine if you store them upside down. Some of you might be concerned with mildew, but often used and thoroughly dried glassware would allow little time for it to grow.

We do think this question is interesting, and you can read a more thorough discussion of it in this article, "How To Store Glasses And Cups In The Kitchen."

Enjoy Selecting the Right Glassware for Your Household

Now that you know how many drinking glasses you might want to start with, you can now consider your unique household and its needs. You will find that there are all sorts of shapes and sizes to fit every budget.  Have fun choosing the right amount and type of glassware so that you can be prepared to serve your family and friends in any situation!

Need more information on serving your family and friends? Here are some other articles you may be interested in.

20 Types Of Serving Dishes

How Big Should A Serving Bowl Be?

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