Where do I find offbeat glassware that's life-proof?

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21FCyMc3+iLLess than a year after my wedding, all my fabulous glassware (the Mikasa Cheers collection) is breaking!

My partner and I don't have kids or a dishwasher, so if these glasses can't stand up to our mild daily abuses, there's no way we're purchasing the same kind again. But we still want something fun and funky, and that's turning out to be hard to find.

How do you find glassware that's offbeat and still strong enough to survive a few years of normal wear and tear? -Charlie

You've come to the right place, Charlie! I have the Mikasa Cheers wine glasses. I love them SO MUCH that — knowing their penchant for breaking — I ask for a set of the same wine glasses for Christmas every year. Yeah. Nutty.

So if other Homies out there have suggestions for funky glassware that I don't have to re-purchase every year, Charlie and I would be so grateful.

  1. I inherited my grandmother's crystal glasses from when she got married. They are hardcore. Survived being used in her lifetime and my using them regularly for the past 20 years. I think I lost one that was carelessly knocked off the kitchen counter but other then that they are resilient. "They don't make 'em like they used to" no joke.

    Maybe look at an antique store and see what you like.

    7 agree
    • True. Heavy crystal can last generations, as it has in my family. I think even modern crystal should be just as strong!

      2 agree
  2. I have had good luck looking at dollar stores for fun barware. Many of them are brightly colored, fun shapes, or even have those trendy zig-zag stems.
    My other recommendation (that you can shop online) is World Market. It has everything from multi-colored, to metallic, vintage-inspired, mustaches, or tiki long-drink mugs.

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      • Yes, World Market! We got some more basic type dishes and glasses from World Market (and I insisted upon a dozen of each, though I doubt we'll ever have ten people over for dinner at a time).

        We also had a little registry incident that resulted in lots of everyday glasses. By lots I mean, we already had bought a dozen at Ikea and still got a set of sixteen glasses (eight short, eight tall).

        My thought is, this should still leave us with a reasonable number of dishes in the upcoming decades (through us, guests, future children…) that we can still eat–and have others over, plus, by getting basic white porcelain dishes, if we find that we do have to replace, they're simple and versatile enough that other dishes can be added without things looking super mismatched. We'll see…

  3. Not wine, but beer…I have to say that everyone has to own at least 1 copper mug. We have one and when people come over they fight over who gets to use it. It actually makes your beverage colder than before you poured it in, because it conducts cold so well. My beer gets a little icy when I pour it in. These things will last for eternity and practically bounce when you drop them on the floor. They got popular in the 1960s so you can find them at thrift stores and ebay easily. (Also…these make great wedding/ baby/ whatever gifts!) Check 'em out.

    1 agrees
    • You can find these at renaissance faire too, if you want some really interesting ones! Also some very cool wood drinkware there.

      Overall I would recommend HANDMADE. Go to a local craft collective, hand-made flea market, or even farmer's market. Or, if you live in the boonies and don't have stuff like that, etsy or other handmade marketplaces online. Look for glassblowers in your area on facebook. Stuff that's handmade tends to be more high-quality, long-lasting, and most definitely individual. And you're supporting small business (paying for Julie the Glassblower's daycare instead of Erin the CEO's Mercedes).

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      • My friend has one with a lady as a handle, so when you hold it your thumb is on her boobs! Yay! It may have been a mermaid. It was filled with beer, so…

        Either way it is unbreakable and it was hand made from a Ren Faire. And I keep asking him where the male counterpart mug is!

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    • My husband and I bought pewter/aluminum beer mugs at the Michigan RenFest as toasting mugs and they make beer so awesomely cold!

    • Do you chill these glasses before? Otherwise I might have to cry foul at the making the drinks colder. Heat transfer doesn't quite work that way. Everything wants to become the same temperature, so if the beer is the coldest thing when you pour it into the glass, it will actually warm up a bit because it's trying to go to equilibrium.

      That being said, the mug will likely feel colder than a similar glass or plastic mug. This, however, is simply due to the rate at which the heat is sucked out of your fingers when touching it. A piece of plastic and a piece of copper can be the exact same temperature, but the copper will feel colder because it conducts the heat away from your hands more quickly.

      3 agree
  4. They aren't wine glasses, but these are our everyday drinking glasses. They come in two sizes, and they have proven to be incredibly resilient. My husband has dropped them more than once, and so far none of them have so much as chipped.

    Bormioli Rocco makes a whole line of beautiful glassware, so maybe you can find one you like that will stand the test of time. I think these might do nicely. And they also come in orange, sky blue, and lime.


    • Oh man, those Mexican glasses are great! I've been considering something similar (I know a ton of people swear by them for durability), but I hadn't found anything as cool as those. Thanks!!

  5. i can't speak for their durability because i'm still moving around with the same hodge-podge i collected in college and over the years, but pier1 has some neat stuff.

    1 agrees
    • Oops, that's what I get for assuming. I'm surprised THOSE glasses are breaking too. Hmm, anywhoo… updated the photo to lesson the confusion.

      • Thanks! I know, they seem so great! But the bottoms are literally falling out of them in our hands. It's a disaster!

        • Perhaps OB Bride should have a "consumer reports" for popular wedding registry items that are poor quality/not worth registering for. (I have a few I would like to add to the list – and a few really great picks!)
          Luckily, in my experience Bed Bath & Beyond has a great return policy for products which don't stand up to quality expectations.

          7 agree
  6. I know they're not super funky or fun, but we're a big fan of the French workman's glasses and Duralex Picardie tumblers. They will take some serious abuse, are dishwasher safe, and still look good after years. And they come in multiple sizes. My grandmother had some workman's when I was a kid and they held up really well. Also, you can get lids for the workman's! Do I hear pudding or smoothie for later? Yes. Yes I do.

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    • Seconding the Picardie tumblers! These are the best. We've had ours for 4 years, have not been especially kind to them, and they have held up great. Nice and thick glass too so cold drinks stay cold longer.

  7. When I saw your original glasses my first thought was "Mid-century Modern". I have some MCM glassware that I love. It holds up. You can mix and match, and they have all shapes and sizes. Here are a few examples:



    As you can see, ebay is a good online option in addition to Etsy. I find them ALL OVER antique stores. They are really in demand thanks to Mad Men 🙂

  8. IKEA!!!! i have some glasses from ikea which are super heavy duty, literally har das nails…. they lasted me through many a student party when i was at uni and they do the same design in severl sizes, i have a few normal size ones and a pint one. this is the style http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/80081733/

    but ikea do so many other ones which as sper pretty like these ones http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/10233339/ and these http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/20223113/

    and best of all…. they are all super cheap,

    NB my links are to the UK ikea, i just checked the US site and they do all the same styles.

    • We have glass tumblers from Ikea, and even the couple that have developed cracks in them don't seem to leak at all…

      • I'm totally shocked at how cool Ikea's glasses are! I've gotten their furniture for years, but never thought to try their glassware. Thanks, guys!

    • Seconding this! My roommate and I are both mega clumsy and we haven't ever broken a pokal glass. Not at all. In two years. And with less clumsy roommates for 2 years before that. They are sturdy and cheap and a little old-fashioned looking. I also have these ones which are a bit more fun, but I can already tell they are more breakable than the Pokal ones: http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/70235830/

      • Godis mix glasses are pretty and inexpensive, but will break easily. We have only 3 left after 4 years and we don't have children and aren't especially clumsy people. One broke in a guest's hands. Granted he has a hard grip, but still. The heavier glass styles are sturdy though.

  9. You might try looking at restaurant supply stores or websites. Or you could try asking at your favorite restaurant if you could purchase a glass or two. You never know, they might be willing!

    • Maybe this is just a craft beer thing, but many brewpubs have their barware for sale, usually printed or etched with the pub's logo. Vineyards will sell their tasting glasses or other wine glasses with their logos. Most of my pint glasses, and several of my wine glasses at home have a pub/vineyard logo on them.

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    • I love Anchor glasses! I have the set of the "Flare" drinking glasses and have been really happy with their durability.
      I am also surprised your Corelle dishes are breaking. Corelle is known for its durability. I also use Corelle dishes, and maybe it's because I use a vintage pattern, but I have abused my poor dishes and they keep looking beautiful.

      1 agrees
  10. Honestly, I got so sick of my everyday glasses breaking too. I went to a TJ Maxx/Ross/Marshalls and took the glasses out and stuck my hand in them to see how thick they were… honestly, the thicker glasses just don't break as easily as the little delicate ones. So that's my advice, and you can find some nice unique ones as well. I have found some really cool glasses and they hold up nicely on several occasions.

  11. I just wanted to say I got those exact same glasses as a wedding gift and they all broke within a year, too! Boo on you, Mikasa >(

  12. Personally, I love finding milk glassware at thrift shops and yard sales. It's incredibly sturdy and comes in some nifty colors (blue and yellow are my favs, but I've seen it in green and white).

    Also, we received glasses from Crate and Barrel as a present… those are incredibly durable. A year later of heavy use (dishwasher, clumsy me, hubby accidently dropping it), we only broke one so far. Even then, it was a crack… not entirely broken but on its way. It's around $2 a glass, but totally worth it.

    1 agrees
  13. When my partner and I moved in together, I bought all our glassware at a thrift store. I bought all matching ones, but I considered buying a bunch of funky mismatching glasses. You can find lots of interesting things at thrift stores, and they're so cheap, it doesn't really matter if you break them (unless you happen to find a matching set). I'd say the only real downfall is that you don't know what they're made of; they could be made of lead crystal or something worse. However, I find my ignorance is usually bliss when it comes to such things. 😛

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  14. We use mason jars as cups at our house, they're pretty durable, and you can just pop a lid and them, and boom! insta travel cup.

    1 agrees
  15. These aren't as tall, but they are fun! I bought this 6 pack from Ikea, and the only casualties have been the ones I (unintentionally) dropped.

    Shockingly, glasses don't hold up to a drop of a few feet off the edge of a counter!

    I will admit to coveting those Mikasa glasses, so at least I now know they don't stand up to extended use. We've has the Ikea ones for about 2 years or so, and they get handwashed or thrown in the dishwasher.

    The only downside to them is that they are smaller, and hold just over a cup of liquid. I don't know if this matters to you but it might.

  16. Restaurant supply store. I prefer pint glasses for everyday use, they will have highball and wine glasses and anything else you can think of, and they will be built to last through drunk guests, clumsy waiters, hot dishwashers with strong water streams beating them into each other, and metal scoops putting ice in them.

    My partner and I also vastly prefer having a selection of pint glasses that live in the freezer door. Ahhh having cold beer in a chilled glass on a hot day is amazing. Even better, if I've forgotten to rotate beer into the fridge, then warm beer + frozen glass = chilled beer almost instantly. Ironically, the "cheater pints" which are 14 oz with a thicker bottom are great for this, because the larger chunk of glass keeps drinks colder longer without watering them down with ice. Also a nice reason to go for a highball or old fashioned glass.

  17. Ooh! I actually etch fun, offbeat designs (all my original art) onto sturdy, restaurant-quality glassware! It's all Libbey brand, which is made in the USA and has lasted us years of use at home (even with a toddler).

    We have rim-tempered pint glasses that are sturdier than most, and I've chosen the thickest wine glasses and champagne flutes so they'll last. We have ceramic mugs and travel mugs too, and everything is dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe.

  18. Consider etching your own. Its fun and you can buy cheap pint glasses which can take a huge beating and then etch cool designs into them. I found cool designs online with pirates, dragons, owls….

    • I love that idea! I've read that results from those etching solutions are sometimes less than thrilling – have you used one that you particularly like?

      1 agrees
  19. This may sound silly, but thrift stores are wonderful for durable glassware, especially if you are not picky about every piece matching. Many of these pieces have already stood the test of time.

  20. I had this same problem when i first moved in with my partner, we used to break glasses, plates, bowels-you name it. We went through 2 sets of wine glasses in a year! i should probably mention this all happened because we were both so clumsy. So we decided to try and practice mindfulness-by making a game of it! we wrote both of our names on the fridge and would add a tally against our name when we broke something, because we both like winning, it's pretty competitive and a very good intensive to be more mindful 🙂

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