Stainless Steel Cups vs Plastic & Glass: The Ultimate Drinkware Showdown

There’s a good chance you have some stainless steel stocked in your kitchen right now, as it’s become one of the most common materials found in households today. From cookware like pots and pans to your utensils, stainless steel is touted as durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean; making it the perfect candidate for any culinary enthusiast.

But what about your drinkware? Even if stainless steel isn’t the first material that springs to mind when contemplating your drinkware options, the evidence is clear: Stainless steel reigns supreme - especially compared to the more obvious choices of glass and plastic.

Don’t believe us? Check out all the ways stainless steel wipes the floor with its competition and outranks traditional drinkware options below. (Just don’t blame us if you’re struck by the sudden urge to replace all your glasses and plastic cups with these mighty metallic wonders…!)

Table of Contents

What is Food Grade Stainless Steel?

First up, let’s dive into some basics of stainless steel as a drinkware material. 

Naturally, not all stainless steel is created equal. The type used for cooking and food prep is called Food Grade Stainless Steel, and it has some special composition requirements that make it ideal for eating and drinking out of.

Within this family of kitchenware steels, the highest quality available in its class is called type 304, which has an 18/8 chromium to nickel ratio. Each element serves a smart purpose: Chromium prevents rust by binding oxygen to the surface of the vessel and protecting the iron from oxidation, while nickel enhances the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.

SPOILER ALERT:  Here at Greens Steel, we settle for nothing less than the best! As such, all our premium drinkware is crafted from the toughest 18/8 top Food Grade Stainless Steel, rated at 304 purity for the best taste and drinking experience. Call us biased, but you wouldn't catch us sipping out of anything else...

Why Stainless Steel Drinkware Beats Glasses & Plastic Cups

Now you know just what food grade stainless steel is comprised of, let's cover exactly what makes it the superior choice for your drinkware when compared to glass and plastic...

overall winner:
stainless steel

We never leave a stone unturned, especially when it comes to helping you make informed choices about your health, lifestyle and the wellbeing of our planet.

As such, check out these real-life scenarios where stainless steel outranked glass and plastic in each category of daily drinkware needs.

Here's 6 reasons why Stainless Steel drinkware takes the cup:

6. IT'S Virtually Indestructible

In case you haven't dropped a glass recently, let's all take a moment to remember the horrors of shattered glass strewn across the floor. Of course, you also happen to be barefoot at the time of the incident. And last you heard, the kids were running around the house in their socks. With the dog.

Obviously, we all know how fragile glass is, making it a no-go if breakages are a concern. But did you consider that plastic cups can also crush, crack, melt and warp in the dishwasher or after repeated use? You'll never need to worry about degradation or wear & tear with stainless steel.

The Winner of "Most Durable" is:
Shatterproof · Chip-Proof · Scratch Resistant

5. it's DISHWASHER SAFE & easy to sanitize

Unlike plastic and some glassware, high-quality stainless steel drinkware like Greens Steel is completely dishwasher safe and easy to sanitize. This is in part due to the chromium & nickel content that repel acid corrosion and etching, but also from the ultrasmooth electropolished interior. 

By contrast, plastic, (even reinforced reusable plastic) deteriorates over time, not only making it less reliable but also unsafe to use. Many plastics are porous, allowing bacteria to harbor and contaminate the contents. 

Because stainless steel doesn’t have pores like many plastic materials, it's ultra easy to sanitize and gives you peace of mind that your food remains clean and uncontaminated. 

The Winner of "Easiest to Clean" is:
Corrosion Resistant · Won't Harbor Bacteria · Dishwasher Safe

4. it's The Safest Material for Your Family

Stainless steel is the ultimate material to hold your drinks and ensure your family's health and safety. As we know, glass poses the risk of serious cuts and lacerations if shattered, but it's plastic we really need to worry about in terms of hidden dangers.

Plastic is known for containing all sorts of harmful chemicals that can leach into our food, beverages, and ultimately, in our systems. One of the worst offenders - BPA or Bisphenol A - has been linked to an array of health issues in early studies, anywhere from reproductive problems to Alzheimer's.

With Greens Steel's BPA-Free food grade stainless steel, you can rest assured that no unwanted nasties are making their way into your drinks. Everything you're ingesting is clean, pure, and untainted with hazardous chemicals.

The Winner of "No Nasties Here" is:
BPA-Free · No Chemical Leaching · Zero Harmful Components

3. it's Durable, Versatile & Stylish

Tougher than glass and more attractive than plastic, stainless steel cups are by far the most versatile drinkware type you can choose. Think regular glasses can keep up on all your adventures, or plastic cups will impress your guests? Think again... 

I know your finest glasses may have been a previous default when setting the table for stylish company, but that was before you met Greens Steel's range of sleek color-coordinated cup sets that are dressed to impress!

Adding a touch of sophistication with stainless steel ensures you'll never need to sweep up broken shards or painstakingly hand-wash delicate glassware again.

Leave the glass and plastic behind in favor of stainless steel on your next roadtrip, picnic or backpacking journey.  It's lightweight, stackable & sturdy enough to travel wherever your adventures take you. 

The Winner of "Most Versatile" is:
Sleek & Modern · Hard-Wearing · Dinner Party Approved

2. it's Surprisingly Budget-Friendly!

Nobody needs a reminder about how expensive fancy glasses can be - let alone when they smash and need replacing! But the cost of plastic or paper cups adds up too if you've got a big crowd, entertain often, or give your family disposable drinkware to use.

When you invest in a set of reusable stainless steel cups, you'll be saving yourself from the never-ending expense of keeping your plastic cup supply topped up. And when you crunch the numbers, grabbing a set of high-quality stainless steel cups like these beauties will only set you back around the same price as two or three packs of disposable cups - yet these can be used forever. Just rinse, lather and repeat for budget-friendly parties with stainless steel. 

The Winner of "Best Budget Pick" is:
Infinite Uses · Lasts Forever · Never Needs Replacing


Last but not least, the environmental impact of stainless steel drinkware wins again.  While many earth-conscious folks lean toward glass in favor of plastic, glass still requires non-renewable raw ingredients to produce, plus generates significant carbon emissions in the melting furnace. Furthermore, due to the composition of glass drinkware's finished state, they're generally not recyclable.

We already know of the severe plastic pollution issue our planet is heaving under right now, and the devastatingly toxic plastic manufacturing processes.

Unlike stainless steel, the different production methods used to make plastic cups & glasses take a considerable amount of energy and resources; and the aftermath of their disposal creates an even larger environmental burden. 

The Winner of "Most Eco-Friendly" is:
Reduced Carbon Footprint · Low Energy to Produce · Recyclable

ready to make the switch to stainless steel cups?

And the clear winner for the best drinkware material is... Stainless Steel! Sorry, plastic and glass - you've had your day. So, where to next?

If you're ready to overhaul your current drinkware cabinet with the highest-quality stainless steel cups, tumblers & coffee mugs for the best price, you're in the right place.

Here's our top Greens Steel offerings guaranteed to revolutionize the way you drink:

Eco-friendly, long-lasting STAINLESS STEEL CUPS

2 and 4 packs available
 Multiple color & size options


Add a touch of stylish sustainability to any gathering with the sleek Greens Steel Stainless Steel Reusable Cups, made with Premium 304 18/8 Food Grade Stainless Steel and BPA-free, always.

Pick up a 2 or 4 pack of these durable, washable cups and you'll never add another plastic cup to landfill again!


100% leak-proof travel coffee mug
Available in 350ml and 475ml sizes
Three different colors


The Greens Steel Reusable Coffee Cup is perfect for all kinds of drinks, keeping your hot coffee (or tea!) piping hot so they can taste their best for hours to come.

This reusable coffee mug comes with a handy carrying lid so you can bring it on the go to your favorite cafe, or save money by bringing your own hot coffee to the office or wherever you need to go.

Price Drop on All 30oz Beast Tumblers
$19.99  $29.00  Save 34%

Comes with lifetime warranty
Multiple color options available


The best-selling BEAST Tumbler by Greens Steel is the ultimate travel mug and perfect companion for your daily commute and long adventures on the road.

Made from only the highest quality materials and coming complete with a splash-proof lid and two reusable straws, this tumbler is amazingly versatile, perfect for hot liquids and food alike.

Unlike others on the market, all our tumblers, lids and straws are completely dishwasher safe, making them a breeze to wash and keep reusing for all of your favorite drinks.

shop premium with greens steel

Browse our entire range of budget-conscious premium drinkware below:

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