Last year, my husband and I moved into a home with a pool, and the first house rule we made was that nobody, ever, under any circumstances would be allowed to have glass in or around the pool. No bottles. No wine glasses. No ceramic plates.
Of course, what were our cupboards full of? Glass, glass, glass. And, of course, random plastic cups from, like, roller derby bouts and basketball games, but certainly not the sort of glassware we’d use for entertaining friends at a pool party or cookout. No, we needed some outdoor entertaining solutions that were both attractive and functional.
Happily for us (and all our guests, because when you have a pool and it’s a million degrees out, you’re gonna have guests), there are a number of options out there that keep your pool and patio safe from broken glass, but don’t make you feel like you’re drinking out of Solo cups at a kegger. Even if you happen to be hosting a kegger. You’ll get no shade from me on that!
Also? Everything listed here is dishwasher safe. I don’t have the patience for precious glassware.
pubWARE — Available in everything from a 2.2-ounce cordial size to wine glasses (both stemmed and stemless) to various sizes of pint glasses and more, pubWARE has a glass for anything you care to pour ($24.99-$54.99 for a set of 4). And many of the glasses allow you to personalize them! These have a nice, heavy feel (like glass) and, so far, they clean really well so they continue looking a lot like glass, even after multiple cycles through the dishwasher. They’re guaranteed not to break, discolor or cloud and they’re not only safe for the dishwasher — they’re also microwave-safe and BPA-free.
govino — Another shatterproof and BPA-free option, govino has glasses, cocktail glasses, champagne flutes and beer glasses, all with their signature thumb imprint ($22.95 for a set of 2). They even offer a decanter! These glasses have a much lighter, more flexible feel than the pubWARE items, which isn’t a bad thing — that flexibility is exactly what allows you to fully abuse them (by, say, tossing your glasses in a tote with a bottle of wine without worrying about breakage on your way to the beach … just sayin’). And they’re recyclable, so if they get to the point where they’re a little too abused (because, although they don’t break, I have noticed they get a little cloudy after a while), you can recycle the old and bring in some new ones.
Lifefactory — Lifefactory has a huge variety of products, ranging from cafe mugs to bottles to wine and beverage glasses and more ($19.99 to $24.99 for a set of two glasses). The big difference between Lifefactory and the others listed here is that the Lifefactory products are still actually glass (I know, I know), but here’s why I make an exception — their glasses are encased in a silicone sleeve that make them safer for the pool area in two ways. First of all, they’re really grippy (technical term there) — there’s no condensation to make the glass slippery and the silicone itself is easy to hold. Second, even if it does drop, that silicone sleeve may offer a bit of protection (although, I mean, I’d really recommend trying not to drop them). You do not need to remove the sleeve for washing — the whole deal can go in the dishwasher or microwave, no problem.
Do you have strict food or drink rules in your house? I’ve considered implementing a “no red wine on my nice tan couches” rule, but I’d be the first one to break it, and I hate to set myself up for failure like that. —Kristen