Which Glass is Best for Home Windows?

In addition to choosing the window style that’s best for your home, you may also want to consider the type of window glass you’re installing. There are six options, which all serve different purposes:

  1. Float glass: This is the most budget-friendly and has no natural tint. It is a single piece of glass that breaks into sharp shards when hit with force. Float glass can, however, undergo a lot of chemical processes to be strengthened. It can be used in single-pane and even double-pane windows once it’s been enhanced. Plain float glass that hasn’t been treated is typically low-cost and easier to break.
  2. Laminated glass: Laminated glass is typically used for patio doors, balcony enclosures, and other places where glass damage would pose a safety concern. This glass will crack when it breaks but won’t leave its frame.
  3. Obscured glass: In rooms where privacy is important, consider this opaque (or partially opaque) glass option. Many people choose this for personal areas like bathrooms or quiet spaces.
  4. Tempered glass: Tempered glass is the most popular type for bathroom use, such as shower doors, which tends to be much stronger than regular glass. It's resistant to heat and has a very low risk of danger.
  5. Insulated glass: Insulated glass includes double and triple-pane windows. It is designed by layering glass. It creates a barrier to ‌outside heat and cold when used in windows. It’s also nearly impossible to shatter.
  6. Low-E glass: Low-E glass keeps the heat out and lets in the sunlight by blocking UV rays. It’s best suited for those who love natural light.

Ultimately, you'll want to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine what’s important to you, but in general, one kind stands out as being the best glass window for a home.

Why Tempered Glass is the Best

Typically, homeowners choose tempered glass over all others because it is essentially a combination of the other glass varieties. Check out some detailed reasons you may want to consider tempered glass for your home:

1. It’s much safer.

Glass is known for being dangerous when it breaks because of the many jagged pieces that have the potential to cause injury. Tempered glass breaks off into small, edgeless pebbles, virtually eliminating the risk of bodily harm.

2. It’s extremely tough and durable.

It doesn’t take much to break “normal” glass. Tempered glass is a different story, as it is nearly four times stronger than typical glazing. It’s also scratch resistant, so it keeps its fresh appearance longer.

3. It can lower your energy bill.

In general, tempered glass tends to be energy-efficient due to its heat-resistant properties.

4. Its possibilities for design and style are endless.

The durability of tempered glass allows it to be suitable for unique window styles (e.g., frameless structures). Unlike opaque glass, tempered glass is transparent, making it an ideal choice for those who want a clean, sparkly look for the windows in their home.

5. It has amazing sound-proof capabilities.

Tired of hearing outside noise? Tempered glass blocks out sound well since it’s thick.

While other glass types offer some sound insulation, tempered glass has the versatility to encompass this and many attributes important to making a home comfortable, energy-efficient, and safe.

How to Choose the Best Glass for Windows

Choosing the best glass windows for your home doesn’t have to be discouraging if you know what factors matter most to you.  Check out the chart below to determine which type of window glass best suits your needs:


Extreme Climate Tolerance

Energy Efficiency



Design Versatility



Not insulated


Lets air in and out

Has a tint option


Sharp when broken and not as durable

Clear, patterned, or textured



Insulated but not good for high humidity areas

Keeps heat out

Has a tint option

Cracks when broken but glass stays in frame

Many colors and tones


Not insulated but can withstand cold and heat

Blocks the heat

Is partially or fully opaque


Shatters when broken (pieces fall out of frame)

Multiple design options


Insulated and absorbs heat

Absorbs heat

Has a frosted glass option

Pebble-like when broken

Multiple design options including patterned


Insulated with double and triple panes

Prevents heat or cold air from leaving

Has a tint option

Almost impossible to break


Few design options


Insulated and designed for indoor climate control

Uses glass components for controlling temperature


Limited options for privacy


Low-E coating does not increase glass durability


Few design options

Double Glazing vs. Triple Glazing

The terms “double-glazed” and “double pane” are usually used interchangeably to refer to the number of glass sheets (or panes) used in the window. Whereas a double uses two panes, a triple uses three. There's usually a type of gas or resin between each layer of glass to encourage bonding and durability.

Triple glazing is not always necessary but can be useful for extra insulation in harsh temperatures and noisy environments. Double glazing may be a better choice if you want to feel isolated, but with some sound and temperature from the outside world.

Both tempered and laminated glass may be used in the construction of double and triple-glazed windows.

FAQs about Residential Glass Windows

Why is tempered glass a good choice for home windows?

Tempered glass is often the best option for home windows due to its strength and energy efficiency. You save money on energy bills and get a sturdy glass that doesn't break into jagged pieces even when tremendous force is applied.

What are the benefits of having glass windows as opposed to another type of material?

Windows are for insulating your home, securing your things, and blocking out debris. However, the purpose of glass windows varies with the kind of glass you are using. For example, obscured glass is known for giving homeowners privacy, but it doesn’t necessarily allow much natural light to come through. Conversely, tempered windows let natural light in but offer fewer design options than obscured (which can come frosted, ribbed, etc.). Each glass category is designed a little differently for consumers who value specific features.

Generally, the benefits of using glass windows include the following:

  • Brighter rooms
  • Lower energy bills
  • Easier to clean than most surfaces
  • Tougher against the outdoor elements than other materials
  • Quieter, insulated spaces

Glass Doctor recognizes the significance of your choice in glass windows for your home, which is why we’re determined to help you make the right one. Whether we’re installing tempered glass or another popular glass type, our goal is always to make your home a safe and comfortable space. To have the glass window of your choice installed, call your local Glass Doctor at (833) 974-0209 or set up an appointment online.