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Glass and plasticware for lab use

Last Updated: 05.10.22


Top Rated Lab Glass and Plasticware – Ratings & Comparison in 2022


Pieces of glass and plasticware are crucial when undertaking almost any activity in a laboratory. These items have a lot of uses and may prove their worth in other areas aside from science, depending on the needs and preferences of the person utilizing them. Since the market is overflowing with models with different sizes, shapes, and price points, we thought of giving you a helping hand. This website will help you discover the right glass and plasticware for your requirements as we know that finding the right product for what you have in mind may be a daunting task.

It is difficult to tell if there are models that are better than others, and that’s mostly due to the fact that all lab glassware and plasticware needs to be replaced from time to time. Due to prolonged use, these items can be prone to all sorts of processes that might affect the way they can assist you in performing your tasks. Some of the typical supplies you might find in any laboratory include funnels, culture tubes, Pasteur pipettes, graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, simple jars made out of polyethylene, wash bottles, and graduated beakers.

The main difference between a piece which has been constructed out of glass and one that has been built using plastic is that the first cannot affect the nature of the substance stored in it. It goes without saying that there are certain rules and regulations one must abide by when working in a lab, but accidents can always happen, and various plastic bottles might end up in the sun and therefore, affect the quality of the sample, thus rendering it unusable. Even the World Health Organization has greatly tackled the negative impact of phthalates on human development and the risks regarding the increase of cancer occurrence thereof, and phthalates aren’t the only culprits when ruining a sample. While glass is to be preferred, it is undoubtedly less durable when compared to its plastic counterpart, which is why it is, nonetheless, less popular than the latter.

In short, our website will assist you in making the right call if you’re trying to get high-quality supplies that help you get your job done successfully, every time.

The variety of glassware and plasticware destined for laboratory use is incredibly daunting, which is why we have decided to give you a hand by creating a short and comprehensive buying guide. Even though the specific types of supplies you will be using will be discussed later on, when we will tackle each and every kind of general labware, the following guide can give you several pointers when it comes to selecting the right product for your requirements. It is important to note that we will be discussing general types of labware, in that we will not touch upon equipment destined for areas such as genomics, cell culture, or drug discovery.



How to choose the best glass & plasticware for labs



The primary factor you will need to consider, regardless of the products you might be interested in purchasing, is what size of labware you want to buy. Fortunately, most manufacturing brands accurately describe their units using the product descriptions that can be found at most online retailers. The volume or capacity of glassware and plasticware should be correlated with your tasks, in that you will need smaller flasks for qualitative examinations and larger ones for quantitative analysis.



If you’re just starting out or plan to put together a small laboratory at home, perhaps you’d be interested in checking just how many glass or plasticware pieces you might need. We’ve noticed that many manufacturers offer generous discounts and even free lab supplies when you make your first online order. This detail may come in handy for a person who cannot benefit from a plentiful budget. Even though the base price of a plastic Petri dish is extraordinarily affordable, usually such a product is disposable and cannot be used time and time again. Therefore, what you pay is what you get, and you ought to choose as judiciously as possible.



The activities performed in a laboratory are diverse, and we’re not here to tell you how to do your job. However, it should be pointed out that some equipment needs to be selected depending on what you’re trying to achieve and the nature of the substances you plan to use. It goes without saying that, should you work in a chemistry lab, you ought to stay away from plasticware as most of it tends to be affected by chemicals in a negative manner. Sulphuric acid can weaken many types of plastic, although there are certainly some that can’t be affected by this substance. Glass bottles are to be preferred, although they do come with a disadvantage, which consists of the fact that they tend to be less durable.

Another factor you need to take into account is the temperature of your samples. In this case, glass is a winner as it usually manages to put up with the high temperature of various substances. Recently, several companies have developed plastics that can also do a good job, although as we’ve discussed at the beginning of the article, virtually all plastics can contaminate samples once they come in contact with hot liquids. A solution to this problem would be to select a graphite crucible as it tolerates any kind of thermal shock, as long as the sample doesn’t go over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


Especially if you have no prior experience when it comes to selecting labware, you ought to take some time and go through the customer feedback. If chemistry experiments are on your mind, you ought to look for the best Erlenmeyer flask reviews, the best glass funnel reviews, the best graduated cylinder reviews, and the best burette reviews.

The same rule applies for biology and microbiology, as one interested in cultivating fungi would have to read the best Petri dish reviews. Past buyers have used the product you may want to buy and can tell you exactly what to expect with regard to whether it is easy to use or not and whether or not it raises up to par under most circumstances. Also, if you are weary of ordering a certain item, you can always refer to several negative user reviews and find out what mishaps might occur when utilizing the product.



Types of lab glass & plasticware


As previously stated, we will not be addressing specialized glassware and plasticware intended for genomics, bioprocessing, and drug discovery. Most of the products we will describe and speak about are easy to find in today’s online marketplace, thus giving prospective customers a lot of freedom regarding the places they may feel like ordering them.

In our experience, the following units are some of the most commonly utilized ones in labs of various types. That is why we will be discussing neutral glasses, glass funnels, graduated cylinders, glass beaker sets, Erlenmeyer flasks, graphite crucibles, Petri dishes, mortal and pestle sets, as well as burettes.



Best neutral glass


Neutral glasses prove their worth in many situations, whether you will be using one in the lab or even at home. The diameter and capacity should be established before choosing a particular model over the next, and that’s due to the fact that the volume and height of a neutral glass can vary broadly from one product to the other. Whatever the features of the neutral glass, it’s worth underlining that these products aren’t particularly expensive given that they are usually sold in sets of 100 to 144 items.

There are several materials to choose from, in that there are units made of typical glass and there are better versions of these, which have been constructed out of borosilicate glass. This unique type of material is preferred nowadays as it has been tested and proven to have a higher heat and chemical resistance compared to traditional glass. The applications where the thermal resistance of a neutral glass is needed are close to infinite, as you really cannot know when the occasion will arise, and your sample will be hot. As is the case with virtually any other type of labware, we recommend going through some of the reviews and ratings before actually purchasing a set of one hundred neutral glasses.



Chemglass CLS-EPA25100 


1-chemglass-cls-epa25100The CLS-EPA25100 is a set composed of one hundred and forty-four glass culture tubes measuring 25mm in diameter and 100mm in height.

Based on the info that we have gathered, it seems that this kit is more reasonably priced when compared to many of its competitors, given the fact that it can usually be purchased for less than eighty dollars.

The glass every culture tube has been constructed of is chemically neutral and offers enough transparency for the person handling the sample to look at the substance and its modifications. Most of the people who have bought the Chemglass CLS-EPA25100 have nothing but good things to say about the set.


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Best glass funnel


Glass funnels can prove their worth in many situations, but not all are created the same. Some are smaller, some are larger, and the diameter of most differs. The narrower the funnel, the harder will it be for the liquid to be poured into a container. The larger the diameter, the quicker the pouring speed. Funnels made of plastic are currently being used in households where people have to transfer all sorts of liquids from one container to another, whether they consist of wine and other alcoholic beverages or olive oil and other cooking liquids.

Unfortunately, plastic alternatives are usually a no-go for laboratories, as they tend to melt if the substance being used is rather hot. In order to preserve the characteristics of the liquid, it is recommended that one chooses glass over plastic. Funnels aren’t as affordable as neutral glasses as they need to be purchased separately, and one can cost up to ten dollars. This makes it almost impossible for a lab to order more than one hundred funnels at once, as it would be a great expense. From what we’ve gathered, it is a good idea to select a product manufactured in North America as it is in compliance with the standards imposed by various official organisms.



SEOH 16084


2-seoh-glass-funnelThis SEOH funnel has been constructed out of typical glass but the neat thing about it is that it has been manufactured in Houston which practically speaks for itself when it comes to assessing the durability and usefulness of the product.

Besides, the glass is neutral and transparent and allows the person who is pouring the liquids to glance at them from the side. Both the diameter and the stem length of this product measure 100 millimeters.

The vast majority of the individuals who were kind enough to write reviews about the funnel say that it raises up to par.


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Best graduated cylinder


Graduated cylinders are used routinely in laboratories, in spite of the fact that they cannot provide detailed and precise readings when compared to other items, like volumetric flasks. Although the design of such a piece of equipment is rather basic, this kind of cylinder can help with a wide array of tasks, such as determining the volume of water and solid objects. For instance, if there is a pre-determined quantity of water inside the cylinder and a person adds a solid object or a non-aqueous solution, he or she will be able to find out the volume of the added item based on the primary water volume. The only downfall of utilizing a graduated cylinder is that it cannot serve users when extreme precision is needed given the fact that it is unable to provide the accuracy that is much-needed in certain situations.

The material from which these objects are typically manufactured with is either glass or polypropylene. Almost all large graduated cylinders are nowadays made out of polypropylene, simply because it is chemically resistant and is considerably less fragile compared to glass. This is what makes it durable enough to be used time and time again.



213I13 Karter Scientific


3-213i13-karter-scientific-250mlThe Karter Scientific unit is a reasonably priced alternative that can be used for liquids with volumes measuring up to 250 milliliters.

This product has been manufactured with borosilicate glass which has been shown to have characteristics superior to regular glass, in that it does a good job when it comes to heat resistance. Choosing this model is advantageous on many levels, but two of the core ones seem to be that it has been created in the United States and has a capacity that is in complete accordance with ASTM E-1272.

Some of the people who’ve reviewed the Karter Scientific model say that they’ve used it with the same good results in winemaking and hydrometer readings.


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Best glass beaker


Glass beakers are probably the most common piece of equipment you’ll come across in any chemistry lab, given that they can be used for a very broad array of activities ranging from transporting substances from one spot to the other to measuring their approximate volume. In most cases, these beakers have a small-sized beak that makes it easier for the user to pour liquids from one item to another.

There are three typical types of glass beakers that can be found on the market these days: crystallizers, tall-form beakers, or low-form beakers. As their name suggests, crystallizers should be used to perform crystallization. Tall-form beakers, often called Berzelius beakers, prove their worth for titration. Low-form, or Griffin beakers, are versatile and can be utilized for many tasks, ranging from decanting supernatant fluids to preparing and mixing solutions of various kinds.

As is the case with cylinders, beakers often come graduated, which gives a lot of freedom to owners because they are able to check just how much solution they’ve poured into the glass. This feature can be of great help when performing certain chemical experiments that might occur in class or a lab.



Karter Scientific 213A2 Low Form


4-karter-scientific-213a2If your budget does not allow you to purchase beakers separately, perhaps you’d benefit from checking out this pack as it comes with five unique pieces that have different volumes.

Thus, depending on the product that you will be using, you’ll be able to measure either fifty, one hundred, two hundred and fifty, five hundred, or one thousand milliliters. As is the case with the graduated cylinder we’ve talked about earlier on, this kit has pieces constructed out of borosilicate glass.

Whether you’re an amateur chemist or a professional user, you’re likely to benefit from buying and using this set, especially as it has gathered some of the best glass beaker set reviews.


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Best Erlenmeyer flask


This type of flask was created in the second half of the nineteenth century by a chemist named Emil Erlenmeyer. The typical model you’ll find in today’s market is a conical flask that may or may not be graduated, depending on the activity you plan to use the product for. The important thing to keep in mind is that such a flask shouldn’t be used for measurements as the graduation is less accurate when compared to the one of other pieces of equipment. Traditionally, Erlenmeyer flasks are constructed either out of plastic or out of glass.

The two core areas where Erlenmeyer flasks prove their worth nowadays are chemistry and biology. In chemistry, they are preferred for titrations and various activities involving boiling liquids, as thanks to their narrow necks, these items make it more difficult for the solvent to be lost. Besides, another advantage of using an Erlenmeyer flask over a beaker, for example, would be that it can hold a funnel all by itself. In biology, Erlenmeyer flasks can be utilized for preparing cultures, whether they are cellular or microbial ones. There aren’t many legal restrictions with regard to buying and using Erlenmeyer flasks, but in Texas, one might require a permit in order to purchase them due to the fact that these products can be used in drug manufacture.





5-pyrex-1lThis PYREX model is a narrow mouth flask with a heavy duty rim that has been constructed out of borosilicate glass. The product can be used for liquids with volumes up to 1000 ml.

As is the case with any other unit in the same line, the measurements provided by this one are less accurate, and so they might lead to less precise results. However, the most notable advantage of getting and using the PYREX 4980-1LCNEa is that it is a winner when it comes to sturdiness and thermal shock resistance.

Aside from the lab use of this item, another one that has been reported by owners is for processing yeast starters.


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Best graphite crucible


Crucibles are utilized in many domains nowadays, which may range from pigment to metal and glass production. While these products can be constructed out of many materials, in most cases, graphite crucibles are the ones that are commonly employed in multiple lab processes. The core advantage of using such an item is that it has a very high temperature resistance and performs considerably better compared to other pieces of equipment when it is in contact with hot liquids of any nature. Chemical analysis can significantly benefit from the use of crucibles as they can be held directly on a heat source without being damaged or without primarily altering the nature of the sample.

In order to offer accurate results, it is recommended that crucibles are held with the help of tongs, as depending upon the material they might be made of, they may be affected by fingerprints. For instance, if you were to utilize a crucible made of porcelain, it’s important to note that it may or may not be affected by the moisture present in the air inside the laboratory. In order to avoid this process, most crucibles and their corresponding lids are submitted to a pre-firing process.



Grobet Graphite Crucibles 4/0


6-graphite-crucibles-sizeThis Grobet unit is one of the most efficient ones we’ve discovered while prospecting the market for high-quality products in the line.

It comes in the 4/0 size and is more than capable of withstanding thermal shocks as well as any temperatures of up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

In spite of the fact that this model is considerably more reasonably priced compared to many of its competitors, it should be underlined that it does not come with a lid or with a pair of tongs. Therefore, you will have to purchase these separately. The Grobet unit has acquired some of the best graphite crucible reviews.


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Best Petri dish


Petri plates or dishes were invented by a German bacteriologist by the name of Julius Richard Petri. This type of lab equipment proves its worth in microbiology and some of the fields where its use is fairly common consist of bacteriology and mycology. Biologists use the same item in order to culture cells. Initially, the design of this kind of glass or plasticware was less satisfactory due to the fact that the dishes used to slide off one another when stacked. Fortunately, modern manufacturers have discovered a way to prevent this mishap from occurring as they have equipped the lids of Petri dishes with rings or slots.

The primary reason one may be interested in purchasing and using a Petri dish of any size consists of the fact that it is fairly resistant to high-temperature liquids and gasses, which is why it can be sterilized. Doing so with the help of an autoclave is relatively common in most laboratories. This sterilization method can only be utilized if the item is made of glass as plastic models need to be disposed of after use given that they are not heat-resistant. Unlike glass, plastic can also be porous, which is why it can retain some of the microorganisms it came in contact with when the dish was utilized the first time around.


SEOH Petri Dish


7-seoh-petri-dishThe SEOH alternative is an affordable pack that consists of twenty-five sterile and vented dishes made of plastic.

Given the fact that these units are not resistant to thermal shocks and might pose the risk of contaminating future samples, it is recommended that the items are discarded after use.

Both the top and the bottom of these Petri dishes are squared off so that they can rest comfortable on top of each other, without the risk of sliding off. Furthermore, the risk of condensation buildup is practically non-existent if you choose these units as each and every one of them has three venting ribs.


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Best mortar and pestle set


Even in ancient times, mortar and pestle sets were used for cooking applications and mixing all sorts of substances. One of the first prototypes seems to have been designed around 35,000 BC. The instrument was somewhat popular with Romans and Greeks which used them for creating sauces and other foods, but also needed them in order to create drug-like solutions, which could have been applied to wounds and other lesions. This is why the mortar and pestle became one of the symbols of apothecaries.

While this piece of equipment can be constructed out of a broad array of materials, the typical one that might be used in a laboratory is traditionally made of glass. This feature is due to the fact that glass is transparent and has a smooth surface, therefore allowing the person performing the analysis or experiment to glance at the color of the substance and remove it efficiently once the mixing and grinding process has been wrapped up. In other words, you may come to the conclusion that getting and using a plastic mortar and pestle is somewhat counterproductive, due to its potential ability to retain substance components. Also, the use of hot liquids or items with such an item may not be a good idea.



Cole-Parmer AO-34500-51


8-mortar-pestle-set-glass-57-mlThe Cole-Parmer option is an entirely efficient item that helps you get the job done in a timely fashion. The capacity of this mortar and pestle set is 57 milliliters.

Probably the most important characteristic of the model is that it has been constructed out of glass and as such, it is transparent. What’s more, the Cole-Parmer item has been equipped with a pouring spout, which means that the user will not have any trouble transferring substances from this item to another.

Based on our research, the AO-34500-51 has garnered some of the best mortar and pestle set reviews, given that owners say that it’s both thick and durable.


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Best burette


Unlike some of the items we’ve tackled earlier on, burettes are mostly used for scientific purposes, in that they are especially helpful in domains such as analytical chemistry. There are two primary kinds of burettes. Some units are volumetric, meaning that they can be utilized for measuring liquid volumes. In contrast, others are weight burettes, which means that they can be employed for measuring the weight of the substance. Traditional models are constructed out of glass, but recently we’ve seen the rise of digital burettes, which somewhat resemble syringes. Finding out the volume of a liquid can be done efficiently and conveniently with the help of a digital burette as it usually comes with a display where the volume is constantly updated.

In spite of the many advantages offered by digital alternatives, even these have several drawbacks. Selecting the perfect product should be correlated with the type of liquids you will be using. For example, some substances can corrode glass, which means that you ought to choose a digital burette with a barrel and plunger made of plastic, such as polyethylene. However, this means that you’ll have to spend a lot of time cleaning the item so that you can reuse it.



Eisco Labs CAR044


9-eisco-labs-borosilicate-buretteThe CAR044 is a somewhat traditional item when compared to the many modern alternatives that can be found in today’s market.

Nonetheless, it does have a significant pro, in that you’re perfectly able to reuse it given that it is constructed out of borosilicate glass.

Besides, this material has been shown to do a good job even when warm liquids are inserted in the burette. The volume capacity of this product is 100 milliliters, and there won’t be anything stopping you from performing an accurate volumetric measurement given that the model has 0.2-ml graduations.


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Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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