Glass vs Plastic Screen Protectors

Over the years I’ve owned my fair share of cell phones. Screen protectors are perhaps one of the first accessories you add to your phone. So, now you have to decide, glass vs plastic screen protectors?

Tempered glass provides the strongest protection when it comes to the screen on a cellphone and it lasts the longest. Plastic screen protectors are cheaper and may be suitable for someone who doesn’t use their phone as often, or someone who wants a thinner phone screen.

In the end, it comes down to how durable you need your phone screen to be, how much you want to spend, and long you want it to last. You get what you pay for, so a thicker glass screen will cost more, but it will provide much greater protection.

We’ve put together this quick guide, with differences, pros and cons, and data that we have collected on each, so you can figure out which one is right for you, glass or plastic.

Do Plastic Screen Protectors Prevent Cracks?

Plastic screen protectors can help prevent scratches and in some cases even cracks. If something hits your phone screen at just the right angle, then there is a chance that it could crack. The plastic film protectors provide a buffer layer, which could help keep the screen from cracking.

Sometimes you have no chance of prevention. If the phone hits hard enough or is dropped from high enough, the object it hits may break it, with or without a screen protector. A plastic screen protector at least adds that added layer of protection.

Do Tempered Glass Screen Protectors Work Against Drops?

Tempered glass is probably the strongest type of screen protector. You have a much better chance of your screen not cracking if there is some kind of glass screen protector. There are multiple kinds of glass protection, just regular glass, HD glass, and tempered.

Tempered glass is strengthened through chemical and thermal treatments that make the composure of the glass much stronger. Dropping phones happens all of the time, from all kinds of heights. While a tempered glass screen protector will help some, it will not protect your screen from cracking if the drop is high enough up.

Difference Between Glass and Plastic Screen Protectors

Here are some of the key differences between glass and plastic screen protectors.

Glass Screen ProtectorPlastic Screen Protector
Glass offers stronger and longer-lasting protection.Plastic offers less protection than glass and does not last as long.
Glass protectors often cost more than plastic ones.Plastic protectors cost less, but they will have to be replaced more often.
Glass offers a thick surface for protection.Plastic is a thin film that offers some layer of protection.
When the glass protector breaks, some glass could get on you.Plastic screen protectors usually don’t break but will peel off over time.

Chances are if you are using your phone daily, out in the field, or for a business, the tempered glass is probably your best action for phone screen protection. Light use phones could get away with plastic screens, just know that you will be replacing the screen more often.

Glass Screen Protector Facts

There are multiple kinds of glass protectors. This can be a good option if you are needing something stronger like tempered glass, or just something for light duty, such as regular glass screen protectors.

They come in different strengths. You have the option of choosing from different glass protectors which offer stronger levels of protection. Companies have different techniques for strengthening glass, so you have your pick.

Plastic Screen Protector Facts

Some people prefer thinner profile screen protectors. Plastic sticks up less than glass because it is usually made up of a thin film. Your protector may be less likely to catch something it comes across.

Plastic is easy to apply and easy to remove. When a plastic film gets old, it starts to peel off. This makes it easy to peel off the old plastic protector, to apply a fresh new one and you don’t have to worry about shards of glass.

Glass vs Plastic Screen Protectors Pros and Cons

Now for some pros and cons for both glass and plastic screen protectors.

Glass ProsGlass Cons
They offer a smooth display for viewing your screen.A thicker screen profile makes it easier for the edges to bump things.
You get a durable surface that doesn’t scratch or crack easily.Glass protectors cost a lot more than plastic protectors.
The glass offers the highest quality of screen, good for fingerprint scanners.You can’t reduce their size by cutting away the plastic.

Glass screens are the best solution for phone screens. They offer clearer images and more protection.

Plastic ProsPlastic Cons
Some plastic protectors are reusable, meaning you can remove them and store them for a later time.Plastic has a different texture than your glass screen, this can take some time to get used to.
Plastic screen protectors are flexible and can be used on curved phones.Plastic protectors can peel and become unstuck.
Plastic protectors can last longer if they are installed correctly.You have to replace them more often if they aren’t treated correctly.

Does My Phone Need a Screen Protector?

New phones come out every year that outperform previous versions. Better phone screen technology is constantly changing the game. Some new phones boast stronger screens that are virtually indestructible.

However, at the moment, no phone screen is completely indestructible. So now we hope you have a better understanding of the difference between plastic vs glass screen protectors.

Some screen protectors both glass and plastic, offer antimicrobial protection. One study showed that screens used in the health profession had a 60% to 95% presence of microbial growth. Source.


Which of the two you choose comes down to your needs. If you are a construction worker who uses the phone often while at work, then you may need more protection. If you hardly use your phone and are not accident-prone, a cheaper option may be just what you’re looking for.

Use the information we have provided to make an informed decision on what will work best for you. I personally use a tempered glass screen protector because my phone is already a large investment, might as well protect it best as possible.

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