Stainless Steel vs Glass French Press: Which One is Better?

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French press is a type of brewing method achieved by steeping the coffee beans on warm water. There are two major kinds of materials that French press jars are made of, which are stainless steel and glass. The question is, which between the stainless steel vs glass French press is better?

The answer really depends on the personal preference and lifestyle of the coffee lover. Do you regularly go on hiking, camping, or traveling? Do you like to observe the coffee while it is being brewed? Do you take a longer time to enjoy your coffee?

This article enumerates the qualities, advantages, and disadvantages of each type of French press. This way, you will have a better idea which one works best for you.

Stainless Steel vs Glass French Press: A Detailed Breakdown

There is a wide variety of French press coffee makers in stores today. They vary according to features, quality, and other factors.

Each type of French press coffee maker has their differences, but pretty much yields the same taste of coffee. As long as the same procedure in making a cup of coffee is applied, and the filter seal is kept tight, French pressed coffee tastes the same whether it is made in stainless steel or glass units.

Let us take a closure look at the differences between the glass and stainless steel French press.

1. The Glass French Press

This is the classic kind of French press coffee maker as featured in many ads. We have seen photos of glass French presses by the window or with an astounding view of the beach. It has a beautiful look and practical use.

The first thing that coffee lovers will worry about glass French press is it breaks easily. Fortunately, this is not essentially true. It is made of heat-resistant and high borosilicate glass, so even if it accidentally knocks against kitchen counters, appliances, door knobs, and mugs, it won’t break easily.

However, since it is made of glass, there are still chances of cracking. Good news is, replacement French press glasses are available.

Advantages of Glass French Presses

There are several reasons why glass French press is better than a stainless one. Among the advantages of glass French presses are:

  • Transparency: With a glass French press, you can observe and see what is happening in your coffee while it is being steeped or brewed. It is the same feeling when cooking or eating food; we do it with our eyes. Seeing the coffee elevates one’s experience in coffee preparation.
  • Retains heat longer: Many coffee lovers complain about their coffee getting cold right after it was steeped. Since it takes around 20 minutes to steep French press coffee, it is important that the water stays warm long enough. Glass French presses retain the heat longer than the stainless-steel one.
  • Sleek design: A glass French press generally has a sleek design that easily matches any kitchen countertop. It is also a good addition to home decors and interior. Additionally, the grip feels good and comfortable.

The Disadvantage of Glass French Presses

There is only one obvious disadvantage of a glass French press, and that is it breaks. That being said, as long as it is handled and use with care, the quality stays the same.

2. The Stainless Steel French Press

If a glass French press is sensitive to breakage, the stainless steel is resistant to it. It is sturdy, which is a major feature that many coffee lovers are crazy about. Even commercial cafes and establishments use stainless steel French presses to minimize the risk of breaking and spending for a new unit.

It is reasonable for the commercial establishments to use stainless steel French press since customers won’t see how their coffee is brewed. For coffee lovers who prepare their own French press coffee, though, they would miss the visual experience of swirling the coffee grounds.

Advantages of Stainless Steel French Presses

  • Durable: Stainless steel French presses can last up to decades because the material doesn’t break, even when dropped or knock off strong on hard surfaces. It is suitable for clumsy people and people on the go.
  • Portable: Stainless steel can be taken anywhere regardless of the activity such as hiking and traveling, and places such as airports and rugged conditions.

Disadvantages of Stainless Steel French Presses

The stainless steel French press has its disadvantages too. Will you compromise the following over durability?

  • Doesn’t preserve heat: Unlike its glass counterpart, the stainless steel French press doesn’t keep the heat long enough to enjoy the coffee as long as you want. It can even get cold right after brewing the coffee grounds. For coffee enthusiasts who take a longer time to enjoy their coffee, this is bad news. Therefore, to make the French coffee hot enough again, it requires preheating; it is not that difficult, but it is another process that takes time.
  • No visual experience: Stainless steel doesn’t allow you to observe the coffee grounds while they are brewed inside. You won’t see the grounds as they rise and fall while releasing the aroma into the air and flavor into the water.

French Press Buying Guide

Now that you have narrowed down the selection by identifying the pros and cons of stainless steel and glass French presses, here are other factors to consider when buying a French press coffee maker:

1. Size or Capacity

Fresh press coffee tastes the best right after it is steeped. This is why French press makers are usually small and have a capacity of one to two cups. Generally, though, the size ranges from one cup up to 48 ounces.

2. Filter

One common complaint about French press coffee is it can turn into a “muddy” brew. This means that coffee ground particles get through the filter and into the coffee. Therefore, it is important to check if the filter has small enough gaps so that small particulates won’t go through it.

3. Seal

Generally, a metal seal is better than plastic or rubber. The latter can degrade in years and affect the quality of the coffee. On the other hand, the metal seal provides an intact seal and doesn’t easily degrade the quality.


Although they vary in quality and material, the stainless steel and glass French press produce the same quality of the coffee. Overall, what is better between stainless steel vs glass French press boils down to your preference. Hence, determine the kind of coffee lover you are, as well as when and where you plan to use your French press coffee maker.

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