Here’s everything you need to know to pick the right window glass for the windows in your home.

By Real Simple Editors
Updated May 31, 2019
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When it comes to flooding a home with natural light, nothing beats windows. They may need a little help sometimes, but they’re one of the essential elements of helping a space feel bright and fresh. Of course, picking the right windows is vital to making that happen, and knowing the different window types and parts of a window can help with that—but so can a familiarity with the various types of window glass.

Anyone who has lived in a home with thin or poor-quality window glass knows how they can alter how light enters the space—and fail to keep the heat or cool air in during winter and summer, respectively. Better windows need better window glass, and looking for thick, durable glass when window shopping is a good first step. The next step is recognizing the different types of window glass out there.

Window glass can do more than just let light in. It can reduce noise, insulate the home, protect it, and more. Four common types of window glass are below; figuring out which might be best for your home can make your new windows so much more satisfying.

Window glass types

Dual Pane

Two panes are separated by metal spacers at the edges and air in the center, providing energy-efficiency and noise reduction.

Low-E (Low Emissivity)

A thin, transparent metal or metallic oxide coating reflects infra-red radiation, keeping a house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Hurricane-Resistant

A reinforced glass that features two panes surrounding a tough fiberglass core. Decorative styles include frosted, textured, stained glass, and more.

Decorative

Styles include frosted, textured, stained glass, and more.

Note: All window styles are available with these four types of glass. Some come free when you order windows; others cost extra. Check with your retailer before ordering.