Are you storing your drinking glasses all wrong? Experts weigh in on the debate dividing the internet

Rim up or rim down… that is the question!

Open kitchen shelving above hexagonal white tiling in kitchen
(Image credit: Future PLC / Tom Meadows)

If you’re wondering what’s the correct way to store glasses in a cupboard, you’re not alone. Although we barely gave this a second thought until recently, we’re now questioning all of our life choices.

Yes, unless you’ve been living under a rock (or just avoiding social media for the sake of your own sanity, in which case we don’t blame you), you may have noticed that the internet has been in the midst of a debate over the past few weeks. The topic of conversation? Your kitchen cupboards.

While some people swear by storing glasses upright in their kitchen cupboards, others are aghast by the idea. In their eyes, glasses should always be stored upside down. But before you start rearranging your much-loved heart-shaped glasses or turning your everyday drinking glasses this way and that, you might want to give this a read.

Kitchen with pink tile splashback and dark grey cabinetry

(Image credit: Future PLC/Bee Holmes)

What’s the correct way to store glasses in a cupboard?

We asked our experts to settle the debate once and for all. And while there are pros and cons to both glass storage options, there is one clear winner when it comes to storing glasses in a cupboard. 

Option 1: Storing your glasses upside down

kitchen storage

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, by upside down, we mean rim-side down. And while this has often been the unconventional storage choice for glasses, it seems as though more and more people are embracing this option in their kitchens. We can understand why, too:

It keeps dust and dirt out: It’s no secret that kitchens can get dirty. And while open shelving is a great shelving option for your kitchen, it can prove to be troublesome if you plan on storing glasses in there. In this case, it’s always better to store your glasses upside down to keep any dust or dirt particles from settling inside the glasses. 

It prevents germ transfer: If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant or bar, you may have noticed that these places almost always store their glasses upside down. And that’s because they swear by the notion that this not only makes it easier for staff to pick up these glasses but also because it allows them to pick up the glasses without putting their hands on the rim of the glass. This ultimately prevents germ transfer. 

It can save space: According to experts, alternating between storing your glasses upright and upside down can actually save space in your kitchen cupboards. By organising your kitchen cupboards this way, you should be able to fit even more into them - which is something many people with small kitchens are desperate for. 

Option 2: Storing your glasses upright

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(Image credit: Future PLC)

When we say upright, what we really mean is storing your glasses rim side up. This is often the most natural course of action, as you don’t have to turn them upside down after you’ve dried them with a teatowel or taken them out of the dishwasher. And that’s not the only reason why you could store your glasses upright: 

It protects the fragile rim: ‘The rim is one of the most delicate points of the glass,’ explains Steve McGraw, Managing Director at Riedel. ‘Standing a glass upside down for storage poses the risk of weakening the rim and therefore increasing the chance of it chipping.’ And that’s the last thing you want to happen if you have expensive champagne flutes or crystal you inherited from your grandmother. By storing your glasses upright, you can protect the rim and prevent any future cracks.

It keeps the rims clean: While it’s always important to clean your drinking glasses, it’s even more important to clean the rims - as you put your mouth directly onto this part of the glass. But if you don’t know how to clean your kitchen cabinets, you may find that the inside is full of grease, grime, dust, and maybe even mouse droppings (yes, it happens). By storing your glasses upright, you can keep the rims of your glasses away from these things.

It keeps excess moisture at bay: Unless you have the magical ability to dry every single droplet of water on your recently cleaned glasses, there’s always going to be moisture on your glasses when you put them into your kitchen cupboard. By storing them upside down, you trap this moisture and potentially leave yourself vulnerable to bacteria and mildew. So, storing them upright will allow this moisture to dry out.

It can affect the taste: Whether you’re a wine drinker or a water drinker, you probably want your drink to taste how it should be - without any extenuating factors impacting it. That’s why experts suggest storing glasses upright. ‘Storing a glass upside down essentially traps the smell in the glass, ingraining the aroma of wood from the cupboard or shelf, for example, within the bowl and impacting the smell and taste,’ says Steve.  

Which one is better?

Open kitchen shelving above hexagonal white tiling in kitchen

(Image credit: Future PLC / Kasia Fiszer)

How to store glasses in a cupboard is something that everyone has an opinion on. It’s almost as controversial as whether you should put pineapple on pizza, whether toilet paper should go under or over, and whether November is too early to put your Christmas decorations up.

But as is the case with all of the above, how you store glasses in a cupboard is ultimately your choice. However, experts do lean towards one option more than the other.

‘Glass storage is very simple but important! The base has been rightfully designed for the glass to stand upon, and therefore ‘base down’ is the safest option for storage within the home,’ confirms Steve. 

This is especially true if you have delicate glassware, as it’s always best to opt for rim side up (i.e. stand them up on their stems) to prevent chipping the glass. 

But if this isn’t an option you’re happy with, you could always make use of a wine glass holder that allows you to hang the glasses from the top of the cupboard. This Magic Toy Shop Under Shelf Stemware Wine Glass Holder from Amazon would do the trick.


How should glasses be placed in a cupboard?

In short, there are pros and cons to both options. And while experts tend to lean more towards rim side up, that doesn’t mean that you have to. 

Ultimately, you need to find what works for you. It may be that you prefer the ease of pulling your glasses out rim side up without having to turn them around. Or, it may be that you prefer knowing that your rim side down glasses aren’t catching any nasties that are in the air. 

When it comes to delicate and fragile glasses, however, it’s always best to keep them upright to protect the glass.

How do you keep glasses clean in a cupboard?

The best way to keep glasses clean in a cupboard is to clean and dry them thoroughly before you put them in there. Any dirt or moisture will just get worse if it’s sitting in a cupboard. However, there are other ways to keep them clean in a cupboard. 

No matter whether you store them rim side up or rim side down, investing in a kitchen cabinet liner is a great way to keep your glasses clean. This will create a barrier between the potentially dirty cabinets and give you a clean surface to place them on. 

Alternatively, you could hang your glasses from the cabinet instead. By doing this, you can keep the glasses away from the cabinet completely. This will only work when you have glasses with stems, though.

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.