A chessboard is a battlefield where everything a player has learned and practiced about the game of chess is put into action, so when you finally do play, you want to play on the right board. The best glass chess sets are elegant, classic, and display-worthy. These are the boards you can proudly display in your home, but they’re functional as well. If you’re shopping for a new glass chess set, then my buyer’s guide and list of the leading six glass chess sets will point you in the right direction, so you end up with a beautiful set that’s portable, high-quality, and perfect for a challenging game against a worthy opponent.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each chess set and important information, including how each model is rated.
Glass Chess Sets Comparison Chart
SRENTA Fine Glass Chess Game Set
This glass chess set by SRENTA will make the perfect gift for a serious chess player. This ten-inch set features a plain checkered board with pieces that are made out of clear or frosted glass. The board is thick and has clear and frosted squares. The chess set also comes with a carrying case, complete with a handle. This allows you to store your board safely and neatly when it’s not in use. Considering how delicate the pieces are, I do not recommend traveling with this set. This set is perfect for display purposes, with pieces that have a nice weight to them, so they can handle regular play.
- Frosted and clear glass pieces
- Thick chessboard
- Carrying case with a handle
- Pieces have felted bottoms
- Anti-scratch pads on board
- Reasonable price
- Fragile pieces
- Not recommended for travel
This SENTRA fine glass chess set may not be the best choice for travel, but the elegant design makes it perfect for the serious collector in search of a set that they can display in their living room, study, or office. While the pieces are durable enough for regular use, this set has pieces that are delicate and may crack or chip if dropped. The manufacturer has added felt to the bottom of each of the pieces to prevent them from scratching the chessboard, while also making it easier to maneuver the pieces. The bottom of the chessboard also has anti-scratch pads that will prevent the board from scratching the surface of the table it rests on. Elegant, classic, and perfect for home use, this chess set is a great option if you’re looking for a set with a modern design.
Gamie Glass Chess Set
This glass chess set by Gamie measures in at fourteen inches and features thirty-two frosted and clear chess pieces. Despite being made of glass, the pieces and boards are surprisingly durable. Each of the chess pieces has high-quality felt on the bottom for smoother moves and better maneuverability. The felt bottoms will also prevent the pieces from scratching the surface of the board. The frosted and clear pieces complement the glass chessboard, which has been elegantly etched. The bottom of the board also features anti-scratch pads that improve the board’s stability, so it will not slide during use and will prevent the board from scratching the surface of a table. Each of the chess pieces has a nice weight to them and cannot easily be knocked over.
- Frosted and clear glass chess pieces
- Anti-scratch pads on the bottom of chessboard
- Felt on the bottom of each chess piece
- Durable design
- Fourteen-inch board
- Does not come with a carrying case or storage box
- The price
This board is very durable, especially compared to other competing glass chess sets on the market. The weight of the chess pieces adds to its durability. But despite the thickness of the glass, this set is not recommended for travel or for children. Unfortunately, there is also no storage case or box included, which can be a big drawback for some buyers. The set itself is beautiful, well made, and perfect for use around the home, office, or study.
Avant-Garde Black Frosted Glass Chess Set
This set by Avant-Garde features a traditional design. The 15.75-inch mirrored chessboard has white squares and mirrored squares. The pieces are frosted glass and black. The traditional design will be appealing to many collectors. The thirty-two pieces are well-crafted and feature a piece of felt on the bottom to protect the board from scratches and to make it easier to maneuver the pieces. This board does not come with a storage box or carrying case, which can make it difficult to store it if you’re not planning on keeping this set on display.
- Mirrored chessboard
- Frosted glass and black chess pieces
- Felt on the bottom of each chess piece
- 15.75-inch board
- Durable pieces
- Low price
- Does not come with a storage box or carrying case
- Some chess pieces have jagged edges
This chess set features a traditional style that will make this set appealing to many collectors and anyone who wants a visually stunning chess set they can put on display. The pieces are well weighted and feature a piece of felt on each bottom to prevent any damage to the chessboard. The set doesn’t come with a carrying case or storage box, so you’ll need to be careful when you’re storing the set since the pieces and board are prone to chipping. The 15.75-inch chessboard is large, elegant, and will quickly become the focal point in any room.
Matty’s Toy Stop Deluxe Glass Chess Set
This frosted glass chess set by Matty’s Toy Stop includes a black and clear glass chessboard that measures in at fourteen inches with squares that are 11/2 inches. The king is three inches tall and has a one-inch diameter base. This set combines the modern and traditional styles of chess, adding black to the board and leaving the traditionally white squares clear. The pieces are made of clear glass or frosted glass. This set does not come with a storage box or a carrying case. This board is perfect for regular use and is definitely display-worthy.
- Black and clear chessboard
- Frosted glass and clear glass pieces
- Felt on the bottom of each chess piece
- King is three inches tall
- Large chessboard
- Low price
- Does not include carrying case or storage box
- Finish of the board scratches easily
The lack of a storage box and carrying case is a big drawback considering the black squares on the board have a reputation for scratching easily. The large size of the board, combined with the beautifully clear and frosted glass chess pieces make this set a great choice for the buyer who wants a chess set they can proudly display in their living room, office, or study.
Kicko Glass Chess Set
This modern-style glass chess set includes a fourteen-inch board with sixteen clear pieces and sixteen frosted pieces. This set is elegant, clean, and its transparent design will match well with any existing décor. The large glass chess pieces as well balanced and have felt pieces on the bottom that make the pieces slide smoothly.
- Modern design
- Large chessboard
- Pieces are made out of clear and frosted glass
- Low price
- Does not include a carrying case or storage box
- Pieces can chip easily
The pieces in this chess set can chip easily if not handled or stored properly. This set is not recommended for travel or for children. Because the board and pieces are fragile, this may not be the best set for regular use. While the elegant set does feature a beautiful design, if you’re looking for a set that’s durable, then you’ll need to pass this model on by.
Zatiki Glass Chess Set
This Zatiki eight-inch glass chess set is perfect for adults and a great choice if you’re looking for a chess set for display purposes. The board features black and clear squares, with pieces that are made of clear and frosted glass. The set itself is sturdy and durable and made from high-quality glass. The elegant traditional design will match well with your existing décor. The smaller size of this board doesn’t make it suitable for regular use. Additionally, the set doesn’t come with any type of storage for the board or pieces, which can make it susceptible to damage. Unfortunately, instead of felt on the bottom of each of the pieces, to help the pieces slide smoothly while preventing scratches on the surface of the board, the set comes with stickers that you’ll apply on the bottoms. These stickers tend to fall off over time.
- Clear and frosted glass chess pieces
- Low price
- Traditional design
- Perfect for display purposes
- Well weighted pieces
- Small chessboard
- Black stickers on the bottom of each chess piece instead of felt
This set is more for display purposes than for daily game play. The smaller board may be frustrating for some people to play on. The board and pieces are well-crafted and elegant, which makes this set perfect for display in the home or at work. While this set may not be the best choice for the serious player, it’s perfect for decorative purposes and will make a beautiful addition to your study, home office, work, or living room.
Glass Chess Sets Buyer’s Guide
Typically, when you’re shopping for a new chess set, the first consideration is where you want to play the game. Do you want a set you can play at home, or do you need one you can take with you to your chess club meeting or for a game in the park? With a glass chess set, considering the fragility of the material, these sets really don’t travel well. With this in mind, if you’re looking for a chess set that’s portable and one you can use on the go, then a glass set isn’t the best choice. Instead, you should look for a set made from wood or plastic.
If you’re specifically looking for a glass chess set, then the odds are you have a good idea of what you need out of this type of set. Of course, there are other features and factors to consider before you buy, aside from what type of material the chess set is made from. Before I go over the features to look for in your next chess set, let’s learn about some of the benefits glass chess sets offer.
Benefits of Glass Chess Sets
There are many benefits that come with buying a glass chess set, including:
Add Some Style to Your Home
A glass chess set will make a beautiful addition to any home, whether you display it in your study or living room. A lot of work often goes into crafting these sets, which is one of the reasons why they tend to be more expensive than sets made from plastic or vinyl. Glass sets feature etched glass boards and detailed game pieces that are fragile and offer a unique sense of style that you don’t get with traditional chess sets.
Exercises Both Sides of the Brain
Studies have shown that a player must develop and use the left hemisphere of the brain, to play chess well. This area of the brain is what deals with object recognition. The right hemisphere of the brain deals with pattern recognition. Thanks to the rules of chess and the technique involved, playing can develop and exercise both sides of the brain.
Can Prevent Dementia
A study showed that playing chess regularly can stimulate brain function and can reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia. Instead of allowing the brain to deteriorate, keeping the brain functioning normally by exercising it regularly with a challenging chess game can minimize a person’s risk of developing dementia. It can also help to minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Improves a Child’s Problem-Solving Skills
A child who is taught chess at an early age can do better in school. Research has shown that playing chess can improve a child’s problem-solving skills, as well as their critical thinking skills, math skills, and reading skills. Chess experts and educators agree that a child should be introduced to the game by the second grade.
Playing chess can build a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem. To win a game of chess, a player must use the right strategy, focus, utilize critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills, and be able to predict their opponent’s moves throughout the game. Learning how to play chess and win at chess is a challenge.
A Perfect Gift
These sets are visually pleasing and can make a great gift, whether it’s for a birthday, graduation, anniversary, or wedding. For collectors and chess enthusiasts, a glass set will be a perfect addition to their collection.
Even people who aren’t serious chess players can benefit from buying one of these sets for their home. Stylish sets can add elegance and class to your home by simply being displayed on a mantle or coffee table.
Other Important Features
Now, let’s take a look at the different factors you should consider before you buy a new chess set, including:
- Size and weight
- Glass Type
- Letters & numbers
Size and Weight
Chessboards are available in a variety of sizes. Lager boards are a good choice if you want to set up a glass chess set in your home and leave it out on display. A larger set is also a good idea if you’re visually impaired. Compact boards are easier to store and transport.
Chessboards range from eight inches up to sixteen inches. Fourteen- and fifteen-inch chessboards are the most common sizes. Smaller boards, such as those that measure in at eight inches, can be difficult to play on if two adults are playing, while this smaller size will work just fine for the kids. With a glass chess set, size won’t matter as far as portability goes, since these sets aren’t designed for travel. The same applies to the weight of the set.
Glass sets do tend to be heavier than plastic or wood chess sets, but since glass sets are not recommended for travel and definitely not designed with portability in mind, a heavier set isn’t an issue. The weight of the set can indicate how durable it is. A lightweight glass chessboard is more fragile than a thicker, heavier board. A lighter board will be more prone to cracks and chips. So, in this case, the heavier the chess set, the better.
You’ll come across either traditional or modern glass chess sets. Modern pieces tend to be plainer, meaning the pieces are sleek, lacking detail, and have sharp lines. Traditional sets often have pieces with more detail and may have black chess pieces and black squares on the board.
In most cases, a person wants a glass chess set for aesthetic reasons. These sets are still functional, but they are more delicate than a set that’s made from plastic. There is a wide range of glass chess sets to choose from, some of which will have a plain design, while others will have fine details and hand etching that makes them beautiful, unique, and perfect for displaying in the home. If you’re looking for a set that’s more aesthetically pleasing than practical, then a beautiful, handcrafted glass chess set is an excellent choice.
Most glass sets will have both clear and frosted glass pieces, instead of black and white chess pieces. Additionally, the boards will have frosted and clear squares. Some sets may have a more traditional look and will have black pieces and clear pieces.
Letters & Numbers on the Edges of the Board
On some boards, you’ll find numbers and letters that identify each square on the edge of the board. These sets will show letters A-H and numbers 1-8.
For some players, this will make it a lot easier to record moves on a score sheet. This is especially true for players who are just learning how to play chess. However, seasoned players tend to prefer a board without the numbers and letters, since it offers a cleaner look. Additionally, any chess player with a decent amount of experience won’t need any help determining which square is which, so a board with numbers and letters is often directed at beginners.
If you’re new to chess or you’re trying to teach the kids how to play, then you’ll definitely want a board that’s numbered and lettered. Over time, identifying the squares will feel like second nature for both you and the kids.
A glass chess set is more fragile than a wood or plastic set, so you’ll want to take this into consideration if you plan on playing with the kids. Additionally, if you’re looking for a set for travel, then glass is definitely not the best choice.
Glass is a very versatile material, so you’ll find that there are many sets available that can suit any design or style preference. This means you’ll have a lot of options to choose from.
Many glass chess sets end up being used for decorative purposes in the office, studies or living rooms, with occasional game play. If you’re planning on using your chess set daily, then glass may not be the best option. Glass can be very brittle, so if a piece is dropped it may crack, shatter, or chip. Glass sets are typically made for aesthetic purposes and are not meant to be handled regularly like a chess set that’s made out of more durable material. While it may end up being a focal point in your study, it should never be used for tournament play. Because of this, I don’t recommend purchasing a set made out of glass for children or anyone who is looking for a set that’s durable and able to handle regular use.
Like a traditional chess set, glass sets will include thirty-two chess pieces. The quality of these pieces can vary from set to set and can depend on the price and the style of the board. On the bottom of each of the pieces, you’ll usually find felt material, which will protect the board from scratches and can make the pieces easier to maneuver and slide.
Not all chess sets will come with a carrying case or a storage box. Carrying cases and storage boxes feature cushioned custom-shaped spaces that will cradle each piece, protecting it from damage, dirt, and debris. Carrying cases will allow you to safely travel with your glass chess set, while storage boxes make it easy to pack up your set and store it away safely when not in use. If you plan on displaying your set, then a storage case or box will not be a priority. But if you have small children and want to store the set when it’s not in use, then finding a set that comes with a safe way to store it will be crucial.
Like with any purchase you make, the price will be an important factor. Glass sets can range in price depending on the style of the set, how detailed the pieces in the set are, the type of glass, and other factors. Chess sets made from glass are usually more expensive than wood or plastic sets. Sets that are made out of glass can range in price starting at $29 up to $300.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Pick a Good Chess Set?
- Choose a set that has weighted pieces
- If you’re going to play daily or often, find a set that’s durable
- If you want to take your chess set with you to your chess club or for a game at the park, find a set that’s portable
Why are Chessboards So Expensive?
The size of the set, the type of material it’s made from, and how much detail went into designing the chess pieces can all have an impact on the price.
What Size Chessboard Do Pros Use?
Tournament chessboard sizes will come equipped with squares that measure 2 ¼” each. This size will easily house all the chess pieces.
The best glass chess sets may not be as durable as a set that’s made from wood, but their beautiful designs, handcrafted pieces, and elegant look are what draw amateur and serious chess players to these sets. While a glass chess set is not the right option for tournament use, daily practice, or a set for the kids, it can be the perfect choice for the serious player, chess lover, or anyone who wants to add a touch of class to their home by adding one of these beautiful sets.
The models that landed on my top six list each rated well for their quality craftsmanship, design, and overall quality, so you’ll have no problem finding the perfect glass set for your home, office, or study.