Glass vs Polycarbonate Greenhouse – Which to Choose for Your Garden?

If you’re looking for a new greenhouse, chances are you’ll be weighing up the options between purchasing a glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse. Here we look at the benefits of a glass greenhouse and compare them to the benefits of a polycarbonate greenhouse.

glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse

Advantages of a glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse

Let’s start with the benefits of a traditional greenhouse made from glass.


A greenhouse made from glass looks beautiful. The glass panels mean you can see through them clearly, which you cannot do with a polycarbonate greenhouse. A glass greenhouse gives the feeling that you’re outdoors whilst sheltered inside.


When considering a glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse, glass is a natural material, whereas polycarbonate is made from a group of thermoplastic polymers which are chemically produced and not a natural resource.

Highest light transmission

Glass greenhouses transmit the most light, which means the maximum exposure for the plants inside to photosynthesise.



Of all the greenhouse materials, glass is the strongest. Because of this, a glass greenhouse can last for 50 years or more. Whilst the initial cost of a glass greenhouse may be more than a polycarbonate greenhouse, they should give you many more years of use. The glass panes are easy to replace should this become necessary.

What are the advantages of a polycarbonate greenhouse?

Are plastic greenhouses any good? Let’s take a look at the reasons for considering a glass alternative for a greenhouse:


The plastic is strong and doesn’t crack easily; shattering just won’t happen. Be careful how you clean a polycarbonate greenhouse however, as it can be prone to scratching, which is not easy to get rid of.

Less expensive

If you’re wondering about a polycarbonate or glass greenhouse, a polycarbonate greenhouse kit tends to be cheaper to buy than glass. Replacing a broken panel is more difficult with a polycarbonate greenhouse however, because you must contact the manufacturer and wait for a replacement.

UV protection

A polycarbonate greenhouse breaks down UV rays whilst letting in warmth and sunlight. It can retain heat better than glass. But you need to be careful that a twin wall polycarbonate greenhouse can trap moisture between the layers, which can promote the growth of algae.

Thinking about a glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse? Visit Surrey Hills Garden Buildings for advice.

If you’re considering a new place to cultivate your own produce, you may well question the benefits of a glass vs polycarbonate greenhouse.

A traditional glass greenhouse looks attractive, has clear visibility, is strong and transmits the most light. It will also last you a long time. A polycarbonate greenhouse, however, can be is cheaper and will not shatter.

Greenhouses and Glasshouses

The friendly team at Surrey Hills Garden Buildings is always happy to answer any questions you have about greenhouses.

We offer various sized greenhouses, all made by a leading manufacturer, and you can take advantage of our end to end service including installation, flooring and various additional accessories such as shelving, ventilation and storage.

Visit our dedicated show site for greenhouse inspiration or get in touch and we’ll be happy to offer any advice you need on buying the right greenhouse for your needs.

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