TPU VS Tempered Glass; Which One Protects Your Phone’s Display Better?  

Last Updated on July 20, 2022

Even though we have the same phone, my friends and I have different screen protectors. I use tempered glass, and he uses a TPU protector. 

Just because I’m using tempered glass, I will not say it is better than TPU. My friend is using TPU happily. Which one is better depends on the user’s choice, use, and necessity. 

Though the protectors have the same aim of protecting the phone’s display, they have different features. Both the protectors have pros and cons. I will show you their features, pros, cons, comparisons, and contrast. 

So, you will be the judge to find which one is better. If you are stuck between TPU VS tempered glass, do not be so. Keep your test and need in your mind, and let’s find out which one suits you. 

TPU VS Tempered Glass

Both TPU and Tempered screen guards will serve you protection. But they are made of different materials. Also, they serve different looks and usability. 

TPU is thermoplastic polyurethane that is scratch, grease, and water resistant. It’s thin and flexible, serving a slick look. On the other hand, tempered glass is made of shock absorbent silicon. It’s thick with oil, water, and scratch resistance, serving a feel the same as a screen.  

Both the screen protectors have water, grease, and scratch resistance ability. We will see which one is more strong in resisting those. Moreover, we will see which one serves better look and use.  

Differences In Features, Pros & Cons 

Let’s have a quick look at their feature differences.

Category  TPU  Tempered Glass 
Material  Thermoplastic polyurethane Shock absorbent silicon
Dirt resistance  Prevents oil, grease, dust, and water  Resists grease, water, dust, and oil


General scratch resistant  Highly scratch resistant 
Flexibility  Has elasticity due to the plastic  Do not bend due to glass material
Look  Very thin (0.1mm average) Little thick (0.3mm average)
Feel  Feels like transparent plastic paper  Feels like a phone screen 

Look at the layers of a tempered glass screen protector. 

Look at the layers of a TPU screen protector. 

Now let’s have a quick look at their pros.

TPU  Tempered Glass
Plastic material is more flexible  Glass material is more strong 
Gives more screen visibility  Gives screen like feels
Does not have much weight  Thickness protects better 
Fits on the screen very well Has good light transmittance 
Reusable after washing  Can endure strong scratches 

Now let’s have a quick look at their cons. 

TPU  Tempered Glass
Plastic material is not durable  Can not endure cracks 
Scratch can left mark easily  Thickness prevents quick touch 
Easily left fingerprint  Little bit expensive 
Doesn’t have good oleophobic coating Not reusable 
Doesn’t provide a natural screen feeling Can’t be trimmed for a good fit 

Tempered Glass VS TPU Drop Test 

The primary question regarding any screen protector is how much protection it can provide. A drop test is a perfect way to demonstrate which one is more strong or more durable. 

Let’s watch this video first 

In terms of scratch, TPU is more prone to contain scratch marks than tempered glass. So, if your phone tends to get more scratch, tempered glass is for you. 

Now come to the drops. Suppose your phone tends to drop very often; tempered glass will protect the phone’s screen as it is thick. But tempered glass can break easily. On the other hand, TPU does not break; it bends or cracks. 

If tempered glass breaks, it will create many broken glass particles. If TPU cracks, it will not create broken particles; instead, it will heal the cracks a little bit with time. 

So, both the screen protectors have their shortcomings in drop text. 

If your phone gets scratched too much, you will need to change the TPU too often. If your phone drops or crash too much, you will need to change the tempered glass too often.

Which One Prevents Dirts Better?

In the case of grease, oil, and water, tempered glass protectors are much better. Their oleophobic coating is so strong and smooth that water or oil can not stand on them.

Temporary glass is for you if you have sticky or sweaty hands. A TPU film screen protector is prone to contain fingerprints even after a gentle clean. 

In terms of dust, tempered screen protectors are less effective than PTU. 

You can fit a TPU protector with the screen very well. But tempered glass can not bend appropriately around the screen curve. So, a glass protector attracts dust particles around its edges. 

Let’s compare their dirt resistance ability. 

Dirt-resistance ability  TPU Tempered Glass 
Grease resistance  Weak  Strong 
Water resistance  Strong  Strong 
Dust resistance  Strong  Weak 
Fingerprint resistance Weak Strong 

Which One Fits The Screen Better? 

TPU is flexible and fits the curve screen better than tempered glass. Look at the image. Glass protectors can not bend, leaving space between the screens. 

So, to fit properly, the tempered glass comes slightly shorter than the original screen size. Many people do not like this shape. Nowadays, many brands offer curved tempered glass for certain phone models. 

However, the tempered glass comes in a fixed size. But many TPU protectors come with extra length. So, you can trim them according to your need. 

Which One Is Easy To Install?

TPU is more challenging to install than tempered glass. Installing TPU is problematic because it is thin, and it lets air interrupt. 

Many face difficulty removing air bubbles after applying the plastic to the screen. If any air bubble remains, it remains forever. But in tempered glass, the remained bubble removes after a few days of use. 

Which One Provides A Smart Look? 

Beauty depends on the eyes of the beholder. 

Remember? I told you my friend and me about using different screen protectors. Here is the reason. 

I like the look of the tempered glass. It gives the phone screen vibe. Also, it is anty reflection, which means it doesn’t give any glare. 

Meanwhile, my friend likes the TPU look. It is thin and fits with the screen perfectly. Also, it provides a look that there is nothing on your screen.  

Which One Feels More Comfortable To Use? 

It also depends on the user. Some feel comfortable with TPU, some with Tempered glass. I will show you which things can be comfortable and uncomfortable for both the screen protectors. 

Facts  TPU  Tempered Glass
  • Almost 0 extra weight 
  • No sharp edges 
  • No dust after gentle clean 
  • Faster touch reaction 
  • Smooth even after cracks 
  • Feels like a screen 
  • Smooth touch experience 
  • Thickness= more protection
  • Fewer fingerprint marks 
  • Edured of more scratch 
  • Easy scratch marks 
  • Not so smooth 
  • Easy fingerprints 
  • Sharp edges 
  • Not reusable after cracks
  • Puts extra weight 

What About The Price? 

I have already mentioned that tempered glasses are more expensive than TPU protectors. Even the price difference is pretty noticeable. 

Because of priced material and making process, tempered glass is a bit pricy. If you search on Amazon, the prices will tell you the rest. 

For example, I choose the phone model iPhone 11. If you look at the prices for TPU screen protectors and tempered glasses for this model, you will see that tempered glass is indeed pricy.

People Often Ask 

Does TPU Hold Scratch?

Compared to tempered glass, yes. Its oleophobic coating is not that strong. Also, the rubbery and non-smooth surface tends to hold scratch easily. 

Can TPU Bear Drops Impact? 

Yes, it can. TPU provides sound protection against drops. It does not seem to break after drops. Also, this screen protector has a little bit of crack healing power. 

Is Tempered Glass Necessary For Phones? 

If you want to keep your phone screen healthy, a screen protector must be used. Tempered glass provides excellent protection against scratches and drops. 

Does The TPU Protector Turn Yellow After Use?

Experts say no matter what the material is, a transparent screen protector will turn yellow. In this case, the cheaper screen protector will turn yellow faster than others. 

Pet, TPU, And Tempered Glass; Which One Is Better?

PET provides fundamental support to the screen. TPU is flexible and gives protection against drops. Lastly, tempered glass provides high protection but is a bit pricy. 

Choose The One That Suits You 

After reading this article, you are clear about the TPU VS tempered glass race. The winner is the one that can suit your preferences and use. 

TPU has great flexibility and fitting ability than tempered glass. On the other hand, tempered glass provides super protection against grease and scratch. 

However, if you do a survey or go on Reddit or Quora, vote on the tempered glass will be marrier than TPU. Though it is a bit pricey, people tend to choose tempered glass over TPU.