A question we get asked a lot is, "What’s the difference between glass, acrylic, and Plexiglas?" Let's start at the beginning. Plexiglas is a brand of acrylic. The right term to use is "acrylic", as there are many brands and also types of acrylic.
The main difference between acrylic and glass is that acrylic is a half the weight of glass, so if you're getting something really large in a picture frame and you want to keep the weight of it down, having half the weight may improve your overall design.
The biggest drawback to acrylic is that it scratches easier than glass. If you're an artist that transports your art on a regular basis, you might choose glass as a way of minimizing scratching. On that same note, getting in and out of your car may cause a piece of glass to shatter, but acrylic is not as brittle as glass, so it is less likely to break.
These are considerations you’ll need to weigh to determine whether you want acrylic or glass. What might make this decision easy is whether or not you’re local to the Eugene, Oregon area, because if you can’t pick up your order locally, the only options we offer on shipped orders are acrylic. Glass options are for local customers only.
When you clean acrylic, never use a product that has ammonia in it, and use a soft microfiber cloth while applying light pressure to avoid scratching. Some glass cleaning products have ammonia, however, it’s never a good idea to use ammonia glass cleaner around art, whether it’s applied to glass or acrylic, as ammonia can affect pH levels and damage art surfaces.
Glass is typically a little bit cheaper than acrylic, but on our site we have priced acrylic so that it is actually less expensive on small pieces. Glass is a more common choice in traditional frame shops such as our full service showroom, simply because it has been around longer. But acrylic is the way to go if you are shipping, and if you want it to be lightweight, and you don’t want it to shatter.