screen protector

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

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 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 and tempered glass, do not be so. Keep your test and need in your mind, and let’s find out which one suits you.

What is a TPU Screen Protector?


TPU screen protectors are an excellent solution for protecting the display of your smartphone. These film-like covers offer basic scratch resistance. They can be used wet or dry and are suitable for curved screens. They also have a smooth, silky feel about them. They are typically acquired in bulk.

TPU screen protectors are constructed of thermoplastic polyurethane, a chemically reinforced plastic that is scratch resistant. The material is also grease resistant. As a result, it can endure long-distance drops. TPU screen protectors also have oleophobic qualities that help them resist moisture.

What is a Tempered Glass Screen Protector?

Screen Protectors 1

Tempered glass screen protectors are widely available for smartphones, tablets, and other devices that feature glass panels. They are a popular choice as they provide protection against scratches and other damage while still maintaining the device’s aesthetic appeal. Additionally, they can reduce the risk of the device’s screen breaking upon impact. It is important to select the appropriate type, as there are many brands available in the market.

When choosing a tempered glass screen protector, the thickness of the protector should be considered. Thicker protectors can be uncomfortable and may affect the device’s touch sensitivity. It is important to note that thicker protectors do not necessarily provide more protection. Manufacturers of tempered glass screen protectors often provide video instructions on how to apply them properly.

For smartphones, tempered glass screen protectors are ideal as they offer superior protection against scratches and drops compared to standard plastic film protectors. They also closely resemble the look and feel of the device’s screen. Tempered glass screen protectors are available in various colors and styles, and those with 9H hardness and Gorilla Glass are recommended. The presence of an oleophobic coating is another advantage of tempered glass protectors.

Tempered glass screen protectors provide excellent protection against scratches and chips, and their thick layer of glass can enhance the visual appeal of a smartphone. Furthermore, they can help safeguard the device against minor breakages and cracks, making them a popular choice among smartphone users.

TPU VS. Tempered Glass – What’s The Difference?

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 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 a 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 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 marks easily Thickness prevents quick touch
Easily left fingerprint Little bit expensive
Doesn’t have a good oleophobic coating Not reusable
Doesn’t provide a natural screen feeling It can’t be trimmed for a good fit

Tempered Glass VS TPU Drop Test

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.

Regarding 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 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 Dirt 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 cleaning.

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?

removing air bubbles

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 any 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, and some with Tempered glass. I will show you which things can be comfortable and uncomfortable for both 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

Screen Protectors faqs

Does TPU Hold Scratch?

TPU screen protectors are generally more scratch-resistant than PET (polyethylene terephthalate) protectors, but may not be as scratch-resistant as tempered glass protectors.

While TPU protectors can resist light scratches and scuffs, they may still show scratches over time with regular use.

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?

TPU screen protectors may turn yellow over time, particularly if they are exposed to heat or sunlight. This yellowing is caused by a chemical reaction between the TPU material and UV radiation. This can affect the clarity of the protector and make it look less attractive on the device’s screen.

To prevent yellowing, it’s important to choose a high-quality TPU protector that is designed to resist yellowing. Additionally, it’s recommended to avoid exposing the protector to prolonged periods of direct sunlight or high heat, which can accelerate the yellowing process.

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

Best type of phone screen protector depends on the user’s individual needs and preferences. PET protectors are a good choice for those on a budget or looking for basic protection against scratches, while TPU protectors are ideal for those looking for more durability and protection against drops.

Tempered glass protectors are the most popular choice for their superior protection and clarity, but they may be more expensive.

Does TPU Break Easily?

TPU screen protectors are generally more durable and less prone to breaking than other materials such as glass. However, they can still be damaged or cracked if subjected to extreme force or impact, such as a heavy drop onto a hard surface.

In comparison to tempered glass protectors, TPU protectors may be more resistant to cracking or shattering, but they can still scratch or dent if handled roughly or dropped.

Overall, while TPU protectors are more durable than some other materials, they are still susceptible to damage under certain conditions.

Choose The One That Suits You

After reading this article, you are clear about the different aspects of TPU alongside the 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.

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