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How to buy the best greenhouse

Glasshouse or plastic greenhouse?

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Glasshouse or plastic greenhouse?

Glass isn’t the only option for your greenhouse. If you’re worried about breakages, we explore the alternatives in this expert guide.

A greenhouse is a major investment for your garden and not easy to move or replace once you've chosen which one to buy. To help you make an informed decision, we asked Which? members which greenhouse brands they own have proved reliable over the years. The results vary greatly, so the right brand can make a big difference.

Discover which are the best and worst greenhouse brands.

Alternatives to horticultural glass

Glass is the main glazing material used in greenhouses, hence the alternative name ‘glasshouse’. Horticultural glass is inexpensive and easily replaced, but if you are concerned about breakages or safety, here are the alternatives.

Toughened greenhouse glass

Toughened or safety glass is stronger than horticultural glass and, if it does break, the resulting pieces are not so sharp. Choosing this option adds about £200 on to the cost of a small greenhouse.

Plastic greenhouses

Instead of glass, plastic greenhouses have twin-walled polycarbonate sheets. Polycarbonate greenhouses let in sufficient light for plant growth initially, but, over the years, they become cloudy and do not age well. Toughened glass is a better option, particularly if the greenhouse is on show.

Self-adhesive safety film

This is a transparent film that is applied to horticultural glass. If the glass is subsequently broken, the film holds the fragments together. However, as the film does not reduce breakages, it could prove relatively expensive over the option of choosing toughened glass from the start.