My mom is obsessed with grooming her nails. She always carries a nail file in her bag and has tons more in supply, as they wear down easily over short periods of time. So when her birthday recently approached, I started to search for the best glass nail files — a much more durable (and sustainable) option.
Little did I know, that was only one of the many benefits of using glass nail files. They're also a lot more versatile and can promote stronger nails. Sally Hansen nail ambassador Tracylee Percival told Allure that glass files "seal the keratin layers together at the edge of the nail, preventing peeling and chipping," no matter what direction they're used on the nail. However, traditional emory nail files, which are meant to be used in only one direction, are often used incorrectly. This causes those same keratin layers in the nail to shred, leaving the edge thinner and more brittle.
Additionally, many glass nail files often have more etchings or a higher "grit" than their emory counterparts. This makes the file smoother and less rough on the nail, reducing the chance of breakage. Finally, glass files are super easy to clean. Just a little bit of warm water and soap makes them look brand new.
Knowing all of these benefits, my mom was happy to make the switch. The hardest part, however, was finding the right glass nail file. Luckily, I did the dirty work and poked around to uncover the best one on the web — here's what I found.
1. The File That Works On Natural And Acrylic Nails
Malva Belle's premium nail file features double-sided etching on a nonporous, hardened glass with a grit that works on both natural and acrylic nails. At about an eighth-of-an-inch thick and less than six inches tall, this file can easily fit into your tiniest clutch. Not only does this file come with more than 300 glowing Amazon reviews, but it also includes a cute plastic carrying case in either mint green or pink.
2. The Pack Of Files That Come In Three Different Sizes
These double-sided etched glass nail files are handmade in the Czech Republic with tempered glass that's designed to last. Best of all, they come in a pack of three — ideal for work, home, and your purse. One reviewer raved, "These are very nice quality files. They are the right thickness and file easily and cleanly without leaving rough edges like some other crystal files I have used."
3. The File That Also Buffs
A unique cross between a nail file and buffer block, Shinail's manicure tool features a hard crystal glass backing and a soft resin front that increases durability and grip. Using Korean technology, it has such a high grit that it's soft enough for use on an infant's nail, or as a buffer on the front ridges. Crafted with a round edge to protect against nail damage and available in five different colors, this option comes with a 500-use lifespan.
4. The File That’s A Cult-Favorite
Another set of three designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic, these glass nail files come with their own plastic carrying cases. Each file has a double etched side with a fine to medium grit ideal for natural nails. Carefully tempered to be both water-resistant and durable, these files have almost five-stars (with more than 400 reviews) on Amazon. One reviewer raved, "I was told by the barber where I get my hair cut that Bona Fide Beauty was the best tempered glass nail file available anywhere, and they totally are. My fingernails aren't breaking and splitting anymore since I've been using them. No more getting a split fingernail caught on a sweater or blanket risking your entire nail being ripped off."
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.