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  • Daniel Gouvion

The Difference Between Clear and Ultra Clear Glass

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

When deciding on the type of glass for your project there are many different options that can affect the color and reflectiveness of the glass. If you are looking for that crystal clear look the best option is Low Iron Glass. (Also known as Ultra Clear or Starphire Glass)

As seen in the picture below standard clear glass always comes with a slightly green hue due to the amount of iron used in the glass manufacturing process.

Standard Glass vs Ultra Clear/Starphire

Side By Side vs Alone Comparison

As you can see in the figure above there is a significant difference in clarity when comparing standard Clear Glass to Starphire glass side by side.

However, when looking at clear glass or starphire glass alone and not side by side most people would not be able to distinguish between the two unless specifically looking for the glass type.

Making Starphire/Ultra Clear Glass

Low Iron glass delivers unparalleled color transmission so that objects are seen in their true colors, rather than being distorted by the green appearance of standard Clear Glass.

The reduced amounts of iron used in the molten formula during the manufacturing process is what achieves the Ultra Clear look in Low Iron glass.

Unfortunately, this process of removing iron from the standard molten glass formula also results in a price per sq. ft. increase of about 2x that of standard Clear Glass.

In order to meet both price and design needs many projects utilize the special look of Low Iron Glass in only the most important areas while taking advantage of the lower price of standard Clear Glass in areas where Ultra Clear glass would be less visible.


In terms of UV ratings and heat transfer performance clear glass, without any tint or Low-E film, Ultra Clear glass allows a slightly higher solar heat transfer as well as slightly more visible light transmittance. To learn more about how Low-E coatings and tint affect the performance of your glass click here.

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