Difference Between Glossy and Lustre (With Table)

The surface of an object may represent the objectivity of this product. For this reason, there are different textures on different products. Few products use shiny surfaces while other products use defused surfaces on them. The term glossy and lustre is associated with the surface finishes of each product.

Many people prefer one type of surface finish over another. Many people don’t know the difference between glossy and lustre and interchange them very often. Sometimes this mix-up may cause huge confusion.

Glossy vs Lustre

The difference between Glossy and Lustre is that the glossy surface is a highly reflective surface with elevated refractive index number which displays high colour saturation and used for high-end products, while lustre refers to a low reflective surface with short refractive index number which displays medium colour saturation and generally used for low-end products.


Comparison Table Between Glossy and Lustre (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonGlossyLustre
What is itA high reflective surface with elevated refractive index numberA low reflective surface with short refractive index number
Used inHigh end productsLow end products
Colour saturationHighMedium
Maintained byPolishCleaning agent and wipe


What is Glossy?

Glossy is a property that gives object reflective properties. The primary property of a glossy surface is a smooth finish and it reflects light like a mirror. A surface required to have a high refractive index to get glossy properties. All glossy surfaces reflect light in a specular direction.

The word glossy often associates with the surface finish. Most glossy surfaces are texture less. For this reason, light can bounce off the surface so easily. The colour saturation level of a glossy surface is high and the colour looks very prominent on the glossy surface.

Glossy surfaces are very delicate and they can easily get scratch and smudge. Any object with a sharp edge and put a permanent mark on the glossy surface. Similarly, the sweat of the palm and fingers put smudge marks on the glossy surface. For this reason, a glossy surface requires regular maintenance and polish.

The chemical properties of the polishing material reduce surface tension and easily remove dirt and smudge from the surface. Most of the time glossy surfaces are used in high-end material, where the objects get less interaction daily. To protect the shininess of the glossy object, many companies also use ceramic coating and hydrophobic coating on the glossy surface. These coatings make the glossy surface resistant to scratch mark and smudges.


What is Lustre?

Lustre is a property that represents a reduction in the shininess of any surface. The primary property of lustre is a fine-textured surface that defuses light and eliminates reflection. The lustred surface has to have a low refractive index to get lustre properties. All lustred surfaces defuse the light.

The word lustre represents the surface finish of an object. All lustre surfaces are made with fine textures. Most of these can be seen under a microscope and felt by the touch. For this reason, light easily gets defuse when it hits a lustre surface. The colour saturation level on a lustre surface never gets high and most of the time it looks little hazy.

Lustre surfaces are not that delicate and they don’t get scratch and smudge marks that easily. The fine texture of the lustre surface easily hides scratches from ordinary objects. Similarly, the sweat of palm and fingers and get defused in the fine texture of lustre surface.

However, a lustre surface cannot be polished and it required to be sanitized by proper cleaning agents and wipes. The cleaning agent loosens the surface tension on the object, and wipes take away the dirt.

Most of the time lustre surfaces are used for low-end products, where it gets lots of human interaction regularly. The durable property of lustre surface makes it appropriate for this job.

Main Differences Between Glossy and Lustre

  1. The term glossy refers to a highly reflective surface with an elevated refractive index number. On the other hand, lustre refers to a low reflective surface with a short refractive index number.
  2. Most of the time glossy surfaces are used for high-end products that require less interaction with humans. But most of the time lustre surfaces are used for low-end products that interact with humans on a regular basis.
  3. The colour saturation levels on glossy surfaces are very high. However, the colour saturation levels on lustre surfaces are medium.
  4. A glossy surface will always be texture free. However, there can be fine microscopic texture found on a lustre surface.
  5. A glossy surface can easily get scratch and smudge. Therefore, regular maintenance is required to maintain its shininess. On the other hand, a lustre surface does not get scratch and smudge marks easily, and it requires less maintenance.
  6. On a glossy surface, small scratch and smudge marks can be removed by polis, while on a lustre surface cleaning agent and wipes are required for maintenance.
  7. Glossy surfaces often get scratch and smudge marks easily and their durability level is low. But lustre surfaces do not get scratch and smudge marks that easily and their durability level is high.



In this world, various products use glossy and lustre surfaces according to their requirement. Many people have their personal preferences and sometimes they choose a shiny surface and some time they choose defused surfaces. Also, various types of use of these products decide which type of surface works best for them.

The glossy surface may look shiny but it is delicate and required to handle carefully. Any scratch on the glossy surface may put permanent marks. Therefore, glossy surfaces require high maintenance and regular polishing.

On the other hand, lustre surface is much more durable and small scratches and smudge marks get easily defused in them. However, regular use of lustre surface may create a hygiene issue. Therefore, regularly it is required to clean a lustre surface with cleaning agents and wipes.


  1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/glossy
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/luster
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