Serum bottles hold liquid contents that require protection from contaminants. They commonly have a thick wall and lip rim to resist breakage. Serum bottles are often sealed with a cork or rubber type septa, or a glass stopper for chemical-resistance.

Glass lab bottles are used for chemical and thermal expansion resistance, transparency, and adaptability in a wide array of lab applications. They are frequently made of borosilicate or soda-lime glass. Amber-colored tinted glass provides ultraviolet (UV) resistance. Plastic lab bottles resist cracking and act as a barrier to gases, vapors, and moisture. They come in high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and other materials.

Lab bottles come in many shapes, each intended for specific applications. For example, Atlantic City (AC) round bottles commonly have a wide mouth and are used for working with dry and viscous samples. Boston round bottles are for pouring, and for solvent, chemical, and sample storage. French square bottles help provide efficient storage solutions in laboratory settings. Cylindrical bottles are required for roller applications.

The capacity of a lab bottle refers to the amount of liquid or substance that a bottle can hold. Capacity is most commonly measured in metric units, such as milliliters (mL) and liters (l), and sometimes in ounces (oz).