The energy gain of domestic solar water heating systems is determined by solar to thermal energy conversion and glazing optical efficiency. For this study, solar transmission properties of different transparent glazing materials such as acrylic, low-iron, medium-iron, and high-iron glasses were measured. The collector thermal efficiency under natural convection mode was compared for different transparent covers determined by numerical simulation using the Hottel–Whillier–Bliss equation. The low-iron glass (LiG-12 mm) has 16.3% and 20% higher thermal efficiency than medium- (MiG-12 mm) and high-iron glasses (HiG-12 mm), respectively, for a peak summer day. The effect of glass thickness on thermal performance is noteworthy in glasses than in acrylic glass sheets. Low-iron content glass with 6 mm thickness has the highest thermal and optical efficiency of 63.2% and 75.65%, respectively, for the collector optimum tilt for Vellore city in Tamil Nadu, India. The results are useful in the selection of glass covers for energy-efficient solar flat plate collectors.