Finding the best dinnerware set to match the needs of your home, family, and budget can easily become overwhelming.
There are so many options in terms of styles, designs, colors, durability, and price points that it may be difficult to know where to begin your search.
You might find yourself ready to update your present dinnerware, or maybe an upcoming occasion requires the purchase of a gift.
Or you’re just starting out and want to furnish your own kitchen set of dishes…
If so, then this Dinnerware Review can help you begin the search to find that perfect set from more formal dinnerware to everyday dishes.
Dinnerware Set Types
Buying a brand new dinnerware set for your dining room can be an exciting and fun experience, but with this, comes a few decisions.
The first one being, the material your new dining set should be made of.
To assist with this, we have provided you with the most common types available to purchase, and some information on them.
Most people have heard of bone china dinnerware. Commonly seen in television as a household’s “fancy” plates, they are known for their elegance and typically classic style.
Generally composed of at least 30% animal bone and porcelain, bone china dinnerware is known for its durability.
Picking out the perfect bone china dinnerware for your home should be done with a lot of care as it is an expensive investment and you want to make sure that it will fit any occasion you bring them out for.
This material is great for anyone looking for a fancy new dinnerware set but should be avoided by animal-conscious customers.
Made from a lightweight plastic material, melamine is the ideal dinnerware for families with kids.
If you are looking for a versatile dinnerware set that can be used for all occasions due to the wide range of colors and patterns it can come in, this is the material for you.
Porcelain is also known as “chinaware,” and yes it has a similar name to bone china, except this one is made from a fine particle clay, making it a non-porous and extremely durable.
Usually recognized for its delicate and formal presentation, this dinnerware set is great for any special occasion.
This set often comes with light touches of silver, gold, or platinum on the border, adding elegance to any dining room.
We urge anyone who purchases a porcelain set, to avoid using lemon-scented detergents as they are known to damage the material and their delicate borders.
Earthenware is known for its thick and rustic feel, usually with hand-painted designs.
This is a casual alternative, great for people with a smaller budget looking for everyday dinnerware.
A drawback to this dinnerware is that it is more susceptible to chipping than other types available on the market.
We also don’t recommend leaving the plates submerged in water as the material can absorb it and reduce its lifespan.
Stoneware is made from fired ceramic and is great for anyone looking for a strong and durable alternative to Earthenware dinnerware.
The material is more delicate and opaque than porcelain materials and is often used in a casual setting.
Stoneware is heavier than bone china and porcelain, and while it is used as everyday dinnerware, this can be a drawback for people looking for lightweight material.
Non-porous and durable, this dinnerware set is made from glass that has been fired at a high temperature.
It is great for anyone with children or any clumsy buyers out there looking for a strong, hard surface that does not chip or break easily.
Known for its opaque unbreakable nature, vitrified glass usually comes in a classic white color that suits any occasion.
10 Best Dinnerware Sets
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Select a Size the Right Way
Take into consideration the dimensions, high/low, and width of your kitchen cabinets. You’ll want to be able to easily store and access all the pieces of your dinnerware.
Also, check your dishwasher internal size, tub and spacing of racks. Take a look at the various cleaning and other cycles available on your dishwasher model.
For example, a china cycle provides a gentler cycle to protect delicate items.
Knowledge of your kitchen cabinet dimensions and dishwasher features may also influence the choice of your new dinnerware purchase
Select a Color and Design for Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle definitely affects your decision when choosing new dinnerware.
It can depend on whether this is your first set of dinnerware as a newly married couple, starting or already have a family, which means children at the kitchen/dining table, or retiring and maybe downsizing,
Buy what you like as to size, shape, or color…plus what fits within your budget that is allotted to a new dishware set.
And ask yourself, do you want matching accessory pieces or would complementary colors/patterns be acceptable.
Just What is Your Lifestyle?
Ask yourself the following lifestyle questions to help you decide what the best physical characteristics are for your perfect new dinnerware set:
Do you like to entertain friends and family?
Do you like to serve and eat your meals on plates, in bowls, etc. with each food item placed in its own dish?
Or do you like to serve buffet style if the occasion calls for it?
Do you do more home style presentations vs formal?
What is your family composition…two working adults, stay at home parent, family constantly on the go?
Do you eat at a table or in front of the TV most of the time?
How about outdoors…would your purchase of dishware be used outside?
Basic White Can Be Great
If you are simply unsure or feeling overwhelmed as to the exact color or design that you want and just can’t determine which is going to be the best fit for your kitchen decor, then just select a simple white porcelain set.
It fits every color and decor and is a classic design that is just a great, simple option.
What’s also nice, is basic white can work as the best everyday dishes you pull out from your cupboard without feeling like you’re using the “good” stuff.
Think a Little Bigger for Place Settings
If you are unsure of the place setting count that you should invest in, think outside the box a little.
You should be sure that you have enough to host a dinner party, at least. If you opt to purchase a 4-piece place setting, then the in-laws will be eating on paper plates when they come to visit!
Let’s follow up on the concept of hosting a dinner party.
If you are someone who plans on having guests over often throughout the year, you may want to invest in two different dinnerware sets for the sake of convenience and using the “good dishes” for a family holiday.
This way, you can be sure that you have your main dinnerware set for yourself and your family (which is great if you have kids in the house and your dishes may break often), and also your nicer, larger set that you just keep stored until company arrives.
Make a Good Investment
And finally, be sure to invest wisely.
A lot of people who are in the market for a new dishware set will tend to select a nice design, and then look at the bottom line price tag.
While this may seem like the best way to go about choosing a set of dishes, you should always consider the fact that you usually get what you pay for.
Do some research on the brand that you are interested in and read some reviews about the durability of the set.
If you are going to pay less for more, but they break easily, that’s a good indication that may not be the best choice.
Common Dinnerware Features
There are four main features that you should be thinking about once you have decided on the material you want your dinnerware to be made from.
Shape, size, design, and weight should be taken into consideration to purchase the perfect dinnerware for your kitchen.
The most common plate shape is circular. However, square, rectangular, and even irregular shapes are available.
Depending on the table-setting and style that you are after, different shapes will suit different styles.
This might sound like a strange one. But not all dinnerware sizes are going to be a good match.
The average dinner plate in the U.S. measures around 11” and 12” inches across. Smaller plates for side dishes and desserts fall into the 5″-7″ diameter range.
However, you will need to adjust that number to your dining room. Think about your storage space, the size of your dining table, and if they will fit inside your dishwasher (if you are not going to hand-wash!).
Color and Patterns
The style and design of your house, and in particular your dining room, will influence the color or pattern you decide on.
The look you are trying to project or the events you will be hosting will also determine what would suit best.
Depending on the material your dinnerware is made of, their weight can vary.
We recommend avoiding heavy plates such as stoneware to make transportation easier.
Clean Your Dinnerware
The way to clean your dinnerware will depend on the material it is made from.
Tableware made from bone china, melamine, porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, and vitrified glass tends to be dishwasher safe, so we recommend giving it a quick rinse and letting the machine do the hard work for you.
However, make sure to read the instructions before you put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Ensuring proper cleaning will save you from having to clean scuff marks or fixing chips on your dinnerware in the future.
Make a Good Investment
Everyone has heard the saying, “you get what you pay for.”
We know that buying dinnerware is often a big investment, and picking the cheaper option tends to be our first inclination.
But make sure your choice is not only based on the cheapest one but also on the material and what it can bring to your dining experience.
Pick the Right Dinnerware for Your Dining Room
Having the right dinnerware is important as it adds to your dining experience and can take a meal from casual to formal within minutes.
No matter what the occasion for buying new dinnerware, be it for your first home, as newlyweds or for a new look, it is important to figure out the style and decor of your dining room and go from there.
If you are looking for a versatile set, for both formal and casual occasions, a melamine set is often the one to opt for.
Alternatively, having two sets is a handy investment and means you will always have a backup.
Can I Put My Dinnerware in the Microwave?
For most of the materials we mentioned, except melamine and porcelain sets, there is no issue with heating your food in the microwave.
This will depend on the materials that your specific dinnerware is made with, and you should always read the instructions before heating any food.
Best Dinnerware Sets Brands
Corelle Brands are the owners of iconic brands such as; Corelle®, Pyrex®, Corningware®, Snapware®, and Chicago Cutlery®.
They offer clients a vast range of storage, bakeware, cookware, and cutlery, with different styles and materials, their collections are sure to impress.
If for any reason, you are not 100% satisfied with your products, their Consumer Care Center will give you store credit within the first 90 days of purchase.
A full refund minus the original shipping and handling charges will be returned to unsatisfied customers.
Designed and developed in California, Gibson is one of the leading brands in dinnerware.
Also selling flatware, cookware, glassware, kitchen tools, tea and coffee accessories as well as other tabletop and housewares products, the Gibson brand provides an excellent service.
They not only have two home-brands, Gibson Elite, and Gibson Home, but they also partner with other well-known brands like Isaac Mizrahi, Sunbeam, and Cravings by Chrissy Teagan to bring you a wide range of options to choose from.
A great fact to point out is their annual community work, donating to various charities, such as the Los Angeles Fire Department and Feeding America, Gibson aims to give back.
FAQs about Dinnerware Sets
What Is the Ideal Set Number?
Depending on how many people you are going to feed, the number will increase or decrease.
Additionally, if you are the kind of person to host events, small or large, you will need a larger set.
Have a think about how many people live in the house, how often you host events, how many people tend to eat at your house on any given week.
The style of the event will also dictate what type of dinnerware you will need, and therefore your costs can also increase.
While it might seem silly to have extra plates simply sitting in storage, having an extra 2-4 settings are a good idea, so you don’t have to pull out any last-minute paper plates.
What Type of Dinnerware Do I Need?
This is a decision that only the buyer can make. Material, style, and durability are the three main pillars for picking your dinnerware.
Of course, budget is a huge factor that will be the foundation on which you can build upon.
Once you have that basic construct of what you might be after, we recommend thinking about looking at the options we have provided and which meets your criteria.
Another good thing to think about is how many pieces you want per place setting. Do you want matching mugs? Or matching bowls? How many pieces are you after?
What Is the Most Durable Material?
Porcelain, vitrified glass, and stoneware are the three most durable dinnerware materials available from the ones we have listed.
It’s important to remember that the longevity of your set will depend on the maintenance you give it.
What Pattern or Design Should I Buy?
Your personal style and lifestyle will guide you to the dinnerware set that will suit you best, that is a guarantee.
But we recommend buying you dinnerware so that it not only reflects your personal style but so that it can match any occasion and hold any meals you prepare.
As we have mentioned before, having two sets of dinnerware is always recommended. This not only makes sure you always have enough plates but also that you can be flexible with the ambiance you are projecting.
No matter which dinnerware suits your lifestyle the most, a crucial deciding factor should be the durability and strength, especially if you have any clumsy people living with you.
How Do I Know What Size Dinnerware Is Best for My Home?
Before settling on your dream dinnerware, take out some measuring tape, and figure out the dimensions of your storage space.
Keep in mind, the size of your dining table and how many you are planning to feed on a regular basis. If your table is small and only fits four people, avoid any excessively large plates to make sure you all fit.
Additionally, take a peek into your dishwasher and find out its internal size, tub, and spacing of racks and the cleaning styles on offer as this can alter which materials can be put in for washing.
Choosing the right dinnerware set can be daunting with so many options. There are style, shape, material, and maintenance differences that can change the dining experience.
Go for the best dinnerware set that you know will suit your style and last a long time while staying within your budget.
We hope that after reading this guide, you feel more confident in what you are looking for and what matches in the best for your personal needs.