The 8 Best Dinnerware Sets for 2022
There is much more to dinnerware sets than just holding and serving food. Yes, they should serve a purpose, but that function depends on the occasion: are you eating oatmeal for breakfast, or are you doing turkey and sides for a holiday dinner? Further, dinnerware sets can also help create an ambiance for any occasion, from casual dinner dates to fancy dinner parties.
It can be difficult to choose from all the different options, which is why we have gathered a list of the best dinnerware sets to assist you.
- 1 Best Overall-Our Place Table Top Dinnerware Set
- 2 Best Textured- West Elm Stoneware Dinnerware Sets
- 3 Best Formal Lenox French Perle Dinnerware Sets
- 4 Best China Red Vanilla Extreme Square Dinnerware Sets
- 5 Best Pattern-Lina Blue Stripe 16-Piece Dinnerware Sets
- 6 Best Parties-Zak Designs Confetti Melamine Dinnerware Sets
- 7 Best Eco Friendly-Fable Colorful Bamboo Dinnerware Sets
- 8 Shopping for Dinnerware Sets: What to Look for?
- 9 Fiestaware
- 10 Lenox
- 11 Noritake
- 12 Maintenance
Best Overall-Our Place Table Top Dinnerware Set
There are few newcomers to the dinnerware market that make such an impact on the home cooking scene, but the collection from Our Place has done just that. In addition to being featured in both food and fashion publications as well as featured by food bloggers and food stylists, Our Place has created a minimal and contemporary dinnerware set that maintains its warmth and hominess with a slightly rustic charm. The dinnerware set includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four bowls that can be used for soup or side dishes. The collection also includes coordinating drinking glasses and one pan that does it all.
Hand painted porcelain plates and bowls are available in three neutral tones. Both the dinnerware and additional glassware are stackable. To effortlessly handle whatever you’re cooking, the entire dinnerware set is dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based company claims to use both recycled and sustainably sourced virgin porcelain in its products, for those who are curious about the environmental impact. Check Price
Although the dishes are white, they are anything but boring since they are all lined with textured patterns. The outside of each type of dishware has a slightly different pattern, giving the set personality. The pieces coordinate into a cohesive set, but each also stands out on its own.
This set of dinnerware will add charm to your tabletop - the dishes have a pre-worn vintage style that will look beautiful on any tablespace. It is microwave and dishwasher safe. Check Price
Best Color Variety-Fiesta Dinnerware Sets
Fiesta does bright, bold colors like no one else. This four-piece place setting is available in a variety of beautiful colors in that classic Fiesta style. Fiesta dinnerware has been manufactured in the United States for decades, and there are many more dishes and accessories available for collectors. Moreover, since the company keeps the pattern consistent, all your pieces will match even if you buy more years later. Can’t decide on a color? Our product tester raves, “It’s fun to mix and match colors.”.
As our tester noted, the dinner plates are perfect for large or small meals, and the lip of the plate prevents food from sliding off while eating. The plates can be used in the microwave, dishwasher, and even the oven. The dishes are extremely durable, but they also come with a five-year chip-resistance warranty in case they do get damaged. Check Price
Best Formal Lenox French Perle Dinnerware Sets
It’s a cliché that you’ll always hear if you watch cooking shows: We eat with our eyes first. If you’re having guests over or setting the table for a formal event, you’ll want to use dinnerware that looks particularly elegant. Lenox’s Stoneware collection, which is available in several colors, features sweet, textured edges as well as a hand-applied finish around the rims.
Be aware that stoneware dishes may show marks from cutting and fork scrapes. According to our testers, the plates were very easy to clean, and silverware scratch marks can be removed with a non-abrasive cleanser. Although this set is durable, Lenox offers a lifetime replacement program for broken dishes. Plate settings like these are great for country, farmhouse, or shabby chic decor. Check Price
Best China Red Vanilla Extreme Square Dinnerware Sets
This set of white dinnerware is anything but dull. This white dinnerware set can serve up to six people and features delicate edges and sleek swoops. The appearance of this everyday China set is refined and elegant, but it is also durable. It can be cleaned in the dishwasher and can be microwaved. When stacking and storing these porcelain plates, you’ll still want to take care not to chip the delicate corners.
A 16-piece set includes dinner plates, salad plates, mugs, and big, triangular soup bowls, but a four-piece set is also available. The white, modern-looking dishes will make your meals stand out. You can share these dishes on Instagram if you enjoy sharing what you’ve cooked in the kitchen. Check Price
Best Pattern-Lina Blue Stripe 16-Piece Dinnerware Sets
The outer edges of plates and the exteriors of bowls and mugs in this set are adorned with delicate blue stripes. There is a single four-piece set or a 16-piece set (enough for four people) of this rustic dinnerware. Each dish is hand-painted with intricate designs. Speckled background and blue stripes are eye-catching and versatile enough to match a wide range of tablecloths and placemats.
While these dishes are ideal for entertaining, they can also be used on a daily basis. They are microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and can also be heated in the oven when needed. The irregularly curved edges of the dishes, while attractive, are easily chipped, so wash with care. The pattern is also available in serving bowls and platters if you’d like your entire kitchen to match. Check Price
Best Parties-Zak Designs Confetti Melamine Dinnerware Sets
Zak Designs is known for its colorful and iconic mixing bowl sets. In the same “confetti” style, Zak Designs has created a playful set of durable melamine dinnerware that is easy to carry to the backyard for dinner and lightweight enough for a park picnic or camping trip. The set comes in six different confetti colors and includes settings for four people.
Each set includes a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, and cup, which can also be used as a soup bowl or dessert cup. Even though the entire set can be put in the dishwasher, it should not be used in the microwave or oven. Check Price
Best Eco Friendly-Fable Colorful Bamboo Dinnerware Sets
With a palette of summery hues, you’d never guess this dinnerware set is eco-friendly and incredibly sturdy. Made from organic bamboo fiber, which is highly renewable, and bound with cornstarch and melamine. The plates can be used from dinner to a backyard barbecue.
A 16-piece set includes a dinner plate, salad plate, low bowl, and cereal bowl. Also available are tumblers, a four-piece set, and mix-and-match pieces to build your own collection. Even though these pieces are dishwasher-safe, they cannot be used in a microwave or oven. Although this collection is designed for everyday use, the price tag rivals some of the higher-end sets on our list. Check Price
Shopping for Dinnerware Sets: What to Look for?
Dinnerware is largely ceramic, but there is a wide variety of types and qualities of ceramic. As opposed to “silverware,” which has become a generic term for all flatware regardless of material, a variety of dinnerware sets today are considered “China,” which is the same as porcelain.
Porcelain was invented in China, hence the name. Porcelain is a ceramic material made from clay that has been fired at high temperatures. It is usually white and glossy. Although fine China is often thought of as the special-occasion plates that brides might register for in a chosen pattern, you can find cheap porcelain dinnerware at big-box stores.
The term “bone China” refers to porcelain that contains bone, a process that was invented in England in the early 1800s. It has a translucent appearance and is lighter in weight than porcelain. Traditionally, porcelain has been seen as more durable, but as porcelain manufacturing has changed, the differences have become more and more negligible. Choosing one over the other is now more a matter of personal preference.
Clay earthenware, a more porous option than stoneware, is made from clay and is slightly cheaper than stoneware. Due to its less durable nature, earthenware sets can be just as expensive; they have a rugged, handmade feel to them - and some may be handmade.
The evolution of modern production techniques has upended many of our assumptions about what is better and what is worse.
Some materials, such as enamel and glass, are also available but are less popular because they require more maintenance and are prone to chipping. Some people, however, consider the payoff of making a statement worth it. Plastic dinnerware may seem like a good budget alternative, but cheap plastic plates can warp or stain. Melamine is a lightweight, non-porous plastic that won’t easily scratch or break. It’s a good choice for dining outdoors or for families with young children. Melamine is now so good that guests will mistake it for China until they touch it.
Stoneware is another common ceramic dinnerware. Usually heavier and more opaque than regular porcelain, stoneware is made from fired clay-like porcelain. Stoneware can be finished with matte or glossy glazes, even if it lacks the lustrous shine. While porcelain is non-porous, it can be slightly porous. But just because it’s an everyday alternative to porcelain doesn’t mean it’s cheap. However, you can also find inexpensive, long-lasting stoneware sets.
There are typically four pieces in a dinnerware set: two plates, a bowl, and a mug. Typically, larger settings with more plates are found in high-end sets; they also include things like teacups, bread plates, and chargers. For most of us, four-piece settings are fine.
Dinnerware sets come in individual place settings as well as 16- or four-piece sets. You can usually buy individual parts of the set separately (for example, six bowls) or in sets of their own, which is called “open-stock.” Open stock can be a great option, especially if you want some insurance against dropped plates or to have a larger set as your family grows or if you move.
In the end, design may be your deciding factor; while materials give you an idea of what the dinnerware will likely look like, there is still some variation. Today, you can find porcelain with a more natural, handmade feel, as well as stoneware with delicate detailing.
White is a common color found in all dinnerware, no matter what the material is, and this color gives you a lot of flexibility (some foods just won’t look appetizing on certain colors). There is also dinnerware with simple designs, either painted on the dinnerware or added later with paints or glazes. Even if you prefer to play it safe with color, you can still make your set stand out by adding subtle embellishments.
It is traditional for fine China to have a rim. A rimless plate with just a slight lip on the edge has a more modern appearance. In addition, some designers update dinnerware by making square plates instead of round ones.
Practically speaking, small changes in design, such as the depth of a bowl or the size of a mug handle, can make a big difference. A mug that reflects your love of large mugs of coffee (or chamomile tea on occasion) is the perfect fit for you. Soup bowls can vary in depth from deep to shallow. The most versatile bowl is likely to be one that is deeper, cereal-style or a combination of the two.
You should also check if the dinnerware set comes with coordinating pieces, such as platters, serving bowls, or gravy boats. There is no right or wrong answer, but if you want a clean, unified look to your table, it’s good to know what your options are.
Dinnerware varies widely in price. At Target, you can buy porcelain for under $5, or you can register for a set that can cost thousands of dollars. For around $50, however, you can get a very good budget set. Just increasing your price point to the $75 to $100 range will get you a set that will last a lifetime. Investing in handmade pieces or fine China will quickly escalate the cost.
Fiestaware can be described in one word: color. This bright dinnerware line was first sold in the 1930s and has remained timeless ever since. Additionally, it has a cult following: Fans will track down rare colors or scour the internet for vintage pieces. In general, Fiestaware is as affordable as it is eye-catching, even if certain colors can be hard to find.
Lenox dinnerware is the Cadillac of dinnerware. The company has been manufacturing fine China for more than a century and has provided dinnerware to the White House more than once. Although it is a high-end brand, it has kept up with the times. There are a number of modern and even whimsical (polka dot) patterns available from Lenox these days, in addition to more traditional patterns.
Noritake is a Japanese brand founded in 1876 by two brothers who wanted to sell porcelain in America. The brand’s designs have evolved with the times, and collectors are willing to pay top dollar for some of its hand painted vintage and antique sets. Noritake also offers affordable, modern sets.
Every day dinnerware sets should be easy to clean and easy to use. Even though most materials, including porcelain and stoneware, can be microwaved and dishwashers, it’s not a blanket rule. Check the care instructions before you buy. Handmade items may not stand up to the dishwasher, for example, and gold detailing on a fine China plate means that you can’t microwave it.
Porcelain is probably the easiest to maintain: It’s non-porous, so you can soak it or let coffee sit in your mug without worrying about stains. Stoneware isn’t likely to stain easily, but it can happen. Generally speaking, stoneware shouldn’t be soaked, and tough stains or scuffs can be removed with baking soda.
If you’re not using a dishwasher, make sure you clean it with a soft sponge (not a scouring sponge). Wire sponges can scratch glossy surfaces and scratch plastic or enamel.