Best Dinnerware Sets
Did your old dinnerware set break, or is it just looking ugly nowadays? Well, look no further – here are the best dinnerware sets that you can replace them with!
Dinnerware is not something you’ll buy often, and it can be expensive. Of course, you can always just use that set your parents gave you for the next 20 years, but you’ll have to buy a new one sometime.
The right dinnerware set can seriously improve the look and feel of every meal, especially the most important ones – those with guests or family members. Finding the right one to fit your home is crucial.
But, if you’re under 40, you’ve probably never bought a set in your life and are still using hand-me-downs – which is a problem in and unto itself. It’s a problem that I had until around 10 years ago, I have to admit.
It’s also a problem that I’ll help you fix today by presenting you with my thoughts on the finest dinnerware sets right now. Let’s dig in.
Do I Need a New Dinnerware Set? How to Know When to Buy One?
Dinnerware sets are something bought once or twice per generation – and you usually inherit at least one from your parents or even grandparents. At least that’s how it usually goes, but we never ask the question – is that the way it should go?
People usually wait until their dinnerware sets are completely ruined with scuff marks and persistent stains before they decide to replace them and consider that the right thing to do.
But would you, for example, wait until your underwear changed into five different colors and had a bunch of holes in it before you replaced it? Well, I would, back in my twenties, when I had almost no money, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that most of you wouldn’t wait that long to buy new underwear – so why wait that long to replace the stuff you put your food on? It just makes no sense.
You should probably replace your dinnerware when larger cracks and persistent stains start to appear in your current set. At that point, you’re risking your food getting contaminated or having a sharp piece of dinnerware end up in your mouth. I’ve had that happen once, and the trip to the emergency room was not pretty.
I have since decided that it might be a good idea to replace my dinnerware once every 5 to 6 years – but I live alone, and it’s mostly me using the dinnerware. If you’re a family of 4 or 5 and frequently have guests, I would suggest changing your dinnerware once every 3 to 4 years, just to be safe.
Further Reading: Most Recommended Cookware Set
How to Find the Right Dinnerware Set
Once you’ve decided you want a new set of dinnerware, you’re probably going to have a hard time finding one that fits. After all, it’s not often that you buy dinnerware. I remember being utterly confused my first time around – that’s why I got a set that…was not quite great. You might remember me mentioning that trip to the emergency room. Yeah, that wasn’t the choice of my life. However, I’ve wizened up since, and I’ll try to help you get through buying a dinnerware set without painful cuts in your mouth – I promise!
What’s in the Set?
Dinnerware sets can have a lot of different pieces, and they’re not always just different types of plates. They can include cups, bowls, and so on, so you can serve coffee or tea along with the meal.
You might think – the more, the merrier, just bring it on! Well, that’s not always true. Some pieces in a set can just be a complete waste. They might be tossed in there because they’re low-quality and can’t be sold separately, or they’re just there to make the set seem like it has more value.
You need to pick and choose and try to find a set that has everything you need but lacks all the unnecessary filler. It needs to be able to serve as many people as you might have for dinner without being larger than it needs to be, so pieces of it don’t just collect dust in some cupboard.
If you can find an open stock set to buy, that would be ideal. These sets allow you to pick which pieces you want, and you can buy every piece separately in case something breaks and needs to be replaced. However, they’re rare.
Are the Materials Good?
How clumsy are you? I can be ridiculously clumsy, and I broke my fair share of dishes before I learned how to wash them properly. You don’t want to know how many; it might scare you off from trusting me about anything ever again.
Anyways…the point I’m trying to make is that there are options out there that can accommodate even those like me. There are many different materials that dinnerware can be made out of, and some can even survive a fall or two while still looking good.
If you’re less clumsy than me and want to try your luck out with some ceramic cookware, here’s what we think are the best ceramic cookware sets on the market!
Bone china is probably one of the most common materials used for dinnerware. It strikes a nice balance between usability and good looks. Unlike fine china, it’s chip-resistant, and you can put it in the dishwasher or microwave. It doesn’t look quite as nice, but certain sets can be indistinguishable from fine china to the untrained eye.
Porcelain will be another common material that you’ll encounter while trying to find the perfect dinnerware. It’s durable, non-porous, and safe to put in the microwave, oven or dishwasher. However, it sometimes does contain a bit of metal, so watch out for that if you want to put it in the microwave.
Melamine is the type of material that’s perfect for clumsy people like me. It’s shatterproof and more durable than porcelain or china while looking quite similar to ceramic cookware. However, you can’t put it in the microwave or dishwasher.
Earthenware looks similar to most other types of ceramic, but it’s a bit lower-grade. It’s more affordable, sure, but it’s also more porous and easier to chip or shatter because of that. It’s covered in a waterproof glaze, but if that gets chipped off, you might have a problem with your hands.
Stoneware sure does seem sturdier than bone china or porcelain since it’s heavier, but it’s actually easier to break. It has a smoother look, but like earthenware, it’s sensitive to rapid temperature changes. You also might need to have it hand-washed if the design on it is painted by hand.
Vitrified glass can look quite fragile, but it’s more durable than it seems. It’s strengthened by extreme heat, and some brands of it are near-unbreakable. Microwaving it or putting it in the dishwasher is safe.
Regular or recycled glass can be an affordable option though some might consider the look unrefined. It’s mostly dishwasher and microwave-safe, though it can shatter easier, especially if it’s subjected to rapid temperature changes.
Further Reading: Ceramic vs. Porcelain Plates – What’s The Difference?
Is the Size Right?
The size of the dinnerware is the next thing you need to pay attention to. There are a few things to consider when choosing the size.
What types of meals do you want to serve? How much do your guests usually eat? You don’t want to have plates that are too small if you intend to serve a hearty meal.
You don’t want your guests to bump against each other while constantly refilling their plates. The next thing you know, Sally spilled some borscht on Mandy’s new white dress, and all hell has broken loose!
However, you also don’t want to buy gigantic plates that you can’t even put on your shelves. Measure the space where you want to put your dinnerware before you go shopping, and make sure that your new set will fit in there while leaving plenty of room for maneuvering.
Make sure that they can fit in your dishwasher as well! Try to strike a good balance between what you need and the space you have available.
Last, but not least, there’s the look and style of the dinnerware you’re buying! I’m a practical guy, and I’ll always prefer function over form, but even I know the value of good-looking dinnerware.
I imagine I was someone who got mocked a bit in family circles for my bland beige dinnerware. Even though I’ve gotten compliments for my cooking, people seemed…hesitant to try my food. Some even made poorly-disguised ‘this looks yucky’ faces at my smoked meat.
Since I changed over to better-looking dinnerware – a clean white with a silver/gold line on the edge – things have changed for the better. The presentation is important.
The color, shape, and patterns on your dinnerware can impact the feel and look of the meal. Tacky patterns and poorly-fitting colors that don’t make the food stand out will do a disservice to your cooking.
Strangely shaped dinnerware might also be awkward to eat out of no matter how ‘modern’ it looks. Some foods will benefit from square-shaped plates, while most will look just fine on the usual round plates.
Most Recommended Dinnerware Sets: Detailed Reviews 2022
This is an absolutely massive set that boasts 40 pieces and can serve up to 8 people. You get an 11-inch dinner plate, a slightly smaller 9-inch salad plate, a 6-inch cereal/soup bowl, as well as a 4.25-inch fruit bowl, and a 14-ounce mug.
Not bad overall, and the plates are definitely on the large side, which can be a benefit if you have the space to store them. They are quite light and thin, so you can certainly find a spot for them somewhere. Despite that, they’re quite durable due to being made of white bone china.
You can safely put them in the dishwasher and heat them up in the microwave and oven.
Now, the plain white look is not for everyone, but it can be quite effective, and I think it looks good. While the plates are large, the bowls are on the smaller side, and you can’t serve a lot in them, sadly.
The set is also a bit overpriced I have to admit. While it’s not a rip-off, it’s simply not worth that kind of money.
- You get a ton of stuff in the set
- Larger than most standard dinnerware
- Dishwasher, microwave, and oven-safe
- Relatively durable
- The price is too high
- The bowls are too small
This is a beautiful handmade set with a minimalist, but effective look. All of the pieces have slightly uneven surfaces, and you can definitely see that they’re handmade, but it gives them a rustic charm.
In the set, you get enough to serve 4 people with two large-ish plates, one decently sized bowl, and one average-sized mug for each person.
The set is relatively easy to clean, both in the dishwasher and by hand – the grime slides off it like it’s nothing. It’s probably because it’s stoneware. However, that also makes it a bit prone to chipping and easy to break.
So far, so good – shame the price is simply absurd. Otherwise, this would probably be one of my favorite sets, but it’s difficult to recommend at the current price point.
- Handmade and durable
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
- Great minimalist look
- Easy to clean
- Extremely expensive
- Rather a fragile stoneware
Here’s another absolutely huge set with 48 pieces, meant to serve 12 people in total. If you’re planning for a huge feast or family gathering, this might be a good choice, especially due to the affordable price.
The look is definitely classy and unique – pure white with embossed patterns and gold linings on the edges. The smaller plate has a flower-like shape to it instead of simply being round and a similar pattern embossed in the middle that might get in the way sometimes.
They are well-made plates, and they won’t chip or break easily – the embossing will hold up over time. However, it also makes them take up more space than you would expect.
The bowl and cup are so-so, but they’re not bad by any means. Overall, it is a good set with a great look for a good price.
- The look is great and classy
- Sturdy and well-made
- Affordable price
- Can serve up to 12 people
- The embossing on the smaller plate can get in the way
- Due to the shape, they can be difficult to store
The material used is AB-porcelain. It’s fairly lightweight, yet sturdy and completely safe for the microwave and dishwasher. You can probably put it in the oven, too since it can withstand up to 575 degrees Fahrenheit.
You get a decent amount of stuff in the set, for 6 people. There’s a 10.5-inch dinner plate, a smaller 7.5-inch plate, and a 5.5-inch bowl for everyone. Not too large and not too small either.
Now, the ‘bungalow’ look they have is a bit too gaudy for my taste, but you might have a different opinion.
The major omission here is the lack of soup plates or soup bowls. There are bowls included, but they’re rather small, and they are more suited to serving desserts or salads rather than soup – unless you’re serving miso soup, Japanese-style.
Overall, it’s a decent set at a good price, but you’ll need to fill it out with some extra purchases.
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
- Made out of durable porcelain
- The price is more than fair
- Decent size, not too large or too small
- The look is a bit gaudy
- Doesn’t have soup plates or bowls
This set is made out of Vitrelle glass, but you couldn’t tell that by looking at it since it looks somewhat akin to china. The look is nice overall, quite classy with a pattern on the rim of the plates and bowls. It won’t fade either.
They’re thin and lightweight, so they don’t take up a lot of space. However, they’re not as durable as advertised, and they break easily, shattering into a lot of small pieces – it can be quite a safety hazard.
The good news is, the warranty covers that. If they break, you can replace them within three years, free of charge.
You can safely heat them up, however, whether in the oven or the microwave, and they won’t break in the dishwasher either.
They are a bit on the expensive side for what’s on offer. It’s a set for 6 people with a large and small plate and a decently-sized soup bowl – nothing special, but not worth this type of money, especially since it’s fragile.
- You can replace them if they break
- They have a nice look to them
- Thin and light to save space
- Microwave, dishwasher, and oven-safe
- They can break easily
- Definitely overpriced
And there you have it folks – that’s all I can offer to you right now. You’ll probably be able to find the right set of dinnerware for you if you follow what I outlined and follow your gut instinct.
The only thing left for me to give is my choice for the best dinnerware set out of the ones I reviewed.
While I can’t say how they stack up long-term (I don’t have 3 or 4 decades to test them all), based on what I could gather, the Pfaltzgraff French Lace White Dinnerware Set seems like the perfect choice to me.
It’s a huge set with a classy look, yet it doesn’t cost a lot. It’s durable too and extremely functional. Do you disagree? If so, feel free to tell me about it – I might even change my mind!
I’d like to hear anything you have to say, and I’ll see you soon.