On first glance, you would probably never consider buying a dinnerware set to be anything particularly complicated. However, if you’ve ever had a bad dinnerware set- one that chipped easily, for example or worse, didn’t even fit in your cupboard- you’ll know that there is, in fact, such a thing as the “right” crockery set.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the best dinnerware sets, including what makes them so appealing and why you should take a look at our top picks before buying a new dinner set. Better yet, we give you the full brief on what you need to look out for when choosing your new dish sets and answer some of those burning questions of yours.
The Best Dinnerware Set
Available in the classic black finish, the Elite SoHo Lounge set from Gibson hits our top spot thanks to its great reviews. A chunky set that is resistant to scratches, and being both microwave and dishwasher-safe, this is the best dinnerware set available at such at such a great price.
This set comes with a total of 16 items, and Gibson have used traditional finishing techniques to provide a genuine, rustic feel that only adds to the charm provided with this dish set. Be aware, however, that this can also make replacements difficult, as no two sets are exactly alike.
- ModelElite SoHo Lounge
- Weight25 pounds
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Some complaints about breakages from reviewers
Available at an amazing price, it’s fair to say that almost everyone who has bought the 18-piece dinnerware set from Amazon Basics have been surprised at just how robust these simple-designed items really are. Especially when you consider how lightweight this dish set is.
The plain white dinner set is perfect for those who like to host too, as the color is perfect for showing off culinary delights from your home kitchen. Meanwhile, for those of you who aren’t into hosting, this is still a great option as the color will match nearly every décor- making it the perfect addition to new home owners and students looking for their new dinnerware set.
- BrandAmazon Basics
- Weight22.2 pounds
Suitable for dishwashers, microwaves, ovens and freezers
No mugs included
Can chip easily
As one of the highest rated manufacturers in the dinnerware world, Corelle were naturally going to hit our top picks, and this square dinnerware set easily hits our third spot. Created to be as thin and lightweight as possible, yet surprisingly sturdy thanks to Corelle’s Vitrelle glass material, this is a set that stacks easily and looks great.
Corelle have also guaranteed their sets with a 3-year replacement warranty that covers against breaks and chips- even when used in ovens, microwaves or dishwashers. That’s how sure they are that their items will stand the test of time!
- Weight2.2 pounds
Lightweight and thin
Beware of fake copies
As one of the most affordable sets online, we weren’t expecting a great deal from American Atelier’s dish set- yet, we were pleasantly surprised by the durability and style of this round dinnerware set. Made from a high-quality stoneware, this set is non-porous and resistant to stains and scratches alike.
The manufacturers take special care when shipping these items, ensuring that every pieces is individually wrapped, so you don’t need to worry about any issues during postage. This kind of customer service is also shown in the reviews, when buyers mention that American Atelier have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make customers happy- always a benefit, in our book.
- BrandAmerican Atelier
- Weight22.9 pounds
Individually boxed for safe postage
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Heavier than other options
If you’re looking for a vibrant dish set that matches your vibrant personality, this is the ideal dinnerware for you. Euro Ceramica Inc. have done well to produce a full dining set that incorporates the vivacious beauty of Spain through bright detailing that is sure to have guests talking.
Below the stunning hand-applied design is a chunky earthenware that can be used in both the microwave and dishwasher- just be sure to fetch your items with caution, as the manufacturer warns that these plates can become very hot. This, however, can be a benefit if you’re hosting or dishing up large meals, since you know your food will remain hotter, for longer.
- BrandEuro Ceramica Inc.
- ModelYS-ZB-1001 Zanzibar Collection
- Weight20.9 pounds
Dishwasher and microwave safe
Limited number available, so can be hard to purchase
Our second option from Corelle is this Frost White option, although there are plenty of other good choices from this selection, if you so choose. We went for the Frost White as this is the best way to showcase your food- and, with a dinnerware set like this, you’ll be so keen to show off that you won’t be able to help yourself but host.
Featuring the trademark lightweight and durable Vitrelle glass creation, this circular dinnerware set also comes with the usual microwave, dishwasher and oven-safe material and a three-year warranty against breaks and chips. Making this the best dinnerware set for those who know their new items are going to go through a lot of use.
- Weight9.3 pounds
3 years’ warranty against manufacturer defect
Lightweight and durable
Can sometimes vary in thickness and may be slightly warped
If you like the idea of having a white dinnerware set but don’t want your dishes to look plain, try Sylvia from Pfaltzgraff. These dishes all come with a great, eye-catching design that allows you to show off your creations while adding an extra touch of detail, without being too much.
Don’t worry, those linings are embossed and just as easy to clean as the rest of the plate- especially when you consider that these are microwave and dishwasher-safe. Making this one of the best dinnerware sets for both formal and informal use, since the plain design will easily match any centerpiece, and the easy clean-up means you won’t hesitate to use these on a daily basis.
- Weight34 pounds
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Very high quality
Can be very heavy
As one of the most popular choices, since the day of it’s release, the IKEA 36-piece dinnerware set is a great option for larger family gatherings- in particular, if you’re hosting a family get together around the barbecue.
Made from a hard-wearing, BPA-free polypropylene, these dishes are shatter resistant and perfect for kids, especially when you consider their bold, eye-catching colors, as well as the fact that they are extremely lightweight. The durable materials don’t give away the great price, however, as this is one of the best value options on a list, as a cheap dinnerware set.
- Weight4 pounds
Extremely lightweight and highly durable
Not really suitable for formal affairs
Small sizes across the set
Want the bright, appealing colorful sets but don’t fancy getting the cheaper material? This set from Vremi comes with eye-catching stripes that allow for a little extra personality, without giving you a headache. These are the ideal selection for those who have a brighter kitchen, as the bold stripes will easily match any décor.
Made from porcelain, these microwavable sets are just right for those who like to sit between heavy and light, with the weight being just right and production allowing for a chip and scratch-resistant plate that sits well in any family home.
- Weight7.75 pounds
Made with premium porcelain
Lightweight and very durable
Can warp if used in the microwave
If you’re hosting the family over the holidays, this simple dinnerware set with a classic design and gold trim will give your home a touch of nostalgic elegance. Made from a fine Bone China, this set is extremely lightweight but equally as hard-wearing, making this an excellent choice for those who love to host.
Naturally, these are only truly suitable over the winter months but if you’re looking for a high-quality dinnerware set that will leave guests in awe of your skills, then this should be your first choice. Don’t forget that these are collectible, as each year Lenox create a new design for every year- meaning that these are limited edition and will only stay at this great price for the next few months.
- Weight1 pounds
Great for special occasions
Not ideal for everyday use
Our second option for Lenox comes with a more year-round appeal, as there are no references to time periods across the set. If you love the intricate details and high quality of Lenox but are looking for something to use at any time of year, then the French Perle collection might just be the ticket you’re looking for.
Be advised that these high-quality dishes are the most expensive option we have on our list, however, as the detailing of each item doesn’t come cheap. Of course, if you have the budget and are looking for something special to present your culinary masterpiece with, then this is definitely the best dish set for your needs.
- Weight6.25 pounds
Lifetime breakage replacement program
Dishwasher and microwave safe
If you love the idea of a hard-wearing dish set that is both lightweight and unlikely to chip, break or crack, then this melamine dinnerware set from Gianna’s home might be the best option for you. This BPA-free set is a great choice for families, students and those who use their dinnerware on a daily basis, as they are so durable yet so easy to clean and store.
They are also dishwasher-safe, although they should never be used in the microwave (as this will cause the compounds in the material to break down). Some users also mentioned that the underside of the set doesn’t have the rustic effect printed on, which can ruin the effect if you’re looking for a set that truly sells the genuine rustic feel.
- BrandGianna’s Home
- Weight8.8 pounds
Very light and durable
Not microwave safe
White backing can ruin the rustic effect
Manufactured by the Homer Laughlin China Company (America’s biggest domestic producer of dinner sets), you can be sure of the quality of this set through the company’s dedication to producing high-quality dinnerware, although you should be aware that costs can easily run up, due to these being sold as single place settings per sale.
These are some of the most versatile options on our list, being oven-proof, as well as being microwave, freezer and dishwasher-safe, making this dinnerware set one of the best choices for smaller families, solo flyers and students. There’s also a five-year chip-resistance warranty, so you can be sure that your new set will last you at least that long.
- Weight5.75 pounds
5-year warranty against chips
Made in the USA
Small set, buyers may need to purchase multiple sets
Another choice that combines the clean look of a white dinner set with the added benefit of having an intricate design along its outer edges, the Antique White option from Mikasa is another good option for those who like to showcase their food, without having to rely on standard, plain white offerings. They’re also great for matching pretty much any kitchen décor, which allows for greater versatility both in the kitchen and through your dining table dressings.
Created from a high-quality porcelain, these dishes are microwave and dishwasher-safe, which allows for less time-consuming clean-ups once your night has finished and hungry diners have been packed off home or up to bed. This is especially true when you consider the 40 pieces that are available to you, and therefore that you might need to clean! Overall this is one of our favorites, when it comes to balancing casual dining with a touch of formal elegance.
- Weight41.4 pounds
Huge set- perfect for hosting
Simple yet delicate designs really “wow” users
Expensive (although overall excellent value-for-money)
Large selection, not suitable for smaller households
Our final choice is the hard-as-nails set that is created with 100% melamine content from Melange. This is one of the most durable and heavy-duty options on our list, while still looking amazing with vibrant designs and a touch of that rustic feel. It’s also naturally BPA-free and is completely dishwasher-safe, making this a great option for families.
Customers love the look and feel of these plates, which can easily be mistaken for standard crockery like stoneware or porcelain, despite being very light and ideal for outdoor use. That said, the main negative to this set is that it doesn’t come with any matching mugs, so you may struggle to find a set of cups to match these plates.
- Weight6.33 pounds
Shatter, chip and scratch-proof
Great for indoor and outdoor use
No matching mugs
There have been complaints about the color running
Best Dinnerware Set Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying a Dinnerware Set
Your budget will naturally come into play when considering any purchase, so we’re sure you’ve already factored this one in. Just be aware that the cheapest will naturally not always be the best choice- but you don’t need to spend thousands to get the dinnerware set that you want. It’s all about looking for the best value for money- taking into account the quality of the dinner set, as well as the cost.
You have quite a few options when it comes to dinnerware but what you choose will essentially come down to what you want to use your new set for- are you looking for a high-end collection for entertaining, or do you want something that can stand up to the heavy use of family mealtimes?
For the latter, you would do well to consider melamine dinnerware. This is an option that is much more lightweight than traditional materials but comes with the same durability (or better) and smooth surfaces that you would find in ceramics and similar.
You also have the choice of bone China, earthenware, stoneware, ceramics and porcelain, which we’ll go into more detail about below.
There are a few reasons as to why you should consider the size: firstly, you’ll have to be able to store your new dining sets away, when not in use- it won’t be much good if you can’t fit your new purchase into your cupboards, after all. Secondly, portion size is a big thing when it comes to your diet and having the right size of crockery can do wonders for your health.
If you have kids or anyone in your home has an illness that causes muscle weakness, then you may want to choose a set of dinner plates that aren’t too heavy for your family to carry. Plates and mugs with a little extra weight do tend to be durable and have the added benefit of not moving around your dinner table as you eat, however.
With so many options to choose from, you may decide that you prefer square dinner sets over the more traditional round plates- or even that you prefer colorful dinnerware over white dinner sets. The best thing about having such a wide range of sellers and brands is that you can mix and match your personal preferences to your heart’s desire.
We’ve already touched upon this briefly under “weight” but, if you’re buying a new dinnerware set from scratch, it is likely you’re doing this for a good reason. If you’re simply seeking a collection for you and your family, you might be happy with what’s considered the “informal” dinnerware sets.
These are dish sets consisting of two plate sizes (a saucer and a dinner plate), a bowl and a mug, which will come in multiples of four- so a set of 16 will consist of four of each of these. These are usually available as cheap dinner sets, since you don’t need the added plate of a formal dinner set- which is designed to handle a multiple course meal.
Difference Between Bone China, Porcelain, Stoneware and Earthenware
- Bone China
Made from a mixture of animal bone, China clay and China stone, the materials are broken down and formed together using a kiln. The material then undergoes a second firing process at a lower heat. This second firing helps to produce a surprisingly strong set that is milky white in appearance and extremely lightweight.
Stoneware undergoes a similar process to Bone China, although it only goes through the kiln once. This does make some difference in the final appearance and feel, although many companies now cover this with a vitreous glass, for added strength and improved appearance.
Made from a fine clay, such as kaolin clay, these materials are fired at a very high heat which gives them a smooth finish. These are good go-between for the more expensive bone China, with similar properties that allow for a durable dinner set, and earthenware which is heavier and comes in a variety of designs.
Often the cheapest of all the options given, earthenware is thicker and heavier than other options, as the materials aren’t as refined. This makes them brittle and easy to chip or break, although these sets are easier to hand-paint as they easily absorb and stain, allowing them to come in a variety of bright designs.
How to Care for Your New Dinnerware Set
To begin, you should always follow the manufacturers recommendations, especially when it comes to placing your new sets in the dishwasher, microwave or oven. Certain finishes are not resistant to extreme heat and can cause your new purchase to break, when these instructions aren’t followed.
Always try to wash your dishes as soon as possible after eating- especially earthenware, which can absorb liquids, smells and colors. For this reason, you should try not to leave your items to soak for too long. You should also be aware that extreme changes in temperature can cause breakages- so, try to wash your items in hot, not boiling, water to shift grease.
If you do use a dishwasher, always try to keep enough space between the plates, so that the vibrations of the washer don’t cause the items to bang together repeatedly and cause breaks and chips.
Note that the underside of your plates will almost always be un-glazed. For this reason, you should stack your plates with a piece of kitchen roll between each new layer.
Best Dinnerware Set FAQ:
Q: Are all of the products listed above anti-scratch?
A: We know how important it is to keep your new dinnerware sets looking great for as long as possible, so we’ve made every effort to ensure that the items above are anti-scratch. Of course, there may be one or two incidences where this is inaccurate, so we’ve let readers know about the pros and cons of each item, where you’ll find if your preferred choice is likely to scratch.
Q: Can I put my dinnerware set in the dishwasher?
A: You should only put your new set in the dishwasher if it has been marked as safe to do so, by the manufacturer. Where possible, we’ve ensured that our listings make it clear if the dinnerware can be used in the dishwasher.
Q: Are dinnerware sets microwave safe?
A: As above, dinner plate sets should only be placed in the microwave where is has been marked as safe to do so by the manufacturer. We’ve let readers know if our top picks are microwave-safe where possible. If you can’t see whether your chosen item is suitable for microwaves, you can always double-check with the manufacturer or make use of Amazon’s “Ask a Question” feature about your specific choice.
Our Top Pick
Perfect for those who are just starting out and need a good, strong dinnerware set- or for those who need a life-resistant dish set that will provide plenty of family meals, the Gibson Elite Soho Lounge dining set is our top choice for new buyers.
This thick, scratch-resistant dinnerware is unlikely to chip, crack and break thanks to its sturdy design and rugged materials. Each item has a slight concavity, although there’s still a good size to each piece, making it ideal for serving up hearty meals for friends and family. Best of all, each set is slightly unique, thanks to the traditional finishing of this dinnerware set, making your new purchase truly individual.
- How to Repair China, Porcelain, and Glass - HowStuffWorks