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A great dinnerware set is the backbone of every delicious dish, whether you cook a multi-course meal from scratch or order takeout on the regular. Not only can the right set keep your meal safe, stable, and secure but it’s also an easy way to infuse your personal style into your daily routine. Ceramic Bowls
“You can put a lot of work and creativity into a meal, but serve it on a paper plate or in a chipped bowl and you’ve diminished that experience,” says Tom Mirabile, consumer trend analyst at International Housewares Association. “Even when our closest friends come over, we don’t serve takeout in plastic containers. We take a few extra seconds to put [the food] in serveware on a table with everything else they’ll need to serve themselves. It tells them that you know they’re worth that small extra effort.”
But, with so many price points, brands, and materials, finding the best dinnerware set for your needs can be challenging. To help, we culled the market to find the very best options worth adding to your cart. We also tapped three dining and entertaining experts—Mirabile, Jono Pandolfi, founder of Jono Pandolfi, and Amber Mayfield, founder, and CEO of To Be Hosted—for pro-approved options.
Overall, the best dinnerware set is Gibson’s Home Rockaway 12-Piece Dinnerware Set because it’s stylish, versatile, and practical.
Why You Should Get It: Versatile and easy to care for, this simple set will be the backbone of your kitchen cabinets.
Keep in Mind: The set doesn’t include any matching drinkware. It also only has four settings, which may not be large enough for every home.
With twelve pieces in total—four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four bowls—this is the best dinnerware set for a family of four to use daily. Gibson enlisted a thicker stoneware, making it feel slightly heftier than other plates. Translation? It’s durable enough to withstand an accidental bump against your dining room or kitchen counter, but not so heavy that carrying a serving of soup will feel like an intense arm workout.
The Rockaway set is microwave-friendly and dishwasher-safe, so the pieces are compatible for heating up leftovers and quick cleanups, respectively. It’s offered in nine colors, so you’ll be able to choose which suits your home best. Just keep in mind that the set doesn’t include any mugs, so you’ll have to purchase a matching set separately.
Price at time of publish: $40
Why You Should Get It: The pieces are safe to use in the dishwasher and microwave.
Keep in Mind: It’s only offered in white, so it’s not ideal for those who prefer a pop of color.
The Better Homes & Gardens Porcelain 12 Piece Anniston Set is the best dinnerware set if you’re looking for a less expensive option for your home. The pieces are made with heavy-duty porcelain that’s durable enough to go in the microwave and dishwasher, so they’re easy to keep clean.
The 12-piece set features four dinner plates, four salad plates, and four bowls, so you’ll have something for cereal, salads, and a sizzling steak. While each piece is designed to hold a full serving of food, our extra-deep bowls are large enough to accommodate a full can of soup or vegetables. Just keep in mind this set doesn’t include any mugs, so you’ll have to purchase them separately.
Price at time of publish: $32
Why You Should Get It: It includes more pieces than some other sets. The pieces are both microwaveable and dishwasher safe as well.
Keep in Mind: It’s only offered in one color, so it depends on what kind of look you’re going for.
For a splurge-worthy set, you can’t go wrong with Villeroy & Boch’s Artesano offering. The 16-piece set is made of porcelain that’s both dishwasher and microwave safe and is one of the best dinnerware sets worth considering.
The pieces are made with premium porcelain and will offer an elegant touch to your dining table. Each setting comes with a salad plate, dinner plate, a small bowl, and a larger bowl, making this set ideal for multi-course dinner parties. The set is only offered in crisp white, so it’s not ideal if you’re looking for a more colorful option. However, the versatile color combined with its wide, slightly raised edges, makes these dishes a classic pick that’ll look good for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $440
Why You Should Get It: A durable dinnerware set that can even hold its own against restaurant rushes.
Keep in Mind: The set only includes one place setting, so you’ll have to purchase a few for entertaining guests.
If you’re looking for a stylish set that will transcend time and trends, look to Jono Pandolfi’s Coupe Four-Piece Place Setting. The pieces are durable yet polished and are a great way to kick off your dinnerware collection.
As the brand’s best-seller, the four-piece Coupe setting is used at Brooklyn’s Lilia and The Girl & The Goat in Los Angeles—and for good reason. “It's just an elegant, timeless design that looks good in any space,” says Pandolfi.
Each setting comes with an entrée plate, a salad plate, a cereal bowl, and an Alaskan bowl, which is best suited for heaping piles of pasta. Since stoneware is inherently thicker than porcelain, these plates are noticeably heavier than some other offers on that list. However, with that, you’re getting a durable option that can withstand wear and tear.
Another thing to love about this set is that it’s both dishwasher and microwave-friendly, making this elegant set relatively low-maintenance. Just keep in mind that this set is suited for one person, so you’ll have to purchase a few if you entertain often.
Price at time of publish: $150
Why You Should Get It: Cool and contemporary, this set will get your tablescape a modern edge. It’s also offered in two different sizes as well as four colors.
Keep in Mind: The shape of the pieces may be challenging to stack in the dishwasher.
For a unique spin on dinnerware, look no further than Stone Lain’s Grace Square Stoneware Dinnerware Set. The stoneware set is offered in two sizes and four colors and is made of durable stoneware that’ll last you for years to come.
What really makes this 12-piece set the best dinnerware set for a modern look is its forward-thinking shape. Stone Lain traded in the typical circular silhouette for a cutting-edge square shape—a simple change that will rack up the compliments.
Though this dinnerware set offers plenty of visual intrigue, it’s practical, too. The dinner and salad plates have raised lips so you won’t have to worry about accidentally pushing food off of your plate. Plus, the bowls are deep enough to accommodate lots of soup, ice cream, or a generous helping of macaroni and cheese.
Like so many of our favorite dinnerware sets, this one is also dishwasher-safe and microwave-friendly. Just keep in mind that because of the shape and lips, it may be a bit more difficult to stack some of these pieces in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $83
Why You Should Get It: The durable set features a textured pattern that adds visual interest to the set.
Keep in Mind: It’s more expensive than other options, so it may not be ideal for everyday use.
For a high-quality option that is equal parts practical and pretty, Wedgwood’s Intaglio set is the best dinnerware set for your home. The embossed textured detailing of this fine bone china is downright beautiful, giving it that timeless quality that’ll make you want to pass down this set to the next generation.
The 16-piece set includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, four bowls, and four 12-ounce mugs. It’s only offered in white; however, the versatile color will blend seamlessly with other table accessories you may want to use. Although it’s an investment in comparison to other similar options, the pieces are compatible with dishwashers and microwaves, so it’s easy to use them and keep them in good condition.
Price at time of publish: $403
Why You Should Get It: It has a simple, classic design that can work well in any home. The set also includes mugs, which some other similar options don’t.
Keep in Mind: It has enough settings for four people, so you’ll have to purchase more than one set if you entertain larger groups.
When it comes to dinnerware sets, it doesn’t get more classic than this crisp white option from Open Kitchen By Williams Sonoma. Simply put, this 16-piece set is the perfect shade of white; it’s bright with no obvious undertones, so it won’t feel too cold or too creamy. It’s also free of any etchings or embossing, which means this set can be mixed or matched to suit the mood.
Aesthetics aside, this 16-piece set is made with high-fired porcelain, striking that nice balance between lightweight and durable. Each setting has a mug, a bowl, and two plates—one for smaller dishes and salads and the other primed for dinner. And, since this dinnerware set is dishwasher and microwave-safe, you won’t have to work too hard to keep these plates pearly white.
Price at time of publish: $120
Why You Should Get It: Each piece has a design that was originally hand-painted, offering a unique look to your dining table.
Keep in Mind: The dishes are microwave safe but can become quite hot, so you’ll want to be cautious when removing them.
The magic lies in its subtle-yet-statement pattern. While the tile-like pattern is poised to receive plenty of compliments, its soft blue and white pattern makes this set incredibly versatile. White linens will put this dinnerware set front and center. Or, if you’re going for a more whimsical look, mix and match with other shades of blue. No matter which aesthetic you’re going for, these plates will pop without upstaging a gorgeous centerpiece or savory entree, making this one of the best dinnerware sets.
Of course, there’s more to Pottery Barn’s best-selling dishes than its pattern. Not only is this set made with a stoneware that’s durable, lightweight, and BPA-free, but it’s also compatible with your microwave and dishwasher. Just keep in mind that the plates will be fairly hot after microwaving, so remove them with caution. Plus, if you want to bring this chambray tile look to your outdoor suppers, this pattern is also available in an outdoor-friendly, shatter-resistant melamine.
Price at time of publish: $200
Why You Should Get It: You’ll be able to build your own set based on your lifestyle and household, so you’ll only have what you need.
Keep in Mind: The set is more expensive than other options.
Most dinnerware sets are available in white, but thanks to Year & Day’s dinnerware sets, you can add a pop of color to your dining table. The direct-to-consumer brand offers its stoneware dinnerware sets in a few different color options, each of which can cater to different styles.
For a color that’s bright, smile-inducing, and downright different, look at the brand’s light pink glaze called Daybreak. If you want to give dinner and snack time a moody flair, try Midnight, a deep midnight blue shade that’ll create plenty of contrast against white linens. Though Year & Day has a crisp white shade called Moon, its light gray called Fog offers that happy medium between subtle and statement.
Not only does the brand use dishwasher-safe stoneware for its ceramics, but it also uses sustainable materials and processes. And, thanks to its Build My Set section, you can order a set that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Price at time of publish: $300
Why You Should Get It: The Mercer pieces are sold individually, so you can curate the ideal set for your home.
Keep in Mind: It may end up being more expensive than other options.
With so many options to choose from, finding the right porcelain can be easier said than done. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with Crate & Barrel’s Mercer set, a versatile option that’ll look great on your dining table.
“[This is what] I use for large dinner parties and everyday use,” says Mayfield. “The plates are modern and beautiful. I also find them to be quite durable, despite the slim profile.”
Slim and lightweight, Crate & Barrel’s Mercer collection comes in a variety of silhouettes, all of which are smartly designed to cater to your eating needs. While the set’s plates feature a thin lip to keep food from slipping off the edges, it also has an array of bowl sizes for every meal. If you want to create an even more cohesive setup, you can pick up the collection’s utensil holder, platter, or serving bowl, among other offerings.
Since Crate & Barrel’s Mercer collection comes in a handful of colors and patterns—ranging from a traditional white to stripes to a medium blue aptly named “denim”—you’ll be able to find a glaze that matches your home’s decor.
The only caveat is that the Crate & Barrel Mercer dinnerware collection is available in open stock—so you’ll have to pick out the exact options you want to add to your cart. But, don’t worry: No matter which options you choose, you can trust that your dinnerware set will be dishwasher-safe, microwave-friendly, and oven-safe for up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Price at time of publish: $4
Why You Should Get It: The set is larger and less expensive than other similar options.
Keep in Mind: The set doesn’t include drinkware, so you’ll have to purchase that separately.
While wear, tear, dings, and scratches are inevitable for most dinnerware sets—especially if you’ve had them for many years—it’s a good idea to invest in dishes that are specially designed to keep chips to a minimum. That’s where Corelle’s 18-piece set comes in.
At first thought, glass plates might seem particularly prone to damage. However, Corelle used a special three-layered design to prevent chips and cracks. Though this set is remarkably sturdy and durable, they’re surprisingly lightweight. As a result, you can pile on the food without feeling like your meal is weighing you down. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t include any drinkware, so you’ll have to purchase that separately.
Corelle’s dinnerware set is pretty simple—each setting includes a bowl, a salad plate, and a dinner plate—but it can accommodate up to six guests, making it perfect for dinner parties. Even better? This set is safe to use with a dishwasher, microwave, and preheated oven.
Price at time of publish: $60
Why You Should Get It: This durable set is ideal for outdoor dining and is less expensive than other sets.
Keep in Mind: The pieces aren’t microwave-safe, so you can’t use them to heat up food.
If you want to enjoy a delicious meal al fresco, Zak Designs’ melamine plates are a must. This dinnerware category uses a melamine-formaldehyde resin, which gives typical plastic a harder, more durable, and more polished finish. Translation? They’re virtually shatter-proof, so they can deftly combat whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
If the phrase “plastic dinnerware set” makes you a little nervous, you can rest easy knowing Zak Designs uses BPA-free plastic. In other words, these plates are completely food-safe—you just don’t want to throw them in the microwave.
Sold as a 12-piece bundle, Zak Designs’ set includes four salad plates, four dinner plates, and four bowls. It doesn’t matter if you and your guests are enjoying caprese salad, charred chicken fresh off the grill, or some gelato, this set has you covered for all courses. And, once you’re done with your meal, you can toss these in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.
Price at time of publish: $50
Why You Should Get It: The set is shatter-proof, so you won’t have to worry about wear and tear.
Keep in Mind: There’s only one setting, so you’ll have to purchase a few if you have more than one child.
Admittedly, finding a great dinnerware set for the tiniest eaters in your family can be a tall order. Fortunately, Munchkin’s Color Me Hungry Splash 7pc Toddler Dining Set ticks off all of the boxes and is the best dinnerware set for children.
With a flat plate, bowl, cup with lid, and all the necessary utensils, this dinnerware set has everything your little one will need to enjoy a delicious meal. In fact, Munchkin’s option even comes with a divided plate, so you can portion off different courses for those particularly picky eaters. Just keep in mind that the set only has one setting, so you’ll have to purchase a few if you have more than one child.
Of course, dining with a young child can be a messy endeavor—one that involves many spills and food droppings. Fortunately, Munchkin’s set is here to make cleanup a little easier. Not only does this dinnerware set have grippy bottoms, which will help their plates stay in place, but the extra-deep walls make it easy for your child to scoop up peas, rice, and everything in between.
If your little one does accidentally knock their plate off the table, don’t worry: this set is made with BPA-free plastic, making it kid-safe and shatter-resistant.
Price at time of publish: $23
Why You Should Get It: The festive set includes both dinnerware and drinkware that’s dishwasher safe, so it’s easy to clean up after holiday hosting.
Keep in Mind: It’s more expensive than other patterned options and not microwavable.
With a surplus of Santa motifs, it’s all too easy for holiday dinnerware to veer into kitschy territory. But, laced with 24-karat gold accents, this Lenox option feels decidedly upscale—putting the “special” back in special occasions. Plus, its berry motif makes this an excellent choice well after December 25, making this one of the best dinnerware sets worth considering.
The porcelain set features four dinner plates, salad plates, and mugs, offering a sturdy base for Christmas ham, sugar cookies, and a cool glass of eggnog. Keep in mind this set is an investment and is not microwaveable, so you may want to consider another mug for that seasonal hot cocoa.
Price at time of publish: $290
Why You Should Get It: The set is offered in a variety of colors and as either a set or open stock. It’s also made with a durable material that’s safe for the oven, dishwasher, and microwave.
Keep in Mind: They have a minimal style, so they’re not ideal if you prefer a more vibrant, patterned option.
If you’re looking for a streamlined set that’s conducive to your day-to-day life, Mirabile recommends Hawkins New York’s Essential Stoneware Dinnerware. The 16-piece set is offered in multiple different colors and is made with durable material, making it one of the best dinnerware sets to consider.
“My dream dinnerware set will always be simple and sculptural,” he says.
This strong stoneware option is also scratch-resistant and appliance-friendly—dishwasher, microwave, and oven—so it’ll hold up nicely as you go about your routine. The set includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, four pasta bowls, and four cereal bowls. Although you can purchase it all together, each piece is also available in sets of four separately, so you can pick and choose which styles you really need.
Price at time of publish: $184
Overall, the best dinnerware set is Gibson’s Home Rockaway 12-Piece Dinnerware Set because it’s available in multiple colorways and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. If you're looking for a budget-friendly alternative, consider Better Homes & Gardens Porcelain 12-Piece Anniston Set. This basic set is durable and easy to clean, making it one of the best dinnerware sets to consider.
When shopping for a new dinnerware set, the first thing you’ll need to decide is which material you prefer. Some are microwave safe and dishwasher safe while others may not be, so be sure to consider your lifestyle and what you plan to use it for.
Dinnerware sets come in all sizes, so it’s important you think about what’s best suited for your needs. And, just so we’re on the same page, a 16-piece dinnerware set does not serve 16 people. Instead, that high number just means the total of pieces you’ll receive in your order.
“There are a lot of different options now but generally speaking, 16-piece sets are the most popular [because they] usually include four of each dinner place salad please a soup cereal/pasta bowl, and a mug,” Mirabile says.
Want to understand how many settings a dinnerware set will include? Divide the total number of pieces by the different styles—for example, dinner plate, salad plate, mug, and so on—included in your set.
Before you add a set to your cart, it’s important to understand what will go into cleaning and maintaining your dinnerware. While all the options on our list are dishwasher-friendly, there are still some styles that require hand washing. Keep in mind there’s no right choice here, so pick a dinnerware set with care instructions that match up to your bandwidth. Even if you choose a dishwasher-safe set, Mayfield always recommends rinsing off your dishes first.
“This will avoid any staining or having to harshly scrub dried foods or sauces off the plates later,” she shares. “Also, be gentle when piling plates into the sink or dishwasher after dinner to avoid any accidental scratching or chips.”
Believe it or not, dinnerware sets aren’t a one-style-suits-all situation. In fact, it’s important to consider exactly how you’ll be using your new dinnerware. Looking for a reliable, everyday set? Pick up durable porcelain or stoneware. Meanwhile, fine bone china is a great choice for more formal occasions. And, if you want to keep shatters to a minimum, melamine plates have you covered.
You’ll also want to consider how the overall design of your dinnerware will inform its use. For example, plates and bowls covered in wintry holly should be reserved for winter while a brighter, cheerier, palette has summer written all over it.
Though plates can be available in many materials, the most common types you’ll see are porcelain and stoneware—and for good reason.
“Many folks love the look of earthenware pottery with a base white glaze and colorful brushwork decoration but terracotta rarely holds up over time because water absorbs into it whereas that doesn't happen with stoneware, porcelain, or other high-fired materials,” Pandolfi says.
While both materials are durable, porcelain and stoneware have two completely different looks, so you’ll want to select whatever best matches your aesthetic.
“Porcelain is very clean and white—stoneware is much earthier and, in my opinion, has a presence more in-line with today's more naturalistic aesthetic,” he says.
Honestly, it depends on the set. While some brands keep their offerings to the minimum, others will add larger bowls or mugs. But, as a general rule of thumb, most dinnerware sets have at least three basic essentials: A bowl, a smaller plate deserved for salads, and a large plate that’s great for the main course. “A set of 12 is great to start,” Mayfield says.
Unless you’re purchasing open stock dinnerware, most sets are available in even numbers of settings. While four settings is a great starting point, some hostesses might look to options with six or eight settings.
Don’t think you’ll use all of the pieces in a formal dinnerware set? You might want to consider buying your pieces open stock.
“Open stock dinnerware is when pieces are not boxed in sets, you can buy whichever pieces you want and whatever quality you want,” Mirabile explains. Not only does this option give shoppers the opportunity to mix and match their dinnerware—a trend that Mirabile says is on the rise—but it’ll also ensure your kitchen cabinets are filled with everything you need and nothing you don’t.
“It’s great if you have a special occasion plate with a really special pattern or design element that you want to add to your entertaining collection,” Mayfield adds.
But, whether you choose a formal dinnerware set or shop open stock, you’re just a few clicks away from upgrading your next meal.
Salad Bowl With Lid Kelsey Mulvey is a freelance journalist with seven years of experience researching and writing about home products. To make this list, she considered each pick's material, number of settings, planner use, and care instructions. She also consulted ceramicist Jono Pandolfi, event planner Amber Mayfield, and Tom Mirabile, consumer Trend analyst at International Housewares Association.