The Best Dinnerware Sets of 2022

Whether you need a new dinnerware set for everyday eating or for a special occasion, this guide can help you find the perfect match by zeroing in on your needs.

By Emma Caplan | Updated Jan 14, 2022 11:30 AM

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The Best Dinnerware Set

Photo: amazon.com

Beyond style preferences, there are purpose-driven characteristics to keep in mind when searching for a new dinnerware set. For example, your dinnerware set can serve your family’s everyday needs or be used exclusively for special occasions. In addition to the number of settings you need, the benefits and drawbacks of different materials also can help inform the best dinnerware set material for you.

Whether you need something durable and dishwasher-safe or want more delicate dinnerware for occasional use, our favorite options are listed below to help guide your selection.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Elama 16-Piece Earthenware Dinnerware Set
  2. BEST BUDGET: Amazon Basics 12-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set
  3. BEST FORMAL: Pfaltzgraff Sylvia 32-Piece White Dinnerware Set 
  4. BEST EVERYDAY: Rachael Ray Cucina 16-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set
  5. BEST COLOR SELECTION: Gibson Elite Soho Lounge 16-Piece Square Set
  6. BEST STONEWARE: Sango Siterra 16-Piece Mixed Dinnerware Set
  7. BEST LONG-LASTING: Mikasa Trellis 16-Piece White Dinnerware Set
  8. BEST BREAK-RESISTANT: Danmers 18-piece Opal Dish Set
  9. BEST OUTDOOR: Craft & Kin Melamine 12 pcs Wood Grain Dinnerware Set
  10. BEST FOR KIDS: Youngever 54 pcs Plastic Kids Dinnerware Set
Best Dinnerware Set Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dinnerware Set

The best dinnerware set depends on a variety of factors, including the material, the number of place settings you need, the design elements you like, and the features that are important to you such as durability, color, or microwave-ability. Knowing which dinnerware characteristics matter most in your life will help you choose the set that best suits your needs.

Materials

When looking at dinnerware sets, it’s important to consider your needs along with the qualities and features of the material. Some materials are made for everyday use or special occasion usage. The most common dinnerware materials are bone china, porcelain, earthenware, stoneware, and melamine.

  • Bone china is strong, durable, resistant to chipping, lightweight, and elegant. It’s ideal for either everyday or special occasion use as fine china and is usually microwave- and dishwasher-safe.
  • Porcelain is nonporous, durable, and versatile. Being oven-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe makes porcelain a practical choice.
  • Earthenware is heavy, sturdy, and casual. However, it isn’t the most practical. Extreme temperature changes from the microwave or oven can degrade the look of earthenware.
  • Stoneware is great for everyday and family use. It’s made with a finishing glaze that has a smooth finish. Although stoneware is more durable than earthenware, it can’t be exposed to high heat or freezing temperatures.
  • Melamine is shatterproof and hard to chip or break, making it ideal for entertaining families with little kids, and for outdoor dining. It can be washed in the dishwasher. However, melamine isn’t oven- or microwave-safe.
  • Plastic is a favorite material for dinnerware sets of kids or toddlers to use daily. Though some are not microwave safe, most are made without the use of BPAs or lead and come with child-safe utensils.

Quantity

You’ll usually find dinnerware in formal five-piece sets and casual four-piece sets. Sets typically consist of some combination of a dinner plate, dessert or salad plate, bread plate, soup bowl, teacup, and saucer.

The number of place settings you need will depend on the number of people in your household, how often you host guests, and how much storage space you have to hold dishes. Eight to 12 five-piece place settings are usually ideal for most entertaining purposes, though you may want just four settings if you have a smaller household or living space.

Design

When considering design, think about your needs and how you plan to use your dinnerware. You might want more formal and stylish dishes or ones that are more casual and simple. Dinnerware sets often come in hand-painted, patterned, banded, or solid designs. Colors and patterns can express your personal style and complement your home decor.

Neutrals like white or ivory are the most versatile when it comes to formal dinnerware, and solid or banded white dishes are classic and timeless. If you’re looking for versatility, consider a simple and elegant white dinnerware set that works for both formal and casual use.

Your meals will not only stand out, but you also can use accessories like napkins, place mats, and linens to dress the set up or down with colorful or patterned accents.

Care and Maintenance

Though most dinnerware sets are safe to put in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher, some materials may be tougher to care for as they are more delicate.

For example, melamine cannot be put in the microwave or oven as chemicals may leech into the food or damage the dish.

If you prefer hand-washing your dinner set, a soft sponge is recommended to avoid potential scratching. To be sure you are caring for your set properly, the care instructions should be consulted before washing or using.

Our Top Picks

Below are some of the best dinnerware sets for all sorts of occasions. Whether you’re looking for something that will withstand nicks and scratches, is ideal for outdoor use, or will catch the eyes of your dinner guests, there’s a dishware set that may be perfect for you.

Best Overall

Best Dinnerware Set Options: Elama Round Stoneware Luxurious Mellow Dinnerware
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re looking for an all-around high-quality dinnerware set that will suit various purposes for years to come, look no further. The Elama Round Stoneware Luxurious Mellow dinnerware set is made from durable stoneware. It is dishwasher-safe and easy to clean with its smooth and sleek interior. Plus, the larger size and shape of these dishes helps keep liquids and messy foods contained.

Featuring a powder blue and brown speckled interior, the dishes have a glossy cream exterior with debossed dots for a unique look. This set can be used in the microwave and includes four sets of deep-edge dinner plates, deep-edge salad plates, deep bowls, and mugs.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Stoneware
  • Pieces Included: 16 pieces
  • Number of Designs/Colorways: 2

Pros

  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad bowls, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs
  • Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher-safe
  • Suitable to use as everyday dinnerware
  • Comes in 2 colorways

Cons

  • Heavier than comparable options
  • Not safe to use in the oven

Best Budget

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Amazon Basics 12-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

This BPA-free melamine Amazon Basics 12-piece dinnerware set is a great value because of its dual usage. The 27 neutral and colorful finishes offered make this pick ideal for every day or for dressing up with table accessories when you’re entertaining guests.

The set is lightweight but still durable and can be used for indoor and outdoor dining. This set includes four settings, each with a 10.5-inch dinner plate, 8.8-inch salad plate, and a 7.5-inch bowl. The only downside to this option is that it is not recommended for use in the microwave, oven, freezer, or dishwasher.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Melamine
  • Pieces Included: 12
  • Designs/Colorways: 27

Pros

  • BPA-free material
  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, and 4 bowls
  • Durable; can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Not safe for use in the microwave, oven, dishwasher, or freezer

Best Formal

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Pfaltzgraff Sylvia 32-Piece White Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

The Pfaltzgraff Sylvia dinnerware set features a raised-curl pattern with beaded bands, giving it a fresh take on a traditional style. This 32-piece porcelain dinnerware set is extremely durable and won’t show scratch marks. It includes eight of each of the following: 10.5-inch dinner plate, 8.25-inch salad plate, 6.5-inch diameter soup/cereal bowl, and 14-ounce mug.

Although this set is great for formal use or entertaining, it also can be used every day since it’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Porcelain
  • Pieces Included: 32 pieces
  • Designs/Colorways: 1

Pros

  • Comes with 8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 8 bowls, and 8 mugs
  • Raised-curl pattern with beaded bands
  • Durable design
  • Suitable for entertaining and special occasions

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Limited colorways offered

Best Everyday

Best Dinnerware Set Options: Rachael Ray Cucina Dinnerware 16-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

The Rachael Ray Cucina Dinnerware set comes with four sets of dinner plates, salad plates, cereal bowls, and mugs. Perfect to use as everyday dinnerware, this set is dishwasher-safe and made from durable stoneware. You can conveniently warm these dishes in the oven up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. They’re microwave- and freezer-safe, too.

You don’t have to compromise style for functionality, as this set combines practicality with relaxed, casual character and a nice earthy, rustic design and texture.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Stoneware
  • Pieces Included: 16
  • Designs/Colorways: 7

Pros

  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs
  • Freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher-safe
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Multiple colorways offered

Cons

  • Expensive compared to similar options
  • Some users complain about chipping easily

Best Color Selection

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Gibson Elite Soho Lounge 16-Piece Square Set
Photo: amazon.com

This stoneware set comes in a selection of 5 colors, so you can choose what best suits your decor. It includes service for four with 11-inch dinner plates, 8.25-inch dessert plates, 31-ounce cereal bowls, and 12-ounce mugs.

Everything is dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Because of the thick build, high firing temperature, and mix of all-natural clays in the stoneware, this set is extremely durable and tough to break or scratch. Gibson Elite Soho Lounge pieces are made using a technique that brings multiple colors and hues within the glaze together to create a vibrant quality. As a result, each piece is unique and exudes modern elegance.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Stoneware
  • Pieces Included: 16
  • Designs/Colorways: 5

Pros

  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 dessert plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs
  • All-natural clay and stoneware design
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe
  • Durable, vibrant-looking construction

Cons

  • Large dinner plates may be harder to store
  • Heavyweight

Best Stoneware

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Sango Siterra 16-Piece Mixed Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

This beautiful stoneware set includes four settings of dinner plates, salad plates, dinner bowls, and soup bowls in a mix of clean and fresh white, light blue, and sea-foam colors. They’re neutral enough to be versatile with your existing decor, and the speckles give the dishes a casual, rustic character.

Durable but not heavy, this stoneware set can be heated in the microwave and washed in the dishwasher.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Stoneware
  • Pieces Included: 16
  • Designs/Colorways: 4

Pros

  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 dinner bowls, and 4 soup bowls
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe
  • Comes in multiple designs and colorways

Cons

  • May not be suitable for use in the oven
  • Pricey

Best Long-Lasting

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Mikasa Trellis 16-Piece White Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

This bone china dinnerware set from Mikasa is strong, durable, and chip-resistant enough to stand the test of time and serve you for many years. Its clean lines and timeless design bring elegant sophistication to your table.

The 16-piece dinnerware set includes four of each of the following: 11-inch dinner plates, 8.25-inch salad plates, 6.25-inch cereal bowls, and 14-ounce mugs. Everything is dishwasher- and microwave-safe and lead-free.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Bone china
  • Pieces Included: 16
  • Designs/Colorways: 1

Pros

  • Chip-resistant, durable material
  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 cereal bowls, and 4 mugs
  • Suitable for everyday use or for entertaining
  • Safe to put in the dishwasher and microwave

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Large dinner plates may be harder to store
  • Limited colorways offered

Best Break-Resistant

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Danmers 18-piece Opal Dish Set
Photo: amazono.com

For those that need break, chip, and crack-resistant dishware, the Danmers 18-piece Opal Dish Set is made with durable, lightweight glass. Each piece is made with a protective coating to defend its white lustre from stains and prevent damage. This set is also lead-free and comes dishwasher and microwave-safe.

Made for a table of 6 people, this set comes with 10.5-inch dinner plates, 7.5-inch bread & butter plates, and 5.5-inch cereal bowls. Each dish is also made with a non-skid bottom so they stay in place while in use or in a cupboard or cabinet.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Glass
  • Pieces Included: 18
  • Designs/Colorways: 1

Pros

  • Lead-free and dishwasher and microwave-safe
  • Suitable for everyday use and special occasions
  • Non-slip bottoms
  • Protective coating for added protection and stain-resistant

Cons

  • Limited colorways

Best Outdoor

Best Dinnerware Set Options: Melamine Dinnerware Set - 12 pcs
Photo: amazon.com

This Craft & Kin 12-piece melamine dinnerware set for four diners has an outdoorsy, farmhouse look. It’s charming indoors, and perfect for dining al fresco, whether you’re at the beach, on a camping trip, or in your own backyard.

The set includes four large 10.5-inch dinner plates, four 8.5-inch salad or dessert plates, and four 6-inch-wide-by-3-inch-high bowls. The lightweight melamine is sturdy and free of BPAs, and it’s safe on the top rack of your dishwasher.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Melamine
  • Pieces Included: 12
  • Designs/Colorways: 3

Pros

  • Comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, and 4 bowls
  • Safe for use indoors or outdoors
  • BPA-free and dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Not safe for use in the microwave
  • Safe to use on the top rack of the dishwasher

Best for Kids

The Best Dinnerware Set Option: Youngever 54 pcs Plastic Kids Dinnerware Set
Photo: amazon.com

For those that have small children and don’t want to use their breakable plateware or sharp flatware, this 54-piece set of BPA and lead-free plastic dinnerware from Youngever is perfect for special occasions as well as everyday use. Ideal for toddlers, this set includes 7-inch plates, 10-ounce bowls, 8-ounce cups, and utensils measuring 4.75 inches by 1 inch.

This set is also offered in 9 assorted bright colors for girls or boys and is 100% chemical-free. For added convenience, this lightweight set is safe to put in the dishwasher and microwave.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Plastic
  • Pieces Included: 54
  • Designs/Colorways: Assorted

Pros

  • Safe for toddlers and children
  • BPA, lead, and chemical-free
  • Comes with plates, bowls, cups, and utensils
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the utensils are too small

Our Verdict

Selecting a new dinnerware set for everyday use or for special occasions can be difficult with so many unique styles and designs on the market. One of the best options overall is the Elamadinnerware set with its durable stoneware design and 16 pieces included. Offered in 2 colorways, this set comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls, and 4 mugs and can be used in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

Alternatively, the Amazon Basics dinnerware set is made with melamine and has a much smaller price tag. Offered in over 27 colorways, this pick comes with 12 BPA-free pieces including dinner and salad plates as well as bowls. Though there are no mugs included and the dishes are not dishwasher, freezer, oven, or microwave-safe, this option is safe to use indoors or outdoors with its lightweight material.

How We Chose the Best Dinnerware Sets

Selecting the best dinnerware sets available depended upon the variety of dishes offered in each set, the materials used, the colorways offered, and the versatility of the designs. Most dinnerware sets listed above come with dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, and mugs to provide 4-6 plate settings. Select sets also come with utensils for added convenience.

Many dinnerware sets offered are made with stoneware, melamine, glass, bone china, and plastic, all of which offer durability and stain-resistance for long lifespans. To match your current fixtures and cookware, many of these picks are offered in multiple colorways from neutral tones to colorful patterns.

Though the melamine picks are not dishwasher or microwave-safe, almost all of the dinnerware sets above can be used in the oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher. Plus, some picks are made without the use of chemicals, BPAs, and lead for added peace of mind.

FAQs

With so many choices available, it’s understandable that you may still have questions about the best dinnerware set for your household. We’ve gathered some of the most commonly asked questions and answers to help.

Q: What is in a dinnerware set?

Three- to five-piece place settings consist of some combination of a dinner plate, cup, saucer, salad plate, and bread-and-butter plate or soup bowl.

Q: What kind of dinnerware set is best for everyday use? 

Though you can use fine china everyday if that is your preference, the best options for everyday use are porcelain, stoneware, and bone china as these types are durable and easy to wash after use.

Q: How do you properly care for a dinnerware set?

For baked-on food, soak dishes in soap and hot (not boiling) water, in a plastic basin or towel-lined sink to cushion the dinnerware. Carefully remove food with a plastic scouring pad.

Q: How should you store a dinnerware set?

Though most store a dinner plate or salad plate flat in a cupboard or cabinet, storing plates on their sides is the best way. Since the edge of a plate is usually thicker there is less of a chance they will break if they fall. As for mugs and bowls, it is best to store them upside down to allow moisture to drain to the cabinet’s surface and prevent insects and/or dust from settling inside.

Q: What’s the best dinnerware material?

The best dinnerware material depends on your lifestyle. Bone china or stoneware for everyday use are best as they’re practical and durable. Porcelain also is durable and versatile, and melamine is ideal for outdoor use.