25 Stylish Dinnerware Sets That’ll Make You Feel Like an Actual Adult
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In the search for essential home furnishings, the quest for the best dinnerware sets falls somewhere in between a couch and a Spiralizer. Sure, plates matter—you can’t eat cacio e pepe over the sink—but they aren’t as crucial to everyday life as your mattress. Perhaps that’s why dinnerware sets tend not to elicit the kind of deep-dive, dark-corners-of-the-internet, sub-sub-Reddit research the way beds and vacuums do. Does this plate hold my food? Yes. Is the color not offensive to my eyes? Yes. Annnnd scene.
Sure, any old thing can serve as a functional vessel for holding roast chicken/avocado toast/Frosted Flakes, but the best dinnerware sets do a lot more. Like a well-tied scarf, a pair of adventurous pants, or a beautifully worn-in leather couch, the best dinnerware sets have the power to telegraph your taste to anyone lucky enough to see them. We’re in the golden age of artisanal-ification, where everything from your clothes to your food to, yes, your home decor is better the vibe-ier (to use a technical term) it is. And triangulating your personal style, your budget, and the need for basic functionality/durability amid the swirl of vibes can make shopping for dishware very tricky.
How to shop for dinner plates
In order to help you find something both handsome and functional, we first consulted Alex Beggs, a contributor at Bon Appétit. Beggs says it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of the material you get above anything else. For example, ceramic dinner sets are great for most people because the material is hearty, dishwasher-safe, and looks fancier than it often costs, but it can make eating with metal utensils a noisy affair. She also said you should pay attention to whether your dishware stacks easily, thereby ruling out most square or wavy plates.
How we chose these dinnerware sets
With the advice from Beggs, we dove into the wide world of dinner sets you can buy on the internet, scanning the wares of direct-to-consumer startups, small restaurant supplies, and juggernaut home decor brands. We prioritized companies with streamlined, minimalist offerings in terms of aesthetics, but also companies with a large range of dishware. Obviously that had to include big dinner plates and cereal bowls, but ideally you could turn to the same company for smaller plates, mugs, and the kind of short, wide, low-profile bowls that have become ubiquitous on Pasta Instagram. And once we had some ideas, we got some help from a team of accomplished designers, including Emilio Halperin (senior designer at Billy Cotton), Jessica Helgerson (of Jessica Helgerson Interior Design), Alexandra Kalita (of Common Bond Design), Garrett Warnick (a designer formerly of Lindsey Adelman Studio), Lauren Lerner (of Living with Lolo), Jessica Davis (principal designer at JL Design), and Joshua Smith (of Joshua Smith Inc.).
The end result is this, a list of the best dinnerware sets we’ve found. The results span a range of materials and price ranges, but we’re confident any of them will make that rushed sheet pan dinner feel like a meal at one of the best restaurants in the world.
The Best Overall Dinnerware Set for Everyday Use: Muji Porcelain Dishes
“It’s no secret that Muji is the go-to spot if you want to subtly flex your tastefulness without breaking the bank,” says Warnick. Among a growing set of the creative class, Muji clothing, travel gear, and stationary have all been lauded for their simplistic aesthetics and hyper-functionality. The company’s dishware, thankfully, strikes the same balance.
Muji’s white porcelain dishware collection is filled with elegant plates, bowls, storage containers, and tea pots. And where similarly-priced ceramics might scratch easily, the Muji’s porcelain dinnerware is hearty and will last through several moves. It’s durable dishware that won’t feel too precious to use but is still nice enough to serve anyone you have over. And according to Halperin, any one of those dinner parties gives you the perfect opportunity to prove your cultural cachet. “Buy Muji everything and you make subtle hints to your friends about ‘how everything is so over-branded now.’”
The Best Plates, If That’s All You Need: Our Place Main Plates
Our Place is most well-known for its multi-tasking Always pan, but its dining essentials deserve equal consideration. The plates and bowls boast a speckled ceramic surface with a more raw clay bottom. That combo, regardless of which of the millennial-friendly colors you purchase, imbues the Our Place with a handmade feel that’s usually shorthand for “very expensive.” Fortunately, the Our Place sets are reasonably priced: $50 for a set of four plates, and $45 for a set of four side bowls. Unfortunately, if you want anything else—like a wide bowl for pasta—you’ll have to look elsewhere for it. The sets are co-signed by Kalita, who lists the Main plates in a locked Pinterest board of dinnerware she keeps for her clients. “I think [the Our Place dinnerware set] is great if you care about design, but you’re 23 and just moved into a teeny tiny apartment and you just want something that looks good,” she said.
The Best Dinnerware Set for Minimalists: Hasami Porcelain
Most of the designers we spoke to were reticent to recommend dishware from direct-to-consumer startups, which tend towards the basic and nondescript. They generally wanted their dinnerware sets to come with a bit more history. Hasami Porcelain fits that bill. The company was founded in this century, but sees itself as the product of 400 years of Japanese pottery in the Nagasaki prefecture. All the products in its line, from dinner plates to planters, are strikingly simple—thanks to their raised lips, gentle curves, and perfect matte finish. For Halperin, the dinnerware is a hallmark of someone having made it. “Your plates will stack so nicely, you’ll hesitate to use them,” he said. “Why disturb something so beautiful?”
Shop the entire Hasami collection (which includes a variety of plates, bowls, mugs, and servingware) to complete your set.
The Best Dinnerware Set for the Modernist: Mud Ceramics
All of the dinnerware from Mud Ceramics have beautiful, slightly odd silhouettes, and a shiny matte finish. “It toes the line really well between a traditional dinnerware set and a more modern one,” says Kalita. “I think it’s a good registry item, if you can get a bunch of people to cobble a set together for you.”
Helgerson has amassed a collection of Mud pieces over the years, with a preference for the company’s softer colored options. “Their pieces are incredibly fine and delicate, but also somehow very hard to break—a dream combination,” she said. “I also love the fact that the working side of the plates is glazed but the undersides are unglazed, which makes them feel as if the clay itself is pigmented rather than the glaze.”
18 More Dinnerware Sets You Should Consider
While the above picks represent a curated edit of the best new and enduringly classic dinnerware sets, we surfaced so many great dinnerware recommendations that we’d be remiss not to share them. Here, some of our honorable mentions in the dinnerware category, including an assorted mixture of expert picks and options that our editors have put to the test first-hand among ham-fisted roommates, saucy spaghettis and stain-inducing spices, along with cycles in the microwave and dishwasher. You’ll also find a couple of less expensive dupes here and there for some of the more rarefied picks on this list—e.g., if you have Mud taste, but are living the Crate & Barrel lifestyle.
If you’ve ever eaten at a Michelin-starred restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten off a Jono Pandolfi plate. That’s because Pandolfi and his Jersey-based studio outfits a number of restaurants like New York’s Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad with his hand-crafted ceramics. The dinnerware is sturdy, durable, and stylish, while maintaining a custom feel to them since each piece is uniquely fired and glazed (not mass produced).
East Fork blew up on the ceramics scene with its Instagram-famous mug but also has some other quirks going for it…like, oh, that it’s co-founded by Alex Matisse, great-grandson of Henri Matisse. All of East Fork’s high-quality handmade pieces are a delight to eat off of and look at, made with a chubbier ceramic style that feels pretty hefty in your hand and comes finished off with a thick rim. They’re also available in a range of glazes, which used to come in extremely limited quantities, but have since become easier to procure for the person who wants their dining room to look like it came out of the pages of a magazine.
If you’re just looking for a handsome set of bowls to serve the gazpacho course at your dinner party, it’s hard not to be taken by these jet-black stackers, which were made by hand in Guadalajara at a woman-owned ceramics studio. Their simple look and striking colorway give them an “organic feel and work well with every decor style,” Lerner says. Plus, aside from being microwave- and dishwasher-safe, these are the rare dinnerware ceramics that also happen to be oven-safe.
The idea of reserving dinnerware for special occasions is a little—OK, very—old fashioned. But when someone says it’s time to bring out the fine china, Eva Zeisel’s Classic Century set is probably what you have in mind. “This beautiful high-gloss, cream glaze dinnerware makes every dinner a celebration,” Smith says. These minimally designed pieces, Smith notes, have an organic edge detail that “throws in an artistic flare without compromising the minimal design that lets the meal take center stage.”
Rigby makes classic, affordable dinner sets in a few nice, gentle colors. We prefer the porcelain material of the Muji set and the straight lip of the Our Place plates, but all the plates from Rigby we’ve tried have proved just as capable of handling regular use and dishwasher cycles without looking like they’ve been attacked by a shredder.
Year & Day is another direct-to-consumer brand offering an inoffensive ceramic dinnerware set. The company applies a minimalist aesthetic—with no out-there shapes, distracting finishes, or unnecessary flourishes—to a range of dishware that includes plates of three different sizes (did you know you needed a dip dish?), two kinds of bowls, and mugs. They don’t scratch from fork or knife use, can handle a spin or seventy in the dishwasher without showing any signs of wear (after eight weeks of twice-a-day use, we found nothing so much as a spot of discoloration), and are microwave-safe.
For those who tend to destroy their dinner sets, and are willing to lean into the mess-hall-kitsch-vibe, Beggs suggests looking into dishware made from chip-resistant and scratch-resistant melamine. “It’s a type of plastic that’s basically unbreakable,” she said. These durable dishes work well for casual outdoor dining, as well.
At home, Beggs uses the stackable plates from Canvas Home’s “Abbesses” collection, which have a glossy white surface with a colored lip. “It’s a charming combination,” says Kalita. “If you’re style is a bit more country, this set splits the difference between a more modern and organic shape.”
Departo’s ceramic dinnerware sets itself apart with a hearty gloss glaze and a pronounced rim. It comes in a few handsome, understated colors. The company’s plates are great, but our favorite piece is the Little bowl, which has a striking half-lip edge.
Despite mostly being into white dinnerware, Kalita says she makes an exception for Danny Kaplan’s deeply colored glazes. Kaplan was an interior designer and food stylist before discovering a knack for ceramics in a class he took for fun. “His pieces have an ethereal, otherworldly quality to them, because of their asymmetry and irregularity,” said Kalita.
If your style leans a bit more traditional, Helgerson suggests you get something white with blue accents. “I am a lifelong lover of blue and white ceramics,” she says. “I love Dutch Delft tiles, Mexican Talavera tiles, Portuguese tile facades, antique Chinese and Japanese ceramics. The beautiful and delicate lines of Royal Copenhagen tableware is a natural extension of that love.” She says they’re just as good in a traditional setting as they are in a Park Slope townhouse with modern chairs and globular lighting fixtures.
Though Beggs notes that IKEAs dinnerware sets have a notably short shelf-life (“they look so terrible after being used like, 14 times”), Halperin says they’re fine for any person with a “as long as it holds soup” mentality. “It’s clean, simple, and 20 bucks for enough plates to host a dinner party. What more could you possibly ask for?”
If bone white feels too vanilla, CB2 has a set that’ll cast your kitchen back into the bronze age, and give it an industrial edge. “The unique glaze on these pieces will react to water and provide a one of a kind patina to each one that will have people wondering if they were each made by hand,” Davis says. Despite being made by hand in Portugal, these pieces can still be scooped at a slightly more affordable price than comparable made-by-hand dinnerware sets.
You may have spotted Felt + Fat’s plates in any of the 100-plus restaurants that currently serves food on its dishes (like New York’s Michelin-starred Musket Room). The Philadelphia brand has been making custom dinnerware collections for chefs since 2014, and sells everything from dappled and marbled plates and bowls to cheery, Danish-style sets in blues and yellows. The set seen here includes salad plates, snack plates, dinner plates, and bowls. Each plate has a gentle raised lip, with a durable porcelain clay finish that can take a beating (or many) in the dishwasher.
Corelle has a lot of things going for it. For one thing, their dining sets are dirt cheap. Most importantly, they don’t look half bad, and they’re also practically indestructible. They don’t have the most substantial feel, but for a klutz or a college student, these are a worthwhile purchase for everyday dinnerware.
A similar, cheaper style to the Danny Kaplan set, Crate & Barrel’s glazed Marin plates are made in Portugal, with imperfect edges and “hand-antiqued” spackling that sets each piece apart. They’re slightly thinner and matte compared to the Kaplans, but if all you want is dramatic, all-black dinnerware to stack and serve, this isn’t a bad deal. At just $10 per plate, they’re easier to collect and harder to miss if one accidentally takes a tumble. And don’t just stop at the dinner plates: You can shop the entire collection here.
These Crate & Barrel plates could be passable dupes (or at least cousins) to the Mud ones, with their raised lip and glazed finish. Each piece is slightly irregular, with a rippled surface that gives it a nice sheen and an unglazed bottom. Seen here in white, they’re also available in muted blue and gray color options.
3 Respectable Dinner Sets for Less at Amazon
Your budget may not allow for hand-glazed ceramic sets or an edited selection of vintage porcelain in your cupboard, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding something affordable that still looks nice. The following picks from Amazon share a similar style ethos to the picks we’ve shared above—not too flashy, not too dated, and nothing so poorly made that it scratches upon contact with your steak knife—with the through-line that they’re also squarely under $75 for at least a set of plates, if not complete table settings. As an extra measure, we’ve also cross-referenced style with substance, and trawled through Amazon reviews to make sure you’re not buying anything on this list that has a reputation for shattering or staining.
The warm speckled palette of these best-selling Mora plates is similar in spirit to Our Place’s popular Spice collection, except you can get this six-plate set for just $35. They’re nicely stackable and reinforced with clay for durability, plus safe to take for a spin in the microwave, oven, and dishwasher. You’ll also find matching cups and bowls so you can build up your collection piece-by-piece.
This handsome stoneware dinnerware set is an Amazon’s Choice pick (a somewhat squishy Bezos-bestowed designation that—supposedly!—reflects an item’s popularity but also a high level of customer satisfaction) and exclusively comes in matte neutrals. For a set under $50—including mugs, bowls, plus small and large plates for four table settings—everything feels polished and less like something you’d scoop up in a dining hall. Reviewers also note that bowls are low and wide, and the mugs cavernous enough to double as cereal bowls, if you’re serious about your liquids.
Rounding out our list of the best dinnerware sets, the four-piece Gibson Stoneware set comes with clean, unfussy bowls and plates for everyday use. Reviewers talk up the fact that these sets are sturdy, and can survive years of wear and tear without chipping. Another common thread is just how elegant everything looks (you may notice that the subtle trim on each piece is ever so slightly Hasami-esque).
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