How to Choose a Dinnerware Set

If you've moved to a new home or want to step up your current dinnerware style, it's time to look for a new set. With a wide selection of options in different sizes, materials, shapes, and colors you'll be sure to find a dinnerware set that suits both your style and home.

A dinnerware set can transform your dining table without much effort from your side. But since they come in a broad range of designs, choosing one can be daunting.

In this guide, you'll find useful tips to help you pick the right dinnerware set while considering important factors such as durability and quality.

Which material is best for a dinnerware set?

Although many types of materials are used to make dinnerware sets, not all of them are sought-after. Here are the most common dinnerware materials known for their longevity, aesthetics, or quality.

  • Stoneware is a strong type of ceramic that is known for its durability and simple yet elegant design. This material is frequently used for casual settings and is safe to use in the microwave and dishwasher.

    ➔ Versatile, easy to maintain, and suitable for everyday use.

    ➔ Stoneware is sensitive to abrupt changes in heat, porous, and can trap stains and flavors if not covered with a smooth finish.

Navy Blue Decorative Stoneware Dinnerware Set
Red Decorative Stoneware Dinnerware Set
Red and Black Stoneware Dinnerware Set
White and Grey Stoneware Dinnerware Set
Round Stoneware Dinnerware Set
Blue Round Stoneware Dinnerware Set
  • Melamine dinnerware sets come in various colors and patterns and are often placed on simple tables that need color.

    ➔ This material is affordable, suitable for children and outdoor use, versatile, and safe to use in the dishwasher.

    ➔ Melamine can't be used in the microwave or oven.

Brown and Grey Melamine Dinnerware Set
Rustic White Melamine Dinnerware Set
Sea Themed Melamine Dinnerware Set
Square White Melamine Dinnerware Set
Outdoor Colorful Melamine Dinnerware Set
Colorful Melamine Dinnerware Set
  • Vitrified dinnerware sets are durable and difficult to break despite being glass.

    ➔ Nonporous material, microwave, and dishwasher safe, affordable, and suitable for situations where children are present.

    ➔ Vitrified is more functional than stylish in appearance.

  • Porcelain is quite like stoneware, but thinner. Dinnerware sets made of porcelain are often embellished with engraved designs or gold and silver borders which makes them favorable for formal occasions.

    ➔ Nonporous and safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, and oven.

    ➔ Dinnerware sets with metal accents should only be washed by hands.

White and Blue Porcelain Dinnerware Set
White Decorative Porcelain Dinnerware Set
Simple White Porcelain Dinnerware Set
White and Red Porcelain Dinnerware Set
White with Dots Porcelain Dinnerware Set
White and Grey Decorative Porcelain Dinnerware Set
  • Earthenware is less expensive, has a rustic feel, and tends to be thicker than other materials.

    ➔ Attractive, available in hand-painted designs, and safe to use in the microwave and dishwasher

    ➔ Although earthenware dinnerware sets are affordable, they can easily break, are porous, and aren't as durable.

  • Bone china dinnerware sets are lightweight and have a milky look.

    ➔ Versatile, durable despite its delicate appearance, and dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe.

    ➔ More expensive than other materials.

Bone China Dinnerware Set with Old Ornaments
Bone China Dinnerware Set with Bird Theme
Classic White Bone China Dinnerware Set
Vintage Bone China Dinnerware Set
Floral Bone China Dinnerware Set

How to choose the perfect dinnerware set for your dining room and kitchen?

In addition to choosing the right material, you'll also need to pick a set that fits well with your dining area and kitchen aesthetics.

  • A simple design with border lines goes well with Scandinavian and mid-century modern settings. White and gray sets are ideal for these themes.

  • An industrial kitchen/dining room would call for a dinnerware set with metallic accents or matte finishes.

  • Coastal and nautical themes look best with dinnerware sets with white, sand, or blue accent colors.

  • A vibrant or carefree dinnerware set design fits well in bohemian settings.

  • If you have a farmhouse decor, you can choose a set with a wood-like appearance. Beige and white tones are also ideal.

  • Choose soft colors or pastels such as pale aqua or peach puff for shabby chic interiors.

  • Old-fashioned patterns and designs such as small flowers or round tableware with scallop edges are perfect for traditional settings.

Scandinavian Styled Dinnerware Set
Modern Melamine Dinnerware Set
Modern Black Dinnerware Set with Metallic Accents
Modern White and Gold Dinnerware Set
Simple Farmhouse Styled Dinnerware Set
Bohemian Dinnerware Set in Grey

Which dinnerware set is best for different occasions?

  • Melamine dinnerware is one of the best options for everyday use. Since they come in a wide selection of designs and colors, you can find the right set to accompany your current decor.

    ➔ You can opt for a melamine dinnerware set that resembles porcelain rather than purchasing expensive porcelain and china.

    ➔ Melamine sets are also available in rustic designs if you want a set that looks like earthenware but more durable.

  • If you're going to use your dinnerware set every day, it's necessary to choose colors and patterns that you won't get bored of for a while.

    ➔ Dinnerware sets with sleek styles in a simple color such as white and light gray complement modern spaces.

    ➔ Shades such as slate blue and dark gray look good in industrial interiors.

    ➔ You could never go wrong with bright colors such as turquoise or melon for a bohemian theme. Choose a set with geometric prints if you want a stylish appearance.

  • For formal dining occasions, choose porcelain or bone china dinnerware sets. These are usually pricier but are worth the purchase if you want a fancy and durable set to elevate your decor.

  • Stoneware has a sleek design which makes it a versatile option for both everyday use and informal events.

  • Earthenware is a great option if you're on a budget but want an aesthetically pleasing dinnerware set for casual use.

  • Since vitrified glass has a simple design but is more durable than others, it's best to use this material during outdoor gatherings.

How to choose the size of your dinnerware set?

Once you've decided on a style, it's time to consider the dinnerware set's size and quantity.

  • Formal dinnerware is often available in place settings, which contains all the dinnerware you would need.

    ➔ Most place settings are 20-piece sets, which are appropriate for four people. Each person has five pieces: a dinner plate, bread plate, salad/dessert plate, and a teacup with a saucer. Some sets may also come with soup bowls.

  • You can also purchase dinnerware in individual pieces. Open stock is favorable for those who only need certain pieces.

  • Choose a set that works for both casual and formal use if you want to save some money. Enhance your table setting with placemats and napkins during formal occasions.

  • You can also buy two separate collections for everyday use and formal occasions.

    ➔ Make sure everyone in the house has a casual dinnerware set. This could be anywhere from two to six casual place settings. If you're four in the house, purchase four place settings. Casual sets include a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, and mug.

    ➔ Your formal dinnerware sets depend on the number of people who visit on different occasions. Sets of 8 to 12 are recommended if you often host dinner parties.

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