Sure, it's the food served on them that matters the most, but beautiful dinner plates that complement your table and room can immediately set your meal off to a great start!
Have you already thought about practical matters such as whether or not they're dishwasher-safe? Let us share our best tips on how to choose dinner plates that actually match your needs.
Should I Choose Individual Dinner Plates or a Set?
First things first!
We recommend dinner plate sets as they're the most practical and cost-effective choice, perfect to create a cohesive look! There are sets to cater for any household, but you might want to take frequent guests into account, too.
If you're after an odd number of plates, you'd like to have them in the same design but different colors, or you live on your own and would rather order pizza than cook for your occasional guests, then it makes sense to choose individual pieces.
What Is the Right Size & Shape for Dinner Plates?
The average dinner plate is 10.5" in diameter. Bigger plates allow you to frame the food more effectively and turn your dinners into restaurant-worthy experiences, but smaller ones are ideal if you're tight on space in your cupboard, table or dishwasher.
As for shape, well… there's a reason why the classic round plates have stood the test of time: they're practical and space-optimizing! They can either be:
Rim-shaped: timeless, traditional, and perfect to collect the food's juices;
Coupe-shaped: rimless and flat, these plates are ideal for a minimalist look and to keep the focus on the food.
However, if you want to try something different:
Square plates inspire a modern-chic-dining feel and are easy to handle, but could chip at the edges;
Rectangular plates (either oval or straight-edged) are handy if you often cook dishes that involve a small side next to a main course, such as burgers and fries, but they'll be very impractical for other dishes like risottos;
Triangular shapes aren't the most versatile but can certainly help you convey a modern and quirky feel.
What Is the Best Material for Dinner Plates?
Consider washability and durability as well as your kitchen's or dining room's décor: to make sure that your plates stand out, choose a hue that contrasts against your table or cloth, perhaps in your room's accent color.
- Melamine: plastic-derived but BPA-free, melamine plates aren't microwavable but are dishwasher-safe and incredibly resistant: true lifesavers if you have kids, a clumsy partner or enjoy eating al fresco!
Wood or bamboo: extremely resistant, the fact that they aren't microwavable nor dishwasher-safe shouldn't stop anyone who loves all things natural and sustainable!
Purchasing your dinner plates for special occasions? Consider sophisticated options such as glass or crystal; however, keep in mind that they're particularly delicate and fragile;
Don't forget that, while some materials are usually dishwasher/oven/microwave-safe, it's always better to double-check when browsing individual sets, as some might differ from the majority.
Buying a cohesive set is more practical and cost-effective than purchasing individual plates
Most dinner plates are 10.5", but you might want to consider bigger or smaller options depending on how much room you've got in your cupboard and on your table
Round plates are still the most practical and space-optimizing, but square, rectangular or triangular shapes can help you convey a specific restaurant-like or modern feel
Even though some materials are usually safe to go in the dishwasher/oven/microwave, you should always double-check their specifications when choosing dinner plates from a specific set.