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Dinnerware Buying Guide

Think of dinnerware as the star player in your tabletop team. Working with table linens, stemware, and flatware, dinnerware makes a personal statement that contributes to a winning family-meal or dinner-party experience.

Types of Dinnerware

Types of Dinnerware

The biggest distinction in dinnerware is between formal and informal -- a decision that depends on your family's lifestyle and dining habits. If you entertain frequently, you may need a set of each type. Within each broad category of formal and informal, the individual pieces of dinnerware are much the same, although a formal table setting typically has more pieces to match the additional courses or menu items.

Fine China

The best choice for holiday dinner parties and formal gatherings, this dinnerware usually features top-quality materials and classic, simple styles that create a sense of occasion.

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Pickard

Winter Festival' from Pickard is a classic Holiday dinnerware pattern from America's finest china maker for over a century. Produc...ed entirely in Antioch, Illinois, this festive warm white fine china pattern adds December holiday sparkle to any table. The design features a swirling two-sided red ribbon running around the border of the Transition soft-rim plates and serving pieces. The ribbon is interspersed with green holly sprigs and 24k gold accents, and the border decoration of each piece is a solid red band edged inside and out with gold. Pickard China is a fourth generation American company, founded in 1893, who has supplied formal china to United States Embassies around the world, has provided custom china to Air Force One and Camp David, as well as twelve state mansions, and to many thousands of brides and grooms over the decades since its founding. Each piece of Pickard China passes through a minimum of twenty-one stages and three 100-Percent inspections, assuring you of absolutely best-quality American craftsmanship. Each piece is dishwasher safe in normal home use, but not for use in the microwave oven, due to the 24k gold decoration. read more

Lenox

China creamer; 4-1/4-inches high with a 7-ounce capacity Crafted of fine bone china, accented with tarnish-resistant precious plat...inum Creamy tones, a subtle floral design accented with bands of platinum trim; coordinates with Pearl Innocence dinnerware and serveware Dishwasher-safe; do not use in the microwave Lifetime replacement policy read more

Pickard

Bracelet White with Eagle Crest' from Pickard is a uniquely American dinnerware pattern from America's finest china maker for over... a century. Produced entirely in Antioch, Illinois, this elegantly formal fine china pattern appeals to highly discerning and patriotic consumer who values timeless upscale design and the highest quality in their china service. The design features a narrow rim style of white formal china plate, with each piece rimmed with a distinctive gold band, with a pinstripe line as accent. This dramatic formal pattern is then finished with the addition of the official Eagle Crest of the United States of America in 24k gold, complete with shield, arrows and olive branch in its talons. The backstamp proudly shows the Pickard name, the American flag, and the words 'Proudly Made in America'. Every piece is amazingly dishwasher safe in normal home use, but not for use in the microwave oven, due to the 24k gold decoration. read more

Pickard

Bracelet White with Eagle Crest' from Pickard is a uniquely American dinnerware pattern from America's finest china maker for over... a century. Produced entirely in Antioch, Illinois, this elegantly formal fine china pattern appeals to highly discerning and patriotic consumer who values timeless upscale design and the highest quality in their china service. The design features a narrow rim style of white formal china plate, with each piece rimmed with a distinctive gold band, with a pinstripe line as accent. This dramatic formal pattern is then finished with the addition of the official Eagle Crest of the United States of America in 24k gold, complete with shield, arrows and olive branch in its talons. The backstamp proudly shows the Pickard name, the American flag, and the words 'Proudly Made in America'. Every piece is amazingly dishwasher safe in normal home use, but not for use in the microwave oven, due to the 24k gold decoration. read more

Casual Dinnerware

Ideal for everyday family breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this dinnerware typically boasts more color and graphic elements than formal dinnerware. You might even mix solid and patterned styles or include seasonal-theme pieces for a relaxed, informal mood.

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Paula Deen

Warm hearts and souls this holiday season with a cup of rich hot chocolate served in the Paula Deen Signature Dinnerware Southern ...Pine 4-Piece Mug Set. These durable embossed stoneware 11-ounce mugs feature a raised pine cone pattern that adds just the right touch of holiday spirit to every table. Even better, the versatile design of this dinnerware makes it great for serving memorable meals year-round. Add Southern charm to the breakfast table with coffee served in these festive mugs, or end a memorable meal with a soothing cup of hot tea served with casual style. For convenience, the stoneware is microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and oven safe to 250F. The vintage-inspired raised pattern is sure to impress guests, and it coordinates well with many other pieces in this Paula Deen Dinnerware collection. read more

Zrike
$20.00 $40.00
at Stage Stores

Zrike 4011506 Features: -Set includes of 4 bowl. -Dena Marakesh collection. -Material: Hand crafted porcelain. -Pink and green flo...ral pattern over white background. -Elegant for special occasions and sturdy for everyday use. -Dishwasher and microwave safe. Dimensions: -2 H x 4 W x 4 D, .513 lbs. read more

Mikasa

The fluted bands of this dinnerware and column-like detailing recall classical Italian architecture. Distinctly beautiful design o...f scrolls and fluting. This Dipping Set is perfect for everyday use or casual entertaining. Dishwasher and microwave safe. read more

BonJour
$15.00 $30.00
at Stage Stores

BJR1519: Features: -Crafted from durable microwave.-Stoneware for years of dining and entertaining enjoyment.-Ideal for both every...day use and special occasions.-Freezer and dishwasher safe.-Manufacturer provides quality assurance guarantee. Color/Finish: -Color: Print.-Colorful wildflower and rooster designs that add lively charm to the dining table. Collection: -Meadow Rooster collection. read more

Plates

Dinner plates are among the most important pieces because they present your kitchen's best front-and-center to each diner. Use an oversize charger plate below the dinner plate to frame it and add a decorative element. Smaller salad plates and bread-and-butter plates play supporting roles.

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PersonalizationMall.com

Impress guests this holiday season with our Spirit Of The Season Personalized Appetizer and Dessert Plates.Custom personalized wit...h any name displayed within each of the four holiday designs. The set of 4 plates each have a different seasonal theme; Joy, Peace, Believe, and Family. Plates are quality crafted of fine-quality heavyweight stoneware with a chip-resistant finish. Dishwasher & microwave safe. Set of 4 plates, each measures 7 1/2 in diameter. Each plate is individually gift boxed for protection and an elegant presentation! Makes an impressive, personalized hostess gift, or for a housewarming this holiday season! read more

PersonalizationMall.com

Your special valentines are sure to eat all their favorite treats off our Disney® You're Sweet Personalized Ceramic Plate pers...onalized just for them! We personalize each plate with any name(s) for a look to call your own.Our fun design features Mickey and Minnie embracing in front of hearts and the phrase You're Sweet. White plates are quality crafted of fine-quality heavyweight stoneware with a chip-resistant finish. Dishwasher & microwave safe.Each measures 7 1/2 in diameter. read more

PersonalizationMall.com

Upload any precious photo and we'll capture it on our ceramic plate with any special message above or below the photo, printed in ...the whimsical font shown.The personalization options are endless:Wish her a Happy Birthday or Happy Mother's Day, tell her I Love You, include any names, Mommy & Me, etc. Photos that are close up and can be sized to a perfect circle are ideal. Quality crafted of white porcelain. Plate measures 7 1/2 dia. Makes a great gift set paired up with ourA-Frame Wood Easel, sold separately below. read more

The Company Store

Ceramic dessert plates. Hand-glazed with a beautiful bisque finish. The lovely geranium leaf patterning borrows its inspiration fr...om Portuguese arte nova tile motifs. Coordinates with our Geranium serving platter and cake plates (sold separately). Microwave and dishwasher safe; hand washing recommended. R read more

Bowls

Soup and salad bowls present these respective courses in appropriate portion sizes. Their shapes often echo that of the dinner plate.

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Bambeco

From village kitchens to grace your home?these lovingly hand-carved wooden bowls conjure images of a simple, good life. Perhaps on...ce used to hold rice or bread, today they make delightful displays to hold fruit, dried flowers, or even just on their... read more

Crate & Barrel
$19.97 $36.95
at Crate & Barrel

Our exclusive Welcome collection, designed by Aaron Probyn, sets an inviting tone in a range of serving pieces crafted of pure, ho...nest materials meant to mingle. Clear glass bowls update classic profiles with elegant curves cinching down to solid sham base. Great for party snacks, a specialty dessert or showcasing seasonal items, alone or as part of the set. Handcrafted by Krosno, a European glass collective dating back to 1923. -Handcrafted glass -Food safe -Hand wash -Made in Poland read more

Crate & Barrel

Angled white porcelain bowls slant clean and modern, perfectly pitched for wide-open access to salads, chips and sides. -Porcel...ain -Dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe -Made in China read more

Crate & Barrel

Simple, versatile design serves chips and shrimp, crackers and party mixes, canapes and finger foods. White porcelain coordinates ...with most dinnerware and table appointments. -Porcelain -Dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe to 375 degrees -Made in China read more

Cups and Saucers

Coordinating cups and saucers often take center stage toward the end of the meal when they serve coffee or tea, perhaps with dessert. Cup sizes and shapes vary by dinnerware pattern, but all should be comfortable to hold.

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Konitz
$15.00 $30.00
at Stage Stores

These specific cups are made for enjoying a double espresso, an espresso with a dash of brandy, a Macchiato or Turkish coffee. Its... narrow shape allows the concentration of flavor near the nose for savoring as you sip. Little mounts at the bottom of the cups support the crema (the foamy top). The feet are narrow and prevent coffee residue from mixing back into the coffee. Coffee Bar by Konitz is a collection of cups for all hot drinks, each shape individually developed to maximize the unique aroma of the specific beverage. By working with international coffee experts, Konitz has created a unique collection of drinking vessels made of durable fine-white porcelain, the ideal choice for enjoying coffee. The professional-weight body will maintain heat to keep the drink warm longer. Highly durable, the porcelain mugs are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. read more

Konitz
$15.00 $30.00
at Stage Stores

Coffee Bar #7 Irish Coffee Cup & Saucer Set of 2, Gift Boxed. Color: White; Materials: Porcelain; Dishwasher safe; Microwave safe.... Dimensions: 5H x 5W x 5D read more

L'Objet

Featuring platinum detail, this dinnerware was inspired by the Aegean Sea’s gentle waves.The L'Objet Aegean Platinum Tea Cup... and Sauce bring delicacy to any table setting and will make a bold statement on your next party. read more

Place Settings

Dinnerware is often sold in preassembled place settings: dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, soup/cereal bowl, mug or cup and saucer, and sometimes a bread-and-butter plate.

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Waechtersbach
$87.50 $175.00
at Stage Stores

The Fun Factory Service for Four coordinates with the Waechtersbach Fun Factory Collection. Complete your kitchen with the perfect... set of dinnerware by adding this Waechtersbach® set to your table. Made of glazed, high-quality ceramic materials. Includes service for four people. Set of 16 pieces includes: 4 x 4 mugs 4 x 5.75 bowls 4 x 8.25 plates 4 x 11 plates ; Dishwasher safe. Not microwave safe. Cereal bowl capacity: 20 fl. oz. Mug capacity: 12 fl. oz. Imported. read more

Mikasa

Celebrate true love and timeless elegance with Love Story. The graceful bands of platinum wind their way across each plate and fea...ture delicate hearts on accent pieces, making this a classic dinnerware pattern to be treasured for anniversaries to come. Perfect for upscale entertaining.Includes dinner plate, salad plate, bread butter plate, tea cup saucer Hand wash only Not microwave safe Made of high quality porcelainBread Butter Plate Diameter: 7 Dinner Plate Diameter: 103 4 Pattern: Love Story Salad Plate Diameter: 81 2 Saucer Diameter: 61 2 Style: Pattern Tea Cup Capacity: 10 oz. Type: Casual read more

Product Features

Product Features

All dinnerware is made for the same purpose: serving food conveniently, hygienically, and attractively. Your options determine how the dinnerware looks and feels. Pure white and delicately thin? Think of an elegant meal by candlelight. Rustic and weighty? Gather the family around for casual, hearty fare. Funky shapes and playful designs? Just right for a fashion-forward lunch with friends. To suit all of these situations and more, most households own more than one set of dinnerware.

Material

Whether traditional clay-base bone china, porcelain, stoneware, ironstone, or earthenware, or eclectic glass, pewter, or plastic, each material has a great deal to do with how it performs and the impression it conveys. Let your personal preferences and common sense narrow the choices based on who and what you're serving.

Color and Pattern

These variables can seem overwhelming, so it may help to focus on what appeals to you and what will complement your home's decor (now and in the future). In general, it's smart to choose formal dinnerware in a simple design and a neutral such as white or ivory. That's why many fine restaurants use plain white plates: They showcase the food at its visual best. Don't worry -- you can still express your style with the plate's shape, texture, glaze, or rim detail. With casual dinnerware, the range of colors and designs is almost unlimited, so you can be more adventurous. If your budget is limited, however, look for colors and patterns that are more timeless than trendy. Consider moderately priced sets that work as quick-change artists, adapting to create varied tablescapes according to a menu or theme.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

The variety of dinnerware selections sold in stores and online can seem daunting. When shopping, think about how you will use your dinnerware for family meals as well as special occasions. Don't forget the practical side: Dinnerware can be an expensive purchase and should meet your long-term needs.

Sets or Open Stock

Depending on the product, you can buy individual place settings; sets of four, eight, or 12 place settings; or individual pieces as open stock. Sets are often more affordable overall, but buying open stock lets you add exactly the pieces you need over time and as your budget allows. For flexibility, choose a pattern that is available both ways.

Versatility

If you decide to purchase only one dinnerware set for both formal and casual use, look for a type and pattern that will suit many occasions. Classic round white plates adapt to traditional and contemporary decorating styles, and you can dress them up or down by varying the flatware, stemware, table linens, and serving pieces.

Quantity

Although you may serve five or six people on most days, remember that you will need additional place settings for the extra guests at holidays, birthdays, and other parties. If you entertain with buffet-style rather than sit-down meals, buy a few extra place settings to cover return trips to the buffet table.

Durabilty and Care

Take note of each manufacturer's care instructions to evaluate whether the dinnerware you're considering fits your lifestyle. Not all dinnerware -- especially fine china -- is dishwasher-safe. Because dishes can chip from contact with each other, and harsh detergents can fade colors or patterns, the maker may recommend hand-washing. Also check whether the dinnerware is oven- and microwave-safe; metallic trim is a real no-no in the microwave. If you're concerned about breakage during daily use, choose high-fired pieces for their durability. See our buying guide on fine china for more details. If you have children, you may opt for coordinating pieces of virtually unbreakable melamine or laminated-glass dinnerware.

Storage

To keep fine dinnerware from chipping or scratching, store it with felt or padded-paper protectors between each piece, or in specialized dish-storage cases. A china cabinet handy to your dining table helps you show off your treasures. Stack casual dinnerware carefully in a kitchen cupboard.

Cost

Be realistic about your budget, but buy the best quality you can afford. If you choose wisely, your dinnerware investment will serve you well for years. Formal dinnerware made from bone china or porcelain carries the highest prices. You can buy fine china one place setting at a time, while casual dinnerware often comes in less-expensive sets, although prices vary widely by brand. Formal or casual, if your favorite pattern has been drastically reduced by retailers, check to see whether it is being discontinued. You may be able to find replacement pieces later, but they will carry a higher price.

Dining on sale
Crate & Barrel
$19.97 $36.95
at Crate & Barrel

Our exclusive Welcome collection, designed by Aaron Probyn, sets an inviting tone in a range of serving pieces crafted of pure, ho...nest materials meant to mingle. Clear glass bowls update classic profiles with elegant curves cinching down to solid sham base. Great for party snacks, a specialty dessert or showcasing seasonal items, alone or as part of the set. Handcrafted by Krosno, a European glass collective dating back to 1923. -Handcrafted glass -Food safe -Hand wash -Made in Poland read more

Crate and Barrel Welcome 11.25" Glass Bowl
Crate & Barrel
$19.97 $34.95
at Crate & Barrel

Our exclusive Welcome collection, designed by Aaron Probyn, sets an inviting tone in a range of serving pieces crafted of pure, ho...nest materials meant to mingle. Clean-lined low bowls swell subtly at the base to put the focus on the warm tones and rich hardwood grain of pure oak, burnished in a natural oil finish. Great for serving snacks, salads and more, or as a casual centerpiece on a kitchen counter or dining table. Graduated sizes are designed to nest conveniently and compactly. -Designed by Aaron Probyn -100% solid oak -Natural oil finish -Food safe -Hand wash, hand dry; do not submerge in water -Made in Thailand read more

Crate and Barrel Welcome 10.25" Oak Bowl
The Company Store

Handcrafted ceramic holiday mugs. Hand-painted with tile motifs in beautiful shades of scarlet and white. Set of 4. 3 x 4 Coordina...tes with our Seville Dessert Plates and Cake Plate (sold separately). Food and drink safe. Hand wash. Handcrafted in Portugal. This beautiful set of ceramic holiday mugs puts a contemporary spin on traditional read more

Seville Mugs, OS - The Company Store
The Company Store

Luxurious gift for shower, wedding, anniversary, housewarming, hostess or holidaySet of 2Highball glasses serve fizzy drinks and c...ocktails in styleBrilliant lead-free crystal (crystalline) Handcrafted by Rogaska's expert European glassblowersClassic linear-cut designComfortable in hand3 x 3 x 6 highHand washRo read more

Rogaska Bond Highball Glasses, Set of 2, OS - The Company Store
The Company Store

Ceramic dessert plates. Hand-glazed with a beautiful bisque finish. The lovely geranium leaf patterning borrows its inspiration fr...om Portuguese arte nova tile motifs. Coordinates with our Geranium serving platter and cake plates (sold separately). Microwave and dishwasher safe; hand washing recommended. R read more

Dessert Plates, Set of 4, OS - The Company Store
Avas Flowers
$39.99 $63.99
at Avas Flowers

The Beer Mug of Blooms, is crafted from white mini carnations in an acrylic beer mug, topped with special acrylic rocks to symboli...ze their favorite brew. Send your recipient a gift they39ll truly appreciate, and bring that hour of happiness right to them! read more

Beer Mug of Blooms
Wine Enthusiast
$59.99 $99.90
at Wine Enthusiast

Decanters - Entertain in style with the Fusion Derby Whiskey Decanter and Glasses Set. Our exclusive collection of sleek elegant b...reak-resistant bar-ware the beauty created by fusing lightweight magnesium with brilliant lead-free glass. Dishwasher safe never clouds or dulls. Comes with the Fusion 10-year replacement warranty. Fusion Whiskey Glasses (Set of 4) Dimensions: 3-3/4' H. Capacity 8-1/4oz Derby Whiskey Decanter 13 1/8'H ( 10 3/4'without stopper) 4 5/8'Diameter Base Capacity: 40 fl oz. Stopper Dimensions: 3 1/2'H X 1/2' Dia. . Great gift for wine lovers. read more

Fusion Derby Whiskey Decanter & Glasses Set
Traditions
$32.50 $65.00
at Stage Stores

Add some festive flair to your kitchen with the fun design of these Waechtersbach® mugs. Part of the Traditions Collection. M...ade of vibrant porcelain with allover holiday prints. Set includes four mugs. Dishwasher safe. Not microwave safe. Mug capacity: 12 fl oz. Imported. Measurements: ; Stem Height: 3 in ; Diameter: 3 1 2 in ; First Handle Length: 1 1 4 in ; Weight: 12 oz ; Width: 6 in ; Height: 4 in ; Depth: 3 1 2 in read more

Assorted Accents Tradition Mugs (set Of 4)
Waechtersbach
$32.50 $65.00
at Stage Stores

Create the my gorgeous holiday tabletop with the colorful flair of this fun set of Waechtersbach® mugs. Part of the Tradition...s Noel Collection. Made of vibrant porcelain with allover holiday prints. Set includes four mugs. Dishwasher safe. Not microwave safe. Mug capacity: 12 fl oz. Imported. Measurements: ; Stem Height: 3 1 2 in ; Diameter: 3 1 2 in ; First Handle Length: 1 1 4 in ; Weight: 12 oz ; Width: 6 in ; Height: 4 in ; Depth: 4 in read more

'Noel' Accents Tradition Mugs (Set of 4)
Konitz
$23.00 $46.00
at Stage Stores

Globetrotter Dog Mug Set of 4. Color: Blue; Materials: Porcelain; Dishwasher safe; Microwave safe. Dimensions: 6H x 3.75W x 5.75D

Globetrotter Dog Mugs (Set of 4) (Multi Ceramic)
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