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Announcement: How To Buy The Best Dinnerware

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Announcement: How To Buy The Best Dinnerware

Posted on 14 January 2011 by Admin

Dinnerware is an integral part of your kitchenware and dinning table accessories. It reflects your taste and the way in which you live. Dinnerware plays an important role in setting your image to your guests. Fine dinnerware is usually reserved for special occasions, because these are expensive pieces made from the finest materials. Once these pieces are brought out of the cabinet, it signifies a special event.

The term “dinnerware” is actually a general term that can mean any of the tools, tableware, and dishes used for eating. There are several different types of dinnerware. They are made from various materials like glass, porcelain, crystal, brass, acrylic, china, and more. Dinnerware is generally classified into one of 4 categories: fine china, casual china, everyday china, and everyday dinnerware.

The Four Main Types of Dinnerware:

Earthenware: The oldest form of dinnerware, Earthenware is made of un-refined clay which is fired at low temperatures making it porous . Most Earthenware is not dishwasher or microwave  safe, and it is very sensitive to temperature changes. While Earthenware may look strong and heavy, it is actually quite light and fragile.

Stoneware: More durable than Earthenware, it is made of a more refined clay with fewer impurities, and since it is fired at higher temperatures, it is non-porous. Although said to be chip-resistant, it will still chip.  Most Stoneware is dishwasher safe, and is microwave safe as long as it has no metal decoration or banding..

Porcelain: More durable than Earthenware and Stoneware, Porcelain dinnerware is fired at the highest temperatures to produce a hard, non-porous, glass-like surface. It is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe as long as it has no metal decoration or banding. It is frequently referred to as Fine China.

Bone China: Bone China is in the same family as Porcelain yet is more translucent. It is considered the strongest and most durable type of dinnerware. Bone China looks fragile but is actually quite strong.

How is Dinnerware Sold?

Dinnerware is sold as open stock, by individual place setting or in boxed sets.

  • Open stock is sold by the individual piece. Often sold as a mix and match collection, you may choose from coordinating designs and colors within the same pattern.
  • Fine China patterns or Bone China patterns are frequently sold as individual place settings. The most common is a 5-piece place setting consisting of a dinner plate, salad plate (or dessert plate), bread and butter plate, teacup and saucer.
  • Boxed sets are usually made up of multiple place settings. The most common are 16 piece and 20 piece sets which provide service for 4. A 20 piece set will have four each of the dinner plate, salad plate, bread and butter plate (or soup bowl), teacup and saucer. A 16 piece dinnerware set will have a mug instead of the teacup and saucer.

When buying dinnerware, shoppers should take special consideration regarding the use, size, cost and care of their dinnerware collection. Dinnerware is also low enough in price that many families can afford to buy more than one set to use. If you want something special to be used as Christmas dinnerware or holiday dinnerware as well as other special occasions throughout the year, you may consider a red dinnerware or green dinnerware set.

Solid white dinnerware is no longer the top choice. Recently, black and white dinnerware has become popular. The contrast is more dramatic than solid white, and designers have reflected this by going to less traditional patterns. The  Rialto Dinnerware collection is black and white Limoges porcelain with elegant  geometric patterns that are similar to those mosaic tiles found in Spain. Each piece of the set,  including the cup and saucer pair, is sold in sets of four.

You don’t need anything special for your casual dinnerware. Melamine dinnerware and serving sets work just fine for things like everyday dish sets. Things like kitchen plates, luncheon plates, cereal bowls, bread and butter plates need not cost a fortune. For picnics and outdoor dining plastic disposable dinnerware is better than melamine plates.

Who Makes Good Dinnerware?

Some of the more popular manufacturers of home dinnerware are Pfaltzgraff, Corningware, Corelle, Noritake, Mikasa, Royal Doulton, Chris Madden®, and Fiestaware, just to name a few.

One of the recognized brands of dinnerware worldwide is Corelle. It is popularly known for its strength and durability. Their quality glass dinnerware is noted to be break and chip resistant. It is made through a hub lamination process, having three layers of glass bonds. This kind of process produces a durable, lightweight and multi layered dinnerware. A Corelle dinnerware set will contain dinner plates, dessert plates, and butter plates.

Gibson Dinnerware Sets

Gibson dinnerware sets are fashioned to make an effect. Gibson offers a wide variety of very durable patterns. These patterns are classified into six collections: white ware, banded, decorated, solid color and reactive,  hand painted and gold and platinum.

Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware

Pfaltzgraff belongs to the family of Lifetime Brands, Inc. Lifetime Brands is a leading designer, developer and marketer of home products by some of America’s best known and most respected brands including Farberware®, KitchenAid®, Cuisinart®, Hoffritz®, Calvin Klein®, Wallace®, Towle®, Sasaki®, Joseph Abboud™ and a host of others.  Pfaltzgraff offers an assortment of kitchen prep and cook tools, as well as the world’s finest dinnerware, drinkware,  flatware and chinaware  for the table.


Corning ware has enduring style that looks good on the table, but works well in the oven, microwave, and freezer. It is the quality cookware which provides  convenience and versatility as it can be used in the oven, microwave, stovetop, griller, BBQ, refrigerator and freezer as well as on the table.


Noritake is a well known brand in porcelain manufacturing since it has been around since 1904. The products are famous for having beautiful designs and an excellent quality. These qualities have made Noritake famous throughout the world.


Corelle is a brand of glassware and dishware. Corelle dinnerware is efficient because it is highly durable — it doesn’t break, and the designs on the plates cannot be scratched by knives. Corelle is actually made out of glass, but it is created like a sandwich with a glass core that’s thermally bonded to an outer glass glaze. Corelle dishes are made of Vitrelle, a laminated tempered glass product with three layers of two types of glass. The thermally bonded layers give Corelle its strength, allowing it to be much thinner than other dinnerware. Introduced by Corning Glass Works in 1970, it is now sold by World Kitchen.

Tuscan Dinnerware

Tuscan dinnerware is actually a style of dinnerware. Much of it is  hand made and hand painted Italian dinnerware sets, although it is generally found in sets simply called Tuscan or Italian dinnerware.

Be An Informed Buyer

The best tip for those buying dinner sets is to choose items that can be replaced easily. Dinnerware patterns should be readily available. There is nothing worse than spending a fortune on a set and having a plate break and not being able to replace it.

Finally, keep price in mind. Good dinnerware isn’t cheap. Even though it is something you’ll use often, you should still be cautious when buying dinnerware. Keep your budget in mind, but don’t buy anything you don’t like. You will have to look at it every day, so make sure you like it before buying it.

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