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By Sydney Wasserman , Rachel Fletcher , and Erika Owen
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As much as we’re all clinging to our youth, the cold hard truth is that if you’re out here looking for dinnerware sets, then you’ve transitioned into a fully grown adult. That level of maturity comes with the expectation of having a few domestic things in order, like a fresh set of bath towels that haven’t been with you since your college days, bed sheets fit for a sleeping beauty, or a mattress that’s not on the floor—who doesn’t love a bed frame?! Once you finally graduate to this stage in life, your kitchen should have a full set of matching dinnerware that can be proudly displayed atop some floating shelves right next to your color-coordinated cookware sets. Dare we suggest that you might have to hand wash said dinnerware?
But we’re not talking about that hodgepodge collection of plates (all in different colors) and serveware you’ve amassed over many moves with many different roommates, a party of scratch-resistant plate sets and platters with more than a few imperfections, the random piece of bone china from a relative, and the drinking glasses that only get brought out for dinner parties and other special occasions. If you were under the impression that proper dinnerware sets are something you’d receive as a gift for your wedding, starter home, or 30th birthday, but you still find yourself with a collection of unchipped plates, we’re here to help!
We’ve scoured the market for the most solid designs for every type of person and functionality. And, actually, there is no better time to invest in dinnerware because, like many other corners of the home market, direct-to-consumer companies have modernized the buying process by offering good deals on stylish sets that will instantly upgrade your dinner table. Don’t worry, we’re not just talking fine china. From matte, minimalist tableware, and best-selling white dinnerware for everyday use to hand-painted dessert plates and porcelain dinnerware sets that could double as home decor, check out our picks below.
While they may look delicate, Material’s dining sets, made in partnership with Soil Baker, are solidly crafted with natural Korean soil and feel rugged despite being lightweight. We’ve waxed poetic about Material’s cookware and cutting boards in the past, and we’re pleased to report that the company’s dishes more than live up to expectations.
Another cookware brand gone tabletop, Made In is preparing for dining domination. Available in a setting for four, the plateware is made in England and Italy and designed to be restaurant-quality. In fact, the brand offers a one-year no-chip guarantee if it doesn’t live up to your dinnertime demands.
Retro glassware is back in a big way. Mosser has been producing its signature tinted glass pieces in Cambridge, Ohio, since 1970 but, for most of us, the look is totally fresh. A set of four medium shallow bowls and a set of four plates starts at $110.
This set comes with a full setting for four people: dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, and fruit bowls. The whimsical, slightly wavy edge of these pieces will give your table a pop of personality.
Our Place is known for its bold color palettes and trendy, minimalist designs. Now you can get an entire matching set in one go. The Dinner for 4 set includes the original nonstick pan, glasses, plates, and bowls. If you’re stuck on color choice, we recommend the bright blue for an instant jolt of energy in your space.
Each piece in the Luna dinnerware set is a little bit different thanks to the reactive glaze process that gives the plates and bowls a crystal effect as the light changes. You have the choice of buying individual plates, bowls, and mugs, or an entire set for four people.
In case you hadn’t heard, cabbageware is always having a moment. This particular set is inspired by the ceramic art of Portuguese ceramist Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro. It’s a little bit cheeky, a little bit “on-the-nose”—plates shaped like food, we’re so here for it! But the best part is that you could outfit an entire tablescape with vegetable dinnerware and it wouldn’t ruin the vibe.
The texture on these cereal bowls from West Elm is surprising—in a fantastic way. The swirls give off an elevated stoneware vibe despite being made of glass. The set of four bowls is available in six colors: ink blue, pink, white, amethyst, gray, and sage. Plus you can build a full set as there are also dinner plates, salad plates, salad bowls, and chargers available from the same collection.
For those who embrace imperfection, there’s this organic-inspired dinnerware collection, which features a slightly asymmetric design for that made-by-hand look. The price listed is for a 12-piece set with pasta bowls, but other configurations are available.
Another brand that’s thought of it all is Leeway Home, founded in March 2021 by Lyle Maltz and Sam Dumas, which offers several packages that’ll set you up for any mealtime situation. The 44-piece Full Way includes four settings with the full stackable monty: flatware, mugs, dinner and salad plates, as well as bowls and—perhaps most importantly—elegant stemmed wine glasses. The stoneware dishes are available in solid earth tones or, for a fun twist, with colorful striped rims.
Sustainably made in Portugal with recycled clay and shipped in recyclable packaging, the Canada-based outfit is on a mission to become a zero-waste company and is currently pending B Corp certification. To top it off, its high-quality ceramic pieces come in four shades, ranging from light pink to dark blue, and the bundles are mix-and-match if you’d like to change up the coordinating colors.
Okay, yes: Topping your dinner table with stainless steel dinnerware is a major commitment. But not only is the sleek material wildly durable, it can also bring a fresher perspective to your table depending on the aesthetic you want to go for. This 16-piece collection was originally designed for outdoor dining (perfect for dinners in the backyard or around a campfire). The set includes four large plates, four dishes, four large bowls, and four medium bowls.
It’s highly likely that you’re already familiar with the name Corelle—their sturdy dinnerware has been around since the early ’90s. This particular set comes in a calming “Nordic Blue,” which recalls memories of chilly snow days and the last few feet of water before it meets a sandy shore. (Who knew dinnerware could be so poetic?) The set comes with the expected four bowls and four dishes, but in a refreshing twist, it also includes four matching tumblers with silicone lids.
This is the kind of dinnerware set that looks good individually—each piece comes in a bold primary hue and simple geometric design. But once you get all of the dishes and bowls set up on the table, you’ll see the patterns speak to each other, culminating in a fun graphic moment. This dishwasher- and microwave-safe set comes with six dinner plates, six side plates, and six bowls
The Fumiko Dinnerware Collection blends design elements from Sweden and Japan, resulting in a minimal silhouette with just a touch of quirkiness. While trending designs come and go, the best dinnerware demands a spot at the table no matter the occasion—and this is one of those sets. There are two bowl options: a three-foot design and a wider bowl with a round rim at the bottom.
We love the slightly wonky shapes of this stoneware set. The beaded design gives it a touch of Boho style without teetering off into the realm of “full-on whimsical.” Each microwave- and dishwasher-safe set comes with a dinner plate, salad plate, soup/cereal bowl, and a mug—all of which make you want to say “awww.”
Though it may seem a little questionable to include Urban Outfitters in a piece about adulting, this ceramic set is decidedly grown-up (at a college-kid price). The slightly lipped stoneware will look at home on any tablescape.
Another DTC dinnerware company, Rigby, takes the guesswork out of building a collection by offering solid basics in sets of four. Rigby’s designs are made in Portugal and have a substantial weight to them, perfect for the clumsy diner. Prices start from $44 for a set of four mini bowls and top out at $60 for a set of four dinner plates.
There are few things that make us smile more than HAY's signature Danish-inspired hues. Its Rainbow series of dinnerware comes in yellow, pink, and brown, so you can assemble a kaleidoscopic set to jazz up your dining table. (See? Being an adult can be fun.) Rainbow plates and bowls by HAY are available from $10 each.
Made in Asheville, North Carolina, East Fork’s earthenware dinnerware has a down-to-earth vibe in refined silhouettes. Choose from a variety of rich neutral tones, including panna cotta and amaro, as well as several set options, from a three-piece set to a seven-piece collection that includes a generous mug.
Splatterware is a centuries-old tradition in ceramics and enamelware, but we love this vibrant modern take from March SF. Handmade and painted in Puglia, Italy, this set is a fun investment that will feed your soul for a lifetime. Prices start at $35 for a soup bowl or fruit plate.
Decorated with a dusty blue reactive glaze, this stoneware dinnerware set was designed by New York–based ceramicist Tracie Hervy and inspired by prehistoric vessels. The matte finish adds a bit of style, but the focus is on function. Dishwasher- and microwave-safe, this four-piece set is also oven-safe up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
If subtle pops of color are your thing, this set from Crate & Barrel should catch your eye. A delicate ribbon of color tops every bowl, anchored with a rich, creamy porcelain. Also available with a black strip, these bowls are dishwasher-, oven-, and microwave-safe and can be purchased alongside other dinnerware essentials with the same design.
This four-piece set is adorned with AD100 designer Sheila Bridge’s playful Harlem Toile de Jouy pattern. Every piece—the set includes plates and bowls—has a different scene, each inspired by rich history set to the iconic presentation of French Toile. And don’t sleep on the stamp on the back of each piece; they only add to the stories this set tells. These pieces are also dishwasher-safe and made of strong bone china. We live for a subtle touch of toile.