Stoneware dinnerware sets vs. porcelain vs. bone china

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Differentiating between stoneware, porcelain and bone china dinnerware sets

When it comes to finding the right dinnerware, it depends on your needs, how long and often you plan to use the set, as well as if you have a specific style you want to keep throughout your home. There are a few major differences between types of dinnerware that stretch beyond mere shape and style. A household with children may need something affordable but durable, such as stoneware. Someone who plans to entertain often may consider bone china or porcelain.

Stoneware dinnerware sets

Similar to earthenware dinnerware sets, stoneware is often known for having a modern look and affordable price. However, stoneware is more durable. Created from refined clay and fired at a high temperature is what gives it durability for chip-resistance.

Stoneware pros

  • Chip-resistant
  • Affordable
  • Varieties of colors, shapes and designs
  • Low-maintenance

Stoneware cons

  • Slightly porous, which means it can hold bacteria 
  • Temperature changes may cause cracks
  • Stoneware may scratch other surfaces if you do not use placemats or tablecloth

Best stoneware dinnerware set

Gibson Home Rockaway 12-Piece Dinnerware set

Gibson Home Rockaway 12-Piece Dinnerware set

This is a modern, simplistic and casual set with a smooth, matte finish. It includes four dinner plates, four dessert plates and four bowls, which makes it a great option for couples or single individuals. It is microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

Sold by Macy’s and Amazon

Porcelain dinnerware sets

Porcelain originated in China (hence, the term “china” for dinnerware) and eventually grew popular throughout the rest of the world. Porcelain is created to be more durable than stoneware and earthenware. It is fired at a higher temperature and is less porous. It tends to feature a shiny finish.

Porcelain pros

  • Great for elegant dining
  • Long-lasting
  • Durable
  • Non-porous

Porcelain cons

  • More expensive than stoneware
  • Must limit time in the microwave, as heat could cause cracks

Best porcelain dinnerware sets

Lenox Butterfly Meadow 18-Piece Holiday Dinnerware Set

Lenox Butterfly Meadow 18-Piece Holiday Dinnerware Set

Lenox is a reliable and credible brand. This set is perfect for festive holiday entertaining with a classic touch.

Sold by Amazon

Mikasa Italian Countryside 16-Piece Set

Mikasa Italian Countryside 16-Piece Set

This is a classy, simple and high-quality set that is microwave- and dishwasher-safe. The detailed texture provides a charming look for any occasion. A favorite feature among consumers is the deep, 6-inch cereal bowl that is also useful for other foods, such as ice cream, oatmeal or soup.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Bone china dinnerware sets

Bone china tends to be the top of the line because it is fired not once but twice, as well as at a higher temperature (1200 degrees centigrade) than all the other types of dinnerware. This makes it the most durable, yet elegant looking dinnerware. Many bone china sets are also microwave and dishwasher safe. Although bone china is some of the strongest dinnerware, because it tends to be on the most expensive side, it is best to handle these dishes carefully. For protecting plates you plan using every day, try setting cushioned shelf paper in between each plate within the stack.

Bone china pros

  • High-quality
  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Versatile for all occasions
  • Timeless

Bone china cons

  • Usually the most expensive kind of dinnerware
  • Although durable, careful use is necessary

Best bone china dinnerware sets

Mikasa Delray 40-Piece Dinnerware Set

Mikasa Delray 40-Piece Dinnerware Set

This set is chip-resistant and has a clean, minimalist style, which makes it versatile for many different needs and occasions. Not only is it microwave- and dishwasher-safe, it is also safe to use in the oven.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Royal Albert Old Country Rose 20-Piece Dinnerware Set

Royal Albert Old Country Rose 20-Piece Dinnerware Set

A classic, traditional set that can be passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom. The perfect set to have on hand for special family gatherings, holidays and entertaining guests.

Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Should you get stoneware, porcelain or bone china?

As with many other purchasing decisions, there is not a single perfect answer for everyone, because it depends on your individual needs. If you are looking for a set that is the highest quality, can be cherished for many years to come and don’t mind paying a high price for it, then bone china may be best for you. If you don’t plan on keeping a set forever, but still want a durable and clean-looking set, then porcelain may be a good fit. Yet, if you want a set that has more options for the colors and modern design, then stoneware may be your selection.

Bone china is a top-quality favorite among many consumers. However, it is up to you and your lifestyle needs.

 

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Mary Hicks writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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