Best Dinner Plate Sets For All Occasions

Pick a plate set that looks the part and is reliable enough for those special occasions.

best plate set

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

Mealtimes with our loved ones are so special, even if we don't realise it at the time and tableware, glassware, cutlery and plate sets play a big part in making those magical moments. With the help of the right dinner sets, you can create a real restaurant ambience at home by choosing dinnerware that looks the part and is reliable in the big moments like Christmas or anniversary dinners.

From simple white designs to more textured stoneware, there is a dinner plate set for every decor style, taste, price and finish. And with more and more of us building up the courage to experiment with new recipes, it only makes sense that we start to invest in matching dinner plates, bowls and side plates for everyday use. Or you might want to splurge on a set that you only wheel out on special occasions - a great investment piece that will last the test of time.

In this guide, we'll tell you the difference between stoneware and porcelain and help you find the best plate set to suit your tastes (no pun intended).

What Are The Different Types Of Plate Sets?

There are a few different types of plate sets, all to do with different materials and what you get in the set as some contain more than others. Here are the most common ones.

Formal dinnerware set: These most commonly include a dinner plate, a salad plate, a bread plate, a soup bowl, a teacup, and a saucer for each person. They tend to be available in sets of one, four, six, eight or twelve.

Traditional dinnerware set: Most commonly include a dinner plate, a salad plate, a cereal bowl (and sometimes, a mug).

Open stock dinnerware set: Instead of choosing a completed set, you opt to mix and match your dinnerware. It can end up being more expensive, but it does mean you only purchase pieces you know you'll use regularly. These are also called 'seconds', as some brands allow you to buy singular items without buying a whole other set when they unfortunately break.

There are also three popular types of material:

Porcelain: Porcelain is a composite material made up of a kaolin clay base with feldspar and quartz silica mixed in to reinforce it. It is fired at a higher temperature than stoneware. This leads to a harder and more durable composition that’s much less likely to break. It is also lighter and thinner than stoneware, contrary to popular belief.

Stoneware: Stoneware dinner sets are different from other ranges as they are tough and chip resistant. Ideal for heavy use, they can often go into the oven to temperatures of up to 250°C. You'll also find stoneware in an array of different colours and glossy finishes.

Earthenware: Earthenware is not as sturdy as stoneware but it is budget-friendly and perfect for those who aren’t ready to invest in a more durable set. Earthenware dishes do chip easily but are lighter than stoneware.

Best Plate Sets

Best simple plate set

If you're looking for a dinner set that will fit within a natural decor, Dunelm's Amalfi range is simple but beautiful. It is ideal for most households as it is both dishwasher and microwave safe. All items in the Amalfi range have organic edges and a reactive glaze making each piece unique. Plus, they come in a range of different colours but we've got a soft spot for this cream set.

Contains: Four dinner plates, four side plates and four cereal bowls

Customer review: "Really nice dinner service for the price. I am impressed."


  • Easy to replace
  • Great value
  • Available in different colours


  • Some reviews say the plates are too big for their small dishwasher

Best affordable plate set

Department store John Lewis has been selling dinner sets since it opened its doors, and this one from its ANYDAY range is both affordable and made of stoneware that is finished with a reactive speckle glaze. It's both handwash and dishwasher safe.

Contains: Four dinner plates, four salad or side plates and four cereal bowls

Customer review: "I bought this set a couple of months a go and it really is wonderful. I've had lots of compliments on the design of the plates. They are super easy to clean and great value. Would fully recommend!"


  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean


  • Prone to chipping and scratches

Best patterned plate set
17 Stories Tulic Porcelain China Dinnerware 16 Piece Wayfair

If you want to display your dinner set out in the open, opting for a patterned set will definitely inject colour and personality into any home decor. This set from 17 Stories is a vibrant addition to any dinner table.

Contains: Four dinner plates, four side plates, four mugs and four cereal bowls

Customer review: "Super cute, have gotten lots of compliments on the set. Would recommend getting the wider salad bowl set as well, as the cereal bowls are pretty small for a salad. Good quality. Have been through the dishwasher a bunch and still look great."


  • Unique
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Not to everyone's taste

Best supermarket plate set
ASDA Blue Reactive Glaze Dinner Set 12 Piece
Price: £29 (was £34)

Yep, you can now pick up a plate set in your favourite supermarkets and we love this blue reactive glaze one from George at Asda.

Contains: Four dinner plates, four side plates, and four bowls

Customer review: "Beautiful set, really looking forward to using. Nice that they are microwave safe."


  • Microwave safe
  • Great value
  • Stack nicely


  • Some plates may have imperfections

Best luxury plate set

Denby plate and dinner sets are iconic and the Azure design is one of the brand's most popular with the plates having a light blue rim. If you're after a dinner set that you can pass down from generation to generation, a Denby set is the one for you.

Contains: Featuring four dinner plates, four small plates, four cereal bowls, and four small mugs

Customer review: "This is a present for my grandson who is buying his first house. He likes Denby pottery because it is so durable and stylish. He is very pleased with the azure colour. The seconds that I have also bought for him are excellent."


  • Durable
  • Iconic design
  • Easy to buy more


  • Expensive

Best large plate set

Plate sets most likely will come in a set of 16 or 24-place settings, but there are some available for those who have bigger families or occasions, like this 32-piece set from Vancasso. Comes in 17 different colour combinations.

Contains: Includes eight dinner plates, eight side plates, eight cereal bowls and eight mugs

Customer review: "This is a lovely set I am really pleased with it the colours look very effective on a white table cloth. One of the dishes had a section of glaze missing on the top side of one of the bowls so I contacted the seller I couldn’t have been more pleased with their quick respond I sent them a picture of the defect on the bowl and they responded straight back saying they would replace the bowl which they did. Excellent service from this seller and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again."


  • Available in lots of different colours
  • Classic look
  • Durable


  • One review said the stoneware turns lighter with every wash

Best textured plate set
Emerald Green Dinner set 24 Pieces 6 Persons
Price: £93 (was £117)

This eye-catching textured emerald green set will be a dazzling detail of your tables with its elegance and attractiveness that takes its colours from emerald stone. The bright colours are known to not fade and the plates and mugs can be used in microwaves.

Contains: Six dinner plates (20cm), six cake plates (20cm), six serving plates (26cm) and six bowls (15cm)

Customer review: "The product packaging is excellent. Soup bowls are a little big. Arrived quickly and well packaged. Thank you."


  • Colours don't fade
  • Unique design
  • Free shipping


  • None

Best stoneware plate set

Stoneware dinner sets are different from other ranges as they are tougher than earthenware and chip resistant. Ideal for heavy use and can often go into the oven to temperatures of up to 250°C. Each piece of Denby stoneware is handcrafted using pottery skills passed down through generations and can pass through as many as 20 pairs of hands. Every item of pottery is still expertly glazed by craftsmen and women and the distinctive glazes are renowned for their practicality, durability and chip resistance.

Contains: The set includes four dinner plates, four side plates and four cereal bowls

Customer review: "Great everyday dinner set well made and the design is great. Goes well with any food I make, I love the dinner set and pasta bowls I will be looking for further pieces in this collection."


  • Great quality
  • Ideal for heavy and constant use


  • Some reviews say the side plates are very small

Best traditional plate set

If you're after a classic dinner set that will last you through Christmas and then every Sunday dinner throughout the next year, this M&S porcelain set has a simple platinum rim for a refined touch.

Contains: Four dinner plates, four side plates and four bowls

Customer review: "I love the simple style which although reasonably priced looks expensive. I am looking forward to using the set for entertaining."


  • Perfect for all occasions
  • Simple design


  • Hand wash only

OUR VERDICT: What Is The Best Plate Set?

Our top pick has to be the Amalfi White 12 Piece Dinner Set as it looks super high-end for a low price point. The range is also versatile and has the ability to mix and match single items and different colours but stick with the same style. A huge plus that it is is ideal for most as it is both dishwasher and microwave-safe, making dinner times much easier.


How Long Should A Plate Set Last?

A good plate set should last you years and years, especially if you keep adding to it. Smashed plates and mugs will happen, but many ranges have what they call 'seconds' available to buy individually so you won't have to buy a whole new plate set to replace a mug you broke 10 years ago.

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