Are you looking to upgrade to the best dinnerware set, to up the presentation of your home-cooked meals? Or, is your mismatched dinnerware not quite cutting the eclectic mark? Our list of stylish dinnerware sets from our favourite retailers should offer a suitable selection for any occasion. From budget-friendly buys from Aldi and John Lewis to investment sets from Denby and Jars, there’s a set for every sit-down meal.
Plus, we like to think that it’s all about the little things. You don’t have to be hosting a formal dinner party to appreciate dining in and cooking a meal at home. For breakfast, lunch or an evening feast, you can have a little more fun with your food by dressing up your dinner table. There’s no doubt that matching dinner plates and coordinated tableware have a certain appeal, maybe down to a psychology that makes us feel a little bit more ‘put-together’. Aside from levelling up in the looks department, a new dinnerware set may be just what you need to replace broken bowls and plates that have cracked or chipped. Most crockery, unless it’s the set stored away for when the Queen comes to tea, is used every day. So, it’s worth substituting old for new when your dishes are looking distressed.
If you’re in the market for a mealtime upgrade, then these best dinnerware sets should offer the kitchen replenishment you might desperately need. We’ve tried, tested and evaluated pieces from long-standing brands, as well as pieces you can pick up in your next supermarket shop. All, of course, have been compared for their durability, price and style. And for when you’re next setting the table, see our roundup of the best dining tables. Because a new dining table, complete with a fresh dinnerware set is the ultimate upgrade to eating at home.
The best dinnerware sets to buy in 2022
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This M&S pick reigns our number one spot as the best dinnerware set that money can buy. Why? When testing at home, we noted that this set is more than durable, plus its basic yet smart design makes for a pretty meal, no matter the occasion. We also noted that the pasta bowls are nice and sizeable so found that we actually used these more than the plates. Everything is dishwasher safe, and the plates have a rim to prevent food spillages. We love them!
A popular choice for everyday plates, this sturdy set dishes up a balanced portion of timeless design and durability. Smart enough to double up for dining celebrations, this set is made from stoneware with a matte outer edge for a sleek design. The inner surface is gloss-finished for a look that will stay as good as new. Simple, stylish and scratch-resistant, these are the best dinner sets for an effortless update to your at-home eatery. And don’t forget about size! Featuring 12 pieces, with the option to add on pasta bowls and mugs, there’s a dish for every dish.
A stand out in the style and sustainability department is this Set the Table set from Our Place. When used at home, its speckled finish and contemporary shape made a pretty addition to our otherwise plain dining table set-up. And whilst we were initially concerned about potential chipping due it’s delicate feel, it did survive one accidental drop!
By the brand that brought the cult-favourite Always Pan, Our Place offer stackable plates, side plates and bowls, designed for an all-round upgrade to everyday eating. In the same practical design and colour options as its signature product, the Our Place Set the Table set is a modern, on-trend addition. Sustainably made from recycled and virgin porcelain ceramic, this dinnerware set is beautiful both inside and out. The Always Pan may have taken social media by storm, but we predict this eco-friendly plate set will be the next to invade kitchen cupboards.
It was quickly apparent that Denby was an age-old favourite amongst many of our Real Homes’ members, with some having owned Denby dinnerware for years and others’ with grandparents who have sets old enough to be considered ‘vintage’. It was no surprise upon testing that these plates were the most durable of our selection. Withstanding frequent use and being washed in the dishwasher, they are plates worth the investment.
Designed and crafted right here in the UK, Denby dinnerware is a classic choice for those dedicated to reshoring. Offering a 10 year guarantee and collectors promise, it’s no surprise Denby sets can be loved for generations. This stoneware dinner set is no exception - glazed in all four colours from the studio blue collection, the 12 piece set has a timeless look and design. Despite wanting to protect at all costs, Denby sets are finished to guard against chipping, and to be dishwasher, microwave and freezer-safe, so you can use them without worry!
For a colourful, covetable table, this contemporary set from Jars dinnerware takes the cake. The rich orange added a fun pop of colour to our kitchen cupboards and took centre stage at dinnertime. The only plate set to ever make our dinner look just as good (if not better) as it tastes. Despite its attractive qualities though, we found these plates weren't the most sturdy. Upon testing in the dishwasher, the pasta bowl cracked. So whilst these claim to be dishwasher safe, it’s probably best to make sure you handle with care.
Add enviable colour to any table setting with the Tourron tableware range from Jars. In a vibrant orange hue with a crackled glaze finish, this tableware range is made from chip resistant stoneware. Crafted entirely by hand by skilled artisans at the brand’s French factory using the same processes used over one hundred years ago, the workshop also pride themselves in carrying out environmentally friendly practices that make all Jars tableware an ecological option. The plain yet bold Tourron range is available in five chic colourways which are ideal for mixing and matching to create your own unique dining settings.(opens in new tab)
Simple yet tough, this ANYDAY dinnerware set is by far the most practical on our list. When put to the test, we found these dishes best for heavy use. Using for every meal, cleaning in the dishwasher and even putting in the oven to heat-up a premade portion, this sturdy dinner set is reliable for every style of eating. Plus, we found the colourful exterior contrasted with a white interior to be an uncomplicated look to add to any pre-existing kitchenware.
Perfectly practical for everyday use, John Lewis’ ANYDAY set is a family-friendly stand-out when it comes to function. Made of durable stoneware, its affordable contemporary design is both dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Needing to feed family and friends quickly, and clean up afterwards with ease? These plates will do just the job. Plus, since they come in sets of four and only in the same type (for example, you get four plates or four bowls) you can mix and match colours as you please to spruce up your dinnerware if you want to go colourful.(opens in new tab)
Whilst we didn't get the chance to test this set, many have dished out great reviews that put these plates as best value for money. Complimented for their surprisingly weighty feel, given the low price point, these attractive plates are a great budget-friendly upgrade. With a raised rim to prevent overspill too, Aldi’s plates are particularly perfect for meals with gravy or sauce.
For a premium style upgrade at a great price, Aldi’s Grey Reactive Glaze plate set by Kirton House is by far the best value for money. Featuring a gradient edge and a speckled effect, who would know you’ve added this set to your basket along with your supermarket shop? Made from durable stoneware, these plates have a weighty feel too. Pick up this dinnerware set and create a luxurious dining experience without spending extravagantly.(opens in new tab)
So delicate in design and bright in colour, Urban Outfitters’ plate set steals the show for special occasion dinnerware. Whilst we have not directly tested these, we did view them in person, and they did not disappoint in the looks department. Based on reviews, customers appreciate their beautiful design too - even enough to double-up on using their plates for things other than eating!
For something arguably more interesting than the food, these hand-painted plates and bowls offer a decorative touch to your table. With a unique Fethiye-inspired design, this set screams summer nights and al fresco dining with friends. But you’ll want to save these for special occasions (and special guests) only. Made from delicate ceramic, make sure to hand wash after use and handle with care. Since they’re sold individually, replacing one, if broken, wouldn't be too much of a task, mind.
We found from reviews that this Habitat dinnerware set has made an elegant addition to many households looking for something a little different to plain white plates. We too, along with customers, love that each piece authentically varies in shape. For the natural, handmade look, no complaints so far!
If classic white doesn’t quite do it for you, but you still want to be on the safe side for longevity’s sake, then this neutral set is a great middle ground between stylish and sensible. The speckled design brings a rustic look to otherwise plain white tableware, and its organic shape makes each piece subtly unique. Complete the full set with additional matching mugs, jug, pasta bowls and a serving platter available. But don’t break one, because you’ll have to buy a full set of four to replace it.
Which brands are the best for dinnerware?
As something you’ll use every day, or at least for special occasions, it’s important to choose the right dinnerware set for you. Looking for style, durability or a set that’s at just the right price point can be a daunting task for anyone, given the amount of choice out there. Luckily for you, there are some brand favourites, known for their particular qualities. Take Denby, for example. It’s more likely than none, that someone’s relative has a set of Denby plates stored away in a dining room cabinet. Their durability and long life span means many can now call their collection vintage. If you're searching for a set you can keep for years to come, Denby will last generations. Maybe you’re hoping for dinnerware you won’t have to set aside, but rather one you won’t be afraid of using. John Lewis, Aldi and M&S all offer durable options at a cheaper price. Daily wear and tear won’t be a worry as these versatile options are easily replaceable. Though, if the simple and practical look isn't enough for you, then venture to more Instagrammable brands like Our Place and Habitat; great middle of the road options for affordable dinnerware sets that’ll elevate your midweek meals.
If you’re yet to find your dinnerware set of dreams from our list above, then browse the best brands for dinner sets to find everything they have to offer:
- Dunelm dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- John Lewis dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- Habitat dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- IKEA dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- M&S dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- MADE.COM dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- Aldi dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- Our Place dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- Denby dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
- Jars dinnerware sets (opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
- Urban Outfitters dinnerware sets (opens in new tab)
How to choose a dinnerware set?
Before you start shopping, there are a few factors to think about to ensure you find the best dinnerware set for you. Whilst colour, pattern and design may be the first thing you like about a plate set, the material, its durability and how much it costs is often a more important consideration.
Size and set
Still, it's initially worth calculating how many place settings you need. We recommend four place settings for a two-person household, and eight for a family of four or five. In terms of pieces, you’ll need to make up one set, most of our favourites have already made that decision for you. Offering a selection of 12 pieces, these typically include dinner plates, side plates and small soup or cereal bowls, while larger sets may also include mugs and other add-ons. Some exceptions to these sell their sets separately. John Lewis and Aldi for instance group their pieces into sets of four, so you can curate the collection as you need.
It's also worth paying attention to the size and shape of each individual item. Choose pieces that are appropriate for your eating habits and cupboard space - and don’t forget to make sure they can fit in your dishwasher (if they are dishwasher safe, of course).
To know what you are buying, consider the material of your dinnerware set. A popular choice is porcelain. Loved for its glossy, smooth finish, porcelain is made from fine clay and is resistant to chipping. For more formal place settings, bone China is a mix of kaolin clay and bone ash, extremely durable and fired to a borderline translucent finish that comments higher prices than most. Stoneware is a practical option that’s on-trend for its rustic look. Its single firing and glaze finish means it doesn't achieve a bright white finish like porcelain or bone China, but many prefer it for its weighty feel and pocket-friendly price.
Select a style that suits you. With a range of colours, patterns and finishes, we recommend finding a set depending on its use. For everyday use, a design that’s simple and practical provides the best blank canvas for every meal. Sets with more decorative designs may become dated. Instead, save the pattern and print for an occasion-only set. And if you’re looking for one that does both, then a plain colour with a modern edge, like a speckled or reactive glaze finish is durable enough for everyday use but nice enough for entertaining. Another tip: brighten up a basic set with colourful glassware, placemats or tablecloths for a spruced up table setting.
How we chose these dinnerware sets
From breakfast to dinner and dessert, many meals were eaten off these dishes in order to test the look, durability and overall value for money. Whilst it might have been somewhat possible for one person to eat their way through numerous rounds of 8 different plates of food, it seemed only sensible to share food for thought on our favourite dinnerware sets amongst the Real Homes team.
The dinnerware sets in this guide have been used in several of the Real Homes team members' real homes. They've been used as our everyday dinnerware sets, and in some cases where we own a dishwasher, they've been put in there for a good clean, too.
Here's more information about who reviewed what in this guide.
Louise Oliphant is our Ecommerce Writer. Living with two friends in a shared flat, her dinnerware has to be both stylish, yet simple enough to be loved by all and hardwearing to keep up with their busy schedules. That's why she loves John Lewis' ANYDAY dinnerware set: "it matches well with our other kitchen pieces we've all accumulated over the years and washes great in the dishwasher (an important factor since we're always on the go!)".
As our Small Appliance Editor, Millie Fender cares about home cooking, so her dinnerware certainly gets a lot of use! She owns the Tribecca set by M&S and loves them for their price practicality. “The pasta bowls are the perfect size for just about any meal, the plates themselves don’t have a rim so are a little wide for a small dishwasher. But we don’t use them much”.
Molly Cleary is our Ecommerce Writer and spends her time searching for the next best thing for your home. She has the Our Place Set the Table set and describes it as ‘one of the most treasured things in her flat’. No wonder it’s made its way to the top end of this list. She states 'It's so pretty that it makes me feel like I'm serving dinner in a fancy restaurant. It's also very durable and has even survived one accidental drop. I have the side plates, large plates and side bowls in Spice, but I want a set in every colour'.
Decor Editor Amy Lockwood LOVES her Denby dishes. She says 'Although Denby is definitely an investment, my parents have had a set of dinnerware that's lasted well over 40 years without any scratches or chips, so I'm hoping the Studio collection will do the same. Plus, not having to replace dinnerware every few years is a far more sustainable option. They're dishwasher, microwave and oven safe, which means you can warm them in the oven along with your food without fear of breakage. And Denby pottery is still made in Britain on the same site where it was founded in 1809, making them a more sustainable option than a lot of (cheaper) products that are shipped from China'.
Anna Cottrell is our Content Editor. With a passion for contemporary home decor, the bright orange colour of Jars Tourron Tableware caught her eye. Despite one pasta bowl cracking in the dishwasher, she states 'the colours are to die for' and loves the 'rustic feel and finish' to each piece.