When it comes a moment to prepare dinner for friends, kids’ birthday party or afternoon barbeque, something easy on first look can become the worst nightmare. There are so many things to fix before guests arrive, average housewife, knows that best; is food prepared how it’s imagined, are utensils clean and ready, did we prepared dinnerware sets for everyone. That’s maybe the most crucial part because the right choice of a dinnerware set is essential as the food itself. Depending on which kind of an occasion is, type and number of guests, your choice of dinnerware set should be smart. You are the one who will pay for it, who will prepare everything and at the end, who will clean that dinnerware set and everything else, after “party” is over.
So, let’s see what your options are and how to choose the best one, which will fit your needs and save your money and time.
Types and materials of dinnerware sets
Dinnerware sets are available in many different materials, styles (you can find various styles of dinnerware sets in different regions or countries), designs, and several pieces. Some dinnerware sets work well for official and fancy dinner parties, while others are more suitable for backyard barbeques and casual dinners. A typical place setting includes a bowl, cup, salad plate, and dinner plate, which means a 16 – piece dinnerware set for everyday use provides settings for up to four people. Formal dinnerware sets may include extra pieces such as saucers, dessert plates, and platters. You can also find sets of completer pieces such as serving platters, sauce and butter dishes, so you can supplement your dinnerware set with matching serving pieces. If one of the parts from your set breaks, you can sometimes find a replacement that is sold individually.
When it comes to types of materials, there is a wide array of different elements you can choose between, depending on the occasion you need.
Some of the best dinnerware sets are made from natural materials – glass, ceramic, opal glass, bone china, etc. They are most suitable for official and fancy dinners, and you must dedicate more time and effort to their maintenance. On the other hand, dinnerware sets made from plastic materials like melamine, Tritan, or polypropylene will be the best choice for casual dinners, barbeques, and kids parties, and they are typically the best choice for everyday use. They don’t require special care – you can wash them on low-heat programs in your dishwasher.
Let’s see give a more detailed look at both glass and plastic materials for dinnerware sets.
Pros and cons of glass dinnerware sets
Glass dinnerware sets are a desirable choice if you are preparing official, fancy or romantic dinner at your home. They can be made from pure, clean or tempered glass, opal glass, ceramic, bone china, porcelain, mottled with different colorful patterns or without it, but we are sure you will find some which will fit your taste and needs.
We must emphasize two special types of ceramic dinnerware, stoneware, and earthware. They are both so-called, fired ceramic dinnerware.
Usually less expensive than others, earthenware is ceramic that has been glazed and fired. It has a thick, heavy and rustic look and feel, but is not as durable and strong as other types of dinnerware and is prone to chipping. Dishware with hand-painted designs is typically earthenware. It’s often porous, which means it could stain and/or absorb liquid, so you do need to avoid leaving it submerged in water. Most glazed earthenware is dishwasher safe and can be used in the microwave, but it’s wise to check with the manufacturer first.
Stoneware is a little more durable than earthenware because the clay is fired at a higher temperature and usually has glass material added to it for strength. Its body is thicker and more opaque than finer materials like porcelain and can be finished with a variety of glaze textures such as satin or mate. It is typically used in everyday place settings. Most good quality stoneware is very versatile to use and easy to maintain.
It can go everywhere, in the microwave, dishwasher, oven, and freezer, but always check with the manufacturer for the specific qualities of the dinnerware of your choice. It shouldn’t be exposed to sudden or extreme temperature changes.
The next classics material used to make high-quality dinnerware sets is Bone China.
As the name indicates, its made from a mix of the bone ash from the animal bones with porcelain clay and fired on high temperature to produce a material that is very lightweight, delicate in feel, and translucent with a milky appearance.
Despite its fragile presentation, bone china is the most reliable and most durable ceramic dinnerware. It’s usually dishwasher-safe, and it can go in the microwave and oven as well. It’s typically used daily and/or can be reserved for a more formal dining occasion.
His majesty – the porcelain
Material made of a fine particle clay with an addon of the quartz, and it’s fired at a higher temperature. This makes the resulting dinnerware extraordinarily durable and nonporous. This process also allows the body to be thinner and more delicately constructed, which gives it an almost translucent appearance, as well as allowing for shaped details to be incorporated into the design of the body. Most fine porcelain is dishwasher and microwave safe unless it is indicated otherwise. Porcelain that has a gold, silver, platinum or other metal borders shouldn’t be microwaved or washed with citrus-scented detergent, because it could damage metal accents. It’s highly recommended to hand-wash metal-accented porcelain dishes.
Pros and cons of plastic dinnerware sets
Plastic dinnerware is typically the most logical choice for everyday use and for more casual occasions. They are also the best choice for kids’ parties, because of safety reasons. There are plenty of types of plastic used to made dinnerware, but few are on top because of their properties – Tritan, melamine, and polycarbonate.
Tritan, for example, doesn’t contain BPA, BPS, or any other chemical compounds that can treat your health. Dinnerware made with Tritan plastic is clear, durable, safe, and stylish. It’s a durable plastic that has much greater shatter resistance than other plastics and glass. It won’t warp or crack in the dishwasher.
Melamine, on the other hand, is not so healthy (studies have shown that it can be toxic in larger amounts), but it has many pros on its side. It’s made of a mixture of cellulose and plastic resin, and it’s one of the most common dinnerware choices due to its low price and extreme durability. It is lightweight and available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Must mention the bad side of it, it is sensitive to heat, and it will probably crack and blister if used in a microwave. It’s very durable and provides a long service life and is commonly used in everyday life as well as on casual occasions.
In the end, standard plastic dinnerware is constructed from polycarbonate. It is break-resistant and will not shatter like glass, though it will discolor over time or when used with staining ingredients. It is some of the most economical dinnerware available, and it is intended for everyday use.
Now when you know the features of each of the options offered, we hope it will be easier for you to decide which is the best dinnerware set for you. Our personal opinion is that health is imperative, ahead of the price, and attractiveness, so we hope that this will also be your main guideline when choosing.