After experimenting with and going through a lot of fancy foreign dinnerware sets after moving into my own apartment after college, I finally made the switch to American made dinnerware.
Collecting (or hoarding up) on pretty dinner sets has always been a personal hobby of mine and foreign china sets have had a special appeal. But in the last couple of years, I have tried a few sets of dinnerware made in USA, and they have held up surprisingly well.
The biggest revelation has been the design of these dinnerware. I have always appreciated understated elegance in my dinnerware irrespective of whatever material they are made of. The best experiences I have had with using American made dishes is with regards to their ability to deliver sophisticated designs along with durability. The family and friends whom I gifted several pieces to have also corroborated my experience with their feedback.
While the prospect of buying new dinnerware is always an exciting one, figuring out your exact needs and choosing the right set that will deliver on those needs can be a tough task. To help you along, in this post I will discuss the many aspects to take into consideration about dinner plates made in USA.
Additionally, I will also offer brief reviews for the four best American made dinnerware sets that I have used. So, read on and judge for yourself which brand you like best.
The Various Materials
Choosing the right material that a dinnerware set is composed of is very important when you go out to buy a set. To help you settle on the best material suited to your purposes, let us look at some of the most commonly used ones:
1. Ceramic Dinnerware
Ceramic dinnerware is one of the most popular types of crockery used in households across the nation. This is due to the smooth look and feel it affords that makes it easier to clean. Despite the highly polished premium look the ceramic lends your plates, it also comes at an affordable price which makes the ceramic dinnerware all the more popular. There are two types of ceramic American made dishes, i.e., stoneware and earthenware.
The former is a kind of fired ceramic that is more durable due to the addition of glass material that lends it increased strength. Dinnerware made of this material is usually finer and more opaque than china or glass crockery. Furthermore, stoneware ceramic can also come in different grades of polish ranging from satin to matte. Unlike earthenware ceramic, stoneware ceramic is usually safe to use in dishwashers and microwave ovens.
On the other hand, earthenware ceramic is ceramic that has been treated to a glazing and firing process that lends it a polished yet rustic look. These kind of ceramic plate sets are often further embellished with hand-painted designs and the craftmanship looks great despite the more affordable pricing of it. Compared to the other crockery materials discussed in this section, earthenware is more susceptible to chipping and absorbing water if left submerged for too long.
2. China Dinnerware
China or porcelain dinnerware is made of a fine clay particle with a composition of feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. This raw material is subjected to heating at a high temperature, a process that lends the resulting material high strength and durability. China is a non-porous material which allows dinnerware fashioned out of it to not only have a delicate look but be rendered with intricately designed details.
China is usually safe to use with dishwashers and microwave ovens. But porcelain dishes with gold or silver detailing should not be microwaved or washed with lemon detergents as the metal accents are susceptible to damage. Due to the sophisticated look of porcelain crockery, it is considered to be the dinnerware of choice for formal settings.
3. Glass Dinnerware
Glass dinnerware is usually made of vitrified glass which is comprised of glass that has been fired at high temperatures. This process makes the glass non-porous and also highly durable to wear and tear. The glass dinnerware I will later discuss in detail in one of the following sections is composed of Corelle glass. Corelle is some of the most durable glass that is susceptible to breakage even when dropped against a hard surface.
Dinnerware sets made in USA: A buyer’s Guide
Apart from the material of the dinnerware you choose, there are a few other factors that should be kept in mind while buying plates and dishes. So here is my buyer’s guide that should help you make a more informed choice when it comes to everyday dishes made in USA:
The dinnerware you choose will form an important component of your overall décor in the dining room. As such, your plates and dishes have to not only go with the table spread and other accessories you already have but also with the background of the room at large.
Opting for neutral colors is your best bet, though bold colors do work best as statement pieces. If you are going for a classic look, then you can never go wrong with white which not only lends your crockery a sophisticated look but is also easy to clean.
The right size
Dinnerware can be changed easily if they do not fit into your expensive furniture or appliances. But it is a much better idea to ensure that you do not have to return or exchange any pieces by getting the right size in the first place.
To do so, take a close look at your microwave, dishwasher, and shelves or better yet, measure them. This way you can keep the measurements in mind while browsing through dinnerware sets to buy one that fits all of them.
Most dinnerware pieces come in sets of multiple dishes and bowls. If you have a big family that dines together or if you tend to entertain guests often, it is alright to buy sets comprised of many plates. But if you live alone and have no need for five plates then buying that many pieces make no sense.
One way to customize your purchase to your needs is to opt for open sets of dinnerware. This way you can buy the exact number of plates and bowls that you need and avoid acquiring any extra dinnerware that you will rarely use.
Separate sets for different occasions
The dinnerware you need for casual everyday use need not be anything fancy, whereas the set you bring out for dinner parties will have to be formal and sophisticated.
Both occasions call for different requirements from your dinnerware.
Getting separate sets allows you to customize and buy plates that serve different purposes better. The set intended for everyday use should be of more durable material as they will see frequent use and consequently, more wear and tear. Whereas the set intended for entertaining guests will need to be fancier and more elegant looking.
A Review of the top 4 Dish sets made in USA
In the last couple of sections, we have extensively covered all the important details that you will have to keep in mind while making your dinnerware purchase. Equipped with all those tips and facts, let us now take a closer look at the best USA made dinner plates that are available to you.
* Lenox Eternal Gold-Banded Fine China
The Lenox Eternal Fine China is a classic dinnerware set that is perfect for formal occasions. The white polished look is glossy and sleek while the golden band that surrounds the edges of the plates and cup adds just the right amount of elegance to the pieces. The gold band is composed of pure and authentic 24-karat gold that further attests to the workmanship and quality invested in crafting this dinnerware set.
The Lenox crockery set contains a total of five pieces comprised of three plates in differing sizes and a cup and plate set. This includes a dinner plate, a salad plate, a plate for holding bread and butter, and a tea cup with an accompanying saucer. This allows you to get a great range of usability out of the set as each plate is intended for a separate purpose.
This set from Lennox comes with a lifetime replacement policy.
This guarantee of quality is sure to come as a pleasant bonus for all users. Furthermore, the plates are also dishwasher safe, making them even more user-friendly. The set is made completely in the USA using American labor in every aspect ranging from design to manufacture. If you want to acquire a set of porcelain dinnerware not made in china, then this is one of your best bets.
- Easy to clean
- Stunning design
- Durable and does not break even when dropped
- The gold and ivory colors go well together
- The weight of the plates is on the heavier side
- The material may not be as translucent as expected
* Kate Spade New York Chapel Hill
The Kate Spade dinnerware place setting is a five-piece bone china set that has been crafted to perfection. The bone china material is composed of animal bones infused into regular china which lends it the characteristic translucent and milky white look. The material also lends the plates their light weight and durability which is the highest amongst all crockery materials.
The design and look of every plate in this set is delicately intricate and yet classic. The plates are all decked out with delicate Chantilly lace designs throughout their surface. The platinum band around the edge combined with the stark white color of the plates makes them timelessly stylish. Additionally, not only are the plates dishwasher safe but even the platinum band surrounding the plates is resistant to damage in dishwashers.
This porcelain dinnerware made in USA is comprised of plates of five different sizes which are to be used for different purposes. The set includes a dinner plate, a salad plate, a plate for holding bread and butter, and a cup and saucer.
- The classic and intricate design
- Dishwasher safe even with the platinum band
- Very durable
- The price may be high for some
- Not an open set
* Fiesta 4-Piece Place Setting
The Fiesta Place Setting is a four-piece dinnerware set made of vitrified ceramic. It is comprised of two plates of different sizes along with a cup and saucer set. These pieces are perfect for everyday use by an individual as each piece can be used for some particular purpose. The fewer number of pieces in the set make it very suitable for individual use.
The set comes in a white color and a glazed surface that is lead-free which makes it more conducive to maintaining the health of its users. The fact that the plates are dishwasher and microwave oven safe make them even more convenient to use. Additionally, the surface also comes with a five-year warranty against any chipping which attests to the quality of the product.
- The classic design
- The fewer number of plates make it cheaper
- Dishwasher and microwave oven safe
- Cannot be used for larger gatherings
- The color may not meet expectations
* Corelle Winter Frost White Dinnerware Set
The Corelle Winter Frost White Dinnerware is a timeless set of 18 pieces. This set is more suited for people with larger families who entertain guests quite often. Each different type of plate or bowl in this set comes with six additional pieces which includes soup bowls and cereal bowls, ten and half inch dinner plates, and bread plates.
The pieces are all in simple white coloring that looks elegant, while the Corelle glass material is triple-layered and resistant to breakage and chipping despite being lightweight. Not only are the pieces all dishwasher safe but are also completely safe to use in the microwave oven.
- The set is in white which will go with your existing crockery
- Dishwasher and microwave oven safe
- Durable material
- The plates get very hot in the oven
- The cup design leads to drinks cooling down too quickly
Depending upon whether you have children or pets in your household, or whether you entertain in a more formal setting, your requirements from a dinnerware set will differ. Durability will be more important in the former case while aesthetics with an aim to impress more so in the latter case. I hope that this post has been of some help in getting you to sort out your needs and determining which set is best for you.