The simple act of setting the table, particularly for an event or special gathering, is a great opportunity to set the scene for a delicious meal, wow your dinner guests and show off your style. And it all starts with a good quality dinnerware set. In the past, pulling out the best dinnerware set meant opening up a locked display cabinet and carefully lifting out the ‘good China’ (often a complete matching set of dinner plates, bread-plates and bowls) but these days the definition has relaxed enough to include everything from minimalist white porcelain plates to a mis-matched ‘set’ comprising of surprise vintage finds.
Whether you’re looking for durable everyday dinnerware that will see you through both weeknight dinners and Christmas feasts or want something to liven up a boring old white table setting, this collection of 10 of the best dinner sets is sure to inspire.
The best dinnerware sets 2024
In The Roundhouse ‘Scallop’ dining set (17-piece)
from $250, David Jones
If you want to bring a touch of fun and whimsy to your existing dinnerware collection, In The Roundhouse is the first place you ought to look. Their eclectic range of plates burst with colour, and we especially love the saturated forest-green colourway of their ‘Scallop’ dining set.
- On-trend scalloped border
- Saturated green colourway
- Interesting design
Heritage ribbed dinner set with blue rim (12-piece)
from $159.95, Myer
It’s amazing how a simple line can elevate a plain white dinner set from run-of-the-mill to elegant and understated. This new bone china set not only features a solid blue border but features a ribbed edge for added texture. The design is simple enough for everyday dining yet interesting enough to use for more formal occasions.
- Made from New Bone China
- Simple blue rim design
- Ribbed textured border
Crest dinner set (12-piece)
from $79.97, Freedom
Do you own plenty of colourful and interesting tableware like napkins, placemats and tablecloths? Avoid all of the elements clashing by keeping plateware simple. Freedom’s Crest stoneware dining set features a ribbed edge that will complement any tablescape.
- Classic white dinner set
- Elegant ribbed border
- Made from porcelain
Capri plates and bowls in blue (16-piece), No. 22
from $319 at No. 22
‘Urban aunt’ is the timeless trend set to take over homes in 2024, and if you want to be part of it, start with a unique set of plates that will have your entire dinner party talking. The ‘Capri’ range from No.22 is available in green, pink and yellow but we just can’t go past classic blue.
- Wavy, scalloped edge
- Classic blue and white pattern
- Available in green, pink and yellow
Mixed dinner set bundle in classic white and everglades
from $684, Kim Wallace Ceramics
Do you pour your heart and soul into the meals you make? A boring old plate set isn’t worthy of your cooking! Make your tablescape a work of art by investing in handmade Australian ceramics by Kim Wallace Ceramics. They are dishwasher-safe and constructed from high-fired stoneware.
- Australian made
- Unique, mix and match design
- Handmade in Noosa, QLD
Upplaga white dinner set (18-piece)
from $89, IKEA
Are you a bargain hunter that loves searching for affordable products that look so much more expensive than they really are? For under $100, Ikea’s ‘Upplaga’ set buys you 100% porcelain plates with a gently scalloped edge that makes these plates look right at home whether you’re a Hamptons diehard or a fan of the modern farmhouse aesthetic.
- Affordable 18-piece set
- Made from porcelain
- Classic scalloped edge
Noritake Colorwave dinner set in chocolate (16-piece)
from $390.26, Amazon
A great way to add colour to your table without departing entirely from a safe white set is to opt for plates with a dual-tone design, like Noritake’s Colorwave collection. It’s available in graphite, blue and slate at Temple & Webster but we’re partial to the ‘Chocolate’ version available on Amazon for the warmth it adds to any table setting. Dishwasher safe and designed for everyday use.
- Designed for everyday use
- Timeless dual colourway
- Great value for money
Soren Oxford coupe dinner set (16-piece)
from $129.99, Harris Scarfe
Every frequent entertainer needs a ‘barely there’ white dinner set. The ‘Soren’ Oxford coupe dinner set is classic yet modern and the minimalist design is great for both everyday use and special occasions. These plates aren’t attention grabbers – but that’s the point – especially when it’s the food and its presentation that you want to stand out.
- Classic, white design
- Minimal, raised edge border
- Comes with matching set of drinking mugs
‘Anaya’ The Starter Set (12-piece)
from $208, Cook Dine Host
Speckled, matte stoneware is still having a moment, especially in coastal style homes. They say: I’m sophisticated, I’m laid back and I’m well made. Cook Dine Host’s ‘Anaya’ starter dinner set contains a set of four dinner plates, four side plates and four cereal bowls. One reviewer says “I get so many compliments when I put [out this plate set].”
- Tactile, speckled, matte finish
- Handmade in Thailand from stoneware
- Dishwasher and microwave safe
Maxwell & Williams white basics European rim dinner set (18-piece)
from $149.95, Myer
There are so many practical advantages to owning a standard white dining set. It doesn’t matter what’s on trend, they will always look elegant. You can mix them with a coloured set when you feel like a change, or dress them up with fun and quirky table accessories, and if you ever chip or crack a plate, you can usually replace them like-for-like with a replacement. Maxwell & Williams’ white basics European rim dinner set is microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe and features a classic, wide rim.
- Won’t go out of style
- Perfect for everyday use and special occasions
- Matching accessories and replacements available
What type of dinnerware is best for everyday use?
The best type of dinnerware for everyday use is one that suits your lifestyle. Fine China may be durable material, for example, but it can be expensive to replace when items are damaged. An everyday dinnerware set will be durable, resistant to chips and cracks and be dishwasher, mircrowave, freezer and oven safe. Porcelain is one of the most common materials used in dinnerware as it is relatively affordable and able to withstand knocks and the occasional drops that are inevitable in a busy family household.
What material is best for dinnerware?
Porcelain, also known as China, is made predominantly from kaolin clay fired at high temperatures to create strong dinnerware with a white, translucent finish. Porcelain was invented in China and the process was developed over hundreds of years before being perfected during the early Tang dynasty. Most everyday dinnerware is made from porcelain, as it is strong enough to withstand knocks and dings but is less expensive to make than Fine Bone China or New Bone China.
Fine Bone China
Fine Bone China is the strongest type of porcelain or china. It is made from a minimum of 30% animal bone ash combined with kaolin clay and other carefully measured chemical compounds. It is delicate to hold, yet strong enough to resist chips and cracks. It also has a translucent quality that collectors love.
New Bone China
New bone China is dainty and durable, just like Fine Bone China, but it is made without the use of bone ash. Instead, it is made using calcium oxide, which is sourced from jade. This makes New bone China cruelty-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. New Bone China is more opaque than Fine Bone China, which appears translucent when held up to the light.
There are many similarities between stoneware and porcelain, but stoneware is generally fired at lower temperatures and the raw materials tend to vary, resulting in an ‘imperfect’ finish that is more opaque and porous than traditional porcelain and Fine China. This makes stoneware great for creating a textural, tactile tablescape with a ‘wabi-sabi’ effect.