Dinner Plates: The Complete Guide
Everyone knows what a dinner plate is but most people do not know just what a varied choice the consumer has when buying dinnerware sets. Having a variety of different sized plates is best for most households as different meals call for various shapes and sizes. They are the most basic item that we use daily when eating so give some thought to their purchase as you will be seeing a lot of them.
There are eight variables that classify dinner plates and sets and if you are thinking of buying some you will need to know which choice to make in each category to narrow down your selection. Your selection will need to cover the number of pieces in the set, the shape of the plate, the material it is made from, the occasion it will be used for, the pattern or lack of used as decoration, as well as the color, price and brand. This complete guide to dinner plates will run you through the variations you will find in each area and clue you into the most popular.
Size of dinnerware set
Dinnerware sets come in sizes of 4, 5, 16, 20 and 45 pieces. The standard 4 piece set includes a mug, a soup/cereal bowl, a salad/dessert plate and a dinner plate. The 5 piece set can either include a cup and saucer and three sizes of plate, or three different sized plates and a cup and saucer or two plates, a bowl and a cup and saucer. These are all one person settings. The 16 piece sets are for four people so are effectively four lots of the 4 piece sets. 20 piece sets typically include three sizes of plate with either a bowl and a mug or a cup and saucer, again for four people. 45 piece sets include 16 plates in two different sizes, 8 bowls and cups and saucers and four items of serveware, aimed at serving 8 people.
Dinner plate shapes
The most common shape is round, but you can also buy square dinner plates, oval and rectangular designs. Villeroy & Boch have also introduced New Wave designs including tear drop and triangular shaped plates.
Dinner plate materials
Dinner plates are made from many different materials. Most common are the china, porcelain and stoneware dinnerware plates, but you can also find ceramic, glass, earthenware and clay offerings as well as a few made from ironstone, stainless steel and of course plastic.
Dinner plate occasions
Dinner plate sets are designed by their manufacturers according to the different occasions when they might be used. The most common sets are made for everyday use, but fine china and casual china sets are also popular. A few children’s sets and holiday sets are also made. If you can only afford one set of dinner plates, make sure your everyday set would be suitable for a dinner party should you hold one in the future. It is usually cheaper to buy them as part of a dinnerware set, which also makes things easier should you need all of your crockery to tie in for a more formal occasion.
Dinner plate pattern
The designs or patterns on dinner plates are as varied as you can imagine. Banded designs, where a circle of color or flowers is found around the edge, is most popular. Plates of one color are another top choice along with floral patterns. Novelty plates featuring Christmas trees, bears, penguins, fireflies and similar pictures are brought out at holidays or other special occasions. Striped designs can offer an interesting touch, with stripes going horizontally up bowls and mugs or vertically down dinner plates, and other geometric or intricate designs can also be found if these suit your taste.
Dinner plate color
You can match your dinner plates to virtually any color you can think of. Whilst white dinner plates are most common, silver and cream are also popular. Moving onto stronger colors, greens, blues and multi colored designs are easiest to shop for.
Dinner plate price
You will have a lot of choice if you want to get a 4 or 5 piece set of dinnerware for under $40 and you will even find many 16 piece sets for under $100. Cheap dinner plates by Corelle start at around $4 per plate.
Dinner plate manufacturers
There are around 50 manufacturers of dinner plates and dinnerware sets but Pfaltzgraff and Corelle dinner plates are those that get the best reviews, so these would be a good place to start looking.
Some currently bestselling dinner plate sets are the following:
- Bestselling floral design – Corelle Mandarin Flower Square Round 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 4
- Bestselling unusual design – Villeroy & Boch New Wave Move 1 Teardrop 11-by-6-Inch Plate
- Bestselling white design – Corelle Square Pure White 30-Piece Dinnerware Set, Service for 6
Look after your dinner plates
A set of dinner plates should be a fairly long term investment, so when you have chosen and purchased them you want to make sure you look after them. Breaking one item in a set can cause you a headache when you try to replace it a few years after purchase.
Before you buy your dinner plates it is advisable to check that they are microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher safe. You do not want to find out later that some of the metallic paintwork sets sparks off in your microwave.
Laying your dinner plates and other dinnerware correctly for a formal occasion
Giving a dinner party does not need to give you days of worry and stress beforehand. But taking a few pointers on how to lay your table properly will no doubt impress your guests and make your food look even more appealing. So find a nice table linen, drag out your dinner plates and flatware and follow these simple instructions.
Center your dinnerplates in front of each chair and sit soup bowls or salad plates on top.
Place the silverware that will be used first the furthest away from the dinner plate and work in with forks on the left and knives and spoons on the right.
The cutting edges of knives face the dinner plate. Spread them half an inch away from the plate and each other and line them up evenly.
Place glasses to the right of the knife.
Fold your napkins elegantly and place on the plate, under the forks or within the glass. Then sit back and relax and enjoy the company of your guests.
When you have your dinner plates sorted, you may need a new dining table to host all your dinner parties on. Why not consider some of the many drop leaf tables that are not only practical and space saving but also very affordable. And while you’re on a spending spree, you’ll need to complement this new look with the perfect flatware, drinkware and serveware!