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Without a doubt, plates, cups, and bowls are lifestyle essentials and one of the first things couples may think about for their wedding registry. A player in everything from weeknight dinners to fancy dinner parties, your dinnerware not only sets the tone for your table but also speaks to your lifestyle as well. And while everyday dinnerware and formal china can be slightly different, dining has become more casual and so has our dinnerware. You might want something a little more durable and dishwasher-safe for daily meals and then opt for a more delicate, luxe set for formal events. But with innovations in technology and more affordable options out there, it’s also possible to register for one set that will do double duty.
Since a quality set may last for years, choosing something you love is important. Material, shape, color, pattern, and style are all important considerations to make when choosing the dishes that are right for you. Plus, you’ll want them to compliment your food, kitchen decor, and overall style. Whether you’re in the market for a durable everyday set or looking for an opulent, classic pattern, we’ve rounded up the best in every category. Because sitting down to plates you love makes even the simplest meal something to look forward to.
Read on for the best china.
Best Modern: Wedgwood Jasper Conran Strata 16-Piece Set
Crafted of fine bone china and embossed with subtle radial lines, this set gives off an understated, modern vibe without diverging too far from tradition. Designed by Jasper Conran for Wedgwood, this one is refined enough for formal dining, but versatile to use every day.
Best Budget: 10 Strawberry Street Wazee Matte Coupe Dinnerware Set
Available in five muted tones, this hardworking dinnerware is durable enough for everyday use, but the modern design will steal the show at your next dinner party. It's wallet-friendly too, so it's a great option if you want to get extra pieces or splurge on serving pieces.
Best Floral/Vintage-Inspired: Gien Tulipe Vintage Inspired French Dinnerware
These elegant plates are adorned with fanciful tulips—the official flower of Louis XIV. The set is produced by Gien, a maker renowned for its quality and artistry. Inspired by vintage designs, each plate is handmade in France’s Loire Valley using an age-old technique.
Best Boho: Anthropologie Old Havana Dinner Plates
Hand-pressed mandala patterns and layers of rich turquoise glaze come together in a whimsical stoneware set. Crafted in Portugal, the dinnerware has an organic, handmade quality that emanates bohemian charm.
Best Everyday: Hawkins New York Shaker Stoneware Dinner Plate
Inspired by the simplicity and pragmatism of Shaker designs, this stoneware set is perfect for everyday use. Chic and modern, the pieces are utilitarian without losing their aesthetic appeal. Plus, they’re available in a selection of pretty, interchangeable shades to suit your style.
Best Bespoke/Rustic: Astier de Villatte Rien Plates
Perfectly imperfect, this bespoke French dinnerware has a rustic look that speaks to its rich history. Each piece is handmade in an antique Bastille workshop on the Rue St. Honore in Paris using a traditional technique passed down over generations. Made of black terracotta, the dinnerware is finished in layers of milky white glaze.
Best Iconic: Royal Copenhagen Blue Fluted Plain Porcelain Dinnerware
Nearly 1,200 meticulous, hand-painted brushstrokes create the fronds, brackets, and medallions on these intricately patterned plates. Produced continuously by Royal Copenhagen since the 1770s, this iconic blue and white china may be over 200 years old, but it’s the definition of timeless.
Best Retro/Mid-Century: Russel Wright American Modern Dinnerware
If you’re looking for something with a vintage vibe, this set is the real deal. Designed by Mid-Century icon Russel Wright, the dinnerware has gently curved lines and comes in an array of retro shades. Choose a single color for the set or mix-and-match for a more eclectic look.
Best Outdoor: West Elm Modern Melamine Dinnerware
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’re going to want shatter-proof dinnerware that can withstand the elements. This melamine set features modern silhouettes in a selection of vibrant, summery colors—perfect for a pool-side snack or a picnic dinner!
Best Splurge: Hermes Bleus d'Aiulleurs Dinnerware
Bold, blue, and white radiating patterns create an eye-catching array of patterned plates. Each Limoges porcelain piece is emblazoned with a different design that all comes together in a graphic, artistic statement for the table. It may be a splurge, but it's something you'll treasure forever.
Best Textured: Macy's Michael Aram Palace Dinnerware Collection
Inspired by architecture, this porcelain dinnerware set pays homage to Indian design. The intricate geometric patterns reflect the arches, finials, and ornamentation of palaces and embellish each piece in textured relief. A subtle, but striking statement for any table.
Best Monogrammed: Pickard Color Sheen Monogrammed Dinnerware in Blue and Gold
Love a good monogram? Then you might want plates that don your moniker. An elegant statement for a traditional table, this set has handprinted rims and gilded lettering. Each piece is handmade in Illinois by the renowned American manufacturer, Pickard.