To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best cutlery set 2023: The highest-quality and best-value knives, forks and spoons

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or want to butter your toast with style and comfort, we’ve found the best cutlery for you

Pretty much every bite of food eaten at your home is affected by your cutlery, from the breakfast bowl to dinner with friends and family. The best cutlery sets can add comfort, practicality and a sense of occasion to each meal – so it’s well worth buying a good one.

All cutlery sets come with knives and forks and most sets also contain tablespoons and teaspoons. Some include soup spoons and smaller cutlery for desserts or starters, too. Matching cutlery sets have evolved quite a bit over the centuries and nowadays, cutlery sets come in a great variety of styles, from fancy, traditional sets to modern, utilitarian ones.

In our roundup below, we’ve tested highly rated cutlery sets across a wide range of styles and prices. We used the sets to eat a variety of meals and washed the cutlery by hand with washing-up liquid and water.

READ NEXT: The best chef’s knife to buy

How to choose the best cutlery set for you

Does appearance matter?

Appearance isn’t always everything when it comes to homeware – but in the case of cutlery sets, looks matter. You’re going to spend a lot of time gazing down at your cutlery, after all.

Choosing a cutlery set based on its appearance is largely a matter of shopping around and seeing what options suit your taste. Having said that, as a general rule, more traditional cutlery sets tend to suit a traditional or country-style kitchen, while simpler, modern sets are a better match for contemporary interiors. Don’t forget that cutlery sets also come in lots of different colours and finishes, too – if you’re not sold on classic silver, why not try gold, black or another shade instead?

What about quality?

Quality is another key factor that varies greatly between different cutlery sets. A good indicator of a set’s quality is whether it comes with a guarantee and, if it does, how many years the guarantee covers. If you want to splash out on a premium cutlery set to last you a lifetime, look for a set with a lifetime guarantee. Another mark of quality in the best cutlery sets is the use of uncovered, unpainted handles.

The exposed metal should reveal that no faults, blemishes or visible seams have been left over from manufacturing, indicating good craftsmanship. Of course, some cutlery sets with handles are good quality, too.

Speaking of handles, you should consider who will be using your cutlery set, and which material will feel right in their hands. For example, some kids (and plenty of grown-ups) find it easier to grip cutlery that has thick handles attached to the metal.

READ NEXT: The best kitchen knives

Do I need more than one cutlery set?

Last but not least, you’ll need to decide how many cutlery sets you intend to have in your kitchen. Some households keep the old tradition of having one set of cutlery for everyday use and another, fancier set for special occasions.

Others buy just one top-notch set for everyday luxury, while some just want a set that’s reliable and reasonably priced. There are no right or wrong answers here – just take a moment to think the matter through before you start shopping.

How we test cutlery sets

We tested the cutlery sets featured in this guide by using them to eat a wide variety of meals at home. To get a measure of the cutlery’s capabilities, we included some potentially challenging variations, such as steaks (tough for normal table knives to cut) and soups (which can only be eaten conveniently with certain tablespoons – or better still, a soup spoon).

When it comes to cutlery, ease-of-cleaning is a crucial factor that may make one set more suitable for your home than another. We cleaned all of the cutlery featured in this article after use, and noted how easily food came away from the handles and blades, tines or spoons. During cleaning, we were also looking out for any effect on the finish of the cutlery pieces.

Another factor we considered during testing was the cutlery’s appearance. Depending on personal preference, you might prefer a cutlery set that’s classic or contemporary, daring or demure. We wrote objectively about the appearance of each cutlery set, without allowing our reviewer’s taste to have any influence.

The best cutlery sets you can buy in 2023

1. Arthur Price Classic 24-Piece Bead Cutlery Set: The best cutlery set for quality

Price: £112 | Buy now from Amazon

The Arthur Price company has been making cutlery since 1902 and has specialised in stainless steel sets since the 1920s, not long after the material was invented. The brand’s rich heritage is gloriously evident in this classic “Bead” set, which gets its name from the traditional beaded design on its handles.

There’s a lovely weight to this cutlery in general, and a nice thickness to the tines of the forks, the blades of the knives and the bowls of the spoons. We’re particularly keen on the knives, which have enough weight to cut powerfully, despite the lack of a sharp edge to their blades.

This set comes with a 50-year guarantee, which equates to around 73,000 meals for a household that eats at home four times per day. So it’s a good job the traditional bead style shows no signs of going out of fashion for the foreseeable future.

Key details – Service for: Six people; Colour/finish: Silver, polished; Material(s): Stainless steel; Includes: 6 x knives, 6 x forks, 6 x tablespoons, 6 x teaspoons

2. Stellar Rochester 16-Piece Cutlery Set: The best cutlery set for style

Price: £75 | Buy now from Horwood

Our very favourite contemporary cutlery set, the Rochester is the height of elegance. There are no frills here – just a smooth, softly curved set that feels great in the hand and does its job superbly well.

We were really impressed to note that this set comes with a lifetime guarantee, which is not always the case with cutlery sets costing less than £100.

One note of caution: we wouldn’t recommend using the knives in this set to lever off the lid of a golden syrup tin, or anything similar. Our reviewer tried this and ended up bending the blade slightly. The Rochester set works beautifully when it comes to eating food, but it’s not up to some of the heavier tasks for which table knives are sometimes used.

Key details – Service for: Four people; Colour/finish: Silver, polished; Material(s): Stainless steel; Includes: 4 x knives, 4 x forks, 4 x tablespoons, 4 x teaspoons

Buy now from Horwood

3. Symple Stuff Harrod 16-Piece Cutlery Set: The best cutlery set for entertaining

Price: £16 | Buy now from Wayfair

Here’s a fun and fabulous cutlery set to lend some glamour to your tabletop. The Harrod set comes with four diners’ worth of knives, forks, tablespoons and teaspoons, all coated with a golden finish. Above all, this is a great-looking set with a versatile aesthetic: it’s equally well suited to daily use in a rustic kitchen or as a dinner-party conversation-starter.

An important point to bear in mind about this set is that the cutlery is not very hard-wearing. Rough scrubbing might cause the finish to wear off in places, and the set is not designed to be washed in a dishwasher. We recommend you either keep the cutlery for dinner parties and clean it with a soft cloth, or use it more regularly and accept that it’s likely to take on a shabby-chic appearance over time.

Key details – Service for: Four people; Colour/finish: Golden, polished; Material(s): Stainless steel; Includes: 4 x knives, 4 x forks, 4 x tablespoons, 4 x teaspoons

Buy now from Wayfair

4. Creative Tops Drift Stainless Steel Cutlery Set with Wooden Handles: The best-value cutlery set

Price: From £26 | Buy now from Amazon

Combining practical design with hard-wearing quality, the wooden-handled Drift set from Creative Tops is our favourite cutlery set available at a budget price. It’s really comfortable to hold and easy to grip, which makes it an ideal choice for people who don’t get on so well with smooth, all-metal cutlery. Another functional feature is the broadness of the bowls on the tablespoons, which makes them almost as well suited to eating soups as a purpose-made soup spoon would be.

Considering the price you pay, the set is impressively hard-wearing, with a solid connection between the stainless steel ends and the wooden handles. It should be noted, though, this set is hand-wash only and can’t go in the dishwasher.

Key details – Service for: Four people; Colour/finish: Silver; Material(s): Stainless steel; Includes: 4 x knives, 4 x forks, 4 x tablespoons, 4 x teaspoons

5. Grunwerg Windsor Boxed 44-Piece Cutlery Set: The best cutlery set for variety

Price: £53 | Buy now from Amazon

We’re astonished at the array of cutlery that’s bundled into the modestly priced set. Alongside the usual knives, forks, tablespoons and teaspoons, the set gives you a full dessert service, as well as soup spoons and a pair of serving spoons. It’s an all-in-one option to cover the needs of the average dinner party.

In terms of style, this set is simple and effective. We’re big fans of the design of the cutlery, which combines traditional silhouettes with a smooth, contemporary finish. One minor downside, is that the stainless steel has no nickel content, which makes it less robust in the long-term, compared to a set made with 10% stainless steel.

Key specs – Service for: Six people; Colour/finish: Silver, polished; Material(s): Stainless steel; Includes: 6 x knives, 6 x forks, 6 x dessert knives, 6 x dessert forks, 6 x dessert spoons, 6 x soup spoons, 6 x teaspoons and 2 x serving spoons

Read more

Best Buys