If it’s time to update your dinnerware, these are best plates for your weekday dinners and Sunday roasts
Beautiful plates make meals an even more enjoyable experience and can add a creative twist to your table. The best plates don’t have to cost the earth but should be durable and practical as well as stylish.
Whether you’re looking for matching sets or quirky individual pieces we’ve got you covered, with plates suitable for everyday use through to special dinner parties. We’ve tested and reviewed each plate – eating from them and making sure they survive their recommended cleaning processes. And with our cheapest option starting at £4, you’ll find a plate to suit every budget.
There are thousands of different options when it comes to buying plates, so how do you know what’s best to go for? Our buying guide below will give you pointers on what to look for when choosing a plate, or alternatively you can just skip straight to our recommendations further down the page.
How to choose the best plates for you
You might be thinking that one plate is much like the next, but there are a few key factors to consider when choosing.
How much should I spend?
As with most products, the price of plates can vary by quite a bit. It’s to be expected that very cheap plates won’t have as long a lifespan as those you pay more for, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t choose cheaper plates for those you’ll only use occasionally.
We’d recommend spending a little more on your day-to-day plates, but none of the options on our list costs more than £20 for an individual plate, although some are sold in sets of four.
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What’s the most durable material for a plate?
Plates come in a variety of materials, but these are some of the most common:
Stoneware – Stoneware plates have a special glaze that gives a smooth finish but also makes plates impermeable. This means they’re ideal for everyday use as they’re extremely tough.
Bone china – Bone china is tougher than fine china, while still giving a more delicate feel to plates. It’s durable, lightweight and also chip-resistant.
Porcelain – Porcelain plates have a non-porous service and are highly durable due to high firing temperatures.
Melamine – Perfect for outdoor use, melamine plates are shatterproof and extremely hard to chip or break.
Anything else I should consider?
Not all plates are dishwasher-safe. Some more delicate plates, or those with painted patterns, can be hand-wash only. While this might be fine for occasional use, you probably want to ensure your everyday plates can go in a dishwasher.
Another thing to consider is that any plates with metallic details won’t be microwave-safe and only a few plates are considered oven-safe. If these are important factors to you, make sure you check the description carefully before purchasing.
We’d also recommend checking that a plate will actually fit in your dishwasher (we’ve done the work on that for you with our recommended plates) and that they’re chip-resistant even when stacked in a cupboard. Finally, while intricate finishes and glazes look beautiful, check that the plate doesn’t have too slippery a surface. You don’t want your food ending up on the floor.
How we test plates
We test each plate on this list by using it for several weeks. In particular we’re looking at the material of each plate, its durability and how they stand up to general wear and tear. We hand wash each plate, as well as run them through the dishwasher, if dishwasher-safe, to ascertain how easy they are to clean.
As well as durability, we also consider how stylish they are, whether they would work well in a variety of kitchens and whether they offer good value for money, especially where sets are concerned.
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This Scandi-style set of plates have a reassuringly solid utilitarian feel to them and offer a slightly larger surface area than most dinner plates, making them the perfect choice for those who like to pile their plates high. They have a contemporary muted oatmeal look, with a glazed finish to add a touch of elegance. They aren’t all style over substance, though. In testing, we found them to be extremely functional and well made, meaning you should expect to get many years of use out of them.
Made from durable stoneware, the plates are also dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe. We think they’re particularly suited for eating pizza off – a medium pizza fits neatly on them without any overflow. The plates are a little heavier than other brands, but this just adds to the feeling of good quality in our book.
Key details – Size (LW): 27.5 x 27.5cm; Weight: 950g; Material: Stoneware; Dishwasher-safe: Yes; Microwave-safe: Yes; Oven-safe: Yes
2. Mason Cash Linear Collection Set of 4 Blue Dinner Plates: Best plates for everyday use
Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at Mason Cash
Mason Cash might be better known for its mixing bowls but the brand also offers beautiful stoneware dinner services. This set of four dinner plates comes in a gorgeous shade of blue, is extremely reasonably priced and ideal for everyday use.
The Linear Collection is both dishwasher- and microwave-safe and made from robust, chip-resistant stoneware. The glazed surface isn’t too slippery, meaning food stays firmly where you place it, and each plate stacks well. They aren’t too heavy either, and fit neatly in a dishwasher.
One downside is that each plate has a large, ridged lip, which does reduce the overall usable surface area. However, if that’s not a dealbreaker then this beautifully designed set will bring a simple elegance to any table every day of the year.
Key details – Size (LWD): 27 x 27 x 2.5cm; Weight: 760g; Material: Stoneware; Dishwasher-safe: Yes; Microwave-safe: Yes; Oven-safe: No
3. Le Creuset Stoneware Side Plate: Best premium plate for splashing out
Price when reviewed: £19 | Check price at John Lewis
The name Le Creuset is synonymous with high-quality cookware – its cast iron pots and pans are passed down from generation to generation. But the company also produces a stylish range of plates and bowls. This durable stoneware side plate is designed to retain heat with an even temperature, meaning your food stays hot for longer. It also has a recessed base and a raised rim to contain liquids, which is ideal for those awkward ingredients such as beans.
Like everything made by Le Creuset, the plate has some serious heft to it, weighing in at 540g. It’s also scratch- and chip-resistant, safe to use in the fridge, freezer, microwave and dishwasher, and you can use it in an oven heated up to 260℃ or a grill with a 6.5cm gap.
The plates come in a range of gorgeous colours, but we particularly like this vibrant cerise, which will add a splash of sophisticated colour to any table. These are the most expensive plates on our list, but the quality is undeniable and there’s a 10-year guarantee if anything goes wrong.
Key details – Size (LWD): 21.8 x 21.8 x 2.2cm; Weight: 540g; Material: Stoneware; Dishwasher-safe: Yes; Microwave-safe: Yes; Oven-safe: Yes
4. White Stuff Fishes Seaside Set of 2 Plates: Best side plates
Price when reviewed: £30 | Check price at White Stuff
Most people associate White Stuff with clothing, but the company also produces a range of quirky and cute homeware. Among this selection, you’ll find this little gem of summery sea-themed plates. We plumped for the fish and starfish combination but there’s also an octopus-themed selection on offer if you prefer.
Made from dishwasher-safe, ceramic stoneware, each plate has hand-painted touches and slightly uneven edges for a rustic feel. If you’re a fan of absolute symmetry, these probably aren’t the plates for you. But if you want to add a touch of individuality to a table, these are a lovely choice. We also think they’d look fantastic when dining al fresco.
Key details – Size (LWD): 19 x 19 x 2cm; Weight: 450g; Material: Stoneware; Dishwasher-safe: Yes; Microwave-safe: No; Oven-safe: No
5. Amazon Umi Plates Set for 4: Best for dinner parties
Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon
These large side plates are made from delicate bone china and are also available as part of a complete dinner set. Plates are scratch-resistant and decorated with either a pink or blue watercolour effect and gold rim.
Painted plates in this style would normally set you back much more, so this is a great budget option for those looking for artistic dinnerware. Do be aware that the pattern is not hand-painted, though, hence the reasonable price.
We think these plates would be lovely for occasional use at dinner parties, particularly as they’re made from delicate china. It’s also worth noting that the plates are not dishwasher- or microwave-safe, so you probably wouldn’t want to use them every day. But if you’re looking for an artistic plate without the hefty price tag, this is a great option.
Key details – Size (LW): 21 x 21cm; Weight: Not available; Material: Bone china; Dishwasher-safe: No; Microwave-safe: No; Oven-safe: No
6. Wilko White Large and Small Serving Plates: Best serving plates
Price when reviewed: £11 / £4 | Check price at Wilko
These sleek, white, bone china serving plates from Wilko belies their budget price tag. The finish is excellent and they will add a modern and minimalist feel to your meals.
The larger serving plate is perfect for a Sunday roast or some antipasti, while the smaller serving plate holds a variety of nibbles but it’s also the perfect shape and size for sushi. Serving plates can be pricey, so these are a godsend for those on a tight budget.
Although these are both dishwasher and microwave safe, we think most people will struggle to fit the large serving plate in the dishwasher, so do be prepared to have to wash it by hand.
Key details – Size (LWD): 29 x 36 x 2.3cm (Large), 29 x 9 x 2.3cm (Small); Weight: N/A; Material: Bone China; Dishwasher safe: Yes; Microwave safe: Yes; Oven safe: No