Guide to Buying Dinnerware | The Range
header banner header banner header banner

You are shopping in Reserve & Collect mode for store | Change →

Select your store for Click & Collect*

Find your nearest store

Change postcode

Not in the UK? Change Country
Elegant Dinner Tableware Guide

Guide to Buying Dinnerware

The right dinnerware will see you through every type of meal, from a quick snack in front of the sofa to decadent dinner parties. The right dinnerware isn’t just about the pretty design. You’ll want durable pieces made from a suitable material that fits well into your home and lifestyle. Whether you have your eye on a rustic stoneware bowl or an extravagant bone china platter, here’s our guide to buying dinnerware.


The material your dinnerware is made from will affect its price and durability.


Stoneware pieces are made from refined clay, often mixed with stone. It’s only fired once, giving it a darker look, often with various colours. Stoneware offers a casual, rustic look to your dinnerware but can be glazed to give it the whiter appearance of porcelain and china. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a rougher, more porous texture than other dinnerware.

Pretty Patterned Dinnerware


Porcelain uses fine clay, usually kaolin clay, fired at a high temperature to achieve a smooth, glass-like finish. Porcelain is much more lightweight than stoneware and has a finer, whiter appearance. It is glazed and often comes in a variety of designs. Despite being finer than stoneware, it’s very durable and more resistant to chipping.

Fine Bone China

Bone china combines fine kaolin clay with bone ash and often feldspar. Due to its production, it’s highly durable with a very white, almost translucent finish. Due to its price, fine bone china is often used as formal dinnerware and is commonly decorated with elegant designs.

Dinnerware Pieces

Below is a list of some dinnerware essentials that will fill your basic household needs:

Dinner plates
Starter / Salad plates
Side plates
Soup bowls

guide to dinnerware tableware

Here is a list of extra items that come in handy for larger dinners with more people:

Large serving plates
Large serving bowls
Shallow pasta bowls

You must choose between buying your dinnerware as a full set or as single, open-stock items. Sets make it easy to buy everything you need in one go and can work out more cost-effective, but it can be harder to replace single items if they chip or break. We think buying single items for the dinnerware you use regularly is a good idea, and investing in a special set for more special occasions.

Caring for your Dinnerware

Most of your dinnerware will be dishwasher and microwave safe (unless it has metallic edging, of course. In which case, keep it well away from the microwave!) You’ll want to ensure your dinnerware stacks safely without toppling over and that your cupboards are wide and deep enough to accommodate the largest of your plates.

Have a browse of our extensive Tableware and Dinnerware collection to find the perfect dinner set for your home.

Products you'll love
Inspiration for your home
guide to glassware wine glass
dining image wide
house party tequila shots
cocktail image wide