Choosing the right dinnerware means more than choosing a beautiful pattern; one must also consider the material it’s made from. Learning the differences between bone china, stoneware, porcelain, and earthenware will help you make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing the dinnerware that will eventually become part of your daily life. So long as there is no metallic trim, all dinnerware should be considered appropriate for everyday use and dishwasher/microwave safe.
There are two types of porcelain 1) fine porcelain and 2) everyday porcelain. While both are fired at similar temperatures, everyday porcelain is thicker and more durable than fine porcelain. Known for its translucency, porcelain is strong, non-porous and chip resistant. Everyday porcelain is the best, most durable choice for dinnerware that takes daily wear and tear from children. An example of everyday porcelain is Fitz & Floyd Gourmet Dinnerware. An example of fine porcelain is the popular Noritake Platinum Wave China. Porcelain is typically dishwasher, oven and microwave safe (as long as there is no metallic trim).
Bone china is known for its milky-white tone and translucent quality. Essentially, bone china is a blending of fine china (porcelain) with bone ash, which is then double-fired. As a result, bone china boasts a lightweight quality while being extremely strong and chip resistant. Lenox Opal Innocence, Lenox Chirp Dinnerware, and Vera Wang by Wedgwood Grosgrain China are examples of fine bone china. Bone china maintains its luxury status because of the high quality of the raw materials used.
Stoneware, such as Noble Excellence Toscano Dinnerware, remains a popular dinnerware choice. Stoneware is tough, impermeable and perfect for everyday use. This plate material is known by its solid heft, which makes it incredibly long-lasting, and is often glazed for a long-lasting sheen. It’s also typically microwave and dishwasher safe.
Earthenware is the oldest of all dinnerware and among the most popular. Earthenware, such as this Daniel Cremieux Home Marie Antoinette Dinnerware, is often fired at lower temperatures and is typically fully glazed to make it watertight and durable. Craftsmen prefer earthenware because it’s easier to work with, but couples tend to love the richer colors and patterns that are possible when the clay is fired at these lower temperatures.
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