How to Buy Porcelain Dinnerware

Porcelain dinnerware is often referred to as china. The plates, bowls, cups and saucers are made from ceramic materials which are fired at extremely high temperatures. Porcelain dinnerware is durable and strong, and often used for formal place settings. Many couples register for at least 1 set of porcelain dinnerware when they get married. There are many different styles and patterns to choose from. Buy porcelain dinnerware in casual and formal place settings at any department store, specialty store or online.


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    Decide how many settings you will need. Most people buy a casual setting, for every day usage, and a formal setting for special occasions.
    • Buy more than 1 or 2 settings if you entertain a lot, or like a lot of variety. For example, you can have a different porcelain dinnerware setting for every season.
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    Figure out how many place settings are necessary. Most experts recommend between 8 and 12 place settings.
    • Choose 12 settings if you have a large family or you frequently entertain. This will ensure everyone has matching dinnerware.
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    Consider color and pattern. Some people prefer simple white dinnerware. You can select different colors and detailed patterns as well.
    • Compare modern and traditional patterns. Some sets come with a pattern around the border, and others have a design covering the entire plate.
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    Decide which pieces to include. Formal porcelain dinnerware consists of dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, cups and saucers.
    • Expand your formal dinnerware collection by including bread plates, dessert plates, platters and serving bowls.
    • Choose simple pieces for casual dinnerware, including dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and mugs or glasses. Some casual sets come with the plates only.
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    Shop for porcelain dinnerware in department stores. Stores such as Macy's, Dillard's, Sears and J.C. Penny carry major brands such as Oneida, Noritake, Pfaltzgraff and Mikasa.
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    Consider the selection at specialty home and decorating stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.
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    Shop online for a larger selection and competitive pricing. You can find porcelain dinnerware on sites like Amazon, Overstock and eBay.
    • Consider buying used dinnerware, especially if you are on a budget. Check craigslist, eBay and your local thrift and consignment shops.
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    Look for something that is easy to maintain. Most porcelain dinnerware can be used in the microwave and the dishwasher, but ask a sales associate before you buy.
    • Check the instructions from the manufacturer. Some brands recommend that their fine china be washed and dried by hand. Instructions may be printed on the bottom of the dinnerware as well.
    • Ask about how to store dinnerware. Some manufacturers recommend padding between each plate to minimize the risk of scratches.
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    Check your return policy. Find out if you will be able to return the dinnerware you buy if you decide you do not like it, or you find it to be damaged.
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    Work with a wedding coordinator or someone who specializes in bridal registries if you are getting married. A professional can help you select the right pieces for your registry and make recommendations.


  • Consider shopping for flatware and glassware that will complement the porcelain dinnerware you select. You will have everything you need to set an elegant table.

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Categories: Tableware