A Guide to Buying a Dinnerware Set

Are you moving into your own apartment in Singapore or are you looking to add more items to your kitchen collection for use or display? Knowing the differences of the different types of dinnerware will help you how to look for the right pieces to add to your collection.

Dinnerware Sets
If you buy a set for one person at the shop, you will most likely get a four-piece deal that includes a dinner plate, mug, salad plate, and soup bowl, but the contents can also vary. Estimate of how many pieces you will need before purchasing. Usually, dinnerware is sold in the following sets:

• Open Stock. Some stores sell each dinnerware piece individually instead of a set that includes the usual four items. This will give you freedom to choose from different sizes, designs or shapes, and colors that you can mix and match. If there are individual pieces that you want to display in your kitchen cabinet, buying open stock dinnerware is your best option.
• Place Setting. This term describes the dinnerware set for one person. Each set usually comes with a dinner plate, cup, saucer, and additional plates for dessert and other snacks. Choose a place setting if you want expensive items to display on your cabinet.
• Boxed Set. This dinnerware set is made up of more than one place setting. This is a perfect choice for dinnerware for a family of four to eight persons. Some dinnerware boxed sets also include additional items such as saucers and flatware (spoon, fork, and knife).

Dinnerware Materials
The type of material used decides the price of the item as well as its durability and quality, so pick the best material for a specific function.

• Porcelain. Also called Chinaware, this item is made from a fine particle clay which is comprised of feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. The material is heated at high temperatures that is why it’s durable, translucent, and non-porous. You can use these in your microwave and oven, although you should avoid exposing pieces with metals to heat.
• Earthenware. The material is valued for its thickness and antique look, but the glazed and fired dinnerware absorbs water and isn’t durable.
• Stoneware. It uses the same materials as the earthenware, but glass is added to make the material durable. Unlike porcelain, the finish comes in many varieties and are generally opaque and fine.

• Bone China. From the name of the dinnerware, the items are made from animal bones mixed with porcelain clay. The materials and the exposure to heat make this the most durable type of dinnerware, that is why it’s safe for oven and microwave oven use and in dishwashers.
• Vitrified Glass. This type of glass is exposed to high temperatures to make the material durable and non-porous. Top brands that manufacture vitrified glass create dinnerware that are very durable even when dropped or exposed to high temperatures.
• Melamine. Plastic dinnerware is lighter and stronger than glass or clay, but it cannot be used to microwave food. However, if you’re looking for safe plastics, look for polycarbonate BPA-free dinnerware.