Choosing the best flatware or silverware can be tricky. There are a variety of sets available, which means that your decision will come down to three things: aesthetics, budget, and how many place settings you need. And there’s a huge range for all those factors.
The vast majority of flatware is made of stainless steel. Yes, formal sterling silver flatware is still available, but a single setting can cost hundreds of dollars or more; it also requires frequent hand-washing and polishing.... Obviously, that makes stainless steel a more practical choice. It comes in three varieties: 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0. The “18” refers to the the fact that it is made of 18 percent chromium, while the second number is the percentage of nickel. Both chromium and nickel help the flatware resist corrosion. More nickel also adds shine and sturdiness. That’s why 18/10 flatware tends to be pricier than 18/0.
Pretty much all stainless-steel flatware is dishwasher-safe. However, many manufacturers recommend against soaking flatware for long periods or using detergents that contain lemon or orange additives, which can trigger corrosion. They also say it’s better to pat the flatware dry than let it dry in the dishwasher – this can help guard against those stubborn spots and streaks.
Whatever your budget or design preference, here are seven of our favorite flatware sets.
01 of 08
With its sleek, graceful lines, Oneida’s Mooncrest Flatware Set has an almost universal appeal. And no matter how many people are at the dinner table, there’s a set that should work: Oneida sells its Mooncrest flatware in 20-piece, 45-piece, and 65-piece sets. The 45-piece set includes eight settings 5-piece settings which include a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad/dessert fork, soup/cereal spoon, and teaspoon. The set also includes five serving pieces—two serving spoons, a serving fork, a sugar... spoon, and a butter knife.
Reviewers love the set’s unadorned, simple look, which helps it fit with just about every type of dinnerware. A few warn that the shiny finish shows water spots and smudges too easily, however. They also say the individual pieces have a good weight and simply feel good in the hand. This 18/0 stainless steel set is dishwasher safe and has a limited lifetime warranty. Though most users say the set seems durable and some report years of trouble-free use, a few say they had issues with rust after a short period.
02 of 08
Buyers who want a more classic look, or those who need a sturdy set for bigger families or dinner parties, will want to check out the Lenox Portola Flatware Set. This 65-piece set includes 12 settings of five pieces each: dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon. It also has a hostess set with a sugar spoon, butter-serving knife, cold meat fork, tablespoon, and pierced tablespoon.
The Portola flatware has a more traditional look than the Oneida Mooncrest, with small circles... and bands on the end of each handle. Reviewers say the embellishment is still understated enough to suit most tastes and casual enough for everyday use, however. Each piece has a pleasant weight and balance according to reviewers. This 18/10 stainless steel set is tarnish-resistant and dishwasher safe. There are few reports of scratches, rust, or tarnishing, and the set comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
03 of 08
Ikea’s Fornuft flatware is an almost unbelievably good deal making it a great option for first apartments or anyone who doesn’t want to resort to plastic during large picnics or backyard barbecues. This simply designed set includes four sets of five pieces each: knife, fork, salad/dessert fork, spoon, and teaspoon.
The Fornuft flatware is more design-conscious than many other budget sets available, though the modern lines might border on utilitarian for some diners. Unsurprisingly, this is a... relatively lightweight set, but users say the individual pieces don’t feel cheap. Some reviewers—particularly men—say the pieces seem a bit small in their hands, however. The Fornuft flatware is stainless steel and dishwasher-safe. While most reviewers are pleased with durability for the price, some complain that the pieces rust or bend too easily.
04 of 08
The Cambridge Silversmiths Heather Sand Flatware is an ideal option for traditionalists who don’t have much to spend; it’s also backed by a relatively beefy warranty for such an inexpensive set. This 20-piece set includes four settings of five pieces each: butter knife, dinner fork, salad fork, spoon, and teaspoon.
Each piece of the Heather Sand set features a graceful swirl design on the subtly scalloped handles. The brushed finish is a bit subtler than flatware that has a mirror-like finish.... Overall, reviewers say the look is somewhere between casual and elegant, making this set versatile enough for everyday use or more formal dinners. Most say the pieces have a decent weight for a budget set, though some complain they are too light in the hand. Made of 18/0 stainless steel, this set is dishwasher safe. It’s backed by a 25-year limited lifetime warranty. Most reviewers say quality is good, especially for the price, but there are some reports of bent handles and rust spots.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Anyone who’s willing to pay the price for a more innovative set of flatware will want to check out Knork’s 20-Piece, 18/10 Stainless Steel Set, which is hand-forged and designed specifically for better ergonomics. The set includes four sets of five pieces each: dinner knife, dinner fork, salad/dessert fork, spoon, and teaspoon.
This Knork set has a clean, modern design and a matte finish. The flatware also features several small tweaks to make eating just a bit more enjoyable: There are larger,... easier-to-grip handles, as well as a finger platform at the neck of the utensil. Plus the longer, curvier tines on the forks make cutting food easier. Reviewers appreciate these tweaks and say the fork is sharp enough to double as a knife on many occasions. The 18/10 stainless steel is dishwasher-safe and comes with a lifetime warranty; reviewers say the pieces are heavyweight and feel built to last. A less-expensive 18/0 stainless steel set is also available, as is a glossier finish.
06 of 08
If you are a frequent entertainer, you might also consider investing in some high quality plastic flatware as well. This set from Reflections could almost pass as real silverware at first glance, but the high quality plastic comes in a large quantity set at a fraction of the cost of a traditional place setting.
The set includes 80 plastic forks, 40 plastic spoons, and 40 plastic knives. They can be hand washed and used several times, but because they are inexpensive, you won't have to worry... if a guest accidentally tosses their place setting in the trash.
07 of 08
Your flatware set should be fun. After all, you’re going to be using this with your friends and family. And you’ll be using this set at least once a day depending, so it would be nice to have set that you can enjoy and be proud of. Forget the standard silverware, why can’t we have fun with colored metals that fit better with aesthetics.
Mint Pantry’s Agave 20-Piece Flatware Set is available in three stylish finishes: gold, copper, and black. The pieces are made with 18/0 stainless steel, which... will never require you to polish it. Plus, all of the colors have a unique matte finish that makes for a very mod flatware set.
This set can perfectly meld with rustic, glam, and mod dishware for various events. They also make perfect everyday utensils for the family. The handles are squared, a refreshing detail. You could also buy multiples of the same set in different finishes to really impress your guests.
08 of 08
Sometimes something laid back and casual is what you are going for — whether that is for everyday use or perhaps outdoors in the summer. This Cambridge set is the perfect match for when you just want to kick back and relax.
Available in both a 16 and 20-piece setting in black, white, blue or red this flatware would look great mixed and matched for all of your Fourth of July parties or just as one solid collection.
The set is dishwasher safe and made of 18/0 stainless steel making it durable.... What we love is that is has a 25-year warranty so it will be with your family for decades.
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