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The Best Paper Plates for Your Next Party or Picnic

closeup of a woman holding a stack of paper plates

Many of us have eaten off a paper plate at some point in our lives. They’re mainstays of picnics, barbeques, and those nights when you just don’t feel like washing dishes. Some people use them for guests at parties or holidays to save themselves the cleanup afterward or to eat off of when they’re in the process of moving to a new home and have already packed away their regular dishes. Others like to keep paper plates on hand for other functions around the house. Paper plates can be used to cover a mixing bowl or bowl of soup in the microwave to prevent splattering or as a layer in between their ceramic plates to prevent them from getting scratched. There are also fun crafts for kids that may involve paper plates as well. If you’re looking for some new paper plates, here are a few we recommend.

What Should You Consider in Paper Plates?

Here are a few things to think about before buying paper plates:

  • Strength: Some people might think of paper plates as flimsy, but they don’t necessarily have to be. There are plenty of options designed to be resistant to oils, grease, or cutting. Others are coated to make them “soak proof” to prevent liquids or sauces from bleeding through as you eat. Some are microwave and/or freezer safe, while others are multilayered for extra strength and durability.
  • Quantity: Paper plates tend to be sold in fairly high quantities. Packs of 25 are usually about as small as the quantities come. A set of 100 to 200 is pretty much the standard range for most paper plates. For extra-large parties and events, you can even buy sets of up to 500 or 600 paper plates at a time. Consider when and how you plan to use your paper plates, and select your quantity accordingly.
  • Size: Like regular ceramic plates, paper plates can come in multiple sizes. 10 inches is about the standard diameter, but these are not your only options. 7-, 8.5-, and 9-inch varieties are all quite easy to find. Some may be as small as 6 inches or as large as 12 inches. Keep in mind that most non-paper dinner plates are 10 to 12 inches in diameter, as a point of comparison.

Top Choice: Dixie Everyday Paper Plates

Whether you’re looking for paper plates to use every day, to keep on hand in case you need them, or for a picnic or party, you can’t go wrong with this pack. They measure in at just over 10 inches, the perfect size to serve as dinner plates. These paper plates are microwavable, so you’re safe to use them to reheat leftovers or as a cover for heating soups and stews. They’re also cut resistant, strong enough to hold a full meal without collapsing. The soak-proof shield prevents sauces or liquids from seeping through the plate and staining your table or lap. You have four different quantity options depending on your needs: buy a pack of 150, 210, 220, or 440 plates.

Top Choice

Dixie Everyday Paper Dinner Plates, 10".1 Boxes (150 Count)

A sturdy, leak-proof pack of paper plates that are great for dinner-sized meals.

Best Heavy-Duty: Glad Round Disposable Paper Plates

Most people think of paper plates as flimsy, but this pack proves that this doesn’t have to be the case. These round, disposable plates are designed to be as durable as possible, resistant to cutting and tearing, and sturdy enough to support full meals. The exclusive, specially designed coating also makes the plates soak-proof, so even the messiest, greasiest foods won’t penetrate their surface or leak through to stain your clothes or table. They’re also microwaveable for your convenience. Depending on your needs, these plates are available in a pack of 50 or 600. They also come in 7, 8.5, or 10-inch models. The new and improved prints come in 12 different designs and colors, so you can pick whichever best fits your theme if you’re hosting a party or picnic.

Best Heavy-Duty

Glad Round Disposable Paper Plates 10 in, Blue Flower|Soak Proof, Cut Proof, Microwave Safe Heavy Duty Paper Plates For Parties|50 Count Bulk Paper Plates 10 Inch

Strong paper plates designed to be resistant to cutting and leaks and that have new and improved prints and colors.

Most Eco-Friendly: Stack Man Compostable Paper Plates

Paper plates are not generally associated with sustainability or living a green lifestyle due to their disposable nature. If you’re trying to be a little more environmentally conscious, but you still want the convenience of a paper plate, consider this pack. They’re 9 inches in diameter and made of sustainable, biodegradable 100% sugarcane fiber, which means they’re also 100% compostable. They’re sturdy, functional, and easy to clean up but can be commercially composted and degrade quickly. They’re also completely free of any plastics or wax lining and are unbleached. These paper plates can be used for hot or cold food (though note that extremely hot foods may cause them to perspire) and are oil- and cut-resistant. They’re also safe to use in the microwave and are freezable to boot. They’re sold in packs of 125 plates at once.

Most Eco-Friendly

Best for Large Events: Dixie Paper Plates by GP PRO


If you’re planning a large party, picnic, barbeque, or casual charity luncheon, these paper plates are a great option. They’re sold in sets of 500 plates at once, perfect for ordering in bulk. You can order them in two sizes, either 7 or 8.5 inches, ideally sized for lunches, appetizers, or hors d’oeuvres. The multilayer paper construction reinforces the plates to better hold their rigid shape, improve their strength, and resist cuts or tears. They’re also coated with a soak-proof shield mixture that makes them more resistant to moisture and grease and reduces the chance of food or sauces or dressings soaking through the plates. The packaging the plates arrive in is designed for more efficient storage so that the plates can come in smaller boxes and make it easier to store any leftover plates.

Best for Large Events

Dixie 8.5" Medium-Weight Paper Plates by GP PRO (Georgia-Pacific); Pathways, UX9WS, 500 Count (125 Plates Per Pack, 4 Packs Per Case)

A set of strong, rigid paper plates that are sold in large quantities and are ideally sized for lunches or appetizers.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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