Silverware, also known as flatware or cutlery, is used daily by most people in Western cultures. A traditional set consists of a soup spoon, dinner spoon, dinner knife, salad fork, dinner fork, and dessert fork. These days, a set is more commonly made up of five pieces of cutlery: a spoon, knife, and fork for the main course, a salad fork, and a dessert spoon. However, most people generally only use one fork, knife, and spoon during daily meals. Despite the name, which originated when silverware was actually made from silver, most modern flatware is made from stainless steel because it’s durable, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe.
Buying Guide for the Best Silverware Sets
Why buy a silverware set?
Silverware sees frequent usage, making it something that’s worth investing in for your home. The general suggestion when buying flatware is that you should buy a set that can accommodate 12 people, but if you have a smaller or larger household, you can buy larger or smaller sets. In the end, it’s nice to have a complete, matching set of silverware for family dinners and dinner parties.
What should you look for in a silverware set?
Here are a few things to think about before buying a set of silverware:
- Quantity: Most modern silverware sets will contain five pieces of cutlery per person, though more traditional sets of seven may still be found. You’ll also have to consider how many total settings you want from your set; for instance, if you’re buying a set for a family of four and want a silverware set that has five utensils per person, that would be a set of 20 pieces total. Most silverware sets are meant for four, six, or eight people, though sets for 10 or 12 people at once are also available. Individual silverware sets tend to be hard to find.
- Extras: A set of silverware doesn’t necessarily start and end with just standard soup, dinner, and dessert cutlery. Some sets may include extra specialty pieces. This can include teaspoons, ladles, butter knives, steak knives, cheese knives, oysters forks, and more. These types of silverware sets can be handy if you’re buying new silverware for a more formal event, want to supplement your kitchen utensils, or want all your silverware to match.
- Cleaning: Cleaning your silverware is essential, so it’s important to determine if the set you intend to purchase is dishwasher safe or if it needs to be washed by hand.
Should you buy a silverware set with a design?
While it’s not strictly necessary from a functional standpoint, there’s nothing wrong with wanting silverware with a little flair, especially if you like entertaining. Most contemporary sets are pretty plain, but you can still find some with intricate details. Some models will have embellishment around the edges; some sets are colored gold, rainbow, or in other shades if you want something more colorful and unique than the standard silver.
Our Picks for the Best Silverware Sets
Hiware 48-Piece Silverware Set
A high-quality stainless steel silverware set with 48 pieces.
Pros: This classy and high-quality stainless steel silverware set comes ready to form eight settings. It’s durable, corrosion-resistant, nickel-free, and won’t bend easily. Whether for home or even restaurant service, this set is ideal for daily use and safe to put in the dishwasher. The set includes dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, steak knives, dinner spoons, and teaspoons.
Cons: Despite the coating, some pieces may show signs of rust after time. Stains might appear after washing multiple times. It’s lighter weight.
Bottom Line: This durable and high-quality silverware set is elegant, simple, and a great value for the price. The pieces are shiny and comfortable to hold.
Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost Flatware Set
A 53-piece flatware set that includes hostess serving utensils.
Pros: This stainless steel silverware set contains 53 pieces for eight people. It comes from Pfaltzgraff, a popular kitchenware brand. The handles feature a unique swirl design to make a statement. The set contains eight dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, dinner spoons, teaspoons, and steak knives. Additionally, it comes with a five-piece hostess set, including a tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, sugar spoon, and butter knife for serving.
Cons: The steak knives might not be not sharp enough, and some have experienced rusting over time. While this set is priced decently, it may not be as long-lasting as others.
Bottom Line: This flatware set is a nice choice for those who want to add a simple yet stylish design to your place settings. The stainless steel will stand up to daily use and is safe to put in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Hiware 20-Piece Black Silverware Set with Tray
A 20-piece black silverware set with ergonomic handles.
Pros: This 20-piece black silverware set is for four people. It’s a good set for daily use in homes or restaurants. It contains four of each dinner forks, salad forks, dinner spoons, dessert spoons, and dinner knives. The smooth black set gives off a high-end look and quality and is made of food-grade stainless steel. It’s safe to put in the dishwasher and is rustproof and corrosion-resistant. The handles have ergonomic curvature, so you can eat with ease. The set comes in a five-compartment container that fits in most kitchen drawers.
Cons: The silverware tray that this set comes with may not fit in every drawer, so it’s best to measure before purchasing. Some reviewers have said the silverwares’ shiny black appearance fades over time.
Bottom Line: This unique silverware set is great for those who want to break out of the traditional and sometimes boring silver flatware. It’s a small set but an excellent choice for single people or couples. Or you can buy multiple sets to accommodate more people.
HOMQUEN Titanium Flatware Set
A 20-piece rose gold silverware set that is both stylish and heavy-duty.
Pros: This silverware set contains 20 pieces, including four dinner knives, dinner forks, dinner spoons, teaspoons, and salad forks. It has a rose gold finish that is a standout choice for your home. It is made of high-quality stainless steel with smooth and stylish edges. It’s rustproof, safe for daily use, and dishwasher safe.
Cons: Some found the coating fades after frequent washing. Hand washing may lengthen the life of this set.
Bottom Line: This contemporary flatware set has a simple yet stylish design that is practical and suitable for everyday use. It even makes a great set to give as a gift.
VANDBAO Rainbow Flatware Set
A colorful 20-piece silverware set with a shiny, metallic look.
Pros: This flatware set comes in a rainbow metallic look that’s sure to make a statement in your home. The set contains 20 pieces, including four dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, dinner spoons, and dessert spoons. The set is stainless steel and made with a curved/smooth handle for comfortable use. It is dishwasher safe for convenient cleaning.
Cons: The coating may come off over time. This set is lightweight, which may not be the right choice for those who prefer a heavier or a more traditional silverware set.
Bottom Line: This fun stainless steel dinnerware set gives your table a colorful and exciting feel for a special occasion, like birthdays or celebratory dinners.
Having a beautiful flatware set is a great way to enhance a meal with friends or family. Whether it’s casual or formal, flatware is an essential part of a dinner experience. Upgrade your silverware set with one of our recommendations to wow your family or dinner guests.