BEST FLATWARE | JUNE 2018

Flatware is a broad category. Flatware can be made of stainless steel, sterling silver, gold plated stainless steel, plastic or a combination of materials. Finding the right set for you requires taking into account a number of different factors including how often you dine casually or formally, your style preference and how often the flatware will be used. Here at ReviewLab, our team has done the research and sifted through consumer feedback to find the flatware that meets our high standards. Be sure to check out our buying guide that discusses key considerations such as the materials, the number of pieces included in the set and purpose. Read more about our methodology.

Best Overall

94

This is a classic stainless steel flatware set that works for casual and formal occasions. The included hostess set offers the opportunity for a uniform look on your table. There are just enough design features to add a unique element without clashing with your dinnerware.

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91
RUNNER-UP

A touch of design gives this classic flatware set the ability to function as everyday flatware or a formal set when paired with the right dinnerware. High-quality 18/10 stainless steel gives it the durability it means to last for years and still look amazing.

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Best Value

90

This medium weight flatware feels sturdy in the hand, especially for a set in this price range. Each piece has just enough design features to give it a contemporary look. A frosted finish offers a hint of class that successfully hides the low price tag.

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90
RUNNER-UP

An attractive, no-frills flatware set that works for everyday use and won’t break the bank. This medium weight set feels solid and balanced. The design complements almost any style of casual dinnerware.

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Best by Category

Best Formal Stainless Steel Flatware

89

An elegant, classic rose pattern with gold accents make this an exquisite flatware set to use with fine China or a special evening. The 18/10 stainless steel is dishwasher safe but handwashing is recommended to preserve the gold accents.

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Best Gold-Plated Flatware

85

Gold gives this set a sense of extravagance while the intricate design adds sophistication. The design works with both classic and contemporary China patterns. An impressive 25-year warranty makes it that much more attractive.

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Best Casual Flatware

92

This brightly colored set of stainless steel and plastic flatware holds up to the stress of everyday use and provides a splash of color on the table. The stainless steel maintains its luster and resists water spotting even with heavy use.

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Best Kids Flatware

97

This six-piece set fits in perfectly with adult-sized flatware. Each piece is small enough for a child to use, yet has the same high-quality stainless steel and design features found in regular flatware.  

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92

Bright and colorful forks and spoons make mealtime fun. Easy to grip design and plastic that’s gentle on gums make this set a great choice if you want something lightweight, easy to use and safe for your little ones.

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Flatware BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Materials

    Flatware can be made of sterling silver, silver or gold-plated stainless steel, stainless steel, plastic or a combination of materials. When evaluating materials, consider how you will use the flatware. Casual, everyday dining requires durability and materials that can be cleaned in a dishwasher. Whereas, formal dining requires more intricate designs that may make the flatware delicate and susceptible to damage in a dishwasher. Sterling silver flatware requires regular polishing to maintain its natural luster. Be sure to know how much maintenance is required before deciding on a flatware set.

     

    Quality of Materials

    In general, the heavier the flatware the better quality of the materials. This is especially true with sterling silver and gold-plated flatware. The quality of stainless steel can be gauged by the numbers 18/10, 18/8 or 18/0. The first number represents the amount of chromium which makes the steel resistant to rust and stains. The second number lets you know the amount of nickel included. The more nickel present the better the luster and sheen of the flatware.

     

    Number of Pieces in the Set

    Flatware usually comes as a set, although you can purchase pieces separately if necessary. But, not all sets are the same. Some only have four to six place settings that include a dinner fork, knife, and spoon. While others may include 12 place settings that have a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, spoon and serving utensils. Consider how many place settings and how many individual pieces are included in each setting when evaluating the price.

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    For $20 or less, you can find an inexpensive set of stainless steel flatware, but there’s usually a lower nickel quantity. You’ll also find plastic/stainless steel combinations and plastic flatware. In the $25-$50 range, you’ll start to see 18/10 stainless steel sets with more intricate designs. Some may include serving utensils. For $50-$100, you can find 45-65 piece flatware sets made of 18/10 stainless steel with varying finishes. Some sets are gold or copper plated, have gold accents or incorporate exotic woods like bamboo. For over $100, you’ll find full 65-piece sets made of high-quality materials. Individual pieces are heavier than those found at lower prices. In this range, you’ll find patterns that include gold leaf and intricate designs meant to match specific China patterns.

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

1K products
considered
62K RATINGS
ANALYZED
31 research
hours

Best Overall

TOP PICK

Lenox Portola Flatware Set

This classic stainless steel flatware set balances quality and usability to make it a stand out. It not only comes with twelve, five-piece place settings but one five-piece hostess set. That allows you to have a uniform look to your table whether you’re serving a casual family dinner or formal party with friends. Each piece has a nice weight and balance supplied by the rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel. Even though the design is classic, it has some individuality with the dotted design on the handle of each piece.

  • 94overall
  • 97quality
  • 73value
  • 94brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Variety of utensils in the hostess set. This set includes more than a serving spoon and fork. You’ll also get a sugar spoon, butter serving knife and slotted serving spoon.
  • Impressive quality and weight. Rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel gives this flatware added luster and an excellent weight. Many consumers like how heavy and well-balanced each piece felt in their hands.
  • Maintains luster over time. This set maintains its shiny luster even after heavy use. Consumers found it was just as bright a year after purchasing.
  • Classic design with some individuality. A simple, classic design makes this flatware appropriate for everyday use while the small intricate handle details add a personal touch. Several consumers found that it worked for both their casual and formal needs.
  • 5-piece place settings. This set offers more than just the basics. It includes a dinner fork, knife, soup spin, salad fork and teaspoon. With those extras, it can work for a dinner party or everyday use.

Other Considerations

  • Differing quality between pieces. A few users report a problem with rust on the knives, although it seems to be a rare occurrence.
RUNNER UP

J. A. Henckels International Alcea Flatware Set

The quality and weight of the stainless steel in this Henckels set has the durability to make it an excellent choice for those who want flatware for casual or formal dining. The butter knives have a sharp edge that works well for spreading jams and jellies as well as cutting through meat. In classic European style, the handles are slightly longer than standard. This, along with other design features on each piece, gives this set a unique personality that adds character to your table setting.

  • 91overall
  • 94quality
  • 66value
  • 89brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Excellent weight and quality. The 18/10 stainless steel has heft and durability. While the weight of flatware is a matter of personal preference, many users like how this set felt in their hands.
  • Unique look of European-style flatware. This set is European-style flatware, which means each handle is about ¾ inches longer than a standard handle. Some users were surprised yet pleased with the different look as it provides extra personality.
  • Sharp butter knives. Many users like how the sharp edge of the knives for cutting meat. They work well but beware if you like to lick the knife.
  • Added design for formal occasions. This set is durable enough for everyday use, but the design features on the handle allow it to work for some formal settings as well.

Other Considerations

  • Rust in the grooves. A very small number of users report rust within the grooves on the handles.

Best Value

TOP PICK

International Silver Arabesque Stainless Steel Flatware

The set works well for everyday use and as a backup when you need extra flatware. A sleek contemporary design gives it a bit of personality. A frosted finish and unique lines fit it in with both classic or contemporary dinnerware. For the price, each piece has a solid build especially in the thickness of the handles and fork tines. They offer good balance which makes them comfortable to use.

  • 90overall
  • 91quality
  • 93value
  • 84brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Contemporary design for everyday use. The contemporary look of this set makes it a favorite for those looking for inexpensive flatware for everyday use. They work well with classic and modern dinnerware.
  • Solid build of the handles and fork tines.  Each piece has a nice medium weight. Many users like the solid look and feel of the handles and fork tines. They have a good thickness despite a low price.
  • Affordability and durability. Finding an inexpensive flatware set that will last can be tough. This set manages to be both durable and affordable. Many consumers who needed new flatware because of a move or as a backup for their everyday needs found this set worked beautifully.

Other Considerations

  • Knives are susceptible to rest. Some users report rust forming on knives.
RUNNER UP

Faberware Cayenne Satin Flatware Set

If you’re looking for an inexpensive flatware set that works with both casual and formal dinnerware, this set might work for you. It has a simple design that enhances almost any table setting. Each piece has a solid, medium weight the feels balanced in the hands. Many users liked that it wasn’t too light, which made it feel more expensive and ideal for everyday use. The satin finish adds the extra touch that works for casual or formal dining.

  • 90overall
  • 90quality
  • 91value
  • 85brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Simple design to enhance any table setting. Many users found this flatware set worked with a mix of place settings. The simple design allows it to fit in with the most casual dinnerware.
  • Medium weight still feels balanced. This medium weight set still feels solid and balanced in the hands. Several users like that it wasn’t too light, making it ideal for everyday use.
  • Attractive satin finish and affordability. Several users find the satin finish of this set to be appropriate for formal settings. They like having an inexpensive flatware set that worked for both casual and formal dining.

Other Considerations

  • Some rust in a few sets. A few sets showed signs of rust after only a few days of use. This may be a concern of quality control

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Formal Stainless Steel Flatware

why buy?

Formal flatware is usually made of higher quality materials and often includes intricate designs, some with gold accents. This type of flatware is most often paired with fine China or other formal dinnerware. For most sets, it’s recommended to hand wash and dry each piece. Deeply-etched designs, in particular, are susceptible to rust because water can get trapped in the grooves.  Formal stainless steel flatware works best for those who frequently use formal dinnerware and want the durability offered by stainless steel.

Top Pick

Royal Albert Old Country Roses Flatware Set

The beauty of this classic rose pattern immediately brings an antique charm to the table. Gold accents make it appropriate for formal dinnerware and China. Although this set is designed to compliment Royal Albert China, it can enhance many other formal China patterns. Each piece feels solid with a nice weight. The 65 pieces in each set are enough to host a dinner party and meet most people’s needs.

  • 89overall
  • 94quality
  • 52value
  • 88brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Beauty of the rose pattern and gold accents. The exquisite rose pattern with gold accents is designed to complement the Royal Albert Old Country Roses China pattern. It adds an elegant look and feel to the table.
  • Ability to complement other antique designs. Even though it meant for Royal Albert designs, this set still works with other formal China patterns and dinnerware. Many users liked this sets ability to create an antique look with any dinnerware.
  • Complete 65-piece set. 65 pieces are enough for a formal dinner party. Most people won’t need more than that.
  • High quality and weight of each piece. Everything from the knife to the serving spoons feel solid and heavy to create the formal atmosphere of the dinnerware is meant to complement.

Other Considerations

  • Spoon size is out of proportion to other pieces in the set. Several users felt the teaspoons were proportionally too large in comparison to other pieces in the set. Some found it makes the table setting look awkward.
  • Requires special care to maintain sheen. While the stainless steel is dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing to preserve the gold accents.

Best Gold-Plated Flatware

why buy?

Whether you want gold-plated flatware for special occasions or to match a favorite set of China, it can add luxuriousness to your table. Gold plating covers stainless steel, and this kind of flatware may require special care to prevent the gold from flaking. This type of flatware comes in everything from a minimalist all-gold look with no embellishment to intricate antiqued sets that complement the finest China. If you want to add a rich look to your table, gold-plated flatware is a good place to start.

Top Pick

Wallace Antique Baroque Gold-Plated Flatware Set

The elegant and intricate handle design makes this set a worthy addition to an antique dinnerware set, while also appealing to contemporary tastes. The gold-plated stainless steel maintains a bright sheen when properly cared for with careful hand washing and drying. It also has a pleasing weight that feels balanced. Each set includes 80 pieces, giving you 12 place settings for large dinner parties. To top it all off, it comes with a 25-year warranty to protect you against any manufacturer defects.

  • 85overall
  • 88quality
  • 50value
  • 90brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Detail of handle design. A high number of users liked the intricate design of the handles because it worked well with antique dinnerware sets as well as adding sophistication to a contemporary table.
  • Quality of the gold plating. This hand wash only set has quality gold plating that will last if cared for properly. The gold shines brightly, adding to the high-end look and feel of each piece.
  • Protection of a 25-year warranty. Many users felt confident in their purchase knowing that if there were problems in quality, they had somewhere to turn.
  • Ready for large dinner parties with 80 pieces. Each set includes 12 place settings and one hostess set. For those that like to entertain a crowd, this set is ready to go upon opening.

Other Considerations

  • Defects in the gold-plating. A few users report finding cracking and flaking in the gold-plating upon arrival. This is not common but is definitely something to watch for.

Best Casual Flatware

why buy?

Casual flatware can be more colorful and fun than formal flatware. Casual sets usually come in several colors and/or pattern options to accentuate your table or kitchen. For those who enjoy a relaxed dining experience, casual flatware is an excellent way to add personality to every meal. You’ll still want high-quality stainless steel and plastic that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The key is to find the flatware set that’s easy to take care of and durable.

Top Pick

Cambridge Silversmiths Flatware Set

A fun, brightly colored flatware set can make every day dining more festive. This set comes in four color options that not only accentuate your dinnerware but add a pop of color. The stainless steel maintains its sheen and resists rust while the plastic remains bright and colorful even after prolonged use. Each piece is durable and strong enough to take the stress of use by teens and young children.

  • 92overall
  • 93quality
  • 91value
  • 85brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Bright colors with options. Cambridge makes this set in four color options, allowing you to find something that matches your tastes. A good number of users say they appreciate having a pop of color on the table.
  • Quality of the stainless steel and plastic. This set is meant for casual use, but Cambridge Silversmiths is not casual about the quality of the materials used make this flatware.
  • Durability that withstands daily use. The stainless steel and plastic stand up to the rigors of daily use. They can be cleaned in the dishwasher or hand washed. Many users felt that they got a good value with this set as it held its sheen and color even with heavy use.

Other Considerations

  • Metal protruding from plastic. A very small number of consumers report that their set had stainless steel extending past the plastic which resulted in scratches. 

Best Kids Flatware

why buy?

Adult flatware can be difficult for kids to use, especially when they’re first learning to use utensils. Kids flatware comes in stainless steel to match full-sized sets or brightly colored plastic. The small size of kids’ flatware makes it easier for children to manipulate and control the utensils. You’ll also want to find something that’s gentle on gums, especially if your child isn’t done teething.  

Top Pick

Oneida Baby/Child Chateau 6-Piece Flatware Set

The 18/10 stainless steel found in this set makes it extremely durable for everyday use. It can be cleaned in a dishwasher without dulling the sheen. The forks and spoons come in several sizes, making this set appropriate for children as they grow. Delicate flowers and scrollwork help it blend seamlessly with adult flatware for a uniform look.

  • 97overall
  • 98quality
  • 99value
  • 90brand

Why We Recommend It

  • High-quality stainless steel that resists rust. Kids’ flatware needs to be as resistant to rust as adult flatware. This set uses 18/10 stainless steel that’s durable for long-term use.
  • Several sizes of flatware for different ages. With three spoon and two fork sizes, this set has something for every age. Many users enjoy that the different sizes could be used for children that are a few years apart.
  • Dishwasher safe for cleaning ease. Anything used for kids will get dirty fast. This set is completely dishwasher safe.
  • Adult design for a classic look. The floral scrollwork allows this set to seamlessly fit in with regular flatware. For parents who want a uniform look, this set does the job.

Other Considerations

  • Stainless steel can be hard on gums. Stainless steel can be hard on gums, especially if your child is teething.
RUNNER-UP

IKEA Kalas Flatware Set

Kids love bright colors and sometimes you need some incentive to get them to the table. The fun colors of this IKEA set make children excited about meal time. Safety is always a concern with children’s products and this set covers its bases. The knife edges and fork tines are rounded to prevent pokes and scratches. Each piece is also BPA free, dishwasher and microwave safe. For the price you pay, you get a good quality plastic flatware set that can take the wear and tear of everyday use by children.

  • 92overall
  • 92quality
  • 99value
  • 87brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Bright colors make mealtime fun. Sometimes children need an incentive to get to the table. This brightly colored flatware is tempting enough for the reluctant child. Many users like having flatware their children want to hold.
  • Dulled edges and rounded tine ends. The knives have a dulled edge so your little one won’t cut themselves, only their food. Fork tines are also rounded to prevent children from getting hurt.
  • BPA-free, dishwasher and microwave safe. This set is perfect for kids because it’s BPA free, and you can put it in the dishwasher or microwave without worrying about ruining it.
  • Good quality at an inexpensive price. It’s hard to beat the price for this 18-piece set. Many users wanted an inexpensive plastic set where they didn’t have to worry about upkeep.

Other Considerations

  • Plastic shows wear and tear. Bite marks and scratches show up pretty fast. It’s easy on the gums, but shows the effects of heavy use.