The result: fair, thorough, and unbiased reviews that will see you through even the toughest of purchasing decisions. Then, when you're ready to buy, you'll find our top five favorite flatware sets in the product list, above.
This guide focuses on stainless steel flatware, since it's by far the most popular contemporary choice. While much less common today, mostly because of its price, silver flatware (or “silverware”) is an elegant choice for formal dining.
Pewter was a common choice for flatware in colonial America, due to its strength and durability. Some people love a heavy, sturdy construction to their flatware, whereas others favor lightweight pieces.
A one- or two-person household might be happy with four place settings, while a family of six would need at least eight, unless they want to eat dinner in two sittings! Some flatware is forged, which means it's made from a single piece of metal, heated, then hammered into shape (usually by a machine, though traditionally this would have been done by hand).
Finally, you can find flatware with hollowed handles, made using a three-piece design. Some flatware has a high-shine, mirrored finish, some are completely matte, and the rest fall somewhere in between the two.
Some flatware has decorative banding or other types of engraved patterns on the handles, whereas other pieces are more plain. At the top of this price range you find options from designer homeward brands, so the cost is more to do with the manufacturer than a marked increase in quality.
Don't leave your flatware soaking in water for long periods of time, as this can cause corrosion over the years. This doesn't mean you should avoid vinegar and tomatoes, just try not to leave dirty flatware sitting for days, covered in food.
If you like weighty flatware, forged pieces tend to be the heaviest, followed by stamped, and finally those with hollowed handles. Once you've got a decent set of flatware, display it by positioning the utensils correctly on the dinner table, particularly if you're having guests.
Yes, stainless steel flatware is dishwasher safe, though it's recommended that you don't use citrus-based detergents. Whip out the forks, knives, spoons, and get ready for our list of the best flatware sets.
Minimal design meets quality and assurance in Cambridge Silversmiths Cali Mirror 30-piece silverware set. Complete with a sleek mirror finish, this medium set for six offers a timeless design that lives up to the Cambridge Silversmith trademark promise.
There’s no copied or tired patterns here, just quality silverware protected by a 25-year warranty with all return shipping costs paid by Cambridge. This assurance makes spending a little extra worth it for a family set that is resilient enough for everyday use, and fine enough for special occasion dining.
It’s dishwasher safe, but hot water hand cleaning is preferable for optimal upkeep and shine. Though they are not exceptionally sturdy or for families, they still hold up well over time and resist corrosion and rust.
A sleek mirror finish and 18/10 steel allow it to blend in seamlessly with other sets of higher grade flatware. Though it is dishwasher safe, avoid washing with harsh detergents, which may break down the fine finish of the flatware.
Mirrored finishes are prone to dishwasher spotting, and this set, in particular, suffers from color fading over time. For best use, hand wash after meals with mild detergents before special occasion settings to achieve an optimal shine.
Heavier utensils tend to tip over jars or fall out of bowls when paired with lightweight service ware, which is something to be aware of. The finish doesn’t quite live up to standards for everyday use as it is prone to rust with improper washing.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time caring for flatware, then avoid this set for everyday use. This pairing of practicality and sturdiness make it a lasting investment that can be trusted for generations to come.
The serving set includes a tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, butter knife, and sugar teaspoon so that the whole table can enjoy a uniform service design. All the pieces are fairly well-matched to industry standard sizing though we did find the forks to be on the longer side.
Each piece is brandished with decorative swirls forming a floral motif on the handles to bring added style, albeit dated to the flatware. The thick rounded handles provide balanced weighting preparing them for everyday use, but they lack modern design sensibility.
We found the concave design to be a bit uncomfortable for cutting harder items like meat and salads but were over-all impressed with the weighting of the utensils. Midas’s Cocoa Blossom set is composed of 18/10 stainless steel with 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel added to the steel alloy to bolster resilience and strength.
The rust-resistant construction makes it dishwasher safe for easy everyday use without annoying spotting or rusting. For shiny and solid elegance, the Midas Cocoa Blossom 65-piece flatware set is hard to beat.
The only downside is the large set size isn’t for everyone, especially those living in small spaces where storage is limited. The New Star Food service Slimline Pattern 60-piece set proves that timeless design and quality don’t always have to come at a high cost.
Ideal for casual dining outlets or simple home gatherings that don’t want to compromise on professional-grade materials, this flatware proves it’s possible to have the cake and eat it too. However, the similar sizing of both the dinner and salad forks make distinguishing between the two more challenging.
But for casual home dining with professional materials that hold their own over time, it’s a bargain buy. A flashy option for those with a taste for the unconventional, Berg lander’s 20-piece Titanium Gold Plated Stainless Steel Flatware set is a trendy head turner.
Be prepared for the oohs and AHS of dining guests yet to come with this innovative flatware that plays on luxurious color palettes. Slim, minimal design with delicate necks and edges make this flatware resemble art more than utensil.
With medium to lightweight makeup and smooth cutting performance, Englanders show they are masters in stainless steel design and manufacturing. Another quirky design feature is the soup-spoon circular shape of both the dinner spoon and the teaspoon.
Following trends can be risky business and may not lead to a lasting set of flatware used for generations to come. However, at this price point and quality, indulging at the moment seems less risky than refreshing for updated contemporary design.
For a sculpted linear design that’s as simple as it is practical, the Heckles flatware set offers industry headlining performance at an uncompromised value. Known worldwide for knife performance, J.R. Heckles is a leader in all grades of professional cutlery.
This set is no different and is furnished with impeccable medium-weighted flatware that holds true to the brand’s cutting precision. The sleek mirrored pieces blend masculine touches in the form of straight lines and hint at performance capability.
Excellent serration in the knives likewise aids in a cleaner-cutting dinner knife well-equipped to handle anything that lands on your plate. Its attractive design is lightweight, and forks and spoons are a bit concave, but this doesn’t disrupt overall balance or stability.
Utilizing the same 18/10 steel grade as industry leaders such as Midas, Cambridge, and Leno, Heckles flatware comes out of the dishwasher with the same smooth mirrored finish. For superior craftsmanship and lifetime use, this set of Heckles flatware beats out name-brand competitors with higher performance and design adaptability.
Perfect for wedding registry gifts, families who entertain and legacy sets, it’s smooth lines, and unparalleled performance make it a dependable choice for flatware. Smooth grooved curves at an affordable rate distinguish Litany 40-Piece Silverware Set from basic competitors.
The added serration on the table knife further set this flatware apart from other affordable cutlery and assures professional performance. With service for eight people, the resilient and rust-resistant pieces of the Litany set work best for growing families or those that enjoy entertaining.
Characterized by teardrop-shaped handles and balanced weighting, the flatware pieces offer ergonomic gripping well suited to the whole family. There’s no steel grade information provided with this set, which means only time will tell the longevity of the flatware.
Typically, when brands conceal this information, it is because the steel grade is not up to industry standards. Further inconsistencies include uneven edges that disrupt the ease of use and issues with rusting after several months of use.
Cambridge Silversmiths Blossom Sand 20-Piece flatware Silverware set may be small and weight, but it cuts no corners when it comes to quality construction and design. Differentiated with stainless steel brushing and etched leaf detail, the four serving sets add naturalist character to any table they adorn.
Each set uses 18/10 stainless steel grade to curb corrosion and protect the flatware for long-term use. There’s no need to polish, simply avoid astringent dish soap as you would with any fine silverware for best use.
For excellence, you can count on and attention to detail that elevates everyday flatware, we highly recommend this set. Amazon uses an 18/0 steel grade similar to other mid-level flatware sets and protects against rust.
The contoured handles are fit with pearl edging that mimics classic cutlery design. Low-key design meets functionality and helps promote lasting performance derived from the examination of the best brands in the industry.
Each knife is labeled with the Amazon basics logo along with the common bold proclamation, “Made in China.” This gives off a different feeling than the J.A. At its affordable price point, it is in reach of those hoping to outfit their first apartments, college houses, or vacation homes with highly usable flatware.
Leno is commonly recognized as an industry leader in fine home embellishment, from flatware to dishware. There’s a notable difference in holding well-balanced cutlery to a basic functioning piece of metal, that some consider flatware.
Leno combines 18/10 stainless steel with the convenience of tarnish-resistant coating to offer durability and ease of cleaning. The well-known brand was founded over 100 years ago and has made a name for themselves developing timeless flatware and home decor.
The Tortola line is characterized by the flared bases of the handles with a dainty beaded channel. Inconsistent manufacturing tends to lead to more design quirks, and in this case, the stainless steel quality is lacking.
With a clear-cut shape, mirror polish, and average performance, it’s well suited for first apartments, dorm rooms, and other casual spaces. Though the knives are dishwasher safe, they were susceptible to showing spots and blemishes straight out of the machine.
To retain their pristine, just out-of-the-box shine, be prepared to put in a little elbow grease and polish with a dishcloth. Despite being one of the least expensive cutlery options, this well finished shiny exterior keeps its price hidden.
The quality here is higher than the Amazon Basics, but the sizing of the flatware makes it stick out a bit. We wouldn’t recommend it as a gift set or for a large family, but makes a solid choice for basic household functionality.
Gibson Sensations 16 piece stainless steel flatware has been around long enough to become well known for its retro design and functionality. Begging for a breakfast table with a checked tablecloth, the white plastic handle offsets the simple style of this cutlery.
However, the dainty exterior extends to the quality, and this set is plainly not up for everyday usage and handling. For starters, they are exceptionally hard to clean due to the thin stainless steel forks, and heavily serrated knife blades.
The plastic handles may make for lightweight design, but it’s prone to breakage and bending. This isn’t it and certainly won’t pass any ice cream test, though we don’t recommend this as a standard measure of strength.
If you’re thinking of investing in some portable or temporary flatware, this set could do the trick for someone getting a first apartment or dorm. They’ll last longer and incorporate better with other sets of silverware as time passes.
The grade of steel, composition of utensils, and distributor all play a part in creating a set of flatware that lives long enough to see you through a variety of stages of life and needs. …which seamlessly unites outstanding craftsmanship with medium-weighted flatware that holds its own in a variety of spaces.