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Flatware is an essential part of any home kitchen but deciding which set is right for you can be daunting. There’s a wide variety of flatware and silverware on the market, so there’s a lot to sift through, but it also means that you don’t have to break the bank to get a durable, everyday set. A good rule of thumb is to invest in your flatware set and buy the best you can afford since it’s something you’ll use every day from your breakfast frittata to late-night ice cream.
In addition to budget, you’ll want to consider how many place settings you need, how much storage space you have, how often you run your dishwasher (or how much handwashing you’re willing to do), as well as design and finish preferences. Most importantly, you need to find cutlery that feels right in your hand. We'll help you navigate all of these options to find the right set for you.
Whether you’re looking for a durable, everyday set or a high-end set for special occasions, here are the best flatware and silverware sets to make every mealtime a pleasure.
Best Overall: Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: Rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel, ergonomic, lifetime warranty
What We Don't Like: Pricey, only one finish option
Lenox has earned its reputation for its craftsmanship and durability, which the company has put front and center since it started making flatware in 1889. The Portola line is its best-seller for good reason. Each utensil is crafted with durable and rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel. The 18/10 grade gives these utensils weight in the hand, but the ergonomic design—slim necks and a longer length than any other flatware brand—promises easy handling. The elegant design, with flared handles and a beaded texture at the base, makes them equally suited for everyday and special occasion dinners.
The 65-piece set, which comes in a mirrored silver finish, includes service for 12. Each setting includes a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon. There's also a serving spoon, a pierced serving spoon, a sugar spoon, a butter knife, and a serving fork. The utensils are dishwasher safe, and the company promises it will maintain its luster and shine over time. Lenox’s quality is backed by their Lenox Breakage Replacement Program, which offers a lifetime guarantee against any original defects in workmanship and materials.
If 65 pieces are too much for you, Lenox also offers a 24-piece set, which has service for four, including: steak knives, dinner knives, salad forks, dinner forks, teaspoons, and dinner spoons. It makes a great wedding or housewarming gift.
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: Twelve 5-piece settings plus serving spoon, pierced serving spoon, serving fork, sugar spoon, butter knife
Best Overall, Runner-Up: Zwilling Opus 45-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: High-quality stainless steel, contemporary design, lifetime warranty
What We Don't Like: Only one finish
We’re fans of this set from renowned knife manufacturer Zwilling, especially because of its elegant design, which manages to strike both a classic and contemporary aesthetic. It works for everyday or entertaining and is an ideal pick for wedding registries.
The set includes service for eight plus a hostess set. Each place setting has a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon. The hostess set includes one each of the butter knife, sugar spoon, serving spoon, slotted serving spoon, and serving fork. It’s crafted with the highest quality stainless steel grade, 18/10, which ensures durability, weightiness, and a high-luster, mirrored silver finish. The slightly curved handles add design flair and also make the utensils comfortable to hold.
The set is dishwasher safe, though one reviewer noted that they need to be loaded into a silverware catch, or they fall through the top rack. The Opus line does only come in a silver finish. Overall, this set offers value for money and is a worthy investment for a flatware set that you’ll have for years to come.
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: Eight 5-piece settings plus serving spoon, slotted serving spoon, serving fork, sugar spoon, butter knife
Best Budget: LIANYU 40-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set
What We Like: Good for everyday, classic design, affordable
What We Don't Like: Lightweight, no stainless-steel grade listed
This wallet-friendly 40-piece silverware set includes eight place settings, including a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, dinner spoon, and teaspoon, making it ideal for big families or large gatherings. The lack of a grade suggests that the stainless steel has a lower ratio of chromium to nickel percentage and may not be as durable or resistant to rust as higher-grade stainless-steel sets. Reviewers note that the feel is light in the hand but still sturdy and durable enough to last many trips through the dishwasher.
If you’re looking for something with more design flair, this set also comes in black, copper, gold, and rainbow finishes. It is also available as a set of 20, 30, or 60 pieces. Overall, if you’re looking for everyday flatware that’s easy on the wallet and good for both adults and children, or if you’re buying your first set and want it to last a couple of years, this cutlery set is a good bet.
Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: Eight 5-piece settings
Related: The Best Knife Sets
Best Gold: West Elm Sidney 5-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: High quality, modern yet minimalist design, comfortable weight, can purchase individual sets
What We Don't Like: Expensive
This eye-catching gold set was designed exclusively for West Elm by London-based designer Aaron Probyn, who’s known for his modern approach to minimalism. We love the gold finish, which boasts a high luster without veering into gaudy territory. The flatware is made with 18/10 stainless steel, so you can count on this set to be backed by quality materials and construction, in addition to top-notch design. The five-piece place setting comes with a salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon.
The utensils are designed with proportion in mind, so the utensils are comfortable in the hand with a just-the-right-weight feel. It’s sturdy enough for everyday use, and while the pieces are dishwasher safe, handwashing is recommended to preserve the finish. The set is also available in elegant black or silver finishes. It comes in sets of 20 or 60 pieces, in addition to the option of purchasing an individual set if needed.
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but handwashing is recommended | What's Included: Four 5-piece settings or twelve 5-piece settings
Best Copper: Amefa Brushed Metallic Finish 20-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: Beautiful design, limited lifetime warranty
What We Don't Like: No hostess cutlery
Amefa has been setting tables since 1931 and has earned a reputation for its top-notch stainless-steel utensils. We love the brushed copper finish and how the design blends classic charm with vintage character, so you could easily mix these utensils with flea market finds, too. The 20-piece set includes four place settings of a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon.
This set is made with a lower stainless-steel grade at 18/0, so they’re lightweight and potentially not as durable as a set with a higher grade. The utensils are coated with PVD, and while they’re dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing utensils to preserve the finish. If you do run them through the dishwasher, use a gentle detergent and opt for a lower temperature setting or energy-saving mode. As with all flatware, the manufacturer also recommends avoiding letting your utensils soak in water or food for extended periods of time.
The set is also available in other brushed finishes, including black, champagne, and gold, and we love the idea of mixing and matching the different finishes to make a unique set. The manufacturer does offer a limited lifetime warranty against design defects.
Material: 18/0 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but handwashing is recommended | What's Included: Four 5-piece settings or eight 5-piece settings
Related: The Best Dinnerware Sets
Most Durable: Knork Stainless Steel Matte 20-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: Hand forged, high-quality, ergonomic with deep scoops and balanced handles
What We Don't Like: Only serves 4
The brand of this flatware set takes its name from a portmanteau of knife and fork. The story goes that Knork’s founder, Michael D. Miller, was struggling to eat a piece of pizza with a fork, so he designed the brand’s signature fork with beveled outer tines that are sharp enough to slice through food (but still safe for kids to use). This flatware set includes four place settings of a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon. The hand-forged craftsmanship and 18/10 stainless steel grade practically scream quality, while 8-millimeter thick handles promote durability.
The set is designed to be ergonomic. Forks and spoons both have deeper bowls for better scooping capabilities, and the forks' tines are beveled, making it easy to spear food like veggies and meat. We love the brushed matte silver finish which brings a contemporary flourish to the set’s classic design. Other finishes available include a shiny “duo silver” and a gloss silver, which boasts more of a mirrored finish.
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: Four 5-piece settings
Related: The Best Cookware Sets
Best for Kids: Zwilling Bino Children's 4-Piece Flatware Place Setting
What We Like: Design suited to kids 3+, limited lifetime warranty
What We Don't Like: Pricey, only one finish
This set from the lauded knife manufacturer features a quality place setting that’s designed for children's small hands but can still handle the crispest of fish sticks. Each set includes a fork, a (blunt) knife, a soup/cereal spoon, and a small spoon, all crafted with 18/10 stainless steel. The set is designed for durability, and we think kids will appreciate the cute animal designs on the handles as much as we do. It does only come in a mirrored silver finish, so it might not match the adult settings.
This is just one place setting, so it can get expensive if you need to purchase backup sets. And if you don’t run your dishwasher frequently, it might be tiresome to hand wash utensils after each use. Still, the set comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so it’s worth the investment to have top-notch real silverware that’s suited to little hands.
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: One 4-piece setting
Best Portable: Devico Portable Stainless Steel 8-Piece Flatware Set
What We Like: Eco-friendly, multiple finishes, 60-day guarantee
What We Don't Like: No stainless-steel grade
Ditch the flimsy plastic utensils and enjoy eating on the go with this reusable, portable stainless-steel flatware set. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to help the planet by cutting down on plastic use. The 8-piece set includes a knife, fork, spoon, and chopsticks, as well as a straight straw, bent straw, and straw cleaning brush. Each set comes with a carrying case, making it ideal for work, school, travel, and toting on picnics, hikes, and camping trips.
The design is classic, with simple, clean lines and smooth edges. There’s no grade included, which suggests that the stainless steel is of lower quality. But the manufacturer offers a worry-free guarantee and will refund or replace utensils up to 60 days after purchase. We’re a fan of the black mirror finish, but it also comes in silver, purple, blue, rose gold, and rainbow, so you can show your personality even when you’re eating on the go. This set also makes a great gift-giving option.
Material: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | What's Included: One 4-piece setting plus straight straw, bent straw, straw cleaning brush, carrying case
If you're looking for one set that'll stay with you through every dinner party and have enough settings for guests, the Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set (view at Amazon) is a surefire winner. The LIANYU 40-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set (view at Amazon) is an affordable and durable option that should last you for years.
What to Look for When Buying Flatware and Silverware Sets
How the utensil feels in your hand is one of the most important considerations when it comes to purchasing flatware. Since the dinner fork is typically the most used piece in a set, use this as a guide to inform your selection. Pick up the handle and assess how balanced and comfortable it feels in your hand. If you can’t hold the flatware in person, the stainless-steel grade can offer a clue. Higher grades like 18/10 or 18/8 indicate a higher nickel content, which typically translates into a weightier feel in the hand.
Forged or Stamped
Most flatware on the market is stamped from a larger piece of steel. Forged flatware is made by hand, heavier, and typically more expensive. In the past, forged flatware was synonymous with durability, but improvements and advancements in stamped flatware technology show that there are plenty of long-lasting stamped options on the market.
The number of flatware pieces or set size depends on your personal needs and preferences. Think about how many place settings you’ll need for family members or roommates, how big your kitchen is, how often you run the dishwasher, if you want something for everyday use or more special occasion, and, most importantly, your budget.
Most flatware sets come with five pieces for place settings including a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad, fork, tablespoon, and teaspoon. Some larger sets also include serving utensils (often labeled as a hostess set) and steak knives, which is a boon for those who like everything to match. If you want your set to include specialty flatware items like say, an oyster spoon or a dessert fork, you can invest a little bit more money. But it’s not necessary to break the bank for a top-quality, everyday set.
These sets come with each place setting bundled together in sets of four, eight, 12, and so on. So, a set with four settings (five pieces in each) will contain 20 pieces. These sets are often available in 45-piece (eight settings) and 65-piece (12 settings) sets, which come with additional serving utensils.
If you’re concerned about getting too few pieces or want to guarantee that you’ll be able to order replacement utensils, check to see if the flatware set is sold as individual settings or cutlery. This is referred to as “open stock” because retailers keep these in stock so you can purchase additional spoons (handy if you eat a lot of cereal and ice cream) or settings as needed later.
What's the best ratio for flatware?
When you’re shopping for stainless steel flatware, look for a grade on the packaging or product description online. It’ll read like a fraction that shows the ratio of chromium to nickel percentage. Typical ratios include 18/0, 18/8, and 18/10, which are the highest quality. Flatware with an 18/10 grade will feel weightier in the hand, and the higher percentage of nickel makes the flatware shinier (it’s often marketed as “mirror finish”), which offers better protection against corrosion. An 18/0 ratio is, therefore, more prone to rusting. If no grade is included, it’s safe to assume that the quality of the flatware might not be stainless steel at all or may be of a lower grade. But if you are on a budget, lower-grade stainless steel is still a good bet.
How should I clean my flatware?
Most stainless-steel flatware is dishwasher safe, but with some finishes (like black, gold, or copper), the manufacturer may recommend hand washing utensils to preserve the finish. As with most cookware, avoid using steel wool or steel brushes since they can scratch or nick the surface which can lead to corrosion, possibly rusting. Try not to let your flatware soak in water or food for extended periods of time. If you’ve got stubborn stuck-on food, try soaking the flatware for a little bit and then scrub gently with the more abrasive side of a soft sponge. Take extra care with color-plated flatware (such as black or gold) and avoid using abrasive cleaners and sponges so you don’t strip the finish.
And despite the name “stainless steel,” your flatware may still pick up water stains due to hard water. To reduce spotting from mineral-rich water, dry your flatware as soon as you remove it from the dishwasher or sink. You should never use bleach on your flatware, which can also stain stainless steel.
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