different types of dinnerware
What’s the difference between different types of dinnerware?
(listed in order of quality - low to high)
Fired at the lowest kiln temperatures, earthenware is the oldest form of dinnerware and contains a number of impurities making it fragile and absorbent. Earthenware can be found both glazed and unglazed. Decorative earthenware pieces can be found within many dinnerware patterns in the form of serveware items and some individual pieces. Some earthenware items should be placed in a cold oven to heat up gradually to avoid cracking due to extreme temperature changes. However, it will always be best to check each pattern’s specific care instructions.
Stoneware is fired at higher temperatures than earthenware, making it more durable and chip resistant. Most stoneware is dishwasher safe and like earthenware, it may require a gradual change in temperature. Stoneware will usually be microwave safe, assuming no metal banding or decoration is present.
Porcelain is a durable, non-absorbent ceramic that is fired at the highest kiln temperatures. Porcelain is impervious to bacteria growth. It is normally dishwasher, oven and microwave safe and is ideal for all uses at the table and in the kitchen.
Fine China $$$
Fine china is actually another name for porcelain. Better quality porcelain will be thin and translucent, yet resistant to chipping and cracking. Although it looks delicate, it is quite durable. It is generally dishwasher safe and microwave safe, assuming no metal banding or decoration is present.
Bone China $$$$
Bone china is in the same family as fine china; however its clay content includes a percentage of bone ash. Bone ash helps to create a whiter, more translucent ceramic, resulting in one of the finest, most durable additions to your table settings. (Mayfair & Jackson Fine Bone China contains at least 43% bone ash in its formula)