If you’re shopping for “the best” dinnerware – what does that really mean? Is it about durability? Beauty? Safety? Affordability?
Absolutely! All of the above.
I want dinnerware that won’t taint our meals with heavy metals. I want attractive dinnerware that gives me joy to see it in the china cabinet – but also doesn’t chip or crack the first time I use it. That’s why I’m on the hunt for the best American-made dinnerware.
Our Favorite American Made Dinnerware Sets
- Best Overall: Fiesta Classic 12-piece Dinnerware Set
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- Best Budget: Corelle Vitrelle 18-piece Dinnerware Set
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- Best Splurge: Annieglass
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- Best Stoneware: Emerson Creek Pottery Dinnerware Set for One
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- Best Holiday Variety: Fiesta
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- Best Variety: HF Coors
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About Our Criteria
When searching for the best American-made dinnerware, I considered brand reputation, product safety testing, product availability, price, and whether it’s actually made in the USA.
Unfortunately, several well-known American stoneware brands have moved their manufacturing operations overseas. For example, Pfaltzgraff still shows up in searches as an American brand. But in 2005, it was sold to Lifetime brands, and its dinnerware production was moved to China. Pflatzgraff’s “About Us” page says it was founded in Pennsylvania – but you have to dig to find where it’s currently manufactured. To me, that’s a red flag.
Companies that make their product in America are proud of this fact, featuring it on their “About Us” or “FAQ” pages, and often on the brand’s homepage. Even better are the companies like HF Coors and Emerson Creek Pottery that source the clay or raw materials for their products from the US or North America. If a dinnerware set is on this list, I’ve made sure it’s currently made in the USA.
What Dinnerware Brands are Made in the US?
While this is not a comprehensive list of every US-made brand, it will get you started!
Porcelain and Ceramic:
And The Best Dinnerware Made in America Is…
Fiesta 12 Piece Classic Dinnerware Set– Best Overall
Fiesta is a well known, highly collected brand. Its products are sold by many retailers, including Macy’s, Kohl’s, Amazon, and Walmart. The solid but cheerful colors of the Fiesta sets will tickle your fancy. (And you can choose from their pre-mixed sets if you don’t want the stress of deciding if Peony really pairs well with Turquoise!)
How safe is Fiesta dinnerware? Fiesta is in compliance with the FDA and California Prop 65 rules on lead and cadmium leaching. They give a full definition of “lead safe”, as well as what third party testing is done in their products. Add in a 5 year chip warranty and I’m sold!
- 19 oz medium bowl
- 7.25” Classic Salad Plate
- 10.5” Classic Dinner Plate
- 14 colors
- 5 mixed sets
- Variety of colors
- 5-year warranty against chipping
- Easy to Find
- Oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe
- May show utensil marks, especially on light colors
- The brand retires colors regularly
HF Coors – Most Variety
If you’re a dinnerware connoisseur who needs a cereal bowl, a salad bowl, and a soup bowl, you’re going to love the selection at HF Coors. Unfortunately, the products aren’t sold through third-party retailers. (You may find references on Amazon, but the brand doesn’t appear to have an official Amazon store). This has led to few real-life reviews, though the ones available are positive.
Besides the huge range of products and patterns, I really appreciate HF Coors’ transparency regarding testing for heavy metals in its products. HF Coors products surpass the regulations required by the FDA and CA Proposition 65. All products are lead-free and most colors are cadmium-free. Where cadmium is used to create orange and red colors, it is encapsulated in zircon crystals, so that none can be detected in leach tests.
- Plates: bread & butter, charger, dessert, dinner, fruit, luncheon, salad, sample
- Bowls: cereal, dip, pasta, poke, prep, ramekins, serving, salad, serving, small, soup
- 30 different patterns and colors
- Huge range of products
- Oven/dishwasher/microwave/broiler/freezer safe
- Clay originates from Teneessee, Georgia, and South Carolina
- Hand made, hand painted
- Offers sample plates
- Not available at big box stores
- Few reviews
- Dinnerware comes in sets of 4 for single products
Corelle Vitrelle 18 piece Dinnerware Set for 6 – Best Budget Set
Corelle is known for being inexpensive or a “starter set” of dinnerware. Unfortunately, Corelle’s mugs, glasses and Hearthstone collection are made in China. But this Vitrelle 18-piece set is made in Corning, New York.
The pieces included in the Corelle Vitrelle sets can be irregular. Some color designs include smaller dinner plates, while other colors have salad plates instead of appetizer plates.
Double-check to make sure that the set you choose contains the plates you want. It’s for the confusion their sets and place of manufacture cause that my rating falls a little shorter than their higher Amazon ratings. Corelle routinely tests products for heavy metals and other hazardous materials. Corelle products are compliant with FDA regulations and California Prop 65.
- 10.25” Dinnerware plates
- 6.75” Appetizer plates
- 18 oz Bowls
- Terracotta Dreams
- True Blue
- Widely available
- Dishwasher/microwave/oven safe (to 350°F/176°C)
- Some dinnerware, and Corelle mugs and glasses, are made in China
- Gets hot in microwave
- No open stock
- Dinnerware sets in the same family may contain different pieces
Annieglass – Best Splurge
Rimmed in 24 karat gold, Annieglass is pure decadence. It’s available at retailers such as Belk and Bloomingdales with a limited selection on Amazon. Annieglass products are made from architectural glass, which is more durable and chip resistant than the borosilicate or laminated glass used to make other brands of dinnerware. The rims and accents made of precious metals are 100% food safe. Annieglass is FDA compliant.
- Open stock bowls
- 24K gold
- Most products are dishwasher Safe
- Chip Resistant
- Widely available
- Not microwave safe
- Website is not clear on California Proposition 65 or AB1200 status
Emerson Creek Pottery Dinnerware Set For One – Best Stoneware
Emerson Creek Pottery makes stoneware dinner sets in 3 styles: classic, brookline, and coupe. This pottery is sourced from North American materials – so it’s truly made in the USA.
Emerson Creek pieces manufactured entirely without lead – which is more unique than you’d believe in today’s world. They are hand-produced using sustainable practices. The nature-inspired designs are hand painted using Sumi-E brush techniques. It’s hard not to fall in love with this stoneware. At present, the products are only available directly from Emerson Creek.
- 10.375” Dinner plate
- 7.5” Salad plate
- 12 oz Bowl
- Vary by product
- Lead-safe and FDA compliant
- 13 patterns or colors across three styles
- Kids dinnerware available
- Manufactured with sustainable practices
- Dishwasher, oven and microwave safe
- Only available on the manufacturer’s website
- Gets hot in the microwave
Fiesta Tableware – Best Holiday Dinnerware Made in the US
Fiesta not only makes the best overall dinnerware, in my opinion – it also has the best designs and shapes to get you in the holiday spirit. And we’re not just talking about Christmas patterns – the brand offers festive tableware for a variety of holidays, including Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
You can use special accent pieces with Fiesta’s solid color plates to create a more affordable holiday rotation. It can be a little pricey to get the holiday pieces, compared to regular Fiesta. These pieces are FDA and CA Prop 65 compliant.
- Vary by design
- Skull and Vine
- Floral Bouquet
- St. Patrick’s
- Americana Stars
- Easter Egg
- Breezy Floral
- Large range of designs
- Fun shapes
- Some designs lack full product sets
- Not as widely available
What You Should Know About American Made Dinnerware
I was very encouraged to find that, besides my standby Corelle and favorite Fiesta products, there’s a host of great US-made dinnerware options! Here are some things you’ll want to consider when making your decision about which brand to choose.
Open Stock Vs. Sets
If cookware or dinnerware is sold “open stock,” it means you can purchase it piece by piece. A set is a packaged collection of dinnerware pieces.
I like to start with sets, as it is often cheaper than buying pieces individually. However, I prefer to choose brands that also sell open stock. I like customizing my set without paying for and store items I don’t want. It is cheaper to replace a chipped plate or broken bowl when you can buy open stock.
Special Occasion vs. Everyday Dinnerware
I have a different set of criteria for special occasion dinnerware than I do for special occasion dinnerware!
Special Occasion Dinnerware:
Pieces to Look For
Which pieces you will need vary based on your lifestyle. Do you need a cereal bowl and a separate soup bowl? Do you only use large plates, never dessert plates? Take a look at your current dinnerware and focus on the pieces you use the most. That’s what you should be looking for in your new dinnerware.
Tip: Prepare for a Discontinued Pattern
If you fall in love with a dinnerware pattern, consider the possibility that it could be discontinued. Even worse, it could happen without you knowing it, so you couldn’t grab backup pieces!
Follow the brand on social media, or sign up for its newsletter so you can keep abreast of what is being discontinued. If your pattern is discontinued, stores like Replacements, Ltd. may offer a chance to find the piece you need, at a markup.
We can’t finish this chat about what dinnerware to buy without talking about lead and cadmium safety.
Here are the basics: You might assume that if a product is made and sold in the US, it wouldn’t contain lead. Unfortunately, shockingly, that’s not necessarily the case. Lead and cadmium were traditionally used in tableware to enhance colors and glazes. Manufacturers have reduced the use of heavy metals in recent years – but not all of them have discontinued it completely.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets standards to regulate how much leachable lead is allowed in consumer products. That doesn’t mean that the products are lead-free. Leachable lead is a measure of how much lead the products can transfer to you or your food when using the product – and it doesn’t have to be zero to pass regulation.
California Prop 65 is a law in California that requires a written warning for chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm, including lead. Products exceeding California’s Prop 65 limits may still be sold under the FDA regulations – they just need a warning label stuck on them.
California also recently passed AB1200, which requires manufacturers to declare potentially hazardous chemicals added to cookware or tableware. Again, it doesn’t mean those chemicals can’t be present in goods sold, but it does make it easier to track down what consumer products are likely to be safe.
It is a personal decision for each consumer as to whether you feel comfortable using FDA standard dinnerware, or if you prefer the more stringent Prop 65 standards.
Personally, I feel most comfortable using products from a company like HF Coors or Fiesta that doesn’t dodge consumer concerns but publishes information about their product test results
For me, Fiesta wins the battle of best American-made dinnerware. Not only does it have a ton of colors for mixing and matching, but the company appears genuinely concerned about product safety. I love the Fiesta 5-year warranty against chipping, as well as the company’s commitment to sustainability.
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