Lightweight but not flimsy
Microwave and dishwasher safe
Mugs are too small
Wobbly when stacked
Based on the brand name alone, we assume you aren’t looking into this tableware set for its extravagance. Will AmazonBasics’ 16-piece Dinnerware Set add sparkle to your home cooking with its sleek, modern design? No. Will it impress your dinner guests with its excellent quality and consistent craftsmanship? Also no. Is it one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get 16 perfectly adequate matching plates that into your bare cupboard? Probably!
Amazon describes this set as “elegant” and “contemporary,” but we think it’s more “traditional” and “pleasantly minimalist.” The dishes are a blank, inexpensive slate that you won’t have to think too hard about buying, and won’t have to think too hard about leaving when you’re ready to upgrade or move.
Quality: Not perfect, but perfectly acceptable
Sadly, flawless dish sets don’t come at prices this low. After little use, we found that the AmazonBasics 16-piece set had flaws and imperfections throughout, and while not exactly deal-breakers, they did flag the dinnerwares’ so-so quality. Sometimes when porcelain is fired in the kiln, trapped gasses can rise to the surface and burst, causing tiny pits or pinpricks in the glaze. We found that most of the dishes in this set showed signs of this; while they usually only had one or two imperfections, one of the dessert plates looked like it had a much rougher night in the kiln than others. Though the flaws weren’t disfiguring and they didn’t affect the performance of any of the plates, it’s something to consider before making your purchase.
In addition to the surface pits, we found a slight waviness along the edges of some of the dessert and dinner plates prevented even stacking in the cupboard. Nothing toppled, and we don’t think they would unless bumped hard, but there were some wobbles that could vary from slightly annoying to slightly concerning if you have children putting them away or taking them out to set the table.
Durability: Solid construction and a year-long warranty just in case
The AmazonBasics dishes performed without incident in the microwave and dishwasher, and we were unable to scratch the glossy porcelain finish with a fork. We also didn’t experience any cracks or chips through our time using them. That said, Amazon does offer a one-year limited warranty should any major flaws materialize, but buyer-be-warned: there’s a chance they could require you to ship your busted plates back to them to prove that the flaw was in the craftsmanship, rather than your butter fingers. Considering the plates run roughly $2 each, that may be more trouble than it’s worth.
The principal appeal of the set is how little space it takes up—in the cupboard, in the design scheme, and in the emotional investment.
Appearance: A mostly blank slate
It should come as no surprise that the overall impression of the dinnerware is “basic,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The principal appeal of the set is how little space it takes up—in the cupboard, in the design scheme, and in the emotional investment. The dinner and dessert plates, at 10.5 inches and 7.5 inches respectively, have a small footprint without feeling too small.
The mugs and bowls may be a little undersized for true coffee or breakfast cereal enthusiasts, but they’re perfect for small kitchens and eating surfaces. The greyish cast to the white porcelain finish should be noted if you’re trying to match other white pieces in your kitchen, but it’s hard to imagine them outright clashing with anything.
Perhaps one of the best things about this set is that Amazon has addressed our frustrations with overpackaging. The dishes themselves were designed to stack together neatly—the cups fit nicely inside the bowls—so they arrived in the smallest possible box. Additionally, there was no impossible-to-remove sticker applied anywhere, adding up to less frustration and less waste.
Price: You get what you pay for, and that’s fine
Averaging out to a little over $1.80 a dish ($29.99 for the set), even if you only used these for a year or two, you would still get your money’s worth. If you’re looking to fill out your cupboard (or second cupboard) on a budget, we definitely think these will do the trick.
They may not spark joy, exactly, but they’ll save you time, money, and energy for the things that do.
Competition: Basic can be customizable
Ikea has been capably filling the cabinets of first apartments and beach houses for years, and the 12-piece Samtidig dinnerware set, at $14.99, is the gold standard for cheap-but-functional plateware. We particularly appreciate that they omit the mugs from the set. You can buy coordinating mugs separately, but chances are you have favorites mugs already, whether or not you own a single other dish. Another challenger in the basic dishware department is Brandless, the online-only “everyday essentials” store that became famous for pricing everything on their website at a flat $3. Their basic porcelain dishes look similar to the Amazon set but are sold a la carte, so instead of obligatory cereal bowls, you can choose classic rimmed soup bowls, giant ramen bowl, or even no bowls at all.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best dinnerware sets.
- Product Name 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
- Product Brand AmazonBasics
- Price $29.99
- Weight 14 lbs.
- Color White
- Model Number CX01BG(22)D
- Includes 4 dinner plates (10.5 in.), 4 dessert plates (7.5 in.), 4 mugs (4 in.), 4 bowls (5.5 x 2.75 in.)
- Material Porcelain
- Warranty One-year manufacturer’s warranty