The 15 Best Flatware and Silverware Sets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our top choice is the Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Lianyu Flatware Review

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Tested & Approved

The Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set is our best overall pick, offering a design so versatile, it can be used for both casual and formal dining, plus it sports enough place settings for 12 people. If you're looking for a budget pick, the LIANYU 20-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set has a simple design that's durable and easy to clean.

Choosing a flatware or silverware set can be tricky. On top of deciding between the variety of flatware designs and types of steel on the market, you're also tasked with figuring out aesthetics, budget, and the number of place settings you will need. You may be in search of a durable collection for everyday use or, a high-end set for special occasions. There's also the matter of settling on a modern feel or more of a classic, vintage look. Either way, the right utensils offer an opportunity to ornament your table setting and show off your unique style.

To help you pick the best flatware and silverware sets for your home, we tested out highly-rated options and evaluated each on its design, durability, grip, material, weight, and overall value. Many soups, salads, and entrees (such as braised chicken) were spooned, forked, and knifed to make sure these sets are truly worthy of a spot in your kitchen drawer.

Best Overall

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

4.8
lenox-portola-65-piece-flatware-set

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    4/5
What We Like
  • Sleek and sophisticated design

  • Service for 12, plus hostess set

  • Appropriate for casual and formal dining

What We Don't Like
  • Only one finish option

Earning our best overall spot, the Lenox flatware set features quality construction, a contemporary design, and a reasonable price point. It is made of 18/10 stainless steel, which means it has an 18 percent chrome content and a 10 percent nickel content. Nickel is what keeps stainless steel shiny meal after meal and dishwasher run after dishwasher run. (Yep, this set is dishwasher safe.) In fact, in terms of longevity, our tester described this set as something that can be passed down to grandchildren.

The set comes with enough five-piece settings for 12 people, plus five serving utensils. The pieces are ergonomically designed to be comfortable to hold while eating, and the beaded channel design at the base is subtle. We love the flatware's high-quality feel and minimalist but beautiful detailing. We also awarded the set extra points for being dishwasher-safe and tarnish-resistant.

As with all stainless steel tableware, be sure to wash this flatware immediately after use to protect it from corrosion. Likewise, dry each piece right after washing, avoid citrus detergents, and don't soak the utensils for too long. If you do notice any corrosion or flaws in general, however, Lenox offers a Breakage Replacement Program that refunds or replaces products within 120 days after purchase.

Price at time of publish: $162

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set

The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago

What's Included: (12) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon; (1) serving spoon, (1) serving fork, (1) pierced serving spoon, (1) butter knife, and (1) sugar spoon

What Our Testers Say

"A rather versatile, contemporary design for the 130-year-old Lenox company, the set adds an upscale touch to your table—no matter if used during a casual pancake breakfast or formal dinner party." Elizabeth Rago, Product Tester

Best Budget

LIANYU 20-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set

4.2
LIANYU 20-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Design
    4/5
  • Durability
    3.5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    4/5
What We Like
  • Durable

  • Easy to clean

  • Simple design

What We Don't Like
  • Mirror finish can show fingerprints

You can't go wrong with this affordable set, especially if you're just starting out or want extra flatware for an upcoming dinner. You'll get enough pieces for four people to each have a salad fork, a dinner fork, a soup spoon, a teaspoon, and a dinner knife. Also, the set comes in five different colors, in case you're looking for something with a little more personality than basic stainless steel.

While some reviewers noted that the stainless steel utensils are lightweight—which can give the set a less-expensive feel, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference—many also mention that the pieces are durable and hold up well after multiple rounds in the dishwasher. We found the same to be true during our tests. The set is also super compact and doesn't take up a lot of space in the kitchen drawer, or it can be placed in a glass on the counter.

No dishwasher? The simple design makes these easy and quick to hand wash. Be careful when you do so, as this knife is sharper than one might expect from a butter knife. We also found that the serrated edges on the knives work well for cutting items like ham, turkey, and vegetables.

Price at time of publish: $15

Lianyu Flatware Review

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and a teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"The fork tines are pointy enough to stab into that cherry tomato on the salad, and they slide easily into meats and vegetables, so they’re easy to use." — Donna Currie, Product Tester

Best Modern

Mepra Stiria Flatware

4.8
mepra flatware

Courtesy of Mepra

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    5/5
What We Like
  • Minimalist modern design

  • Lightweight, but still feels like quality

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Mepra is known for its stylish Italian-made flatware featuring sleek, simple lines. The Stiria series is a minimalist, modern collection that has wonderful balance in the hand and a high-luster finish. Available in a 24-piece set, this modern flatware set will add a touch of contemporary luxury to any tablescape.

Made from 18/10 stainless steel, these pieces are lightweight, but also very sturdy and balanced. The tines on the forks are narrow, yet functional—nice for spearing salad greens or holding meat in place while cutting with the included serrated knives. We loved the gentle curves of the soup and teaspoon that make them super comfortable for eating and the long, slender handles that feel very elegant to hold.

These high-quality pieces are very easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. Any spots could be wiped away with a dish towel. Mepra backs this set with a limited-lifetime warranty, so expect that you'll be able to use it for a very long time.

Price at time of publish: $189

What's Included: (6) 4-piece settings with a dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"Overall, these pieces feel very elegant in the hand."Bernadette Machard de Gramont, Product Tester

Best Gold

Ornative Rena 20-Piece Flatware Set

4.2
ornative rena flatware

Ornative

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    4/5
What We Like
  • Modern, minimalist design

  • Inexpensive

  • Gold color is eye-catching

What We Don't Like
  • Soup spoon slightly uncomfortable to sip from

If you’re looking for a gold flatware set, this collection by Ornative offers a bright, contemporary look that minimalists will love. Streamlined and sleek, the simple design is versatile enough to use alongside a wide assortment of tableware. This set is extremely affordable, too, so you can easily pick up more than one set if you want service for over four people without breaking the bank.

The forks and spoons in this set are very lightweight—an ideal choice for anyone who doesn't enjoy hefty flatware. We noticed during our tests that the fork tines are delicate, yet sturdy enough to hold meat while cutting. The knife cuts fairly well thanks to some slight serration on the blade, and it also has a slightly thicker handle, making it easier to hold on to. The spoon holds a generous amount and has a deep bowl, which some might find a little uncomfortable to sip.

Everything in this set is dishwasher safe, and the pieces still looked great even after testing and running through a cycle. Still, the manufacturer recommends hand washing to preserve the finish. If water spots form on the surface of the flatware, they can easily be wiped away with a dish towel or polishing cloth.

Price at time of publish: $40

20220207-silverware-vicky-wasik-ornative-spruce-eats-3

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"This set is very lightweight, particularly the fork and spoon, but the knife has a more substantial handle that makes it a bit heavier." Bernadette Machard de Gramont, Product Tester

Best Black

Cambridge Silversmiths Poet Black Satin 20-Piece Flatware Set

4.8
cambridge flatware set

Courtesy of Cambridge

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    5/5
What We Like
  • Sleek, modern design

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Comfortable to hold

What We Don't Like
  • Cannot use citrus dish soap on them

The sleek satin finish on this black flatware set by Cambridge will add a dramatic accent to your table setting. This set includes four five-piece settings featuring a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon, each made of 18/0 stainless steel and specially treated to achieve the flat black finish.

During testing, the pieces felt lightweight, but not flimsy, and comfortable in the hand. The knife is serrated to aid in cutting through pieces of meat, and the soup spoon has an easy shape that holds a generous amount of liquid. The fork tines come to a gentle point that pierces food easily, giving you great control over whatever you're eating, from salad to fish and everything in between.

While you can toss these utensils in the dishwasher, you'll want to avoid citrus-scented detergents, and when hand-washing, don't use a scouring pad or metal polish as it may damage the finish. After running the set through the dishwasher, some spots were left behind but easily removed with a polishing cloth. Stubborn hard water spots can be removed with a bit of white vinegar and a warm water rinse, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Price at time of publish: $151

20220207-silverware-vicky-wasik-cambridge-spruce-eats-2

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"These would be great for a themed table." — Bernadette Machard de Gramont, Product Tester

Best Mixed-Style

Gourmet Settings Birch 20-Piece 18/10 Stainless Steel Flatware Set, Service for 4

4.8
Matte black silverware set

Courtesy of Wayfair

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    5/5
What We Like
  • Contemporary black and gold finish options

  • Playful mashup of styles

  • Stamped unibody construction

What We Don't Like
  • Individual pieces aren't available

  • Hand wash strongly recommended

This place setting combines contemporary finishes with a classic silhouette—a versatile mix of new and old. Available in both a matte black or antique gold finish, these attractive pieces will look at home alongside sleek modern dinnerware as well as more traditional table settings.

Each set comes with 20 pieces for a four-person service, including dinner and salad forks, tablespoons, teaspoons, and a dinner knife. According to our tests, these are quite substantial in weight and feel balanced and comfortable to hold, though the knife edge is smooth and therefore not quite sharp enough to cut through less tender meats. As for the fork, the tines are fairly thick, but still spear well without feeling awkward. The spoons feel nice in the hand and are perfect for soup and sauces.

Made of 18/10 stainless steel, this unique flatware set carries a 25-year limited warranty provided by the manufacturer. We did find that the gold finish showed some signs of wear after a run through the dishwasher, so hand-washing (and drying right away to avoid spotting) will be the best way to preserve the finish on these pieces.

Price at time of publish: $109

Birch-siverware-gold

The Spruce Eats / Vicky Wasik

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"The only potential downside is that the knife doesn’t have any serration, so it feels a bit dull for cutting proteins like steak or chicken unless they're very tender." — Bernadette Machard de Gramont, Product Tester

Best High-End

Knork 18/10 Stainless Steel 20-Piece Flatware Set, Matte Silver

4.6
Knork 18/10 Stainless Steel 20 Piece Flatware Set, Matte Silver
Courtesy of Amazon.
Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • High-end artisan appearance

  • Ergonomically designed

  • Beveled fork edge makes one-hand cutting easy

What We Don't Like
  • Only serves four

  • Expensive

Knork flatware's lauded design was the invention of the brand’s founder Michael D. Miller who, while struggling to eat a slice of pizza with a fork, was inspired to create a fork that’s more like a pizza slicer. He went on to design the Knork’s signature fork (part knife-part fork) with beveled outer tines that can be used to eat left- or right-handed and are sharp enough to cut many foods.

This dishwasher-safe set comes with enough utensils to set a full five-piece serving for four people. We love that each utensil is ergonomically designed with noticeably balanced weight. Plus, the utensils feature a wide, flat finger platform for comfort and are designed to fit the contours of your hand. Each piece is hand-forged according to a 26-step process and is made of 18/10 stainless steel.

Price at time of publish: $60

Knork 210 Original Collection Cutlery
The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, tablespoon, and teaspoon

What Our Testers Say

"Knork’s branding seamlessly blends into the flatware’s design...You won’t find any bold brand etchings on your knife handles."Elizabeth Rago, Product Tester

Best Simple

Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set

4.2
Oneida

Courtesy of Overstock

Our Ratings
  • Design
    4/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    3.5/5
What We Like
  • Outstanding price point

  • Sleek design

  • Rounded edges on handles

  • Good for small hands

What We Don't Like
  • Only one finish option

If your style is no-fuss, no-muss, you'll appreciate this flatware's sleek and simple lines. It's 18/0, which means it has 18 percent chrome to prevent rusting and wear and tear over time. The flatware feels sturdy, so you won't have to worry about it warping with continued use. The set comes with a few serving pieces and enough forks, knives, and spoons for up to eight dinner settings, and its very reasonable price makes it a great value.

We particularly like the flatware's ease of use—their soft curves and balanced weight make them well-suited for all ages to handle. Take care to dry these pieces carefully, as our at-home testing found that rust formed when the knives were left damp too long (as with all stainless steel).

Price at time of publish: $75

Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set

The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago 

What's Included: (8) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon; (1) serving spoon, (1) serving fork, (1) slotted serving spoon, (1) butter knife, and (1) sugar spoon

What Our Testers Say

"If you’re simply looking for an affordable starter collection, the Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set has much to offer. The set checks many boxes, from affordability to design." Elizabeth Rago, Product Tester

Best Classic

Robert Welch Westbury Mirror Flatware Set

4.8
Robert Welch Westbury Flatware Sets

Williams Sonoma

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    5/5
What We Like
  • Classic design

  • Comfortable to hold

  • Nice weight

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Smudges easily

  • Expensive

This timeless and elegant flatware is for anyone who prefers a minimalist approach to their tablescape. As some reviewers note, this pattern is sure to feel as contemporary and classic 10 years from now as it will when you buy it—and the quality means you'll still be able to use it every day. Its longevity is thanks to its 18/10 stainless steel and quality forging process. When we put this flatware to the test, we found that the utensils' mirror-polished shine held up to everyday use. While we think the shine is definitely a selling point, it does mean that the set smudges easily. However, with a simple cloth wipedown, the brilliance was restored.

This flatware is available in sets of five pieces, 20 pieces, 42 pieces, and 50 pieces, so you can get the exact number of settings you need for your home. The larger setting sizes also include steak knives and serving pieces so that everything on your table matches.

Price at time of publish: $50

Robert Welch Westbury Mirror Flatware Set

 The Spruce Eats / Sage McHugh

What's Included: (1, 4, or 8) 5-piece settings with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon; with (1) serving spoon, (1) serving fork

What Our Testers Say

"This flatware set is perfect for anyone that prefers a more classic look to their tablescape, and we really appreciated the versatility of the set."Sage McHugh, Product Tester

Best Portable

Hommaly Portable Cutlery Set

4.2
Hommaly Portable Cutlery Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Design
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Comfort in Hand
    4/5
What We Like
  • Sturdy

  • Comes in fun colors

  • Washable, waterproof carrying case

What We Don't Like
  • Case has no loops or straps to hold silverware in place

Those who care about the environment likely cringe when they have to eat their takeout salad with a disposable plastic fork, but who wants to carry around their regular flatware with them everywhere they go? Enter this portable, reusable stainless steel set. It comes with everything you could need to enjoy lunch at your desk—even a set of chopsticks for those days when you order sushi—plus two metal straws. It's also a perfect set for travel and camping.

Best of all, the utensils come packaged in a waterproof and washable bag that’s as easy to clean as the utensils. We love that it's available in a few different, fun colors, including rainbow, adding personality to your desk lunches. We appreciated how sleek the packaging was, allowing for easy transportation and storage. In addition, the carrying case's interior features aluminum lining for quick cleanup.

Price at time of publish: $8

Hommaly Portable Flatware Set Review

The Spruce Eats / Renu Dhar

What's Included: (1) 8-piece setting with a fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, cleaning brush, bent metal straw, straight metal straw, and carrying case

What Our Testers Say

"A regular dishwashing cycle got the knife, spoon, fork, and chopsticks shining again." Renu Dhar, Product Tester

Best Splurge

Made In Flatware 4 Place Settings Set

5
Made In Flatware 4 Place Settings Set

Made In

Our Ratings
  • Design
    5/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleanup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Resistant to stains

  • Crafted by skilled artisans in Italy

  • Made of 18/10 stainless steel

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Want to dine like Italian nobility? Made In's line of stainless steel flatware is produced by a partnership of artisans with almost two centuries of experience and a history of crafting silverware for Italy's noble families. Each utensil is made using a single piece of stainless steel with a polished finish that's durable and resistant to corrosion. This flatware set is made with usability in mind; forks and spoons are crafted from 18/10 stainless steel to protect the pieces even further from corrosion and rust, while the knives are made of 18/0 stainless steel to increase the blade strength.

Reviewers love the balance and weight of this flatware, noting the contour of each fork, knife, and spoon is comfortable in the hand while adding a touch of elegance. Even better, the flatware is easy to clean in the dishwasher, coming out free of smudges or spots.

Since this set is an investment, we decided to test it long-term with our experts to confirm that the quality makes up for the heftier price tag. With such outstanding reviews and backed by the Made In brand name, we're pretty confident that this flatware will perform beautifully and will update this roundup with our results.

Price at time of publish: $199

What's Included: (4) 5-piece settings with a dinner fork, salad fork, table spoon, dessert spoon, and dinner knife

Best Small Set

Crate & Barrel Caesna Mirror 5-Piece Flatware Place Setting

4.8
Crate & Barrel Caesna Mirror 5-Piece Flatware Place Setting

Crate & Barrel

Our Ratings
  • Design
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Cleanup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Classic design

  • Sturdy

  • Well-balanced

What We Don't Like
  • Knives may require extra care while washing

If you're just starting out or live in a smaller household, that doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality (or buying more than you need). This Caesna flatware comes in 3-piece and 5-piece sets with beautiful pieces designed by Robert Welch. They're forged with 18/10 stainless steel and feature a mirror, satin, or silver finish with a smooth transition from top to handle. The 3-piece flatware place setting includes a dinner fork, dinner spoon, and dinner knife, while the 5-piece place setting adds a salad fork and teaspoon.

What we appreciate about this small flatware set is its versatility. Since there is also a 20-piece set available in the same collection, it's easy to add to your set as your family grows or you need more flatware for guests. There are also matching steak knives and a stunning serving set in the same style, perfect for larger groups.

The manufacturers recommend a short hot cycle in the dishwasher with all-in-one dishwasher tablets and rinse aid for the best cleaning results. A few reviewers reported rust spots on the knives after washing, so we're currently testing this flatware to set the record straight and will update it with our findings.

Price at time of publish: $25 for 3-piece set or $40 for 5-piece set

What's Included: (1) 3-piece setting with dinner fork, dinner spoon, and dinner knife. or (1) 5-piece setting with dinner fork, salad fork, dinner spoon, teaspoon, and knife.

Best for Parties

Zwilling Opus 45-Piece Flatware Set

4.2
Zwilling-ja-henckels-flatware-set

Courtesy of Zwilling

Our Ratings
  • Design
    3/5
  • Durability
    4/5
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Cleanup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Durable

  • Holds up to washing

  • Great value

What We Don't Like
  • Handles may be too narrow for some

Zwilling J.A. Henckels is known for its premium forged knives made in Germany for nearly three centuries, so it's safe to say they know their way around cutlery. The company's Opus flatware collection combines elegance and convenience with 18/10 stainless steel construction and a reasonable price. This set includes eight 5-piece settings as well as five serving utensils for a total of 45 pieces, everything you need for a big dinner party. Once the meal is over, simply run the flatware through the dishwasher and get back to enjoying your guests.

Along with the balanced weight and value, reviewers praise this set for handling multiple runs through the dishwasher without any corrosion or damage. We're currently putting this set to the test to see how they hold up to everything from large family gatherings to everyday use and will update this roundup with our findings.

Price at time of publish: $120

What's Included: (8) 5-piece settings with knife, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon; (1) slotted serving spoon, (1) serving spoon, (1) serving fork, (1) sugar spoon, and (1) butter knife

Best Color Options

Jean Dubost Laguiole Flatware Set

4.2
Our Ratings
  • Design
    3/5
  • Durability
    3/5
  • Performance
    3/5
  • Cleanup
    3/5
What We Like
  • Super sharp

  • Lightweight

  • Range of colors to choose from

What We Don't Like
  • Spoons are small

The Dubost family has spent generations perfecting the art of cutlery, famously adapting their craft in response to consumer demand while maintaining the integrity of traditional French workmanship. This set features the distinguished bee emblem that sets Laguiole cutlery apart and acrylic handles available in a wide range of colors to match any aesthetic.

There's a total of 24 pieces included, enough for six place settings with a knife, fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon, along with a wooden tray to store everything in. The handle colors range from vibrant blue and classic silver to pale pink and even multicolor, all with rust-resistant (and dishwasher-safe) stainless steel.

Durability is always something to look out for with acrylic handles, so we decided to test this set long-term to find out how well each piece performs over time and will update the review with our findings.

Price at time of publish: $170

What's Included: (6) 4-piece settings with knife, fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon

Best Everyday

Oneida Voss 45-Piece Flatware Set

4.5
Our Ratings
  • Design
    4/5
  • Durability
    5/5
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Cleanup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Comfortable to hold

  • Contemporary design

  • Sturdy

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • May be too heavy for some

The Oneida Voss flatware set boasts a modern design with sleek, teardrop-shaped handles and an ultra-shiny finish. The 45-piece set has enough settings for eight people, including a salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, teaspoon, and five serving utensils. Don't have enough storage space for a 45-piece set? The company also offers the Voss collection in a 20-piece set for smaller households.

The Voss flatware set comes highly recommended by reviewers, who love the reflective shine and sturdiness of the pieces. Some reviews noted that the weight could be problematic for smaller hands, and others had issues with hefty utensils falling off their plates. Our experts are currently testing this flatware for long-term use, paying particular attention to weight, value, finish, and size. We will update our review with the testing results.

Price at time of publish: $85

What's Included: (8) 5-piece settings with salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon; (1) serving spoon, (1) slotted spoon, (1) serving fork, (1) butter knife, (1) sugar spoon

Final Verdict

We chose the Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set for the top spot because of its sleek design that can work for both casual and fine dining. Plus, considering how many utensils are included, it's reasonably priced. For an affordable pick, we recommend the LIANYU 20-Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set.

How We Tested

We sent 10 flatware and silverware sets to our experienced home chefs and product testers, who used each knife, spoon, and fork to eat various soups, salads, and entrees, such as braised chicken. Each flatware and silverware set was rated on design, durability, grip, weight, and overall value. Our testers then offered additional insights on each flatware and silverware set's strengths and weaknesses.

We are currently testing five more sets on the list to provide additional insights in early 2023.

Robert Welch Westbury Mirror Flatware
 The Spruce Eats / Sage McHugh

What to Look for When Buying Flatware

By Marshall Bright

Material 

Flatware is often called “silverware” for good reason: Traditionally, it was silver. The rich showed off their wealth with elaborate table settings (hence the oyster fork) while the poorer classes made do with pewter or even wood cutlery. The invention of stainless steel—which is resistant to rust and corrosion—in the early 1900s changed all that. These days, you can find stainless steel in the finest restaurants and homes, but sterling silver flatware is still very much around.

Stainless steel flatware is able to have the shine of silverware at a fraction of the price. While stainless steel makes bright, shiny cutlery more affordable, it is also far easier to care for than silver. This type of flatware can just be thrown in the dishwasher, dried off, and put away, over and over again. Titanium, gold, copper, and silver-plated flatware are other options, though they can chip and wear over time and requires greater care than stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Grades and Finish

You can’t just grab any flatware that boasts the stainless steel logo. Good stainless steel will show a grade on the packaging or product page that looks like a fraction: usually 18/10, 18/8, and 18/0. 18/10 means the flatware is 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel, and so on. Typically, higher-quality stainless steel with an 18/10 grade is going to be shinier because of the higher quantity of nickel. The bright shine of 18/10 stainless steel is usually called a “mirror finish.” Lower nickel amounts typically mean a satin finish, sometimes called a “butler finish” because it has the look of hand-polished silver. But there are exceptions to keep your eye out for. You can get 18/10 flatware with a “tumbled finish," which reduces shine and sometimes even gives it a textured look. 

Robert Welch Westbury Mirror Flatware Set
 The Spruce Eats / Sage McHugh

Stamped vs. Forged

Today, most flatware you’ll find is stamped, meaning it’s been stamped from a larger piece of steel. Forged flatware, which is forged by hand, tends to be more expensive. Traditionally, forged flatware has been seen as the longer-lasting option, but technology in stamped flatware has continued to improve. The main difference between a high-quality forged flatware set and a high-quality stamped set is going to be weight: Forged flatware is heavier. Whether that’s a positive or a negative may come down to taste, but odds are you are used to using stamped silverware for your everyday use.  

Quantity 

Most flatware sets come with five pieces for table settings: dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, tablespoon, and teaspoon, which should be more than enough for day-to-day use. How big a set you buy is totally personal and can be informed by your kitchen size, the number of housemates or family members, and how often you run the dishwasher. Flatware stores flat (of course), so it’s better to err on the side of a slightly larger number of settings than a slightly smaller one—there’s nothing worse than reaching for a cereal spoon and finding only forks.

Design 

Your choice comes down purely to taste. Traditionally embellished flatware tends to have a more classic feel to it to mimic silverware. More modern sets typically pare down details with a more streamlined appearance: a straight, thin handle with no major elements. Because we are so used to design elements in our flatware, these more modern sets are often, paradoxically, more unique and interesting than a more ornate set. Many contemporary options also straddle these two worlds: Subtle shaping at the end of the handle, for example, will give it a traditional feel without other elements.

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set
The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago

Ease of Use 

You probably don’t think much about the forks and knives you use every day, but shopping for a new set brings new considerations: Do you want a heavier, high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, or something lighter? Is the handle comfortable? While most basic sets are ergonomically designed to be comfortably held and used, fancier and more design-forward sets may offer more to think about: Is a giant soup spoon, as striking as it is on your setting, something you (or your kids) will want to reach for? Do you prefer utensils with skinny stems, or perhaps longer fork tines for more European-style dining?

Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set
The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago

Maintenance and Care

There are a few simple rules for taking care of stainless steel, and most are pretty intuitive. Most stainless steel flatware can be hand-washed or placed in a dishwasher. Avoid steel wool or steel brushes, since those can nick the surface and cause corrosion or even rusting. If food dries on your silverware and can’t be gently scrubbed away, let it soak for a bit, or try the more abrasive side of a soft sponge. If you have a color-plated flatware set, like matte black or gold, you’ll want to be extra careful about abrasive cleaners or sponges, as they could strip the finish. If your stainless steel starts to lose its luster, and to reduce mineral spotting, try drying it as soon as it’s out of the sink or dishwasher.

Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set
The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Rago

FAQs

What is 18/10 flatware?

18/10 flatware is the highest quality: It will feel a bit more weighted in the hand, and the 10 percent nickel gives it more shine and protection from corrosion. In general, it’s easy to find a wide variety of styles and designs in 18/10 stainless steel, but lower grades are still a good option if you need to save money.

What are the best flatware set brands?

Lenox is perhaps best known for its china, and for good reason: the brand has made dinnerware for the White House and the Met Gala. Lenox flatware sets are just as high-quality, and definitely an investment. Oneida flatware sets are also popular, as the brand has well over a century of experience, as well as Henckels, Zwilling, Mempra, and Gourmet Settings.

How many flatware sets do you need? 

Generally speaking, you want to have double the amount of flatware settings as there are people in your household for everyday use. For example, a two-person household should have a five-piece setting for four. That way you’ve always got a set to use while another set is in the dishwasher. 

If you plan to entertain regularly, consider buying a larger set that includes serving utensils, as well as enough settings for guests. Buying a set that offers additional settings individually is convenient if you need to grow or replace parts of your set down the road. 

How do you set flatware on a table? 

You may have noticed in costume dramas on tv, your cousin’s fancy wedding, or at a high-end restaurant that flatware is laid out in a certain arrangement. You don’t need a full course in formal dining etiquette to set a nice table. A few points to remember include:

  • Utensils are used from the outside, moving in. So salad fork and soup spoon go on the outside. 
  • Forks go on the left of the plate, spoons and knives on the right. Coffee, tea, and dessert utensils go above the plate. 
  • So from left to right across the setting, you’ll layout: a salad fork, dinner fork, plate, steak knife (if using), dinner knife, soup spoon. If using a teaspoon and dessert fork, place the dessert fork closest to the top of the plate, and the teaspoon above it (pointing in the opposite direction).
  • For any pieces you aren't using, simply remove them from the lineup without changing the order of the other utensils.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Jenny Kellerhals is a food and beverage writer who lives and cooks in a tiny NYC kitchen, where only the highest-quality tools make the cut. She's into the flatware sets with more contemporary finishes, like the Gourmet Settings Birch Black Silverware Set (view at Wayfair) that can transition from a casual breakfast to a more formal-style dinner party.

This roundup was updated by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, an L.A.-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a two-year stint at Williams-Sonoma Headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight. She personally tested four flatware and silverware sets on this list.

Additional reporting by
Bernadette Machard de Gramont
Bernadette Machard de Gramont
Bernadette Machard de Gramont is a freelance writer for The Spruce Eats specializing in food, wine, and kitchen products, specifically cookware.
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