The Best Outdoor Dinnerware Sets for Your Next Patio Feast

Zak Designs Melamine Dinnerware ranked first with our testers

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outdoor dinnerware group photo 1 the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Tested & Approved

Topping our list is the French-inspired dinnerware set from Zak Designs, made of break-resistant melamine and with an elegant yet neutral design that works for any occasion. For those who prefer a more rustic and natural aesthetic, the Craft & Kin Woodgrain Melamine Dinnerware Set is a great choice.

Dining al fresco—whether that's on the deck, patio, or a blanket on the backyard lawn—can make dinnertime more fun. On the contrary, it’s not a great idea to bring breakable plates outdoors. That's where a dedicated, durable dinnerware set comes in handy.

The ideal candidate is not only break-resistant, but also attractive, light, and easy to clean. Beyond outdoor use, they’re even practical for kids who can use grown-up-sized plates that are also safe from accidental breakage.

To determine which dinnerware sets on the market are the best in various categories, we sent some of the best-reviewed ones to our home testers to try out in their home kitchens. We had them use the dishware to serve and eat their meals in a variety of outdoor scenarios. Our real-world testers then evaluated each set on its durability, design, versatility, quality of finish, and overall value.

Based on our testers' findings, here are our picks for the best outdoor dinnerware sets.

Best Overall

Zak Designs French Country House Melamine Dinnerware Set, 12 Pieces

5
Zak Designs French Country House Melamine 12-Piece Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Generously sized

  • Neutral design

  • Matching serving pieces sold separately

  • Dishwasher-safe

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave-safe

  • No matching cups or mugs

What do buyers say? 83% of 800+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

The French country-inspired design of this dinnerware set will look great for both casual meals and more formal dining, and pairs well with everything from paper napkins to pretty linens. The design is understated, so it won’t clash with existing serving pieces, but if you need them, a round serving plate and rectangular tray in the same pattern (but a different color) are available. This set features four place settings, with a dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl for each. They’re top-rack dishwasher-safe, but can’t be used in the microwave.

In testing, the Zak Designs French Country House 12-Piece Dinnerware Set looks and feels great. The elegant design is enough to make you forget that you’re dealing with plastic plates—until you pick them up. They don’t feel cheap, though, and the lightness is a plus in our book because it made carrying a stack of plates from the kitchen to the patio easy. We enjoyed that it looks expensive, but also that you don’t have to worry if you accidentally drop a plate or two.

zak designs outdoor dinnerware set the spruce eats real world test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Price at time of publish: $66

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls | Material: Melamine | Care: Dishwasher-safe (top rack)

What Our Testers Say

"Of all the plates I tested, this set is definitely the most elegant. It photographs well and can be used for both casual and formal dining." Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Product Tester

Best Melamine

Gufaith 12-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set

4.2
Gufaith 12-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in several colors

  • Made from biodegradable materials

  • Lightweight but durable

  • Generously sized bowl

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave-safe

  • Doesn't include matching cups

At first glance, the Gufaith 12-piece Melamine Dinnerware set looks like turquoise stoneware with a brown accent rim, but it is actually made from melamine. It has a classic, boho-inspired aesthetic that will add charm to an al fresco meal, snacks around the pool, or even a romantic dinner for two.

Far more durable than a standard indoor plate, this set is lightweight yet sturdy, good for eating anything from steak to vegetable skewers. The generously sized bowl stood out to us—it's a smart choice for serving pasta or salad. We did wish, however, that cups were included in the set.

The melamine construction makes this set easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. But while the material also makes the pieces durable, they unfortunately aren't microwave-safe.

gufaith outdoor dinnerware sets the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Amanda Lauren

Price at time of publish: $50

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls | Material: Melamine, bamboo | Care: Dishwasher-safe

What Our Testers Say

"Boho-chic lovers will appreciate the look of this outdoor dining set. It's [also] very durable." Amanda Lauren, Product Tester

Best for Picnics

Certified International Sedona 12-Piece Dinnerware Set

4.3
Certified International Sedona 12-Piece Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

What We Like
  • Fun, colorful design

  • Heavy enough to not blow away

  • Very easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave-safe

  • Barcode stickers on every piece

These colorful dishes will look great on a picnic table in the backyard, and just as nice packed in a basket to take on a trip to the park. The colors are evocative of the Southwest, with rich hues and bright pops of colors—the red-orange and blue-green plates are perfect for mixing and matching. This set includes four dinner plates, four smaller plates for salad or dessert, and four bowls that are ideal for soup, sides, or even cereal. Made from melamine, they’re dishwasher-safe and break-resistant.

We like that the plates and bowls in this set have a nice weight to them, so you don’t have to worry about the wind blowing them away. They’re decently thick and feel like they will last a while, though in testing they did get some superficial scratching from silverware after just a few uses. Even though it’s sold as a set, there are individual barcodes on the bottom of each piece that should be removed before washing and using them (it’s easier to do so before the sticker gets wet).

certified international sedona melamine dinnerware outdoor the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Price at time of publish: $60

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls | Material: Melamine | Care: Dishwasher-safe (top rack)

What Our Testers Say

"This is a fun dinnerware set that feels super durable, and it has a bold pattern that adds a splash of color to the table." Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Product Tester

Best Plastic

Teivio 16-Piece Kitchen Wheat Straw Dinnerware Set

4.6
What We Like
  • Stylish design and fun colors

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Utensils feel slightly flimsy

If you’re looking for great outdoor dinnerware on a budget, look no further than the Teivio 16-Piece Kitchen Wheat Straw Dinnerware Set. Perfect for kids and adults alike, this set is a great bang for the buck with service for four including dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, knives, and even utensil cases. 

With lightweight yet unbreakable dishes, it’s the right choice for camping or for setting the kids’ table at your family's next outdoor gathering. A practical choice, food slides right off the plastic for easy cleaning. In addition, all pieces are entirely dishwasher-safe. 

Best of all, these Teivio dishes are aesthetically pleasing with bright, cheerful colors including pink, periwinkle, mint, and a natural hue, each with a terrazzo-like finish. From barbecue chicken to birthday cake, food looks even more appetizing when served on these dishes.

outdoor dinnerware teivio 16 piece spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Amanda Lauren

Price at time of publish: $22

What's Included: 4 of each: dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, knives; a utensil case | Material: Plastic | Care: Dishwasher-safe

What Our Testers Say

"It's a colorful and durable set—perfect for a picnic in the park, camping, or a small outdoor barbecue."Amanda Lauren, Product Tester

Best Indoor/Outdoor

Aidio Melamine Dinnerware Set

4.4
Aidio Melamine Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Break-resistant

  • Affordable

  • Neutral tone would match many styles

What We Don't Like
  • Design feels slightly outdated

  • Food tends to roll, spill off plates

With a shabby chic design that will look just as good on the dining table as on the picnic table, this dinnerware could easily do double duty. The set is made from sturdy melamine, so even the kids can have a pretty plate for holiday dinners without worries of breakage. Plus, the color blends well with almost any decor. This collection includes four dinner plates, four smaller plates for salad or dessert, and four bowls for soup, salad, cereal, and more. When dinner is done, these are dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a breeze—but they aren’t microwave-safe.

When put to the test, the Aidio Melamine Dinnerware Set had some scratches on the bowls and plates after a few uses, but nothing too serious. While the design isn’t our cup of tea, it’s a nice neutral color that should be able to easily match multiple color schemes and decor styles. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive dinnerware set that’s kid-friendly and easy to clean, this is a solid option.

aidio melamine dinnerware set outdoor spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Price at time of publish: $40

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls | Material: Melamine | Care: Dishwasher-safe

What Our Testers Say

"The design isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s a nice neutral color that should be able to easily match multiple color schemes and decor styles."Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Product Tester

Best Budget

Focusline 175-Piece Silver Dinnerware Set

4
Focus Line 175-Piece Silver Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Comes in bulk count

  • Recyclable

  • Can be reused if hand-washed

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave- or dishwasher-safe

  • Prone to cracks

When you’re hosting a larger celebration, opting for disposable dinnerware can be a more convenient choice. The 175-Piece Gold Dinnerware Set can serve up to 25 people. It includes dinner plates, salad/dessert plates, glasses, napkins, forks, spoons, and knives. The gold-accented pieces create an upscale look, resembling a standard china pattern, but are completely disposable. It’s a more upscale alternative to a disposable paper plate. 

For those living an eco-friendly lifestyle and might be hesitant to click “add to cart,” it will help to know that the dishes and cups are recyclable. Better yet, because each piece is durable, it can be washed and reused several times over before being tossed into the recycle bin. 

In addition to gold, this set is also available in silver and rose gold colors.

focusline 175-piece outdoor dinnerware set the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Amanda Lauren

Price at time of publish: $50

What's Included: 25 of each: dinner plates, salad plates, cups, napkins, forks, spoons, knives | Material: Plastic | Care: Hand wash or dispose

What Our Testers Say

"This set has a far nicer aesthetic than standard disposable sets. It's a great upgrade from paper or plastic-coated paper sets." Amanda Lauren, Product Tester

Best Bamboo

Lekoch 16-Piece Eco-Friendly Natural Bamboo Fiber Dinnerware Set

5
Lekoch Bamboo Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Minimalist design

  • Multiple color choices

  • Includes cups

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave-safe

Made from sustainable bamboo fibers, this dinnerware set is an attractive and durable alternative to plastic. The white color works for every occasion and fits well with existing serving pieces or dining room decor. The slightly uneven surface makes them look like handmade pottery, adding a special touch to the table. This set includes four dinner plates, four salad/dessert plates, four bowls, and four cups. For those who want more color on the table, this set is also available in light green and blue. When it’s time to clean up, these are dishwasher-safe.

The matte finish and slightly irregular edges truly give these pieces a handmade look at a fraction of the price. Plus, they aren’t heavy like ceramic dishware, and we like that they don’t feel like cheap plastic. The subtle speckled pattern reminds us of an eggshell and makes an ideal neutral backdrop for food photography (or if you’re just taking pictures for the ’gram). The inclusion of matching cups really rounds out the set and prevents you from having to pack single-use plastic cups for your picnic or campout.

lekoch bamboo 16 piece outdoor dinnerware set the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Price at time of publish: $68

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls, 4 cups | Material: Bamboo | Care: Dishwasher-safe

What Our Testers Say

"Easily my favorite dinnerware set of the bunch. I love the matte eggshell-like finish, the irregularity that gives it a handmade feel, and the fact that it doesn’t feel like cheap plastic." Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Product Tester

Best Casual

Craft & Kin Woodgrain Melamine Dinnerware Set

4
Craft & Kin Woodgrain Melamine Dinnerware Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Durable

  • Striking rustic wood aesthetic

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Not microwave-safe

  • Finish is a bit rough

There’s no doubt this dinnerware is excellent for casual dining, whether it’s on the patio at home, a barbecue in the backyard, or a cabin in the woods. It’d be fun for camping too, considering each piece is lightweight and easy to bring along. They look like they’re made from wood, but they’re actually crafted from durable melamine. This set includes four dinner plates, four salad/dessert plates, and four bowls. They’re dishwasher-safe but aren’t safe for the microwave.

Looking at this set in person, we loved its striking wood-grain print. However, it also struck us as odd that the print also wasn't on the inside of the bowls. The bowls are also a bit of an unusual shape (tall and deep) and not our preference for soup and cereal, but we could see them working well for a snack like popcorn. Out of the box, the pieces already have a bit of a rough finish, and there were scuff marks on several plates and bowls. These were especially obvious on the wood grain pattern, as the scratched-off parts were white underneath.

craft and kin outdoor dinnerware the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

Price at time of publish: $53

What's Included: 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, 4 bowls | Material: Melamine | Care: Dishwasher-safe

What Our Testers Say

"There are some slight imperfections in the finish, but this is a solid set of shatterproof dishware for eating outdoors." Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Product Tester

Final Verdict

The Zak Designs French Country House Melamine Dinnerware Set is our top pick because of its easy versatility, since it’s suitable for indoor or outdoor dining and casual or slightly formal affairs. For super-casual dining, we love the faux wood of the Craft & Kin Woodgrain Melamine Dinnerware Set.

How We Tested

Our writers tested a total of eight outdoor dinnerware sets. We used our editorial judgment to choose those eight products, using insights from customer reviews, our editors' subject matter expertise, and the specifications and other information available from the dinnerware brands themselves. We shipped those dinnerware sets to our home testers, who used the pieces to serve and eat meals they normally eat over the course of a few days, making sure to try those dishes outdoors in different settings. They evaluated how comfortable and lightweight they were to hold, how durable and sturdy each dishware felt, how resistant the pieces were to scratches and stains, how aesthetically pleasing the pieces were when set on the table, and how easy they were to clean.

Our testers then rated each outdoor dinnerware set on the following attributes: Durability, Design, Versatility, Quality of Finish, and Ease of Cleaning.

outdoor dinnerware set group photo the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

What to Look for in Outdoor Dinnerware

Material

Most outdoor dinnerware sets are made from plastic. There are several different types of plastic dinnerware including acrylic, melamine, and polypropylene.

Plastic dinnerware is lighter, more durable, resists shattering and scratching, and tends to stack more compactly compared to traditional porcelain, ceramic, or glass dishes and serving pieces. A plastic set of plates also offers more stability and is more eco-friendly than using throwaway paper or plastic plates.

Most, but not all, plastic dinnerware sets can be run through the dishwasher. Some may be top-rack only, so be sure to check what the manufacturer recommends before purchasing. Most plastic dinnerware sets are not approved for microwave use. 

If you prefer a durable nonplastic option, look for a dinnerware set made from bamboo fibers, stainless steel, or wood. Be aware that dinnerware sets made from these materials tend to cost more than those made from plastic.

Weight

Finding the right weight for your dinnerware is crucial, especially if you plan on eating outdoors. If it’s too light, your plate will blow away in the wind. If it’s too heavy, it’s a chore to carry from the kitchen to the deck. Stoneware and porcelain tend to be on the heavier side, while melamine and plastic lean toward the lighter end of the spectrum.

Quantity

Most outdoor dinnerware sets include service for four people. If you need more than four place settings, you’ll have to purchase multiple sets. Outdoor dinnerware is not typically sold by the individual place setting or in individual pieces or open stock.

Outdoor dinnerware place settings usually include a large dinner plate, a smaller salad or dessert plate, and a bowl. Some sets include a matching tumbler in addition to two plates and a bowl.

Some sets have matching serving pieces, like platters and large bowls, available for separate purchase. If it’s important to you to have serveware that matches your dishes, be sure to check the full collection before purchasing.

Design

The color, pattern, and shape of an outdoor dinnerware set will likely be the first thing that catches your eye. You can find outdoor dinnerware sets in neutral whites and grays that let your food shine as well as assorted solid colors and vibrant patterns that add flair and personality to your outdoor dining table. Some plastic sets are even designed to look like ceramic or wood.

One particular design detail to pay attention to is the shape of the plate. Since many outdoor dinnerware sets are constructed from plastic, they tend to have a slippery feel that can make food slide around. If the plates lack a rim to keep food in place, you could risk food spilling and rolling off the plate. This might not be much of a concern if you’re serving outdoors, but it’s something to think about if you prefer to plate your food indoors and carry it outside. 

On the other side of that coin, too large of a rim on a plate can cut down on how much surface area you have to hold your food. Consider the overall plate dimensions, as well as the depth of any bowls and capacity of any tumblers, to get an idea of their capacity.

Maintenance

Outdoor dinnerware is typically easy to care for and highly durable, so breakage isn’t much of a concern. Most plastic sets are not microwave-safe but can be run through the dishwasher. Even when plastic items are approved for dishwasher use, the extreme temperatures and detergents can cause them to fade or wear faster. If you want your outdoor set to last as long as possible, consider hand-washing whenever possible.

aidio melamine outdoor dinnerware set the spruce eats home test

The Spruce Eats / Abigail Abesamis Demarest

FAQs

Are bamboo plates unbreakable?

Bamboo plates and bowls are sturdy, durable, and resist chipping, shattering, and scratching, making them a good alternative to plastic. Be aware that some bamboo sets are actually a combination of bamboo and plastic for added strength, so double-check with the manufacturer if you’re trying to avoid all plastic.

Melamine is a type of plastic. It shares some of the same characteristics as other plastics, such as being sensitive to heat and not safe for use in the microwave. Melamine is more durable and shatterproof compared to other plastics, like acrylic. Melamine also resists scratching better than other plastics.

How long does a dinnerware set last?

Longevity depends on the material and the frequency of use. If treated well, ceramic sets can last a lifetime given their durability. However, they can easily shatter if dropped. Melamine sets are hardy and won’t easily break, but they only last two to five years or so. Most disposable sets are intended for single use, but you may be able to rinse them off and get a few more uses out of them. Bamboo dinnerware sets are an eco-friendly alternative that last around two years. 

What comes in a dinnerware set?

While a few individual pieces may vary, a typical dinnerware set includes an entree plate, salad plate, bowl, and sometimes a cup or mug—or both. Sets usually come with four or six of each item. 

What is the most durable dinnerware material?

Again, what’s “most durable” may depend on what kind of dinnerware you’re looking for. In terms of ceramics, bone china is the most durable type of dinnerware. A mixture of bone ash and porcelain clay, it is a sturdy yet lightweight option that won’t easily break. On the plastic end, melamine is nearly indestructible and a great option for families with kids since it isn’t heavy and doesn’t shatter.

outdoor dinnerware sets home test the spruce eats group photo

The Spruce Eats / Amanda Lauren

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a freelance journalist who specializes in food and drink content. She’s all about an al fresco dining moment—especially on a beautiful sunny day—and thinks break-resistant dishware is ideal. She tested several outdoor dinnerware sets over the course of a week to see how they held up to silverware and the dishwasher.

Amanda Lauren is an experienced lifestyle and food writer who also tested some of our top outdoor dinnerware sets at home. She loves grilling or smoking up some meats and veggies to enjoy al fresco.

Allison Wignall, who updated this article, is a writer who focuses on food and travel. She’s always in the kitchen trying to recreate recipes from around the world. Her work has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Originally written by
Donna Currie
Donna Currie
Donna Currie is a food writer and blogger specializing in recipes and kitchen gadgets. She covers kitchen tools and gadgets for The Spruce Eats and is the author of Make Ahead Bread.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Updated by
Allison Wignall
Allison Wignall The Spruce Eats

Allison Wignall is a staff writer for The Spruce Eats who focuses on product reviews. She has also contributed to publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
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