Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup when it’s cold outside. It’s pure comfort food for most folks. Soups range from all-American chicken noodle, Italian minestrone or New England clam chowder to traditional Asian noodle soup like Japanese ramen, Vietnamese pho, or Malaysian laksa.
But the experience of eating soup can vary depending on the soup spoon you are using, as not every soup spoon is made the same. Some are too small, making it frustrating to eat soup, others too large, as if you’re wielding a ladle to your mouth. And Asian noodles soups are often served with a specific type of Asian soup spoons with tall sides that are ideal for noodles, dumplings and other large fillings that you commonly find in Asian soups.
We searched all over to find the best soup spoons, western and Asian-style, for the best soup eating experience.
Artena 6.75-Inch Solid Asian Soup Spoon
Generous sized bowl
Comes in an array of colors
Porcelain, so not as durable as metal
Doesn’t sit flat when laid on table
The Artena porcelain soup spoon is a great versatile Asian-style soup spoon that still functions well for western-style soups, cereal, and stews. It has a generous-sized bowl to hold soup broth, as well as noodles, xiao long bao, vegetables and other fillings that the soup might have. The hook on the top of the spoon also keeps it from falling into the soup when you place it inside the bowl, since it hooks over a bowl's lip.
The spoon comes in an array of colors, including white, black, blue, teal and green. The spoon is dishwasher safe, making clean up super easy. They also stack easily in your cabinet, simplifying storage of them. And a set of six is very reasonably priced.
Price at time of publish: $18
Material: Porcelain ceramic | Dimensions: 6.75 inches | Pieces in Set: 6 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
“A spoon is the most intimate object you can engage with while eating. Because it goes directly in your mouth, unlike any other utensil, the shape, texture and mouthfeel of your spoon is very important. With Asian soups you want something that can go deep into the bowl, and not get too hot to hold or put in your mouth.” — Ken Albala, Professor of History, University of the Pacific
Robert Welch Kingham Soup Spoon
18/10 stainless steel
Must be bought individually, does not come in a set
Mirror finish will eventually show scratches
This soup spoon is a classic, understated utensil with a shiny, mirror-like finish that comes from the hand polishing of each piece. The spoon has excellent balance in your hand with a generous round wide bowl. The timeless design looks beautiful next to any bowl of soup or stew. The spoon was designed by Robert Welch, an award-winning British designer and is built to last a lifetime.
The 18/10 stainless steel material means it is made of an alloy of iron, chromium and nickel, with the 18 referring to it being approximately 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel. This allow will last for years, maintaining its luster and resisting rust. The spoon is dishwasher safe and comes with a 25-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $7
Material: 18/10 stainless steel | Dimensions: 7 inches | Pieces in Set: 1 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
“I am pro-18/10 stainless steel for all dining utensils. It is long-lasting, has a sturdy feel to it, and is resistant to rust and corrosion, which is important for items that come into frequent contact with hot liquids.” — Michele Di Pietro, founder of Mangia with Michele and author of "SOUPified: Soups Inspired by Your Favorite Dishes"
Hiware Melamine Chinese Won Ton Soup Spoon
Graphic colors with red inside and black outside
Notch allows you to prop spoon on rim of bowl
Flat bottom sits on table surface
Handle is slightly shorter
Melamine isn’t as durable as metal and can stain over time
If you’re looking for a durable Asian-style soup spoon that isn’t ceramic, consider this melamine soup spoon. The graphic red inside and contrasting black outside looks striking in a bowl of ramen or pho. The deep bowl of the spoon allows you to ladle up noodles, dumplings or any other solid item in your soup. And the notch and hook on the spoon gives two different ways to prevent the spoon from sliding into the broth.
The flat bottom of the spoon also means you can place it on a tabletop and serve appetizers and bites with it, making this spoon a versatile utensil. Melamine is durable and dishwasher safe, less prone to breaking than porcelain, so this spoon will last awhile in the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $13
Material: Melamine | Dimensions: 6.25 inches | Pieces in Set: 12 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
“Chinese-style soup spoons tend to have a flat bottom and raised edges. They're perfect for eating something like wonton noodle soup because the spoon can hold broth along with the dumplings and/or noodles. That way, when you're slurping up the food from the spoon, you can get a good amount of broth and solid food in the same bite.” — Lisa Lin, founder of Healthy Nibbles
Best for Ramen
Gohobi Handmade Soup Spoon
Deep bowl in spoon
Sits on table with flat bottom
Pricey per spoon
Handmade means actual spoons may vary from photos
When shopping for ramen spoons, you want one with a deep bowl that can hold the noodles and that hooks to the top of the bowl rim, so it doesn’t fall into the broth. And, hopefully, the spoon will also look attractive. This Japanese-style ceramic spoon is handmade in China, from the Jingdezhen city that is known as the “porcelain capital” because it’s been producing Chinese ceramics for over 1,000 years.
This beautifully crafted Asian-style spoon with a deep bowl and tall sides has a milky white glaze that shows some slight speckling from the iron rich clay underneath. The curve of the handle not only lets the spoon rest on the rim of the bowl, but also rest on the tabletop balancing against the flat bottom, making them look great on a table next to the bowl of ramen and a pair of chopsticks.
Price at time of publish: $13 for single
Material: Ceramic | Dimensions: 5.8 inches | Pieces in Set: 1 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
“Asian soup aren’t spoons that you put your entire mouth around. They are spoons that you can load up with goodies (Noodles! Toppings! Broth!) and slurp from. When buying, you want to hold them in your hand to consider weight. Also set one in a bowl to see if it sits well. Some are shorter than others. Some are lighter than others. They don’t look and feel the same.” — Andrea Nguyen, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author of "The Pho Cookbook" and founder of Viet World Kitchen
Neat Trend Natural Rice Husk Soup Spoons with Hook
Made from rice husk and plant fiber
Free of dyes
Boiling water shortens lifespan
Eventually wears down and roughens in spots
If you are looking for a durable, eco-friendly spoon, these natural rice husks spoons are a great option. Made entirely from plant materials, no plastic or fiberglass, these reusable spoons will last through the winter and are designed to with stand temperatures of up to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re even dishwasher safe.
Long term use does mean they eventually start to wear down. Over time, the polished surface starts to become a bit rough and sand-like in texture. But when you’re looking to replace them, know that they are biodegradable when buried and actually start to decompose if placed in water continuously for 6 weeks.
Price at time of publish: $15
Material: Rice husk, plant fiber | Dimensions: 6.25 inches | Pieces in Set: 6 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Vintage Design
Wing on Wo & Co. Hand-Painted Spoons
All unique and individual
Vintage patterns are unique, so no matching or replacing broken ones
Hand wash only
If you’re looking to invoke an old-school Chinese restaurant vibe on your next table setting, check out Wing On Wo’s hand-painted spoons. These Asian-style spoons are all different and unique, with hand-painted intricate patterns. A lot of the delicate patterns and designs are no longer being produced, which means once they sell out of the spoon, it’s gone forever.
The spoons are reasonably priced for vintage pieces, and they’re all mix and match. When you order them for shipping, there’s no way to specify which spoon you want. But since all of them are beautiful, that shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure not to run them through the dishwasher or microwave them. They’re not suitable for either.
Price at time of publish: $5
Material: Porcelain | Dimensions: Not specified | Pieces in Set: 1 | Dishwasher Safe: No
DOWAN Ceramic Asian Soup Spoons Set
Large set of 12
Lightweight yet durable
Smaller than other spoons
No hook at the end
Made from bone china, a highly durable porcelain ceramic, these soup spoons are a bargain since they come in a set of 12. Clean utilitarian white, they are also very lightweight, less than an ounce each. They are slightly smaller than other soup spoons and don’t come with a hook at the end to prevent them from falling into the soup. But with a dozen of them floating around the kitchen, you can always grab another clean spoon from the kitchen drawer if the one you’re using falls into the bowl.
The flat bottom also makes these ideal for appetizers with the large set being a great option for dinner parties as well. The spoons themselves won’t stain or impart any odd tastes to the soup or dish, and they’re dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator safe.
Price at time of publish: $20
Material: Bone china porcelain | Dimensions: 5.3 inches | Pieces in Set: 12 | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
What to Look for When Buying a Soup Spoon
Spoons come in various different materials, including metal, ceramic, melamine, plastic, mother-of-pearl, wood, and even eco-friendly rice husk, bamboo, and other plant-based materials. Each material has strengths and weaknesses, with the most common ones including metal and ceramic.
With a metal spoon, 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel is preferred. The chromium and nickel in the steel prevents the spoon from rusting and also helps preserve the luster and beauty of the spoon. It's also fairly neutral and won’t impart a metallic taste to your soup. The finish of a stainless steel spoon is usually either a satin finish or a mirror finish. Satin tends wear better over time, while the mirror finish tends to show fingerprints and scratches. But the mirror finish often looks more prestigious and lux. Sterling silver is also an option but requires maintenance with polishing and tends to be more expensive.
Ceramic spoons are a common material for Asian-style spoons. They can be a little less durable than metal, but don’t warm up as much in the hot soup as metal does. The glazing on ceramic spoons is very neutral and won’t impart any flavor at all to the soup. Not all ceramic is the same. Bone china and porcelain tend to be stronger and lighter in weight, while stoneware and earthenware can be cheaper and sometimes has a more rustic or earthy look.
Other materials like melamine, plastic, mother-of-pearl, wood, or eco-friendly plant-based materials are less popular but have their uses. Melamine and plastic are very durable. Mother-of-pearl is fairly rare and is more often used for caviar spoons. Wood and other eco-friendly materials won’t heat up in soup which means you won’t burn your mouth when you sip the soup, but they are less durable and eventually compost back down when disposed of.
Since everyone is different, there is no perfect spoon for everyone. Test the spoon out by holding it in your hand and see how balanced it is. Check to make sure the spoon isn’t too big or too small and can handle the right amount of liquid and solids that you prefer when eating the soup.
Western-style spoons come in various different sizes from petite smaller sizes to larger round spoons, sometimes referred to as a bouillon soup spoon. Pick the size of spoon you prefer. Asian-style spoons come in bigger and smaller sizes. They also often come with a hook or a notch (or both) to prevent the spoon from falling into the broth.
And, of course, choose a spoon that looks aesthetically pleasing and fits in with your cutlery and your own sensibilities.
Make sure to pick a spoon that fits into your lifestyle. If you are busy person, a spoon that is dishwasher safe might be a high priority. If you have a small kitchen or a small household, a spoon that stacks or nests would be best for easy storage. Consider the practicality of what to do with the spoon when it’s not in use, before making a choice.
What are the specific names for East Asian soup spoons?
East Asian-style soup spoons are often referred to as Chinese spoons, Chinese soup spoons, or Asian-style spoons. In Japan and Japanese culture, they are also called a renge, which is a shortened for the Japanese word chirirenge. Chirenge translates to fallen lotus petal, which refers to the spoon shape.
What else can you use flat-bottomed spoons for?
Most East Asian-style spoons are flat-bottomed. And though they are ideal for Asian noodle soups, they can be used for a lot of other things. Many folks use them to eat dumplings, especially xiao long bao (Chinese soup dumplings). These dumplings are filling with liquid soup inside and are often served in a bamboo steamer basket. The common way to eat them is to pick them up gently with a chopstick and place them in a flat-bottomed spoon to eat, letting the spoon catch any liquid soup that spills out from the dumpling. But Chinese spoons are great for all sorts of dumplings, as you can dip the dumpling into a sauce, and then use the spoon to catch any drips as you eat it.
But flat-bottom spoons can also be used for serving appetizers. Dinner parties or restaurants will often serve an amuse bouche or a single-bite appetizer in Asian-style spoons, as they hold the individual appetizers well and stand on the table on their own. Next time you have a dinner party, or a fancy buffet dinner, consider a set of flat-bottomed spoons to serve your guests the first course.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best soup spoons on the market, evaluating their key features—like material, design, or price—in addition to reviews from customers. We also reached out to experts like Lisa Lin of Healthy Nibbles and Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen for guidance.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats
Irvin Lin, is a cookbook author of "Marbled, Swirled, and Layered" and an ongoing contributor to The Spruce Eats and Simply Recipes. He runs his own blog Eat the Love and is a professional recipe developer and writer. He grew up eating tons of Asian noodle soups as well as congee, a rice porridge, using Chinese spoons. His go-to comfort food is soups and stews and has accumulated a lot of spoons in his kitchen cabinet.