The brightest white china we’ve seen
Dishwasher, microwave, and warm-oven safe
Thin, high-quality china
Sharp angles seem more prone to breaks
Shallow design lets food slide around
Red Vanilla describes its 16-piece china dinnerware set—which includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, four mugs, and four soup bowls—as versatile enough to use for both everyday and entertaining needs, but straight out of the box it’s apparent that these dishes call for a delicate touch. With angles this sharp and china this thin, we felt anxious just during the unboxing. This, paired with an assertively modern design, makes it hard to imagine pulling these out from the cupboard for a casual meal. Given a special occasion, though, these would be a beautiful compliment to a modern design scheme and would look stunning when on display and not in use.
Appearance: Modern and gleaming white
We love the exceptionally bright white hue of the dishes (seriously—they almost glow), and how it contributes to the set’s cool, ultra-modern look. In fact, the dinnerware would look just as dazzling from inside a contemporary hutch or china cabinet when not in use. The surface quality was another highlight for us. Each dish has an ultra-glossy finish, and despite investigating closely with our phone flashlight out, we didn’t find any significant surface flaws.
With great shine comes great responsibility, however. While a polished plate might look great, the slippery surface puts the real star of the show (your food, of course) at peril of sliding right off the edge. The plates are designed to bow slightly at the center, but free of a lip, rim, or textured surface to grab onto, rice and a number of peas ended up on our dining table.
Though bone china dishes are often produced to be thinner than their plain porcelain or stoneware counterparts, they’re usually more resistant to chipping, scratching, and mechanical breakage.
Style-wise, the dramatic angles paired with the glossy finish keep the dinnerware set from being more versatile. The overall impression better lends itself to formal dinners than Friday night pizza. Also, while the mugs are fairly straightforward, the shape of the plates is going to make mixing the set with your existing dishes a challenge.
Take a peek at some of the best serving dishes you can buy.
Durability: Handle with care
Bone china is a variety of porcelain that gains additional strength and a distinctive ivory color from being tempered with animal bone ash. Though bone china dishes are often produced to be thinner than their plain porcelain or stoneware counterparts, they’re usually more resistant to chipping, scratching, and mechanical breakage. The Red Vanilla dishes were by far the thinnest of the ones we reviewed, but the fact that the set survived three runs through the dishwasher and a good amount of clanking around during stacking and use speaks to their relative durability. It’s the corners that we feel may be the set’s Achilles’ heel. Enhanced porcelain strength can only go so far to protect angles this sharp from being snapped off if they aren’t treated gently.
Shipping: Could be problematic
When we unpacked our set, we found that each of the four-piece place sets (dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, and mug) was nestled snuggly together in a small box, and then all four boxes were packed into a single sturdy cardboard box to ship together. The shipping boxes and packaging all seemed high quality enough, and all 16 pieces arrived to us in one piece, but we think we were lucky.
While a polished plate might look great, the slippery surface puts the real star of the show (your food, of course) at peril of sliding right off the edge.
Price: An affordable luxury
Prices for bone china sets can vary considerably, but one thing’s certain: they rarely come cheap. If you know the number of place settings you’re after, buying a multi-service set like this one, rather than à la carte pieces, should save you a lot of money. At $499.99 (MSRP) for the 16-piece set, this is a pricey investment but it comes with a lot of quality.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best flatware and silverware sets.
Red Vanilla Extreme Bone China 16-Piece Dinnerware Set vs. Mikasa Couture Platinum and Modern White Sets
China sets come in a variety of fancy finishes and plenty with holiday-specific motifs, but most are only available in round designs. If you love the square aesthetic but find the Red Vanilla set a bit extreme, Mikasa’s Couture Platinum and Modern White lines are both nice options to consider. The 16-piece Couture Platinum set includes dinner and salad plates that are a rounded square shape, the bowl is flat along the top, and all 16 pieces, mugs included, are rimmed with a delicate accent of platinum. Bear in mind—metal accents make dishes unsafe for use in a microwave. Alternately, Mikasa’s Modern White bone china line has a sleek, square silhouette with flat edges, which may make it more versatile for everyday use with a broader variety of décor styles.
Still can't decide on what you want? Check out our guide to the best dinnerware sets.
- Product Name Extreme Bone China 16-Piece Dinnerware Set
- Product Brand Red Vanilla
- Price $499.99
- Color Extreme white
- Model Number EW3400-016
- Material Bone china
- Included (4) 10.25-inch dinner plates, (4) 8.25-inch salad plates, (4) 12-ounce mugs, (4) 20-ounce soup bowls