The world of flatware is vast, and can definitely be overwhelming for first-time homeowners, soon-to-be brides curating wedding registries, or folks simply looking to upgrade their existing hodgepodge cutlery. Silverware is something you use every day—a spoon to stir your coffee, a knife to cut your steak, or a fork to twirl your pasta—so you’ll want to think carefully before buying. We put seven unique sets of highly-rated flatware to the test to help you find the right set.
What you should know about flatware before buying
Service refers to the number of complete place settings
Your choice in flatware will likely be influenced by how many folks will be using it, so look out for the word "service" in the product description. This refers to how many complete place settings come in the set; service for four means four of each piece of silverware (not including serving pieces), service for eight means eight pieces of everything, and so on. A basic service for one—also referred to as a setting—will typically include four pieces: one salad fork, one dinner fork, one teaspoon, and one knife.
Know your materials
The term "silverware" can be a misnomer because in many cases the flatware it refers to isn't real silver. In fact, pure silver flatware is too soft on its own and would deform, so the closest we can get is sterling silver. Sterling silver is an alloy made of at least 92.5% silver and usually about 7.5% copper. This type of flatware is expensive, requires polishing regularly, and is most likely something you'll inherit or find at an antique store. In the U.S., sterling silver is generally marked with "sterling,” “sterling silver,” “.925,” “925/1000,” “900,” “Coin,” or “Standard,” but if you're still curious about the status of your flatware you can always have it appraised.
Stainless steel is more common in modern flatware and quality will range depending on the grade: 18/10, 18/8, or 18/0. This ratio refers to the amount of chromium and nickel in each grade, which are added to improve the strength of the steel. Nickel is especially important as it's corrosion-resistant, so we recommend buying either 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel.
Stainless steel is going to be your most durable option when it comes to flatware, but plastic-, resin-, and wood-handled flatware has a certain appeal, too. If you're interested in flatware with non-metal handles, be sure to pay close attention to washing instruction since materials like wood aren't dishwasher-safe.
Water is the enemy
Even if your silverware is 18/10 sterling silver, regular exposure to moisture can cause rust. Refer to washing and care instructions for your specific set of flatware, and when in doubt hand-dry after washing (even if in dishwasher).
If you notice spots on your flatware once it's dry, simply polish with a dish towel. For more serious polishing jobs, break out the baking soda.
1. Oneida Moda Flatware
You've got a few options when it comes to Oneida Moda Flatware—the top-seller is the standard silver 75-piece set (also available in satin finish) that includes 12 salad forks, 12 dinner forks, 12 place knives, 12 soup spoons, 12 teaspoons, 12 steak knives, a pierced serving spoon, a serving spoon, and a serving fork. But if you're looking for something a bit more precious, consider the gold 45-piece version that's a bit more pricey and a lot more luxe.
I fell in love with this gold set during testing because, simply put, it looks downright elegant. This set is nicely weighted and feels as fancy as it looks. Some owners say the gold version has a tendency to lose its luster over time, so we recommend hand-washing to preserve the shine for as long as possible. The 45-piece gold set includes eight salad forks, eight dinner forks, eight dinner knives, eight soup spoons, eight teaspoons, a serving spoon, a pierced serving spoon, a serving fork, a butter knife, and a sugar spoon.
Standard silver might be the overall fan favorite, but all Onidea Moda Flatware is 18/10 sterling silver (even the gold finish!) and dishwasher-safe, making each set is equally durable and corrosion resistant.
2. Mepra Fantasia Color Flatware
This colorful set is the pop of color every dining room table needs. Available in a rainbow of options, from striking chartreuse to demure sky blue, you can scoop up an entire 40-piece set in a single shade or mix and match a few 5-piece settings. Each 5-piece setting includes a salad fork, dinner fork, dinner knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon, while the larger sets also include various bonus serving sets.
This mid-century modern flatware is lightweight and comfortable to hold, but the small spoon is on the small side (perhaps better suited for little hands or serving jams). Its 18/10 stainless steel with resin handles, making it dishwasher-safe, durable, and corrosion-resistant. We think this flatware is the most kid-friendly option of the bunch because its lightweight, easy to grip, and vibrant.
3. Pfaltzgraff Stainless Steel Simplicity Flatware
This highly-reviewed 53-piece flatware set has an average of 4.5 stars. During testing, we liked that this silverware was well-balanced, relatively lightweight, and dishwasher-safe. Owners like that this set comes with serving pieces as well as steak knives, but we thought the plastic handles of the steak knives detracted from the overall appeal.
The full set includes service for eight, a serving spoon, a slotted serving spoon, a sugar spoon, a spreader, a meat fork, and eight steak knives. This stainless steel is 18/0, which means it's more prone to corrosion, so we perhaps not the most durable set on this list but certainly a great budget option.
4. International Silver Stainless Steel Adventure Collection Flatware
This dishwasher-safe stainless steel flatware is suited for everyday dining and special occasions alike. However, its 18/0 stainless steel grade means it might not be the longest-lasting set on this list. The 51-pieces include service for eight and a 3-piece hostess set (serving spoon, slotted serving spoon, and serving fork).
Of the 300+ reviews, owners call this set solid and excellent value for the price, and we agree. This set is a good deal in terms of the amount of pieces you get for under $100, but we wish there was a bit more heft to each piece. That said, this particularly lightweight silverware could be a positive quality for some potential buyers and it's still very comfy to hold.
5. Gourmet Settings Birch Stainless Steel Flatware
If you prefer a matte finish, then this is the flatware for you. The 20-piece Gourmet Settings Birch Stainless Steel Flatware Set could transform your dining room table into a raucous medieval feast or posh minimalist gathering, depending on your preferred vibes. Available in black and gold, both options are 18/10 stainless steel and include four salad forks, four dinner forks, four dinner knives, four soup spoons, and four teaspoons. Every piece in this set is bottom-heavy, which we liked during testing.
Owners say this silverware is comfortable to hold, looks and feels high-quality, and is a great foil to classic white dishes, and we couldn't agree more. In order to keep this set looking great for as long as possible, avoid scrubbing with abrasive sponges and hand-dry after washing to avoid water marks on the matte surface.
6. Cutipol Aero Flatware
This perfectly minimalist set is available in black, white, and silver (or "Mirror"), and includes options for a 2-piece serving spoon and fork. It's available in 5- or 20-piece sets so you can buy to match the size of your home—add on an extra single 5-piece or two to your 20-piece set and now you've got service for five or six! And unlike every other set on this list, this flatware is actually top-heavy as opposed to bottom-heavy because the top is 18/10 stainless steel with a acetal polymer handle.
A Crate & Barrel exclusive, each Aero white five-piece place setting includes a salad fork, dinner fork, teaspoon, dinner spoon and dinner knife. We like how lightweight and sleek this flatware is—it would make a good upgrade pick for those who prefer a modern aesthetic. This set is dishwasher-safe, but owners should avoid citrus-scented soaps when cleaning.
7. Lenox Flatware
For a classic look at an excellent price, look no further than the Lenox Flatware Sets. The 24-piece set includes standard service for four plus four steak knives, and is 18/10 stainless steel, meaning it looks and feels high quality. All pieces in this set are slightly bottom-heavy, with both types of knives being especially so, making each piece really comfortable to handle.
The other utensils are less hefty and I wished the forks in particular had a bit more weight to them. I don’t love the small logo that’s printed on each piece of silverware, but I think it would fade eventually, leaving a pristine silver surface in its place. This flatware is dishwasher-safe and should be rust resistant because it's of it's high-quality stainless steel grade.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.