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Long gone are the days when nice flatware—usually fine silverware—was only used sparingly and for special occasions. Couples today register for all sorts of flatware for every occasion, and many times what is considered "fancy" and "every day" are interchangeable. There are endless options to choose from, covering every style, color, material, and finish.
From vintage-inspired silverware to ultra-modern pieces, there’s truly something for everyone. Also, you don't like you have to stick to just one pattern! With so many possibilities, you may feel like registering for a couple of styles and mixing things up at your next dinner party. When you're registering, it's also helpful to think about other areas of your life that might be less expected— think reusable plastic flatware for your lunch or picnic excursions. Don’t worry— whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered.
Read on for the best flatware sets.
Best Colorful Flatware: Mepra Fantasia Color 20-Piece Set
If you want color on your table, this flatware 100% serves that up (pun very much intended). With fourteen colorways to choose from (we especially love the more understated sage and sky blue), you can quite literally match your flatware to your china if you want. Looking for more variety on your table? Get the “sea” set and you’ll get mixed blues and greens, or the “earth” set that includes brown, white, and blues.
Best Dishwasher-Safe Flatware: Mepra Stiria 24-Piece Set
You may think that all modern flatware was created dishwasher safe, but many sets still require extra care. Make sure you always check before registering or buying—you have to be willing to commit to handwashing if your everyday flatware isn’t dishwasher safe! This set is versatile, stainless steel, and feels modern but not too modern for your morning cereal or eggs.
Best Bamboo Flatware: Pottery Barn Bamboo Stainless Steel 5-Piece Set
Bamboo-style flatware has been around for a while—we love this updated version in a stainless steel finish that works perfectly as your everyday set. It's a more casual shape mixed with an elegant silver finish, so it's perfect for both casual brunches and dinner parties alike.
Most Unexpected Flatware: Sharecook Multicolor 5-Piece Set
This modern iridescent flatware is a dream if you aren't a fan of the word “understated” and if you’re fully on board for using these aside equally playful plates. When you set the table with these shimmery statement makers, you can make your own rules.
Best Mixed Metallic Flatware: Crate and Barrel Tuscany 5-Piece Set
For those who crave the traditional flatware patterns, this banded set is perfect. A silver and gold-toned mix means it’ll go well with whatever metallic accents you already have on your table. With just enough weight to feel sturdy, you know it’ll stand the test of time.
Best Wooden Flatware: Pottery Barn St. Michelle Pakka Wood 5-Piece Set
This classic, slightly masculine style lends itself perfectly to a mountain home or ranch aesthetic. Dark brown wood and stainless steel create an air of sophistication and timelessness. These are hand wash only, but we think it’s worth the commitment.
Best Preppy Flatware: Sabre Paris White Stripe 5-Piece Set
Nothing says preppy quite like a good stripe. With a look that appears hand-painted and perfectly imperfect, this nautical style would fit perfectly in both a seaside cottage or just your outdoor living space. The design is refined, yet playful, and begs to be used all summer long.
What to look for in flatware
Are you a couple who loves to throw fancy dinner parties or plan to host everyone during the holidays? Or do you cook mostly for the two of you and prefer a no-fuss, dishwasher-safe set? It's important to think about your lifestyle and plan accordingly.
The best sets are made of high-quality stainless steel, which is both durable and long-lasting. Silver, silver-plated, and pewter pieces can be beautiful but are expensive and hard to care for. If you're choosing outdoor or travel flatware, make sure to go with BPA-free plastic or a bamboo-based eco-friendly material.
Think about your overall tabletop decor and aesthetic, and make sure to consider the plates, glassware, and napkins that you already have (or have registered for). A more simple, modern set will fit well with different types of tabletop decor versus styles that are highly decorative and specific.
What is flatware?
Flatware is the overall term for forks, knives, and spoons that accompany plates and glassware at a table setting. A general set will include two forks (one small one for salads and a larger one for the dinner course), one or two spoons in different sizes, and a knife.
How many flatware sets do I need?
It depends on how much you entertain, but it's a good rule of thumb to have at least enough to serve eight to 12 people. You also might want to consider having two sets—a fancier one for special occasions and another, more durable (and dishwasher-safe) one for everyday meals.
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Hannah Baker is a contributing writer and former Wedding Style editor at Brides. She is an expert in floral design, home decor, and lifestyle.