Suggestions needed for sturdy dishes

laughablemomentsNovember 15, 2012

Hi all,

Does anyone have super-sturdy, dishwasher safe, lightweight, affordable non-plastic dishes they'd like to recommend? (Phew--that's a tall order!)

My Corelle dishes are fast disappearing. I remember my mom's lasting for years, but we didn't put them through a dishwasher, and I'm from a very small family. Ours are shattering left and right and I need to find a replacement quick. We're running out of bowls daily. (7 kiddos.)

I've been checking out the dishes at the Webstaurant store, and have come up with these:

They're cheap at $8.29 a dozen. This is what our college dining hall used, so I'm thinking they're sturdy.

Is there a better option?

Here is a link that might be useful: Wooden Salad Bowls at Webstaurant

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Not mentioning Microwave Safe. An 8" bowl is kinda big.

Link is heavy china in ivory - they have other sizes and smaller cases. Traditional bowl size is 8 oz for soup and somewhat larger 10-12 oz for cereals.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buck each/ 36 in a case.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:42AM
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what i like about my new pottery barn dishes, they are white, but not getting those ugly black marks whe you cut on them, bowls are nice and heavy too,

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I have been gathering Fiestaware. It certainly isn't the cheapest out there but it is important to me that our dishes be made in the USA. We have littles and they are sturdy even when tossed from the table. :/ Apparently when my toddler is finished her dishes need to be cast to the floor--still working on that.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:33AM
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I second Fiestaware - got a set specifically for our toddler, and they have survived being dropped. (Lead free glaze too.) They are heavy though.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:52AM
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We are a family of 5, kids destroy most plates, don't know why they can't figure out what 'please be gentle' means. About 5 years ago I went with Mikasa Antique White China. While they were able to break one plate when a skateboard landed on it while on the floor, the others have held up quite well. Just recently I realized we have one plate and one bowl that are chipped. No knife marks which is a huge plus.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:59AM
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I bought clear glass plates and bowls at Ikea and Kmart, they are tough as nails! The small plates from Kmart were Martha Stewart, the bowls and larger plates at ikea were Oppen, .99 each.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:22AM
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I'm another Fiesta lover. They are micro safe and made in USA. I have a mix of colors which adds some fun to my kitchen. My 5 kids have put them to the test and they are by far the best dishes I have had. Macy's quite often has sales on them.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:29PM
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I've used Longaberger pottery for every day dishes for years - raised 3 boys - and not a one broken. They are glazed and no metal fork/knife marks on them at all, but the serving/baking dishes that match do get those marks on them for some reason. They come clean easy in the dishwasher. Heavy stuff, sturdy, but maybe not so cheap

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I just wanted to mention that I have gotten Fiestaware at Kohl's (online has better selection) using 30% codes. Their return policy is generous too.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:54PM
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We have Cafeware. It's porcelain, so tougher/more durable than stoneware, and like that used in restaurants and cafeterias... So good, I think, for families the size of yours and ours. I like that it's plain white so is suitable for our usual casual dining and also can fit into a dressed up table.

There are a few different, but similar styles. I saw it first on Crate and Barrel's online outlet store, but found ours at our local one-stop-shopping store, Fred Meyer/Kroger, which has grocery, clothes, housewares, etc. Anyway, they were having a sale, plus a coupon and I got 4 boxed sets that I hope will last us years for a great price. So far, so good. :-) Any porcelain dinnerware should be similarly durable.

I just read, though, that you want lightweight. Is there a particular reason? These are not. And that's one of the things I like about them, and probably something that adds to durability.

While they were able to break one plate when a skateboard landed on it while on the floor...
LOL, Sandra! This exact thing hasn't happened here, but I totally get it. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Cafeware II at Crate and Barrel

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Fiestaware's colors are definitely very fun. I wouldn't mind if someone happened to drop off a small truckload of various shades. : ) (Probably won't happen, though.) Webstaurant has some colored dishes that look very similar to Fiestaware for an even better price than Kohl's or Macy's, but they have to be bought by sets of 12. I appreciate hearing about their sales and coupons just the same.

The reason I'm looking for lightweight is this: Our children help set the table and help load and unload the dishwasher 3 times a day. Even the 3 and 5 year old children do their share. Have you ever seen a 2 year old carry her own plate to the counter, grinning ear to ear because she's helping like a big kid? It's so adorable.

Anyway, the kids like to carry a stack of dishes all at one time to the table, and I can't blame them for wanting to save trips. I don't want the dishes to be too heavy for them, which would increase the possibility of them getting dropped. I'd like to set them up for success, and I'd like to do a whole lot less sweeping up shattered dishes. (Yikes, those Corelle shards are nasty and they fly everywhere! I'm always so afraid I've missed a piece somewhere, and that the baby will find it and stick it in her mouth. Eeek.)

So, would you let a child aged 5 carry say a stack of 4-5 Fiestaware plates or Cafeware plates at a time to the table? Would it be too heavy, or no?

I'm still eying up those bowls that Bmore found, they are a great deal, too. I missed them when I was cruising the site.

And we never know when someone might decide to skateboard across our dishes, or throw them down when they're "aaa done!" LOL Life with children, seldom a dull moment. : )

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 3:27PM
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Fori is not pleased

I've ended up with china. Good old fashioned bone china because it's durable, light, and well that's about it. The spouse picked out that cheesy butterfly Lenox stuff (a little goes a long way--I wish it came in plain white to tone down the set) and it won't die.

I think Corelle held up better in the past because kitchens were softer then.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 3:53PM
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My personal experience is that porcelain is not nearly as durable as stoneware. I would suggest stoneware.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Good Housekeeping tested a bunch of dinnerware, maybe that'll help in your selection:

Here is a link that might be useful: GH Dinnerware Reviews

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:19PM
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I have dinnerware from Oneida that I love. Oneida Culinaria in A La Mode. They used to be square, but looks like they are currently offering only round plates. I've used them daily for the past 2 years with no chips, knife marks, or breakage. They are durable and easy to hold. Love them. Switched over from Pfaltzgraff stoneware which were way too large to fit in my 12 inch cabinets or my dishwasher and seemed to chip if you just looked at them!!! Oneida also offers 20% off frequently and has a variety of different styles available online.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oneida Dinnerware

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:11PM
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How is it possible to break Corelle ?!?! I have used my set for 20 years and I think we have only ever broken or even chipped one piece ... when I dropped it 3 feet on our outside brick walkway. Because of this we went with Corelle for our rental house as well. Wonder if Corelle isn't made as well as it used to be ?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I don't think it is made as well as it used to be, Angela. My mom's old set was practically indestructable. I also remember the old boxes and commercials with the lady flicking a dish and saying nothing lasts like Corelle, or something of that sort. They don't advertise it that way, anymore. Mom mentioned that she thinks the supplies from glassmaking are from somewhere else now (China???) and don't seem to make as strong of a glass product.

I also think that dishwashers do affect they're integrity as well. We've had bottom of bowls fall off.

We have had ours fall onto our wood floor and break numerous times. My kids really aren't rough. It's not like they're throwing them around like frisbees or anything. It's just normal everyday usage with occasional clumsiness.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corelle's weak spots

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Corelle is like a lot of glassware, it picks up little scratches over time and becomes more fragile. We had a set and it was good for years and then we started losing pieces at the drop of a hat. This was a set about 20 years ago so not recent.

We have had good results with porcelain/china. The dishes are relatively light (compared to Fiesta ware) and have been durable for many years. One set is Mikasa Ultima (I don't think they have that line any more) and another is Studio Nova.

The downside of some of the lines like Studio Nova is that they change designs frequently so you need to buy what you are going to want when you see them - not count on expanding the set later. But they are relatively inexpensive for china. They make both stoneware and china patterns and it isn't easy to tell by looking at the plate which it is unless you turn it over to see the marking - the stoneware is much more fragile.

I found some nice white china dinnerware sets at Sam's club and bought it to replace our old Passover dairy plates.

Homer Laughlin, makers of Fiesta Ware, has some food service lines that I've been tempted by. I got a couple of sample plates of their Indigo and Pesto lines a while ago and might be tempted by them if I ever need to replace.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiesta Indigo

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:01PM
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Homer Laughlin is what I saw at Webstaurant. : )

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Molly Phillips

We have Fiestaware and I have a 3 and 5 year old. I would say a "stack" is too much for the 3yo but not the 5yo - and really, that's only because the 3yo isn't tall enough to put them up on the countertop easily. We have a tile floor, though, and have lost a couple of dishes here and there, but that's life. The good thing about Fiestaware (aside from the fact that they make me happy) is that you can easily find one-off pieces to replace the ones that break. Plus, my kids LOVE picking out different colors each night since we have a variety to choose from. It's fun to see what strikes their fancy based on their moods.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Angela12345 - how is it possible to break Corelle? Well, DH and I were having our first major argument after marriage and my Irish was elvated a wee bit and I tossed a plate in the cast iron sink. That dang thing splintered! It stopped the argument as my anger turned to the broken dish. I told DH that was not supposed to happen. I proceeded to pick up another dish and toss it in the sink. Same result. I stopped throwing dishes and made up with my new hubby.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:36PM
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I also have the Fiestaware. Highly recommend it. I've banged pieces against the counter while unloading the dishwasher and never chipped or broken a piece yet. It's very durable. Be careful's addicting. Every time I swear I have enough, they come out with a new color that I just have to get.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:40PM
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I understand, our dishes take regular hits, and we have to keep adding to the plain white open-stock pattern we picked up at a discount store (I keep the jadeite for handwashing - by me or husband!). We've found something that may work for you, though, if you like the looks: enamelwear dishes. We LOVE our red and white or blue and white speckled dishes and mugs, and while they aren't elegant, they have a certain charm. I don't worry about them shattering on the patio (more worried about feet, than dishes), or banging in the sink, and they do great in the dishwasher. The mugs are squat so they're fairly tip-proof and we keep a stainless water pitcher on the table for frequent refills since they're small.

I do agree about Corelle; I just don't think it's made the way it used to be. We ended up giving ours away years ago when I got too sick of chasing down the gazillion little glass shards they'd make upon impact. Child #5 wears prosthetic legs and the last thing he needs is a shard of glass in his leg or hand, when he has his "big legs" off! I'll look forward to reading what other options folks come up with.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 12:04AM
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Y'all are giving me hope that my Corelle will start breaking soon and I'll have a reason to replace it w/o feeling guilty :)

It will be 20 yrs old this December and I am ready for something new. Yay!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:06AM
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