Best Dinnerware Not Made in China

Best Dinnerware Not Made in China

The “Fine” in “Fine China” should be a verb, not an adjective

Fine china was (or more precisely, hard-paste porcelain) was invented in China sometime between the 2nd and 8th centuries AD. Yes, there was a time where China led the world in technological innovation and creativity, creating kilns that could fire at the 2370 degrees F (1300 degrees C) needed for porcelain, creating glazes of amazing colors, and producing pieces throughout its history, culminating in the Ming Dynasty.

In the 18th century Europe admired porcelain from China so much they started to create alternatives, such as soft-paste porcelain and bone china. That led to Great Britain being the biggest producer of fine china and popular brands and robust manufacturing being established in the United States as well.

Ironically, the tide is shifting again. Brands that date back decades or even centuries can no longer produce their dishes domestically. And so you need to check carefully where their products are made. Royal Albert? China. Royal Doulton? China. Pfalzgraff? China. Dansk? China. Lenox? They closed their last US-based plant in 2020, so presumably they’ll be completely in China moving forward. What’s worse is that these brands still charge the same premium than they always did before they moved manufacturing over to China, meaning lots more profits for them.

And yet there are some brands who seem to be avoiding China-based manufacturers in manufacturing dishes and dinnerware. Wedgwood manufactures a lot of its products out of Indonesia. Villeroy & Boch are still making things out of Germany. Noritake is still making lots of their product out of Japan. And Crate and Barrel and Williams-Sonoma both feature a wide variety of dinnerware sets made in multiple countries–even though China is one of those countries, these sites don’t try to obfuscate the country of origin from you.

Is there any dinnerware still made in the USA?

Why, yes. Two manufacturers in the USA stand out in particular: Fiesta’s high quality and beautiful colorful dishes, and HR Coors with their lead-free, restaurant strength plates. They are definitely worth checking out.

About the list

I was a bit surprised to find that a lot of the products I found to be “the best” also happened to be on other “best of” lists, including sites like Wirecutter and Good Housekeeping, although their lists are also littered with China-made products as well. Still, it’s good reinforcement that in buying from these sets and these brands you’re not compromising on quality–these are the best of the best.

Best Dinnerware Not Made in China – Quick Ranking

# Preview Product Rating  
1 crate and barrel china not made in china Crate and Barrel Aspen Collection 4.8 View on Crate and Barrel
2 williams-sonoma plate sets made in bangladesh Williams-Sonoma Brasserie Porcelain Dinnerware Sets 4.5 View on Williams-Sonoma
3 wedgewood porcelain made in indonesia Wedgwood Gio 16-Piece Set 5.0 View on Amazon or Wedgwood
4 plates made in the USA Fiesta Bistro Dinnerware Set in Daffodil 5.0 View on Bed Bath and Beyond
5 unbreakable plates Corelle Winter Frost White Dinnerware Set 5.0 View on Corelle
6 Wedgwood White 5-Piece Place Setting 4.2 View on Amazon or Wedgwood

1. Crate and Barrel Aspen Collection – Best Overall

Not only did Crate and Barrel’s Aspen Collection make #1 as the overall best dinnerware set on Wirecutter / The New York Times, and not only has it been one of the best reviewed sets on Crate and Barrel’s site for over 20 years, it’s also the dinnerware set that my wife and I use at home.

The Aspen collection is made in Indonesia. I had the pleasure of spending some time in Indonesia years ago, and many of my friends are Indonesian. I can honestly say that they are among the nicest people I have known. Indonesia has its share of challenges with political leadership and corruption, but reforms–including their first-ever presidential elections on 2004, which resulted in a peaceful transition of political power–have resulted in widespread optimism. The main thing threatening them, of course, is the growth of China and how China is magically able to undercut everyone else’s costs.

In short, I would buy stuff made in Indonesia a thousand times before buying something made in China. And it helps that these plates are amazing. They’re not too heavy, but sturdy. They stack excellently in the cupboard, are durable and dishwasher-safe, and work just as well in casual and formal settings. And if you happen to break or chip a plate, just go to your local Crate and Barrel store, and you’ll be able to buy a new individual piece to replace it.

I love the fact that unlike Amazon, Crate and Barrel does not try to hide Country of Origin. Look through Crate and Barrel’s other dinnerware sets for more choices, including dinnerware made in Portugal, Indonesia and Japan. Hint: if it just says “Imported” without any country name, it’s a safe bet that one is from China.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • Durable for everyday use
  • Simple design appropriate for casual and formal dinners alike
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Individual pieces available

Cons

  • May chip more easily than thicker plates

2. Williams-Sonoma Brasserie Porcelain Dinnerware Sets

This is another set that Wirecutter named as one of its top picks. This one is made in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is another country that many Americans don’t know a lot about. It’s the 8th most populous country in the world. As with Indonesia, it had a tumultuous history following the end of colonial rule and the subsequent dominion of Pakistan. It declared independence in 1972 and despite political unrest and corruption that likely stunted its potential as an economic potential, is today the 39th largest economy.

I’m always happy to see “Made in Bangladesh” on labels, because to me it’s a sign of the free market system working the way it should, rather than artificially propped up by a central government. While doing business with the CCP may seem “cleaner” to companies, the reality is that the corruption is just centralized, and as we’ve seen with Hong Kong, as with any tinpot dictator the CCP will not hesitate to crush and subsume anything that threatens it.

On to the dinnerware. Wirecutter recommends this set for people who want heavier dinnerware. It’s got heft but still feels “refined” and stylish, perfect for a bistro setting. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe. And if you drop or chip a piece, additional pieces are available in sets of four.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • Heavier and solidly built but still “stylish”
  • Dishwasher and Microwave safe

Cons

  • Reviews note a quality drop when production was moved from Japan to Bangladesh

3. Wedgwood Gio 16-Piece Set

Wedgwood is of course a storied name in porcelain. It was founded in 1759 in England, establishing the British Empire as a leader in ceramic art. As with many once-great brands it saw decline in the 21st century. By 2009 its assets (along with other former powerhouses like Waterford Crystal, Royal Doulton, and Royal Albert) found itself in the hands of private equity firms. Fiskars, based in Finland known a lot more for things like scissors and gardening tools, bought them out in 2015. Fiskars is wisely letting them do what they’ve always done best–produce fine porcelain. But of course, Fiskars is a public company, so a lot of manufacturing among these brands is going to China. Wedgwood seems to have bucked the trend by sending its manufacturing to Indonesia.

This particular bone china set was named the best of this year by Good Housekeeping. They praise it for being thin and able to stack easily, but also durable enough to use on a regular basis, not just for special occasions. You can even put them in the microwave or dishwasher.

Wirecutter also liked this Wedgwood set, which has more of a traditional English design.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • Bone china suitable for elegant occasions or regular use
  • Thin and stack easily
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe

Cons

  • Pricey

4. Fiesta Bistro Dinnerware Set in Daffodil

Both Wirecutter and WIlliams-Sonoma also mentioned Fiesta as one of their top choices. Fiesta is one of those rare brands in the USA that isn’t coy about where their pieces are made. If you go to their Web site, the first thing you see in the upper left-hand corner is “PROUDLY MADE IN AMERICA”.

Fiesta has a history dating back to 1871 when the Home Laughlin China company was formed. In 1907 they moved to their headquarters in West Virginia and have been there ever since. Fiesta was one of their top dinnerware brands, introduced in 1936 in five colors: red, yellow, cobalt blue, green, and turquoise. From 1936 to 1972, their bright colors were ubiquitous, until bright colors went out of fashion in the late 1960s.

The Homer Laughlin Company itself weathered the storm of the 1950s through the 1970s when cheap imports flooded the marketplace (and killed off most of the once-thriving American ceramics industry) by turning their attention to hotel and restaurant sales, where high quality was a necessity. Even as they lost brand name recognition in the consumer space, they continued to hone their quality and renown in the foodservice industry

In 2020, the foodservice divisions and brands of the Homer Laughlin China company was acquired by Steelite International. But reminiscent of how the former employees of Oneida came together to form Liberty Flatware, the former Homer Laughlin China company decided to rename itself to the Fiesta Tableware company and sell dinnerware for the home again, just as they had a century before. And of course, they brought back their most popular Fiesta Dinnerware; happily, despite the best efforts of those who tried to remove color from the world, bright colors are back. In fact, Fiesta has committed to producing a new color every year.

Their pieces are bold, beautiful, and represent the best of “made in the USA” — solid, durable, and the the utmost quality. They even have a 5-year chip warranty, something I wish Crate and Barrel had. You can order direct from their site, or from retailers like Macys, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Amazon.

The particular set I pictured here is their Bistro Dinnerware set, but you won’t do wrong with any set. And if you do drop a plate, you can always order individual pieces to replace it.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • Made in the USA (Newell, West Virginia
  • Solidly built, perfected by years of serving the food service industry
  • 5-year chip warranty
  • Beautiful, smooth glaze in appealing colors that’s lead and cadmium free
  • Dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe

Cons

  • Heavier and thicker than some prefer
  • Some reviews state that the color does not exactly match the photos

5. Corelle Winter Frost White Dinnerware Set

If you’ve ever had Corelle dinnerware in your house, chances are it lasted, and lasted, and lasted for years. If you’re looking for plates to spin on the Ed Sullivan show (or to be thrown across by the room by your toddler), these are the plates for you.

Corelle plates have a no chip, no crack guarantee. They’re safe for the microwave, dishwasher, or oven, and are super-light (and super strong). They stack neatly on your kitchen shelf. They’re made of three-layer glass, but you’d never know it, as the glass is fired to an amazingly strong finish. It’s non-porous and ultra-hygenic.

Thanks to Jack for posting a comment reporting that he found that there is some Corelle dinnerware that’s made in China. Unfortunately Amazon makes it really difficult to tell which sets are made where; I originally linked to Amazon, but I’ve since switched the links from Amazon to Corelle’s own site (where they do a decent job of labeling country of origin).

Look carefully at the product copy as you browse their products. If it says “Crafted with pride in Corning, New York”, it means it was made in the USA. But if it says “Made in China”, just move on. From what I can tell, their traditional glass and vitrelle plates are all still made in Corning. It’s newer offerings like their stoneware that you need to avoid.

You can purchase from Corelle directly, or you can go back to a retailer like Amazon or Walmart to buy, once you’ve confirmed where a particular design is made.

The Winter Frost set was named the best overall dinnerware set by the Chicago Tribune, and from the looks of it most of it (except for the mugs) were made in the USA.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • No chip, no crack guarantee for 3 years
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Lightweight
  • Stacks neatly
  • Engineered and made in Corning, NY

Cons

  • Not fancy nor for formal occasions

6. Wedgwood White 5-Piece Place Setting

For 2022, Wirecutter added this set from Wedgwood into its “best dinnerware” list. You can buy it at Wedgwood’s site itself or on Amazon.

As with the set above I was about to confirm that it’s made in Indonesia, despite Wedgwood seemingly trying its best to hide this information. Ironically, they’re probably trying to hide the fact that they offshore at all, hoping that its customers still believe that things are still made in England (as they had been for 250 years).

What they probably don’t realize is that most people these days understand and are very forgiving about outsourcing–we just insist on a few basic things: be honest and transparent with your consumers, be sure the quality is equal to or better than when you produced things domestically, AND do not allow our money to be spent to prop up corrupt and evil regimes.

Pros

  • NOT made in China
  • Durable fine bone china
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Lightweight and elegant

Cons

  • Not made in England since 2009

Do you know of other dinnerware sets not made in China worthy of mention here? Let us know in the comments!

8 Comments

  1. I went to buy Corelle, but it said made in China. Maybe depends on the style? But thanks for the list and god bless. China sucks

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jack. Yes, you’re right that different styles have different countries of origin. Most of the “triple glass” plates that we know and love Corelle by are still made out of Corning, NY. But some newer items (such as their new stoneware line) appear to be all-in on China.

      To reduce confusion, I removed the link I had to Amazon and replaced it with a direct link to corelle.com (which does provide country of origin–which seems limited to the USA and China now for any given piece). I also updated the copy to make sure people know that all Corelle plates are not created equal.

      Thanks again for your helpful comment–it definitely helps me make this site as accurate and up-to-date as possible! 🙂

    1. One of the most famous brands of tableware in Europe is the Villeroy & Boch brand, made in Germany.
      Another well-known brand is Luminarc, made in France.

      Much of the affordable tableware in Europe, which is in the shops and also available at Ikea, for example, is often made in Portugal. Of course not always so you will have to turn around some plates to check. Fortunately, it usually says where it was made.

  2. Thanks for your question Emily! For this particular list I sourced from “Best of” lists like Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping, and the Chicago Tribune so they’ll probably be a little more biased towards American brands (Wedgwood is a British brand owned by a Finnish company that manufactures in Indonesia, but to your point there have to be great European brands out there which still produce in Europe).

    By all means, if you know of any European brands that you like and which aren’t made in China (or better yet, the best “best of” lists outside of the US), please post them in the comments! I’ll always be updating this list with the “latest and greatest” and the more good sources I can get for research the better!

  3. Thank you so much Steve for this website “notochina”! My first priority when it comes buying is looking where it is made in. So I look either from Canada, my country, then United States, then Europeen Countries.
    Sometimes difficult to find something not made in China though. Anyway, thank you: it is worthy to spread around for people to know about “notochina” in order to buy local and help our economy.

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