10 Best Flatware Sets for Every Style and Budget

Polish off your dining table with these gorgeous stainless steel, matte black and gold flatware sets.

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January 19, 2023

I like to think of flatware as the jewelry of the dining table. It adds a hint of shimmer to the room, ties the place settings together and enhances the entire meal. And when the holidays roll around, special flatware much like porcelain plates — often sets the tone for the celebration.

But flatware can also be expensive. So we did what we do best and sourced stylish yet affordable options for every occasion. Here are 11 flatware sets that we absolutely love, plus some helpful tips for buying and maintaining them.

What to Consider When Buying Flatware

Amount: Flatware sets are typically listed by the total number of utensils, not the number of people they serve. (For example, you might see a "five-piece flatware set," but that's only enough for one person. A 20-piece set would be better for a family of four.) So it's important to read the item's description and double-check that you’re buying enough for everyone.

Formality: Most flatware sets include one dinner knife, one dinner fork, one dinner spoon, one salad fork and one teaspoon per person. (Which is why a five-piece set makes sense for an individual.) A more basic set might have fewer utensils per person, while a more formal set might have a few extra. The best "fit" for you is the amount that you'll actually use.

Quality: You'll notice that stainless steel flatware comes in three varieties: 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0. The first number indicates the amount of chromium used (18 percent) to the amount of nickel (10, eight or zero percent). A higher nickel content produces sturdier flatware, so you'll want to opt for 18/10 whenever possible.

Maintenance: Flatware will always experience some wear and tear because it's used on a daily basis. But you can make your set last longer by gently handwashing it instead of running it through the dishwasher. If you have flatware in plated finishes, like matte black or gold, treat these like "special occasion" items to preserve their color.

Best Flatware Set Overall

In terms of quality, service and style, you can't go wrong with the Opus 40-Piece Stainless Flatware Set. Each piece is expertly crafted from 18/10 stainless steel and boasts a lustrous mirror finish for a touch of elegance. The flatware set also serves up to eight people, so it works well for both intimate and larger gatherings.

Best Budget Flatware Set

If you're looking for a reliable starter set (say, to furnish a college dorm room or first apartment), make it this Mainstays 20-Piece Stainless Steel collection. For just $10, you'll receive enough utensils to serve up to four people or to stretch out doing the dishes. The Mainstays flatware is also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup and is available in six trendy styles.

Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Flatware Set

This 65-piece stainless steel flatware set is one of the best deals we've seen yet. For $75, you'll receive 12 standard settings, plus one serving spoon, one sugar spoon, one serving fork, one butter knife and one pierced serving spoon. That's everything you'll need for weeknight meals and special occasion dinners. (Just so all of your bases are covered.) The flatware's sleek, no-fuss design and satin finish will also pair with any place setting.

Best Flatware Set for Large Gatherings

If you frequently host the whole family, then you'll want to go with the Oneida 74-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set. This fan-favorite set boasts enough service for 12, so you won't need to break out any plastic utensils. The flatware set also includes one serving spoon, one pierced spoon and 12 dessert spoons for easy entertaining. And although the mirrored finish and rimmed pattern make the set seem like a splurge, it's actually a steal for just $74.

Best Flatware for Formal Occasions

Thanksgiving feasts and Christmas dinners call for grand flatware, no? Dress your table to impress with this aptly named Fortessa Grand City Flatware Set. The utensils are crafted from polished stainless steel and feel nice and heavy in hand. Meanwhile, gently rounded handles and a mirror finish give the set timeless appeal, so you'll eagerly reach for it year after year. The 20-piece set serves five people.

Best Textured Flatware Set

Excuse us while we swoon over this textured flatware set from Crate & Barrel. Each piece is forged from 18/10 stainless steel and subtly scored with delicate lines, like grooves in tree bark. The result? Silverware that brings undeniable organic beauty to the table. The flatware set serves four people and will easily elevate your holiday place settings.

Best Modern Flatware Set

Turn heads at the table with this ultra-modern flatware set from Crate & Barrel. The slender handles and round spoons look like works of art and will lend the coolest sculptural element to your place settings. The chic set serves four people, is crafted from high-quality 18/10 stainless steel and is available in three different finishes.

Best Black Flatware Set

When it comes to striking black flatware, our favorite set is far and away CB2's 20-Piece Essence Brushed Black collection. Crafted of 18/0 stainless steel, this set is built to last and dishwasher safe. (Although we strongly recommend handwashing it anyway.) The slender handles and edgy hue will have a bold effect on your table. The set serves four people and is reasonably priced at $119.

Best Gold Flatware Set

We can't resist gold flatware either. Lean into the gilded look with this 20-Piece Parallel Champagne Gold Flatware Set from CB2. Between its high-quality stainless steel (18/0) and its price ($109), this stylish set is one of the best options around. The flatware set serves four people and should be hand-washed to preserve its dazzling color.

Best Two-Toned Flatware Set

Why choose one metal when you could have two? Give yourself endless styling options with this Haze Two-Tone Flatware Set. Mixed metals fade into each other in this stainless steel flatware set complete with slender square handles and super rounded spoons, resulting in one truly opulent design. The flatware set serves four people, and it's dishwasher safe.

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