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Kitchen & Cooking

Best Flatware

A set of matching flatware can make any dining room feel well put-together. Flatware usually comes in sets of four, six, eight or 12 and it's always a good idea to buy a few sets more than the number of people in your household so that you can accommodate for any guests that come over.

Stainless steel flatware is by far the most popular. These sets are easy to take care of, won't discolor if left overnight in water or exposed to acidic foods and never need to be polished. If you're looking for a set of flatware on a budget, stainless steel is definitely the way to go. Not all stainless steel sets are inexpensive, however, so you'll want to be sure to check the price to make sure that the set you like is in your budget.

Silver plated and sterling silver flatware sets range in price from expensive to astronomically expensive. If you want the look of real silver without the incredibly high price tag, silver plated flatware is your only option, and some of these sets can run into the thousands. All sets of real silverware run from the thousands to the tens of thousands of dollars, and should be treated as heirlooms that can be passed down to children and grandchildren. Silver should be washed by hand after use and requires polishing from time to time to remove tarnish that builds up.

Gourmet Settings Strand 20-Piece Flatware Set, Service for 4

The award-winning Gourmet Settings Strand flatware set is one of our favorites because of its elegant design and superior quality. Neither too boxy nor too curvy, this design is the perfect balance of smooth lines and sharp angles. The ends are squared off at the corners, but slightly concave at the tip, while the handles curve towards a thin neck that's topped with a well-proportioned head. We like the polished finish that makes these pieces shine, but the set also comes in matte, which gives it a brushed metal look that's a little softer than the high shine finish. This is one set that can be used for formal dinners or casual nights enjoying a meal in front of the TV.

Pfaltzgraff Windham 20 Piece Flatware Set

With a history of creating some of the best dining sets spanning back more than two hundred years, Pfaltzgraff is one of the top names in flatware. While it's mainly known for its high-end sets, this company also produces some of the best high-quality, bank-account friendly flatware around. The Windham 20 Piece Flatware Set earned its place as a Best Pick for its curvy, modern design and heavy duty construction. Made of stainless steel between 2.0 and 2.2 gauge, this set is durable enough to last for years. It's also made without 18 percent chromium giving it greater durability. Since it's stainless steel, this set will shine for the lifetime of the flatware without any polishing.

Cambridge Silversmiths Harry & Camilla State Mirror 45 Piece Set

Cambridge Silversmiths Harry & Camilla State Mirror 45 Piece Set

Known for creating gorgeous silverware, Cambridge Silversmiths also offers stainless steel flatware that mimic the elegant style of its silver cutlery for bargain prices. There are many designs to choose from at Cambridge Silversmiths, including our favorite, the Harry & Camilla State Mirror 45 Piece Set. This set features slender handles that are incredibly comfortable to hold. Though the pieces are thin, they are made from high-quality stainless steel that won't bend or break with regular use. The high sheen on this flatware set doesn't require any polish, just regular washing with soap and water or a visit to the dish washer.

Faberware Annatto Sating 45-Piece Flatware Set

Faberware is one of the most popular names in flatware and offers a huge variety of styles that can match any style. One of our favorites is the Annatto Satin 45-Piece Flatware Set, which has earned a spot as a Best Pick. The set is made with 18 percent chrome giving it incredible durability and a luster that won't fade over the years. The brushed steel finish on the handles gives this set a smooth, satiny texture. It's also accented with high-shine bands around the necks of the forks, knives, and spoons, an adornment that adds elegance without looking gaudy or overdone. With minimal care, this set will look like new for years, and Faberware even guarantees the set with a 25 year limited warranty.

Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set, Service for 8

With a simple yet elegant design, the Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set can be matched with practically any dinnerware. This beautiful and versatile set that will last for years and is backed by Oneida's 25-year warranty. The finish is brushed metal, which gives it a subtle look that blends in with the table setting, no matter what your aesthetic. It's made from a high quality stainless steel that includes 18 percent chrome, which gives it enhanced durability. The Mooncrest design also features rounded ends that narrow as they reach the head, making these pieces comfortable to hold.

J.A. Henckels Provence 45 Piece Flatware Set

Constructed with wide handles in a classic, European style, the J.A. Henckles International Provence 45-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set is sure to turn a few heads. These pieces are made from a steel alloy that includes 18 percent chrome which gives them excellent durability. The alloy also includes 10 percent nickel which gives these pieces a bright, silver-like shine. The handles are rounded at the ends, tapering slightly as they reach the heads, which makes them easy to hold despite their weight and hefty design.

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

The Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set offers service for twelve, rather than the standard eight, as well as a five-piece hostess set. This set landed itself a spot as a Best Pick not because of the extra dining sets, but because it's one of the most durable, high quality sets on the market. It's tarnish resistant and will hold its shine for years without polishing. The design features a beautiful beaded detail on the ends of the handles, which curve towards a slender neck and sleek head. This design is elegant enough to be matched with fine china and durable enough to use every day.

Reed & Barton Burgundy 5-Piece Silverware Set

Reed & Barton is one of the top names in silver crafting. The company began in Massachusetts in 1824, and is the brand of choice at the White House. We like the Reed & Barton Burgundy 5-Piece set for its classic design and superior craftsmanship. The ornate floral artwork is confined to the handles of these forks, knives, and spoons, so comfort is in no way compromised for style. The slender necks of the Burgundy forks and spoons also makes them incredibly eye catching. The design is a callback to the French Renaissance, and the elegant art movements that flourished in that time. The silver used in this set is heavy gauge, so it will last for generations.

Gorham Chantilly 4-Piece Sterling Silver Flatware Place Set

With its beautiful and somewhat subdued floral design, Chantilly has been one of the most popular silverware designs for over a hundred years. The handle of this design is slender and feminine, with extra embellishment on the end of the handle and at the neck that show off the intricacy of the crafting without being at all showy. Gorham has been making this design since 1895, and there's no indication that this classic design is going to go out of style any time soon. The Gorham Manufacturing Company is one of the largest silver smiths in the United States, and has been creating the finest quality silver products since 1831.

Tuttle Luzon Sterling Silver Flatware

Tuttle Luzon Sterling Silver Flatware

The Tuttle Company is hasn't been around as long as many other big names in American silver smithing, but it has been crafting fine silverware since the 1890s. Tuttle offers plenty of designs to choose from, but we like the Luzon for its sleek lines and artistic flair. This design does not include any ornate flowers or beading, but it does show off Tuttle's skill as silversmiths through its soft, drape-like look. The end of the handle is shaped into a triangular point that flares out at the end before tightening into a fine neck, making it comfortable to hold and beautiful at the table.

Towle Candlelight Silverware

With a history of crafting the finest silverware since 1690, Towle has been one of the leading names in American silverware since long before the United States was formed. We've selected the Candelight pattern as a best pick because it’s the perfect balance of intricate design and sleek lines. Both edges of this set's handles are crafted with an incredibly intricate floral pattern, while the center of the handle is left clean and untouched. This pattern serves as a callback to a time when all-over designs were popular, while still providing the clean lines that the modern eye desires.

William Turner La Regence Baguette Design Cutlery Set

William Turner La Regence Baguette Design Cutlery Set

The William Turner La Regence design cutlery set tops the list as the best in silver plated flatware. This design features a delicate floral pattern that winds along the surface of the handle and a fleur de lis shaped end that perfectly complements the design. The company has been producing fine quality cutlery since 1887 and is often mimicked by competitors for its incredible style and excellent reputation. The La Regence set can be personalized with a monogram and purchased as a set or in individual pieces.

Christofle Fidelio 36-Piece Silver Plated Flatware Set

Christofle Fidelio 36-Piece Silver Plated Flatware Set

A simple, versatile design, the Christofle Fidelio 36-Piece Set is one of our favorite silver plated flatware sets. It's a bit pricey, but it is made by one of the top names in flatware and includes dinner and dessert sized knives, forks, and spoons for six people. Having six matching settings is incredibly useful, especially if unexpected guests arrive. The set also includes a storage chest, which is good to have around if you're only planning on using this set only on special occasions. The Fidelo design is sleek, with smooth, round lines and slightly curved handles. It's also a simple, unadorned design that's easy to match with any tableware.

Towle Lockhart 5 Piece Silver Plated Flatware Set

Towle, one of the best names in sterling silverware, also makes some of the best silver plated flatware. Sets can be purchased by individual place settings that are made up of a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon, and teaspoon, making it easy to buy as many settings as you need or add to an existing collection. There are a variety of styles to choose from, so you can pick something that goes with your current place settings, though one of our favorites is the Lockhart, a design that features adornment on the neck and end of the thin handle that's incredibly well balanced.

Potterybarn Antique Silver Flatware

Potterybarn Antique Silver Flatware

The quirky sense of style that makes Potterybarn one of the most popular retailers around also makes this company's set of silver plated flatware a Best Pick. The cutlery is made from brass that has been plated with silver, making this an attractive and affordable set. Each of the knives, forks, and spoons is also labelled with an inscription of what it is, not that you can't tell from looking at it. This eccentric detail makes this set casual and fun on the everyday dinner table, though it can also be brought out to make a statement at a formal gathering.

Crystal Beran
Crystal Beran has spent the past 10 years immersed in the exciting and delicious world of food and drink. She has honed her cooking skills as a baker, a caterer, and a personal chef, and currently spends a good deal of her time training the next generation of young chefs. Her work as a wine steward has helped her to develop a discerning palate and a love of excellent wines from all over the world. Over the years, she has had the good fortune to visit wineries in Northern California, Tanzania, France, and Italy. In her spare time, she brews beer and invents delectable dishes to share with friends, family, and students.
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