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Which stainless steel flatware is best?

Stainless steel flatware is the most common type of flatware on tables today. The reason for this is because stainless steel flatware is durable, affordable and beautiful, available in a wide variety of designs and styles to suit anyone’s taste. The best stainless steel flatware combines form and function to highlight any table. 

The Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set is a simple, classic set that is as at home for casual meals as it is for formal occasions. It comes with a five-piece hostess set and features a timeless design.

What to know before you buy stainless steel flatware

Flatware sets are not purchases you make every day. In fact, you might not even remember buying the flatware you’re using today. Before you select your next stainless steel flatware set, there are a few things to consider.

Number of place settings

While many people believe that you should have 12 place settings of flatware on hand, for casual and everyday dining, six to eight place settings should suffice. Of course, it’s always better to have too many than too few, so keep that in mind, especially if you plan to entertain.


From floral and ornate to simple with clean lines, choose a style that suits your family and the other tableware you have. Remember that it is easier to dress up simple flatware with elaborate tablescapes than it is to tone down fancy finishes.

Formal vs. casual

Along the same lines as design, consider if you will be using your new stainless steel flatware for formal occasions or for more casual dinners and meals. This will influence the design and quantity of flatware you purchase. It might also influence whether or not you need a hostess serving set to match your stainless steel flatware.

What to look for in quality stainless steel flatware

High-quality stainless steel

Stainless steel includes a combination of chromium and nickel. The amount of each is expressed in a number that looks like a fraction (18/10, 18/8 or 18/0). The first number is the amount of chromium and the second is the amount of nickel (both in percentages). The best stainless steel flatware has a higher percentage of chromium. This makes it more durable and less likely to rust or degrade over time.

Complete hostess set

If you plan to use your stainless steel flatware not only for casual meals but also for formal entertaining, look for one that includes a hostess set. A hostess set can consist of some or all of the following additional pieces:

  • Serving spoon
  • Slotted spoons
  • Serving fork
  • Sugar spoon
  • Spreader
  • Ladle

These can also be purchased separately, along with other serving tools, if you prefer.

Easy care

One of the best features of stainless steel flatware is how easy it is to care for. Most stainless steel flatware sets, including the hostess set, can be washed in the dishwasher. Of course, you can prolong the life of your stainless steel flatware by hand-washing.

How much you can expect to spend on stainless steel flatware

A high-quality stainless steel flatware set is remarkably affordable. Expect to spend $40-$200 for flatware for six to eight places settings plus a hostess set.

Stainless steel flatware FAQ

What is usually included in a stainless steel flatware set?

A. A standard five-piece place setting includes a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, spoon and teaspoon. Other additional pieces in your set might include a pierced meat fork, spreader, slotted spoons and servers.

How do you clean dull stainless steel flatware?

A. Even though stainless steel flatware is very easy to care for, you may notice that the shine becomes dull over time. If this occurs, soak a cotton ball in a small amount of olive oil and wipe each piece of flatware. Polish with a clean, lint-free cloth to restore the flatware’s beautiful shine.

What’s the best stainless steel flatware to buy?

Top stainless steel flatware

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

Lenox Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set

What you need to know: Choose this stainless steel flatware for your most elegant occasions.

What you’ll love: This set has 12 place settings and a hostess set for entertaining. The design is simple and elegant, and the quality is high.

What you should consider: Users have reported discolorations in the hostess set over time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top stainless steel flatware for the money

Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost 53-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware

Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost 53-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware

What you need to know: This is a slightly smaller set that works well for smaller gatherings and everyday use.

What you’ll love: Set eight places with this set made of 18/10 stainless steel. The handles have a little texture and an interesting design, making it ideal for either casual or more formal entertaining. It includes a five-piece hostess serving set.

What you should consider: You should hand-wash these to avoid damage in the dishwasher.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

ZWILLING Alcea Flatware 65-Piece Set

ZWILLING Alcea Flatware 65-Piece Set 

What you need to know: Henckels makes a high-quality, European-style flatware set that is more substantial than other sets.

What you’ll love: The design of these pieces is incredibly versatile, at home for both casual and formal entertaining. There are 12 place settings and a hostess set. The knives are slightly serrated and can cut through steak, so there’s no need for additional steak knives.

What you should consider: This flatware is larger than some other options, so you may need a larger tray for storage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond


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Suzannah Kolbeck  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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