Help me find plates that will last a decade
November 12, 2013 9:02 AM   Subscribe

12 years ago I bought Mikasa stoneware dishes for our every day use. They held up really well for the first 10 years. But now they're breaking, chipping, and in need of replacement. But it seems stoneware is no longer available. I see a nice porcelain set by Mikasa. Is that good for everday use or am I looking at lower cost china?

The set I am considering is the Mikasa Jazz set, found at

It says microwave and dishwasher safe, but will it hold up to everyday use? It is not listed under their "casual dining" pattern list

I've looked at other dishes like Correlle and they feel so thin and cheap compared to the stoneware we have that I feel they'll crack and scratch if I look at them cockeyed.

What material (and maybe other brands?) should I be looking at for new everyday dishes that will hold up as well as my Mikasa stoneware did?
posted by arniec to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've purchased stoneware Mikasa at Macy's within the past two years. Maybe they still have it- might be worth a look.
posted by ShadePlant at 9:07 AM on November 12, 2013

Ummmm, I've got to ask: what in the world are you doing to them?!?

After my parents died, we cleared out two Mikasa porcelain services for twelve (one set maybe 30 years old, the other about 45); other than a broken coffee cup and plate or two, plus one chipped serving bowl, it was all there, and it'd all gone through little kids first learning to hand-wash & dry, followed by years & years of dishwasher loading by my jam-it-all-in father; all while surviving daily use by a growing hoard of kids and grandkids.
posted by easily confused at 9:18 AM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Corelle feels really light but while it's not invincible, it is quite possible to actually drop a Corelle plate and have it not break/chip/whatever. My mom has some Corelle that she's had for about thirty years now and a couple of pieces have broken (mostly when I was little, ahem) and the rest are fine.

But yeah, if you've just suddenly developed problems, I'd look more into what you're doing to treat your dishes differently now. They don't generally suddenly start getting more fragile with age, it's usually just the accumulation of occasional dings and drops over the years. If you're generally rougher on dishes, it's usually easier to buy cheaper ones and expect to do replacements every 5-10 years; don't buy stuff priced like it's intended to be used for a lifetime if you aren't gentle on dinnerware.

(Which I say as someone who switched to melamine for day-to-day use because I can be trusted to drop something about once a week.)
posted by Sequence at 9:26 AM on November 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can highly recommend Fiestaware for casual dining. They are heavy, possibly too much so for small children, but will last several lifetimes and are still reasonably priced.

I have some place settings that are from the 40's and some from a few years ago, and cant tell the difference between them. Everything goes through the dishwasher and gets plenty of abuse with no chipping They may break when dropped on tile from a decent height, but it is a surprise when they do.

The mix and match colors also mean that if there is some breakage, you can just add a new piece and nobody will even know. The fact that I see Fiestaware used in many nicer restaurants is also a testament to their durability.

//If you keep an eye out you can usually find closeouts at the nicer department stores when new colors come out.
posted by kmadd at 9:36 AM on November 12, 2013 [6 favorites]

I have used both Correlle and stoneware (Pfalzgraff). My Correlleware I had first and it was great and it didn't actually wear out on me, I just got tired of it. The stoneware, after maybe 10-12 years of use, shows its wear. It chips, it breaks more easily, and most of the pieces have crazing - those little fine cracks in the glaze. The Correlleware was used for the same amount of time and it still looked pretty darn new, and I didn't break anywhere near the amount of pieces that I have for my stoneware set - maybe 3 dishes in 10 years. You really have to work at it to break Correlleware! It is much more durable than it feels.
posted by molasses at 9:47 AM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

We have the plain, thin, white Corelle dishes. We've had a set for 4 years and not a single piece has chipped, broken or scratched. They look like new, as far as I can tell. Also, a retreat center that I go to uses the same Corelle dishes for 100 people 3x every day and they hold up great. I've been responsible for washing dishes at said retreat center many times, and while I've seen plenty of broken mugs, bent silverware, squished tea balls and such, not a single piece of Corelle dishware has every broken or scratched while I was using the industrial dishwasher.

Also, the day we got our Corelle set, I opened the wrong side of the box and the whole pile fell about 4 feet on to the floor all together, and none of them broke.
posted by Cygnet at 9:50 AM on November 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've used these for more than 25 years. The quality is tank-like. Cannot recommend enough.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:59 AM on November 12, 2013

Another recommendation for Corelle here. They may not be the prettiest dishes, but if you're looking for something that will last and stand up to daily use and abuse you can't go wrong.

Anecdotally, I've had the same set for 13 years and other than some pattern fading and the bowl my wife somehow managed to break, they've lasted with no scratches or chips whatsoever. That's with them being used and run through the dishwasher daily for all those years. My parents have had their set for even longer (20+ years) and they've stood up to daily use just as well.
posted by howling fantods at 9:59 AM on November 12, 2013

I have a set of Mikasa china (not the Jazz pattern, but china rather than stoneware), which my folks gave to me 30 years ago. It has held up extremely well through daily use, numerous moves, dishwashing and handwashing, and even some dropping. At this point, some of the pieces have chips in the edge, but they are all due to extreme carelessness or accident. I would not hesitate to buy another set of Mikasa if needed!

As an aside in re the Corelle dishes: yes, they are seemingly indestructible, but I hate the thinness and plasticky feel of them - my Mom buys them at the thrift store so she has something to deliver her famous cakes on, and they are great for that purpose!
posted by PlantGoddess at 10:00 AM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

After many broken stoneware and other heavier ceramic dishes, we have found that the only thing that is indestructible with kids (other than melmac) is Corelle. Almost impossible to break or scratch. You get used to them being thin and they take up so little space in the cupboard compared to heavier dishes. We have a set of plain white ones so they won't look dated. I like the look of them, although my wife prefers heavier dishes.

If you do manage to break a piece of Corelle though (it take a lot of abuse -- even dropping from heights onto tile floors) it literally explodes into tiny little sharp slivers of glass because it is made of a type of tempered glass rather than ceramic.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:59 AM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Corelle is a bit too thin for me as well-- except for one old variety thats not made anymore (actually, all the post-private-equity-buyout stuff is crap): Comcor, which was apparently designed for restaurants and is quite substantial. I see sets on eBay fairly regularly.

If you'd prefer a more conventional glazed ceramic which seems to me to be at least as durable as Corelle and is heavier even than Comcor, you could try Centura, also by Corning, and one variety of which has very similar geometry to the Mikasa Jazz set you linked. We have a bunch of that, and other than thinking the cups are unnecessarily chunky, my only problem with it has been that it's really a pure white and doesn't offer much contrast with a lot of our food.
posted by jamjam at 12:27 PM on November 12, 2013

corelle is pretty sweet. i have literally dropped it on the floor and it has not broken. it's light weight which is great for my wrist/hand pain while handwashing or eating on the couch. we specifically sought it out over heavier/bigger dishes.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:41 PM on November 12, 2013

Fiestaware. They last forever. I have a set that belonged to my mom, and she bought them maybe 20 years ago. I've never broken a single piece. Esthetically there is also the feature that you can mix the colors and not have to worry about matching.
posted by syncope at 2:04 PM on November 12, 2013

The answer is emphatically duralex. This is magical French glass. I am so certain that this is the correct answer! Everyday use, dishwasher, microwave, and KID PROOF. Magic, I tell you.
posted by rabidsegue at 3:54 PM on November 12, 2013

Another vote for Fiestaware. I grew up with it in my house, and the only time a piece ever broke was a bowl that fell out of the cupboard... and landed on another Fiesta bowl. When I got married and we set up our new house, we went straight to Fiesta for our dinnerware.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:58 PM on November 12, 2013

I love Corelle dishes; I just ate my salad out of a Corelle bowl. I grew up using Corelle plates and bowls, so the dimensions and the lightness just feel right to me—but they're also nigh on indestructible. The only Corelle dish I've ever broken was, like a commenter above, when I was like 3 years old.

(One of the luckiest days ever was the day I found an entire set of vintage Corelle plates and bowls out by an apartment-building dumpster on my walk to work. My husband and I use them constantly.)
posted by limeonaire at 4:34 PM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

According to family legend, when my parents were much younger they recieved a set of corelle from my paternal grandparents. My mother didn't think it would hold up, so my dad bowled one of the cups across their (tiled) bathroom floor to demonstrate its durability. That set of corelle is still in daily use 20+ years later, and has lost fewer pieces than the stoneware they use as backup when all the corelle is in the dishwasher.
posted by sibilatorix at 7:20 PM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Corelle - I've been using my set since the 1980s and only had one saucer break in all those years. Also, Corelle had the best advertising campaign I've ever seen: some of the trolleycars in Melbourne, Australia had frames attached to their sides, and inside those frames a couple of Corelle dinner plates rolled back and forth as the trolleys clanked around the city. I didn't see any broken or limping plates in the few days we were there, and I'm sorry I can't find anything on YouTube because it was delightfully clever and utterly convincing.
posted by Quietgal at 9:34 PM on November 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I got my first house, I bought 2 box sets (16 place settings total) of Majesticware ("Persia" pattern) stoneware from Target. 15 years later, I haven't lost a single piece to damage or breakage. (And it was inexpensive!) No chips, no shatters, and I have dropped a few plates and mugs here and there.
posted by xedrik at 10:24 PM on November 12, 2013

Do you live near a restaurant supply store? They might have dish ware that stands up to heavy use.
posted by conrad53 at 4:23 AM on November 13, 2013

Thank you all. Corelle bought
posted by arniec at 8:29 AM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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