Durable non-plastic dishes?
June 9, 2020 6:36 PM   Subscribe

What dishes can I get that are not made of plastic, microwave safe, and less likely to break when dropped by children and me?

I would like to stop using plastic dishes, especially with my kids, especially for dishes that are microwaved. What are good durable options?
posted by medusa to Shopping (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Dishwasher safe is also a must.
posted by medusa at 6:38 PM on June 9

Corelle is a pretty great in between option.
posted by Mizu at 6:42 PM on June 9 [25 favorites]

Woven wood:

- costs fifty cents apiece for the 6" bowl
- survives falls onto tile
- stacks well
- survives the dishwasher for at least a year or two
- microwaves fine

Also, webstaurantstore has amazing customer service.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 6:45 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]

Yeah Corelle is pretty sturdy. My grandmother had dishes that lasted for years without scratches or breaking - and she was not kind to them in the sync and practically raised both us grandkids. Something worth paying name brand for to me.
posted by itsamermaid at 6:50 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]

Corelle is definitely what came to mind first as they tout being break resistant, and that has been my experience. But, I will say that when the plates/bowls do break it can be in a spectacular shattering fashion, which isn't great.
posted by dawg-proud at 6:52 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]

Another vote for Corelle, we have these for the same reasons stated above.
posted by Knicke at 6:54 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

My corelle plates have a 100% survival rate across 10 years. The bowls, 12.5%. Don’t know if I got a bad batch, or if the additional stresses from curving so much make them weaker. As someone above notes, when they smash you get tiny needles all over the place.
posted by Jobst at 7:02 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

I've always had corelle around, and I don't think I've ever broken one or seen one broken, even though I'm sure it's possible. I've broken every single other thing though!
posted by fritley at 7:10 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

When I moved into my sophomore year of college apartment my folks gave me a set of dishes they had owned since before I was born that they were no longer using. They survived those debaucherous years, some 15+ moves across five cities in three different states and my dinner tonight, as I'm about to turn 41, was served on one.

posted by Ufez Jones at 7:28 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]

Just adding in that glass and ceramics that are resistant to rough handling... when they do go they tend to explode into tiny shards.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:30 PM on June 9

posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 7:31 PM on June 9

Nth-ing Corelle. They are GREAT for microwaving food because they are glass (however magically made hard to break) and don't absorb all the heat like those fancy ceramic dishes that somehow get absurdly hot while my lump of mashed potato is still chilly.
P.S. I bought my current set via Etsy of all places.
posted by spamandkimchi at 7:39 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

Corelle is my #1 choice for this. You don't even have to buy it new, we've found it in thrift stores.
posted by zdravo at 7:47 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

I really like Corelle, but I've had 2 or 3 plates shatter quite spectacularly in the past year when my kid dropped them on the vinyl tile floor. The parts touching food also get very hot when microwaved. (I can only hold bowls by the very top edge when I microwave soup or chili because it gets painfully hot lower down.) I love that they're cheap & lightweight & take up very little space in the cupboard.

I also really like my Fiesta Ware. I have a set of bowls that haven't broken after nearly a decade of constant use & multiple drops.
posted by belladonna at 7:53 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

Fiesta Ware. I like that it feels so much more substantial than Corelle. I've used mine daily for a long time... ten years or more? Not so much as a chip.
posted by evilmomlady at 8:18 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]

I love my Corelle, but I'm going in a different direction and also recommending Corningware. Some of mine are inherited, some were purchased used or at outlets.
I constantly use the 1 quart and 1 1/2 quart casserole dishes with Pyrex lids for general food serving. I use it in the microwave, but not on the stove top or oven. Great for salads, fruits, pastas, stews, etc.
The vintage P-41 and P-43-8 (2 3/4 cup) use the same plastic snap-on lid. Great for individual servings, and storing in the fridge.

Check Corningware and Corelle outlets for lids. Check flea markets, garage sales and online shopping for vintage sets.
posted by TrishaU at 8:23 PM on June 9

Fiesta ware was what my college cafeteria used. It is VERY sturdy.

My roommate had Corelle plates in college and one ended up breaking. It shattered into a million little pieces with remnants being found days later. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to buy it for myself, but it wouldn’t be my first choice with kiddos at the age of playing on the floor.
posted by raccoon409 at 9:03 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]

Fiestaware. Got mine as a wedding gift officially 17 years ago last weekend. Survived 2 kids. And
super fun colors!
posted by gryphonlover at 9:13 PM on June 9

Woven wood is indeed very sturdy, but it's a composite material held together by melamine and that might disqualify it on the "non-plastic" criterion. It doesn't have the mineral fillers that make so much other melamine crockery heat disastrously in the microwave, though.
posted by flabdablet at 9:36 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]

I recently ran across this: Corelle® recommends using their pre-2005 dishes as “decorative pieces” due to concerns for high levels of Lead, and would take it seriously.

I have some glass dishes and some silicone baking containers that I use in the microwave and enamel plates and mugs for kids and outdoors.
posted by theora55 at 5:59 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

Another vote for Corelle. We haunt(ed pre-pandemic) thrift stores and garage sales to find the old stuff with terrible patterns.

We have had a couple of spectacular breaks when pieces have been dropped or fallen from a height (think "knocked off the top of the refrigerator" rather than "slipped out of my hand in the sink") but in general it is durable and I fully expect most of it to survive us, the second or third owners, and go on to blight the decor of some unknown future kitchen. Another bonus: the plates are thin and stack super tightly, so 10-20 can take up only a few vertical inches of shelf space. Bowls less so.

I believe that lead, if present, would be in the decoration and not the glass itself. Some patterns only have a band of print around the edges, so I don't worry about these (though we're child-free adults and don't have other kids around).
posted by pullayup at 6:01 AM on June 10

I like Pullivuyt a lot. Mostly I have a ton of thrift-store tableware that I don't mind breaking, but the Pullivuyt pieces I have seem indestructible, and the style is great. I have no idea of the price levels in the US, here Pullivuyt has very fair prices, and the US prices seem high to me. Maybe look for sales or outlets, if you like it?
posted by mumimor at 7:05 AM on June 10

I was in your shoes about 5 years ago. Duralex glassware was the answer for me. All of our dishes and glasses are still going strong and have been dropped numerous times (and sideswiped while kids load the dishwasher) with no problems. It was such a relief to discover them.
posted by rabidsegue at 8:45 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

Nth-ing Fiestaware! The only piece that’s broken in ten years was a plate that fell on a bunch of other pieces of Fiesta.
posted by skycrashesdown at 10:39 AM on June 10

If you want the look of transparent glass, try Arcoroc. I used to use it, and it is very durable. It is marketed as breakage resistant glassware for restaurants.
posted by mortaddams at 5:18 PM on June 10

I'm sorry I don't have a recommendation but I want to nth the heads-up on Corelle. I used Corelle plates for years with no problem (and they've never broken for me in the sink or on the counter). But after I moved into an apartment with a different kind of kitchen tile, they are a NIGHTMARE. Like others said, plates shatter immediately and into a billion tiny shard pieces that fly everywhere, and have me on my hands and knees wiping down the entire kitchen floor with a wet paper towel. I would much rather replace five times as many plates that broke cleanly into a few pieces than clean up any more dagger-sharp Corelle slivers.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 10:48 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]

Fiestaware and Duralex glasses!
posted by SinAesthetic at 3:15 PM on June 11

I break Corelle dishes frequently - like multiple times a year - but I am very clumsy and I have tile floors.
posted by Blue Genie at 6:00 PM on June 11

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