Stoneware vs. Earthenware: Which Material is Right for Your Dishes?

Picking dishes can be tough. From shape to colour to quantity, there are plenty of decisions that require your attention, but probably the most important is the material. There’s no shortage of options, but many people end up struggling to choose between stoneware and earthenware.

There’s really no right or wrong decision – it all depends on your own needs and wants. The best thing to do is consider the relative benefits of each option and decide which one sounds best for your business.

What Are the Benefits of Stoneware Dishes?

Like earthenware, stoneware is a type of fired ceramic dinnerware. Its main advantage over earthenware is strength and durability. This is mostly down to the fact that vitreous material and clay is added. Stoneware also tends to be made thicker than earthenware. It’s a very versatile material that can be used in microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, and freezers, though it should not be subjected to sudden temperature changes. It’s great for casual dining and creating a more rustic style.

What Are the Benefits of Earthenware?

Earthenware lacks the vitreous material and clay that goes into stoneware, so it isn’t as strong. Earthenware dishes are usually porous, so they can stain more easily.

However, earthenware is less expensive than stoneware, and earthenware dishes are usually made thinner. The appearance is strikingly similar to bone china, and the material takes hand-painted designs very well. As such, earthenware dishes, though not as strong, are very good for achieving the luxurious appearance of bone china while keeping to stricter budgets.

Which Option is Right for You?

You should now have a pretty good idea of whether you want to go for earthenware or stoneware. If you want a more rustic appearance and more durable dishes, stoneware is probably ideal. If you want something cheaper that looks more refined, and you’re willing to put up with a slightly weaker material, you’re likely to find that earthenware is right up your alley.


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Written by David

Hello I’m Keb, a self-confessed lover of travel and food, join me as I explore the world one meal at a time.