We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our store.
Choosing the best flatware or silverware can be tricky. There are a variety of sets available, which means that your decision will come down to three things: aesthetics, budget, and how many place settings you need. And there’s a huge range for all those factors.
The vast majority of flatware is made of stainless steel. Yes, formal sterling silver flatware is still available, but a single setting can cost hundreds of dollars or more; it also requires frequent hand-washing and polishing. Obviously, that makes stainless steel a more practical choice. It comes in three varieties: 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0. The “18” refers to the fact that it is made of 18 percent chromium, while the second number is the percentage of nickel. Both chromium and nickel help the flatware resist corrosion. More nickel also adds shine and sturdiness. That’s why 18/10 flatware tends to be pricier than 18/0.
Pretty much all stainless-steel flatware is dishwasher-safe. However, many manufacturers recommend against soaking flatware for long periods or using detergents that contain lemon or orange additives, which can trigger corrosion. They also say it’s better to pat the flatware dry than let it dry in the dishwasher – this can help guard against those stubborn spots and streaks.