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Updated November 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Boocikey Thanksgiving Plates and Napkins Set
Boocikey
Thanksgiving Plates and Napkins Set
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Oversized Design
Bottom Line

With a unique look and an oversized design, this is a great choice for any sized gathering.

Pros

Features a fun look that is sure to go with any festive decoration. The colors on both the plates and napkins really pop. Completely disposable for easy cleanup.

Cons

The included dessert plates are a little on the flimsy side.

Best Bang for the Buck
Vadeture Thanksgiving Plates
Vadeture
Thanksgiving Plates
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Budget Friendly
Bottom Line

A great price point mixed with two sets of artwork makes this a stand-out pick.

Pros

Made from food-grade and biodegradable material for easy cleaning after dinner. Features two different fun designs that maintain the spirit of thanksgiving.

Cons

Many noted that the plates are thinner than other options.

American Greetings Plaid Paper Dessert Plates
American Greetings
Plaid Paper Dessert Plates
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A good option if you are looking for something with a basic design that is great for thanksgiving food.

Pros

The print is perfect for bringing a balance of festivity and simplicity. Comes in a package of 36 7x7 plates. Fairly sturdy due to the thickness of the material.

Cons

A bit too small for larger portions of food.

Decodinli Thanksgiving Serving Set
Decodinli
Thanksgiving Serving Set
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Everything You Need
Bottom Line

Durability and vibrant coloration run throughout every part of this package making it a top pick.

Pros

Comes with enough utensils, plates, napkins, and cups for up to 25 people to use. The designs look great thanks to the vibrancy of each color.

Cons

The included cups are on the smaller side.

Gift Boutique Thanksgiving Fall Plates
Gift Boutique
Thanksgiving Fall Plates
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

A great option for any fall activity thanks to its festive look and plate thickness.

Pros

Comes with enough plates and napkins to serve up to 50 people. The plates are durable thanks to the ultra-thick paper design. Dinner plates are large enough for most food.

Cons

The color isn't as vibrant as we would like.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

38
Models
Considered
63
Consumers
Consulted
26
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for best Thanksgiving Plates

Thanksgiving is a holiday centered on food. You prepare yourself a feast, and you indulge. You might share your feast with friends and family, which can make the occasion extra special. It makes sense, then, that you’d want to feast off of something other than your everyday plates.

There are all sorts of Thanksgiving plate designs available, from the subtle to the silly. There are disposable Thanksgiving plates, fine porcelain Thanksgiving plates, and many iterations in between. They all share something in common: A Thanksgiving theme.

Thanksgiving meal
Orange, brown, and yellow are traditional colors for Thanksgiving decorating. They are based on the colors of pumpkins, roast turkey, and harvest corn.

Choosing a plate type

Disposable Thanksgiving plates

Disposable Thanksgiving plate choices abound. Plates that are disposable may be made of paper or plastic. They are typically very colorful and decorative. The allure of disposable plates is that you can purchase them for large parties at minimal cost, and they add a fun celebratory pop.

For an annual holiday like Thanksgiving, disposable plates can make economic sense—especially if you don’t foresee yourself hosting a full Thanksgiving dinner every year. Disposable Thanksgiving plates must be sturdy enough to hold a few bites of all the dishes and sides. Many choices come in a large oval dinner plate size to fit all of that scrumptious food.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of disposable plates but still want the convenience they offer, look for reusable plates that can be washed and used more than once before disposal. You can also find compostable plates that are more landfill-friendly.

Thanksgiving serveware

The term “serveware” refers to serving dishes and platters rather than the plates people eat off of. If you’re looking for a nice splurge but don’t want to buy a complete dinnerware set, a single Thanksgiving serving platter can elevate even the smallest and simplest holiday table.

With serveware, you can often purchase as much or as little as you desire. For example, you could add another platter for a second main dish, such as a ham. You could add serving bowls for your sides, such as the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Don’t forget a gravy boat or small decorative bowl for gravy or sauce.

Serving platters don’t need to match or come in a set as long as they complement each other or bring a festive air to the occasion.

Dinnerware

If you have the space and the need, you could invest in holiday dinnerware for Thanksgiving and other special events. Some people go this route without buying a complete set: They might buy two, four, six, or eight dinner plates with a Thanksgiving or autumnal theme. This dinnerware can set the tone for the meal without the need for matching salad plates or soup bowls.

That said, a complete holiday dinnerware set—matching dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls, and bread plates—can be a great investment if you intend to use it year after year.

Plate material

While disposable plates typically are made from some form of paper or plastic, non-disposable plates may be made of a number of materials.

  • Porcelain and bone china are the highest-quality plate materials available.
  • Stoneware and other fired ceramics cost less but are equally attractive, especially if you need heavy serveware for a large turkey or ham.
  • Melamine is affordable and shatter-resistant. Note, however, that it is unsuited for reheating in the microwave.
  • Tempered glass, such as Corelle, is another option that resists shattering and is mostly microwave safe.
  • Food-safe wooden bowls and platters add a warm, organic touch to a Thanksgiving table, as do woven trays and baskets.

A turkey platter should be at least 16 inches across and preferably oval to accommodate the length of the bird plus garnishes and stuffing.

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Thanksgiving plate features

Pattern

The pattern of a Thanksgiving plate is a primary feature that sets it apart from everyday plates. Thanksgiving plates feature patterns that evoke the Thanksgiving holiday or the autumn and harvest seasons. These patterns may be traditional, illustrative, abstract, contemporary, or humorous, and they may include representations of turkeys, autumn leaves, pumpkins, pies, corn, or figures such as Pilgrims or cartoon characters.

Compartments

Some Thanksgiving plates fall under the category of “combination plates.” These plates have separate compartments for different mains and sides. Fun and practical, they are a great choice for young children and buffet serving.

Durability

Durability correlates with plate material and, often, cost. Note that if you’re buying a piece of serveware to hold a turkey, you’ll want something that isn’t flimsy. If you’re buying disposable Thanksgiving plates for people to eat off of, we recommend a material that resists sogginess and a plate large enough to hold a bit of everything being served.

Reheatable

If you want the ability to reheat leftovers on your Thanksgiving plates, choose plates that are microwave safe, such as stoneware or vitreous glass. Fine porcelain is too valuable to risk reheating, and melamine gets excessively hot and transfers chemicals when heated. Watch out for metallic accents as well, even on disposable plates, as those can spark and singe in the microwave.

Compostability

Some disposable plates advertise their compostability. These plates do away with artificial linings and graphics and may be made of special fibers that break down more easily than printed cardboard like standard disposable plates.

Thanksgiving plates
DID YOU KNOW?
The United States is not the only country that celebrates a Thanksgiving holiday. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in early October, while Liberia observes a solemn Thanksgiving in late November. Other gratitude and autumn holidays are observed in Brazil, Saint Lucia, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
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Thanksgiving accessories

Flatware

Special flatware often comes out at major holiday feasts like Thanksgiving. This is the time to break out the fine silver, for example. Or, you might opt for flatware that is eye-catching, especially if you have utensils that contrast to your plates, like matte black or polished brass.

Napkins, placemats, and tablecloths

A Thanksgiving table is best dressed when it includes napkins and a tablecloth, perhaps supplemented with placemats to protect against grease and gravy. If you don't want or need a tablecloth, you could get a runner to go beneath the centerpiece and main serveware.

Paper napkins with Thanksgiving patterns can be purchased separately or with a disposable Thanksgiving set. These are highly convenient and festive, even if you’re using china or other non-disposable dinnerware.

Pie carrier and casserole carrier

A pie carrier or casserole carrier is a great way to transport Thanksgiving food to or from a gathering. Often brightly colored and festive, these carriers are usually insulated and are sized to fit a whole pie dish or casserole dish.

You may want the option of keeping leftovers in your Thanksgiving dinnerware or serveware. If so, pick Thanksgiving plates that will stand up to refrigeration and reheating.

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How much do Thanksgiving plates cost?

Inexpensive

Many disposable Thanksgiving plates cost under $25 per set. These sets may include a collection of 25 to 50 pieces including plates, matching napkins, and sometimes multiple plate sizes and utensils. Inexpensive reusable plates made of melamine can also be found in this price range; they are often sold in sets of four. Individual serveware platters made of ceramic or melamine also may cost below $25.

Mid-range

Between $25 and $100, you can find a broad range of both disposable and non-disposable Thanksgiving plates. These include large and comprehensive disposable sets with multiple plate sizes, drinkware, utensils, and napkins. Many of these disposable sets are made of durable materials like thick plastic or compostable fibers.

You can also get four-piece dinnerware sets in this price range from well-known brands and of good durability. Further, you can find impressive single pieces of serveware and serveware sets in this middle range.

Expensive

Above $100—sometimes well above—you will find heirloom dinnerware sets with place settings for eight or more people. Often from renowned brand names, they may be made of fine materials with remarkable craftsmanship.

Thanksgiving plate tips

  • The turkey is usually the star. Place it near the centerpiece, or let it be the centerpiece—especially if you’re serving the whole bird and carving at the table.
  • Take care with fine china. Stacking salad plates, dinner plates, and chargers (decorative underplates) add formality, style, and height. However, stacking your plates might chip or scratch them if you’re not careful.
  • Instead of chargers, consider using wreaths. Wreaths made of grapevines or decorated with autumn leaves can add the same visual interest as a charger and be more economical.
Thanksgiving dining table setup
White plates and serveware can be blank canvases for any holiday meal, including Thanksgiving—especially when paired with Thanksgiving accessories.

FAQ

Q. How many dishes should you serve at Thanksgiving?

A. Many sources suggest having three to five side dishes along with two main dishes, one of which is typically roast turkey. It’s thoughtful to have a warm vegetable dish as well as a salad. Stuffing or dressing can often be considered its own side when served separately from the turkey.

Q. How should I arrange my Thanksgiving table?

A. Thanksgiving meals can be as casual or formal as you want, from a buffet with paper plates to a full sit-down dinner with formal service. An appealing setting would be somewhat formal, with dinner plates under salad plates for each setting, topped by a napkin and flanked by silverware, with a bread plate on the left and water and wine glasses on the right and a centerpiece in the middle of the table surrounded by the main dishes and sides.

Q. What is the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece?

A. A cornucopia, or horn of plenty, is the traditional Thanksgiving centerpiece. Inspired by the Greek myth of a goat nursing the infant Zeus, a cornucopia is usually a woven basket shaped like a horn with fruits, nuts, sheaves of grain, and fall leaves spilling out of it. It’s a symbol of abundance and fruitfulness, key themes of Thanksgiving.

 

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