A smart new cutlery set has the ability to elevate a mid-week meal into an occasion – and who wouldn’t want to recreate that fine dining experience at home?
Whether you’re looking for an everyday set of table tools, or one reserved for celebrations, there’s a wealth of beautifully designed cutlery to choose from.
When buying a cutlery set for your kitchen drawer, look for one that features evenly weighted utensils for comfort.
Ergonomically designed knives, forks and spoons should feel easy in the hand. As a general rule, the heavier the cutlery the better the quality.
Choose designs crafted from the highest grade stainless steel – 18/10 is the quality indicator to look for. And while traditional stainless steel scrubs up well, you may find some of the more creative and design-led styles are not suited to the dishwasher, so save these for the occasional dinner party and wash later in warm soapy water.
While you can purchase knives, forks and spoons individually or in single place settings, our best cutlery picks come in sets of at least 16 pieces, which will cater for four people around the table.
You’d be wise, though, to go larger on numbers for those impromptu get-togethers with friends and extended family – you don’t want to get caught out with mismatching cutlery.
We weighed up quality, design and affordability over numerous dinners, testing out our top ten cutlery sets.
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Normann Copenhagen cutlery gift box, 16 pack, steel
This contemporary cutlery set is the handiwork of designer Aaron Probyn and we loved it for its understated utilitarian feel, fuss free chunky shaping, and its soft matte steel finish – all of which make for a comfortable hold in the hands. The dishwasher friendly knives, forks and spoons are reassuringly large and weighty, and the perfectly flat knives proved a striking design-led feature in our table setting.
Mary Berry signature 16 piece cutlery set
Full of country kitchen charm, and undoubtedly one for Bake Off fans, we love this vintage inspired set of table tools with sweet ceramic handles. We’ve found that most modern cutlery is only getting larger and larger, but this is a daintier choice for smaller hands. Far from being merely decorative, the ceramic – available in sea green, pistachio, ivory or grey – proved a weighty and comfortable addition to the otherwise stainless steel set. Despite the aesthetic, this one’s not just for afternoon tea and cake – the set features sharp, functional knives with a serrated edge.
Denby satin 24 piece cutlery set
Similarly simple and contemporary, albeit slinkier in design, is this handsome set from the venerable British brand best known for its pottery. The cutlery is made from top quality 18/10 stainless steel and feels reassuringly substantial to hold. Dishwasher safe, we found this 24 piece set to be great for everyday use as well as our more formal sit-down occasions.
Ikea tillagd 24 piece cutlery set, black
Another Aaron Probyn creation comes courtesy of Ikea whose design-led homewares are always reassuringly affordable. In matte black, we found this clean lined cutlery offered a chic and contemporary presence on our dining table, instantly upping our layout in the style stakes. Medium in size but seriously weighty, this is one stylish set that both looks and feels more expensive than it is.
Judge Dubarry cutlery set, 24 piece
If you’re after a handy conversation starter at the dinner table, this elegant set is believed to have been the one used on the Titanic. One for traditionalists and vintage lovers alike, the ornate shaping of the polished stainless steel cutlery offers regal aplomb – perfect if you want to up the formality. What we loved about this dishwasher safe set is its long fork tines, designed for loading up the peas, as well as its very generous dessert spoons. It also comes in a 34-piece set.
Alessi Colombina collection 24 piece cutlery set
The handiwork of Italian design duo Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, these utilitarian utensils make a statement on the contemporary dining table. The set includes knives, forks, table spoons (read dessert spoons) and coffee spoons. The cutlery stands out for its unusual, contemporary shaping and its gleaming gold finish – the 18/10 stainless steel is actually finished with a PDV brass coating. We loved the child-like three tined fork and the chunky serrated knife. Not your usual everyday cutlery, these are veritable table jewels you’ll want to show off.
Stellar Salisbury cutlery set, 16 piece
Most modern cutlery designs are all about the sharp angular lines, but this set from Stellar celebrates curves with its distinctive tear drop shaping. And we’re all for curves when it comes to a comfortable feel in the hand. Dishwasher friendly and made from a high quality 18/10 stainless steel, this is a substantial and evenly weighted cutlery set that, we found we barely noticed when eating – in a good way – thanks to its smooth, ergonomic design.
Viners dune 18/10 16 piece cutlery set gift box
Viners’s offering is weighty and sturdy, but at the same time, elegant. The 16-piece set consists of knives, forks, dessert spoons and tea spoons, all of which are brought together by the uniform decorative looped detailing on the handles, which hint at Art Deco design. What we loved most about this set was its timeless quality – the cutlery is modern, but it complements a traditional table set up, too. Made from 18/10 stainless steel with a mirror polish, it also shines beautifully.
Robert Welch honeybourne bright cutlery set, 30 piece
You know you’re getting top quality cutlery with a brand that’s been supplying hotels and restaurants for over 60 years. This decorative set offers the highest quality 18/10 stainless steel and features an arresting hammered finish on the rounded handles. We loved this textural touch – it catches the light beautifully. Perfectly balanced in weight, these were a joy to use. This high end set of knives, forks, dessert, and tea spoons currently includes six free coffee spoons, too.
Cutipol Goa cutlery set, 24 piece, pink gold
Designed by José Joaquim Ribeiro for Portuguese cutlery maker Cutipol, this contemporary set has been widely imitated, but you’ll find the original and best at Amara – with a corresponding price tag, of course. Light and elegant, the cutlery mimics an artist’s paintbrush with its lean, tapered handles. The utensils are beautifully crafted from top notch 18/10 stainless steel and a pale pink resin. We loved the elegant shaping: perfectly round spoons, slender-necked forks, and an angled, scalpel-like knife.
The verdict: Cutlery sets
We loved Normann Copenhagen’s cutlery gift box for its trendy, industrial aesthetic. The fuss-free steel utensils proved a contemporary statement on our dining table and offered good value for money given their conceptual design. We were also charmed by Mary Berry’s signature 16 piece cutlery set with its vintage inspired ceramic handles.
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