Stoneware vs. Porcelain: Which is Better?

By Fable Staff
Stoneware vs. Porcelain: Which is Better?

Companies use various materials to make dinnerware, and two of the most common are stoneware and porcelain. 

When it comes to selecting the best dinnerware, it can be hard to make a decision. At Fable, we offer premium quality stoneware that comes from Portugal. Our designs and traditional style are how we celebrate the traditions you create in your home.

While there are many different types of dinnerware, we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of stoneware and porcelain.


What Is Stoneware?

Stoneware is a dense and nonporous dinnerware made from clay. It is food-safe and lasts a long time. It can be put in the dishwasher, making it a popular choice.

As the name suggests, stoneware gets its name from its stone-like qualities. It can come in various finishes, such as glazed, matte, or glossy. However, for the most part, stoneware has a more earthy appearance. 

Stoneware is fired at high temperatures to make it water-resistant or waterproof. Since it goes through these high temperatures, it's also more durable than earthenware. Stoneware can distribute and retain heat more evenly than other types of pottery, making it ideal for drinking hot drinks or heating food in the microwave. 

Fable's stoneware is thoughtfully designed, with simple colors and styles that are complementary and will seamlessly fit in all homes, no matter the style. It is made in Portugal—a country that has been creating stoneware for centuries—by Local Portuguese ceramists using a balance of machinery and hand-finishing.

Fable stoneware is crafted from both recycled ceramics and locally sourced clay. Our glazes are also free of lead and other heavy metals, and are 100% non-toxic, so you can use them with ease. Once fired and appraised for quality, each piece is carefully sanded and glazed, resulting in a one-of-a-kind product.


What Is Porcelain?

Porcelain is also durable, but unlike stoneware, it is primarily made with white clay. 

It became very popular in Europe and North America during the 1700s. However, before this, it was cherished in China for its strength. Porcelain first appeared in the Han Dynasty but was elevated and became popular during the Shang Dynasty hundreds of years later. It is an art form and production that continued all the way up until the Qing Dynasty. 

Premium-quality porcelains were given as gifts or displayed as a type of art. Collectors have sought after porcelain, and that comes with intricate designs from the different Chinese dynasties. 

Sculptors can mold porcelain to make more delicate pieces than other ceramics since it has a very high firing temperature.  


Which Is Better?

In short: it’s entirely personal which type of ceramics will best fit into your life. Now that you know the difference between stoneware and porcelain, let's go over which one will suit you. 

Choosing between stoneware and porcelain really depends on the look you want and how much you're willing to spend. For the classic dinnerware set for formal dinners, people often select white porcelain. However, if you're looking for a little more character in your pieces, and you plan to use your dinnerware every day,  stoneware is an excellent choice—not to mention, it still has admirable qualities of porcelain.

Baking with Stoneware vs. Porcelain

When it comes to baking with stoneware or porcelain, both can be useful. 

  • Heating and cooking: You will want to avoid sudden temperature changes, like from the freezer to the oven. You cannot use either on direct heat unless it's cookware. However, both can go in the microwave safely. 
  • Washing: Both materials are dishwasher safe.
  • Baking: You can use porcelain dishes and glazed stoneware for baking, up to a certain level of heat. Stoneware can be in temperatures up to 450°F. If you use your stoneware in higher temperatures, like on broil, it can crack. If you preheat your stoneware, try not to place very cold ingredients in it because this can also lead to cracking.

At Fable, we want to set your table beautifully for years to come, so we make our products to last. Our stoneware is twice-fired in a kiln, making it durable enough to stand the test of time.


Where to Purchase Stoneware 

When it comes to cleaning your dishes, the dishwasher works for both stoneware and porcelain. Give them some room in the dishwasher so if they shift, they don't crack or chip.

Due to stoneware's more natural finish, it can sometimes have scratches on it from flatware. You can remove these marks, though with little effort.

At Fable, we have a Tawashi Brush that does an excellent job at cleaning and repairing stoneware. To use it most effectively, you will also need a scouring powder. This product is great for helping to remove scratches on hard surfaces like stoneware. If you don't have a scouring powder in your cabinets, or prefer something more natural, paste-like mixture of lemon juice and baking soda also works really well. 

To remove any imperfections, rub the scouring powder over the surface with a small amount of water to make a paste. Then take your Tawashi Brush and scrub the surface of your stoneware. After a few seconds, it will look good as new. Rinse off the scouring powder with soapy water and then dry with a dish towel.


Storing Your Dishes

Conveniently, both stoneware and porcelain can be stacked on top of each other without scratching. 

If they are larger baking dishes, it's best not to stack them, or at least not more than two high. This will prevent them from toppling over and breaking. If your baking dishes have a lid, you can invert it on top of the dish to make it easier to stack. 

Delightful Dinnerware 

When it comes to purchasing stoneware or porcelain, it is more about personal preference. 

Both are made from clay and are durable enough to cook with and clean in the dishwasher. 

Fable's stoneware is one-of-a-kind and made in Portugal, channelling the country's long-standing tradition of well-crafted ceramic dinnerware . Thanks to an abundance of clay in the country, they really do have the most experience, and the high quality of materials, to work with.

We hope this breakdown made your decision easier. At Fable, we do hope you choose our premium dinnerware. Using quality materials, sustainable practices, and conscious processes that preserve our earth, we especially love that our dinnerware encompasses values that run deeper than meet the eye.



Lead | Definition, Uses, Properties, & Facts | Britannica

Stoneware | Digital Fire

Porcelain: What is it? | TMORA