The material quality of our dishes is a serious issue in the day-to-day lives of Americans. Lead paint can often be found in patterned and colored dishware, especially from China, which can lead to lead paint leaching into food. Here are five brand names of non-toxic and lead-free plateware made in the U.S.
These manufacturers of dishes made in America produce dinnerware that is non-toxic. In addition to that, they produce stylish place settings—some even hand-painted—that you will be excited to serve your family and guests.
I have taken a personal pledge to never place foreign-made dinnerware on my table because purchasing these sets of dinnerware helps me put food on other Americans' tables. Additionally, it drastically decreases the likelihood of lead leaching into our food!
Recommended: USA Made, 15 Colors
Fiesta by Homer Laughlin is my favorite American dinnerware manufacturer, specifically because they have so many colors available in their product line. Fiesta sells their dinnerware either by the piece or per place setting, as is with the sophisticated peacock, shamrock, ivory, and scarlet-colored five-piece sets. This set includes a large plate, a bowl, a coffee mug, a saucer, and a small plate.
This style of dinnerware is now currently available in 15 colors, including:
- cobalt (dark blue),
- cinnabar (burgundy),
- lapis (dark powder blue),
- lemongrass (pea green),
- peacock (sky blue),
- poppy (bright orange),
- scarlet, and
- shamrock (kelly green).
You can have different colors for each season of the year if you wish. All colors sold by Fiesta contain no detectable lead according to a California consent judgment. Fiesta is the most well-known brand name of all three manufacturers on this page. It has been manufacturing dinnerware since 1936 in Newell, West Virginia.
You will definitely be proud to serve this at your table. In addition, it is likely you will find a color to suit your home décor, without breaking the bank doing it!
Fiesta also has other matching pieces available, so your entire dining room can be coordinated. These items include a covered butter dish, soup tureen, salt and pepper shakers, casserole dish, teapot, and gravy boat.
What I really enjoy about this set is how thick the pieces are. They are somewhat heavy, which helps with durability in the long run, and is probably why the sets come with long chip-resistance warranties.
I have purchased this set in both white and sage, to complement my seasonal home decor. I mix and match the pieces, especially when casual guests come over, to help my dining room look more coordinated overall. I have sage green and white currently throughout my home, and these Fiesta sets have helped add the finishing touches!
Recommended: Lenox Chirp Pattern
The Lenox Simply Fine Turquoise Chirp four-Piece Place Setting is ideal for people who love blue and white colors in their dinnerware and aviary patterns. This set has a lovely blue and white floral bird motif arched over the curves of the plates. The motif is also delicately splashed over the body of the bowl and mug. I am a big bird watcher, and this set always reminds me of my feathered friends at the feeder right outside the window.
This set includes a dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, soup bowl, and mug. It is crafted of fine bone china and is microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. This set has a chip-resistance guarantee (great if you have kids or an occasional clumsy guest). I have on a number of occasions hit the pieces against household objects and the pieces remain intact. The plates have survived bangs against my kitchen sink as well as a mug lip hitting the underside of the cupboard when I retrieve the cup for serving.
I enjoy serving slices of lemon cake on the dessert plate in the spring and summer. I place the cake strategically over the area of the plate that is free of the pattern so the lovely bird design can be seen. I have had guests exclaim how season-appropriate this dinnerware set is.
The Lenox Simply Fine Turquoise Chirp pattern has other matching pieces available, such as cloth napkins, salt and pepper shakers, a shower curtain, hand towels, a spoon rest, a potholder, and a tissue box cover. This set can match your entire house!
Lenox has a factory in North Carolina and produces a limited amount of dinnerware sets there. Lenox is a traditional American employer, being very old and established in America's manufacturing history. Lenox maintains the same standard today with their North Carolina plant.
Recommended: HF Coors Terra Patina
HF Coors manufactures a bevy of dinnerware sets. Here is a Southwestern style inspired set, Terra Patina. It has earth-toned light brown and green around the rims and is chip-resistant. All of HF Coors sets are limited editions and hand-painted.
The design of this set is true to the American setting it hails from, as the manufacturing facility is located right in Arizona. The company also notes that, "Our dishes are vitrified and lead-free, and most glazes, including white, are cadmium-free." As an added benefit, all HF Coors pieces are microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
HF Coors manufactures pieces that compliment their dinnerware, such as the Southwestern style mugs below. It features the hummingbirds and plant life native to the Arizona area.
Popular previous sets included the Tuscany dinnerware set, which also included muted greens and browns and added a European cafe feel to the table.
HF Coors was established in 1925 and is as American as you can get. It is owned by a U.S. Army service-disabled veteran. HF Coors has made it a point to provide American jobs and security through the production of their beautiful dinnerware.
Recommended: Kate Spade New York Set
Kate Spade New York has a line of dinnerware sets that are factory-made in North Carolina. These sets have a signature simplicity and sophistication to them. The Kate Spade New York Library Lane set is white and accented with delicate rings of dark grey and real platinum. This set is ideal if you like a minimally fussy and modern-looking set of china that will match just about any décor.
Included in the set are a dinner plate, salad plate, bread plate, saucer, and a mug. This Kate Spade set is dishwasher-safe.
The Library Lane dinnerware set also has available matching sugar and creamer, oval platter, wine glasses, and serving bowl options available to complete your table.
I put these dinnerware sets out when I have special company over for dinner and I want to make a refined and elegant statement. I coordinate my dishes with white and grey striped napkins as well as a tablecloth in the same color. I really get a lot of use out of the bread plates. I serve large helpings of lasagna and pot roasts with vegetables. The bread plates help keep my ciabatta and flatbreads separate for the guests. I don't have to worry about having enough room on the plate or having the bread absorb liquid from the main dish.
The mug bottoms are also wide, which helps prevent spills for my grandmother with shaky hands. One of the most impressive aspects of these dishes is the color-fast rings. I have not had any color wear from repeated washings—the delicate stripes over my years of ownership of this set are still intact. If you are looking for dishes you can serve special company that are durable, safe, and resilient, these Kate Spade New York Library Lane sets are an ideal solution.
Recommended: Corelle Service Set
Corelle has been manufacturing dinnerware since the early 1970s and has become a name synonymous with good style. This 76-piece set includes dinner plates, salad plates, bread and butter plates, soup bowls, salad bowls, and dessert bowls. This set also includes platters and serving bowls.
This is a great set to have if you have a large family or if you have frequent guests. You can serve multiple courses because of the variety of dinnerware pieces included.
Corelle makes the following collections in the USA: Livingware, Lifestyles, Impressions, Ultra, and Corelle Square. The only caveat is that the mugs in these collections are not made in the USA. But the above set in the image does not include mugs, so all of the pieces above are indeed USA-made. Sets like these are designed for use with clear drinking glasses instead of mugs. You can find made-in-America glasses by Anchor Hocking for drinkware.
What's the Big Deal With Lead?
If children are exposed to lead during development, it can cause serious damage to a child's health. Risks of lead exposure include damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems.
Lead Poisoning in Adults
Adults are at a lower risk for lead poisoning unless they work frequently with batteries, do many home repairs, or do other frequent work where lead exposure is high. Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in adults are fairly ubiquitous, so it's hard to tell if an adult has lead poisoning without a blood test. According to Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of lead poisoning in adults may be:
- High blood pressure,
- mood disorders,
- reduced sperm count,
- and many others.
In Support of American-Made Products
Consider buying dinnerware from HF Coors, Corelle, Emerson Creek Pottery, Fiesta by Homer Laughlin, Lenox, and Hartstone Pottery. You will not only beautify your table, but you will also be directly sustaining and creating American jobs!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Stove And Home
Stove And Home (author) on January 10, 2013:
Dear Lenny, I am so sorry to hear about your experiences. I did not include Corningware in this list because I heard the mugs were made outside of the U.S. I hope they bring the manufacturing back here, and I hope you have better luck with your dinnerware in the future.
Lenny of Nazareth on January 10, 2013:
Please do not include Corningware in a column dedicated to "American Made" Dinnerware. The reason I am on this website is because I purchased 2 sets of 4 place settings of corelle only to find they have the mugs made in China. They are low quality stoneware that get nasty black marks when a spoon is used to stir the liquid. (tea or coffee). It is a chore and expense to "scrub" these mugs with "Barkeepers Friend" to get the marks out. The store only offered replacement mugs but what is the use, it's the same thing. I have othe Stonewhear mugs (used as extras) and they do not get marked so I summerize that Corning ware is cheap junk that you may want to stay away from. Just for the record, this is my 3rd set of Corning Ware in 36 years and the quality is going down and the prices go up - it's a shame, they did make a good product at one time.