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The Best Disposable Plates

Last updated on October 12, 2023

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Disposable plates come in handy whenever you want to avoid the hassle of doing dishes or carrying heavier reusable plates to another location. You can use them at home regularly or occasionally for convenience, or you might reserve them for special events such as picnics, parties or reunions. In any case, you can simply use the plates during the meal and then throw them away.

As a longstanding option, paper plates usually feature an economical cost and a wide selection. The material often makes the plates safe to use in the microwave for fast and easy cooking. You can also recycle many types of paper plates. However, you can encounter leaks and durability when you put certain types of foods on them. Some plates will have a special coating, though, to make them leak-resistant.

Especially good for greasy and wet foods, plastic plates can handle all kinds of foods without leaking or losing durability. They can also be a more sophisticated option for events since some plastic plates look similar to reusable ones. However, you often can’t use these plates in the microwave. Plus, you’ll want to make sure they don’t contain any unsafe materials.

Foam plates are another option that offers more durability than paper plates. Like plastic plates, they’re often not microwave-safe. However, they’re good for keeping foods warm due to the insulation the material offers.

Along with considering materials, make sure you get your disposable plates in the right size and shape. You’ll most often find round plates that range from a dessert size to a platter size. However, square appetizer plates are another option you might find handy for serving snacks. Some large disposable plates  also include dividers to keep foods separate.

When it comes to appearance, basic white or clear plates can handle most jobs if you don’t need anything fancy. But if you’re buying the plates for an event or holiday, you’ll likely find many suitable color options or even plates with drawings. For example, some disposable plates for weddings will have embellishments for an elegant look. It’s also common for disposable plates to have a decorative border.

Our Picks For The Top Disposable Plates

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Product Overview
Our Take
 Top Pick

Dixie Printed Disposable Dinner Plates, 204 Count

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Dixie

Printed Disposable Dinner Plates, 204 Count

Available in a set of 204 spread across three packs, these white plates are durable and large enough for a meal. The paper has a special coating to reduce leaks, and you can safely use the plates in the microwave.

Overall Take

Huge SupplyThis large supply can handle a big event or last a long time for everyday use.

 Top Pick

Stack Man Biodegradable Disposable Dinner Plates, 125 Count

Stack Man

Biodegradable Disposable Dinner Plates, 125 Count

These plates feature the natural material sugarcane and offer environmental benefits. You can get them in both 9- and 10-inch sizes including one option with sections. They're microwave-safe and light brown.

Overall Take

Unique MaterialIf you're concerned about the environment, consider these sugarcane-based plates.

 We Also Like

Glad Blue Flower Heavy Duty Disposable Paper Plates, 50 Count

Glad

Blue Flower Heavy Duty Disposable Paper Plates, 50 Count

Coming in a pack of 50, these 10-inch plates feature a thick paper material that's designed not to tear or allow foods to soak through. They're white with a flowery border. You can use them in the microwave.

Overall Take

Good for Any FoodThese durable plates can handle potentially leaky foods without an issue.

 Also Great

SOLO Paper Disposable Dinner Plates, 44 Count

SOLO

Paper Disposable Dinner Plates, 44 Count

Overall Take

What to Look For

  • When comparing packs of disposable plates in different quantities, pay attention to the price per plate. Especially if you’ll use the plates around the home every day or you need to serve many people for a large event, you may save money getting a jumbo pack rather than multiple smaller packs.
  • If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of using disposable plates, consider shopping for biodegradable, eco-friendly options. These can cost more than other options, but they’re made of natural materials such as bamboo.
  • You’ll most often find packs of disposable plates that come in the same size. However, you can shop around for options with two or more size options included. For example, you might get dessert-sized plates along with dinner plates. Some sets may include additional disposable items for your convenience such as napkins, cups and cutlery.
  • To prevent leaking, consider doubling up if you need to put wet or oily food on a paper plate. This especially applies if you buy thin plates or those that lack a protective coating.
  • If you plan to heat food up on your disposable plates, make sure they’re microwave-safe. Paper plates are usually safe, but only certain foam and plastic options are.
  • If you’re shopping for paper plates for a holiday or special event, consider those that feature metallic borders, images of holiday scenes, seasonal patterns or special sayings. You can also look for seasonal colors such as red or green plates for a Christmas party.
  • You can do much more with disposable plates than just use them with food. They can come in handy for home painting products and serve as a protective tray for a paint can. If you’re lacking a dustpan, a disposable plate cut in half can serve as a temporary option. You’ll also find many craft project ideas that use paper plates along with games your children can create with them.

More to Explore

Take a look at some interesting facts about disposable plates:

  • Did you know that more than 222 million Americans use disposable plates and cups compared to around half that number who don’t? The number of people using disposable tableware is expected to continue to increase.
  • Martin Keys, the owner of the Keyes Fibre Company, created the first paper plate in 1904. His company still exists today and makes the popular Chinet plates.
  • While foam plates have a reputation for not being recyclable, they really don’t impact the environment as much as standard paper plates do. Not only do they require less material and energy to make, but energy savings also occur during everyday use and disposal.

More to explore