Are You Using The Right Dinner Plate Size? (Standard Measurements)


In this dinner plate size guide, you’ll see standard, small, medium & large dish dimensions, what fits in a microwave, and how to measure them. If you have dined in a fine restaurant or have been to grand events like weddings or golden anniversary celebrations, you’ve probably seen food being served on a variety of different plates. In that case, chances are these events used many types and styles of cutlery and dinnerware plate sizes.

An important thing to consider are the functions of different dishes and not being embarrassed at these special events where plates will have other roles as a meal progresses. It’s also a great idea to know the correct-sized plates if you will ever be serving food yourself.[toc]

What Size Is A Dinner Plate?

Type Usage Size (inches) Size (centimeters) Notes
Standard General dining 10 to 12 25 to 30 Common household standard
Restaurant Dining in restaurants 13 33 Larger, commonly used in American restaurants.
Appetizer Starters & appetizers 6 to 8 15 to 20 Small and is used for bread, butter, cheese, and fruits.
Salad/Dessert Salads & Desserts 8 to 10 20 to 25 Slightly larger than appetizer dish, often with more intricate designs.

Dinner plate size

The dinner plate is used to serve the main course. Dishes with the main course are usually served after the salad and will rest above a bigger plate known as a charger.

Dinner plates vary in size and are measured according to their diameter. Traditionally, they are about 10.5 inches or 27 centimeters in diameter, but that has changed. Most now come with a diameter of 11 to 12 inches or about 28 to 30 centimeters.

The main difference between a dinner and a standard plate is that they have a broader frame to account for decorations to make the dish more presentable.

Aside from the aesthetic value, it will give a restaurant dish a better frame, and it also helps with the illusion of giving larger portions or servings of a particular meal

Standard Dinner Plate Size

There are different sizes and shapes available for diner plates, but the standard or average size ranges between 10 to 12 inches or 25 to 30 centimeters.

The dinner plate homeowners usually utilize for their homes measures around 11 to 12 inches or 28 to 30 centimeters across. 

This is slightly different from the plates a decade ago that were 7 to 9 inches, or 17 to 23 centimeters. 9 inches or 23 centimeter dishes are found all around Europe.

In comparison, American restaurants are prone to using bigger dishes at about 13 inches or 33 centimeters. 

Dining table dinner plate wine glasses

Small Size Dinner Plates 

The smallest size dinner plate any homeowner can get are appetizer plates. An appetizer dish is often the smallest in a table setting and is used to serve small appetizers at the beginning of a meal with many courses.

An appetizer plate is available in sizes ranging from 6 to 8 inches or 15 to 20 centimeters across. It’s big enough to fit a single starter dish

It is noteworthy that some people consider this small item as an alternative bread and butter dish used to serve small servings of cheeses and fruits. 

Medium Size Dinner Plates

Small medium and large dinner plate size

The closest dish to a medium size dinner plate a homeowner can find are salad or dessert plates, slightly larger than the smaller appetizer plate but small enough not to be considered a full-on regular-sized dish. These types are interchangeable with dessert plates, perfect for homeowners looking to cut down on dinnerware. 

These measurements will usually range from 8 to 10 inches or around 20 to 25 centimeters in diameter. Some dessert dishes are also more intricately designed than other plates to make the desserts look twice as appealing. 

Big Size Dinner Plates

A large dish any homeowner can find outside the decorative charger is the average size, ranging from 10 to 12 inches or 25 to 30 centimeters in diameter.

In comparison, some products are also available with dimensions of 13 inches or 33 centimeters across. A giant dish will be sizable enough to house many components of the main meal, including grains, proteins, and a significant amount of vegetables. 

The average dinner plate has increased in size by about 23 percent since 1900. In the good old days, dishes were in the neighborhood of ten inches in diameter; however, today they are twelve inches in diameter or more. – Skinny-size it: 101 Recipes that Will Fill You Up and Slim You Down, Molly Morgan

Best Size Dinner Plate 

Aside from the standard dish at 11 to 12 inches or around 28 to 30 centimeters, the best dinner plate any homeowner can rely on is the 10 inches or 25-centimeter diameter one. This item will be ideal for casual and everyday meals.

Since these meals consist of many dishes like grains, vegetables, and any protein, this place set measurement will be big enough to not be too heavy or overwhelming for the user. See more dining room essentials on this page.

Paper Dinner Plate Size

Paper dinner plate size

Other than ceramic or porcelain materials, there are paper dinner plates available for outdoor parties or barbecues. Two disposable types come to mind when considering the options: the banquet and the standard paper plates. 

The banquet paper plates are available in various shapes, from circle to octagonal, and will primarily measure 10.25 inches or 26 centimeters. In comparison, disposable dinner plates vary in size from 8.75 to 9.75 inches or 22 to approximately 25 centimeters. 

What Size Microwave Fits A Dinner Plate? 

Microwave size for dinner plate

If a homeowner does a lot of microwaving, especially for late-night dinners, one factor that should affect their product purchase is whether the dish will fit in their microwave.

A standard 10 inches or 25 centimeters dish can fit in the smallest and most compact microwave oven available on the market. At the same time, medium-sized microwaves can hold and reheat food in dinner plates at 14 inches or 36 centimeters in diameter. Visit our guide to microwave sizes here.

Salad Plate vs. Dinner Plate Size 

Salad plate with table napkin

Because a few inches is their only difference, a salad or dessert and a dinner plate are often confused with one another. While a salad plate can be 8 to 10 inches or 20 to 25 centimeters, a dinner plate ranges in size from just 10 to 12 inches or about 25 to 30 centimeters in diameter.

The two-inch difference makes them perfect for homeowners looking for smaller dinnerware to use at home. 

How To Measure Dinner Plate Size? 

To measure a plate, use a ruler or a tape measure to point from one end to the other across a point in the center of the circular shape. Since most are circular, this is what to do, but if a homeowner wants to buy a square or a rectangular shape, measure all sides to determine the exact dimensions

See more related content in our article about the different types of plates on this page.

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