Opalware vs Ceramic
What to know

Opalware vs. Ceramic: What’s the Difference?

Is ceramic better than opalware? What’s the difference between the two? Is opalware made of opal? Is it too expensive compared to ceramic dinnerware or porcelain chinaware since it uses opal or is it just a brand name or something?

Homes at present offer various dinnerware sets, mostly made of chinaware or porcelain (like those used in those centuries-old Ming vases). You can use dinnerware sets for various purposes, such as daily consumption of meals or occasional fancy dinners with family and friends for the holidays.

It depends mostly on how special your dinnerware set is. With that in mind, what is the difference between opal ware and ceramic dinnerware?

Opalware vs. Ceramic

First off, let’s talk about why opalware and ceramic are often compared to one another.  Both types of dinnerware set are popular among the health conscious due to how they don’t react easily to hot or cold food, such as leaching BPA unto microwaved dishes.

Let’s now discuss their individual differences below.

What is Opalware?

Opalware is crockery or tableware as well as dinnerware made of natural sorted materials like bone ash as well as green material. This makes for bowls and dishes that are 100 percent hygienic for the family because they’re non-porous and bacteria-free.

  • Additionally, opalware is made by heating up the raw material to recrystallization before they’re rapidly cooled at a variety of temperatures. From there, you also enjoy benefits like opalware not cracking under pressure when it’s used along with your microwave to heat food.
  • Furthermore, opalware dining sets don’t scratch, break, or chip easily compared to other ceramics. It’s designed for everyday use, so you can easily stack them and they’re both dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe to boot.
  • You can also recycle, clean, and reuse opalware with its super white and smooth surface. Lastly, before its introduction to the public at large, it goes through a battery of tests like scratch resistance test, thermo-resistance test, chip test, and drop ball test.

What is Ceramic?

Ceramic in the context of dinnerware is basically a family or category of non-metallic or earthenware tableware. It’s also made up of various clay types used to make all sorts of dishes, plates, saucers, bowls, mugs, cups, and so forth.

  • Ceramics such as porcelain or chinaware are the go-to materials for consuming and serving hot meals like soups or beverages like coffee. They can be used for both special occasions like fine dining at 5-star (or more) restaurants or for everyday use since they’re usually dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe.
  • The exceptions to the rule in terms of safeness in microwaves and dishwashers include metal-accented porcelain (ceramic) dishes. However, ceramic is also quite heavy to handle. Also when it falls it breaks easily, hence the saying “a bull inside a china(ware) shop”.
  • Those that you can maintain from drops do last longer than a lifetime, like Ming vases in museums that have lasted centuries. Ceramic dinnerware sets also offer thickness that makes them superb when it comes to heat retention.

How Opalware Compares to Ceramic and Vice-Versa

You can get a hold of various dinnerware brands, among them include the opalware and ceramic dinner sets. Below we tackle the comparisons and differences between ceramic and opalware for posterity.

For the most part, opalware glassware has better durability while being lightweight but ceramic dishes, particularly chinaware or porcelain, remain more popular despite their heaviness or thickness.

See more: So, Does Ceramic Get Hot in the Microwave or Not?

Material Composition and Creation

Opalware is made up of high-tempered glass material that has mechanical resistance of up to 3 times better than other dinnerware, making it an extra-strong type of glassware compared to the Corelle or Pyrex brands.

Meanwhile, ceramic uses various clay types. To make ceramic dinnerware or tableware, these different variants of clay get burnt at different temperatures for certain periods of time, with the highest quality of them being porcelain burned at temperatures as high as 2,600°F or 1,427°C.

Properties of the Individual Materials

Ceramic is renowned for its ability to retain heat from within because of its thickness. As such, it’s also recommended for use when consuming and serving hot meals. However, chinaware or porcelain ceramic plates should be handled with care when push comes to shove.

They have a reputation of breaking when dropped for a reason. In contrast, opalware can serve both cold and hot meals with its lightweight material. Furthermore, it’s a long-term and durable kind of dinnerware that you can use for daily meals.

More for Everyday Use or Use for Special Occasions

Ceramic dishes can be safely used daily because they’re nontoxic and can be used to serve both cold and hot food without suffering from thermal shock, porous water absorption that promotes the formation of bacteria, or the leaching of toxic chemicals.

Ceramic material doesn’t react with either cold or hot food. The same could be said of reinforced opalware with its mechanical resistance, but because it’s so expensive and beautiful and despite its durability, most would rather use them for special occasions or as bakeware for occasional baking.

Read more: Is Opalware Microwave-Safe or Not?

Value and Safety of the Dinnerware

Ceramic is more expensive than plastic dinnerware set but it’s mostly the same as opalware sets depending on its quality and brand. Both of the materials feature oven-safeness and microwave-safeness unless it’s written by the manufacturer as not oven-safe or microwave-safe.

So they’re the reverse of plastic containers that you shouldn’t use with a microwave or oven unless it’s indicated to be microwave-safe or oven-safe.

Price vs. Quality

Ceramic, particularly porcelain, can match the expensiveness of opalware dollar for dollar or cent for cent but you can avail of low-quality ceramics for daily use that aren’t as glossy, heavy, or thick as high-class porcelain or brown-matte stoneware at a cheaper price.

Opalware is more of a consistently expensive material known by health buffs the world over because of its fine crafting, artful designs, and easy-to-clean appearance. It’s more often than not produced under the highest standards to ensure 100 percent hygienic performance for vegans and vegetarians.

Getting into the Nitty-Gritty

The dinnerware family has two dinnerware sets that stand out in particular—ceramic sets and opalware. Know the difference between the two by reading the guide above. Apart from serving meals, ceramic dinnerware sets can also be utilized as display sets.

Yes, they can serve as ornamentation for your home’s interior decoration design. Opalware in particular has proven its usefulness in terms of decoration and ornamentation. They also make for great and practical gift ideas for newlywed couples.


  1. Jessica Harlan, “How to Identify the Different Types of Dinnerware“, TheSpruceEats.com, October, 28, 2019
  2. OPALWARE VS CERAMIC“, HomeKitchn.com, April 7, 2021

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