There wasn’t a better time for me to write this article than now. I’m moving to a new place in the next few days, and the kitchen in that place is so understocked. Unlike most students in my college though, I’ll at least be blessed with a hot plate and an oven. I couldn’t imagine having to go through life without being able to bake myself fresh bread or brownies.
Another thing I’ll need to take care of is the cereal bowls – I’m not a fan of breakfast cereal, but I’ve found that they’re the best thing for my mac n cheese binges and for my ice cream sundaes. In my search for the right set of bowls, I’ve come across many that I wish I could get my hands on.
Alas, I’m just one person and don’t need multiple sets of bowls as a family would, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t benefit from my research.
How to Pick the Perfect Cereal Bowls
Picking cereal bowls might sound easy, and a lot of people might not even put much thought into it. But the thing is, a careless purchase might as well end up being one that you regret later – bowls can end up being brittle, or maybe you bought a set of bowls with lids only to find that the lids don’t fit.
Maybe you weren’t careful and you ended up buying ones that aren’t microwave or dishwasher safe. Maybe you decided to buy a lot of different styles and they’re not stackable, which means disaster for your kitchen storage (we can place an internal link here for the kitchen storage guide I wrote, I don’t think it’s online yet or I would have linked to it myself) plans.
I hope you get the picture now – bowls might be a pretty basic thing to buy, but a lot can go wrong if you’re not careful. I’ve suffered at the hands of enough non-microwave safe bowls to know.
Microwave, Dishwasher, and Freezer Safe
Don’t make the mistake of buying a cereal bowl that does not microwave safe to save a few bucks. Trust me, whatever they cost, it’s worth the convenience of being able to stick your everyday bowls in the microwave or the dishwasher without worrying too much. Imagine you’re drinking soup one winter and it gets cold. No problem! Just pop it in the oven for half a minute.
Are They Stackable?
You’d be surprised at how much room kitchen utensils can take up in their cabinets, and you don’t have unlimited storage. Stackable bowls might be a godsend, especially for small kitchens with limited storage or open shelving along the walls.
Bowls That Double as Storage
Cereal bowls become so much more useful when you put a lid on them – now you can use it to pack yourself snacks for work, store things in the fridge, and take them along on picnics and hiking trips. This is a feature that I found useful in cereal bowls, but it’s not super important.
Decorative or Practical?
Would you like a bowl that’s useful and durable, or are you looking for something fancy, even if it’s breakable? Knowing this in advance can help you narrow your options down considerably.
Be Careful About Bowl Size
Not every cereal bowl is the same size, and it matters a lot. Bigger sizes may feel like the best thing to buy, but remember that smaller sizes work better if you’re trying to watch what you eat and control your portions!
Consider Intended Use
Not everyone eats cereal out of the cereal bowls, and knowing the intended use can help you choose what bowls to get. China bowls are great to look at, but they’ll heat up a lot if you put soap in them. On the other hand, you’ll need something more durable and versatile if you have a baby to feed.
How Many Do You Need?
Most cereal bowls come in sets of six, but I recommend having at least two sets in the house if you’re a family of four or more or have people over often. Buying stackable bowls will help you save space and own more bowls too – but do this only when you have kitchen cabinets.
If your kitchen has open shelving, keep it to the bare essentials and stick to just six stackable bowls for most stuff. You might need more fancy bowls for dinner parties than you need cereal bowls you’re buying for everyday use, and it also depends on what kind of food you normally eat.
If you eat a lot of Asian cuisines, you might need them more often than the average person, and you might not be able to compromise on quality and durability.
How I Picked the Bowls I’ll Recommend
Most of the bowls in this list have one thing in common – they’re all bowls I wish I had or already own. You might wonder why I don’t own some and do own the others I’m recommending but the answer is simple – I’m not stocking my kitchen to feed an army, I’m simply stocking it to feed myself.
In some cases, I might have taken pity on my housemates and ordered a set of six bowls instead of just the two I’d need, but that’s pretty much where my generosity ends.
Most of these selections were made because of their good online reviews and because they came highly recommended by independent sources not affiliated with the seller. In some cases I might even recommend something solely because it’ll come in handy – sometimes you don’t even know you need something until it’s too late!
List of Top Picks
This is one of those bowl sets almost everyone is talking about. I don’t know if this is because of a great marketing strategy or what, but every blog I read mentioned Corelle at one point or another. Naturally, I had to investigate. With over nine thousand reviews and a five-star rating on Amazon, I’m pretty sure this bowl set is a safe bet for anyone looking for a fresh new set of cereal bowls.
Even though they’re made out of glass, the manufacturer claims that they’re broken and shatterproof, although some buyers have said that there isn’t much truth to those claims.
On the other hand, they’re the kind of classic white bowls that you’d expect to see in any kitchen, but if you’re not too worried about matching your kitchen equipment there are much more interesting options out there, design-wise.
|Some users felt the bowls could be bigger
|Not completely shatter or break-proof
If you’re looking for anything that’s both long-lasting and cheap, this is a pretty good option. A lot of people all over the internet swear by how unbreakable these bows made of wheat straw fiber are, and the manufacturer claims that they’re microwave and dishwasher safe too.
As always, I didn’t take the manufacturer at their word and decided to do some digging of my own through the review section on Amazon. You can get sucked into it like it was the “Am I the Asshole” subreddit, and I spent an embarrassing amount of time reading them – only justifiable because this is now my job. After that detailed research, I concluded that while these bowls may be dishwasher safe, a lot of people have complained about them literally starting to melt and fall apart when put in the microwave.
A lot of users have complained about how they get stained easily, but most of them tried eating chili in them or heating something in them – I feel like this won’t be a problem if you don’t put them in the microwave and stick to safer foods that won’t stain.
Their size is something that people love, reviewers claiming that they’re the perfect portion-controlled size.
The final verdict? They’re a solid, sturdy, colorful, and cheap option for you to buy if you’re a broke college student like me. They’re great for kids and toddlers prone to throwing tantrums when their bananas are too soft or the milk is too white, too. As long as you’re not putting them in the microwave or trying to heat up stuff in these bowls, you’ll have a set that lasts a while and is easy on the pocket. A set of four will cost you about $10!
|Not microwave safe
|Long lasting and Unbreakable
|Look a bit rough
|Can get stained easily
Looking for something beautiful and durable for fancier occasions? How about some porcelain bowls? These ones but Sweese come in a gradient of colors that still go well together, and they’re a pretty great option for your kitchen.
One of the things that stood out to me about these bowls is their unique but minimalist design, plus the classic shiny good looks that come with anything that’s made of porcelain. These bowls are microwave and dishwasher safe as well as stackable, which means that storing them won’t be a big issue.
One of the things I loved about the company is that they provide a one-year warranty with every purchase, and promise to replace any items that get damaged during delivery. Not to mention that they’ll go great with any other Sweese utensils you own.
People have also commented on how the bowls are pretty sturdy for something made out of porcelain – they seem to do fine against accidental bumps, but keep in mind that they’re made of porcelain at the end of the day!
Here’s a list of the pros and cons for these stackable porcelain bowls:
|Can break easily because of the material
|Come with a warranty
|Not fit for everyday use
|Vibrant blue color and unique design
|More expensive than some other options
This is a personal favorite. I don’t know about you guys, but for me, it’s like a race to the dining table the moment the milk touches my cereal. I just don’t like soggy cereal and I don’t think other people do either.
Well, this bowl is a dream come true for all of us fussy cereal eaters. It’s not round, and it’s divided in two sections down the middle – a deeper one for the milk, and a shallower section for the cereal. And of course, cereal isn’t the only thing this bowl is good for. I love some rice and gravy sometimes, and this bowl would be perfect to keep both things apart while I eat. Your nachos and dip will stay close together without one drowning in the other.
One of the only complaints I’ve seen people have about these bowls is that both the compartments aren’t the same size, but that just means a second helping of cereal!
The bowl is dishwasher safe, but red food tends to stain it.
|Sizes of the compartments aren’t the same
|Your milk and cereal stay apart
|Red foods can stain the bowl
These porcelain bowls are the perfect option for anyone who wants something loud and colorful in their kitchen. If you’re looking for a more minimalist option, you can check out my top porcelain pick. These bowls are recommended for anyone who wants some bowls that stand out and are bright and colorful. Each one has a unique pattern both inside and outside but they still go well together.
As with all good bowls, they’re microwave and dishwasher safe, sturdy, and stable. Unless you drop them or they get really damaged some way, they’ll last years.
|Colorful and unique
|Aren’t very sleek or minimalistic
|Microwave and dishwasher safe
|Get too hot in the microwave – handle with care
|Come with a one year warranty
Sometimes if you’re making bowl food or a salad, it looks best in glass bowls. I personally love a layered ice cream sundae in a glass bowl, and it’s a pretty great way to serve food to your guests. These glass bowls are as sturdy as glass bowls can be, but they’re dishwasher and microwave safe. People have reported that they’re not very stackable though, so only buy them if you have a lot of room to keep them.
|High quality and clean finish
|Don’t stack well
|Dishwasher and microwave safe
If you want bowls that look a little different than your average kitchen utensils, try these black ceramic bowls. They’re made of high-quality ceramic, are sturdy, and will last you a long while if you handle them with care.
One thing I will mention is that the colorful interior isn’t very aesthetic, at least not if you intend to use these bowls for some fancy plating. At best, they’re perfect for everyday use and for the days when you feel like eating something nice.
|Microwave and dishwasher safe
|The insides are different colors and that might not be for everyone
|Ceramic is easily breakable
If you’re short on storage space or want something that would fit right into a corner of your kitchen shelves, meet the DAPIPIK cereal bowls. They stack beautifully, don’t break easily, and are safe to put in both the microwave and the dishwasher.
What’s better – they’re made of wheat straw fiber, which is definitely more environmentally friendly than plastic bowls.
They come in beautiful pastel colors, but one of the problems I’ve noticed people have a lot with bowls made of wheat straw fiber is that they stain easily. If you want to make sure your bowls look as good as the day you got them, make sure not to eat any red foods in them, and not to leave them in the microwave for too long.
|Might stain easily
|Microwave and dishwasher safe
|Don’t microwave for too long
|Long-lasting – don’t break easily
Best Cereal Bowl Ideas: Conclusion
So there it is. My top choices for cereal bowls, ranging from fancy and breakable ones to ones that won’t break even if you tried!
The most common mistake I’ve noticed bowl buyers making is not reading what size the bowls come in and just going by the photos shown. This isn’t really a good strategy, because not only can the same product be available in multiple sizes, but you also can’t get an accurate estimate of the size with just a couple of photos.
Always be careful to read the product specifications before you order your bowls, and make sure to look out for red flags like vague seller replies to buyer queries and unsatisfactory customer service.