The best dishes or dinnerware set for your Airbnb is affordable, preferably white (or light colored) and made of porcelain.
Why porcelain? Well we haven’t tried every material, but in our experience, porcelain dishes are easy to clean and don’t often stain. That’s certainly not the case for plastic dishes.
Dinnerware is not a make or break item in your listings (mattresses are), so as long as you get reasonably durable dishes that won’t stain over time, then you should be good to go.
Cleaning Kitchens With and Without a Dishwasher
Airbnb guests love listings that have full service kitchens. I live in a college town, so we get a lot of guests that are parents coming to visit their kids in school.
Lots of the parents want to come down and give their kids a home cooked meal.
They need a stove top or an oven to heat up the food. They want a decent set of pots and pans in the kitchen to cook up some pasta or stir fry or something. And they might need some utensils and a strainer.
And obviously they’ll need dishes, glasses and silverware to serve and eat the food.
But at some point somebody’s got to clean all that stuff.
And we’ve done all this in listings with AND without dishwashers.
Here’s the reality of the two situations:
- Guests are far more likely to clean or start the cleaning process themselves if there’s a dishwasher
- Less than half of guests will clean their own dishes without a dishwasher
- Guests cook more often if there is an oven/stove top
Here’s what I’m saying. If you have an oven and stove top in your kitchen, then you should do everything you can to get a dishwasher in that kitchen.
It’s no guarantee that you’ll come in to a clean kitchen after every stay, but on average the kitchen will be cleaner.
Dishwashers are absolutely a worthwhile investment for any Airbnb host with a kitchen in their listing.
Should You Provide Dishes and Dinnerware For Guests?
Kitchens and cooking supplies and dishes also mean more cleaning for you and anyone who cleans for you. That means more expenses.
If you’re spending money to buy the dishes and dinnerware, more money to do more cleaning, and even more money anytime you have to replace something…then is it even worth it?
Ultimately, this is a question you’ll have to answer for yourself.
But for us, we think it’s worth it.
Providing amenities for your guests isn’t always something you can break down into pure numbers.
Will you book more guests if you provide kitchen amenities like dishes? Probably, yes. But will those additional guests offset the additional costs? Maybe, probably.
Here’s how I think about it:
- Guests book places that are available, look attractive, and have what they need.
- If the place has lots of great reviews, there are very few reasons not to book a place you like
- If you have all the amenities your guests could possibly want, you’re likely to get lots of great reviews
Providing your guests with an A+ experience is a formula for a successful Airbnb business. Any time you’re choosing not to provide something like dishes, you’re increasing the chances of a review that’s not 5 stars.
And that gives future guests one more reason NOT to book your place.
So yeah I think it’s worth it to give guests everything you can within reason, and that includes dishes, dinnerware and all common kitchen amenities.
2 Dish/Dinnerware Sets That Have Served Us Well
Wherever possible, I prefer to recommend products that Kate and I have used in our Airbnbs. And I prefer to recommend products that have had more than a year of use.
1. Amazon Basics 18 Piece Porcelain Dinnerware Set
- Used in one of our Airbnbs for more than 2 years
- Serves 6
- Large plates, small plates and bowls included
- Made of porcelain
This Amazon Basics dinnerware set has been in the third Airbnb we opened for at least 2 years. Even with a full service kitchen and occupancy of over 75%, we still only see the dishes used by maybe 1 in 4 guests.
So after 2 years, I would guess this set has been used and sent through the dishwasher around 200-250 times. So far no cracks, no breaks and the dishes are still looking white.
One key to keeping everything looking clean is to (surprise!) clean any and all used dishes after every guest.
When buying things for our Airbnb we never go full on cheap mode, but we do look for low cost options that don’t look cheap. And that’s exactly what this dinnerware set is. It doesn’t look luxury, but it looks nice and clean and since it’s made of porcelain everything is easy to clean.
We’ve been very happy with this set and we would absolutely buy it again.
2. Zulay 16 piece Porcelain Dinnerware Set
- Used in one of our Airbnbs for more than 3 years
- Serves 4
- Large plates, small plates, bowls, and coffee mugs included
- Made of porcelain
Here’s another set we’ve been using for years. After three years in use, these dishes have probably been washed well over 300 times. I believe one of the large plates in our set has a small chip out of it, but we haven’t had to replace it yet. And again the dishes are still white as ever.
My one “complaint” about this set is that the bowls are a little awkwardly shaped. I like to drink the milk out of my bowls after eating cereal, and doing so with these bowls is not easy (Yes, we occasionally stay in our Airbnbs to experience what the guests experience).
Even so, overall this dinnerware set is well worth the money. And if the guest count in your listing is 4 or fewer, then you get coffee mugs out of this set as well.
Again, you don’t need perfect from your dinnerware set, and these Zulay dishes are more than good enough for all but the most luxurious listings.
I don’t believe in recommending 6 items, 5 of which I’ve never seen in person. I’m recommending two sets of dishes that have been used in our Airbnb listings for at least 2 years with no major problems.
Both of these sets are very affordable, clean easily, and have stayed a very clean looking white since they day we bought them. Either one should work great in your Airbnb.