Ceramic VS Melamine Dinnerware: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

Ceramic and melamine dinnerware have been equally popular everywhere. While ceramic dinnerware is elegant and heat-resistant, melamine ones are less fragile and cheaper. But if you start discussing ceramic vs melamine dinnerware, which one do you think would be better?

Both ceramic and melamine dinnerware are versatile, beautiful, and affordable. Ceramic dinnerware is more common at home and restaurants, whereas melamine is more suitable for household uses only. However, melamine dinnerware can tolerate rough handling, but ceramic is more prone to breakage.

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Ceramic VS Melamine Dinnerware
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As you can see, it is challenging to come to a conclusion based on a few characteristics. Though it depends on people’s taste, it is also necessary to see which one works better in different situations.

That’s why I have prepared today’s article to discuss various sides of these two dinnerware. So let’s find out who wins in the end.

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Ceramic VS Melamine Dinnerware: Key Factors

What makes ceramic and melamine suitable as dinnerware? Well, there are a few factors behind that. Both ceramic and melamine are versatile and user-friendly. They are easy to clean and maintain.

Here is a detailed discussion on the key factors of ceramic and melamine dinnerware.


Both ceramic and melamine are versatile because of their design and appearance. Dinnerware made of these never goes out of style. Melamine dinnerware has more color options than ceramic. Nevertheless, users choose them based on their needs and where they will be used.


Which one do you think weighs more? Ceramic or melamine? Okay, the answer is melamine, which is pretty obvious. Ceramic clay makes it weigh more. Besides, it is not impact-resistant like melamine.

The perk of using lightweight dinnerware is they are easy to handle and will not break easily. Melamine wins the case in this category.


The longevity of ceramic and melamine depends on care and maintenance. If handled properly, they can last a very long time, which is pretty much more than a few decades.

Ceramic can break as soon as dropped on the floor or a hard surface. Melamine may not break like that, but it can chip and break if it suffers from impact.


Is the dinnerware easy to use? If not, it is not the one for you.  Ceramic and melamine dinnerware are pretty user-friendly.

None of them require a lot of maintenance and are easy to wash and clean. If you follow the regular maintenance rules, they can last a very long time.


Whether you choose ceramic or melamine, choosing the dinnerware that meets your budget is best. If you do not care about affordability, you can choose any of the two.

But users with a budget tend to choose melamine dinnerware as they are more affordable. However, the good thing is you can find ceramic dinnerware at an affordable price.

What Is The Difference Between Ceramic VS Melamine Dinnerware?

In many countries, ceramic and melamine dinnerware is traditionally used. Different people use them for different reasons or purposes.

Talking about differences, even though people use this dinnerware for similar reasons, they are still very different as materials. So what makes ceramic and melamine different from each other?

Material And Process

The first thing that separates ceramic and melamine is its raw material and making process. Both ceramic and melamine go through very different manufacturing processes, and they are made with raw materials.

Ceramic is basically made from clay. Now, the type of clay used in making the ceramic depends on what type of item it will create.

As for dinnerware, the ceramic contains clay, water, minerals, silicate, etc. Ceramics are fired at an extremely high temperature to make them hard.

On the other hand, melamine contains urea, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon. Urea is the primary raw material in modern melamine.

As this raw material breaks down to cyanuric acid, it helps the melamine form. The melamine resin is then put into a molder at a high temperature, which gives the object its shape.


Whether it is ceramic or melamine, they both are popular for their versatility. Many users agree that ceramic and melamine look similar. Some of them even come with identical designs and looks.

Despite everything, ceramic and melamine are different in appearance. Ceramics are classier and look luxurious. Ceramic dinnerware will always enhance the look of your dining table, especially if you are entertaining guests.

And even though melamine dinnerware looks good, it will always give away a cheaper vibe. Melamine looks similar to ceramics because it is more like an imitation of ceramic. However, they often come in brighter colors than ceramics.

You will find ceramic dinnerware at inexpensive restaurants. But you will hardly find melamine there, and it says a lot about this material. That says a lot about their differences.


Ceramic and melamine have differences in durability. But the funny part about them is that they are both considered durable materials. But how long do they last? It depends on a few things.

Ceramic dinnerware is tough for sure. But they are easily breakable. One small slip and ceramic will break as soon as it meets the floor or suffers from an impact. And if not broken, ceramic dinnerware can crack and chip easily.

On the contrary, melamine dinnerware does not break even if you drop them on the floor. It is one of the reasons why many people consider using melamine dinnerware for everyday use. For this reason, some restaurant owners use melamine to avoid breakage issues.


The safety you need to find here is whether the dinnerware is food-safe. I can vouch that ceramic dinnerware is 100% food-safe as it does not contain any chemical or toxic formula. The only thing you need to watch out for is the glaze or paint.

Some glazed ceramics can become harmful after they come in contact with a high temperature, especially if you put them in the oven or microwave. Other than that, there is no health risk in using ceramic dinnerware.

Melamine dinnerware is food-safe. But it is also true that melamine resin contains chemicals and when it is placed at a high temperature, the resin becomes toxic.

Even though it is said that the toxic element will not contaminate the food, it is better to purchase melamine dinnerware that is FDA approved.

Heat Resistance

Ceramic dinnerware is already fired at a high temperature to make it hard and suitable for absorbing water. So most ceramic dinnerware does not crack or break, even if you use them for baking or heating food.

On the other hand, melamine is not as heat-resistant as ceramic. You can keep hot food in melamine dinnerware and use them for warming food.

But you must make sure the temperature is not more than 160 degrees. Remember that melamine is pretty close to plastic, and high temperatures can melt it and release toxic chemicals.


Maintenance difference means whether ceramic and melamine dishes are suitable for dishwashers. Well, they both are, but you need to pay extra attention when placing ceramic dinnerware in the dishwasher.

Ceramic is dishwasher-safe, but the problem lies in placing the item in the dishwasher. If you are putting ceramic cups or mugs in it, make sure the handle is facing the outer area of the washer. And you need to ensure that nothing will hit the ceramic when the dishwasher rattles.

In this case, melamine is safer to use. Melamine does not break easily, making it more suitable for placing them in the dishwasher without much worry.


Is your dinnerware safe for the environment? Many dinnerware comes with labels that say they are eco-friendly. However, many of them are not what they claim to be.

But you can rely on ceramic dinnerware if you want an environment-friendly option. Ceramic contains natural elements as its raw materials. Even if the ceramic is no longer in use. It will eventually break down into particles and will not pollute the environment.

Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about melamine. Melamine objects are not eco-friendly at all. From raw materials to manufacturing processes, melamine goes through lots of chemical formulas. They later release toxic gas, which is harmful.


The price range of ceramic and melamine also differs from each other. Even though ceramic contains natural materials, it is more expensive than melamine. That is because making ceramic items requires more craftwork and labor. On top of that, they are more versatile and come in a vast range of designs and looks.

Melamine is less expensive, and that is why they are more preferred than ceramic as dinnerware. Not all melamine dinnerware is exactly cheap, but if you compare the price to ceramic, melamine comes at around half the price of ceramic.

Is Ceramic Dishwasher Safe?

Yes, ceramic dinnerware dishwasher safe. But there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to putting ceramic items in the dishwasher.

First, make sure the ceramic is really meant for the dishwasher because not all ceramics can resist the heat and rattle of the dishwasher. You will find a label at the back of the mugs or dishes that say they are dishwasher safe.

And as you place the ceramics in the dishwasher, make sure you do not put them in the middle of other items. Since ceramics can crack or chip easily, it is better to ensure the rattling will not cause any damage.

You should also avoid putting glazed ceramics in the dishwasher. The temperature and soapy water can make the glaze fade and wear off slowly.

Is Melamine Dishwasher Safe?

Just like ceramic, melamine is also 100% dishwasher safe. And the best part is that you hardly need to follow a lot of hard and fast rules before and after putting melamine items in the dishwasher.

But be careful with the temperature as melamine resin releases toxic gas when left at a high temperature. Other than that, there is nothing more to worry about.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is Melamine Plastic?

Melamine is not exactly plastic, but it is somewhat pretty similar. Melamine is a kind of hard plastic, and you will find it in the resin used to manufacture melamine dishes. The FDA-approved melamine is said to be safer than regular plastic items. Nevertheless, both plastic and melamine are not environment-friendly.

Q. Is Ceramic Better Than Plastic?

Plastic materials are comparatively light and easy to handle without worrying about breakage. However, plastic is a threat to our environment and not suitable for warm food. So considering everything, ceramic is much better than plastic, long-lasting, and eco-friendly.

Q. Are Melamine Dishes Breakable?

Some people think melamine cannot break. It is not untrue that melamine is more durable than ceramic and does not chip or break easily. But it is still breakable if you do not handle them carefully or drop them hard.

Q. Are Ceramic Dishes Breakable?

Ceramic might be durable and robust material. But it is more prone to breakage than melamine. Ceramic is made of clay, which is basically soil.

So no matter how hard it is, one small drop can easily chip or break it. That’s why it is essential to handle ceramic objects with caution.

Q. Is Melamine Cheaper Than Ceramic?

Yes, melamine is cheaper than ceramic, making it a suitable choice for many people and places. But unlike melamine, ceramic is a classier choice and does not release any toxic gas when exposed to heat.

Ceramic vs Melamine Dinnerware: Which is Better?

Now, come to the most important question. Which is the winner or better in this ceramic vs melamine dinnerware debate?

If you have gone through the entire article, you will know that ceramic is more robust, versatile, and heat-resistant. On the other hand, melamine is lightweight, does not break easily, and is less expensive.

On the downside, ceramic is more prone to damage and is expensive. And melamine can be toxic and not suitable for the environment.

It is challenging to come to a decision and say which one is better because it is up to the user to decide. But in my opinion, ceramic dinnerware is better than melamine as it is safe for the environment and our health.

1 thought on “Ceramic VS Melamine Dinnerware: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?”

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