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OKA Review

Sunday, May 26th

2024 China Dinnerware Store Reviews

OKA Review 2 Star Rating

OKA

2 Star Rating
  • British company in business since 1999
  • China dinnerware patterns with global influences
  • Free shipping with coupon code
  • 45-day return policy

OKA is all about the love of living well. Founded by Lady Annabel Astor, Sue Jones, and Lucinda Waterhouse, OKA started as a quest to discover unique designs worldwide to enhance homes.

Inherently British

The name "OKA" phonetically echoes "ochre," symbolizing the fusion of cultures and aesthetics at its core. OKA is known for its ever-changing yet inherently British aesthetic, blending hand-picked global treasures, rich textures, and timeless furniture. With two decades of collections, experiential stores in the UK and the US, a vibrant website, and a design-focused magazine, OKA fashions itself as a destination for home enthusiasts, inspiring a passion for design in others.

You choose what you want in your set

Shopping for china dinnerware at OKA is a vastly different experience from most of the other retailers and brands on our list. You won't find huge 40-piece sets of place settings for 4-8 people - or any sets at all, beyond groupings of just plates, just mugs, and so on. That could be perfect for you if you love to mix-and-match, but with the bold patterns featured by OKA dishes, maybe not (we're talking forest leaves in the Sherwood line, bold stripes and delicate curlicues in the Kintaro series, and blue Dutch-esque patterns in the Kraak line).

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Expect a place setting to be spendy

So, you'll be buying and browsing everything one by one, but that's not a stretch given that there are only 30-ish products in OKA's total dinnerware selection. You can expect to see prices in the neighborhood of $35 (for a Kraak sugar bowl) to $595 (for a set of 4 large Isphahan dinner plates. Do the math, and you'll see pretty quickly that it's going to cost a pretty penny (or pound? It's a British company after all...) to pull together a complete set for everyone who might be at your table.

Shipping is only free if you find a code

To get free shipping at OKA, you'll have to look around the site for a code (usually at the top of the page, if there's one to be had). Otherwise, expect delivery fees from $5 to $99 or more, depending on the total of your order and the package weight.

US-based customer support, 45-day return window

You'll have 45 days to return your dinnerware if it's not what you had in mind; just make sure it's in the original condition. OKA will cover the return shipping fees, once you reach out to their customer support team and get the RMA and the label. On a positive note, despite being a UK-based retailer, OKA has a customer service team in Dallas, so you can get help via the store's toll-free number during regular US business hours if needed.

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No breakage replacement policy

However, there's no breakage replacement offer here. If the inevitable happens and you drop your favorite OKA bowl in the morning because you're not quite awake yet, it's on you to buy a new one (*sad face*)

Durability could be a problem

And, that's a legitimate concern: when we filtered the more than 1,500 customer ratings at Trustpilot for OKA (most of which were positive, by the way, averaging a respectable 3.9 out of 5 stars), there were two that mentioned china dinnerware specifically. One said that even with careful treatment, three of their plates broke within a few months of purchase. And, without any reviews on any dinnerware (or anything else) on the OKA site, there's not a lot to prove that complaint wrong.

Too much room for improvement

So, let's recap: if you buy your china dinnerware from OKA it will cost much more than average (both for the dishes themselves and the delivery), and it will not be replaced for free if (and more likely when) it breaks. Without more feedback from customers who have bought and loved their OKA bowls, plates, and mugs, it's hard to say that this brand is worth the risk. We'd be glad to give OKA another look in the future, and hopefully by then they'll have a broader selection and lots of shopper reviews on each piece of dinnerware. But, for now, this isn't a china brand that we think most shoppers will find trustworthy and a good value for the investment.

Where Can You Get the Best Selection of Fine China Dinnerware?

China dinnerware, often referred to simply as "china," is a type of fine porcelain or ceramic dinnerware that has been cherished for centuries for its elegance and timeless beauty. Despite the changing trends in dining and tableware, china dinnerware remains popular for several reasons.

First, china dinnerware is renowned for its delicate and refined appearance. The intricate patterns, often featuring floral or geometric designs, exude a sense of timeless beauty that enhances any dining experience. The delicate translucency of fine china also adds to its charm. But, while china may seem delicate, it is actually quite durable when properly cared for. High-quality china can last for generations, making it an excellent investment.

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China Dinnerware Store FAQ

Despite the name, the plates, bowls, cups and saucers aren't necessarily made in China - although that's why delicate dinnerware was originally given the name of "china" . There are two main types of dinnerware referred to as china, porcelain and bone. Bone china is created in a similar process as porcelain, but an extra ingredient (bone ash) is used when making it. This bone ash gives the final product a milkier white color.
That depends on your preferences. Bone china has a more delicate look and feel, to the point of being almost translucent. Porcelain colors are often brighter, the whites are whiter, and so on. Either one can make your dinner table look beautiful!
It takes a much higher temperature to fire china dinnerware. Those high temperatures make it more likely that a dish or bowl won't survive the firing process - making the ones that do come out perfectly a more expensive final product.
Read the printed materials that came with your dinnerware to determine if it can be used in the oven or microwave. You may also be able to find that information on the bottom of the plate, bowl, or cup itself. If your china has any metal accents, like a gold design or platinum band around the edge, DO NOT use it in the oven or microwave!
If you are using your great-grandmother's china that came over from England, it's probably best to wash it by hand using a gentle dish detergent and warm water. On the other hand, newer china is often made for the rigors of today's day-to-day life, including being washable in the dishwasher. Again, check the information provided about your china or look on the bottom of the dinnerware to see if it has been designated as dishwasher-safe.
Although it's not as common on gift registries now as it was in the past, china dinnerware still catches the eye of many engaged couples. It's fun to have a set of "nice" dishes for the first Thanksgiving meal together or for entertaining dinner guests. Plus, with many people embracing the idea of "you only live once" , china dinnerware is often found in everyday use.
Where else will you find the world's best selection of brands, patterns, and pieces of china? Local retailers often carry an extremely limited inventory of china, and they may not have enough on hand for the number of full place settings you want. Getting your dinnerware directly from the manufacturer or from an online home goods store ensures that you can get exactly what you're looking for, delivered safely to your doorstep.
Probably not. Many china retailers want to earn your business, so you'll often find free shipping offers with a certain minimum purchase amount. You may also spot discounts on your purchase that can make it even more affordable to get the dishes you've been dreaming of.
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Continued from above...

Also, many people reserve their china dinnerware for special occasions like holidays, anniversaries, and celebrations. Using it during these moments adds a sense of tradition and significance to the event. Of course, you can always live like every day is special, because china can be suitable for a wide range of occasions, from casual family dinners to formal gatherings. Its versatility allows you to create different table settings to suit various events and moods.

Finally, collecting china dinnerware has been a popular hobby for many. Some patterns and brands have become highly sought-after collectibles, with enthusiasts scouring antique shops and auctions for rare pieces. The sturdy construction ensures that it can withstand daily use and occasional accidents.

However, when you're out shopping for china dinnerware at your local stores, you might notice that your options are a bit limited. Those big-box retailers usually stock just a couple of brands and a handful of patterns. So, if you want to match your china with your home decor or you have a particular brand in mind, turning to online stores is your best bet. They tend to have a wider selection, often at better prices.

Online shops make it super easy and fun to find the perfect china for you. They've usually got handy filters and clear images of each plate, cup, bowl, and saucer. The only tricky part might be trying to pick just one pattern from all the gorgeous options they offer!

Ready to get shopping? Here are some ways to narrow down the options as you search for your perfect china dinnerware:

  • Design and pattern. Choose a style that appeals to your personal taste and complements your existing tableware or decor. Consider whether you want a classic, traditional pattern or a more contemporary design.
  • Brand reputation. Research the reputation of the brand you're considering. Established brands with a long history of producing quality china are often a safe bet. Read customer reviews and ask for recommendations from friends or family who own china dinnerware.
  • Use and maintenance. Check if the china dinnerware is safe to use in the microwave and oven if you intend to heat or reheat food in them. Also research how easy it is to clean and maintain. Some patterns or brands may be dishwasher-safe, while others require hand washing.
  • Completeness and availability. If you plan to use your china dinnerware regularly, ensure that the set you're purchasing includes all the essential pieces you need, such as dinner plates, salad plates, cups, saucers, and serving pieces. Check if replacement pieces are readily available in case of breakage, and if you can get those replacements free of charge or at a reduced cost.

Whether for everyday use or special occasions, the right china dinnerware can elevate your table settings and create lasting memories. To help you find the best patterns and settings, the experts at Top Consumer Reviews have evaluated and ranked today's most popular brands and retailers. Your table will be picture-perfect in no time!

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