Buying Guide to China Storage & ProtectionGo Back To Guides
6 Things to Know Before You Buy
Your everyday dinnerware could survive the apocalypse. Your good china, on the other hand, deserves a little more protection. We're not talking about tucking it away in an upper cabinet that the kids can't reach (although that helps). To really keep the expensive stuff in mint condition, you'll need the right protective covering. These seven must-know tips will help you choose which gear works best for you.
Fact #1: Rack vs. Protective Gear
If you're constantly throwing high-end dinner parties where good china is a must, then you want to look into organization racks, rather than protective gear. Racks are easier to access and don't require you to unpack the china each time you use it.
China that's reserved for holidays and special occasions (translation: it only sees the light of day a few times a year) should be stored in a protective case. These cases keep dirt and grime away, while also preventing chips, nicks, and scratches.
Fact #2: Place Settings
Before you hit the store, count your place settings. Typically china protectors store settings for 12, with separate containers for cups, dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, and saucers. These sets don't provide storage for serveware, stemware, or flatware, however: You'll have to buy separate storage units for those items.
Fact #3: Easy Access
Handling china is hard enough. Pick protective gear that's easy to access. Units that zip open at the top are your best bet for hassle free opens-and-closes.
And while we're on the subject: Rare is the person who enjoys fighting with a stuck zipper. Make this aspect of your life a little bit easier by purchasing protective gear with a self-correcting zipper.
Fact #4: Material
Protective gear comes in faux leather, vinyl, cotton, and microfiber. Pick the one that you find easiest to clean (translation: would you rather throw it in the laundry or wipe it down?). Items with quilted exteriors and internal padding provide the most protection.
Fact #5: Dividers
Dividers are a must. They keep dishes from knocking into one another and potentially chipping, or in the worst case scenario, breaking. Many protective sets come with dish and cup dividers. If the set you choose doesn't, you can buy dividers separately. Or as a cheap alternative, lay sheets of plastic bubble wrap between the dishes.
Fact #6: Buffets and Sideboards
If you really want to give your china the royal treatment, store it in a buffet or sideboard. These free-standing units are not only a beautiful piece of furniture, but they give you plenty of space to tuck your china away so it isn't mingling with the rest of the dinnerware. Both of these units come with drawers or doors and some even lock for extra protection.