Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 @ 10:43 am.

What are the best paper plates? We tried out several major brands, putting them to the test with various foods to see which held up best. Then we looked at third-party tests that measured strength, soak through and microwave performance. Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Paper Plates 10 inch

Sturdy and strong
We loved these plates for both everyday use and BBQ's. These passed our soak tests and did well in the microwave.
$13.61 ($0.27 / Count)

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Best Paper Plates 10 inch: Glad Round Disposable Paper Plates 

What are the best paper plates? There are three ways to measure a paper plate’s performance:

  1. Microwave test. Put food on a plate, put in on a paper towel and put it in a microwave. Does the moisture seep through to the paper towel? Did the paper plate warp in the microwave?
  2. Soak-through test. We tested plates by putting a quarter cup of water and quarter cup of oil on the plate. We let the plates sit for 90 minutes and then judged if there was any seepage to a paper towel underneath.
  3. Strength test. Although there are a few ways of doing this, we thought the water method was best. Add a steady stream of water to a plate, hold it with one hand and time how long it would take for the water to spill over the edge. Weaker plates bend quickly.

After all that, we crowned Glad’s Round Disposable Paper Plates as the best of the bunch. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Performed well. This plate passed our one pound of spaghetti and sauce leak test. It’s coated and that helped!

• Durable

• Festive design.

• Different sizes and shapes in case you prefer square plates to round.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

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Best Paper Plates 10 inch Bulk

Made in the USA
Excellent! We loved how sturdy these plates were—plus they are microwave safe. Sized right for most uses. Made with five layers, these plates passed our leak test with flying colors.
$39.99 ($0.18 / Count)

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Best Paper Plates 10 inch Bulk: Dixie Everyday Paper Plates

For those occasions when you need to have a large number of paper plates, we’d recommend Dixie Everyday Paper Plates. This pack of 220 plates fits the bill—no leaks, sturdy and they even look decent.

What We Liked

• Made in the USA.

• Microwaveable.

• 10″ size is perfect for most everyday uses.

• 5 layers = no leaks.

• Simple design (diamond pattern on white background).

What Needs Work

• Not as strong as other Dixie brands. These plates are part of Dixie’s “Everyday” line—that’s their basic paper plate option. If you want something stronger, see our last recommendation for a heavy duty option.

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Best Compostable Paper Plates

Biodegradable and microwaveable
For something a bit more eco-friendly, we like these plastic-free plates made from 100% sugarcane fiber. Yes, they are microwaveable and did well in our leak test.
$26.99 ($0.22 / Count)

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Best Compostable Paper Plates: 100% Compostable 10 Inch Heavy-Duty Plates

If you’d prefer a more eco-friendly option, these plates would be our pick—they performed well in our tests at a price that didn’t break the bank. 

What We Liked

 100% sugarcane fiber.

• 3 compartments. This version has compartments, but there are also plain versions available if you wish.

• Cut resistant.

• No plastic or wax lining.

What Needs Work

• Not as sturdy as plastic plates. But that is true for most compostable plates we found in our testing.

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Best Heavy Duty Paper Plates

Soak proof shield works well
If you are serving spaghetti and meatballs, you are going to need a bigger boat . . . that is, a stronger plate than those everyday options. This would be our go-to choice: microwave safe and sturdy.
$84.21 ($0.17 / Count)

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Best Heavy Duty Paper Plates: Dixie Ultra 10” Heavy-Weight Paper Plates

Sometimes, you need something stronger than regular paper plates. For these occasions, we’d recommend Dixie’s Ultra 10″ Heavyweight plates. These are Dixie’s thickest plates and they do an excellent job . . . and this bulk package is still affordable.

What We Liked

• Sturdy.

• Durable.

• Multi-layer coatings.

• Microwave safe.

What Needs Work

• Not everyone likes the design. We liked it, but some folks aren’t fans. 

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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