21 Types of Bowls to Serve Any Dish in Style

Updated: | Categories: Dining Room, Kitchen, Utensils
types of bowls

There are as many different types of bowls as there are meals meant to go in them. You'd think they're all the same, but you'd be wrong!

The bowl is one of the most useful containers in a kitchen or a dining table. Bowls also make the food more aromatic and just holding one of these dishes can make us feel better, especially in winters.

And this information is not lost in the food industry. There are many different types of bowls today that serve meals precisely for this reason. It has also encouraged those who are conscious of what they eat to bring a set or two into their homes.

21 Types of Bowls

Let’s take a look at the different types of bowls and what they are best suited for.

Soup Bowls

soup bowls are one of the most common bowl types

This is one of the most common bowl types simply because a soup cannot be consumed on a plate.

These bowls are also increasingly used today to consume soup meals by the likes of Chipotle. But it can be used for all purposes.

Salad Bowls

salad bowls

These bowls are typically used to mix salads. But unlike soup bowls, these bowls are not actually used to consume the finished food item.

A lot of people prefer taking a portion of the salad into a plate or a smaller bowl after it has been tossed around in the bigger bowl.

These bowls are made of many materials but the most common salad bowls are made of glass and wood.

Rice Bowls

rice bowls

In the last few years, rice bowls have actually gained popularity all over the world. However, some countries use them more than others because of their cultural preference for rice dishes. These might be one of the top selling kinds of bowls on the planet.

Thanks to their popularity, some rice bowls are sold along with chopsticks. While these are strongly associated with Asian cultures, you can find bowls that are more nondescript in comparison.

Cereal Bowls

cereal bowls

Apart from the coffee mug, this is one of the most-used dishes in a kitchen every morning. There's as many of these across the planet as there are types of spoons, of which there are even more types than there are bowls. Check that out if you're into utensils!

Most cereal bowls are made of glass, ceramic, or melamine but you can also buy plastic bowls to enjoy your breakfast. And if you like a large serving, try an extra-large bowl.

Dip Bowls

dip bowls

If you love a little chip and dip for a snack, these are the types of bowls you are looking for. These are very convenient considering that they are made for dipping.

Dip bowls also have many handy uses. For example, these bowls are put to excellent use when serving fondue. Their curved design accommodates the chips and they look pretty good too.

Pasta Bowls

pasta bowls

Visually, these bowls look pretty distinct from the others on this list. You can figure them out quite easily because they have wide rims and draw your attention to the food, unlike plates.

If you are a fan of Italian food, a couple of these in your kitchen cabinet is a must. Whether it is linguine, fettuccine, or spaghetti, this is the perfect bowl to serve a real Italian treat. Couple them with the right types of wine glasses and you'll have a sophisticated meal on hand.

Earthenware Bowls

earthenware bowls is one of many kinds of bowls and it mostly preferred for holding hot liquids or solid food

Earthenware bowls are usually made of clay by first shaping it and then firing it at temperatures between 1,000 and 1,500 degrees celsius. These bowls are extremely sturdy, but if you drop them they'll break due to their brittle nature.

They're also porous making them safe to heat or hold hot liquids or solid food, but the problem is these porous holes will soak up liquid which could lead to unsafe eating conditions. This is solved by glazing them, thereby making them waterproof.

Candy Bowls

there are many different types of bowls and candy bowls are certainly the most enjoyable ones

These are a great addition to coffee tables and desks in any room. But their functionality is not limited to just candy. These kinds of bowls can hold all variety of snacks.

You can use them to serve other snacks too for your guests who like a quick bite to eat. Often also called nut bowls, they have the capacity to add to the overall aesthetic of a room.

Fine China Bowls

fine china bowls are considered as one of the unique types of bowls

Much like earthenware bowls, fine china is made from a Chinese clay called kaolin. It's the white clay seen in porcelain, too. Many people buy these to store in a glass cabinet so others can see them, but never use them because they're so fragile.

You're better off having them on display and not using them. They can be easily broken, can't be used in the microwave or dishwasher, and even cleaning them by hand tends to lead to an accident.

Bone China Bowls

bone china bowls

Though bone china is thinner than fine china, they actually are more durable and less likely to break. Don't get me wrong though, they will break on you if not treated with extreme care.

The thing that offers a bit more sturdiness to them is animal bones are ground into powder or burned to ash and then made into a paste, which is then mixed in with other bulk materials to form the bowls.

Mixing Bowls

mixing bowls are the most crucial bowl types for any kitchen

This is one of the types of bowls that are used for cooking instead of eating cooked food. Mixing bowls are an important utensil in the kitchen, especially if you like to cook.

Usually, these are large bowls that have enough space so that all the ingredients mix easily. For instance, if you are going to bake a cake, a shallow bowl just won’t do the trick.

And the material of these bowls is also quite crucial. Stainless steel metal is considered to be an excellent choice because it is lightweight and does not chip that easily. This makes it an excellent choice for everyday use.

They also don’t retain flavors and smell like plastic bowls do. If you pick a stainless steel bowl that can comfortably fit in your saucepan, you can use it as a double boiler when the time comes.

If you are looking for a set to transport food from one place to another, look for something with a lid. Those are easily available.

Pet Bowls

pet bowls

If you have a pet, you know how important this is. If you do not, let us tell you. Pet bowls are available in different styles and sizes at all major retail places.

Some of them come with a stand to keep your pet from spilling water on the floor. These are often either metal bowls like copper or something soft and easy to clean like silicone bowls.

If you are out buying one, make sure you get two. One is for water and the other for food. It is best not to mix them up.

Ramekin Bowls

ramekin bowls are special kinds of bowls that are used for baking

When you want to serve some kind of baked dish, you reach for ramekin types of bowls. That is a Dutch word meaning "to toast". That clues you into the fact that you'll be doing the baking right in these bowls, such as a pot pie.

These can resist high temperatures, making them safe to bake inside the oven or over a fire. Like most bowls, they feature a circular design that is flared out from the bottom to help with holding. Some feature ridges in the sides to further help with your grip with oven mitts.

Change Bowls

change bowls

This is not something that you find in every house but some folks find it to be an easy way to store spare change instead of carrying it around in their wallet or pockets.

You can use any type of bowl for the same but it is best to keep a designated bowl for this purpose as change accumulated from different sources changes many hands and may contain harmful microbes.

A typical change bowl comes with a little design and promises to add some charm to your desk or table. It is not absolutely necessary to own one, but it sure has its merits. You can toss your keys and wallet on top and leave it near the front door for convenience.

Storage Bowls

storage bowls are life saver kinds of bowls, you can store almost anything with them

Everyone has seen these and probably owns a dozen of them. Storage bowls, like Pyrex for instance, are like any other bowl types except they often come with a lid that can be snapped down over the top.

This lets you either put an unfinished dish into the refrigerator or some snacks into the pantry for later, keeping an air tight seal so the food doesn't go stale or bad.

Glass Bowls

glass bowls

Now we are talking about materials. Glass bowls are pretty great when you need to place food items in the refrigerator.

That is because they are non-conductive and like stainless steel bowls, do not carry the scent or flavor of whatever was in them before you placed the next item.

If you choose to get a glass bowl, try to get a tempered one as they are treated to keep them from being shattered and overheated. It also stops them from chipping. You want this for whatever types of drinking glasses you have, too.

If you get a stack of bowls, you will be able to save space. Bigger glass bowls can also be used as mixing bowls and the smaller ones are great to make dressings or collecting ingredients before you start cooking.

Copper Bowls

copper bowls

Copper bowls are beautiful and classic but they are also great in terms of functionality. You can use them to whip egg whites because they don’t react with the copper.

These are relatively expensive but it is always a good idea to keep a couple of them handy. These types of bowls are sturdy and can take a beating.

Wood Bowls

wood bowls

You know this one. Wooden bowls are popularly used to mix salads and other dry food ingredients especially because they retain odors.

They come in materials like olive wood, acacia, and bamboo to name a few. But before you buy a stack of them, remember that they can dry out over time. You might be able to keep them well maintained if you hand wash them.

Ceramic Bowls

ceramic bowls

A lot of people across countries and cultures seem to really like ceramic bowls. Now, they are not indestructible but they are certainly sturdier than your average glass bowl. These bowls can also be used for decorative purposes on a dinner table because of their distinct look.

These are everyday bowls that can be used to serve many purposes and come in handy in many different situations. You can put any kind of food in them and they are great for those who use microwaves, microwave alternatives, and dishwashers frequently.

Stoneware Bowls

stoneware bowls are types of bowl that are suitable for everyday use

Stoneware bowls are pretty rugged and work very well for everyday use because they can handle a little wear and tear. And if you like a little fun, check out some of the quirky designs these bowls come in.

That is because a lot of artisans tend to work on them and do a lot of intricate designs on the surface of these kinds of bowls.

These bowls too are safe to be placed in the microwave and the dishwasher. Stoneware bowls are all-purpose bowls. So whether it is a soup, a salad or cereal, this is your guy.

Decorative Bowls

decorative bowls

Then there are bowls that have no real functionality. They are meant to be displayed on tables as a centerpiece. Some designers also like to hang them on the wall as part of a larger artistic decor piece.

You might have also noticed that decorative bowls are filled with plastic items like fruit to add to the aesthetic of the room. You will find these in many colors, sizes, and materials that will suit your interior design needs.

Types of Bowls for Every Meal or Purpose

You would not think that there are so many bowls out there made for specific purposes. And sure, you can pick up the most generic stack of bowls and use them for everything.

But when you get the apparatus right, the end product often turns out to be quite perfect. If you’re tempted to ignore this, remember that you chose to ignore the different types of bowls when you see your friends being sophisticated when they host friends for a meal.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, whose life is consumed by all things home and garden. Started as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.