Oval vs. Round Plates

A silly question, perhaps, but which do you prefer?

I’ve come to reach for my oval Homer Laughlin “diner” plates far more often than my round everyday set, especially when it is a 1-plate service. I’ve compared the same portions of the same foods on rounds vs ovals, and I think the plating always looks better.

Maybe I’m just weird…


You are not weird. There is science that says that a rectangular field of vision is more natural to a human eye. Which is why traditional photography (other than Instagram) and films are often in ratios like 4:3 or 16:9 or other rectangular dimensions.


This makes some sense, thanks.

It begs three further questions: Why then are only rare offerings ovals? Is it a conservation-of-placespace issue? ARE there any oval china patterns?

I have two service-for-8 sets of round place settings, yet find myself preferring the single square dinner and lunch plates that I bought on a whim this year. I don’t recall ever seeing an oval plate - platters, yes, but these tend to be a good bit larger than a dinner plate.

How funny i’m the exact same- I don’t have as many round plates but certainly more than I need, and yet my “favorite " plates are squares with a nice straight 1/2” or so edge. Although i seem to use my wide shallow soup plates (round) about half the time.

I think of ovals as serving plates or a novelty for apps more than as a dinner plate…

I use oval plates when serving kabobs or anything on a skewer.

My first thought about oval plates is the impact on loading a dishwasher. Engineers!

Well, consider that we have two eyes from side to side, our vision is more oval/rectangular than circle/square. That being said, I do like circle plate better for ease of use and storage.

Hi, Erica:

“I don’t recall ever seeing an oval plate - platters, yes, but these tend to be a good bit larger than a dinner plate.”

I’m surprised. They’ve been popular in diners and steakhouses for decades. The classic expression is the Homer Laughlin “Rolled Edge” line, specifically the 15000 Series, which range across 10 sizes from 6…125" to >18". HLC does call them platters, though.


I could have been clearer. I was thinking in terms of oval place settings, and I’ve never seen these. That is, oval saucer for the coffee cup, oval bowl, etc. I have enjoyed many a platter of fish-and-chips! :grinning: