Best serving trays for larger households

Party Supplies

Some plastics are so good at mimicking porcelain you can’t even tell the difference just by looking at it.

The best serving tray for households

It’s easy to find a cute serving tray for lemonade for two, but what about trays for larger groups? You don’t want to be going back and forth to the kitchen with a tiny tray, nor do you want the tray to be so heavy and stacked it’s an effort to carry. You want something accommodating, easy to use and easy to store. There are plenty of options, but first, you have to decide what materials you’d prefer to use.  

Different types of trays

The most popular materials for serving trays are metal, wood, plastic and porcelain. Each comes with pros and cons, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it. Metal trays sure do look elegant, but they obviously can’t go in the microwave. Wood is the most durable overall, but it can also stain easily. Some plastics are microwave and dishwasher-safe. Porcelain is fragile and can get pricey. 

You’ll also need to consider the intended use for the tray. Is it a snack tray? A dinner platter? Is it more important it looks great or takes up as little space as possible? We’ve broken down some of the options to help you decide what will work for you and your household. 

Serving trays for snacks and appetizers

Best of the best

Elama Signature 6-Piece Lazy Susan Appetizer Serving Set

Elama Signature 6-Piece Lazy Susan Appetizer Serving Set

What you need to know: A bamboo Lazy Susan tray with five white stoneware bowls for snacks, dips and other toppings.

What you’ll love: The bowls are all microwave and dishwasher safe. Having these Individual bowls means you can organize your foods neatly without making a mess or worrying about foods seeping together. 

What you should consider: This tray is smaller than some of the others on this list. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Avant 15 x 5 inch Plastic 3-Section Tray, Set of 4 White

Avant 15 x 5 inch Plastic 3-Section Tray, Set of 4 White

What you need to know: Four plastic trays that run 15 inches in length. Each includes three sections for diving up food.

What you’ll love: These trays are stackable, which saves on space. They are shatterproof, reusable and washed in the dishwasher provided you put them on the top rack.

What you should consider: They look inexpensive, so you might not want to use them for special occasions. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Serving trays for barware

Best of the best

Tulip Glass Serving Tray

Tulip Glass Serving Tray

What you need to know: A wooden tray made out of walnut maple that holds four wine or beer glasses.

What you’ll love: You don’t have to worry about your glasses getting knocked over, plus there is additional room for snacks. Since each tray is individually crafted, you can customize the size to fit your needs. 

What you should consider: You can purchase this item with or without wine glasses.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Best bang for your buck

Mind Reader Acrylic Built-in Handles Serving Tray

Mind Reader Acrylic Built-in Handles Serving Tray

What you need to know: This clear acrylic tray comes with eight places to hang filled wine glasses.

What you’ll love: The structure allows you to carry drinks without worrying about them falling over, and the entire thing is easy to wipe clean.

What you should consider: This tray can only carry the eight glasses, so no adding food or anything else.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Overstock

Tiered serving trays

Best of the best

CreativeWare 3-Tier Serving Tower

CreativeWare 3-Tier Serving Tower

What you need to know: This clear plastic serving tower has three tiers, the largest of which is 18 inches in diameter.

What you’ll love: Here, we have durability and elegance. The trays stand free, which means you can use all three together or in different combinations. The trays are easy to store and dishwasher safe. 

What you should consider: Can be on the heavier side as far as trays go.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

B. Smith® 3-Step Server in White

B. Smith® 3-Step Server in White

What you need to know: This set comes with a metal stand and includes three 13.5 inch by 8 inch white porcelain trays.

What you’ll love: The trays are microwave and dishwasher safe and convenient for serving platters without taking up too much surface space on the table.

What you should consider: The metal stand is hand wash only.

Where to buy: Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Extra long serving trays

Best of the best

Louroukina Wood Table Serving Tray

Louroukina Wood Table Serving Tray

What you need to know: Comes in four colors and has built-in wooden handles.

What you’ll love: Rustic and spacious, this piece has great detailing in the wood and plenty of room for multiple items.

What you should consider: The wood is unfinished, which makes it more likely to stain easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Best bang for your buck

KINGCRAFT 24 x 13 inch Wooden Tray

KINGCRAFT 24 x 13 inch Wooden Tray

What you need to know: An extra large black walnut serving tray with built-in handles. 

What you’ll love: Beautiful color, durable and easy to wipe clean. Larger than your average tray, so it fits more. 

What you should consider: The color can vary slightly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Serving trays for special occasions

Best of the best

Arthur Court Designs Fleur De Lis Serving Tray

Arthur Court Designs Fleur De Lis Serving Tray

What you need to know: An elegant 21 inch by 13.5 inch aluminum alloy tray.

What you’ll love: Durable but lightweight, you can warm this tray in the oven up to 350 degrees. You can also chill it in the refrigerator or freezer.

What you should consider: Hand wash only.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair and Bed Bath & Beyond

Best bang for your buck

Cleorand Orchid Stem Serving Tray

Cleorand Orchid Stem Serving Tray

What you need to know: A 14 inch by 14 inch two-tone metal serving tray with floral accents on the handles.

What you’ll love: Its sophistication and elegance.

What you should consider: The handles are shaped a little unusually.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Other considerations 

VASAGLE Bar cart

If serving trays aren’t cutting it and you can’t afford to take up additional counter space, you might want to check out serving carts or specialized drink carts that can be wheeled out for use at mealtime or when entertaining, then stored away.

Big Red House Oven Mitts

If you are keeping your tray heated (or even chilled in the freezer) until it’s time to eat, don’t forget to have oven mitts on hand. It’s easy to forget that the handles might be hot or freezing!

 

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Emily Ruth Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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