How to Choose the Best Serving Tray?
Table of Contents
Top Best Serving Trays Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Serving Tray?
In addition to helping you eat anywhere at home, the serving tray is the best option for serving drinks. It also gives decorative effects when placed on the countertop, bedside, side table, or the coffee table in the living room. They are very functional in social events when guests’ tables have to be filled with edibles.
What You Can Expect From A Serving Tray at Home
Serving trays can be used to serve snacks, afternoon tea, and individual meals. It can hold plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, and any other utensil.
Practical and versatile, they can also have several decorative, organizational, and storage functions. The market offers different models of serving tray, in different patterns, sizes, and materials. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the product:
- Pros: First, they are available in different models and materials. There are different models in all price ranges. Also, they are practical, versatile, compact, and easy to store. They can be deployed for professional use in restaurants, for instance, and for social events such as wedding banquets. Finally, they have aesthetic values too.
- Cons: Most models only usable for individual meals.
7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Serving Tray
Best of all, you can find various models, in varying designs and materials perfect for every situation. Check out right here some of the best tips and criteria which will help you get the best serving tray.
1. Which Material Should You Choose?
If you like to have tea, coffee, or breakfast in bed, this is the ideal choice. If it has the support base, it will be even better. This way, you can avoid spill accidents and the risk of staining the sheet with liquids. The most used hardwood materials, especially for tea trays, are walnut and cherry. If you want a contemporary tray, choose a teak or bamboo-made serving tray.
Serving trays made of wood can be classified according to the time they’re made. Asides the contemporary ones, you can also find antique and vintage models. The antique and vintage models are suitable for rustic decor. However, the antique models are the most expensive, even though they were not designed for everyday uses. If you want a more reliable and functional model, look for a sturdy and new wooden tray.
Handmade or Machine-Made Wooden Serving Trays
Wooden serving trays are either handmade or made with machines. Handmade models are more expensive than machine-made models. The former is more unique. Depending on the tray’s maker, the handmade models can sport earth-friendly or organic finishing products. Local woods can also be used in their making.
Do you need a tray for serving snacks, coffee, or tea at a meeting? In this case, the porcelain model is modern and perfect to bring the elegance that the moment demands. It leaves the environment much more beautiful. You just need to be careful not to drop it, since they are more delicate.
Stainless steel is one of the best materials for serving trays. In addition to being highly durable, it has a wonderful neutral color. It also makes the decoration of any place much more sophisticated. You can use the trays of this material to serve a cup of coffee after dinner. It is available in modern versions, innovations, and colorful designs. Hence, it is perfect if you need to have coffee in bed or a snack in front of the TV.
2. What’s the Standard Size of Serving Trays?
In general, serving trays are large enough to accommodate individual meals. The standard dimensions of the interior of the classic rectangular serving tray are around 19 x 13 inches. This size is also the most common dimensions for a placemat. Serving trays with handle meanwhile may measure 17 x 13 inches.
However, there are versions with all measures, in dimensions larger or much smaller than the standard. For round trays, anything around 12 to 15 inches of diameter isn’t out of the ordinary. Choose according to your need and the type of intended use for the tray. And remember: models that are too big can be difficult to load and store.
In addition, the dimensions of the trays have to be small to be transported comfortably. If the diameters or dimensions are more than the standard, their ease of mobility will reduce. However, for traditional or classic styles, they are the most useful models, especially for visual accommodation with the environment.
3. Colors and Details
Although colors and other details have purely decorative purposes, some can influence the functionality of the serving tray. Prefer models with a textured inner surface. This ensures more firmness to the dishes, utensils, and food placed on the object.
4. Choosing Models With Handles and Frames
In addition to the feet, serving trays can have varied structures such as raised edges. These help to limit the items inside the tray, preventing them from slipping or falling down the sides.
Handles are also important structures. Notched or detached from the edges, they provide greater ergonomics. These make it easier to load and move the full tray. What’s more? Serving trays with handles are super decorative, especially when they are made of wood.
5. The Tray Designs: Rectangular, Round or Square Serving Tray
The rectangular serving tray models are the most common you can find. It is functional from the corners to the center. Others, such as circular or oval trays, have limitations towards the edges. This is especially when it comes to moving plates or other objects with edges. Choose a square serving tray over a circle. Those small spaces that are unused and leftover are precisely those that are wasted in these cases.
The least common, but very attractive are the triangular-shaped trays. These do waste space a lot. But visually, they have the dynamism that fit wonderfully well for every modern environment. Opt for the triangle model only if you already have another and you only want it for special moments. If it is about functionality, it is better to have another option at hand.
6. Choosing According to the Intended Use
The ideal model of the serving tray will vary according to the user and the intended use for the product. Some differences between the models, however, can increase the versatility of the product.
Trays with foldable feet, for example, perform all the functions that a conventional tray does. However, it has the advantages of allowing the tray to be positioned close to the user. You can have them on the bed, sofa or even on the floor. There’s no need to hold it in place with the lap or hands. It’s also suitable to offer meals for children in front of the TV, instead of using a small table.
7. Serving Tray With Foldable Legs or Not?
The serving tray is a type of tray that usually has an adaptation for more practicality. As mentioned earlier, it can be used on the bed or in another type of environment that is not entirely flat. Made of different materials, the serving tray can have retractable or foldable feet. These can be positioned on the user’s lap when leaning against the bed or sofa. It is also ideal for an on-the-go serving of snacks and other small meals.
Meanwhile, when the legs are folded, they can serve as conventional trays. These models are simple in design. Check out the comparison between the two tray models:
|Factors||Conventional Serving Tray||Foldable Legs Serving Tray|
|Characteristics||With flat and stable bottom.||It has feet at the bottom that can be retracted.|
|Differentials||Ideal for use on flat surfaces.||It has feet at the bottom that can be retracted.|
|Uses||Serving or decorating tray||Tray to serve or decorate and as a lap table.|
Every meal, no matter how simple, has a special flavor if it has a whimsical presentation. Check out some tips to assemble a breakfast tray to fill your eyes:
- Bet on small, light bulky dishes and containers. An over-filled tray may look cluttered.
- Include small amounts of each food to ensure a variety of options and flavors.
- Place items that are without packaging, including clean or cut fruits on the tray, all ready for consumption.
- Add decorative details: flowers, petals, napkin rings make all the difference.
- Do not overfill glasses, jars or cups, to avoid spilling liquid on the tray.
Purchasing a serving tray is as important as choosing the correct dishes or the type of glassware. Wood, straw, stainless steel, porcelain, natural or artificial fibers are among the most used materials for serving trays. The choice of material is very personal. But a good tip is to choose a durable and simple to clean material. Ensure they match well with the decor of your kitchen or other rooms they’ll be displayed. It adds decorative values when displayed with its contents. These decorative effects are further enhanced when placed on a countertop, end table, or side table in the bedroom or living room.
For more functional but less aesthetic qualities, choose models with foldable legs. Although, you can find those which have a blend of these qualities. The form of design doesn’t really determine the quality you get. Whether you choose round, oval, square, or rectangular serving trays; this is down to personal choice or taste.