28 Different Bowl Types And What They Are Used For

If you are a lover of soup and side dishes, then you would be conversant with the various kind of bowl types out there. 

That you are aware of the different bowl types due to your series of restaurant voyages and your love for soups, broths, and pudding, does not take away the fact that there is much more you still do not know.

Therefore, this article will set you on the right course as regards the different types of bowls and how to use them correctly.

What is a bowl?

A bowl is a circle-shaped vessel with a wide unclosed top. It is used for serving food, fruits, soups, and salads.

Some bowls are for cleaning, washing, and general tidiness. However, there is very much nothing you cannot use a bowl for as each bowl is significant to the user.

Distinct types of bowls

Finding the best bowl to use for occasions, family dinners, and sleepovers is crucial. There is a particular bowl for every occasion and setting. Therefore, you should not mix it up or put one for the other.

1. Ceramic bowls

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This is the most common bowl around the world. The ceramic bowl is very prevalent because it is easy to use and has a multipurpose function.

It is sturdy, easy to wash, easy to store, won’t easily break, and has got a long shelf life. Its sturdiness is one of the reasons why it is easy for toddlers and kids to handle these bowls.

Ceramic bowls usually come in various colors and decorations which make them appealing to the eyes.

2. Glass bowls

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A glass bowl is modeled for strict and professional occasions and gatherings. These bowls require a lot of caution because they break easily.

You will find that these bowl types are not always given to children or toddlers for safety reasons.

Glass bowls are naturally and effortlessly beautiful. They are made with various materials and some are best suited for heat and pressure in microwaves and dishwashers respectively.

3. Plastic bowls

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A plastic bowl is another very popular bowl that is in high demand. These bowls are very easy to move around, use, and clean.

Moreover, you can easily recycle or dispose of them when you do not need them again.

4. Metal bowls

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These bowl types are commonly used for mixing. This is because they are sturdy enough to hold still without spillage.

In addition, metal bowls have a good shelf life; although they may rust eventually, it takes quite a while. Also, these bowl types are easy to clean. They are available in different sizes and shapes.

Some metal bowls are eating bowls while some are mixing bowls. They come in different varieties of silver, gold, and bronze.

5. Stoneware

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These are rugged bowls made to serve for a long time. A stoneware bowl is a good everyday kind of bowl that comes in fun designs and patterns.

These bowls are microwave safe, and you will be able to use them in your dishwasher and microwave without any issues.

6. Earthenware

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Earthenware bowls are a bit like stoneware bowls but have a few key distinctions. The former is a porous clay bowl while the latter is denser and more durable.

However, earthenware bowls come in very attractive colors and designs.

7. Fine China

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This type of bowl is widely known to be fragile and pretty. They can easily break or slip off your hand because of how sleek they are. They are high-end bowls made with costly raw materials.

This makes them the perfect table items for dinner and professional luncheons. You can only use fine China bowls occasionally and not all the time because of how fragile they are.

8. Finger bowls

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This is a type of bowl used for cleaning your fingers before eating. They come in metal, glass, and ceramic varieties.

In Asia and Africa, hosts present these bowls to guests just before they eat or taste anything you serve them.

9. Bone China bowls

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In comparison to fine china, bone china is the harder version. Although it is thinner than fine china, it is very durable and sturdy.

It is made with animal bone which gives clarity to its ruggedness although it is thin to the touch.

10. Bamboo bowls

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In the wake of global warming, bamboo bowls have become a thing. They are all-purpose bowls used for eating, mixing, pounding, etc.

In addition, it is biodegradable and environmentally safe. They are often used for salads and house decor for the earthy feeling it brings. However, these bowls are not microwave or dishwasher-safe.

11. Melamine bowls

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These bowls are produced via the organic chemical process used to make plastic. It is a common type of children’s food bowl.

But, they may be a bit difficult to wash but you can use them in the dishwasher and not the microwave. Also, they are very affordable.

12. Soup bowls

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This bowl is perfect for eating soup; therefore, the name, soup bowl. It is one of those bowls with a lot of depth to prevent spillage

These bowls are sturdy enough to carry buns, crackers, bread rolls, and anything you want to eat with your soup.

13. Salad bowls

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Another valuable bowl is the salad bowl, which is used to mix salads.

Salad bowls come in various varieties, but glass and wooden salad bowls are the most common.

14. Rice bowls

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Rice bowls are common in Asia and North America. They are used to serve rice dishes and are often sold with chopsticks.

The typical rice bowl is deep but there are also some shallow types.

15. Cereal bowls

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Cereal bowls are mostly in ceramic forms. But, you may find some in glass and melamine. They come in different shapes, sizes, and densities. As the name implies, they are breakfast cereal bowls.

16. Mixing bowls

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Mixing bowls are used to mix ingredients. They are very important kitchen utensils because they are part of the process of making any dish, dessert, or appetizer.

They come in glass, plastic, metal, and ceramic forms. Mixing bowls are sturdy enough to withstand the pressure of mixing. They also have a narrow base and a wide top.

17. Storage bowls

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These are airtight bowls with lids used for storing dry and cooked food in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. This bowl comes in different sizes, shapes, colors, and types of plastic.

They are highly resistant to cold temperatures and humidity, which is why they are best for storage.

18. Dip bowls

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A dip bowl is a small bowl meant for serving dips. For instance, sauce for your fries, chicken, etc.

Dip bowls have a narrow top to fit just a few fingers. They are also quite sturdy and come in stoneware, ceramic, brass, and marble.

19. Pet bowls

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Pet bowls are durable, long-lasting melamine bowls for feeding pets. You can get your pet bowls at numerous retail outlets across the country.

20. Change bowls

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Change bowls are for storing change (coins). You can store and swap them when you need them.

21. Ramekin

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Ramekin is a Dutch word that means toast. It is used as a small side dish for serving and baking a small quantity of food such as crème brûlée.

22. Porcelain bowls

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Porcelain bowls are China clay (kaolin) and pottery stone bowls with a white and translucent appearance. They can be used for serving salad, sauces, and soups and it is water-resistant.

23. Silicone bowls

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Silicone bowls are made from polymer and rubber material. Therefore, they are safe to use and do not react with food or drinks.

This is one of the reasons why they are the most common eating bowls for babies. They come in various sizes, shapes, textures, colors, and prints. Also, they’re foldable and don’t take up space.

24. Candy bowls

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These are bowls made specifically for storing candy. You will find these bowls of candy at offices for guests and snacks that you can take while conversing.

25. Singing bowls

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This is a synthetic alloy copper bowl that is made for relaxation. They emit sounds and vibrations when struck with a hammer.

26. Pasta bowls

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If you love pasta, you should get a pasta bowl. It gives the pasta a perfect look inside the bowl. These bowls are perfect for holding your linguine, rigatoni, fettuccine, or any other type of pasta.

27. Copper bowls

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Even though these bowls are expensive, they are a good substitute for mixing bowls. They are elegant and eye-catching and would serve as a nice utensil aesthetic in the kitchen.

You can use them for anything mixing, from baking to stuffing to whisking and them mashing.

28. Decorative bowl

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Decorative bowls effortlessly lighten and brighten up your home. In addition, these bowls give a nice feel and look. They draw guests’ attention to your decor and home ambiance.


How many types of singing bowls are there?

The commonly known singing bowls are Thadobati, Jambati, Naga, Mani, Ultabati, Manipuri, Lingam, and Remuna.

These bowls also have different shapes, sizes, tones, and qualities. They all have their uniqueness, but they all essentially serve the same purpose.

What are the three basic bowl types?

The most basic bowl types known to everyone are soup bowls, finger bowls, and ramekins.

The soup bowl is common for its purpose, finger bowls for the rising of hands, which is a very common type, and ramekins for solid foods mostly in Asian cuisine.

What are shallow bowls called?

A shallow bowl is another name for pasta or soup bowl. They are a very useful addition that you should have to your kitchen dinnerware.


Cut across different races, ethnicity, and culture, different bowl types are made to serve different purposes.

A bowl that is commonly used in North America may differ from that which is used in South America. What this means is that bowls have different essence, and they play different values to each people.

Thank you for reading.

Check out this article on the best cooking tips to help you top your kitchen game.