While you can serve pasta on a plate – it worked for Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, after all – you really can’t beat a cavernous pasta bowl or bespoke design when it comes to twirling, slurping and eating your favourite carbs.

The type of bowl you choose depends on the type of pasta you’re eating and the occasion, and we tested bowls from across the market, from hand-fired stoneware to durable porcelain classics.

We were looking for bowls with a generous depth and diameter; enough to fill with pasta, sauce, and potentially bread, while not too big to still stack and fit into a cupboard.

We were also on the lookout for bowls that on top of being functional, also looked the part, at all ends of the budget.

We judged the bowls using a number of criteria including affordability, quality of materials, longevity, shape, appearance and ease of use.

We also looked at all different styles of bowl, from the classic round bowl to deep and wide-rimmed bowls.

So, whether it’s a quick-fix bowl of pasta and pesto you’re hankering after, or you’re serving up a tenderly-stirred and well-simmered portion of spaghetti Bolognese to feed a crowd, these bowls are guaranteed to show off your Instagram-worthy kitchen credentials: empty plates (bowls) guaranteed all round. 

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Rex London large Japanese bowl cobalt sunrise, £9.95 per bowl, Rex London

If oodles of noodles is your dinner du jour, these are the bowls for you. These cavernous porcelain bowls measure 7cm high, so you can easily fill them with a generous helping of pasta. While these bowls are affordable, they’re also pleasing to look at, with the sunburst design guaranteed to brighten up any kitchen. And, if you’re a fan of the design, the range also includes matching plates. They’re also dishwasher and microwave-safe.

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Ikea fargrik deep plates: £1.75 each, Ikea

When you’re after simplicity, functionality and eye-pleasing design, IKEA always comes up trumps, and these verdant pasta bowls are no exception. They’re space economical, stacking neatly into one another, while still measuring an impressive 24cm in diameter. They’re easy-to-clean, and can also be popped in the dishwasher or microwave. The green hue makes them ideal for showing off your favourite pasta/pesto combo – just don’t forget lashings of cheese.

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Sophie Conran for Portmeirion coupe pasta bowls: £74 for 4, Sophie Conran

Part of designer, cook and author Sophie Conran’s colour pop range and collaboration with British potters, Portmeirion, these brightly-coloured pasta bowls come in mulberry, celadon, pink and yellow hues. The bowls feature a stylish spiral effect, and an impressive 23.5cm diameter, so you can easily slink two portions of dinner into your bowl without anyone noticing. They’re also dishwasher, microwave and freezer-friendly, and can be popped into the oven at temperatures up to 200C.

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Loaf wobbler pasta bowls: £40 for 4, Loaf

Perfectly imperfect, each set of Loaf’s ‘Wobbler’ pasta bowls is different, in part due to being handmade by Portuguese artisans. Made from high-fired stoneware, the bowls boast wonderfully curved edges and an appealing earthenware finish. These are great for presenting your pasta dish in style – especially if you’re after a social media-worthy shot. What’s more, in spite of being handmade, these are conveniently dishwasher and microwave-friendly. We particularly love their shiny finish, which you don’t often get with stoneware.

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Denby Studio grey pasta bowl set: £64 for 4, Denby​

Hand-crafted from clay, these bowls certainly look the part. They’re also highly durable and safe for use in the oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer. They have a nice depth – 1020ml capacity – perfect for loading up forkfuls of spaghetti or linguine. They’re also expertly glazed, so you don’t have to worry about chipping the bowl when you ravenously tuck into your carbs.

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Royal Doulton 1815 bright colours pasta bowls: £44for 4, John Lewis & Partners

A modern take on Royal Doulton’s heritage designs, these bowls may be based on an original pattern from 1815, but their vivid hues give them a very contemporary feel. Made from crafted porcelain, these benefit from a wide surface area, so there’s space for a wedge or two of garlic bread alongside your pasta dish of choice. They’re also dishwasher and microwave safe.

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Emma Bridgewater tomatoes medium pasta bowl: £22.95, Emma Bridgewater

Whether you like you pasta bowls adorned with polka dots, florals, stars or veg, Emma Bridgewater offers a wide range of pasta bowls, with new styles launching later this year. And these medium-sized pasta bowls, made from English earthenware and festooned with tomatoes, are just the thing for summer evenings and generous portions of tomato linguine. While not oven safe, they’re fine to place in the microwave or dishwasher.

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Habitat nimala pink wide rim pasta bowl with speckles: £10 each, Habitat

If you’re serving up a restaurant-quality pasta dinner, you need suitably impressive bowls, and these blushing pink stoneware bowls from Habitat are just the thing. We particularly enjoyed the wide rim. On top of framing your food, it’s a handy ledge for liberal shavings of Parmesan or scatterings of herbs – or for resting a chunky wedge of garlic bread. Conveniently, the nimala range also includes dinner, side plates and cereal bowls, so you can complete the set should you so wish.

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Mepal melamine pasta bowls: £24 for 4, John Lewis & Partners

Made from shatter-resistant, scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe melamine, these vibrant pasta bowls are ideal for garden parties, barbecues and picnics – and a chilled pasta salad or two. Sturdy yet lightweight, and with no risk of chipping or smashing, these easily stackable bowls can be placed in a picnic box or bag for hazy summer days, or used all year round by the family.

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Next Hutton pasta bowls: £12 for 4, Next

Available in soft pink, light grey and charcoal, these affordable-yet-chic pasta bowls from Next are great for families. While they’re made from 100 per cent stoneware and dishwasher and microwave safe, they’re budget-friendly – and nice to eat from.

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The verdict: Pasta bowls

We loved the vibrant and roomy Japanese cobalt sunrise bowls in particular, especially for the amount of pasta and sauce they can hold. For well-crafted colourful classics, Sophie Conran’s coupe pasta bowls are ideal, while Ikea’s fargrik pasta bowls and Next’s hutton pasta bowls are great if you’re watching the pennies.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.