We scooped 200 balls of cookie dough, cracked more than 60 eggs, sifted almost 4 pounds of flour, and tossed four boxes of cereal in a dozen mixing bowl sets to discover that the Tramontina ProLine 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls set is the best for most people. These bowls are deep enough to contain splatters from a hand mixer yet wide enough for comfortable whisking, folding, mixing, and tossing. If you want a durable glass set, the Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set (four bowls with fitted lids) is great for simple baking projects and serving.
The Tramontina ProLine stainless steel bowls are the best choice for most home cooks because they’re sturdy, deep, and packaged in a set of three practical sizes: 3, 5, and 8 quarts. The wide rims and brushed stainless steel surface let you securely manage these bowls with one hand while mixing and pouring. Costco is the only official retailer of these bowls, but you don’t have to be a Costco member to buy them online (if you’re not a member, you just have to pay a $1 surcharge). And even with shipping and the surcharge, this set is still affordable at around $30.
If you want a glass mixing bowl set, the Pyrex Smart Essentials 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set offers the most functional sizes at the best price. Even though glass isn’t as durable as stainless steel, this Pyrex set is a good choice if you want pieces that are microwave safe and attractive enough for serving. The included snap-on plastic lids also make this set convenient for transporting dishes and storing leftovers. The set includes four bowls sized at 1, 1½, 2½, and 4 quarts, plus their corresponding lids.
If you want to build your own set and don’t mind lighter, thinner bowls than our top pick, Thunder Group’s Standard Weight Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls are a reliable choice. This style of basic mixing bowl is indispensable in restaurant kitchens because it’s wide and shallow, which makes it perfect for mixing, folding, whisking, and tossing. But the shorter walls don’t contain splatters from a hand mixer as well as our top pick, the Tramontina ProLine bowls.