To choose the best dessert bowls, consider how you will use them, and the types of desserts you usually serve. If you only want to use them on special occasions, you might want to get fancier china bowls, whereas if they will be used for casual, everyday snacking, your options are wide open. Also determine whether you want them to match your existing dining set, or if you want them to be used for a particular holiday. For instance, seasonal dessert bowls decorated with snowmen or wreaths can be great for holiday parties. In addition, make sure they are dishwasher and microwave-safe if that is important to you.
There are many different types and styles of dessert bowls available in stores and online. In general, they are made of glass or a sturdy plastic, though some more expensive options are made of china. Some sit on top of a small pedestal, for a fancier appearance similar to old-fashioned ice cream dishes, while others are flat-bottomed bowls that can accommodate many different types of desserts. Glass bowls tend to be the most versatile options, though families with kids might prefer sturdy plastic bowls. For fancier events or dinners, china bowls can be a nice touch.
You will also want to consider the design of your dessert bowls. Clear or colored glass can be used any time of the year, but seasonal patterns can be a great way to complete a holiday table. Many people will give hand-painted wine glasses or dessert bowls as gifts, often decorated with seasonal images or flowers, or to coordinate with existing decor in a home. It generally does not matter if the dessert bowls match the rest of the dining set, but if you are concerned about this, it may be possible to find matching sets by searching online if you didn't originally purchase them at the same time.
Finally, consider if you need your bowls to be safe for the microwave and dishwasher. Hand-painted items should generally be kept out of the dishwasher, which could damage the paint. If you will frequently be microwaving your desserts, be sure to choose glass bowls, as plastic ones can leach chemicals into your food. Some glass dessert bowls may even be oven safe, for preparing individual desserts, but be sure to verify this ahead of time because other types of glass could crack or explode at high oven temperatures.