The Best Salt and Pepper Shakers, From Affordable to Luxury

The Oxo Salt and Pepper Shaker set is the perfect one to have on hand.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best salt and pepper shakers
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

There's likely no other cooking tools you use more often than your salt and pepper shaker, and if your current shakers don't spark joy when you reach for them, it may be time to swap them out. Whether you're looking for a durable set for daily cooking meals or a pair to dress up your table for your next dinner party, we scoured the market for the best chef-approved options.

In this roundup, we've included a range of styles, price points, and shaker-grinder options, from the ever-reliable Oxo to the splurge-worthy, 24K gold-plated L'Objet. Read on for all the best salt and pepper shakers, starting with our favorite, the OXO Salt and Pepper Shaker Set.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: OXO Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Reliable, durable, and stylish, with a side spout to dispense larger quantities.

Cons: These shakers are plastic and not dishwasher safe.

There are many reasons to love the OXO Salt and Pepper Shaker Set. They're compact but mighty, easy to use and refill, durable, and BPA-free. Each shaker also includes a side spout to dispense larger quantities when cooking — inspired by a Morton Salt container.

With these shakers, you can do everything at once, from sprinkling a pinch of pepper on your salad to pouring a tablespoon of salt into your cookie dough mix.

  • Capacity: 7 ounces
  • Material: Plastic

Best Splurge: L'Objet Garland Spice Jewels

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of l'Objet

Pros: This set radiates luxury, from 24K gold plating to white Swarovski crystals embellishments.

Cons: At this price point, these may be more of statement pieces versus your everyday shaker set.

If you want to feel fancy every time you sprinkle some salt or pepper on your plate, the L'Objet Garland Spice Jewels are for you. These shakers are indulgent, down to the luxury gift box they're presented in. Available with 24K gold plating and yellow Swarovski crystals or platinum plating and white Swarovski crystals, don't let the beauty distract you from their delicate nature. Dust with a soft cloth, hand wash if needed, and don't use them if your hands are slippery. They may not survive a fall.

  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Material: Glass, gold or platinum plating; Swarovski crystals

Related: The Best Pepper Grinders for Fresh and Flavorful Ground Spices

Best Wooden: Crate & Barrel Hanno Fluted Wooden Salt & Pepper Shaker Set

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Pros: This simple wooden shaker set is stylish and functional.

Cons: These shakers only hold 2 ounces each.

Made of natural beechwood, this salt and shaker set features clean lines and a simple design that can blend in nicely with neutral-style kitchens. The pepper shaker is fluted on the upper half and smooth below, while the salt shaker has the pattern flipped on the bottom half with a smooth upper exterior — so you'll always know which shaker is which without looking at the dotted top.

  • Capacity: 2 ounces
  • Material: Beechwood

Best Crystal: Waterford Lismore Round Salt and Pepper Shakers

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Macy's

Pros: This affordable crystal salt and pepper shaker set is equal parts decorative and functional.

Cons: This set is hand wash only.

Crystal salt and pepper shakers that won't break the bank? The Waterford Lismore set highlights the brand's best-selling Lismore crystal pattern, known for its signature diamond and wedge cuts. Perfect for a big-moment gift, these decorative yet functional shakers get the job done, but will require frequent refilling.

  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Material: Crystal

Best Stoneware: Pottery Barn Black & White Marble Salt & Pepper Shakers

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Pros: No two shakers will look the same, thanks to the stone's unique color tone and texture.

Cons: These shakers are among the smallest, with a capacity of only 1.75 ounces.

Made of 100% natural marble, this Pottery Barn salt and pepper shaker set adds a touch of elegance to your table. Simply refill by removing the rubber stopper on the shaker's bottom. Steer clear of the dishwasher for this set and opt for hand washing instead.

  • Capacity: 1.75 ounces
  • Material: Marble

Best Porcelain: Crate & Barrel Mercer Salt and Pepper Shaker Set

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Crate and Barrel

Pros: This contemporary, simple set is elegance on a budget.

Cons: Each shaker only holds 2.75 ounces, so expect to refill often.

Crate & Barrel's porcelain salt and pepper shakers pair effortlessly with most dinnerware sets. They look and feel more expensive than they actually are, making it hard to beat the $15 price tag. With easy-to-remove silicone stoppers, refilling is a seamless process, as is cleaning because they're dishwasher safe.

  • Capacity: 2.75 ounces
  • Material: Porcelain

Best Glass: Sagaform Nature Collection Salt and Pepper Glass Shakers

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This Scandinavian-inspired glass shaker set is beautiful and functional.

Cons: These shakers are hand-wash only.

For a minimalist and refined salt and pepper shaker set, the Sagaform Nature Collection is a great option. This Sweden-made set is made of blown glass with two oak stoppers, a unique element that is sure to look stylish on your tabletop. To use, simply remove the oak stopper and shake. Make it a collection by pairing the salt and pepper shakers with the brand's oil and vinegar bottles or wine and water carafes, which all feature the unique solid wood stopper.

  • Capacity: 2.08 ounces
  • Material: Wood and glass

Best Large: Great Credentials Shakers

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Each extra-large shaker holds up to 22 ounces.

Cons: This set is not the most stylish, so you may want to store them inside a cabinet.

Most salt and pepper shakers hold anywhere from two to four ounces each. But this no-frills set holds up to 22 ounces per shaker — a major plus for enthusiastic home chefs who use their spices for almost every meal and also don't love to refill often. Made of commercial-grade stainless steel, each extra-large shaker features a secure, simple screw top, and the entire piece is dishwasher safe.

  • Capacity: 22 ounces
  • Material: Stainless steel

Best Grinder Set: Zwilling Efinigy Electric Salt/Pepper Mill Set

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Williams Sonoma and Zwilling.

Pros: This powerful mill set makes grinding pepper and salt a quick, seamless experience.

Cons: To be safe, you will want to charge each mill once a week to ensure they don't stop mid-grind.

The Zwilling Efinigy Electric Salt/Pepper Mill Set is perfect for the tech-obsessed home cook, powerful enough to create uniform-sized grinds with the push of a button. With minimal effort and zero mess, this quiet and compact ceramic grinder allows users to choose their desired size (from fine to coarse) and grind spices, peppercorn, and salt on demand. One of the coolest features this set includes is an automatic light that illuminates the area you're grinding over. Plus, a 360-degree window lets you see what has been loaded and gauge when it is time to refill.

  • Capacity: 1.67 ounces (salt) and .88 ounces (pepper)
  • Material: Plastic

Related: The Best Kitchen Utensil Sets for All Your Cooking and Baking Needs

Best Modern: Nambé Pop Salt and Pepper Shakers

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Macy's

Pros: These shakers feature a compact, low-profile design.

Cons: The small size may force you to refill often.

These compact, low-profile salt and pepper shakers are part of Nambé's mid-century modern collection, which is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. With a clean, simple design, this set offers the best of function and style and is available in neutral-colored stone exteriors. If you use salt or pepper often, you may have to refill this set often as the capacity is lacking compared to some other shakers.

  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Material: Stoneware

Best for Gifting: Le Creuset 2-Piece Petite Salt and Pepper Mill Set

best salt and pepper shakers
Courtesy of Macy's

Also available at Le Creuset, Macy's, and Amazon.

Pros: This set is made from the brand's high-quality ceramic and is available in a variety of bright, glossy colors to match any style.

Cons: For the size and capacity, this set is more expensive compared to other options.

The Le Creuset Petite Salt and Pepper Mill Set is a classic, timeless addition to any kitchen. It's available in various high-gloss colors, from a simple black or white to a bright-and-bold Caribbean blue or flame orange. Made from scratch- and chip-resistant ceramic, the mills are strong enough to crack peppercorns and are corrosion-resistant for grinding salt. Adjust the top knob clockwise for a finer ground and counter-clockwise for a coarser grind. They don't pick up odors or moisture, and they easily wipe clean for daily use.

  • Capacity: 11.2 ounces
  • Material: Ceramic

Our Favorite

Salt and pepper shakers are a must in every home. For a trusted, reliable option that you can use for everything from spicing meat to baking cookies, the OXO Salt and Pepper Shaker Set is a universal favorite. Beyond its highly rated functionality and design, the side spout makes it more convenient than comparable options.

Factors to Consider

Material

You can find a salt and pepper shaker made in almost any material, from ceramic or porcelain to plastic, wood, glass, and stainless steel. There's no right or wrong answer to choosing a material type, though certain ones will require more upkeep than others. For example, stone or glass shakers are not always dishwasher-safe. If you're prone to dropping your kitchen tools, a more fragile material like glass or porcelain may not be right for you. Whichever you choose, make sure your shaker has a tight seal to maintain freshness.

Cleaning

When in doubt, you can't go wrong with hand washing and air drying. Some shakers are dishwasher safe though, so your best bet is to read the fine print before cleaning.

Capacity

Capacity is a sticky subject. On average, salt and pepper shakers range from two to four ounces, though we found an extra-large pick that fits approximately 22 ounces per shaker. If you opt for a smaller set, make note that you will probably have to refill them more often.

Q+A

How can you tell the difference between salt and pepper shakers?

A: The short answer is it depends where you are and who owns the shakers. In the U.S., the salt shaker typically has larger and fewer holes, and pepper is best put in the shaker with smaller and more holes, as the particles are smaller than salt. However, this can vary across cultures, traditions, and countries, so the right decision depends on your preferences. In general, most experts say it's OK to use the shaker with the most holes for the seasoning you use more of. On the other hand, if you're trying to lower your sodium intake, the best practice is to use the shaker with fewer holes.

What's the benefit of having grinders versus shakers?

Grinding salt and pepper on the spot will result in stronger, more flavorful, and fresher spices. You also have more control over grind size (from ultra-fine to coarse).

When were salt and pepper shakers first used?

A: The first salt shaker — made by John Mason (who invented the mason jar) — is said to have been created in 1858. Salt and pepper shakers are believed to have gone mainstream in the early 1920s after Morton Salt added magnesium carbonate into its recipe to prevent salt from clumping.

Our Expertise

Clarissa Buch Zilberman is an acclaimed food writer with nearly a decade of experience. She has written for Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, and more. For this piece, she extensively researched salt and pepper shakers and consulted chefs to determine the best options.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles