Williams-Sonoma Vs. Sur La Table: Best Kitchenware Retail Giants

For home cooks and aspiring chefs, Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table are go-to destinations for high-quality cookware, small appliances, bakeware and more. With locations across the U.S., both companies have become staples in the kitchenware industry.

But which retailer truly reigns supreme? This comprehensive guide examines the key differences between Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table to help you determine the best option for your cooking needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeaturesWilliams-SonomaSur La Table
PricingMore expensive, higher regular pricesLower prices, frequent sales/discounts
Product QualityHigher quality materials, better constructionAffordable but inconsistent quality
SelectionBroader selection beyond just cookwareStronger focus specifically on cookware
Brand ExclusivesMany brand exclusive product linesFewer exclusives
Stores250+ locations across U.S.Around 100 locations
CookwarePremium brands like All-Clad and Le CreusetBudget brands like Farberware and GreenLife
BakewareNordicWare, Fat Daddio’s, Le CreusetChicago Metallic, USA Pan
Small AppliancesHigher wattages, more powerLower wattages, casual use

Overview Of Williams-Sonoma

Founded in 1956 by Chuck Williams, Williams-Sonoma began as a small cookware shop in Sonoma, California. Williams was passionate about using high-quality tools in the kitchen, and his shop focused on French cookware that was difficult to find in America at the time. The company slowly began to expand in the 1970s, and today it has over 250 stores across the U.S. and Canada.


Beyond cookware, Williams-Sonoma sells everything you need to outfit a kitchen. Product categories include:

  • Cookware: Stainless steel, nonstick, cast iron, ceramic
  • Bakeware: Baking sheets, muffin tins, cake pans
  • Small appliances: Stand mixers, blenders, coffee makers
  • Cutlery: Knife sets, cutting boards
  • Dinnerware: Plates, bowls, glassware
  • Kitchen linens: Aprons, towels, potholders

The company also operates several specialty brands including Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, and Rejuvenation. This gives customers access to a wide range of home goods beyond just kitchenware.

Williams-Sonoma is best known for its quality and durability. Products tend to be on the expensive side, but customers find value in the craftsmanship and performance. Many items come with warranties over 5 or 10 years. The company also offers custom cabinetry through its Williams Sonoma Home brand.

Also Read: Comparison Between the Cosori Pro I and Pro II

Overview Of Sur La Table

Sur La Table began in 1972 when Shirley Collins founded a culinary shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Like Williams-Sonoma, the original Sur La Table provided access to specialized cookware not widely available in the U.S. at the time.

 Sur La Table
Sur La Table

Today, Sur La Table operates over 100 stores across the country. The retailer carries products including:

  • Cookware: Stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron
  • Bakeware: Cookie sheets, bundt pans, muffin tins
  • Small appliances: Immersion blenders, stand mixers, sous vide machines
  • Cutlery: Kitchen knife sets, cutting boards
  • Serveware: Serving platters, bowls, pitchers
  • Cookbooks

In addition to cookware basics, Sur La Table is known for selling more innovative and trendy kitchen tools and appliances. Recent hot sellers include air fryers, Instant Pots, and sous vide circulators. Sur La Table stores also include on-site kitchens for cooking classes.

Compared to Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table tends to have lower prices for similar items. However, there is debate regarding whether the product quality matches Williams-Sonoma. Sur La Table’s cookware lines receive mixed reviews in terms of durability.

Also watch the video!

Direct Comparison Of Products

How do Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table stack up for key kitchenware categories? Here is a product-by-product overview:



  • Offers exclusive cookware lines including Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen and WS Copper Core
  • Stainless steel and nonstick pans from premium brands like All-Clad, Le Creuset, and Staub
  • Higher quality materials including heavy-gauge aluminum and stainless steel
  • More expensive than Sur La Table but viewed as a worthwhile investment

Sur La Table

  • Exclusive cookware lines including Classic Professional Nonstick and Boulevard Stainless Steel
  • Affordable options from brands like Farberware, Rachael Ray, and GreenLife
  • Lower prices but reviews indicate quality inconsistencies
  • Best for budget-conscious shoppers or less frequent cooking



  • Exclusive cutlery line Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen
  • High-end knife sets from Shun, Wüsthof, Global, and Miyabi
  • Typically $200+ for an entry-level set
  • Highest quality blades and durable construction

Sur La Table

  • Exclusive knife sets like Classic Professional and Classic Stainless Steel
  • More budget-friendly knife sets under $100
  • Stainless steel is lower grade; prone to stains and corrosion
  • Best for casual cooks who won’t use knives daily



  • Metal and ceramic bakeware from leading brands like NordicWare, Fat Daddio’s, and Le Creuset
  • Silicone, stainless steel and aluminum options
  • Consistently earns high marks for even heating and easy release
  • $30-$50 per pan or tray

Sur La Table

  • Affordable metal bakeware from brands like Chicago Metallic and USA Pan
  • More plastic, silicone, and ceramic pans
  • Prone to warping at high temps
  • Under $20 per pan on average

Small Appliances


  • High-end stand mixers from KitchenAid plus attachments
  • Premium processors, blenders, and espresso machines
  • Higher wattages and more powerful motors
  • $200+ for most countertop appliances
  • Equivalent to what you would find at specialty retailers

Sur La Table

  • Small appliances from DeLonghi, Cuisinart, and Breville
  • Less selection of attachments and accessories
  • Lower wattages than Williams-Sonoma appliances
  • $100-$200 for most countertop appliances
  • Better for occasional use

Also Read: Choose Between Newport Brass And Kohler.

Other Comparison Factors

Beyond products, Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table have some other notable differences:

Brand Exclusives

Williams-Sonoma manufactures many products exclusively for their brand. Sur La Table has fewer brand exclusives.


With 250+ stores, Williams-Sonoma has a wider on-the-ground presence across the U.S. Sur La Table has about 100 locations.


Williams-Sonoma offers a wider overall selection of products including outdoor cooking tools and dinnerware. Sur La Table places more emphasis specifically on cookware.

Sales and Discounts

Sur La Table runs more frequent promotions and discounts while Williams-Sonoma rarely offers sales.


Both companies offer cooking classes. Williams-Sonoma also provides free design consultations for kitchen remodeling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is more expensive: Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table?

Williams-Sonoma consistently has higher regular prices than Sur La Table across all product categories. However, Sur La Table’s frequent discounts help offset the lower prices.

Is Sur La Table owned by Williams-Sonoma?

No, Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table are competing brands. They have no ownership ties or affiliation.

Who are Sur La Table’s main competitors?

Sur La Table’s competitors include Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and of course Williams-Sonoma. Target and Walmart are also competitors in the affordable kitchenware space.

Are Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn the same company?

Yes, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn are sister brands under the same parent company, Williams-Sonoma Inc. Pottery Barn focuses on furniture and home furnishings.

Also Read: Is HexClad Better Than ZWILLING?

The Final Take

In the battle of the kitchenware giants, is Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table better?

Here’s a quick final comparison:


  • Higher quality materials and construction
  • More durable for long-term use
  • Larger product selection beyond just cookware
  • Fewer sales and promotions

Sur La Table

  • More budget-friendly prices
  • Comparable quality at lower costs
  • Constant discounts and deals
  • Smaller store footprint across the U.S.

For shoppers who want the very best quality and performance with less concern over prices, Williams-Sonoma carries superior kitchenware built to last. Cooks on a budget will find Sur La Table more affordable, especially for more casual cooking needs. Take time to evaluate your specific needs and budget to determine if Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table is better suited for your kitchen!

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