Stoneware is fired to a higher temperature than earthenware, making it stronger than earthenware and non-porous, so more suited to everyday functional items (though in Britain, earthenware has been the staple ware for most country potteries). Although much lighter in colour than earthenware, traces of elements such as iron and manganese mean that clays are off-white to tan when fired. Also the higher temperatures mean that the glaze chemistry changes significantly, generally reducing the number of bright colours in the palette.

I use stoneware for a variety of more functional items, with glazes that are both food safe and fine for the dishwasher and microwave, though sometimes still with a slightly textural finish.