You might think that there's nothing special about mixing bowls, but America's Test Kitchen would beg to differ. This video explains what you should look for — and what you should avoid — when buying good mixing bowls for your kitchen.
In this review, America's Test Kitchen explains how it tested dozens of bowls, from ceramic and plastic to glass and metal, and the conclusions they came to. Long story short, you probably want two sets in at least three sizes (1-1.5 quart, 2.5-3 quart and 4+ quart). One set of metal bowls that's lightweight and easy to handle, and one heavy glass set that can go in the microwave when you need to melt butter or heat up ingredients. Ceramic bowls are deemed too heavy and break easily, while plastic bowls scratch up and retain oils.
From there, the team tests specific bowls for durability and sturdiness — dishwashing them all 15 times, mixing in them hands-free, and even pushing them off of the countertop to make sure they wouldn't break. They even called out bowls with collared lips that catch ingredients while you mix them, or bowls that were too tall and a pain to use.
At the end of the day, Vollrath's stainless steel economy bowls (available in three sizes from $US3-$US12 at Amazon) took the win in the metal category, and Pyrex's Smart Essentials set ($US15) took the top spot for glass. Luckily, you don't have to pay a lot of money to get quality, basic kitchen equipment. You can read more in the full Cooks Illustrated review (login required) linked below, or just read the excerpt at the top (it's enough to get the gist).
Mixing Bowls [Cooks Illustrated]