Plateau: A very basic stand, the cake plateau is something one could use at a simple housewarming party, or perhaps a regular family dinner. Usually made of silver or porcelain, it somewhat resembles a pedestal cake stand, but without the long pillar supporting it underneath. Sometimes though, it has three or four short "legs" that give it a small height advantage compared to the other dishes on the table.
Tiered / Pillared: Working with levels is a great idea when displaying cakes, especially if you want them to stand out among the other types of food or dessert present on your spread. To achieve this type of presentation, you will need either a tiered or pillared cake stand.