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.
Pedestal:Probably the most popular of all types, the pedestal cake stand is the type one would normally see in a café or bakery, or even a normal household. It has a pillar (usually around three to six inches long) which supports the main base (with a diameter that ranges from six to twelve inches) where the actual cake is placed. A domed variation of this type includes a clear glass dome that serves as a cover for the cake on display, which is a useful option for an outdoor celebration. This is usually the safest option when displaying wedding or birthday cakes, and is available in crystal, porcelain, and even wood.