The Best Placemats for a Functional Finishing Touch

Protect your table from heat, messes, and spills while making an aesthetic statement. From bamboo to vinyl, there's a placemat out there for your needs.

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Are you looking to spruce up your dining room or desperate to find an affordable way to safeguard your kitchen table from ruins? One solution is using placemats, which are a convenient and easy decor option that adds style and protection to any dining room table. There's a wide variety of placemats to fit any of your needs, whether it's to spice up your table for a special event or holiday, or to have something to withstand the messes of everyday use.

To help you find the best placemat to fit your needs and lifestyle, I’ve scoured the internet to find the best and highest-rated options on the market. I made sure to look at factors such as the material they're made from, their shape and aesthetic, whether they're water- or heat-resistant, how easy they are to clean, and more.

So whether it's easier cleanup, style, or durability you're after, here's my list of the best placemats so you can find the right one for your needs.

The Rundown
Their ability to endure and adapt to both formal and casual occasions with ease makes them worth the investment.
These nonslip placemats are sure to brighten up and protect any table they adorn.
These are lightweight but durable and stand up to tough messes and spills.
These silicone placemats are BPA-free, roll up for easy portability and storage, and are dishwasher-safe.
These heavy and durable placemats are woven together with seagrass, making them ready for any mess that comes their way.
These placemats come in over 15 different color options, and they have a bright and rich color quality.

Best Overall: Chilewich Bamboo Oval Placemat

chilewich-bamboo-placemat

What We Love: Easy to clean, stylish, versatile shape

What We Don’t Love: Pricey, shouldn't be used with excessive heat

Did you know placemat brands have loyal fanbases? Some of the most highly recommended and regarded placemats on the market are Chilewich placemats, designed by award-winning textile designer Sandy Chilewich. The brand's popular Bamboo Oval Placemats stand out because they come in a fun oval shape that makes them versatile for tables of all shapes and sizes. Reviewers also love that they can be used both indoors and outdoors

One downside of these placemats, however, is that condensation from glasses can seep through if left on the placemat for an extended period. These placemats are better suited for food plates and should not be used with excessive heat (i.e., hot plates and serving dishes). These bamboo placemats can be cleaned using soap and water or with a damp cloth to spot clean, and they should be stored rolled, not folded (folding can create creases).

Though they are on the pricier side, Chilewich placemats are worth the investment because of their ability to endure and adapt to both formal and casual occasions with ease. 

Material: Yarn made from TerraStrand, a renewable vegetable compound | Dimensions: 19.25 x 14 inches | Machine-Washable? No

Best Budget: SD Senday Heat-Resistant Placemats

sd-sendy-placemats

What We Love: Lots of color options, great price, quick-drying

What We Don’t Love: Condensation can seep through them

Placemats do not need to be expensive to be durable. If you're looking for a more budget-friendly placemat option, go with SD Senday's eight-pack of heat- and stain-resistant placemats. These nonslip placemats are sure to brighten up and protect any table they adorn. You can choose from a variety of colors, including neutrals like grey or tan and pops of color like red or light blue. Even better, they are heat-resistant up to around 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but reviewers noted it's best to use them only for food plates and drinking glasses

Like other woven placemats, condensation can seep through these onto the table, but overall, reviewers were happy with their ability to dry quickly. The fabric has a slight shine to it, making them suitable for casual and upscale events. Cleanup is a breeze with some soap, water, and a brush to quickly remove any stains. These placemats can easily crease, so it's better to store them flat, so they're ready for the next time you bring them out.

Material: Polyester and plastic | Dimensions: 18 x 12 inches | Machine-Washable? No

Best Vinyl: Latitude Run Vinyl Placemats

latitude-vinyl-mats

What We Love: Water- and heat-resistant, reversible, lightweight and durable

What We Don’t Love: Limited color options

Vinyl is an excellent material for placemats, and Latitude Run's offering is some of the best you can find. These placemats are heat- and water-resistant and can be easily cleaned using a damp cloth. Reviewers love that these placemats are lightweight but durable and stand up to tough messes and spills. When the placemats are not being used, make sure to store them flat or rolled to prevent creasing. 

Though they only come in two color options (beige and grey), their design is modern and adaptable to both casual and fine dining occasions. Many users noted that they have a slight shine, adding a touch of elegance to any table decor. Overall, reviewers love how well these placemats hold up against messes that come their way and highly recommend them for their versatility and quality. 

Material: Vinyl | Dimensions: 18 x 12 inches | Machine-Washable? No

Related: The Best Flatware Sets

Most Kid-Friendly: Munchkin Spotless Silicone Placemats

munchkin-silicone-placemats

What We Love: Easy to store and transport, raised edges help prevent messes, durable

What We Don’t Love: Tend to pick up crumbs or pet hair

Finding the perfect placemat to keep up with your kiddo's messes, whether you're on the go or at home, can be a lifesaver, and Munchkin's Silicone Placemats are the perfect choice. Made of 100 percent silicone, these placemats are BPA-free, roll up for easy portability and storage, and are dishwasher-safe. Even better, their grippy bottom sticks to most surfaces to keep them in place and prevents your toddler from picking them up while eating. Each placemat also has raised edges to help avoid inevitable spills from leaking onto the table. 

Mom, food blogger, and cookbook author Sally McKenney of Sally's Baking Addiction enjoys using placemats with her kids to clean up messes quickly. "We have young children, so we look for durable placements that can easily be wiped clean," said McKenney, adding, "Light-colored cotton placemats are not practical for us at this point."

Like many products made from silicone, this placemat tends to pick up crumbs or pet hair but can be easily cleaned off with a quick rinse under the faucet or with a wipe. Due to its smaller size, many reviewers noted it is more suitable for toddlers and young children. The placemat can be slightly tricky to wipe dry, so it's best to let it drip dry in a drying rack before storing. Overall, users love its durability, affordable cost, and portability, and many recommend it to friends and family members with kids.

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 11.1 x 15 inches | Machine-Washable?: Yes, dishwasher-safe

Best Woven: Blue Pheasant Woven Seagrass Placemats, Set of 4

woven-seagrass-placemat

What We Love: Can use with hot plates or serving dishes, made from a sturdy natural material

What We Don’t Love: Material can shed

If you’re looking for a woven placemat that can withstand heat and stand up to spills, Blue Pheasant’s Woven Seagrass Placemat set is what you need. These heavy and durable placemats are woven together with seagrass, a natural fiber sourced from tropical reeds, which makes them ready for any mess that comes their way. These placemats come in a set of four, with rectangular and circular options, and can be easily cleaned using a damp cloth. 

Due to being made from sturdy seagrass, these placemats are a great option for holding plates and drinking glasses and can protect tables and surfaces from hot plates and serving dishes. One flaw reviewers noted is that they can shed slightly due to their material, but overall, the placemats hold up well and are an excellent option for any dining room table. 

Material: Seagrass | Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches (round), 14 x 19 inches (rectangular) | Machine-Washable? No

Related: The Best Drinking Glasses

Best Linen: Solino Home Pure Linen Athena Placemats

solino-linen-placemats

What We Love: Easy to clean, lots of color options

What We Don’t Love: Thin material, need to be ironed

Linen placemats are a popular choice, especially if you prefer to use your washer and dryer to clean, but not all of them are made equal. If you’re looking for some of the best linen placemats on the market, go with Solino Home’s 100 Percent Pure Linen Placemats. They come in over 15 different color options, and reviewers rave about the bright and rich color quality of the placemats.

Like other linen placemats, these require ironing to remove wrinkles and creases after being washed. Users noted that the material is a bit thin, but they still provide protection from messes and spills. Make sure not to use bleach when cleaning and store flat to avoid creases. Though these placemats may require a little more extra care compared with vinyl or bamboo options, linen is a versatile and reliable material that should not be overlooked—t adds an extra touch of sophistication to any dinner party. 

Material: Linen | Dimensions: 14 x 19 inches | Machine-Washable? Yes

Related: The Best Dish Drying Racks

Final Verdict

For a placemat that is both stylish and durable, one that's adaptable to both casual settings and special occasions, you can't go wrong with the Chilewich Bamboo Oval Placemat, our best overall pick (view at Amazon). Enjoy a more natural or nautical aesthetic but don't want to sacrifice durability? Go for Blue Pheasant's Woven Seagrass Placemats (view at Food52). They come in both circular and rectangular shapes.

What to Look for When Buying Placemats

Material

Placemats are made using many different materials, most commonly linen, vinyl, or woven fabrics. Depending on what you want to use them for, it's important to pay attention to what and how they're made. Bamboo or woven fabrics are durable and versatile, but if you're worried about condensation seeping onto your table from glasses, it's better to choose a vinyl or linen material.

Linen placemats are great for throwing in the washer but require additional care due to their ability to crease, and they need to be ironed to remove wrinkles. If you're looking for heat-resistant placemats, it's better to skip linen and woven fabrics and go with a vinyl or cork-based option. 

Shape and Design

The design and shape of your desired placemat are based on your preference and the size of the table or surface you'd like to use them on. Most commonly, you will find rectangular or circular placemats, but you can also find them in oval or more kid-friendly styles, like cloud or animal shapes. 

Frequency of Use

You'll want to figure out ahead of time what you'd like to use your placemats for to help you narrow down your options, whether it's for everyday use or a special occasion. Some placemats, like vinyl ones, are great for everyday use because they are heat- and water-resistant and are easy to clean. Placemats made from woven materials, like bamboo or seagrass, are an excellent option for both everyday use and special occasions due to their durability. Linen placemats are also great for special occasions due to their versatility and elegance, but they do require more maintenance. 

Heat Resistance

Not all placemats are heat-resistant, so it's essential to confirm if the ones you have your eye on can withstand the heat if this is a requirement. Placemats made from vinyl, bamboo, or cork are your best bet for heat resistance, but it's always important to read the fine print to make sure. 

Ease of Cleaning

You will want to read instructions on how to properly clean your placemats, especially if you are looking for machine-washable ones. If you enjoy tossing your placemats in the washer to clean them, go with linen placemats. If you prefer to spot-clean or quickly rinse them with soap and water, look for a vinyl or woven fabric like bamboo or other natural fibers. 

FAQs

Are placemats worth it?

Definitely! Whether you’re purchasing them for decor or protection, placemats are often a low-cost and worthy investment. 

What is the best material for placemats?

Each material has its strengths and weaknesses. You will want to think about what you want to use your placemats for and what’s most important to you. Do you want placemats you can also use with serving dishes and hot plates? Go with bamboo or thicker fibers like seagrass. Do you need placemats that are easy to clean and water-repellant? Choose a vinyl-based option. Linen is your best bet if you’re looking for ones you can throw in the washer and dryer. 

Should I leave placemats on the table?

This depends on their material and how often you use them. If your placemats are made of vinyl or woven fabric and are used daily, leaving them on the table is fine. If you’re using linen placemats, it’s probably best to remove and store them away after each use. 

How do I store placemats?

Many placemats are best kept flat or rolled up to prevent creasing to ensure they continue to lay flat. 

Why Trust Simply Recipes?

Kelsey Graham is a freelance writer with a background in design and writing. She loves being able to combine her passions for research, food, design, and writing to bring you the best suggestions for your home decor needs.

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Article Sources
Simply Recipes uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application. Updated June 27, 2018.

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