The 9 Best Cloth Napkins of 2022

A sustainable and stylish way to set your table

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The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

Once you’ve stocked up on dishes and flatware, you may think your dinnerware collection is done. But it isn’t truly finished until you’ve also snagged a set of napkins. Now, there are no rules about what these napkins need to look like. They can be disposable and crafted from paper (or, if you’re really low-maintenance, they could just be paper towels). But if you want something that feels both elegant and eco-friendly—that adds style to your table, without requiring a restock every few months—cloth napkins are a pretty great pick.

"We love cloth napkins at our house,” says Betsy Moyer, co-founder and interior designer at Retreat. “Besides the immediate elevation that a cloth napkin brings to the tablescape, they are a pleasure to use.” Of course, some people hesitate to use cloth napkins because they’re afraid of messing them up. But since they’re often incredibly easy to wash, Moyer says there’s really no need to worry about dirtying them. “Washing is as easy as tending to your dish-towels,” she says. “Just make sure you always have more than plenty at hand to match your laundry cycle.”

When shopping for a set of new cloth napkins, Moyer recommends balancing the look with the feel. Seek out colors and patterns that suit your decor scheme—and don't forget to pay attention to texture, as well. “I prefer the feel of cotton pieces over polyester,” she says. So that’s exactly what she’s stocked up on. Moyer adds that you can also use patterns and prints to strategically hide stains. “Most often, I pick up napkins with a tight pattern so food stains aren't so noticeable,” she says.

Feeling ready to swap your disposable napkins with a reusable set? Here are the best options to consider.

Our Top Picks
Designed with the look of linen with the ease of cotton, these napkins will up any tablescape.
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This set comes with 12 polyester napkins and is available in over 12 chic colors, all at an affordable price.
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With their timeless, festive look, these tart napkins would serve as great dining table decor during the holidays.
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Woven of sustainably sourced cotton, these cloth napkins are both durable and better for the environment.
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This set comes with 6 cloth napkins, all with different colors and patterns. They are sure to add a fun pop to your dinner table.
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These no-fuss napkins are constructed from an anti-wrinkle polyester that makes washing and folding a breeze.
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Made of linen and featuring your monogrammed initials, these cloth napkins bring a personal touch to dinner time.
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These linen napkins are stonewashed and have a crinkled texture to them, they are both soft and stylish.
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These napkins are made from 100% organic cotton and have a slub texture. They're absorbent, chic and eco-friendly.
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Best Overall: Food52 Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins

Food52 Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins

Quantity: Set of 4 or 6 | Size: 20 x 20 inches | Material: 100% cotton | Care: Machine was on cool-to-warm with like colors, tumble dry low

What We Like
  • Crafted entirely from soft cotton

  • Machine-washable and dryer-friendly

  • Available in 6 different colors

  • Available in sets of 4 and 6

What We Don't Like
  • Stains may not wash out easily

  • May wrinkle in the dryer (but can be ironed)

Soft, pretty, and easy to care for, Food52’s Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins tick all the boxes. The napkins are crafted entirely from cotton, so they promise to feel incredibly soft. And their simple design makes them an easy addition to just about any dinner table. At 20 inches long by 20 inches wide, the napkins should be big enough to fold a few different ways. And the vintage-inspired stitching that borders each napkin lends the set just enough style to stand out—but not so much that it’ll distract from the rest of your dinner table. 

Of course, when it comes to cloth napkins, style isn’t the only thing you care about. You also need your napkins to be easy to clean. Thankfully, Food52’s Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins are machine washer- and dryer-friendly. So you can toss them in your laundry without giving it a second thought.

What Experts Say

“I can't recommend a switch over to cloth napkins enough. It's a nice treat to yourself—[they] make a simple bowl of cereal at the table feel like a meal. These little elevated details in our lives go a long way for the soul.”—Betsy Moyer, Co-Founder and Interior Designer at Retreat

Best Budget: Cieltown Polyester Cloth Napkins

Cieltown Polyester Cloth Napkins

Quantity: Set of 12 | Size: 20 x 20 or 17 x 17 inches | Material: 100% polyester | Care: Machine washable

What We Like
  • Crafted from durable polyester

  • Machine-washable

  • Available in 12 different colors

  • Available in 2 sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Not dryer-friendly (but should air dry pretty quickly)

  • Shiny

  • May feel thin or flimsy

Cloth napkins can get surprisingly expensive. But thanks to Cieltown, you can stock up without spending an arm and a leg. The brand’s Cloth Napkins set comes with 12 napkins—and since the set sells for what you might spend on one or two napkins elsewhere, you can rest assured knowing you’re getting a pretty great deal.

The napkins are crafted from polyester, so they should be pretty durable. In fact, they promise to be both stain-resistant and wrinkle-resistant. And since they’re machine-washable, you can easily pop them in the laundry after meals. What’s more? The napkins are available in 12 different colors. And since they come in two different sizes (17 inches by 17 inches and 20 inches by 20 inches), you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a set that suits your space. 

Best Holiday: Pottery Barn Stewart Plaid Cotton Napkins

Pottery Barn Stewart Plaid Cotton Napkins

Quantity: Set of 4 | Size: 20 square inches | Material: 100% yarn-dyed cotton | Care: Machine wash cold water; gentle cycle. Tumble dry low


What We Like
  • Woven from soft cotton

  • Machine-washable and dryer-friendly

  • Can be customized with a monogram or name

  • Festive but versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive (and monogram costs extra)

  • May wrinkle in the dryer (but can be ironed)

There’s something fun about having a set of festive napkins you can whip out during the holiday season, and Pottery Barn’s Stewart Plaid Cotton Napkins promise to be worth the investment. These napkins boast a classic tartan design, which will play well with a variety of different decor schemes (including modern, traditional, and farmhouse). Since they’re woven from yarn-dyed cotton, they should have a feel that's both thick and soft.

Like many other options on this list, these napkins are machine-washable and dryer-friendly, so they should be pretty convenient to clean between holiday meals. Plus, if you want to make the holiday-friendly napkins even more special than they already are, you can ask Pottery Barn to embroider each one with a custom monogram or name.

Best Everyday: Williams Sonoma Pantry Napkins

Williams Sonoma Pantry Napkins

Quantity: Set of 6 | Size: 20 square inches | Material: Yarn-dyed cotton | Care: Machine-wash, tumble-dry low

What We Like
  • Crafted entirely from soft cotton

  • Machine-washable and dryer-friendly

  • Can withstand ironing and non-chlorine bleach

  • Available in 3 different colors

What We Don't Like
  • May wrinkle in the dryer (but can be ironed)

  • Color range is relatively limited

Looking for a set of cloth napkins you can use every day? Williams Sonoma’s Pantry Napkins promise to be up to the task. These durable napkins are crafted from yarn-dyed cotton and are machine- and dryer-friendly—a must if you’re planning on using them every day. The napkins also promise to hold up to ironing and non-chlorine bleach, so they should be able to survive wrinkles, spills, and stains.

Since the napkins are sold in six-piece sets, they’re surprisingly budget-friendly (especially given the quality of the Williams Sonoma brand). Snag these must-haves in crisp white, warm off-white, or dark navy—or buy a couple of sets to mix and match.

Best Patterned: Anthropologie Nifty Napkins

Anthropologie Nifty Napkins

Quantity: Set of 6 | Size: 20 square inches | Material: Cotton | Care: Machine wash

What We Like
  • Crafted from soft cotton

  • Machine-washable

  • Set comes with 6 different colors and 3 different prints

  • Also available with a subtler palette and set of prints

What We Don't Like
  • Not dryer-friendly

  • Napkins may look different in-person than they do in photos

Searching for a set of cloth napkins with a little visual flair? Look no further than Anthropologie’s Nifty Napkins. Sold in a set of six, each napkin is rendered in a pretty color and a striking print: you’ll find two paisley napkins (in lime green and tangerine orange), two ikat print napkins (in scarlet red and blue-gray), and two floral print napkins (in periwinkle and fuschia). This might sound like a lot, but the consistency in print makes the set feel more cohesive than over-the-top. 

All six of the napkins are crafted from cotton, so they promise to feel exceptionally soft. And since they’re machine-washable, they should also be pretty easy to clean.

Best Color Options: Wayfair Basics 10 Piece Napkin Set

Wayfair Basics Napkin Set

Quantity: Set of 10 | Size: 18 x 18 inches | Material: Polyester | Care: Machine wash on low heat. Do not use bleach or any strong detergents

What We Like
  • Crafted from durable polyester

  • Machine-washable

  • Wrinkle-resistant

  • Available in 39 different colors

What We Don't Like
  • Not dryer-friendly (but should air dry pretty quickly)

  • Some quality control issues

  • Seams may fray in the wash

Many cloth napkins come in classic neutral colors, like crisp whites, soft grays, and sleek blacks. But if you’re looking for something a little more colorful, Wayfair has you covered. The brand’s Wayfair Basics Napkin Set is available in a whopping 39 colors—ranging from pastel lilacs to vibrant lime greens. 

These machine-washable napkins are crafted from polyester, so they promise to be pretty durable and easy to take care of. Also nice: The napkins come in sets of 10, and they’re available at a genuinely budget-friendly price point. So snag them, and you’re not just scoring a set of colorful cloth napkins—you’re scoring a deal on a set of colorful cloth napkins.

Best Monogram: TheEmbroideredGirl Custom Monogram Linen Napkin

TheEmbroideredGirl Custom Monogram Linen Napkin

Quantity: Set of 6 | Size: 21 x 20 inches | Material: Cotton, linen | Care: Machine wash

What We Like
  • Crafted from a soft linen-cotton blend

  • Completely customizable (monogram, napkin color, and thread color)

  • Available in 10 different napkin colors

  • Available in 40 different thread colors

What We Don't Like
  • No care instructions provided (may not be machine washer- or dryer-friendly)

  • Sold individually

If you’re investing in a set of monogrammed napkins, you want to be sure you’ll love the results. Etsy seller TheEmbroideredGirl offers monogrammed napkins in 10 different napkin colors and 40 different thread colors, so you shouldn’t have any trouble piecing together a set that both looks great and has personal significance.

These napkins are crafted from a super-soft blend of linen and cotton, and each one is adorned with a prominently stitched border lined with delicate holes. This intricate detail makes the napkins look incredibly elegant—and the custom monogram leaves them looking even fancier. 

One downside worth mentioning: The napkins are sold individually, which is a little tedious. That said, this means you’ll be able to choose a custom napkin color and thread color for every single napkin. So you’ll have complete control over how your final napkin set comes together.

Best Linen: Williams Sonoma Italian Washed Linen Napkins

Williams Sonoma Italian Washed Linen Napkins

Quantity: Set of 4 | Size: 20 square inches | Material: Linen | Care: Machine-wash, tumble-dry low

What We Like
  • Crafted from textured linen

  • Stonewashed finish (makes the napkins soft and crinkly)

  • Machine-washable and dryer-friendly (and shouldn’t shrink in the wash)

  • Can withstand ironing

  • Available in 20 different colors

What We Don't Like
  • Napkin colors may look different in-person than they do in photos

  • Some quality control issues with the stitching

There’s no denying it: Linen napkins can get expensive. But Williams Sonoma offers a relatively budget-friendly way to stock up on the quality find. The brand’s Italian Washed Linen Napkins are woven from textured linen, with a stonewashed treatment that makes them feel extra soft. While they're designed to have a more lived-in, crinkly look, they're also iron-friendly, so you can customize how crinkly or crisp they are. This makes the linen napkins a great pick for everyday use and fancier gatherings, alike.

Because convenience counts for a lot, these linen napkins are both machine washer- and dryer-friendly. Plus, their stonewashed finish means they shouldn’t shrink in the wash. They're available in a variety of different colors, so you can stock up on your favorite shades.

Best Organic: Pottery Barn Organic Cotton Casual Napkins

Pottery Barn Organic Cotton Casual Napkins

Quantity: Set of 4 or single | Size: 20 square inches | Material: 100% organic cotton | Care: Machine-wash, tumble-dry low

What We Like
  • Crafted entirely from organic cotton

  • Machine-washable and dryer-friendly

  • Can withstand ironing and non-chlorine bleach

  • Available in 8 different colors

  • Available individually and in sets of 4

What We Don't Like
  • May wrinkle in the dryer (but can be ironed)

  • May wrinkle in the dryer (but can be ironed)

Pottery Barn's Organic Cotton Casual Napkins are made from—you guessed it—organic cotton, so they promise to feel both soft and textured. And they should be pretty absorbent, too. The napkins are also available in eight different colors. Sold both individually and in four-piece sets, you can stock up on exactly as many as you need.

Though organic cotton is a splurge-worthy material, these napkins promise to be as durable as any others. In addition to being both machine washer- and dryer-friendly, they should hold up to ironing and non-chlorine bleach. This means you can conveniently toss your napkins in the laundry after each meal—and you shouldn’t have to worry about spills, stains, or wrinkles, either.

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins (view at Food52), which are soft, lightweight, and easy to clean. Available in six different colors and two different set quantities, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a set that suits your kitchen table. If you’re shopping on a budget, we recommend Cieltown’s Polyester Cloth Napkins (view at Amazon) for their durable construction and sleek look.

What to Look for in a Cloth Napkin

Look

Cloth napkins can be a great way to add some visual flair to your tablescape. So keep an eye out for options that suit your decor scheme. Cloth napkins come in a variety of colors, prints, and textures—meaning you’ll have plenty of options to choose from as you shop.

Feel

Cloth napkins can be made from many different materials, but you’ll usually see them made from cotton, polyester, or linen. All three of the materials are great, but they tend to feel a little different. (Cotton may feel soft, whereas polyester may feel smooth.) So keep an eye out for materials that feel the way you want them to.

Quantity

Cloth napkins come in sets of four, six, eight—and sometimes even more. Since quantity can vary so much from set to set, it’s important to double-check how many napkins you’re actually getting. This is key when comparing prices. And it’s also generally helpful to know how many napkins to expect.

Size

Cloth napkins can come in a couple different sizes—usually 18 inches by 18 inches and 20 inches by 20 inches. This is particularly important to remember when you’re mixing and matching different napkin sets. If one set is full of 18-inch napkins and the other is full of 20-inch napkins, your napkins may not go together quite the way you thought they would.

Care instructions

Cloth napkins can be surprisingly easy to care for. Most are machine-washable, and many are also dryer-friendly. That said, it’s always worth it to double-check the care instructions before buying. You don’t want to end up with a high-maintenance set of napkins when you think you’re buying a low-maintenance one.

FAQ
  • How do you get stains out of cloth napkins?

    There are a few different ways to get stains out of cloth napkins. You can spot-clean them with dish soap or a stain removal spray, or you can throw them in the washing machine with a couple of teaspoons of baking soda. If your napkins are white, you may also be able to freshen them up with OxiClean. “Starch is your friend if you like a fresh and crisp linen appearance,” Moyer says. “Otherwise, we rely on OxiClean to keep our white fields white.”

    Before taking any of these steps, though, double-check the care instructions for your specific cloth napkins. Some materials can handle harsh chemicals, while others can’t. The last thing you want is to ruin your cloth napkins while trying to clean them!


  • How often should you wash cloth napkins?

    There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how often you should wash your cloth napkins. You can toss them in the wash after every meal, or you can wait a few meals before throwing them in the laundry. Find a schedule that works for you, and make sure you have enough cloth napkins to sustain that schedule. For example, if you only have four napkins in a 4-person household—and you don’t want to do laundry multiple times a day—you may not want to wash your napkins after every meal.

  • How do you fold cloth napkins?

    There are many different ways to fold cloth napkins. A couple of Moyer’s favorites: Fold them into sixths and tie them up with hemp string, or slide them inside napkin rings. Options abound, though, so play with different styles until you find something that suits your tablescape—and your preferred level of effort.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Lindsey Lanquist has covered home decor and accessories for The Spruce since 2019. For this article, she prioritized cloth napkins that were crafted from high-quality (but easy to clean!) materials, genuinely well-reviewed by those who’d tried them, and available in a range of colors or patterns. For added insight, she consulted with Betsy Moyer, co-founder and interior designer at Retreat.

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