A kitchen's design appeal can be found in the details. With that in mind, placemats can serve as both form and function in one of the busiest places in your home. They can protect your table, show off your dining aesthetic, add a pop of color or texture, or all of the above. When shopping for placemats, keep your entire dining area in mind. Pam Clyde, professional organizer and owner of BritLin Cleaning in Round Rock, Texas, recommends picking something that matches the decor style of your home and suits your cleaning preferences, as some materials are easier to care for than others.
We conducted hours of research to round up the best placemats, evaluating each model on design, material, durability, and wash type. Our best overall pick is West Elm's Cotton Canvas Placemats, which feature a quality weave construction and simple yet eye-catching design. They're also machine washable for easy cleanup.
Here are the best placemats to suit every tablescape.
West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats (Set of 2)
Available in several colors
Only two per set
Limited color options
The West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats are our top pick because of their classic design that you can dress up or down. They're a versatile option that you can use for everything from daily table setting to special holiday dinners.
This set of two placemats is available in four elegant colors, so they're almost guaranteed to work with your kitchen or dining room color scheme. The placemats are machine washable, making them ideal for everyday use for households with kids or particularly messy eaters.
The design is simple yet visually engaging: A vertical seam runs down the placemat, featuring a different texture on either side that lends an unexpected and sophisticated style. Customers note that the cotton weave of these mats is durable and strong enough to withstand daily use, holding up wash after wash. The only downsides are that these placemats come in limited color options, depending on stock, and they're only available in sets of two, so you'll likely need to purchase multiple packs.
Price at time of publish: $24 for 2
Number: 2 placemats | Dimensions: 19 x 14 inches | Material: Cotton | Color: 4 color options
Best Overall, Runner-Up
Home Brilliant Placemats Set of 6
Protects table from heat
Made from thick, sturdy fabric
Possible size variation of up to 1 inch
For another pretty yet practical set, consider this option from Home Brilliant. We love the elegant aesthetic that doesn't sacrifice quality; they can insulate up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than most hot plates. Plus, these thick, machine-washable placemats have the look of linen but do not wrinkle as easily.
We also like the variety of color options, so you can mix and match your favorites, stock up for holidays, or even grab the colors of your favorite team or alma mater. These placemats have a lot to offer, but they’re not spill-proof, so if you knock over a water glass, it will seep through to your table. They can also vary in size by up to 1 inch, according to the manufacturer. But we think that for regular use, protection from scratches, and a pop of color in a neutral texture, they're an excellent choice.
Price at time of publish: $22 for 6
Number: 6 or 4 placemats | Dimensions: 13 x 9 inches | Material: Polyester & polyester blend | Color: 16 color options
Threshold Polyround Charger Placemat
Multiple color options
Easy to wipe clean
Not machine washable
The Threshold Polyround Charger Placemat is a budget-friendly option that easily can pass for a more expensive option, thanks to the chic round design and woven texture that adds visual appeal. Made from polypropylene, a type of plastic material, they're ideal for protecting your table's surface from hot dishes and liquid spills. However, they are a bit flimsy and aren't machine washable, which is a bit of a downside if you plan to use them daily. If food spills on them, you can wipe them clean or spot clean them as needed between uses.
They come in seven colors, including neutrals, pastels, and a rich dark blue. With a 15-inch diameter, they're also the perfect size to frame a standard-sized dinner plate or to layer atop your favorite rectangular placemats.
Price at time of publish: $2 each
Number: 1 placemat | Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches | Material: Polypropylene | Color: 7 color options
Ames Jipi Japa Mat, Set of 6
Easy to wipe clean
Available in several colors
Not machine washable
Will not match everyone's style
The Ames Jipi Japa Mat Set features a beautiful pattern and rich colors that'll pop against all kinds of surfaces. Even better, they're sustainably made of Jipijapa palm leaf fibers and handcrafted in the Andes by Colombian artisans, so rest assured that they're ethically sourced and each purchase makes a positive impact.
The gorgeous design features vibrant colors with a simple, detailed, high-quality aesthetic. While we love this authentic print, it might not blend well with all kitchen color palettes, and these placemats aren't machine washable, so they're not likely to be your next everyday set of placemats. We think that's okay, and that they're just the sort of pieces that you'll like to pull out for special occasions or when you're looking to brighten up your table.
Price at time of publish: $100 for 6
Number: 6 placemats | Dimensions: 14 x 12 inches | Material: Jipijapa palm fibers | Color: 5 color options
Williams Sonoma Fringed Placemats
Available in six colors
On the pricey side
These Williams Sonoma placemats are made from 100 percent linen and are available in a rainbow of six versatile colors. The durable weave can withstand daily use without showing signs of wear, and since they're made of linen, they'll get softer over time. We appreciate the fringed edges for an elegant yet simple look, too. It's also worth mentioning that they're machine washable, so even though they look and feel high-end, they're easy to care for.
This set is more expensive than some of our selections, but we do feel the value is there given how chic and sophisticated they are. They're the epitome of a table accessory that you can use every day, for formal occasions, and for everything in between.
Cost: $60 for 4
Number: 4 placemats | Dimensions: 20 x 14 inches | Material: Linen | Color: 6 color options
Etsy Portugal Cork Table Mats Placemats - Natural Tan
Made from renewable sources
Easy to clean
Can order matching coasters
These Portugal Cork placemats, available from Etsy shop BluejayBarnShop, are an eco-friendly showstopper. The rich color looks so striking against many surfaces, including glass and both dark and light wood. Cork is ideal for use on surfaces because it's heat- and water-resistant, so this option serves a dual purpose as a table protector and a beautiful placemat.
Now, they're not machine washable due to the cork material, but you can wipe them clean as needed. Also, since the placemats are handmade, the exact pattern may vary—we think that's part of the appeal, but understand that it might not be for everyone. And note that purchasing from an independent shop means availability may be limited. All in all, we still think these are a great choice for a cork placemat.
Price at time of publish: $31 for 2
Number: Varies | Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.75 inches | Material: Natural cork | Color: 1 color option
Best for Kids
Munchkin Spotless Silicone Placemats
Anti-slip bottom to prevent dishes from sliding
Small lip to contain spills and messes
Can be rolled up for on-the-go meals
Limited color availability
If you have young kids, or you're prone to spills (no judgment!), the Munchkin Spotless Silicone Placemat set could be a game changer. Each placemat has a slightly raised edge, which can help corral spilled soup and crumbs, making it an excellent option for keeping messes contained. They're also fashioned with a grip bottom to help them stick to your table, countertop, or high chair's surface. The mats are easy to clean by hand, or you can pop them in the dishwasher for a thorough wash in between uses. You can also roll them up for easy storage or transport, too.
At about 11 inches long and 15 inches wide, they're a kid-friendly size, but they might seem small compared to standard placemats. The other potential downside we see is that the color options are pretty limited, so if you're looking to match a certain decor style, you might not find that here—but there are nice, bright choices that kids will love.
Price at time of publish: $10 for 2
Number: 2 placemats | Dimensions: 11.13 x 15 inches | Material: Silicone | Color: 2 color combinations
Ivy Bronx Gargano Reversible 16.25" Paper Disposable Placemats
Made from recyclable paper
Convenient for entertaining
Bold colors might not appeal to all
This set of Ivy Bronx disposable placements is designed for single use, which means it's a convenient option for entertaining purposes. Made from paper with a thickness of 0.25 millimeters—or roughly that of cardstock—they come in a pack of 24, so you can grab what you need as you go.
We appreciate that their design is reversible, so you can create color-coordinating yet slightly differentiated place settings, or simply switch it up when the mood strikes. Though, note that the color choices (six in total) are rich and bold. If you're after a neutral set, your only choice with this design is black and white. However, if you're looking for something bright and cheery, this option is worth a look.
Price at time of publish: $19 for 24
Number: 24 disposable placemats | Dimensions: 16.25 x 12 inches | Material: Paper | Color: 6 color options
Chilewich Bamboo Indoor/Outdoor Placemats
Made from sustainable materials
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
Three available colors, plus other patterns
Not machine washable
Use these Chilewich placemats from Pottery Barn at your next outdoor party. They boast a chic aesthetic that can come inside with you when the evening cools off. Made of Chilewiche's TerraStrand, they look like a neutral bamboo-like material, but they're technically vinyl yarns comprised of 25 percent vegetable content. They're also reversible, so a quick smudge on one side can be dabbed clean and turned over until guests leave and you can properly tend to it. (It's important to note that you'll want to spot clean or wipe them, as opposed to putting them in the wash).
This particular style is available in three colors, though Pottery Barn carries an array of other Chilewich placemat designs, too. While there is much to appreciate—especially the brand's commitment to sustainability—they are a pricier option than others on this list. They can be purchased as singles or in sets of four, although each placemat is the same price either way.
Price at time of publish: $17 each
Number: 1 placemat | Dimensions: 19 x 14 inches | Material: TerraStrand yarns | Color: 3 color options
Best for Wood Tables
Meema Upcycled Denim Cotton Placemats
Made with 80 percent upcycled denim
Some versions feature pockets
Classic color options
Varying material weights
"Thanks, it has pockets!" is no longer a response limited to dress compliments. These charming placemats will bring the classic look of denim to your wood dining table, and some are even complete with small built-in pockets. We love the practical shape and size (19 by 14 inches), and the fact that the pocket is perfect for tucking silverware into place. If pockets are place-setting goals for you, be sure to pick up the gray or striped designs, as those are the two that feature them—they also have a more lightweight weave. If you're not into the pocket look, opt for the beige or darker denim versions, which feature a thicker weave.
Since they're cotton, you can count on them being soft, durable, and machine washable, too. The denim material is constructed with 80 percent upcycled cotton from the Guatemalan textile industry, and they're made with sustainability in mind.
Price at time of publish: $28 for 4
Number: 4 placemat | Dimensions: 19 x 14 inches | Material: Upcycled denim cotton, cotton | Color: 4 color options
World Market Round Natural Fiber Placemat Set Of 4
Suitable for casual and formal dining
Handmade from dried water hyacinth
Can be used indoors and outdoors
Variations in design may occur
Spot clean only
If you love the versatility and style of woven baskets, then you may want to sit down for this one. These round placemats from World Market bring a classically chic woven design to your tabletop. Even better, the thick water hyacinth weave offers an eye-catching yet neutral texture, and it's a sustainable material, too. We think it looks just as good with a low-key tablescape as it does spruced up for more formal occasions—you can even use it both indoors and out.
The round 15-inch diameter makes it practical for use with plates or serving dishes, or you can position it at the center of your table for an added layer to your centerpiece. Note that they're spot clean only, and since they're handwoven from a natural fiber, you may notice some variations in coloring.
Price at time of publish: $24 for 4
Number: 4 placemats | Dimensions: 15 x 15 inches | Material: Water hyacinth | Color: 1 color option
Anchal Graph Placemat Set
Modern, minimalist design
Four color choices
May not suit all kitchen styles
For a geometric design that strikes a balance between trendy and timeless, look no further than this duo from Anchal. The standard rectangular placemat is livened up with straight, linear stitching. The minimalist design is sure to garner compliments from guests. They're handmade with certified organic cotton canvas in India, and promise to be created with fair trade practices.
While you might be tempted to treat them delicately, they're actually quite durable and even machine washable. They're sold in pairs, so it's easy to build a set in matching or complimentary colors (there are four shades to choose from: black, off-white, red, and green). As versatile as they are, their aesthetic might not feel quite right in all kitchen styles, so whether they'll resonate with you is a matter of decor preference.
Price at time of publish: $28 for 2
Number: 2 placemats | Dimensions: 18 x 13 inches | Material: Organic cotton canvas | Color: 4 color options
Our top pick, the West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats, is available in a variety of colors and perfect for everyday use or entertaining. These placemats boast the best of both form and function—they're machine washable, and a visually pleasing vertical seam makes them a chic design choice. For a more budget-friendly pick, consider the Threshold Polyround Charger Placemat. While flimsier, these round placemats can easily be wiped clean.
What to Look for in a Placemat
Placemats are available in a variety of materials, from fabric to paper to plastic to cork. You’ll want to choose a material that matches your dinnerware choices and your aesthetic, as well as an option that’s easy for you to clean.
“Washable, heavier placemats like vinyl are best for outdoor use,” says Pam Clyde, professional organizer and owner of BritLin Cleaning in Round Rock, Texas. “Placemats that are woven, braided, pleated, or have a stitched design look great but will not fare well for daily use because crumbs and liquids will get stuck in all the nooks and crannies, making it difficult to care for them,” she says. If durability and easy cleaning is a high priority for you, consider our "best overall, runner-up" pick, the Home Brilliant Placemats.
You can choose from plain colors or patterns and between square, circular, and oval options. Go with your taste preferences and what looks best with your dining table's size and shape.
Clyde’s recommendation is to take a look at your room from a distance and see which accent colors are displayed or needed. Choose your placemats from there. “Generally speaking, a room needs about four different colors or shades to make it look its best,” Clyde says. When in doubt, a neutral material (like our "best cork" pick, the Portugal Cork Table Mats Placemats or our "best woven" pick, the Round Natural Fiber Placemat Set from World Market) can be a great choice.
If you have a washing machine, you may prefer an option that you can throw in the machine over one that requires cleaning with a damp cloth. Think about what’s easiest for you when it comes to cleaning, along with how often you’ll need to wipe down the placemats and who is using them. If you have kids or regularly have young visitors, you might even consider the Munchkin Silicone Placemat, which can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
How do you pick a placemat color?
Look for accent colors that’ll work in your space with your established kitchen or dining room color palette. "You’ll also want a color that contrasts with your table’s surface rather than blending in," Clyde says. Neutral and earth tone colors are popular in placemats, but we found some bright and patterned choices as well. In particular, we like the Anchal Graph Placemat Set if you're looking for a bit of extra visual appeal.
Should I use round or square placemats?
This depends on your table’s shape. Clyde says, “Round tables generally look best with circular placemats, whereas square and rectangular tables look great with oval or rectangular placemats." While our research garnered more rectangular than round picks, both styles are readily available.
What is the typical size of a placemat?
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to placemat size. Round options are usually between 12 to 15 inches in diameter. Square options often measure 13 by 13 inches (although they can be smaller at around 10 inches or larger at 16 inches). A rectangular placemat will typically be around 12 to 14 inches tall and 18 to 19 inches wide (the largest pick on our list, the Williams Sonoma Fringed Placemats, measure 20 by 14 inches). Make sure to pick a size that will look appropriate with your place setting as well as your table.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Madeleine Burry. She has been writing product reviews for The Spruce since 2019. For this roundup, she researched dozens of placemats at many online shopping destinations and carefully evaluated each model's materials, design, and wash type. She included options that meet a variety of budgets and design needs, including affordable picks as well as splurges and placemats made from cork, fabric, and plastic. Additional input was given by Pam Clyde, professional organizer and owner of BritLin Cleaning in Round Rock, Texas.
Dena Ogden, a commerce writer at The Spruce, updated this piece and contributed additional research. She's been writing professionally since 2015, and with The Spruce since August 2022, specializing in appliances, cleaning and organizational topics.