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A kitchen's design appeal can be found in the details, like placemats, which protect your table and show off your dining aesthetic. 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 the West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats (Set of 2), which features a quality weave construction, simple yet eye-catching design, and is machine-washable for easy cleanup.
Ahead are the best placemats for your table.
Best Overall: West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats (Set of 2)
Available in many colors
Only two per set
The West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats are our top pick because of their classic design that you can dress up or down. This makes them a versatile option for your everyday table setting and special holiday dinners.
This set of two placemats is available in a wide variety of colorways, from bold navy to a simple white or gray, 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 downside is that these placemats only come in a set of two, so you'll likely need to purchase multiple packs.
Best Budget: Threshold Polyround Charger Placemat
Multiple color options
Easy to wipe clean
The Threshold Polyround Charger is a budget-friendly option for everyday use. For only a few dollars, you'll get a braided design that offers a bit of texture and visual appeal. These round placemats will look lovely in your kitchen and are made from a type of plastic material that makes them ideal for protecting your table's surface from hot dishes and liquid spills. These placemats aren't machine-washable, which is a bit of a downside if you plan to use them daily. However, they can be wiped clean if food spills onto them.
Best Splurge: Ames Jipi Japa Mat, Set of 6
Easy to wipe clean
Available in several colors
Will not match everyone's style
The Ames Jipi Jappa Mat Set features a beautiful pattern that'll pop against all kinds of surfaces. They're sustainably made of Jipijapa palm leaf fibers and handcrafted in the Andes by Colombian artisans. The design features vibrant colors with a simple, detailed, 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 these would do best in a kitchen or on a dining room table that isn't used daily.
Best Linen: Bed Threads 100% French Flax Linen Placemats (Set of Four)
Available in many colors
Functional yet pretty
Tedious washing instructions
These Bed Threads placemats are made from French flax linen and are available in a variety of vibrant colors. The durable texture can withstand daily use without showing signs of wear, and since they're made of linen, they'll get softer over time.
These placemats are machine-washable, but the clean-up is finicky—the manufacturer calls for liquid detergent only, a cold-water cycle, and line-drying. Busy folks might find these specifications a bit too much for day-to-day usage.
Best Cork: Etsy Portugal Cork Table Mats Placemats - Natural Tan
Made from renewable sources
Easy to clean
Can order matching coasters
The Etsy Portugal Cork placemat is an eco-friendly showstopper. The color will pop against many surfaces, including glass and dark wood. Cork is ideal for use on wooden surfaces because it's heat- and water-resistant, so this placemat serves a dual purpose as a table-protector and a beautiful placemat. Since it's handmade, the exact pattern may vary.
Best Silicone: Green Sprouts Finger Food Silicone Placemat
Has raised edges
Limited color availablilty
If you have kids or any eaters who frequently make a mess, consider the Green Sprouts Silicone placemat. It's slip-resistant and easy to wipe clean with a paper towel or sponge. You can also throw this placemat in the dishwasher or hand-wash it with warm, soapy water.
This particular placemat has raised edges to help keep messes restricted to the placemat (think macaroni and cheese or spaghetti), and it sticks to the table, so your little one can't fling it off the table or countertop. On top of that, it’s microwave-safe. These clever features come at a price, as this placemat is a little on the pricey side.
Best Disposable: Bay Isle Home Flanagan Palms 17" Paper Disposable Placemats (Set of 24)
Made from recyclable paper
Comes in a resealable bag for easy storage
Pattern is bold and may not appeal to all
The Bay Isle Home Flanagan Paper Disposable Placemats are designed for single-use, so they're great for entertaining purposes. They are made from sturdy cardstock and come in a pack of 24 with perforated edges so you can rip what you need as you go. The paper is recyclable and comes in a resealable plastic bag so you can easily save the placemats you don't use for your next party.
Best Outdoor: My Drap Recycled Cotton Tear-Off Table Linens
Includes both napkins and placemats
Made from recycled materials
Available in one color
Can only be washed six times
My Drap Recycled Cotton Tear-Off Table Linens are made from recycled cotton, so they look and feel more sophisticated and substantial than a pure paper option. They are designed for single or multi-use and can be machine washed up to six times before disintegrating. Use these placemats at your next outdoor party for a chic aesthetic with minimal cleanup.
Best for Kids: Munchkin Spotless Silicone Placemats
Sticks to table and prevents dishes from sliding around
Easy to clean
Small lip to contain spills and messes
Can be rolled up for on-the-go eating
Limited color availability
The Munchkin Spotless Silicone Placemat set has a slightly raised edge, which can help corral spilled soup and crumbs, making it an excellent option for kids and toddlers. It is also fashioned with a grip bottom to help it stick to your table, countertop, or high chair's surface. The mat is easy to clean by hand and is also dishwasher-safe. At 11.13 x 15 inches, it's a little on the smaller side, so keep that in mind before purchasing.
Best for Wood Table: Home Brilliant Placemats Set of 6
Protects table from heat
Made from thick, sturdy fabric
Possible size variation of up to one inch
The Home Brilliant placemat set features an elegant aesthetic that can insulate up to 450 F, which is more than most hot plates. These thick, machine-washable placemats have the look of linen but do not wrinkle as easily as linen. This set of six affordable placemats has a lot to offer, but they’re not spill-proof, so if you knock over a water glass, wipe it up right away to protect your table.
Our best overall pick, the West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats, is available in a variety of colors and is perfect for everyday use or entertaining. Since it’s machine-washable, it’s easy to clean, and a visually pleasing vertical seam makes these placemats a chic design choice. For a more affordable pick, consider the Threshold Polyround Charger Placemat, a round placemat that can easily be wiped clean.
What to Look for When Buying Placemats
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 length. Square options are often 13 x 13 inches (although they can be smaller at around 10 inches or larger at 16 inches). A rectangular placemat will typically be around 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide. 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.