Shelf liners protect your cabinetry from moisture, damage, stains, and scratches, and make it easier to clean up spills and messes. The right shelf liner can serve as form and function in your space, adding your desired color and texture, too.
While it may sound like a quick and simple purchase, there's a variety of styles and types of shelf liners on the market, so a little research and foresight can ensure you're getting exactly what you need. Consider what you want your shelf liner to do—for example, prevent spills from damaging woodwork, add texture or color, keep small items from slipping through gaps—and then work backward to pick a liner that checks all your boxes. “People should factor in the material and color when selecting a shelf liner for aesthetic and function,” advises Hannah Goetz, a professional organizer and owner of Hannah Goetz Organizing.
We researched the best shelf liners available online, evaluating ease of application, adhesion, care and maintenance, and durability. Our top pick, the Duck Smooth Top EasyLiner, has a non-adhesive grip bottom, features a smooth surface that makes it easy to access bulky items, and is machine washable. It's versatile enough to work in rooms throughout your home, and it's available in multiple sizes and colors to boot. If that doesn't quite match your needs, don't worry; there are plenty of other good choices out there.
Duck Smooth Top EasyLiner
Easy to slide items across
Initial plastic smell
Grooves are not always even
The Smooth Top EasyLiner is a simple, affordable, and effective option for your home's shelves and drawers, and that's why it's our top pick. The vinyl material comes in 12- and 20-inch widths to fit most standard cabinets. This material is also super durable for housing dishes, pots, pans, bathroom products, cleaning products, and whatever else you might store on your shelves. This liner has a non-adhesive grip on the bottom to keep the liner in place without damaging your cabinets. This grip doesn't leave sticky residue behind, so you can rest easy if you're a renter. The downside is an initial plastic-like smell when you first unroll the liner, so be prepared.
The product's smooth top makes it easy to slide items across the surface so you can easily retrieve your plates and bowls. You'll notice that it stays in place—for the most part—and it's also easy to clean thanks to its machine-washable design. You can run it through a cold wash cycle if it develops grime. It's worth noting that the grooves you'd cut along to fit it to your specific cabinet aren't always even. You may need to settle with a slightly angled design to get a perfect rectangle.
Price at time of publish: $30 for 2
Dimensions: 12 inches x 20 feet | Material: Vinyl | Color: White, taupe, back qautrefoil | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Best Overall, Runner-up
Gorilla Grip Original Drawer and Shelf Liner
Several sizes and colors
Easy to clean
Can bunch up on shelves
Grooves are not always even
The Gorilla Grip Original Drawer and Shelf Liner is made from a rubber-like material that provides superior grip and keeps objects from sliding around on your shelves. The open-grid construction is reversible and also grips to the surface underneath, without any need for adhesive. It’s easy to trim using basic kitchen scissors (you'll notice the grooves are not always even, though), and easy to clean—just wipe down the material with a damp cloth and mild soap as needed.
Notably, the squishy liner will ultimately prevent items from scratching your shelves and can be used for other applications, as well, such as opening jars and cushioning cutting boards. If your shelves are large or small, there's also a variation for you. This product comes in several widths, including 12, 16, 17.5, 20, and 24 inches and lengths ranging from 10 to 30 feet. It's not the best at staying put on shelves, but it is very durable, which is key. Plus, there's a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from.
Price at time of publish: $25
Dimensions: 12 inches x 20 feet | Material: Not listed | Color: Beige, with 20+ more options | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Duck Select Grip EasyLiner Shelf and Drawer Liner
Has several potential uses
Grip is inconsistent
Doesn't contain spills
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution to keep your shelves organized and very clean, the Select Grip EasyLiner is a great option for you. It comes in both 12- and 20-inch widths, and in lengths of 6, 10, and 24 feet, with multiple colors to pick from, too. The plastic provides a grippy surface that will keep shelf contents in place. In fact, it's reliable and strong enough to hold couch cushions, mattresses, and bathroom rugs in place, and aid in opening sticky jar lids.
The liner is also easy to cut with a pair of kitchen scissors and the woven construction provides cushioning for items placed on top. It can stick to the surface of a cabinet, or the items you place on it, and loosen from its spot on the shelf. If there's a big mess, the liner won't contain spills either, but it can be tossed in your washer for easy clean-up of what it does hold. Ultimately, its value is hard to beat, even if its performance could be a bit better.
Price at time of publish: $10
Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 feet | Material: Plastic | Color: Black | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
The Container Store Natural Cotton Canvas Liner
Stays in place well
Won’t snag clothing
On the expensive side
Edges can fray
The Natural Cotton Canvas Liner is as attractive as it is functional, making it a helpful addition to your home. Made from premium cotton canvas with a PVC-lined (polyvinyl chloride) backing, this liner doesn't have any adhesive, but stays in place. Each roll is 16 inches wide and 5 feet long, so you can line many shelves with this pricey yet effective product.
Because the liner has a smooth fabric surface, it won’t snag delicate clothes, making it particularly ideal for lining closets or dresser drawers. If you'd like to tailor the liner to your needs, guiding lines will help you make cuts. A pair of kitchen scissors is typically strong enough to cut through the natural-looking and very attractive fabric. Now, the edges can fray, especially when you're resizing the liner. For a clean look, you need to address these frays after each cut or stick to tucking the liner into a drawer.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 16 inches x 5 feet | Material: Cotton canvas with a PVC backing | Color: Natural | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Con-Tact Brand Creative Covering Self-Adhesive Vinyl Drawer and Shelf Liner
Guidelines for cutting
Can be wiped clean
Can be repositioned
Can be tricky to install
If you have ongoing issues with shelf liners sliding around in your cupboards, then an adhesive liner is for you. It has a sticky backing that keeps it in place, but the liner is also removable, in case you’re using it in a rental. Available in 14 solid colors, this simple liner is made from vinyl and features guidelines on the back for easy measuring and to help you cut in straight lines. You can just wipe it clean and feel confident that it blocks moisture and dirt.
This Con-Tact Brand shelf liner comes in rolls that are 18 inches wide and as short as 9 feet and up to 60 feet long. Either length could be ample material to complete a project, depending on its size, but the adhesive backing can make it more complicated to use. You may notice when installing the liner that it's not super thick. Notably, the liner can be used for decorating, resurfacing tables and counters, or even crafting, too.
Price at time of publish: $11
Dimensions: 18 inches x 9-60 feet | Material: Vinyl | Color: 14 available | Adhesive Type: Adhesive
The Container Store Unscented Shelf and Drawer Liner
Easy to cut through
Corners may curl initially
Paper shelf liners are both simple and affordable, and the Unscented Shelf and Drawer Liners are some of the highest quality ones you can bring into your home. These white liners are made from luxuriously thick paper and come in packs of six. (Each piece of the paper liner measures 18 by 24 inches.) They're a great fit for linen closets, bathroom drawers, and more, and you can trim them down to size using kitchen scissors.
Not to mention, the liners are unscented. However, if you want to keep your clothes or linens smelling fresh, you can use fragrance spray on the paper when you install them or slip a dryer sheet underneath. The corners may curl at first and require some extra handling and care at the time of installation. Apply your own adhesive at the points or lay a heavy book on top of the liner for a few hours to fix this issue.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 18 inches x 2 feet | Material: Paper | Color: White | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Williams Sonoma Hold Everything Cork Drawer Liner
Easy to cut
Absorbs oil and grease
Easy to adjust and reposition as necessary
There's something to be said for cork liners. They look very attractive, and the material can help absorb oils and grease, making them the perfect fit for a cabinet with kitchen utensils and cooking products. These shelf liners come in rolls that are a generous 12 feet long and have a surface made from natural cork. All in all, they have a similar look and feel to a cork board you'd hang up in your office or dorm room.
Notably, the spongy material prevents items from scratching the surface below as well. Despite being made of cork, the liner is easy to cut, so if you have extra laying around your space after your project has wrapped, you can use the product for all sorts of different purposes, such as crafting chair leg pads or making coasters. But you'll have to look to other products for crafting a cork board, as this liner isn't thick enough.
Price at time of publish: $25
Dimensions: 17.5 inches x 12 feet | Material: Cork | Color: Natural cork | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Anoak Non-Adhesive Cabinet Liner
Blends into cabinets
Items won't slip easily
Won’t curl at corners
Difficult to cut
Hard to clean
For discreet shelf liners, consider the Anoak Non-Adhesive Cabinet Liners, which have a transparent design that helps them blend into your space. They're made from food-grade EVA (also known as ethylene-vinyl acetate), which gives them a similar texture to rubber. They're available in rolls that are 12, 17.5, 20, or 24 inches wide, and in lengths ranging from 10 to 35 feet long.
What really sets these liners apart from others is they can be used on regular shelving and wire shelving. To install them, simply trim them with a utility knife or a heavy-duty pair of scissors to the correct size. (This task may take some elbow grease.) They have a ribbed texture on both sides for a better grip. This texture can make cleaning harder, but also prevents any kind of slipping from happening on a day-to-day basis.
Price at time of publish: $24
Dimensions: 17.5 inches x 20 feet | Material: Ethylene-vinyl acetate | Color: Clear, gray, blue | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Best for Wire
ClosetMaid 1127 Shelf Liner Roll
Easy to clean
Corners can roll up initially
Tabs are not ideal for cutting
If you have wire shelving in your home, Hannah Goetz—a professional organizer and owner of Hannah Goetz Organizing—says it’s extremely helpful to buy shelf liners. “I highly recommend shelf liners, especially when you have wired shelving, to help create a solid surface and keep dirt or crumbs from falling through,” says Goetz. The ClosetMaid Shelf Liner roll is ideal for this application, as the plastic material has locking tabs that keep it in place on wire shelving. The liner is also made from heavy-duty vinyl and is easy to clean if there's ever a spill.
Rolls are available in both 12- and 16-inch widths. You can cut it down to size using a standard pair of scissors. Before purchasing, you'll want to be aware that the corners can roll up at first, making the product cumbersome to install. If and when you resize the product, the tab placemat can also make cutting difficult. It's most suitable for a space that fits the dimensions right from the get-go.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 feet | Material: High-density polyethylene plastic | Color: Clear | Adhesive Type: Locking
Smart Design Shelf Liner
Can be tailored to your style
Easy to clean
Slips around its surface
Small selection of sizes
If you’re covering open shelving or frequently used drawers, you might want a shelf liner that’s more decorative. The Smart Design Shelf Liner is a great way to go. This protective liner comes in a wide range of pretty patterns—including options for every style of decor from farmhouse to kid bedrooms to fashionista closets. Rolls are 12 inches wide and 10 feet long, but there are also other size options if this isn't going to work for your space.
This attractive shelf liner is easy to cut into any shape or size you desire, and it can even be washed if it gets particularly dirty. (Thanks to a plastic-like material on top, you can even wipe up small spills in between larger cleans.) A downside? There's no adhesion, so this shelf liner will slip around if it's not stuck to the surface with either tape or another self-made adhesive.
Price at time of publish: $12
Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 feet | Material: Not listed | Color: Multiple patterns and colors | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Drymate Premium XL Under The Sink Mat
Edges don't fray
Made with recycled materials
On the expensive side
Smaller than you'd expect
For cabinets, shelves, or spaces prone to moisture, you can protect your surface with the Drymate Premium Under The Sink Mat. The super heavy-duty liner is made from a patented material that absorbs moisture and wicks it away from the surface below. In doing so, it prevents any liquids from soaking through and ruining the shelves or floor. These mats come in two different sizes, as well as several patterns that'll help you add style and function to your space.
You can cut them to fit your cabinet and the edges won’t fray. Not to mention, you can machine or hand-wash the mats to keep the material clean and looking brand new. An added bonus is the product is made with recycled materials, which justifies the higher price tag for some. It can also give you a sense of relief when installed next to a water-loving appliance, whether it be a dishwasher, washing machine, or refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser.
Price at time of publish: $23
Dimensions: 24 inches x 4.92 feet | Material: Polyester | Color: Charcoal, with four more colors/patterns | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Best for Organizing
YouCopia Spice Liner
Slotted design accommodates jars and other small items
Can be cut to size
One size available
No variation in slot width
When you want the convenience of an organizer but the low footprint of a shelf liner, the YouCopia Spice Liner is up to the task. With 120 inches, or 10 feet, of material, you can cut rows according to your needs and to your drawer and shelf sizes. The foam material also keeps glass jars and other delicate items from bumping around, and it stays in place without extra adhesive or glue. The rolls are offered in both sandstone (a light tan) or a medium gray to suit most kitchens and other spaces.
While it's clearly designed for spice jars, this liner is versatile enough piece that you can use it with utensils, personal care items, or desk supplies. The entire roll has a width of 2.5 inches, so each piece you cut will fit parallel to its counterparts (unless you get extra creative with those scissors). We could see a use for more shapes and sizes, both in roll dimensions and for the slot width, but until that day arrives, we're excited about the capabilities of the current version.
Price at time of publish: $17
Dimensions: 120 x 2.5 x 0.4 inches| Material: Foam | Color: Gray, sandstone | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
Sterling Shelf Liners Wire Shelf Liner
Pre-sized for easy installation
Can still easily trim if necessary
Multiple sets and sizes offered
Some buyers note that material felt thin
Size discrepancies reported by a small amount of shoppers
These shelf liners give you the same functionality as rolls, but with the added convenience of arriving flat and pre-sized. If you're not particularly interested in purchasing an entire roll of shelf liner material, or you don't want to fuss with edges that might curl, or you prefer to do as little trimming as possible—or all of the above—then they will be your cup of tea.
Offered in six different sizes and two colors (transparent and gray), you can buy them to suit your kitchen, your bedroom closet, your garage, or any other shelf system that needs some added protection. They're made for wire shelves in particular, but you can of course use them on solid shelves if and when the mood strikes. We love how easy they are to set-up and clean and were struck by how many happy ratings and reviews they had—though, we did notice a subtle theme theme of incorrect sizes reported by some buyers, as well as displeasure in the thinness of the material. However, we still think they're very promising, especially for anyone looking for a quick and easy solution to small items falling through the gaps of wire shelving.
Price at time of publish: $27 for 3
Dimensions: Varies, from 14 x 24 inches up to 24 x 48 inches| Material: Polypropylene | Color: Transparent, gray | Adhesive Type: Non-adhesive
When it comes to shelf liners, there are plenty of options. For a clear and easy solution, opt for the Duck Smooth Top Easy Liner. It's easy to install and has a non-adhesive grip. The machine-washable material is durable for housing dishes, pots, pans, bathroom products, cleaning products, and whatever else you might find storing on your shelves. For a slightly cheaper option, go with the Duck Select Grip Easy Liner. For only a few dollars, this liner protects your inner cabinets and your dishware from damage.
What to Look for in Shelf Liners
When looking for the right shelf liner for your space, material is everything. It can determine how your items are stored, how your liners are installed, how you need to maintain the liners, and the overall style of your space. Hannah Goetz, a professional organizer and owner of Hannah Goetz Organizing, explains, “Some examples are clear plastic, solid grip, beaded grip, and decorative paper liners, which are purely for design." Goetz mentions that grip liners will be the most functional and prevent items from sliding around, but plastic liners have lots of notable perks. "Plastic liners are great to protect shelves, and if you want them to blend in and clean easily.”
Start by considering where you want to use the shelf liners. If you’re planning to position them on open shelving where they’ll be seen, you may want to opt for decorative liners. Next, consider the items that'll be placed on them. Clothes will need a surface that's smooth and snag-free like cotton canvas, while the glasses in your kitchen may need something moisture-wicking, like cork liners. Once you've identified where and how you'll be using your shelf liners, you'll be able to make more informed decisions about what will suit your home.
When it comes to shelf liners, there are two main adhesion types: adhesive and non-adhesive. As you might be able to guess, adhesive liners have a sticky material on the back that keeps them in place (take a look at our recommendation for Best Adhesive for an example). This is naturally a more permanent solution and can leave residue on your shelves when removed. If you're renting, adhesive liners may not be the best option for you.
Non-adhesive liners, like our Best Non-Adhesive suggestion, usually have some type of non-slip material on the bottom to keep them in place. However, they can still be shifted if heavy objects are dragged across them. Some liners blend these categories and promise to be removable or self-adhesive. A removable shelf liner can be adhesive, but it won't typically leave damage or residue behind. Self-adhesive shelf liners give you the option to add adhesion, or not.
When you’re shopping for shelf liners, you’ll want to measure the width and depth of the shelf or drawer where you plan to use them. Many shelf liners on the market are usually 12, 18, or 20 inches wide. Choosing the proper size will save you a lot of work during installation, as you won't likely need to measure, cut, and resize the product yourself. Carefully measuring your shelves will also ensure you purchase enough product to complete your project.
Why do you need a shelf liner?
Shelf liners can serve several purposes in your home. When used in pantry or kitchen cabinets, liners make it easy to clean up crumbs and spills, all while protecting the wood or shelf material underneath. When paired with wire shelving, a sturdy liner like our suggestion for Best for Wire will prevent small items from falling through the cracks, making the shelving easier to use.
In addition, some shelf liners have features, such the grippy surface found on our Best Budget pick, that prevent items from shifting around. This is particularly ideal for those living in an RV or camper, as the liner will stop items from moving around and breaking while you're on the go. Finally, some shelf liners have a purely decorative purpose, adding a pop of visual interest to open shelving or frequently used drawers. We offered a Best Decorative pick too, in case this is your priority while shopping.
Can wallpaper be used as a shelf liner?
If you can’t find a shelf liner that speaks to your style, you can use peel-and-stick wallpaper to line your drawers instead. Most wallpapers are made from a similar vinyl material, and its sticky backing will keep it in place. However, just keep in mind that wallpaper typically isn’t designed to be washed or get wet, so it may not be as easy to maintain as a true shelf liner.
How do you secure a shelf liner?
Securing a shelf liner goes back to the type of adhesion it has and the material it's made out of. “Some shelf liners already have an adhesive back, but they usually have a grip to them to keep them in place,” explains Goetz. “Getting the right size, or cutting to the exact size of the shelf or drawer, is key to securing it as well." Goetz recommends using a double-sided adhesive if a liner doesn't have an adhesive or grip.
What's the difference between shelf liner and contact paper?
Shelf liners and contact paper serve the same purpose. The main difference is that shelf liners are usually made of thicker and more durable materials, such as plastic or cork.
How do you remove shelf liner?
The process for removing a shelf liner depends on whether or not the shelf liner is adhesive. If it is non-adhesive, you can likely just lift the liner with no hassle at all. If your liner is adhesive and/or paper-based, you will need to go through a more thorough process to remove the liner.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester who’s an expert on all things home. When selecting products for this list, she considered the material of the liners, the size, and any special features, as well as the product’s reviews from real users. She also interviewed Hannah Goetz, a professional organizer and owner of Hannah Goetz Organizing, for insights on how to select shelf liners and why they’re beneficial in the home.
Dena Ogden, Commerce writer at The Spruce, updated this piece and contributed additional research. She's been writing professionally since 2016, and with The Spruce since August 2022, specializing in appliances, cleaning, and organizational topics.