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Shelf liners are a practical solution to a number of challenges. They can help protect cabinet shelves from moisture and stains, make it easier to clean all kinds of shelf and drawer surfaces, and give shabby storage interiors a fresh and updated look.
As you look for the right liner for your needs, you'll want to keep the material, ease of cutting, and the ease of removal in mind. If you're looking to cover up any unsightly shelves, you'll one with a fun pattern or clean solid color. Or you may decide you want a transparent liner.
Ahead, you'll find the best shelf liners to cover a range of common needs.
Best Overall: Con-Tact Brand Cover Self-Adhesive Semi-Transparent Vinyl Shelf Liner and Privacy Film
When it comes to choosing the best shelf liner, durability and practicality reign supreme. Sure, it’s nice to have something decorative—especially for open shelving—but oftentimes the more utilitarian choices win out. This shelf liner is exactly that. It’s clear and very basic, but it gets the job done and has an affordable price point.
Plus, this shelf liner is adhesive, so it will always stay in place—no matter what and how much you load onto it. Despite that, the water-based glue means it’s possible to reposition the liner and remove it easily, should you need to—ideal for rental homes. If the size isn't quite right, the back of this shelf liner features a grid so you can cut the paper to fit.
Best Budget: Duck Peel N' Stick Shelf Liner
The great thing about shelf liners is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a product that really works and preserves the lifespan of more expensive investments (cabinets, appliances, and other fragile items). Case in point, the Duck Brand Peel N' Stick Shelf Liners are affordable and work remarkably well.
The high-quality permanent adhesive vinyl laminate won’t shift or tear, despite housing heavy-duty items. And at 20 inches by 15 feet, it’s big enough to cover even your largest shelves. But if you happen to need smaller pieces, just cut it to size. The laminate adhesive has a printed paper backing with grids for easy measuring and cutting.
As a bonus, this shelf liner is available in five colors and patterns, including clear, white, granite sandstone, pearl marble, and white marble.
Best for Kitchen: Gorilla Grip Original Drawer and Shelf Liner
When it comes to the kitchen, it’s best to choose a shelf liner with sufficient grip. This will keep your most prized and fragile dinnerware—plates, cups, mugs—in place, no matter how high they’re stacked. Gorilla Grip makes a very functional shelf liner that’s engineered with the highest quality materials to reduce slipping and bunching. But the open grid construction has an additional benefit: it helps protect your cabinets from accumulating unwanted dirt and debris. These shelf liners are also easy to wipe clean—another essential component in a space as prone to messes as the kitchen.
Though these shelf and drawer liners come in popular pre-cut sizes for easy installation, you can simply trim the liner to fit custom spaces. It's also available in a range of colors.
Best for Refrigerator: DII Non-Adhesive Washable Shelf Liner Paper
Though not adhesive, these shelf liners are game-changers for refrigerator shelves and drawers because they're machine-washable. There’s no denying the fridge is a space prone to spills and crumbs, so imagine how much time these shelf liners will save you. Simply cut them to fit refrigerator shelves and drawers, fill up your fridge, then remove to wash periodically.
These shelf liners also work great in bathrooms and laundry rooms, where cosmetics and other products may occasionally spill or leak. Available in two sizes (a set of two shelf liners at 12 x 120 inches or a set of six shelf liners at 12 x 24 inches) and 14 fun patterns and colors.
Best for Closets: Sterling Shelf Liners Closet Shelf Liner
Wire shelving is very common in closets—from shelving to shoe units—so you’ll need to choose appropriately when looking for a shelf liner for your closet. This product is made specifically for wire shelving found, turning the ridged, gapped surface into a smooth, flat area to stow just about anything. These shelf liners also prevent items like high heels or belts from tipping over or falling through gaps.
Though they are made of heavy-duty 30 gauge polypropylene (much sturdier than your average shelf liner), these liners can be easily trimmed to fit any size shelf. Plus, they wipe clean, so you can keep them in good, working order for many years.
Best for Painted Cabinets: Warp Brothers Plast-O-Mat Ribbed Shelf Liner
If your kitchen or bathroom cabinets are painted, it’s best to steer clear of adhesive shelf liners—these liners can inadvertently strip paint during the removal process. Instead, opt for slip-resistant shelf liners that simply sit flush against the surface of your cabinet or shelf.
These shelf liners have no messy adhesives but they still lay flat to adequately protect the wood and painted surfaces from scratches, scuffs, or messes. Ribbing keeps glasses and plates in place and even prevents air flow under glasses and bowls. They have a high-gloss finish that resists stains and is easy to wipe clean with just a bit of soap and water.
Best for Wire: Sterling Shelf Liners Wire Shelf Liner
Steel shelves are ideal for utility rooms and garages because they are extremely durable and can hold hundreds of pounds of weight (find out what you should store in your garage). But the problem with these units is that the shelves aren’t perfectly flat and smaller items and cords can fall through the open metal slats. A shelf liner can help solve these problems.
This particular set of three shelf liners is waterproof, custom tailored to fit perfectly around wire shelf poles, and easy to wipe clean. Although the product is available in six standard sizes, they are easy to trim to size if they don’t fit. Available in three neutral colors.
Best Decorative: d-c-fix Decorative Self-Adhesive Film
Sometimes it’s not possible to adequately conceal shelf liners. Or, other times a shelf liner is intended to dress up an otherwise plain or distressed shelf. In either case, this “rustic wood” shelf liner can be the answer to your dilemma.
The self-adhesive film not only protects surfaces, but it transforms them into an attractive display. It can give a plain white shelf a brand new life! Plus, the Vinyl/PVC film is ideal for highly-trafficked areas, as it’s easy to clean, water-resistant, and more durable than traditional contact paper.
Best Specialty: YouCopia Spice Liner
Sometimes the best drawer liners serve a dual-purpose that helps you get (and stay) organized. This particular liner helps with one of the biggest dilemmas homeowners face in the kitchen: keeping spices neatly corralled. The ridged soft foam keeps bottles securely in place with labels facing up for quick selection, by stopping them from rolling around. It accommodates up to 24 full-sized spice bottles and can be trimmed with scissors to fit whatever size drawer you’re working with.
Material + Color Shelf liners are available in a wide range of colors and materials. If you want to cover up any old or stained shelves and drawers, opt for a thick patterned or solid colored liner. If you’re just adding a layer of protection, you may want a transparent liner.
Easy of Cutting Many shelf liners come with a grid on the peel-off backing layer, to make it easier to measure and them cut to size. Most liners can be cut with household scissors, but you may want a utility knife for some jobs.
Ease of Removal You might want to replace your liners from time to time, or if you’re a renter, you may be asked to remove them. In these cases, look for liners with easy-release adhesives.