Best Napkin Holder

The napkin —a simple, folded piece of paper that has become a necessity in almost every home, restaurant, party and special event where food and drinks are served. As simple and convenient as this 20th century invention may be, keeping a bunch of them together and clean for easy access isn’t easy. That’s where a napkin holder comes in.

There are many different napkin holders available on the market, so finding one to suit your needs shouldn’t be difficult. Vertical or horizontal in design, purely utilitarian or whimsical to fit into a specific décor or theme — you can choose one for your kitchen, another for the office, an elegant design for your dining room table when entertaining, and perhaps one for special occasions and events.

To help you narrow down the choices, we’ve curated a list of napkin holders that run the gamut of different materials, sizes and designs. Read on to find the one — or ones — that will look best in your kitchen.

1. Editor’s Choice: BNYD Paper Napkin Holder

For people on a budget, finding a product that can be used in many areas of the house makes economic sense. If you are just starting out, or need to watch your pennies, then you’ll want a long-lasting, functional napkin holder that can be used in your kitchen for casual use, as well for those times when company comes.

Our number one choice has a lot going for it, including a fabulous price point that is within most budgets. What we also like about this napkin holder is its elegant design that can fit into pretty much any decor. Made of sturdy metal with a silver finish, the decorative napkin holder has an intricate cut-out design that can hold around 40 standard-sized paper or fabric napkins.

It measures 5 1/2 inches long by 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches high and has four rounded, elevated feet on the bottom to keep it steadily in place and the napkins free from dirt and moisture. Compact and easy to clean, it is perfect to use in the kitchen, at the office, on the dining room table or for a backyard party.


  • Made of sturdy metal alloy
  • Affordably priced
  • Goes with any decor


  • Large-sized napkins will flop over the top
  • As you use the napkins and empty the holder, the rest of the napkins don’t stand up well

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2. Runner Up: OXO Good Grips Neat Napkin Holder

Many vertically designed napkin holders do an adequate job of keeping napkins together in one place, but all too often, as napkins are taken out and used, the bunch will loosen up and begin to flop over, with random napkins sometimes slipping out of the holder. Not everyone is bothered by this but if you would be, then consider our runner-up pick that has a cool design that keeps your napkins sitting straight, tall and in place, even when the napkin holder is almost empty.

You’re going to pay a little bit more for this napkin holder from OXO — in some cases twice as much as other models — but for that extra monetary output, you get a stainless steel napkin holder with a finger-proof coating to keep it smudge free. The vertical holder opens easily to accept standard sized napkins and has a spring-like tension mechanism. As you remove a napkin one at a time, the sides move minutely to hug the napkins, keeping them upright, even if there are only a few napkins left. And the non-slip base keeps it in place and prevents it from tipping over.


  • Made from stainless steel with a smudge-proof coating
  • Non-slip base
  • One-at-a time napkin removal design
  • Keeps napkins upright even when there are only a few in the holder


  • Pricey
  • Some users said it moved around when pulling out a napkin

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3. Best Horizontal Design: Spectrum Diversified Ashley Flat Napkin Holder

So far, the napkin holders on our list have been vertical in design, holding napkins upright. A horizontal design, or one that is constructed more like an open container to hold napkins, is a modern-looking alternative that is versatile and easy to use.

This napkin holder from Spectrum Diversified has a contemporary design that will fit into any kind of kitchen or dining room decor, matching or complementing a variety of fixtures and finishings. The holder looks like a stylish basket and the open design makes it easy to reach in and grab a napkin. No sagging or flopping around, or napkins falling out of the holder.

Made of thick gauge steel wire that will not easily bend or deform, the napkin holder measures 7.75 inches long by 7. 5 inches wide by 3 inches high, holds standard sized napkins and has no sharp edges to tear or puncture the napkins. Perfect to use in the kitchen or dining room, the low profile and sturdy construction won’t tip or shift, and also makes it a great choice for an outdoor barbecue.


  • Low profile modern design
  • Made of sturdy heavy gauge steel
  • Easy to take napkins out


  • Do not put into the dishwasher
  • There is nothing to hold the napkins down if the holder is outside on a windy day

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4. Best Whimsical Design: NWAC Napkin Holder

Sometimes you want a practical solution when looking for a kitchen product and other times, you may prefer something more decorative. When it comes to a napkin holder, it’s possible to blend form with function and find a cute or whimsical design that will still do a good job holding your napkins in one place.

This napkin holder is designed as a coffee cup, perfect for anyone who can’t get started in the morning without a hot cup of Joe. Not into coffee? No worries. This super cute napkin holder comes in six other styles from a cactus or birds in a tree for gardeners and nature lovers to a romantic cut-out of a couple toasting with wine glasses.

Regardless of the style you choose, all of the napkin holders are made of sturdy, rust-free iron with a powder-coated finish, giving it an artsy vibe. Perfect for yourself or as a unique gift for a special occasion, the holder, which measures approximately 5.5 inches by 1.6 inches by 4 inches depending on the style, can accommodate between 65 and 100 napkins, depending on their size.


  • Unique and creative designs
  • Made from sturdy powder-coated iron
  • Affordably priced


  • Only for small-sized napkins
  • Small in size

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5. Best Minimalist Design: simplehuman Quick Grip Napkin Holder

These days, the trend is toward ‘less is more.’ If this is your home decor mantra, and you are looking for a napkin holder that is highly functional but won’t overtake your space, then you may be interested in this stylish yet simply designed model.

The napkin holder has a sturdy stainless steel base that is a bit larger than some of the others on our list, measuring 7.2 inches by 7.8 inches, and can hold approximately 75 square napkins. It has a weighted tension arm that works to gently hold the napkins down in place. It is easy to pull out one napkin at a time and the weight keeps the napkins from blowing away if you decide to bring it outside for a backyard picnic.

The base also has a bit of a rim to cradle the napkins and keep them neat, and rubber on the bottom stops the holder from sliding. While the minimalist design is giving you more for less in terms of style, in the price department, this napkin holder will cost you more than most models.


  • Practical design
  • Stainless steel base with rubber bottom
  • Weighted tension arm to hold napkins down


  • Expensive

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6. Best Farmhouse Style: Home Acres Napkin Holder

The farmhouse style kitchen has been trending in kitchen renovations the last few years. Beloved for its homey yet functional aesthetic, the modern take on the classic farmhouse kitchen boasts a color scheme of mainly whites, blacks, greys and other neutral tones, with light or dark wood accents. If you’re not going to renovate your kitchen into a farmhouse style any time soon, you may want to add a touch of that vibe with accessories such as this cute napkin holder from Home Acres.

The stainless-steel napkin holder has a glossy white powder-coated finish, which makes it easy to wipe clean. The word napkins is written on one side in black, giving it a cozy, down home look. Measuring 7 inches long by 7 inches wide by 2.5 inches high, it can hold a large number of square napkins. With handles on each side, it’s easy to transport from kitchen to dining room or to outside for a backyard barbecue.

Unbreakable and lightweight, this napkin hold will look great in your kitchen and would make a thoughtful gift for a housewarming or anniversary.


  • Has handles on each side
  • Made from sturdy stainless steel
  • Glossy powder-coating makes it easy to keep clean


  • The style is not for everyone
  • Only for square napkins

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7. Best for Buffet Napkins: Cq Acrylic Clear Napkin Holder

Square napkins are a popular choice for many people, whether it’s for a quick lunch in the kitchen or for guests at a party. But for other occasions, such as a buffet or to leave as a disposable hand towel in the bathroom for guests, a larger, rectangular napkin is favored. In this situation, you’d want to find a napkin holder that can easily accommodate this size.

This napkin holder measures 9.5 inches long by 5.25 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall, the perfect size to hold 5-inch by 8-inch rectangular napkins. The holder is made from unbreakable clear Acrylic and will fit easily into any decor or color scheme. Leave it on the bathroom counter, the kitchen table or on a Sunday buffet and the elegant yet simple design will enhance the setting while providing your napkins with a dry and clean place until ready for use.

The caddy of the holder can accommodate up to 32 napkins and the U-shaped opening makes it easy to access one napkin at a time, while leaving the others in place. And you’ll be happy to know that the Acrylic will not rust or oxidize over time.


  • Fits 32, 5 by 8-inch rectangular napkins
  • Made from smooth, clear Acrylic
  • U-shaped opening makes it easy to access one napkin at a time


  • Acrylic can scratch
  • Fits only rectangular napkins

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8. Best Multi-Use: MaxGear Bamboo Napkin Holder

A napkin holder is a great little invention, but a napkin holder that also has space to keep your salt and pepper shakers goes way beyond expectations and enters the realm of extraordinary. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but at the very least, having these items together in one place is highly convenient and efficient, right?

We love this napkin holder for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is made from 100 percent bamboo, a natural renewable resource that is easy on the eyes and on the environment. The modern vertical design has a bit of a rustic vibe, measures 6.69 inches long by 5.7 inches wide by 6.29 high and holds standard sized napkins. Secondly, the napkin holder has a designated open area with sides to hold a salt and pepper shaker or any kind of seasonings you like to keep at the table such as hot sauce or garlic salt.

The bottom of the holder has a non-slip mat and four anti-slip foam pads to keep it from sliding or scratching your tabletop. And while this napkin holder is a bit more expensive than others with a traditional design, it would make a nice gift.


  • Made from 100 percent bamboo
  • Multi-use
  • Space to hold seasoning jars


  • A bit pricey
  • Not everyone wants or needs the space for seasoning jars

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What to look for when choosing a napkin holder:

For every day use, a birthday party or other special occasion, if you’re serving food and drinks, napkins will be involved. Even if you lay one at each place setting before the meal, chances are they will end up used and bunched up before the food is finished and there will be a need for more to wipe wet mouths and sticky fingers. Instead of having to get up every time someone needs another napkin, you can just reach across the table and easily pull one or two out of a napkin holder. When the meal is over, you can leave the holder on the table, relegate it to a spot on the kitchen counter to keep it handy or tuck it away in a cupboard or the pantry until it’s needed.

If you don’t already have a napkin holder, there are some things to consider before choosing one to make sure you don’t purchase one that doesn’t suit your needs.

Size: This is probably the most important factor to think about before choosing a napkin holder. So many Amazon reviewers complain that the napkin holder they ordered was too small, even though the measurements are in the description. Think about the size of the napkins you use. Are they small cocktail sized at 5 inches by 5 inches square, or are they a standard square size? Do you prefer over-sized or rectangular shaped napkins? Size does matter if you want the napkins to fit properly into the napkin holder.

Horizontal vs vertical: Many napkin holders are vertical in design and hold napkins in an upright position. While these save space, sometimes it can be difficult to put out one napkin at a time without dislodging a few, or even toppling over the holder. A horizontal design can look similar to a basket, with a low profile. This is convenient for taking out one at a time and the holder won’t tip over. However, if the napkin holder doesn’t have an arm or other mechanism to hold the napkins down, they could blow away if you use the napkin holder outside on a picnic. There is no right or wrong design. Whether you choose vertical or horizonal will depend on your needs, napkin size and space requirements.

Photo credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

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