It’s a myth that placemats are going out of style. In fact, in today’s busy times, using placemats has become a quick and easy – not to mention fashion-forward – way to protect the surface of a tabletop from scratches, heat and spills.
It’s true that a tablecloth will do the same thing but it is more difficult and time-consuming to wash than a placemat. However, some people choose to use both: a tablecloth for an overall look, with a placemat at each individual place setting to pull the look together.
Placemats come in all shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of fabrics and materials. Some wipe clean easily and are made from thick hemp, jute or MDF board and can double as a hot plate. Other more decorative placemats come with coordinating coasters so that you can style a look or create a theme.
We feature eight different placemats you can purchase online. Read on to find the ones that best suit your taste and lifestyle.
1.Best for Small Tables: JTX Placemats Set of 2 Round Leather Placemats
If you live in a condo or apartment that has a small kitchen or island for eating, then you know it’s not easy to fit a regular-sized placemat or two onto the surface. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from protecting the surface from spills and scratches.
The two oval placemats in this set are just the right size for a small table. Large enough on which to fit a standard plate with flatware, they won’t overwhelm the table and overlap each other. Attractive looking and available in eight colors, they are made from faux leather, so they are easy to wipe or rinse clean.
These placemats will protect the surface of your table from heat and spills, they have a non-slip back, they won’t fade and stains can be washed off with a brush and soapy water. And if you like these placemats and have a larger table, or an outdoor table, they are available in a package of eight. Each oval placemat measures 16.7 inches x 13.4 inches.
- Ideal for small table for two
- Wipes clean
- Made of faux leather
- Cannot be put in the washing machine
- Do not put into the microwave
2. Best Eco-Friendly: Chardin home Eco-Friendly Natural Jute/Hemp Placemats
These placemats are hand woven from natural jute fibers and cotton to create an eco-friendly and biodegradable option for anyone who wants to reduce their environmental footprint but still be able to set a lovely table that will protect the surface.
Each placemat in this package of four measures 13 inches wide by 19 inches long and is heat resistant. Soft and thick, they are woven with a design that accentuates the beautiful craftsmanship and care that goes into each one. The all natural jute and cotton yarns are unevenly dyed so each placemats is unique.
There are five color combination: beige with ivory fibers, natural with turquoise fibers, natural with gray, natural with gray and charcoal and natural with red. These versatile placemats will add a touch of artistry to your table, but they can also be used on a dresser, side table, bar or anywhere you want to display things and protect the surface they are sitting on.
- Made from sustainable jute and cotton
- Thick, soft and heat-resistant
- Spot clean only
3. Best Round: SHACOS Round Braided Placemats
Not all placemats are square, nor do they need to be. The cotton placemats in this six-piece set are round in shape and at 15-inches across, they are wide enough to fit a standard dinner plate or bowl.
Although the placemats are made of cotton, they also have thin threads of polypropylene woven through the cotton that gives them a special glittery look, which will really add a touch of elegance to your table. And even though the placemats are round, they will complement any shape table, from round and square to oval and rectangle. Easy to clean, you just wipe them with a damp cloth, or you can hand wash them in cold soapy water and air dry.
These unique-looking placemats are available in a set of four, six or eight and an amazing selection of 30 colors and patterns, all of which have that glitter of wire thread woven into the cotton. These placemats are suitable for everyday use, any special occasion and as a thoughtful housewarming or anniversary gift.
- 30 colors and patterns to choose from
- Easy to clean
- Available in sets of four, six or eight
- More expensive than plain placemats
4. Best Charger Placemat: SUEH DESIGN Set of 6 Round Woven Placemat
These placemats, that are handmade from 100 percent water hyacinth, are also round, but smaller than the ones described above. Sometimes referred to as a flat panel charger, the placemat fits a standard dinner plate with not much extra room left over on the sides.
The six pieces in this set are tightly woven yet flexible, and feature a rustic look that will complement many decorating styles. Each measures 11.8 inches with a beautiful coloring that is fade-proof and will last forever. They are thick and will protect the surface of your table and are skid resistant. They can also fit under your plants to protect the glass and wood surfaces of your shelves and side tables.
The placemats wipe clean with a damp towel, or you can hand wash them in cold, soapy water and hand dry, however, because they are woven with a natural material, cleaning them often will contribute to their eventual deterioration. These are not recommended for rugged, every day use, although they make a thoughtful housewarming or bridal shower gift.
- Rustic look
- Woven from water hyacinth
- Slip resistant
- Not easy to clean
- More expensive than other placemats
5. Top Pick New Mexico Vibe: True Home&Garden THG Cute Single Sided Printed Cotton Linen Western Placemat
The right placemats can really change the mood in a room and bring it to life. For a truly bright and spirited New Mexico-inspired vibe for your table regardless of the meal or the occasion, consider these cotton/linen blend placemats that will put a smile on everyone’s face.
The six placemats each have a different geometric pattern tied to a New Mexican color palette of yellow, green, turquoise or pastel pink. Each placemat has different geometric shapes, be they diamonds, arrows or waves flowing across the surface. And although the patterns are different, the colors tie it together, bringing a joyful expression of movement to the table.
Measuring a generous 16 inches by 12.5 inches, the placemats are large enough for a plate and cutlery with room to spare, so it will protect your tabletop from liquids and scratches. When it comes to cleaning, it is recommended to hand wash the placemats, and to remove creases, they can be ironed at a medium temperature of under 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cotton/linen blend
- New Mexico color vibe
- Bright geometric patterns
- Hand wash only
6. Top Pick Best Set: ROADVIEW Table Placemats Set of 6 with Coasters
A placemat isn’t the only product that will protect your tabletop. For decades people have also used coasters under drinking glasses to prevent the condensation from forming destructive rings on the surface of the table. That’s why we included this beautiful and functional set of matching placemats and coasters that will brighten and protect your table.
The set contains 12 pieces – six placemats and six matching coasters – with the placemats measuring 11 inches by 17 inches and the coasters a square four by four inches. The three-layered structure on all the pieces is made of 4mm thick MDF board with a slip-resistant cork backing – nothing is getting through this set to ruin your table.
The top layer, which has a lacquered, protective waterproof coating, is a beautiful pattern that will coordinate well with any décor. And when it comes to functionality, the surface is stain resistant, wipes clean and is heat resistant up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can use the placemat as a hot plate as well.
This set makes a thoughtful housewarming or wedding gift.
- 12-piece placemat and coaster set
- Made of thick MDF board
- Colorful pattern
- More expensive than just placemats
- Cannot soak or rinse in water for a prolonged period of time
7. Top Pick Best Disposable: Gift Boutique Disposable Lemons Paper Place Mats
While most placemats are designed to last a long time and are reusable, there are some occasions, like a large backyard party, BBQ or picnic, when a disposable option is a better choice. Or, perhaps you don’t own any placemats and don’t want to invest in any but still need to protect a tabletop for a special event.
That’s why we included this pack of 50 disposable paper placemats. Because if life throws you lemons, why not decorate with them! These placemats feature a fun, bright pattern of whole and sliced yellow lemons with pops of color from green leaves on a white background. You just can’t help smiling with these on your tabletop.
The placemats have single-sided printing and are rectangular in shape, measuring 11 by 17 inches. They can be used under plates, and also under trays and bowls to really make a statement while they protect the surface of the table from spills.
Using disposable placemats will add a festive touch to your party and then when it’s over, cleanup is easy. Just crumple them up and throw them away. These placemats are deal for any party, graduation or banquet.
- Made of paper
- Festive design
- Paper is thin and can tear
8. Best Versatile: CraftyCrocodile Clear Placemats – Protective Plastic Sheets
Colorful placemats with all manner of designs and creative artistry are great, but not everyone is interested in the décor aspect of a placemat and prefers the protective properties instead.
These clear placemats will let the beauty of your wood, glass or decorative table shine through while still protecting it from stains, spills and scratches. You can also use the placemats on a beautiful tablecloth to display the pattern while keeping it clean.
Made from thick, durable plastic, the placemats are heat and cold resistant, which means they won’t bend, curl or lose their shape. Measuring 18 inches by 12 inches, each placemat is large enough to hold a complete set of plates and utensils, and they can be used them indoors or outdoors. They are easy to clean; simply wash them with soap and water, or wipe clean with a damp cloth and they are ready to use over and over again.
So versatile, you can use them to cover any surface, and even use them during arts and crafts projects to protect a table or desk from paint, glue and crayons.
- Made of clear plastic
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Some people may prefer a placemat with a design or color
What to look for when buying placemats:
Size/shape: You’d think that placemats would all be the same size and shape; after all, dinner plates and bowls are pretty standard, and that is what we put onto a placemat. But because a placemat is functional as well as decorative, they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Which size you choose will depend on the size of your table.
For example, if you have a very small kitchen nook with a narrow counter to eat on, then you’d want a long narrow placemat to fit the space. Having it hang over the sides is dangerous as your bowl or plate can slip to the floor. The same can be said for a small table for two. In this case, you might want to consider a round or oblong placemat.
If you are serving a meal on a large table, then you have more flexibility to experiment with more shapes and sizes. You can consider a more standard-sized placemat that will fit a plate and cutlery, or use round or oblong placemats to set a tone or specific style.
The most important factor when it comes to the size and shape of a placemat is that your plates and cutlery fit onto it so your table is protected.
Material: Placemats are made from a variety of fabrics and materials, from cotton and plastic to jute and polyester. Which one you choose will depend upon how casual or how formal you want the table to look, plus a few other factors.
If you are serving youngsters who are prone to spilling food or liquid, or if you yourself sometimes spill while pouring, then choose a material that will be easy to wipe clean and will stop the liquid from soaking through and ruining the finish on your table. In cases like this, the ideal choices would plastic, silicone, vinyl or an easy to wipe and wash cotton.
Use: Another factor to consider is how you will use the placemats and for what functions. For example, you might not want to use quality linen placemats for a children’s lunch party of hotdogs, French fries, cake and ice cream. There’s a good chance a quality placemat will end up stained from food and liquid spills from the energetic activity of the kids. In a case like this, you’d want to use plastic, silicone or vinyl placemats in a bright color or design, a children’s theme, and perhaps in a different shape like a circle. By the same token, for an elegant dinner party for friends where you’re taking particular care to set a beautiful table, you’d want to choose functional yet beautiful placemats to tie in the look.
Choose placemats that suit the use and occasion. For daily life, make sure they are durable, stain and water-resistant and easy to wipe clean and wash. If you are entertaining, you will want it to match the mood and style of the dinner and the ambiance you wish to create. And although the dinner may only include adults, there is always the chance of a spilled glass of wine or drips of salad dressing ending up on the placemat, so even in this type of usage, it’s best to make sure the surface is stain resistant or easy to wash in the machine.
Price: Luckily, placemats come in a wide range of prices, so it’s possible to find what you like and need. The price will depend on the number of placemats you purchase – a set of two, four, six or eight – as well as the material it is made of. Placemats also make a thoughtful, useful and affordable gift for a housewarming, bridal shower, hostess gift or birthday.
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