A well-made set of placemats can add the finishing touch to your table, bringing together the whole dining experience. But they’re not just for best, as placemats should also practical and functional, protecting your table from heat and accidental food spills. When choosing a new set of placemats, consider not just looks but how they will work with your home décor. You also need to consider what they are made of, their durability, and how easy they are to clean. So, if you are planning a dinner party and want your new placemats to add a dash of glamor or are simply looking for a hardwearing set that can cope with a busy family, read on. We set out some of the best placemats you can buy so you can make the ideal choice.
The Best Placemat
Add a touch of sophisticated glamor to any table setting with this six-mat set from U’Artline, that’s also surprisingly practical too. Made from easy-clean vinyl, these 18-inch x 12-inch placemats are large enough for a decent place setting and the muted gold makes them look more expensive than they are. What sets these vinyl placemats apart is the subtle texture, thanks to the way they are actually woven out of the PVC fiber. However, this design detail does mean they are not totally waterproof. That aside, they are both beautiful and practical, offering a heat resistant to 150°F and the weave pattern creates a non-slip contact with your tabletop. If gold is not your thing, then there’s a choice of 20 other colors to pick from. Stylish enough for events and restaurants as well as for the home, they are easy to clean too, as they can be handwashed, but the washing machine is a no-go.
Vinyl mat sized 18×12 inches
Withstands heat up to 150°F
Fine weave and gold design
Non-fade and hand washable
- Weight12 ounces
If you want stylish placemats you can use every day, then check out these easy to clean, woven vinyl beauties from Pauwer. In a warm red with autumnal tones that give them a rich, expensive vibe, these placemats are made from durable PVC and polyester that you can quickly wipe down, or hand wash for heavier food stains. Available in the standard size, they are large enough for a full place setting and the warm color will look stunning against a wooden table. The back is pretty non-slip and the mat won’t crease when rolled up to store. They are heat-resistant too, taking up to 176°F in their wood table protecting stride. Fade-resistant, they would also work outside on your garden table and while they are not machine washable, they are super-easy to wipe down and clean.
Great value woven vinyl six-mat pack
Material: 70% PVC and 30% polyester
Heat resistant to 176°F
Hand wash only
- Weight1.1 pounds
Make a table statement with these stunning lace-effect placemats that will add elegance to any mealtime. While they feel super-expensive, look closer and they are actually made from pressed vinyl so a designer bargain! OK, the open lace pattern means they’re not the most practical when it comes to protecting against spills. But sometimes, style has to come first, and they are easy to clean while the lace design gives a nice no-slip contact with the table. Available in a choice of lace-effect patterns and stylish colors, the Benson Mills Pressed Vinyl placemat set would make a lovely gift. Or keep them aside for special occasions, family dinners or an old-school afternoon tea with friends.
Delicate looking round vinyl placemat
Good value four mat set
Made from pressed vinyl
Easy to clean – wipe with a damp cloth
- BrandBenson Mills
- Weight1 pound
Perfect for everyday family use , these large round placemats are both lovely and practical. Made from braided polypropylene and cotton, you get a hardwearing set of four kitchen table mats that are soft to touch and retain their shape, even after being rolled up for storage. The large diameter – they are 15 inches across – means they can take bigger dinner plates and are available in a choice of 12 colors. Go for a practical neutral shade or be bold and add a vivid pop of table mat color to your dining room. They can only be handwashed in cold water and need to be air-dried, but they are stain, fade and wrinkle-resistant.
Made from polypropylene and cotton
Large 15-inch diameter
Stain, fade and wrinkle resistant
Available in a choice of 12 colors
- Weight7.2 ounces
Non-slip with a good level of heat resistance, these elegant placemats are simple enough for casual use, but can be styled up for a more lavish dining affair. Made from super-practical PVC material with a lovely woven effect to create almost a two-tone effect, you also get seven designs, including festive themes to choose from. The mats offer your table protection from heat up to 100c and the rougher backing gives them a good non-slip grip. Keeping them clean is pretty easy too, they can’t go in the washer but can be rinsed or wiped with a wet cloth to remove any dirt and debris. And when your dinner date is done, simply roll them up for easy, crease free storage. This six dining table mats set means they are affordable and great value for money too.
Six mat set made form PVC
Woven design available in 7 designs
Heat resistant up to 100c
Wipe clean with a wet cloth
- Weight1.1 pounds
Add dash of tartan to your table with this smart-looking set of plaid placemats. Made from 100% cotton and with a coordinating table runner also available, the mats will add a lovely farmhouse kitchen table feel to your home. And, as well as the plaid, there are eight other patterns and colors to choose from. These mats are large – 14 inches by 19 inches – and are easy to care for and clean. Machine-washable, simply dry flat and iron if need be for a crease free result every time. They may not be as durable as vinyl mats, but they are pretty hardwearing and as one of our best placemats, will make your dining table look cozy and homely for those delicious family lunches or dinners.
Large four-mat placemat set
Made from 100% Oeko-Tex cotton
Dimensions: 14-inch x 19-inch
- BrandSticky Toffee
- Weight13.8 ounces
Super-practical and perfect for even the busiest home, our Best Price pick are these clear plastic placemats that won’t ruin the look of your wood table. Made from flexible and wipe-clean PVC, these mats are a decent size too, measuring 18 inches by 12, meaning they can easily accommodate all the tableware you need to feed your hungry brood. Available in a great value four mat pack, the clear PVC means you can also show off the beauty of a wood table, or a bright, seasonal table cover that’s underneath. They’re not totally transparent, as there’s a slight frosting but the they look invisible enough and are practical when in use. The PVC material is pretty tough too, so will help to protect your table or work surface from accidental damage or food spills.
Clear PVC plastic placemats
Great value four mat set
18×12 inch large size
Protective and easy to clean
- BrandMiles Kimball
- Weight7.2 ounces
There’s a lovely rustic quality to our Premium Pick, thanks to the 100% natural jute and hand-braided design. Each 14-inch square mat is made from sustainably harvested jute fibers that create a unique effect as each mat is woven and braided. The natural color of these placemats from Glamburg adds an understated style to your dining table setting and are perfect for creating a lovely warm, welcoming feel at your table. And we like the fact that each mat is reversible, extending their use and keeping everything looking fresh. Maintenance is a little more targeted than other placemats made from easier to clean materials, and you need to spot clean rather than full wash or soak, but the effort is worth it. Gorgeous and definitely one of our review’s best placemats.
Hand-braided from natural jute
Practical 14-inch square design
Ideal to create a rustic look
Anti-static; spot-clean only
- Weight3.12 pounds
If you’re planning a special occasion, then these stunning white mats from Hebe will add elegance to any table. The perfect size for more formal table setting, each mat is hand cut from PVC, which is delicately patterned to give the look of more expensive linen. And the beauty of these mats is that they are both smart and practical. Heat resistant to 150°F, they will protect your table from hot pots and plates and are pretty stain resistant too, although darker spills may mark. The cross weave in the PVC does mean they are not totally water-tight, but they’re easy to clean, just hand wash or wipe with a wet cloth and soapy water. Very lovely and a good price too for a pack of six.
Six mat set made from woven PVC
Dimensions: 18-inch x 12-inch
Heat-resistant to 150°F
Hand clean only with soap and water
- Weight1 pound
These woven cotton mats from Sticky Toffee are super cute, with a choice of four different colors offset by a delightful hand-knotted fringe. Available in a four-pack, these mats are a large size, measuring 14×19 inches so perfect for family use. Made from 100% cotton, they feature a diamond pattern and the whole mat can be machine washed on a gentle cycle. They are a decent thickness to help protect your wood table and while not water-resistant like solid vinyl, they will hold back some moisture as well as capture food debris. For a country kitchen feel, these attractive cloth placemats are ideal and there’s also a matching table runner to complete the look.
Made from 100% woven cotton
Good value four placemat pack
Dimensions: 14×19 inches
Easy to clean – can be machine washed
- BrandSticky Toffee
- Weight1 pound
Best Placemat Buying Guide
Things to Look For in a Placemat
While they may look decorative, placemats also need to protect your table. Here are the main features to look for:
Material: You'll want your new placemats to complement your home décor as well as your personal style, but the material is also an important consideration as it needs to be functional too. There are two main types of material used – natural and synthetic. Natural placemats are made from materials such as cotton, hemp, linen, bamboo, and rattan while synthetics include nylon, polyester, vinyl, and plastic.
Durability: Your new placemats need to cope with hot dishes and food spills. If they are occasion placemats that won't be used every day, then elegant fabrics and lighter natural materials are a good choice although they won’t be as durable. For everyday use and ease of cleaning, then synthetic materials such as vinyl are the better choice.
Heat protection: Your placemat should protect your table and be able to absorb heat from dishes and plates. Thinner materials such as linen are less heat resistant whereas thicker mats and synthetic materials provide higher levels of heat protection.
Size: Placemats are available in a range of sizes as well as shapes, including square, round, and rectangular. The most practical size of placemat is around 14 inches by 20 inches as this shape is large enough to hold a plate, cutlery, napkins, and glass.
Easy to clean: This is one of the most important considerations as food spills are inevitable. Look for a machine-washable label if you are buying fabric placemats or ensure if synthetic, they are safe to be wiped with water, dish soap, or a mild surface cleaner.
How to Clean Placemats
Unless it clearly states on the mat that it is machine washable, most placemats are not suitable for cleaning in the washing machine or dishwasher. The safest way to clean up a placemat is by hand. How you clean a placemat depends on the material it is made from:
- Vinyl or plastic
These placemats are the quickest and easiest to clean, which is why they are so popular for everyday use. Once you have shaken any loose food debris into the bin, simply take a damp, clean cloth and wipe away any stubborn dirt. Rinse under warm running water then leave in the dish rack to thoroughly dry. Finally, wipe with a dry cloth to buff out any water stains.
Cloth placements are a little trickier to clean as they more easily absorb oil, food stains but the fabric needs gentle handling to ensure it retains its color and shape. Shake off any loose food before turning your attention to spot cleaning. A fabric-safe spray cleaner can be used for stubborn stains but for general staining use a cloth dampened with water and dish soap. Dab the stain with the damp cloth until the mark has gone, then leave to dry. If your cloth placemat clearly states it can be machine washed, only wash the same placemats together, take out of the machine immediately after the end of the wash cycle, flatten out then leave to air dry.
- Bamboo, rattan or wicker
These types of placemats can trap food debris and spills between the weave and need a little extra effort to keep them hygienically clean. Always read the cleaning instructions as it may vary depending on the material used. Otherwise, wipe mat your rattan, wicker or bamboo placemats down with a dampened cloth or sponge, adding a few drops of dish soap if required, gently working the cloth down the weave pattern to access the gaps. Leave to thoroughly air dry.
Our Top Pick
This glamorous six-placemat set from U'Artlines sets itself apart and scoops our best placemats top pick. Made from a delicate woven vinyl that is both stunning and practical, each mat is well-sized for a variety of uses. Heat resistant to 150°F and easy to care for, as they can be hand-washed, this gorgeous vinyl placemats set is the perfect way to create a wow factor come dinner time.