The humble placemat may seem like a placeholder for more important decorative items, like, for example, your new East Fork dishes. But as is often the case with decorating—and with life—it’s the detailed foundation that lays the groundwork for a beautiful finished product. Not only do the best placemats serve a functional purpose (because yes, you should be protecting your tabletops from your dinnerware and drinkware), they can also help instantly elevate an otherwise everyday meal. “Besides being gorgeous, fun, and cohesive to your table setting, placemats also help to create a hygienic and cleanable eating surface,” San Francisco-based interior designer Jonathan Rachman tells PureWow. The right placemat can set the mood of the event you’re hosting, even if it’s Tuesday night dinner with the family, which is why Rachman recommends thinking carefully about how you set your table. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our (and Rachman’s) favorite placemats for any occasion.
The 26 Best Placemats to Dress Up Your Dining Space (And Protect Your Dining Table)
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1. Casafina Cork Place Mats
Best cork placemat
These Portuguese-made cork placemats come in a set of four, and with their sturdy construction, do an excellent job of protecting your table from scratches, spills, and other food-related messes. Plus, cork is one of the “trendy materials that can be cleaned,” Rachman helpfully notes.
2. Chilewich Heddle Placemat
“I don’t follow trends; I always prefer the timeless classic which is always in the now,” Rachman says when it comes to choosing placemats. And for some folks, there’s nothing more timeless or classic than a good black and white design. This rectangular placemat from Chilewich features a beautiful geometric pattern with woven black and white lines that will dress up any tablescape—even if your dish set is in classic white.
3. Marimekko Pieni Unikko Cotton Placemat
Best floral design
“Placemats must always be fun and chic,” Rachman states, and that’s precisely how we would describe Marimekko’s fresh Pieni Unikko print cotton placemat. Coated in acrylic to make them stain-resistant, these placemats are easy to wipe clean and offer a bold, fun pop of color to any setting. Trust us, even your kids will love these.
4. Beija Flor Mediterranean Tile Vinyl Placemats
Best tiled design
Bring a touch of the Mediterranean to your meals with these blue-and-white printed mats. Now even a simple PB&J sandwich will feel like a mini getaway. Plus, we love that they’re made from recycled vinyl, making them a breeze to clean.
5. Kim Seybert Pebble Placemat
Best pebbled material
But for those slightly more formal times, opt for the Pebble Placemat from Kim Seybert. The stingray leather surface is beautifully textured but it’s surprisingly hardy. In fact, this pebbled material is 25 times more durable than your average cowhide leather.
6. Terrain Water-resistant Linen Placemat
Best water-resistant linen
While you may think that the only chance you have of keeping linen (Rachman’s preferred material for placemats) clean is by throwing them in the laundry, these water-resistant linen placemats are here to prove you wrong. The French woven fabric is coated with acrylic, which means they’ll stand up to any spills, red wine or otherwise and can be simply wiped clean.
7. Blue Pheasant Zoey Placemat
Best raffia placemats
“There are two ways to approach color and pattern with placemats, just like everything else on your table,” Rachman says. “Do you want them to be the center of attention, or to blend in?” This set of four placemats somehow fills both of those roles, thanks to its muted color palette, but intriguing natural raffia texture.
8. Birch Lane Dowden Recycled Teak Placemat
Best sustainable placemat
Wayfair customers love these recycled teak placemats that are made from repurposed wood that would otherwise be burned. Teak is naturally durable and only becomes more beautiful with time, making it an ideal material for a showstopping placemat, especially for your outdoor table.
9. H&m 2-pack Round Placemats
Best budget option
At $3 a pop, these inexpensive round placemats are fabulous for anyone on a tight budget. They also look far more expensive than their price tag, and come in seven rich hues that can be mixed and matched for a unique table setting, or you can stock up on just one shade for a more traditional vibe.
10. Noa Tonal Tweed Placemat Set
Best tweed placemat
With a rating of over 4.5 out of 5 stars, this set of water-resistant polyester placemats is a perennial favorite. Great for everyday use (or low-key entertaining), these easy-to-care-for placemats get points for their tweedy texture and not-too-big size. Plus, they come in three colors: Lime, soft grey and a funky blue/green combo.
11. Chilewich Easy-care Bamboo Placemat
Best bamboo placemat
These bamboo placemats get our vote for two main reasons—the eco-friendly material from which they’re made and their gorgeous textured look. You can buy them individually or in a set of four, and they come in four color options. As Rachman notes, opting for a placemat with an interesting texture can help set the mood for your next event. Go ahead, plan your whole table around these beauties.
12. West Elm Cotton Canvas Placemats
Best cotton placemat
Available in a wide range of colors that will work with any dining room décor scheme, these cotton canvas placemats are the type of classics that Rachman references as an easy, go-to favorite. Throw them in the washing machine when they’ve gotten a bit too much love.
13. Cb2 Faux Ivory Leather Placemat
Best faux leather
This pebbled placemat from CB2 has a metallic finish that makes them look even more elegant than they already are, and they're a customer favorite. “They look and feel just like leather, they're thin so plates and chargers lay flat, and the ivory color looks SO good on my cherry wood table,” reads one review. Others laud these placemats for their versatility: “I have this on the marble bathroom counter to put my things on for padding,” another happy customer reports.
14. Graf Lantz Oval Placemat In Felt
Best felt placemat
Graf Lantz makes beautiful felt products for the entire home, and while you may not think of felt as a natural choice for a dinner accessory, you may want to reconsider. Naturally water-resistant, stain-resistant, heat protective, and insulating, these merino wool placemats come in stunning jewel tones and instantly lend a sense of sophistication to your meal. As one happy customer notes, “These placemats are perfect—love the oval shape and quality.”
15. Cb2 Boa Ivory Reversible Placemat
For a natural shade on one side and sleek ivory on the other, this placemat marries the best of both worlds. “I go back to the occasion and your table decor and theme, if any, as my guide for picking placemats,” Rachman says. But with this single placemat, you'll be armed and ready for several different occasions all at once.
16. Sia Parker Luxe Designer Placemats
Best vegan leather placemat
Made from vegan leather that’s easy to clean, these beautiful placemats come in unique shapes and stunning colors. The leather material looks effortlessly elegant, and we’re particularly fond of the emerald color for any season.
17. Mochi Things On The Table Brunch Placemat
Most Unexpected Shape
Another faux leather option, these come in a wide range of soft contemporary colors that immediately dress up your table. The clean, sharp modern lines give them the timelessly elegant look that Rachman recommends for your decorating needs. Plus, they’ll look great peeking out under your morning coffee…should you want to snap a pic for your ‘Gram.
18. Chilewich Cove Coral Orange Easy-care Placemat
Best indoor/outdoor placemat
These placemats give off serious beachtime vibes and are part of Crate & Barrel’s new spring collection. Because of its antimicrobial construction, this placemat avoids both mold and stains, making it ideal for both indoor and outdoor settings.
19. West Elm Woven Brights Collection Placemat
Best fringe trim
We adore the boho vibes of these rattan and sisal placemats. Each mat is hand-woven and comes in three color options—beige with white trim, beige with black trim and a light gray with streaks of beige. Unfortunately, they aren’t the easiest to clean, so if you’re prone to spilling we recommend opting for the gray hue which won’t show stains as easily as the others.
21. D’ascoli Bedford Placemat
Best designer placemat
“For sublime patterns and colors, I love anything from d’Ascoli,” Rachman tells us. “Besides the fact that they are simply gorgeous, the founder Peter d’Ascoli is the purveyor to those who have discerning taste and are in the know.” Hmm, we’d like to join that gang…
22. Pauwer Woven Vinyl Placemats
Prettiest heat-resistant design
These beautiful striped placemats can withstand temperatures up to 176°F so you can pull that lasagna right out of the oven and onto the table without worrying about ruining either your table or your placemat. They come in sets of four, six and eight, and are currently available in three gorgeous color options. Plus, the woven vinyl material is incredibly durable so they won't rip, tear or fade over time—at least not without a fight.
23. Bright Dream Placemats
Most color options
Like to switch up you placemats with the change of seasons? This affordable set of six (which is also available in a set of four or eight) comes in a whopping 38 different color and pattern options so you can switch things up on a near weekly basis if you like. The placemats are made from a highly durable PVC/polyester blend that’s easy to clean and will stand up well even with frequent use. They’re also heat-resistant up to 100℃ (212°F), although it’s still recommended you hand wash them rather than use a machine.
24. Home Brilliant Burlap Linen Placemats
Washing dishes is enough of a chore without adding placemats to the lineup, so why not invest in a set of six machine-washable designs? Simply toss these beautiful burlap placemats in with your regular linens and voilà! As an added bonus, burlap is an eco-friendly material, making these a more sustainable option than plastic or vinyl. And don’t worry about spills, the fabric is thick enough that nothing will soak through to your tabletop should someone accidentally topple their glass of wine.
25. Beteam Placemats
Best budget option
These vinyl placemats look far more expensive than their affordable price tag, and are surprisingly durable as well. The thick woven material adds texture without actually feeling uneven or bumpy, and won’t slip or slide all over your dining room table. For storage, they can be rolled, folded or bent to fit where ever you need without actually bending out of shape in the long run.
26. Shacos Round Braided Placemats
Best round design
These gorgeous braided placemats come in sets of four, six or eight and there are more than 25 different colors to choose from. They’re made from a blend of cotton and polypropylene that’s flexible but strong enough to withstand frequent use through the years. We love their farmhouse rustic vibe (very Magnolia Home, no?), and find the round cute looks even fancier under place settings than square or rectangular designs.