PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

The holidays are just around the corner, which means the time you have left to plan that gorgeous holiday tablescape of your dreams is dwindling—and fast. Whether you'll be hosting your extended family for a delicious home-cooked meal or you're prepping an intimate dining experience for your nearest and dearest, adding a stunning table runner to your décor will be one of the quickest and easiest ways to instantly elevate your meal.

What Is a Table Runner?

Not to be mistaken with a placemat, which is positioned under your dinner plates, or a tablecloth that will cover the entire tabletop, table runners are long, narrow cuts of cloth or other material that run down the center of your dining piece. A table runner can serve a variety of functions, as it can be purely decorative or offer extra protection from splashing food and drinks, as well as drops of wax from candles. It can also act as a place to set up buffet items, preventing hot pans or plates from ruining your surfaces. You can also use them to dress up other areas, such as a vanity or entryway table.

How Wide Should a Table Runner Be?

Generally, you want the piece to run down the middle of your table and have enough room to hold items such as décor, vases or centerpieces. A width of at least 12 inches is pretty common among runners: anything less runs the risk of looking too ribbon-like.

How Long Should a Table Runner Be?

The length of your table runner will depend on the length of your actual table. Ideally, to make the runner stand out, you want it to not only span your table's entire length, but also have enough material left over to hang off of each end. This will allow you and your guests to appreciate the design in its entirety.

Regardless of what size or style you're looking for, our team has done the hard work of tracking down some of the best, most festive options around, all of which are sure to add a unique look to your holiday scheme. Check out our favorites below.

The Best Festive Table Runners at a Glance

RELATED: Tablescape Trends for Your Next Dinner Party

Amazon

1. DII Braided Farmhouse Table Runner

Best braided table runner

Made of 100 percent cotton that's safe to pop in the washing machine, this braided piece is on the minimalistic side, but features a dainty chevron pattern and tasseled ends for a bit of holiday pizzazz. There's nearly 30 colors to choose from and two different sizes, too.

$12 at Amazon

Amazon

2. AerWo Buffalo Check Table Runner

Best buffalo plaid table runner

The bright red checks of this burlap and cotton design practically scream "Christmas." More into subtlety? No problem. This runner is reversible, with rustic burlap on the opposite side for a more low-key option that's just as visually pleasing. At 72 inches, it's decently long, and you can machine wash it in a pinch (though hand-washing is preferred).

$12 at Amazon

Amazon

3. OurWarm Macrame Table Runner

Best macrame table runner

Made of 100 percent natural cotton with a burlap base to keep it in place, this runner's woven fabric is simply stunning. At 108 inches, it's long enough to span a larger table, making it ideal for special occasions where you need to host larger groups. It's soft and eco-friendly, and the cream hue is neutral enough to pair with centerpieces for just about any holiday.

$18 $13 at Amazon

Wayfair

4. Mcmann Christmas Table Runner

Best Christmas table runner

Enjoy the seasonal sentiments of this table runner's metallic text, which includes festive phrases such as "peace," "joy," "holly jolly" and "happy holidays" that will be perfect for breaking bread with your loved ones at Christmastime. Made of 100 percent cotton, it's more sustainable than other options on the list, and you can throw it in the wash as soon as you're done with dinner.

Buy It ($14)

Wayfair

5. Latitude Run Camina Table Runner

Best simple table runner

This Christmas red option might be simple, with one key solid color of mesh-like fabric, but it's certainly no one-trick pony: The flexible, handmade fabric allows you to widen the holes between the material to fit in whatever décor you may have need for. Its reversible nature means you can display it on either side, making it a breeze to lay out, and shoppers say it lends a "touch of luxury."

Buy It ($54 $46)

Crate & Barrel

6. Calix Table Runner

Best handwoven table runner

This pure cotton table runner has a chic green and white pattern that effortlessly evokes the holidays and complements a wide range of dinnerware and tables. Made in India, it's also handwoven, so it's recommended that this item is spot cleaned only when it's time for a little TLC.

Buy It ($70)

Amazon

7. Simhomsen Embroidered Leaves Table Runner

Best embroidered table runner

Get your turkey time on with these detailed, embroidered appliqué leaves that closely resemble the ones nature puts on display. They feel like felt, according to the Amazon buyers who love them, and have a nice heft that means this richly colored table runner will stay firmly in place. It's also less likely to wrinkle after washing.

$20 at Amazon

Amazon

8. Your Magic Moment Gauze Table Runner

Best gauze table runner

This breezy pick is one of a kind (literally—it's handmade). The cheesecloth material gives off a rustic, boho vibe that will dress up both formal or casual events. You can choose from three colors of subtle nude, chic blue or natural brown, and Amazon shoppers say it's plenty high-quality, too.

$23 at Amazon

9. Ekorest Watercolor Leaves Table Runner

Most colorful table runner

It's not hard to "fall" in love with this seasonal pattern. Why? It features an artistic watercolor print that's a step up from your traditional greens, rusty browns and dark golds. Better yet, the burlap fabric is nice and durable, yet gentle enough to protect your table from stains and scratches.

$14 at Amazon

Wayfair

10. Alcott Hill Quidong Floral Table Runner

Most elegant table runner

When you really want to get fancy and bust out the fine china, there's this beautiful, lace-trimmed piece. Despite its elegant appearance, it can handle even your boiling hot pots, and, should you happen to spill a little gravy or cranberry sauce on it, it can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning.

Buy It ($28; $21)

Wayfair

11. Red Nivalis Table Runner

Best burlap table runner

Burlap is strong, eco-friendly and versatile—just look at how easily the seemingly plain material is transformed when paired with a few embroidered snowflakes! This piece incorporates red, silver or gold lines into its woven fabric for a merry feel, and comes in a variety of sizing, so as to fit any tabletop. What's more, shoppers say it holds up well in the wash.

Buy It ($26; $23)

Crate & Barrel

12. Crate & Barrel Holly Table Runner

Best table runner pattern

It doesn't get much more festive than this gorgeous embroidered linen from India, which features a striking red-and-green holly pattern. Available in two different sizes to best suit your table, it has a natural cotton backing that will be gentle on surfaces and iron easily to boot.

Buy It (From $80)

Amazon

13. JH Home Flower Velvet Table Runner

Best velvet table runner

Nothing says "dinner party" quite like crushed velvet. This dark, rich and velvety blue design features a metallic silver thread in the shape of a flower throughout that makes it extra awe-worthy. It's on the more delicate side, so you'll have to hand-wash it, but Amazon shoppers say its added luxury make it well worth the effort.

$22 at Amazon

Amazon

14. QueenDream Sequin Mesh Table Runner

Best sequin table runner

If it's a bit of shine you're after, this gold mesh runner is sure to catch your eye, since it's got sequins woven in for a bit of added sparkle. Admittedly more decorative than functional, it will likely last a little longer when kept away from ultra-hot pots and pans, but the look is one your guests are certainly sure to remember any time you pull it out.

$17 at Amazon

JCPenney

15. North Pole Trading Good Tidings Table Runner

Most cozy table runner

You know your favorite knit sweater? The one that's soft, comfy and adorably attractive? You can get the same kind of cozy vibe from this table runner. Its cable-knit pattern appears to be borrowed from an ultra-snuggly jumper, enticing your guests to get a little bit closer, and the bold red hue is just right for the season.

Buy It ($50; $19)

Amazon

16. JH Home Knotted Tassel Table Runner

Best table runner with tassels

High-quality, soft to the touch and eco-friendly, this knotted option is made of clean cotton with white, blue and sandy jacquard stripe accents that run its length. On top of that, there are loose tassels at each end with coordinating colors. While it's less flashy than some of the other styles seen here, its varying sizes will work well with nearly any table or motif, allowing you to keep it out long after the holidays are over.

$26 $20 at Amazon

Williams Sonoma

17. Acorn Harvest Jacquard Table Runner

Best Thanksgiving table runner

Designed with a woven leaf and acorn pattern, this runner, which comes in one of two colors, has a distinctly seasonable vibe that will liven up your tablescape. It's OEKO-Tex certified, so it's been deemed free of many harmful chemicals, and it has an elegant drape that your callers are sure to stop and take note of.

Buy It ($80)

Amazon

18. CoFashion Faux Burlap Table Runner

Best cheap table runner

You don't need to spend a lot to make your holiday table look like a million bucks. This style offers an understated look with its faux burlap polyester but still has plenty of class—just look at those darling bow-tied ends! It's sturdy, machine-washable and goes for less than $15.

$8 at Amazon

Bed Bath & Beyond

19. New Beaded Leaf Centerpiece Table Runner

Best beaded table runner

This magnificent beaded runner will be the talk of the table. Handmade by artisans with high-quality glass beads, each and every leaf has been crafted with care—and it's evident. This piece also has a shorter cut that will allow you to use it as a runner on your small table or as a centerpiece on longer furniture.

Buy It ($65; $32)

West Elm

20. West Elm Center Stripe Table Runner

Best cotton table runner

Go for simple, classic elegance this holiday by draping this soft, cotton runner over your surface. Coming in a stark white with a solid stripe of slate gray, platinum silver or Freshwater blue down the center, this chic, minimalist design won't overshadow your meals, but will still jazz things up for a special touch. It's also washable for ultimate convenience.

Buy It ($40; $19)

RELATED: The 26 Best Placemats to Dress Up Your Dining Space (And Protect Your Dining Table)

From Around The Web