Whether you’re looking to add those little details that will catapult your interior design to Pinterest levels of magnifique or you’re simply trying to stop your toddler from ruining your tablecloths, placemats are the solution. Both stylish and functional, all that’s left to do is find which ones are right for you and your house – which can be surprisingly troublesome.
To help navigate this oversaturated market, we've created a buying guide looking at the most common factors people contemplate, such as the size and shape, the draws of natural and synthetic materials, and what to look out for from a placemat and coaster set. After this, we’ll show you some of our favourite recommendations from well-established sites such as Amazon and John Lewis.
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Table of Contents
While putting together a beautiful table will require much more than trendy placemats, if you want to keep it looking good, these will be your first line of defence. So, before you browse through our top ten, take a look at this section for some key information.
When it comes to the shape of your placemats, they can be split into three styles: rectangular, round and abstract. Rectangular mats are easily the most common. This is because most tables are square or rectangular, and this style of placemat fits uniformly and always looks satisfying on these shapes.
When it comes to round placemats, you'll have a little more leniency as they work well with all sorts of tables from round to rectangular and even oval. However, round placemats tend to be on the smaller side, so you’ll likely only be able to fit your plate and not any other tableware on them.
Lastly, you have the option of abstractly-shaped placemats. This style will surrender a bit of the practicality, and will instead focus more on the decorative aspect. We’d say that these are best suited for adult dinner parties where creating a good impression is more important than having a functional mat.
Next, you’ll want to consider the size of the placemats. Generally speaking, placemats that have a length and width above 30 cm will have space to hold a plate as well as cutlery and napkins.
Smaller placemats will still usually have one side that reaches a 30 cm length, but the other will drop to somewhere between 20 and 30 cm. These will still comfortably hold most plates; however, you’ll be required to place the cutlery to the side.
The smaller size isn’t so much of a problem if you’re serving adults, as they’ll (hopefully!) already be conscious of spoiling your table/tablecloth, but it’s worth considering if you have smaller children.
It's easy to get sucked into the looks of different materials, as this will largely contribute to the look of the table and the dining area. However, it’s worth considering what these materials bring other than style. While there are many different materials used, luckily, they can be grouped into two easy-to-define groups.
Firstly, synthetic materials. These can range from PVC and flexible plastics to fabrics like polyester or nylon. Ordinarily speaking, these materials will be very durable, as well as being less expensive. The downside is that they can sometimes look a little cheap, which won't give your room that final luxury touch to take it to the next level.
Natural products, as the name suggests, are made from organic materials – think cotton, wicker, or slate. As well as looking great, they don’t use as many chemicals in their production, so they're better for the planet. The issue is, if you go for a 'soft' mat, it won't be as hardy as something more solid, so it could need replacing sooner than you’d like.
The final factor you’ll want to think about is what you get in the set. More often than not, a set will come with a minimum of four placemats. However, if you have a large family or frequently host dinner parties, then looking for a set with at least six pieces could be more practical for your needs.
Alongside the placemats, sometimes you'll see additional items such as coasters, serving mats or table runners included. These are all convenient as you won't have to scour the internet in the hope of finding similar-looking or complimentary extras, plus they'll probably save you a couple of quid in the long run as well.
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A Simple Black Placemat Set That'll Look at Home in Any Home
East End Prints
Cork-Backed Fruit Design Placemats
Cool, Quirky and Fun
Maison & White
Circular Bamboo Placemats and Coasters
Chic Bamboo Ideal for Homes With a Smaller Table and Dining Area
Woven Placemats With Table Runner
Keep up Appearances With This Set That's Great for Hosting
Cork-Backed Flower Tile Placemats
Gorgeous Tiled Mats From the Queen of Homeware
Wedge Dining Table Placemats
Heat-Resistant, Easy to Clean, and Ideal for Round Tables
Pretty Yet Subtle Colours to Suit Most Dining Areas
John Lewis & Partners
Round Cork Placemats
A Sense of Smart-Casual Sophistication
Maison & White
Natural Slate Placemats with Coasters
Restaurant-Style Slate Perfect for Marble or Glass Tables
John Lewis & Partners
Rounded Beaded Peacock Pattern Placemat
Inspired by a Magnificent Bird and a Glamorous Art Period
When picking a number one, we sometimes have to choose between stick or twist. We could pick something a little unique and out there or put forward something that will please the masses. In this case, we've opted for the latter, especially as there are so many colours available.
From restaurants to home dining rooms, these simple and sleek placemats are going to look fantastic in pretty much any decor setting and on any table. They're made from easy-to-clean materials, they come in an ample size for all of your tableware accoutrements, and, best of all, you get a generous quantity for an excellent price.
Cool, quirky, and a whole load of fun, these bold placemats with a fruity design are great for households who want to showcase a bit of character and personality while not taking themselves too seriously. Of course, they'd also be appealing to homes with kids.
The combination of MDF and cork means they're heat resistant up to 100°C, while the backing protects the surface of the table. Plus, if you really into the design, you could always pick up the matching coasters. And if you end off going off them as table mats, then we reckon they'd make for some decent artwork on the kitchen walls too!
The eight-piece natural set is made from 100% bamboo, which is incredibly durable, stain-resistant and easily wiped clean. On top of the practicality, the bamboo finish is ideal for those of you with modern homes who are looking for a clean and tidy finish to their dining area.
While the size is not as generous as some, we have bumped this up the ranking because they are an excellent option for anyone with a smaller dining area and table. After all, you don't always want large mats if they're going to overwhelm the entire tabletop.
With plenty of colours to choose from, this fabric and table runner set is perfect for those who frequently host guests. The assortment is simple and refined, without being showy. Plus, dirt and grease can easily be cleaned off thanks to the use of PVC and polyester materials.
Additionally, the placemats come in at a very generous size, so you'll have no worries fitting enough cutlery for a three-course meal on there. Just make sure you know which side the knives and forks are supposed to be on!
The queen of homeware strikes again with this refreshing, playful and all-round gorgeous set of placemats. While she may have stepped away from her iconic, and slightly more basic pattern, this set still features a retro colourful floral design.
The surfaces are lacquered and have been placed on MDF before receiving a cork-based backing. This well-balanced cocktail of materials means that these mats will keep your table safe, last a long time and, best of all, look good while doing so.
Made from two synthetic materials, PVC and polyester, these heat-resistant placemats will protect your dining or coffee table should you need to put down pots or pans for sharing at dinner time. They come in a wide array of colours from blue to beige, so you're sure to find some that match your current decor.
The design does have a rather peculiar pattern, which is almost a blend of rectangular and round. Unfortunately, we believe this limits the types of tables that these will suit, and would recommend only purchasing these if you have a circular dining table.
The obvious highlight of these placemats is their wonderful aesthetic which is reminiscent of Navajo patterns and colours. The charming yet subtle tones and patterns allow for the design to fit into many a dining room, be that one already rich with colour or one that is pared-back and contemporary.
Made from natural dense cotton, these mats are easy to care for and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth when they're looking a bit grubby. The only issue is, as mentioned in the buying guide, this material is not as durable as something more solid, so the jury's out on how long they'll last.
A great match for homes with neutral shades throughout the dining area, these cork mats are simple and low-key whilst still holding a sense of smart-casual sophistication. Plus, the material is fantastic at containing spillages and is even mould resistant.
Coming with a 29 cm diameter, they are a touch on the small side, although we think that for most people this would be just about unnoticeable. They're also a little thin (0.8 cm), so they could be too flimsy to stand up to daily family life.
This stylish and contemporary set from Maison & White will give you all the dining out vibes from the comfort of your home. These slate placemats will assist in providing a pleasurable atmosphere and environment, as well as remaining durable, so you don't have to worry so much if they take a knock.
On top of that, the material is heat-resistant and the addition of anti-slip feet ensures you don't have to worry about scratches or marks – perfect for glass or marble tables. Our only concern is that these are slightly on the small side, so you'll want to consider how big your crockery and cutlery are first.
Beautiful and decadent, these placemats produced by John Lewis are inspired by the ornate and glamorous nature of the Art Noveau period, whilst also celebrating the entertaining season. Pulling influence from their namesake, the peacock, these placemats use glass beads and polyester fabric on top of a plastic base.
It's not only the design that is beautiful either – the 38 cm diameter gives plenty of space to fit everything you and your guests would need for an evening of dining. The only qualm is that they're pretty pricey, so you'll want to make sure you're smitten, and that you'll get good use out of them.
New placemats on the way? Now you're probably wondering what else you need to perfect your tabletop set-up! Whether that's an infinitely-classy crystal wine decanter or a practical, everyday tablecloth, these recommendations can offer some inspiration.
And that concludes our round-up of the best placemats to buy online. We hope you were able to identify exactly what you're looking for in terms of shape, size, and other features. With the chillier months right upon us, what better time for hosting friends and family and whipping up a storm?
Author: Lewis Clark
No. 1: Homcomodar｜Round Tablemats
No. 2: East End Prints｜Cork-Backed Fruit Design Placemats
No. 3: Maison & White｜Circular Bamboo Placemats and Coasters
No. 4: Bright Dream ｜Woven Placemats With Table Runner
No. 5: Orla Kiely ｜Cork-Backed Flower Tile Placemats
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