How to Choose the Best Placemats [Guide to Right Size and Shape]

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Let’s face it – Ironing table cloth is excruciatingly difficult. However, placing the wrinkly tablecloth on the table is like committing a crime. That’s when placemats can save the grace from ruining your exquisite table.

Placemats combines innovative functionality and creative beauty. But a plethora of choices and materials complicates the decision of purchasing.

  • Which placemat will enhance the alluring look of your table?
  • Which color will contrast the rustic table of yours?
  • Will it be safe to place heated serving plates on it?
  • Can I use placemats for a formal dinner setting?
  • What is the average size of placemats?

The unending list of questions adds to the frustration. But not anymore! Our guide to buying placemats will walk you through all the important factors that will help you to choose the placemat set. Don’t miss to check out our top pick for the:

How to Choose Right Placemats – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Intent of Purchasing Placemat

Now, before buying a placemat, you should determine how you intend to use it. Whether you are buying placemats for enhancing the beauty of your dining table or protecting table from heat marks or both.

It will resolve your confusion of choosing the placemat. Once you know the purpose of purchasing, then selecting the placemat would be easy for you.

Placemats Size

Placemat size should coordinate according to the dining table size. A large-sized placemat on a small dining table will give it an over-crowded look. Small placemats are suitable if you want to serve many dishes in larger pots.

Many manufacturers are now making customized placemats to cater the needs of people. For styling a round table, the size of placemats is kept such that it aligns perfectly with the round edges of the table.

  • The standard/ regular size of rectangular placemats is usually 12 x 18 inches
  • The larger size is 14 x 20 inches
  • Square shape also comes in different sizes
  • The large square is almost 12 x 12 inches
  • Small square placemats has 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inches
  • Round shape placemat diameter is 15 inches

Small size placemats can’t hold all the cutlery and some of the tableware has to be put on the table. In this scenario, it is better to use a placemat over a tablecloth if you are hosting a formal dinner instead of a family meal.

Choosing Placemats Based on Occasion

Everyday Placemat

For choosing placemats that you will use daily, durability and ease of cleaning should be kept in mind. After selecting the appropriate size, you can shop for cotton, vinyl, plastic, or bamboo placemats. Make sure to choose the stain and heat-resistant, and easy to clean placemats that can protect the surface from ugly scratch marks.

Formal Gathering

There is a misconception that only a table cloth should be used in a formal gathering. It’s not necessary. You can dress your table with sophisticated luxe placemats for formal gatherings too.

Sophisticated and Elegant Design: Choose sophisticated and elegant decorative detail of placemat for formal meals.

Color and Texture: Subtle textures, plain or elegant patterns are suitable for formal settings. As for colors, solid and dark colors or light colors are preferred rather than bold, vibrant colors to give it a more mature vibe.

Mix and Match with Tablecloth: You can also add layering by matching your placemat with a contrasting tablecloth that compliments the whole table décor.

Informal Meal Setup

An informal gathering with friends to celebrate events of happiness requires careful arrangement of the table to give it an aura of cheerful interaction.

Playful Designs and Textures: Depending on the event, you can go for playful designs and creative textures rather than dull detailing of placemats.

Color and Material: Choose vibrant colors to create an environment for warm conversation with guests. As for material, instead of using cotton or vinyl ones, you choose embroidered or lacy placemats, jute, quilted, woven, or even wooden placemats.

Placemats for Toddlers

Children love fun and colors, and younger ones love to leave a food mess on the table. Choosing fun patterns, designs and textures would invite even picky eaters to eat anything that is placed in front of them.

However, choosing the stain and spill-resistant placemat would give you peace of mind while cleaning the after mess and will save you from a lot of hassle.

Choose Placemats – Based on Material

While you may get attracted by the patterns and textures of placemats, you should also focus on the material of placemats.

Placemats come in several materials such as cotton, linen, wooden, vinyl, plastic, bamboo, and many more. The numerous varieties make you confused. However, the material can be categorized into natural and synthetic materials.

Natural vs. Synthetic Placemats

Some placemats are eco-friendly and made of natural materials such as cotton, linen, wooden, jute etc. Some are made of recycled materials like wood or leather.

Natural fibers are a healthy alternative solution to synthetic placemats as they are not treated with harsh chemicals that can have an adverse effect on our life.

Synthetic placemats are budget-friendly and easy to clean. They are processed in a factory to serve as a durable option. However, synthetic fiber poses a few health hazards that make it less favorable.

Now, let’s look at what each material has to offer to enhance our dining table set up.

Cotton Placemats

Made of natural fibers, they have a soft texture, easy to clean and the best washable placemats. They are mostly used in everyday settings. However, cotton placemats catch stain easily.

Plastic Placemats

Plastic placemats are made of synthetic material. They are designed for ease of cleaning as they are water-resistant. From woven plastic designs to playful or subtle colors, the options are endless.

Jute Placemats

They add a rustic look and create a warm atmosphere to your mealtime. However, jute placemats aren’t as durable and are not meant to wash.

Cork Placemats

The best heat-resistant placemats can endure heated pots, and cork placemats are one of them. They are durable and protect the glass surface from scratches and burns, it beautifies the table with its variable shapes and designs.

Wood Placemats

Wood placemats give a conventional and rustic touch to the décor. They are heat-resistant and made from recycled material.

Choosing Placemats Based on Table Shape and Texture

Don’t underestimate the importance of your table texture and shape. Placemats are meant to show the intricate patterns of your table. That’s why choosing the best placemats for marble table or glass/wood table should be based on their texture.

A placemat that contrasts with the table and room setting would create an inviting look rather than a bland design that would just boringly sit on the table.

Similarly, placemats for a round table has its own rules – one that aligns well with the round edges of the table without overlapping each other.

What Are Placemats Used For?

Do you know placemats are multipurpose? Let’s have a look at the diverse uses of placemats.

The design and material of the placemats sparks the creativity of people to use it for variable purposes.

Placemats are not only used for protecting your dining table from food spills, watermarks, heat stains, and burn marks, but they are also used in restaurants for displaying menu items and decorating the restaurant table.

Apart from that, it acts as a decorative base to display your artistic taste. It is like a canvas that represent your sense of style and décor.

You can use it to gift your loved one or to feed your kid without making a mess. The choice is yours! Business meetings have found another use of it as a writing surface or to organize things neatly on the table.

In simple words placemats are not out of style and can be used on a variety of occasions.

Wrapping Up!

Placemats act as a safeguard to the table and protect it from heat, spills, and scratches. Before choosing the right placemat, consider certain factors that include occasion, material, purpose, texture, design, color, and shape. It’s always better to buy 2-3 different sets of placemats to serve your formal and informal meal settings. Explore new materials and designs to give it a unique touch. We hope that our guide will help you select the best placemat that is suitable to your needs.

About Amelia

Hello, I’m Amelia. Welcome to my blog KitchenUnder100.Com. Over here I regularly post kitchen hacks, reviews of kitchen tools, utensils and related articles. My mission is to search and recommend the best kitchen products, so you don't waste your precious time and money on anything that is not worth it.

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