What Are Placemats Used For? – Traditional and Unusual Uses

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Imagine yourself at a luxurious dinner in a romantic atmosphere! Everything is set to perfection – from venue, lighting, and mood to the menu. But then, you look at the dining setting with plates being slapped down on the bare table.

All you want then is to run away!

Would you enjoy the divine smell of food then? No, because table setting is essential. It influences our desire to enjoy the meal.

That’s where placemats are used for – to enhance the visual appeal of the meal and guest interaction during dinner. But they are not just for the visual pleasure; they are a protective layer to preserve your glass dining table from appalling scratches, heat marks, and moisture.

However, the use of placemats is not just limited to everyday dining. The placemats are being used creatively at every imaginable place. From acting as a chopping board to a decorative base, the placemats have paved their way in our lives forever. Before jumping on to details of the topic we recommend you to check our collection of the best placemat for wood table and our recommendations for the placemats for round table.

What Are Placemats Used For?

Let’s have a look at some of the regular, unusual, and creative uses of placemats.

For Indoor Dining With Style

At any feast, the host creates an atmosphere the way they set the dining table.

An immaculately set dining area represents the skills and etiquettes of the host. From everyday use to indoor gatherings, placemats are the traditional choice to accentuate the dining table look.

Placemats come in a splendid array of styles and materials. Rattan, quilted, woven, and embroidered placemats create warmth in any feast. Cotton linen, vinyl, and plastic placemats are best for everyday use.

Choosing the right placemat for the table should be prioritized based on its use, durability, and cleanliness. You can also use table runner with placemats to style-up the dining settings.

For Outdoor Dining and Fun

Outdoor dining, whether it is a family outing or outdoor dinner party, we have seen placemats used everywhere. Whenever hosting a barbeque night with friends or entertaining guests during an outdoor meal, the logistical hurdle is selecting a right placemat.

However, the wide array of colors and patterns gives a huge advantage in choosing the theme for your outdoor feast setting.

The vibrant hues and lively colors are used for informal dining, while the subtle and natural tones are used to create a more sophisticated atmosphere.

Wooden, bamboo, quilted, or luxe fabric placemats are used for outdoor dining, depending on the mood of the feast. The right choice of placemats brings out the sense of being outdoors.

In Restaurants – For the Perfect Atmosphere

Restaurants have to cater to customers in the most pleasing and welcoming manner. These outdoor eateries want to ensure comfort without ruining their artistic and exquisite tables.

These restaurants are utilizing the placemats not only to protect the table from scratches and burn marks but for printing menu items too.

Their creativity doesn’t end here!

More and more restaurants now want to engage their customers in fascinating and fun-filled activities.

They are presenting placemats and art stationeries to customers to create art and amuse them while their food is being prepared and served. It keeps the kids from getting bored and throwing tantrums.

These outdoor eating establishments frequently make use of paper placemats too. These are disposable after every use and make the cleaning a hassle-free affair.

For Organizing Cabinets and Drawers

Placemats are also meeting the expectations of people by helping in their organizing challenges.

The need to line the cabinets and drawers has led people to use placemats as an alternative solution as they can be removed easily to clean any spills or stains and reused again.

The wide range of material makes it easier for them to choose the one that fits their needs. They are used for lining kitchen cabinets, pantry, drawers, and refrigerators.

These placemat liners not only beautify the cabinets but make the items inside the cabinets stand out too.

MUST CHECK – Our Guide to Determine Correct Size of Placemats

The Creative Uses

Placemats also act as a decorative base to showcase the art elements. Those placemats that are made from silk or laces can add artistic flair to any tabletop.

Placemats are a handy accessory for enthusiastic DIYers with an interest in crafts. It gives an empty canvas where your creativity can flow to create art pieces other people can admire.

Many people use recycled placemats for their art projects as they are cost-effective and stylish.

If you have a round shape table, you should check our post – How to Set a Round Table with Placemats.

For Keeping Toddlers Feed time Mess-Free

The unimaginable mess toddlers make while learning to eat food. Mothers definitely want to have something that can prevent the spills from seeping into the table.

Sure, you can use ordinary methods but that will distract the kids. Now, thanks to graphically interactive placemats, kids can engage in the designs and patterns of placemat while enjoying their food and making less mess.

Apart from that, the special placemats for kids come in informative patterns too. The letters, shapes, numbers and colors make the child feeding time focused and interesting. Moreover, these placemats are durable and can be reused once the toddler outgrows it.

A Few More and Extra Uses of Placemats

The creative uses of mats don’t end here. Here are few more and extra uses of placemats.

  • Placemats aren’t just being used on the dining table. They are even used in the kitchen as cutting boards too.
  • They also make a wonderful gift option. Your friends and relatives will love getting a set of placemat with which they can decorate their spaces and protect tables from burn and heat marks.
  • If the surface already has appalling marks or scratches, placemats can be used to hide these imperfections and give it a new look.
  • Fabric placemats are joined together in contrasting colors to make a table runner.
  • The vinyl placemats are also used as a mouse pad because of its low friction that allows smooth movement of the mouse.

You may like to check our list of Top 10 Best Placemats for Marble Table.

Are Placemats Out of Style?

Placemats are not out of style. With such diverse uses and practicality, it can’t go out of style ever.

The vast availability of designs and materials has created new and innovative uses, which has ensured that placemats would be here for the long run.

Just like fashion goes “in” and “out,” the way of styling placemats on the table can get outdated. However, new styling options of placemats take the place of older ones. Modish look, textures, colors, and prints keep the placemats in trend always.


Placemats offer a wide variety of uses. They aren’t just used as a regular protective layer to your table, but they are also used in fun-filled ways. With just a pinch of creativity, you can mold it to use it as per your choice. For more such tips and guides keep following KitchenUnder100.

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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