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Placemats – The Functional Must-Have for Any Dining Occasion

Placemats help prolong the life and look of your tabletops by serving as protection from scratches, heat, and liquid damage. If you know a messy eater, then you may be aware of this already.

Over the years, our furniture starts to show wear and tear from constant use. A dining room table is no doubt a central gathering place that is used for a multitude of other activities beyond just eating. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, our dining tables may take quite a beating . One way to help preserve and prolong the life of your furniture is to start using placemats. Whether your table is made with shiny glass or polished wood, a placemat is a fun and simple way to introduce colour and improve functionality. Whether you’re getting ready to host Thanksgiving or a regular weekday dinner, placemats will be a welcome addition. 

Let’s look at the elements involved in choosing the best placemats.

What Makes Placemats Functional?

Not a tablecloth and not a runner – a placemat is designed to cover the portion underneath one plate. So, another home item to store, wash, remove stains from, and set out? Seems like a lot of work but placemats are a very practical choice!

Placemats are easy to store and don’t take up a lot of space. If there’s a stain, it’ll be localized on one placemat (unless you have some reallymessy eaters at home), so washing is simple. Wiping, shaking off crumbs and applying stain-remover is easier when you’re dealing with one small item. A placemat also mutes the clinking and clanking of dishes onto a bare tabletop. This minor detail can make a big difference when hosting a larger gathering.

Check out The Stripes Reversible Placemats from Flato Home; 100% Cotton and available in five colours!

Placemats – The Functional Must-Have for Any Dining Occasion

Consider These Factors When Choosing Placemats

The style of placemats you choose can change based on the occasion, just as with other home décor elements you switch out for more formal versus everyday use. But there is more to consider here than just the pattern or colour scheme.

Size and Shape

Placemats come in a variety of shapes and sizes and the one you choose will depend on multiple factors. How big is the table? What shape is it?

The most common placemat size is 13" X 19". You should consider the size of your dinner plates too, since the rule of thumb is for your entire place setting to fit onto the placemat comfortably. Remember that glasses aren’t included here since they are typically placed on the table above the placemat. If you’re tight on space, go for slightly smaller placemats that will prevent overlapping. The point of a placemat is to signify an individual spot at your table, so try to avoid overlapping if possible.

Check out these classic Solid Reversible Placemats, perfect for everyday use!


Considering placement material is more important than you might think! The wrong type can cause more damage to your furniture. For example, a placemat made of cardboard or wood could result in serious scratches on a glass table. You should also consider the temperature of the food you are going to be serving and make sure the placemats are durable enough to provide protection.

Cotton placemats are very popular not only for their softness but versatility. Cotton also absorbs the liquid from any spills, avoiding water damage to your furniture.  Cotton comes in many vibrant colours and can easily be thrown into the washing machine. This material makes it perfect for everyday outdoor or indoor eating.

PVC placemats are another popular option, especially for those messy eaters! Simply wash the placemat with warm soapy water and it will be ready for daily use while also protecting your table from scuffs and wear. These are non-slip, wear resistant and can withstand high temperatures. These heat-resistant mats will prevent burn marks and scratches on your table – which is key for special occasions where a lot of hot plates are being moved around! PVC plastic is waterproof and the colour won’t fade overtime. This is a perfect option when hosting messy outdoor barbeques or pool parties.

The simple addition of a placemat anywhere in your home will allow you to spend more time enjoying and less time cleaning up.

Make a lasting impression with these Floral Cutout PVC Placemats from Flato!

Occasion – Everyday or Formal?

Being practical is great, but you can also have some fun with it! Placemats come in many different styles, materials, and patterns. First, keep in mind the colour-scheme of your dinnerware and adjust your choice to match your cutlery, plates, and napkins. Better yet, if you’re on the hunt for new napkins, try to purchase the same patterns or solid colours for your placemats as well. This will get rid of any second-guessing since the colours and patterns will be a perfect match.

You can’t go wrong with Flato’s Damask Reversible Placemats paired with the Damask Napkins!


Placemats are versatile and well-priced items that can save you a lot of money in the long run since they add a layer of protection to your dining table. Having many colours and styles to choose from will allow you to mix it up and style your table for different occasions and holidays.

We hope you enjoy browsing through Flato Home’s many placemat options for all your formal and everyday dining needs.