Placemat Sizes

Placemats do more than protect your table from scratches؅—they can also set the tone and style of your dining experience. Placemat sizes vary and play a crucial role in achieving the desired look and feel. They come in a range of sizes, with each suited to different table dimensions and dining settings.

Common placemat sizes range from 12 × 18 inches to 14 × 20 inches. The correct placemat size choice depends on table size, shape, and occasion. Bigger sizes suit formal settings, while smaller ones are great for casual dining.

This guide will cover the basics of placemat sizes before elaborating how to choose the best placemat size for any occasion.

Basics of Placemat Sizes

Placemats serve as a foundation for table setting, and their size can significantly influence the aesthetics and functionality of a dining space

Standard placemat sizes typically range from 12 × 18 inches to 14 × 20 inches. These dimensions are designed to comfortably fit most dining and kitchen tables. Selecting a size within this range ensures a harmonious balance between the placemat and the table.

However, there is no set rule that dictates what placemat size you need. You can choose a placemat to be as small (12 × 14 inches) or as large (18 × 20 inches and beyond), depending on what you think works best with whatever theme you’re trying to present.

Placemat Sizes for Different Table Shapes

With all that said, the size of a placemat can affect how well it blends in with your table setting, depending on the table shape.

1. Round Table Placemat Dimensions

Ideally, round or oval placemats work best for circular tables. They should be proportionate to the table’s size, typically around 12 to 15 inches in diameter. This size ensures that each placemat fits comfortably without hanging over the edge.

2. Rectangular Table Placemat Dimensions

Standard rectangular placemats, usually 12 × 18 inches or 14 × 20 inches, are perfect for these tables. The placemat should leave ample space on the table for each diner and not overlap when set side by side. For narrower tables, opt for slightly smaller placemats to avoid crowding.

3. Square Table Placemat Dimensions

Square tables often pair well with square placemats, which typically measure around 13 × 13 inches. These placemats complement the table’s geometry. Ensure there is enough room between each placemat for a comfortable dining experience. For larger square tables, slightly bigger placemats may be appropriate to maintain the balance in proportions.

4. Oval Table Placemat Dimensions

Oval tables blend well with either rectangular or oval-shaped placemats. The key is to match the placemat’s longest dimension with the table’s length. Standard sizes like 12 × 18 inches or 14 × 20 inches usually work well, but you may opt for custom sizes for unusually large or small oval tables.

Buying Guide for Placemat Sizes

When shopping for placemats, it’s essential to consider several key factors to ensure you make the right choice for your table.

1. Shapes and Styles in Placemats

While rectangular placemats are commonly used, there’s a variety of shapes like oval, circular, or novelty designs (including those aimed at children) that add a unique touch to dining. For these shapes, ensuring a minimum width of 14-18 inches is key to providing ample dining space. Metallic circular placemats, for instance, are great for festive occasions.

2. Choosing the Right Material

The choice of placemat material depends on your maintenance preference and desired aesthetic:

  • Fabric Placemats: Popular for their softness and ease of cleaning. They can range from light cotton or linen to more durable materials like canvas or woven textures.
  • Plastic or Vinyl: Ideal for families with children or outdoor dining. These materials are easy to clean and come in a variety of colors.
  • Cork or Wood: These materials offer a sophisticated look and are also easy to maintain. They provide stability and can be a dramatic addition to your dining room decor.

Heat resistance is an important feature, especially for serving hot dishes. Vinyl and cork are excellent in this regard and can be used under thinner fabric placemats for added table protection.

3. Matching Placemats with Décor

When coordinating placemats with your dining decor, consider the formality and ambiance of your meals. Here are some tips:

  • Contrast Rules: Opposite colors work well—white plates on dark placemats or vice versa.
  • Highlighting Simple Foods: Use textured, patterned, or bold placemats to enhance simpler meals.
  • Accentuating Gourmet Dishes: Opt for minimalistic, neutral placemats to let your culinary creations take center stage.
  • Child-Friendly Designs: Incorporating cartoon characters or fun designs can delight young children at the table.