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5 best table runners

How to choose the best table runner

Whether you’re entertaining guests or eating breakfast with your household, a table runner adds a warm, decorative element to your table. It’s less formal than the full coverage of a tablecloth, but elevates a space nonetheless.

The trickiest part of buying a table runner is finding the right size for your table. It should measure roughly a third of the width of your table and hang down at least 6 inches over its edges. There are also stylistic considerations, such as the material, color and texture of the runner.

What is a table runner?

A table runner is a decorative strip of fabric that runs down the center of your table lengthwise. It draws attention to the center of a table and showcases centerpieces, candles or serving platters. Like a tablecloth, it adds formality and softness to your table while also being versatile enough to leave out every day for casual dining.

Table runner sizes

The standard width for a table runner is 13 to 16 inches. Table runners come in different length options from 60 to 120 inches. For square and rectangular tables, measure the width of your table and divide it by three. That should be the width of your runner. For length, look for a table runner that’s around 12 inches longer than your table. For example, for a 50- to 60-inch long table, buy a 72-inch long table runner.

Sizing a runner for a round table

If you have a round table, you can use a runner in a couple of different ways. You can crisscross two runners to form an X in the center of your table. You can also lay a single runner along the diameter of the table.

Table runner materials

Spills happen in the dining room and kitchen table, so look for a runner that’s easy to clean.

There are four fabrics commonly used in table runners.

  • Cotton: Cotton is a smooth natural textile that is easy to wash, though it can shrink. Cotton table runners offer a soft, casual look. The material has a timeless appeal and can be dressed up.
  • Linen: Linen is a rougher natural textile that offers more texture and a rustic charm. The material layers well with other table linens and looks good over wood. Linen washes well but needs to be ironed.
  • Polyester: Polyester is a wrinkle- and stain-resistant fabric. Polyester runners are machine-washable and last longer than natural fabrics. While the material is inexpensive, low-quality polyester can look cheap and shiny.
  • Cotton blends: Cotton blends combine linen and cotton or polyester and cotton. Polyester-cotton blends are less prone to shrinking or fading than cotton or cotton-linen blends.

Colors, patterns and textures

You can dress up your table for the season by swapping out the color or pattern of your runner. For example, a red buffalo plaid runner is great for the winter holidays. If you’re layering a table runner over a neutral-colored tablecloth, pick a colorful runner to add an accent and dimension. A textured linen runner adds rustic charm to your table and also complements smoother table linens.

Table runner prices

Table runners cost between $8-$80, depending on the size and material.

Best table runners

Top table runners

OurWarm Splicing Burlap Table Runner

This decorative runner is made of crocheted cotton and woven jute. Its colors are neutral and perfect for fall, farmhouse, or bohemian tablescape. It features long tassels on its ends.

Sold by Amazon

Lenox French Perle 70-Inch Table Runner

Simple yet elegant, this runner subtly dresses up any table with its solid color and slight fringe. The material is thick and of good quality. The colors are gorgeous and the runner is versatile for casual and formal dining.

Sold by Amazon 

DII French Stripe Table Runner

This beautiful linen table runner comes in different color choices of a classic French stripe pattern. It’s well made with excellent stitching, though care must be taken to preserve its color and prevent shrinking. It looks great in any room.

Sold by Amazon

Top table runners for the money

Tosewever Buffalo Check Table Runner

The checked pattern of this runner is festive and a classic look for the holidays. It can also be used every day in farmhouse-style or country-style homes. The polyester material is machine-washable, durable and can be used indoors and outdoors.

Sold by Amazon

Elrene Farmhouse Living Buffalo Check Table Runner

Another affordable buffalo plaid table runner, it comes in a variety of colors. Made from cotton, it offers a classic look. The colors are neat and crisp, and the runner is machine-washable. You can match it with buffalo plaid napkins and placemats.

Sold by Amazon

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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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