Best Coasters

Updated December 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

38 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
405 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best coasters

Last Updated December 2019

If you’re in the deep south, putting a glass of sweet tea on the coffee table will leave a ring of condensation behind. Up north, a cup of too-hot coffee can singe a table if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for these pesky rings of moisture on your furniture: a coaster.

Coasters come in an ever-growing range of colors, shapes, materials, and colors. Most are not too pricey, but they can save your furniture from the need for expensive repairs (or replacement). The right coasters will not only protect your furniture but also sound a grace note to set the mood in the room where they’re used. The question is, which set of coasters should you get? There are multiple coaster materials to choose from, including cork, sandstone, and rubber. There are multiple aesthetics to choose from, too.

Whether you’re buying a set of coasters for yourself or as a gift, we can help simplify your decision. Keep reading, and we’ll cover the basics so you can sit back and relax with a nice cuppa as soon as possible.

Although coasters come in many shapes, the round ones are preferred by most people, since most people own cups and glasses with round bottoms.

Key considerations

Where they’re used

Which rooms in your home need coasters? Different rooms have different materials that require protection.

In the kitchen, you may have countertops made of granite, tile, or another material that you want to protect. With those surfaces, you don’t need to be concerned about hot beverages as much as cold ones. Who wants little rings of water all over the counter, after all? Absorbent coasters will probably be a good idea in the kitchen.

In the dining room, you’ll need to protect your table from the perils of both hot and cold beverages. You’ll also need coasters that complement your particular table. Is your table a dark wood, such as cherry, or is it a lighter wood, such as oak? You may wish to coordinate your coaster choice with the type of wood in your dining room.

The living room is often the first room people see when they enter a home. Therefore, the coasters there need to be purchased with an eye toward appearance. Almost any coaster will protect your furniture, but if you want people to be impressed with what they see, you’ll need to give it some thought. For example, if your living room is decorated in elegant white, you may wish to invest in some white marble or sterling silver coasters.

In the den or family room, you can relax and let your hair down. Same goes for the man cave, if you have one. Some coasters have a more informal look. Coasters made of braided material, leather, or plastic may be at home here. You may even wish to invest in some humorous coasters with funny pictures or text on them.

EXPERT TIP

Leather coasters have an elegant look to them, but leather stains easily, so they may not be the most practical choice.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

The range of materials used in coasters gets longer all the time. Some, such as cork and cotton, are highly absorbent. Others, such as wood and marble, provide excellent protection from hot cups. Here is a partial list.

  • Leather
  • Cork
  • Crystal
  • Wood
  • Marble
  • Sandstone
  • Metal
  • Ceramic
  • Rubber
  • Plastic
  • Cotton
  • Straw
  • Silicone
  • Slate
  • Glass
  • Agate
     

That’s a long list, but rest assured, we almost certainly missed a few. If you’re looking for coasters made from a particular material, it’s probably out there somewhere.

Color

Some coasters are a solid color. On the other extreme are coasters that look like a psychedelic music poster from the 1960s. There is no limit to the range of colors that coasters come in.

Patterns, designs, and shapes

From textured patterns to marbled designs, there is no end to the creativity you’ll see on coasters. If you can imagine it, someone has created it. In terms of shape, many coasters are round, but you will also find those that are square, rectangular, hexagonal, and octagonal.

Messages

Coasters are more than just protection for your furniture; they’re also a personal statement. Many of them carry written messages on them to project your personality into the room.

Personalized: Some coasters can be ordered with personalized messages engraved or stitched into them. These make wonderful gifts at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and on Valentine’s Day.

Inspirational: Inspiring messages from famous people, poems, or books are well-represented on coasters.

Humorous: Some messages on coasters are intended to make you laugh.

Backing

The backing of a coaster is arguably the most important part since it is the material that comes into contact with your furniture.

Felt: Felt is an admirable choice for backing on a coaster. It slides on polished furniture, allowing you to easily move it around, and it will not scratch.

Cork: Cork slides a bit, but it does not slide as readily as felt. Its best quality is the high degree of protection it offers against heat.

Rubber: Although it doesn’t slide or move well, rubber backing or rubber feet provide great protection for your furniture.

Rims

Some coasters have raised rims to keep your glass or cup from sliding off. The rim also prevents pooled condensation from running off the edge of the coaster onto your furniture.

Holders

It’s rare to find a set of coasters that doesn't come with a holder. The holder provides a method of storing the coasters when they’re not in use. Often, the holder is a form-fitting box made of metal or wood. Some holders are ornamental themselves, coming in various shapes. Some are obviously made for display purposes.

EXPERT TIP

Place the coaster holder prominently on the coffee table so people will know to use them.


Staff  | BestReviews

Coaster prices

Coasters are sometimes sold singly, and if you choose to buy a single coaster, you may pay less than $10. However, there are some coasters made of premium materials (such as moisture-absorbent stone) that sell for closer to $20 apiece.

Some sets of coasters are also less than $10, though the material may be less hardy, and you’re likely to get a smaller set (around four pieces) than a larger set (eight pieces or more) for this low price.

Between $10 and $25 is the medium range for a set of coasters. You will see sets of four to eight pieces in this range.

There are some high-priced coaster sets that sell for $50 up to $100 or more. These are anything from thin-sliced polished agate with gold rims to handcrafted specialty coasters.

EXPERT TIP

If you like a little variety, consider investing in several sets of coasters for your living room. You can switch them out with the seasons.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Clean coasters after each use to remove condensation or other moisture.
  • Keep a close eye on the backing of your coasters. This is the area that receives the most wear and tear.
  • Silicone coasters often attract dust particles and need to be washed regularly.

Other products we considered

We like the Set of 16 Decopom Natural Cork Coasters. These 100% cork coasters absorb heat and cold with equal facility. The price is a bargain, and a black metal coaster holder is included, which makes them an even better deal.

We also like the Set of 6 LIFVER Drink Coasters. A black metal holder is included with them. The coasters are made from crushed and compacted dolomite with a marble-like pattern and a tremendous capacity to absorb spills. Each coaster has a cork backing to prevent scratching your tables and furniture. They're both ornamental and functional.

Marble, slate, and sandstone coasters are beautiful in appearance but fragile and definitely breakable if dropped on a hard floor.

FAQ

Q. Do I really need coasters?
A.
Yes. Furniture can be stained by “sweat rings” from cold glasses or seared from hot ones. Once that damage is done, there’s usually nothing you can do to fix it. A little prevention goes a long way.

Q. How many coasters do I need?
A.
Count up the number of places to sit in the room where you’re using the coasters. Add a “fudge factor” of two or three. Coasters are sold singly and in sets ranging anywhere from four to 20 pieces. If you entertain frequently, you’ll definitely want to err on the side of caution and stock up on coasters.

Q. What is the best coaster for hot cups?
A.
Stone of any kind provides an excellent layer of insulation between the cup and the furniture. Wood is also good.

Q. What is the most absorbent coaster for cold beverages?
A.
Cork and cotton are the best, but sandstone is a close second.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey