Best Tablecloths

Updated June 2021
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How we decided

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

30 Models Considered
14 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
87 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 tablecloths

The right tablecloth can work wonders for your supper table. It can turn a simple dinner with friends into a special occasion. It can make life with little kids easier by resisting stains and spills. Whatever your reason for buying a tablecloth, it's worth spending some time considering what you need.

Heavy cotton tablecloths look luxurious and are the perfect choice for formal affairs and special occasions, whereas simple, wipe-clean PVC tablecloths are more appropriate for everyday use, especially if you have a child who make a mess of their spaghetti or who tends to color outside the lines of their coloring book. Selecting the right size and shape for your table is important for your eating area to look its best, and the color and pattern affect the aesthetic of your space.

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When shopping, consider whether your chosen tablecloth would look good with the crockery, placemats, and other dining accessories you already own.

Key considerations

Tablecloth material

Cotton

Cotton tablecloths look crisp and luxurious and hang nicely, especially if you choose one made of heavy cotton. They can be expensive, however, and ironing may be required to keep the tablecloth wrinkle-free.

Polyester

If you're looking for an inexpensive tablecloth, consider polyester. It's naturally wrinkle-resistant, so you shouldn't need to iron it, and its strong fibers resist pilling regardless of how many times you wash and use it.

Cotton-poly blend

A cotton-poly blend is a decent compromise between 100% cotton and 100% polyester. It has a slightly heavier look and drapes more nicely than polyester, but it retains some of polyester's wrinkle resistance. And, although pricier than polyester, a cotton-poly blend is cheaper than pure cotton.

PVC

If you want a rugged tablecloth for daily use, consider PVC. Tablecloths of this material will protect your table from spills because liquids can’t get through. PVC is easy to wipe clean, which is great news if you have messy eaters at home.

Oilcloth

If you like the idea of a spill-proof tablecloth but prefer to avoid PVC, try oilcloth. It consists of a heavy cotton base with a coating on top to make it waterproof and easy to wipe clean. Traditional oilcloth is coated with flax oil, but nowadays, it often has a synthetic coating. Because its base is made from cotton, it hangs better than PVC and doesn't look as plasticky.

Shape

You'll generally want to choose a tablecloth the same shape as your table, though there are exceptions. Round tablecloths can look good on square tables, for instance, as long as they're large enough to fully cover the tabletop. Rectangular and round tablecloths are the most common, but you can also find square and oval tablecloths.

Size

To find a tablecloth of the perfect size, you'll need to measure your table if you don't already know its dimensions. It's generally recommended that tablecloths hang 3 to 6 inches on each side for casual dining and 8 to 16 inches on each side for formal dining. Multiply your chosen amount of overhang by two and add this to the length and width of your table (or to the diameter, in the case of round tables) to determine the size you need.


Consider using an oilcloth or PVC tablecloth for a child’s party instead of a disposable cloth. They're easy to wipe clean, won't stain, and are better for the environment.

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Features

Colors and patterns

Not only can you purchase tablecloths in a huge range of solid colors, you can also pick between a vast array of prints and patterns. There are simple patterns (think plaid and polka dots), elaborate florals, fall leaf prints, and elegant damask tablecloths. Color and pattern is a matter of personal preference, so your main concern should be choosing something you love. Bear in mind that a color or print that you love might not necessarily complement your dining area, and think about what hues and colors would go best with your current design scheme.

Washability

Even if you're careful, it's inevitable that you'll eventually drop food or spill a drink on your tablecloth. For this reason, ease of cleaning is important. You can wipe PVC and oilcloth tablecloths clean, but these should still be machine washable on low heat, as you'll eventually want to clean the whole cloth. Fabric tablecloths should be suitable for machine washing and, ideally, tumble drying.

Accessories


Table runner: Syntus Buffalo Check Table Runner
Running along the center of a table, a table runner can add a touch of color to a plain tablecloth. A seasonal or festive table runner is a nice way to bring holiday cheer to your table without buying a themed tablecloth. This plaid runner is available in three colors.

Placemats: Chardin Home Eco-Friendly Denim and Jute Placemats
Not only do placemats look great on a dining table, they also help protect the tablecloth from spills. These rustic placemats from Chardin Home add a touch of effortless style to any table. 

Cloth napkins: Ruvanti Kitchen Cloth Napkins
If you want to impress your guests, real cloth napkins are a must. These napkins from Ruvanti are made of a soft yet durable poly-cotton blend. You can get them in a wide range of colors to match or complement any tablecloth.
 

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Did You Know?
White tablecloths might look effortlessly smart, but it's hard to get tough stains like red wine and spaghetti sauce out of them.
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Tablecloth prices


Inexpensive: Basic tablecloths cost $10 to $20. These are often fairly compact in size or made from inexpensive materials, such as polyester or a cotton blend.

Mid-priced: Expect to pay $20 to $40 for a mid-range tablecloth. In this price range, you'll find tablecloths in a variety of materials, including cotton and oilcloth.

Expensive: High-end tablecloths tend to cost between $40 and $60, though some designer options cost well over $100. These are generally made from quality materials like heavy cotton.
 

White tablecloths might look effortlessly smart, but it's hard to get tough stains like red wine and spaghetti sauce out of them.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips
 

  • Think about how often you'll use your tablecloth. If you're buying a tablecloth for special occasions only, it doesn't need to be exceptionally durable. Everyday tablecloths need to stand up to plenty of wear and tear.
  • Choose a tablecloth that matches your dining room aesthetic. If your dining space is fairly neutral, you might choose a bold tablecloth to give the room a pop of color. If your dining space is already quite “busy” with décor, a plain tablecloth is less likely to clash.
  • Choose tablecloths that suit your lifestyle. Hate ironing? Pick a wrinkle-free tablecloth. Have kids who are forever spilling their juice? Choose a stain-resistant fabric tablecloth or one made from a waterproof, wipe-clean material.
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You can make even a simple tablecloth look fancy with the right selection of table dressings.

FAQ

Q. Is it essential that I use a tablecloth on my dining table?

A. There's no law that says you must use a tablecloth on your dining table. In fact, many people break them out only on special occasions. If you have a worn or dated table, however, you might prefer to cover it with a cloth all of the time. In short, there’s no hard-and-fast rule, so use a tablecloth whenever you’d like.

Q. How can I make sure my tablecloth matches the style of my home?

A. Although tablecloths might seem quite traditional, you can find options to suit all kinds of styles, from rustic farmhouse looks to sleek, modern décor. The key is to shop around. If you search enough options, you should find a style that's right for you. If in doubt, classic white is a timeless choice that could always be brightened up with a table runner.

Q. What kinds of tablecloths are suitable for outdoor tables?

A. Any tablecloth would work if you just want something nice for a single outdoor meal. If you intend to leave the cloth outside for extended periods, choose a waterproof PVC or oilcloth tablecloth.
 

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