If you spend any time whatsoever eating at home, cloth napkins are obviously very useful. They help you cut down on your paper towel usage, and they look pretty nice as well. Think of them as eco-friendly accessories that help you keep mustard off your face, and be sure to pick up a quality set. You’ll find all of the best options right here on this guide.
Below, there are a bunch of great napkin sets, all of which fall into one of two categories: cotton or linen (also denim, but that technically falls into the cotton camp). Cotton is soft, absorbent, and generally cheaper than linen, whereas linen — which is made from flax — is more durable and tends to feel a bit more luxurious. So if you find a set of napkins that costs considerably more than another, chances are it’s linen. There are benefits to each commonly-used material, so just follow your heart (and budget) on this one.
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A Sustainable Tie-Dye Option
Atelier Saucier is an LA-based company that specializes in sustainably sourced (and rather deluxe) table linens. These napkins in particular are constructed from reclaimed denim, and — like the rest of Atelier Saucier’s goods — they’re made in LA. With their deep blue indigo and tie-dye swirls, these are a particular favorite of ours.
An Attractive Denim Set
If tie-dye isn’t quite your speed, here’s another reclaimed denim set from Atelier Saucier with subtle colorful outlines on each individual napkin. Each color is different, and that should help your guests keep track of what’s theirs.
A Fun, Recognizable Pattern
If you’ve ever shopped at high-end retailer MATCHESFASHION, these napkins might remind you of something. (Hint: they have the same marbled design that the company uses for its packaging.) A collaboration between MATCHESFASHION and London-based home goods company Summerill & Bishop, these linens are about as distinct as you can get, and they should offer that same dopamine rush you experience when a package arrives on your doorstep.
For A Design-Heavy Home
These napkins from L’Objet are an investment, but not in the sense that you think. (They’re actually more than half-off right now.) Other than quality, what you’re investing in is a modern, offbeat aesthetic that calls for such things as blue leopard print. Obviously, this is a momentous lifestyle choice, and it’s one that you can and should make right now.
Some Warm-Weather Accessories
Need a new summer-appropriate set of table linens? Seersucker is a no-brainer. Fun, lightweight, and available in a variety of colors (we particularly like the green), these napkins from Dot and Army are what you should break out at your next backyard party.
The Fashionably Crinkled Option
Unless you’ve dedicated your life to constantly ironing every piece of fabric that you own, you should know that your napkins will, eventually, get wrinkled. Lean into that with these Cotton Crinkle Napkins from Borrowed Blu. They’re made in Los Angeles and come in nine muted shades.
An Ever-Appealing Standby
Simple and cost-effective, you can’t go wrong with this classic windowpane set. Sur La Table’s plaid-adjacent cotton napkins are appropriate for anywhere from your dinner table to the oversized cooler that you use as a dinner table while camping, and you can grab a set for twenty bucks.
The Set With Personality
A collaboration between Goodee and Siafu Home, these Congolese napkins are made of Kenyan cotton and screen-printed by hand. With their unique patterns and scalloped edges, they’re the perfect vehicles to express your above-average taste, and the set of six comes with a variety of colors.
For When You Don't Want To Commit To White
All-white napkins give us anxiety and require the additional purchase of Clorox. Some speckled waffle-weave ones, on the other hand, won’t show stains nearly as much, but they’ll still fit any design aesthetic that sticks to lighter tones.
A Practical Floral Pattern
Along the same lines, a watercolor motif is a surprisingly good way to hide stains. (Your bolognese will just look like part of the pattern.) We also appreciate how the floral design on these linens is eye-catching but not too bright or overbearing.
The Flashiest Linens Around
If it’s bright you’re looking for, allow us to introduce you to Neon Lace Company. This New York-based brand makes some of our favorite tablecloths, and they also offer some napkins, such as these neon Baltic linen ones tie-dyed using the Japanese technique known as shibori. Hand washing is highly recommended.
One Of Our Go-Tos
Hawkins New York is one of our go-to brands for everything from drinking glasses to cotton placemats. Their goods are reliably minimalistic and visually appealing, and the Essential Dinner Napkins are the perfect example of this. Grab a sub-$30 set in one of six soothing shades.
A Subtle Upgrade
Also from Hawkins, these Portuguese-made linen napkins are a slightly more luxurious option, and you can get them in a truly overwhelming variety of colors.
The Match-Everything Choice
For something timeless that should go with whatever tablecloths or placemats you have picked out, try some chambray-like indigo napkins from Farmhouse Pottery. They’re pleasantly rustic, made from linen, and washing machine-safe.
A Lightweight Tie-Dye Pick
Here are some napkins similar to those Atelier Saucier options above — except they’re made of lightweight linen as opposed to denim. They have that same indigo tie-dye pattern, but the technique used here is shibori, which results in a more intricate motif. Each of these pieces is one of a kind.
A Napkin For The Bold
Think you can handle a plain white set? If so, go the East Fork route. Turns out the company that makes some of our favorite ceramics also offers what they refer to as the “Perfect Linen Napkins.” They’re stonewashed in Portugal and will undoubtedly look flawless beside an East Fork dinner plate.