2021.07.16 01:32 Posted by Someone

The Best Cloth Napkins 2021 | The Strategist




Please read our updated Privacy Notice and Terms of Use , effective on December 19, 2019.

close Intelligencer The Cut Vulture The Strategist Curbed Grub Street Magazine Subscribe to the Magazine Give a Gift Subscription Buy Back Issues Current Issue Contents Subscribe Sign In Account Profile Sign Out Menu Menu Close Close US / UK

Sales

Beauty

Skin Care Bath + Body Hair Care Makeup Shaving + Grooming Teeth

Home

Bedding Furniture Bathroom Home Decor Office Cleaning Accessories

Kitchen + Dining

Appliances Cutlery + Knives Dining + Entertainment Bar Accessories Coffee + Tea Cookware Food + Beverages

Fashion

Shoes Tops Bottoms Bras + Underwear Activewear Dresses Accessories Socks + Hosiery Maternity Swimsuits

Tech + Electronics

Headphones Home Audio Phones + Accessories TVs Video Games Computers Cameras

Travel

Luggage Travel Accessories

Fitness

Exercise Gear Activewear

Kids + Babies

Baby Gear Toys + Games Nursery Clothing Nursing + Feeding

Gift Guides

For Everyone For Dads For Moms For Kids For Cheapskates For Readers For Techies For Teens Editors' Best Gift Picks For Hosts + Hostesses About Newsletters Like Us Follow Us Follow Us NYMag.com New York Magazine Intelligencer Vulture The Cut The Strategist Grub Street Curbed

Search

Menu Menu Close Close US / UK

Sales

Beauty

Skin Care Bath + Body Hair Care Makeup Shaving + Grooming Teeth

Home

Bedding Furniture Bathroom Home Decor Office Cleaning Accessories

Kitchen + Dining

Appliances Cutlery + Knives Dining + Entertainment Bar Accessories Coffee + Tea Cookware Food + Beverages

Fashion

Shoes Tops Bottoms Bras + Underwear Activewear Dresses Accessories Socks + Hosiery Maternity Swimsuits

Tech + Electronics

Headphones Home Audio Phones + Accessories TVs Video Games Computers Cameras

Travel

Luggage Travel Accessories

Fitness

Exercise Gear Activewear

Kids + Babies

Baby Gear Toys + Games Nursery Clothing Nursing + Feeding

Gift Guides

For Everyone For Dads For Moms For Kids For Cheapskates For Readers For Techies For Teens Editors' Best Gift Picks For Hosts + Hostesses About Newsletters Like Us Follow Us Follow Us NYMag.com New York Magazine Intelligencer Vulture The Cut The Strategist Grub Street Curbed Share Tweet Pin It + Comments Leave a Comment

Search

Sales Beauty Home Kitchen & Dining Fashion Tech & Electronics Travel Kids & Babies Gift Guides

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

ask a cool person Jan. 26, 2021

What Are the Best Cloth Napkins?

By Lauren Ro

Lauren Ro is interested in baby gear (she’s a new mom) and the ins-and-outs of decorating a home. Prior to the Strategist, she was a writer at Curbed, and before that was Wes Anderson’s assistant.

Lauren Ro is interested in baby gear (she’s a new mom) and the ins-and-outs of decorating a home. Prior to the Strategist, she was a writer at Curbed, and before that was Wes Anderson’s assistant.

Photo: Retailer

Using cloth napkins instead of paper ones at dinner (or for any meal) is not only an easy way to elevate an at-home dining experience — something most of us may be looking to do right now — but also a simple step toward living more sustainably . Not to mention, cloth napkins almost always look more sophisticated than paper ones, no matter how intricate their designs may be. As interior designer (and author of Design Rules: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator ) Elaine Griffin puts it, “Nothing says ‘I care’ more than cloth napkins” on a dinner-party table (and we are optimistic that we’ll be setting dinner-party tables again soon enough). To find the best cloth napkins, we reached out to Griffin and ten other experts — including interior designers and hospitality professionals — about their favorites. Most of their 23 recommendations below come in sets, so we’ve started with those and organized them by price. Beneath the sets, we included a handful of individually sold cloth napkins for folks who only need one or two — or who like to mix and match.

Best under-$50 cloth napkin sets

My Drap Cotton Cocktail Napkins $27 now 30% off $19

If you’re new to cloth napkins, here’s a set that might help you ease into using them. My Drap’s cotton napkins come in a roll much like paper towels, and function like them, too — except, unlike paper towels, these can be washed and used again. (They’re kind of like our favorite Swedish dishcloths in that way.) They come recommended by Vogue sustainability editor Tonne Goodman — who loves them so much that she once wrote an ode to them — and real-estate agent (and Strategist contributor ) Robert Khederian . Says Khederian, “These are pure genius: A cocktail napkin that comes on a roll in a pack of 50 for under $20. Tearing them off when company comes over is a shortcut to being the most elegant host.” According to him, the napkins, which come in a bunch of colors and patterns, are “semi-reusable” — Khederian notes that “you can wash them like you would any other napkin,” and the manufacturer says each napkin is good for about six washes.

$19 at Amazon Buy $19 at Amazon Buy Williams Sonoma Italian Washed Linen Napkins, Set of 4 From $25 $50 now 50% off From $25

As countless restaurant tables suggest, you can’t really go wrong with simple linen napkins. This set from Williams Sonoma comes recommended by Sam Bernstein, the founder of hospitality group Table22 . Made of stonewashed linen, “these are large and durable,” he tells us. “They really stand up to a lot of use.” Plus, Bernstein adds that they’re “available in so many colors” — 18 in total, including neutrals and more vibrant options like pumpkin orange.

From $25 at Williams Sonoma Buy Zara Home Floral Napkins, Set of 2 $15 $15

Claire Olshan, the founder of lifestyle boutique DADA Daily , says these floral-print napkins from Zara Home have the effect of “bringing the outside in.” The 100 percent cotton napkins’ delicate print, she adds, strikes the perfect balance between “the beauty, femininity, and untouched rawness of nature.” Shown in mustard, they also come in a lighter natural color.

$15 at Zara Home Buy Spoonflower Dinner Napkins Square Grid, Mustard Black, Set of 2 $24 $24

For something a little more graphic but no less colorful, consider these gridded napkins that interior designer Ghislaine Viñas recommends for their “delicious mustard color.” The canvas napkins are made of a linen-cotton blend, and their bold pattern “can set a table off into a dramatic direction,” says Viñas, telling us to imagine how these would pop against “a black tablecloth with white place settings.”

$24 at Spoonflower Buy O’lucio Authentique Home Double-Hemstitched Linen Dinner Napkins, Set of 4 $40 $42 now 5% off $40

If you prefer the look of crisp white napkins, this set made of pure flax linen stands out due to its stitched border. Griffin is “wild about them,” saying, “These luxurious pure-linen napkins have hemstitching and Swiss dot embroidery, two of the most elegant details for linens known to mankind.”

$40 at Amazon Buy $40 at Amazon Buy Pottery Barn French Striped Organic Napkins, Set of 4 $40 $40

These classic-looking napkins have a French stripe down the middle and can be purchased in one of three styles: natural with a gray stripe, natural with a navy stripe (shown), and blue with a navy stripe. Heather Goerzen, who works in creative and design for online interior-design service Havenly , told us about them. She says the organic-cotton napkins have a “modern pastoral vibe and rustic quality” that would make any table feel a bit more like one inside a giant old farmhouse.

$40 at Pottery Barn Buy Five Two Everyday Soft Cotton Napkins, Set of 4 From $30 From $30

This writer owns multiple sets of these napkins from Food52’s in-house line (and wrote about them here ). Made of really thick cotton, they’re super soft to the touch and almost have a lineny feel, but aren’t too precious that you can’t easily throw them into the wash. The napkins come in a bunch of muted colors and you can even get them in a mixed set if you prefer an intentionally mismatched look; I went with the mixed sets, buying a “cool set” of gray and navy napkins and a “warm set” of tan, pink, and burnt-clay napkins. Prices start at $30 for a set of four same-colored napkins; if you want a mixed set like mine, they’re $45 for six napkins.

From $30 at Food52 Buy Lostine Pulled Cotton Napkin, Set of 2 $39 $39

These cotton napkins from Lostine also stand out for their subtle-but-distinctive border, which is made of hand-tied warp threads. “They are elegant in both their stitching and weight,” explains Liza Curtiss, a principal at Le Whit design studio, who recommends them. Cotton napkins, she adds, are typically less fussy (i.e., wrinkly) than linen ones, making the material a better choice for those who want cloth napkins that are easier to maintain. As the photo shows, you can get the set in either a natural or red color.

$39 at Lostine Buy Ichcha Yan Mustard Yellow Napkins, Set of 4 $48 $48

“These are my absolute favorite cloth napkins,” says interior designer Leah Alexander . Made from organic cotton, the “unique and vibrant” mustard-yellow napkins are hand-block-printed with an abstract floral design. They come from Atlanta-based Sustainable Home Goods , which Alexander says is a favorite place to shop for ethically produced home décor.

$48 at Sustainable Home Goods Buy

Best under-$100 cloth-napkin sets

Sferra Festival Table Linens, White, Set of 4 $54 $54

If you’re looking to invest in a set of cloth napkins, Khederian says you should focus on quality and versatility — two attributes he says are found in these linen napkins from Sferra. “The white linen will match any table and be just as stylish today as it will ten years from today,” he says. “Sferra is one of the best brands out there, so with proper care, these napkins will be with you for the next decade (if not longer)!” And if the notion of going a decade without staining a white napkin makes you nervous, know that these come in (literally) 100 other colors.

$54 at Amazon Buy Gjusta Goods Linen Napkin, Set of 6 $72 $72

According to Amanda Spina , the general manager at Brooklyn restaurant the Four Horsemen , cloth napkins are “both incredibly easy and stupidly hard” to get right. “A lot of them can be a little too picnicky or twee,” she says. “You also don’t want something so pretty that you’re afraid to actually use it.” It is with all of these considerations in mind that she recommends these linen napkins from Gjusta Goods. The solid-colored napkins come in seven muted colors, some with contrasting edge stitching. “It’s hard to know which color to go with,” Spina admits, “as they are all quite nice!”

$72 at Gjusta Goods Buy Minna Handwoven Grid Napkins, Set of 4 $80 $80

The larger windowpane grid and frayed edges on these cotton napkins make them feel a bit more casual than similar styles on this list. The napkins are available in peach, indigo, and cream, and Curtiss says they “feel like a playful nod to cocktail hours of summers past — and look like an heirloom from the rich great-aunt you never had.”

$80 at Food52 Buy

Best splurge-worthy cloth napkins

Matouk Scalloped Napkins, Set of 4 $135 $135

At a certain point, especially with products like napkins, the more you spend isn’t going to change how well they function — just how nice they look or feel. That’s why, if you’re looking to really invest in a pair for your home or as a gift, Khederian likes this set of linen ones from Matouk, a brand that tops our list of cool-person-approved bedding . In fact, these napkins share the same scalloped edge as that very bedding — a detail that Khederian says is “almost impossible not to smile” at. He adds that the napkins “have just enough personality to be different without being so trendy that you’ll worry about needing to replace them in a few years.” As the image shows, you can get them with one of eight different border colors.

$135 at Bloomingdales Buy Sferra Perry Dinner Napkins, Set of 4 $138 for 4 $138 for 4

Griffin is another fan of Sferra’s napkins, calling this set of white linen ones embroidered with a border of navy diamonds “lavishly crisp.” She recommends pairing them with white dishware and black cutlery, but the simple-enough design would lend itself to lots of other table-scapes.

$138 for 4 at Amazon Buy

Best individually sold cloth napkins

Linge Particulier Linen Napkin, Navy Check $15 $15

If you’d prefer to mix and match your napkins — or only need one or two — you can always buy them individually. This simple gridded napkin is a favorite of architecture critic Alexandra Lange , who says the material “washes really nicely and is soft and absorbent even after repeated washings.” If you like the sound of it but not this exact look, she says they come in various colorways (some of which are more in stock than others) that are just as versatile. This selection also allows you to “make a pretty mixed set in different tones,” notes Lange, who adds that she likes the napkins so much, she got a set for her mom as a gift.

$15 at Collyer’s Mansion Buy Unison Home Grid Black Napkin $6 $8 now 25% off $6

For a bolder grid-patterned napkin sold individually, Viñas likes this hand-printed cotton one. “I can only imagine what you could do with these and a dramatic centerpiece using a white tablecloth and black table settings.”

$6 at Unison Home Buy Merci Washed Linen Table Napkin $8 $12 now 33% off $8

While some of the napkins on this list may recall those used at a French brasserie or farmhouse, Spina recommends these linen serviettes from Paris home-goods store Merci to anyone looking for napkins with a true French pedigree. Shown in an azure blue, she notes that there are plenty more colors to consider. “There are so many options that it’s hard to choose,” Spina says.

[ Editor’s note: Merci lists prices in euros, so the price shown for the napkin is an approximate conversion in U.S. dollars. ]

$8 at Merci Buy Hawkins New York Simple Linen Napkins $18 $18

Hawkins New York’s solid-colored linen napkins are another style that’s made for mixing and matching, according to Curtiss. “I love that these napkins are sold separately,” she says. “It allows you to mix the 18 different color offerings to match your table-scape to a T.” If you’re unsure whether to go light or dark, she prefers darker-colored napkins “so I never have to shy away from serving marinara and red wine.”

$18 at Hawkins New York Buy Crate & Barrel Drizzle Napkins $7 $7

Griffin says the (Missoni-esque) print on this cotton napkin “looks like the color-blocked love child of Bauhaus and Art Deco.” She calls the pattern “unabashedly bold, but sweet enough that you wouldn’t mind using the napkins for breakfast with the kids.”

$7 at Crate and Barrel Buy Crate & Barrel Covina Napkin $4 $8 now 50% off $4

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this minimalist napkin recommended by Goerzen, who likes how its “subtle modern stitching adds a special — and somewhat surprising — touch.” Made of a linen-cotton blend, she adds that “the neutral hue and material make it easy to mix and match.”

$4 at Crate and Barrel Buy Spartan Shop Herringbone Linen Napkin $17 $17

Like some of the windowpane-grid-patterned napkins on this list, this linen napkin’s herringbone pattern recalls that of textiles used in menswear suiting, according to Elena Frampton, principal at Frampton Co interior-design studio and art advisory. “With these, there’s that opportunity to push the balance between masculine and feminine without being too overt,” she says. And like any good suit, she notes that the herringbone napkin is versatile “and can be very easily dressed up or down” depending on your flatware, dishes, and other tabletop décor.

$17 at Spartan shop Buy St. Frank Ochre Linen Napkin $26 $26

While these are admittedly pricey at $26 a napkin, you could call them small works of art. Each of the ombré-style linen napkins is handmade, according to Karina Lameraner, a creative stylist at online interior-design service Modsy , meaning no two are identical. The dip-dye effect, she adds, results in “a warm and eye-catching textile to elevate everyday dining.” (You can also buy these in sets of four and six, but there doesn’t appear to be any discount in pricing for buying in bulk.)

$26 at St. Frank Buy Anthropologie Golden Geo Table Linen Collection Napkin $26 $26

Another splurge at $26 a napkin, these, says Lameraner, could be nothing less than “the central focus of a table-scape” thanks to the linen napkins’ bright color and poppy pattern. “These are beautiful and have a fun print to help bring a bit of visual interest to your everyday — or special occasion — table,” she says.

$26 at Anthropologie Buy

get the strategist newsletter

Actually good deals, smart shopping advice, and exclusive discounts. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Terms & Privacy Notice By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments , rolling luggage , pillows for side sleepers , natural anxiety remedies , and bath towels . We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Tags:

the strategist ask a cool person home decor food and kitchen + Comments Leave a Comment What Are the Best Cloth Napkins?

Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

Deal of the Day

$45 NOW $25 Deal of the Day This Wine-Bottle-Size Hydro Flask Is 44 Percent Off

Micro Sales

$45 NOW $20 $150 NOW $65 $149 NOW $119 $69 NOW $42 11 Things on Sale You’ll Actually Want to Buy: From Gil Rodriguez to Nike See All In Sale

THE WON’T RETURNABLES

The Strategist 100: Our Most Stood-Behind Gifts

Most Viewed Stories

100-Teen Poll: What Is Actually Cool to Buy in 2021? What Singer Belinda Carlisle Can’t Live Without 6 Things That’ll Almost Definitely Sell Out: From Lululemon to Away The Best Face Washes, According to Dermatologists and Skin-Care Experts The Only Toy Gift Guide for a 1-Year-Old You’ll Ever Need

Timely Things

Introducing Strategist Travel The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Online, As Tested by Strategist Editors The Strategist Baby Registry 100

Related Stories

ask a cool person The Best 40th-Birthday Gifts, According to People Who’ve Reached 40 ask a cool person The Best Drinking Glasses, According to Restaurant and Interior-Design Experts ask a cool person The Best Window Curtains, According to Interior Designers ask a cool person What Are the Best Rugs for a Nursery? ask a cool person The Best Holiday Wreaths, According to Interior Designers ask a cool person The Best Floor Lamps, According to Interior Designers ask a cool person The Best Bedroom Décor for Teen Girls, According to Stylish Teen Girls ask a cool person What’s the Best Thing You Bought This Year That Made WFH Bearable? ask a cool person The Best Sleeper Sofas, According to Interior Designers painless shopping 15 In-Stock (Actually Nice-Looking) Inflatable Pools More Stories Sign In to Comment Sales Beauty Home Kitchen + Dining Fashion Travel Tech + Electronics Fitness Kids + Babies Gift Guides Like Us Follow Us Follow Us Follow Us Follow Us Newsletters About Us Contact Media Kit We’re Hiring Press Trademark Privacy Terms Ad Choices Do Not Sell My Info Accessibility The Strategist is a Vox Media Network . © 2021 Vox Media, LLC. All rights reserved.