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There’s no denying that when it comes to place settings, it’s the plates, cutlery, and drinkware that typically get the most attention. But let’s not forget about the humble napkin and the impact it can make. Sure, you need one for utilitarian purposes, but this is also the place to further express your sense of style. It’s an opportunity to play with both fabric and pattern, not to mention the perfect way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral set-up. No matter whether you’re looking for casual cotton or more luxurious linen, an everyday option or special occasion splurge, these napkins offer a little something for every table and dining occasion.
Here, the best napkins available online.
These napkins may be simple, but they’re far from basic. Made from 100% linen woven from European flax, they can easily read as casual or more formal, while a contemporary border around the entire perimeter adds visual interest. Soft yet durable, they can be both machine-washed and dried (always a good feature when it comes to table linens). Iron them for fancier occasions or embrace any natural wrinkling to channel an organic and relaxed aesthetic. Bonus points for the wide array of 14 hues available, ranging from neutral whites and grays to subdued pinks and blues, plus three-striped options, too.
Feminine and vintage, these are reminiscent of something you’d find in your grandmother’s attic, in the best way possible. The square, 20 x 20-inch napkins come in a crisp white with subtle lace detailing. As an added win, they’re much more durable than actual lace—they can go straight in the washing machine. (Just make sure to wash on cold in order to avoid the potential for unwanted shrinkage.) We see them adorning a table set out for a girls’ lunch or brunch.
These may be neutral, but don’t mistake their versatility for lack of style. The yarn-dyed, 100 percent cotton napkins (a Williams Sonoma exclusive) are woven in a chambray pattern and subtle charcoal color that’s a universal safe choice to pair with any type of table setting or dinnerware. Mitered corners give them a finished look, and those who seek out sustainable textiles will appreciate that they’re certified by the Better Cotton Initiative. A global non-profit, the designation indicates that the cotton used is holistically and sustainably produced.
Going for any kind of farmhouse feel in your kitchen? Pick up these stunners. A neutral-yet-noteworthy pairing of a beige base and sky blue striping feels rustic yet elegant. (Fun fact: The brand calls this particular blue hue Araucana blue, named after one of the few chickens that lay eggs this color.)
The textured linen further adds to the relaxed feel, though we could easily see this decorating even a more modern table. Just note that these napkins need to be hand washed and line dried.
Add a personal touch to your table with these monogrammed napkins. Woven from ultra-soft linen, the neutral base is accentuated with a herringbone border. Choose from five colors: kelly green, navy, pink, light blue, or white. Pair that with the embroidered monogram of your choice, be it single or multiple initials, for an unexpected take on the table staple. We also love these as a thoughtful and personalized hostess gift.
Etsy is one of our go-to destinations for fun, unique, handmade takes on all kinds of things—napkins included. There’s no shortage of finds to choose from (search ‘cloth napkins’ and settle in for some serious browsing), but we’re partial to these.
True to the name, they’re made of natural flour sack cotton and printed by hand in an array of different colored stripes. They’re super absorbent, durable, and machine washable, though it’s worth mentioning that they’re smaller than standard dining napkins, only 12 x 12 inches. Due to the handcrafted nature, each one might be slightly different, but hey, that’s part of the beauty of owning handmade wares.
Whether for fashion or home accessories (don’t miss their adorable beach wraps and caftans), this is one of our favorite brands for feminine and perfectly preppy prints.
As far as table décor goes, these hand block printed napkins from Jaipur India from local artisans add a bright dose of color to your table. They're great for casual dinners on the patio or you can dress them up for more formal affairs. What we love best about printed napkins is that they are little more forgiving when stains happen.
Italian-based Sferra is a go-to for high-end home textiles, and dining napkins are no exception. If you’re ready to splurge, pick up this set. Woven from the brand’s best-selling Lithuanian, Festival linen, a plain weave gets an unexpected twist thanks to a contrasting one-inch border.
Fans of neutral tones should go for the grey/oyster combo, while those looking to add some whimsical color to their table can choose from a vibrant berry, emerald, or teal hue, all surrounded by the same oyster border. A frayed hem makes for the perfect finishing detail.
Hand-woven from 100 percent Ethiopian cotton, this pick is ideal for anyone seeking a more durable, everyday option. Machine washable and ultra-absorbent, their functionality doesn’t comprise the style. A partial checkered pattern in cream, blue, gray, and charcoal tones is subtle enough to be set against a patterned plate or placemat, yet enough of a statement to pop against solids as well. And if for some reason they aren’t quite what you hoped for, we also appreciate that the brand offers both free shipping and free returns.
Fold and unfold these cotton napkins any which way you choose. Depending on how you do so, you’ll showcase varying parts of the bold, color-blocked, and striped pattern. Set the table with them all folded and facing the same way, or mix and match to keep things interesting (yet still cohesive). Plus, choose the darker, moodier color palette for a more dramatic setting or the soft blush pink which is perfect for everyday use.
Did you know that Verishop can be a good source for all kinds of household finds? Case in point: These unique napkins that feature a mustard hue and abstract white print. Hand-made and printed in India using plant-based dyes, the 18-inch by 18-inch napkins are made of a linen-cotton blend. Plus, unlike many other options out there, you can get them in a set of two rather than four—ideal if you’re not constantly throwing big dinner parties but do want to upgrade from the disposable paper napkins you’ve been relying on.
Haven’t been able to find exactly the right color napkin? We’re willing to bet this brand has what you need; their standard linen napkin comes in, wait for it, 16 different shades. (This includes four versions of white-cream-beige alone.) On the opposite end of the rainbow is a royal purple, vibrant teal, sunny yellow—you get the picture. No matter which hue you choose, they’re all soft, absorbent, and stain-resistant. Also nice: The interior label loop can pull double duty as a napkin ring when the napkin is folded.
If bold patterns or colors aren’t quite up your alley, consider mixing up your table settings by playing with texture. Exhibit A, these jacquard napkins boasting a subtle rippled pattern accentuated by a rich texture that plays off dark and light layers. The colors are neutral, but there are hints of metallic thread woven in throughout. The end result is a hint of sheen, making these perfect for festive occasions or a dressed-up date night at home. (Just keep in mind that they can only be spot cleaned, so make sure Uncle Frank doesn’t use it to sop up any Thanksgiving gravy spills.)