Whether you’re a grandma who has been feeding her family for years, or a newlywed couple that’s just starting out, bringing people to together to share a meal is one of the best family traditions. While you most likely already have dinnerware and serving trays, one item that’s often forgot about come meal time is linen napkins.
Linen napkins are an easy way to let guests know you really value their time and company. While paper napkins just get wadded up and thrown in the trash, linen napkins are treated a little more carefully and can be used over and over again, which is more economical. Linen napkins are also a great way to dress up your dining room table, as you can choose different colors or layer prints to create a really beautiful table design. I love the look of a round placemat and round plate with a linen napkin folded like a rectangle across the top, but there are so many ways that you can decorate with a napkin. If you’re feeling really fancy, you could even fold the napkin in different ways and cool shapes to really wow your guests.
When looking for linen napkins, be sure to choose a material that will match your existing dinnerware, as you want everything to look nice when placed next to each other on your table. And since they will be washed, it’s important to look for a durable material that will hold up well in the wash over time. It’s also good to think about how many you napkins you will need to accommodate all of your guests, and to make sure you choose a pack that has enough (or order multiple).
Read on for our list of the best linen napkins, listed by type of napkin.
1. Best Cotton Linen Napkins: Cotton Craft Oversized Dinner Napkins (12 pack)
This set of 12 linen napkins is perfect for someone who wants a really soft linen napkin, as opposed to a firmer material. Made from 100% cotton, this linen napkin is soft to the touch, and is also oversized at 20 inches by 20 inches. The napkins also have mitered corners, which give them a nice, tailored finish. Available in both white, these napkins will match almost any dinnerware and dining table. While cotton is soft and washes well, it does tend to wrinkle, so keep that in mind (i.e. if you don’t like to iron, this may not be the set for you). Because they are soft, this linen napkin is a good choice for those who like to host more casual gatherings.
- Made with 100% cotton
- Soft material
- Comes in a pack of 12
- Mitered corners provide a tailored finish
- Wrinkle easily
- Napkins are not stiff enough to do a unique fold
2. Best Rustic Linen Napkins: Abbot Fjord Linen Dinner Napkins
Made with 90% linen and 10% cotton, these napkins have the perfect blend of durability and softness. Linen is naturally stain resistant and washes really well, so this set is great for someone who likes to keep things low maintenance. Because there is some cotton in the material the napkins will be slightly wrinkled when pulled out of the dryer, which gives them more of a rustic design feel instead of looking messy. If you’re not a fan of rustic, you can easily iron the napkins to smooth the wrinkles out. This set comes with four napkins, and each napkin is 20 inches by 20 inches. The napkins are available in three beautiful colors: cream, olive, and pewter.
- Soft and durable material
- Don’t have to iron if you want a rustic look
- Linen is naturally stain resistant
- Large size – 20 inches by 20 inches
- Not crisp enough for unique folds
- Only four in a pack
3. Best Polyester Linen Napkins: Ultimate Textile Cloth Napkins
If you are hoping to do some fancy folds with your linen napkins, polyester material is the way to go. This napkin is 100% polyester and is 17 inches by 17 inches, so it’s easy to fold and place on top of plates on your dining table. Polyester is also a really easy material to care for as it’s stain and wrinkle resistant, so the napkins are easy to use meal after meal. There are dozens of colors available ranging from aqua to ice pink, so you will have no problem matching your existing dining decor. If you have a more neutral dinnerware set, you could choose a bold colored napkin to really brighten up your table. Whether you are hosting a small or big gathering, you can choose between one dozen, two dozen, three dozen, five dozen, or 10 dozen when ordering.
Price: $14.74 and up, depending on size of pack
- Polyester is easy to fold
- Stain resistant
- Dozens of color choices
- Wrinkle resistant
- Not as soft as cotton
- Not oversized
4. Best Buffalo Plaid Linen Napkins: DII Oversized Buffalo Plaid Cotton Napkins
Buffalo plaid is a really fun choice if you want to incorporate a print into your tablescape, but don’t want something that’s too overwhelming. This linen napkin is available in four different prints. The red and black is great for Christmas, orange and black is perfect for Thanksgiving and fall, and the blue and cream and black and white will match with a variety of other occasions. The set comes with six napkins that are oversized at 20 inches by 20 inches, and are made with 100% cotton. They are machine washable and can be ironed if needed.
Price: $8.99 and up, depending on color
- Cool buffalo plaid print
- 100% cotton is soft
- Comes in a set of six
- Four color choices
- Material is not crisp enough for folding
- May need to iron after drying
5. Best Floral Linen Napkin: ShalinIndia Floral Cotton Dinner Napkins
These linen napkins have a beautiful floral pattern made from a blend of beige, pinks, blues and greens. The pattern looks pretty rolled, folded, or laid out flat, so there are numerous ways you could display the napkins with the rest of your dinnerware. And, because there are so many soft colors within the napkin, they will complement a variety of dinnerware designs. The oversized napkins are made with premium cotton, so they are just as durable as they are soft. While the napkins are machine washable, it’s suggested that you avoid soaking and line dry only to preserve the colors within the pattern. The napkins are available in multiple set sizes: set of four, set of six, set of 12, and set of 24.
Price: $18.49 and up, depending on set size
- Pretty floral pattern
- Premium cotton is soft and durable
- Multiple set sizes to choose from
- Machine washable
- Line dry only
- Material is not crisp enough to do a unique fold
6. Best Elegant Linen Napkins: Lenox Opal Innocence Napkins
If you’re looking to bring some elegance to your dining table, these will do the trick. The napkins have a beautiful scroll pattern and a nice hem that will have your guests thinking you spent big bucks. Made with 58 percent cotton and 42 percent polyester, the napkins are crisp enough to fold in a unique way, while still being soft to the touch. The napkins are 19 inches by 19 inches, and come in a set of four. Available in white and ivory (which has a slight yellow tint), these napkins will match with virtually any dining set. A variety of different sized table cloths and table runners are also available at the same link below.
Price: $17.79 and up, depending on color
- Elegant scroll pattern
- Equal blend of cotton and polyester
- Larger size at 19 inches by 19 inches
- Machine washable and dryable
- Ivory color has a yellowish tint
- Only comes in a set of four
7. Best Striped Linen Napkins: Milliken Signature Bistro Napkins
A subtle stripe never goes out of style. This set of 12 linen napkins has a white background with one thick blue stripe, and two sets of smaller stripes above and below it. The napkin is bistro size at 18 inches by 22 inches, and is made with 100% polyester so it’s crisp at first but gets softer with every wash. Made in the USA, the napkins are stain resistant and anti-fade. The classic stripe pattern will complement almost any dinnerware and table decor, so this is a good choice if you want something chic and simple.
- Simple stripe pattern
- Comes in a set of 12
- Stain resistant
- Made in the USA
- May need to wash multiple times to reach desired softness
- Rectangle shape can be harder to fold into unique shapes
8. Best Polka Dot Linen Napkins: DII Birthday Confetti Napkins (Set of 6)
Add a little whimsy to your dinner party with these adorable polka dot linen napkins. With a mix of bright blue, green, red, pink, and yellow colors, these napkins will go with a variety of table decorations, and would also look cute set against a plain backdrop. Made with 100% cotton, the napkins are really soft and machine washable, although it’s recommended that you don’t dry them to avoid shrinkage. Each napkin is 20 inches by 20 inches, and they come in a set of six. These napkins are cute folded up, and also look great with a napkin ring.
- Cute polka dot pattern
- Oversized at 20 inches by 20 inches
- Machine washable
- Matches with a lot of different colors and patterns
- Will shrink in the dryer
- May need to iron
- Not crisp enough to do unique folds
9. Best Linen Napkins With Lace: Cotton Craft Napkins With Lace (Set of 12)
While lace napkins may seem a little old fashioned, these napkins are more modern as there is only a little lace around the edges. The napkins are made with 100% cotton so they are really soft and easy to wash, but may require a little extra ironing if you don’t line dry them. The set comes with one dozen napkins so there are enough to accommodate a larger party, and they come in a neutral oatmeal color that match almost any dining table decor. This set is great if you want a neutral napkin that has a little bit of flair.
- Cute lace edging
- Neutral color
- Comes in a set of 12
- Cotton material is really soft
- Needs ironing if not line dried
- Lace corners can curl up
- Material is not crisp enough for unique folds
10. Best Egyptian Cotton Linen Napkins: MoLi Products Egyptian Cotton Linen Napkins
Egyptian cotton fibers are longer than standard cotton fibers, so they are both stronger and softer than standard cotton, and get softer with every wash. These napkins are made with 100% Egyptian cotton, so they are designed to be soft to the touch and to last a long time. The napkins are machine washable and dryer friendly, although they may need a light ironing to press out any additional wrinkles. Choose white if you want a bright, clean look, or grey or dark brown if you want something darker and more modern. This set comes with 12 napkins, so it’s perfect for larger parties.
Price: $19.99 and up, depending on color
- Made with durable 100% Egyptian cotton
- Material gets softer with every wash
- Comes in a set of 12
- Multiple color choices
- May need to iron to get out wrinkles
- Material is not very crisp for unique folds