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Table Linen Buying Guide

Choosing the Best Table Linens

Table linens help to convey the theme and level of service at your restaurant or event while protecting tables and creating inviting visual appeal. Our wide selection of table linens and accessories makes it easy to put together a dining area that meets your size, material, tonal, and budget requirements.

What to Consider When Purchasing Table Linens

Table covers have the power to make or break the image you're trying to portray. From kid-friendly, disposable plastic table covers to upscale cloth linens for your five-star venue, the options out there are as endless as the establishments they will go in. Here are a few things you'll want to consider.

Size and Shape:

A tablecloth's size helps communicate the overall level of formality. For casual events, a 6-8" drop is appropriate; for formal events, a 10-15" drop is more fitting.

Tone of Room or Event:

Linens help set the mood for a meal - whether lighthearted and festive, elegant and romantic, or serious and professional.


Cloth table linens help create upscale settings and are designed to withstand daily use, while disposable covers are better for casual events and generally single-use only.


While white and ivory are common for formal settings, bold colors create dramatic backdrops and festive displays when coordinated with other tabletop elements.

Cleanup Requirements:

Larger facilities with storage space and laundering equipment can accommodate reusable tablecloths, while on-the-go services and casual events may prefer disposable covers.


With so many table linen options available, it's possible to find table covers that meet all your requirements, including fitting into your budget!

Tablecloth Sizes

Not sure what size table linens to purchase? Our easy-to-use calculator will point you in the right direction. Just measure your table's top and base, enter the info into our calculator, and we'll do the math for you.

  1. Enter the shape and dimensions of your table.
  2. Determine how much of a drop you would like the table linens to have from the top of the table.
    • The standard "drop" or overhang is 8".
    • A 10" - 12" overhang will reach lap level.
    • For standard banquet tables, a 15" drop is recommended.
    • A 29" - 30" drop will reach to the floor.

Table Linen Size Calculator

1 Select Your Table Shape
2 Enter Your Table Dimensions
in. in.
3 Your Linen Size
in. in.

Types of Reusable Table Covers and Skirting

Reusable table and chair linens offer a number of advantages over disposable options. Along with ensuring you'll always have covers on hand, reusable linens create less waste, reduce costs over time, and are often made of materials that convey a higher level of service and quality.

Burgundy cloth table cover drapes over a square edge

Cloth Table Covers

  • Convey a higher level of service
  • Absorb background noise
  • Create sanitary table tops
  • Absorb spills better than bare surfaces
  • Often machine washable
  • Higher polyester content: more resistant to stains, wrinkling, pilling, and shrinking
  • Higher cotton content: softer, more natural-looking, and more absorbent

Blue checkered gingham vinyl table cover drapes over a square edge

Vinyl Table Covers

  • Ideal for outdoor barbeques and casual catered events
  • Strong, tear-resistant vinyl is more durable than disposable materials
  • Often feature polyester flannel backings to protect tabletops and provide traction
  • Make it easy to clean up spills and splatters
  • Vinyl table cover rolls allow you to easily customize size
  • Many feature a fun, gingham print

Black spandex tablecloth covers a rectangular folding table

Spandex Table Covers

  • Ideal for catered events, trade shows, receptions, and casino nights
  • Stretch to snugly fit specific table sizes to eliminate wrinkling and the need for ironing
  • Many feature reinforced, sewn-in plastic feet to keep the cover firmly in place and protect it from damage
  • Available in bold, eye-catching colors

Gold box pleat table skirt is attached to a rectangular folding table

Table Skirting

  • Perfect for elegant displays at banquet halls, buffets, and event venues
  • Polyester blends resist wrinkles and stains, making it easy to maintain their professional appearance
  • Easy installation and removal for quick turnaround at busy venues
  • Many are flame retardant, making them safer for use with lit candles or chafer fuel cans
  • Often attached to tables with Velcro® headers or clip hooks

How to Transport Tablecloths without Wrinkling

Round Red Hemmed Table Cover
Whether storing or transporting, keep your table linens smooth and wrinkle-free by following these steps. The only additional supply you'll need is a large tube, measuring at least the diameter or width of your largest table cover. Everyday items that will work include a wrapping-paper or cardboard mailing tube, a pool noodle, or a PVC pipe.

1. Launder all of your table linens.
2. Iron linens on both sides.
3. Stack linens one on top of another, staggering 1" or more from the edge of the previous linen to avoid bunching.
4. Wrap the linens around the tube, smoothing out any potential creases as you go.

Arrived at the venue and noticed your tablecloths have faint creases?
If you're without an iron but have time to spare, try this: Lay linens across tables, spritz with water, and smooth out the creases with your hands. Left overnight, many tablecloths will release wrinkles by morning.

Types of Disposable Table Covers

Disposable linens cut down on cleanup and table changeover time at restaurants, banquet halls, and catered events. Pre-sized disposable covers are great when planning ahead, while paper rolls are a flexible option for varied table sizes. In the short-term, they are a cost-efficient alternative to reusable linens.

Disposable party supplies, including sports table covers, make it easy to quickly put together and clean up a themed celebration.

Cup of orange juice filled from a beverage dispenser sits on a bright blue disposable tablecloth

Sized Disposable Table Covers

  • Some are made of plastic to repel water
  • Some are made of a tissue-poly blend that offers greater absorption for spills

Shiny gold disposable table runner drapes over the edge of a rectangular table

Disposable Table Runners

  • Can be layered atop a table cover
  • Adds visual flair to table settings

White plastic table cover roll drapes over one end of a rectangular folding table

Table Roll Covers

  • Offer all the advantages of disposable tablecloths
  • Able to be cut to any desired length

Table Cover Accessories

Every element of a setting contributes to the table's overall appearance. Consider adding accessories like cloth napkins, skirting clips, placemats, table padding, table runners, and drink coasters for an inviting presentation.

Folded white cloth napkin with black stripes holds a fork and knife on a wooden tabletop

Cloth Napkins

Creatively folded napkins can help enhance the dining experience

Clear plastic table skirting clip holds a burgundy tablecloth in place

Skirting Clips

Keep tablecloths and table skirting securely in place

Elegant place setting features a gray woven vinyl placemat, gold silverware, and tulips


Protect linens and bare tabletops from extreme temperatures, stains, and spills

Roll of white vinyl table padding

Table Padding

Place beneath linens to provide a cushioned feel

Black chair cover and bright green band snugly fit over an oval-back chair

Chair Covers

Complement your table linens for a cohesive look

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