Last updated: 16/10/2022

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In the past, they were only seen on the tables of the nobility, but today they can be found everywhere. The demands on good napkins have increased, but so has their versatility. With bright colours and fine patterns, they delight us at the dining table. If something should happen or there is a lack of cleanliness, it is immediately at hand.

Whether napkins are made of fabric or paper, the choice is huge and how can you find the right one? In this guide, we will help you by answering your most important questions and supporting you in finding the right napkin for the dining table or your handicrafts.


  • There are many different types of napkins. Whether they are made of paper or fabric, on the table or on the plate, they all have one purpose: cleanliness! It’s just how they have to lie and what exactly they are used for that differs a lot.
  • Bright colours and beautiful motifs make each napkin unique in its own way. Why use them once and then throw them away, when you can also use them to spruce up your old flowerpot? With a napkin and glue, that’s quickly taken care of. We’ll be happy to tell you which is the perfect napkin for napkin technique.
  • How do I get my napkin clean again? Some get thrown away and some come out smaller and all wrinkly after being thrown in the washing machine. We’ll tell you exactly what you should keep in mind when cleaning your napkin.

The Best Napkin: Our Picks

Here you can find the napkins that we can recommend to you after a long search and find and the respective information about the product.

Buying and evaluation criteria for napkins

Now that you know the top products in each category, you might be wondering if there are any other criteria to look out for or how we came up with the individual products. If that is the case, we will of course help you.

In the next section, we will list the most important points that you can use to find out whether this napkin is exactly right for you and your interests.


First of all, there is a list of the most common materials and their respective properties. This will help you to find out which properties and fabrics are right for you.

  • Cotton: Cotton is a natural raw material that is pleasant and very soft on the skin. Cotton is also very easy to care for, robust and absorbent.
  • Full-twisted yarn: Full-twisted yarn is a blended fabric and combines the best qualities of the individual fabrics. It is very hard-wearing and soft.
  • Paper: Paper may not sound very appealing at first, but it is one of the most frequently used materials for napkins and is also very inexpensive. It is also very absorbent and ideal for high demand.
  • Cell towels: Cell towels are made from recycled and fresh, vegetable cell walls and are thus made from renewable raw materials. The napkins are particularly soft and also very tear-resistant and absorbent.

Cellulose wipes, paper and cotton are made from natural raw materials, whereas full thread is a blended fabric and therefore less environmentally friendly. Although all fabrics are safe to use, it is always possible that you may be allergic to something and should therefore check first.

Quality and workmanship

As mentioned above, the individual materials have different properties that lead to high quality and each of these materials is processed differently. In general, you should know what you want to use the napkin for in order to find the perfect one.

If a material is very thick, it will be harder to fold, but materials that are too soft may not stay in the desired shape. If you are interested in napkin technique, napkins made of cotton or full-twisted yarn would not be right for you either, but rather paper and cellulose cloth.

Cloth napkins are washable and therefore reusable. Here you should follow the individual instructions and use fabrics that can withstand higher temperatures without losing their quality or shape. It would also be nice if the napkin could be tumble dried and ironed. This will also prevent the bright colours from fading.

Colour and pattern

Brightly coloured napkins are available in all colours and patterns and are no longer a rarity. Whether pink, blue, dotted or striped napkins. The colours are just as varied as the patterns.

You can easily choose some and also have them printed. Individuality is no longer a question and there is already a lot on offer. Whether with a photo or initials, there is something for everyone and everyone will find what their heart desires. With cloth napkins, you should only make sure that you wash the napkin separately from coloured and white laundry, depending on the colour quality.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about napkins answered in detail

Now you already know quite a lot about napkins and what to look out for. But not only curious people sometimes still have questions. In this section, we have therefore listed and answered the most frequently asked questions.

What is a napkin?

A napkin is usually a square piece of cloth or paper. It is used to keep your mouth and clothes clean during a meal. Sometimes it is part of the table linen. This gives a special occasion a neat appearance and includes tablecloths, overlays, etc.

When do you use napkins?

A napkin is not designed to wipe away leftover food, but to clean your mouth and fingers neatly with it and not walk around with sauce in the corner of your mouth or on your upper lip. It was also not created to blow your nose or dry beads of sweat with.

What types of napkins are there?

Depending on the type, a napkin also has different uses and must therefore also have different properties. In short, here is a list of different types of napkins.

  • Mouth and dinner napkin: Mouth and dinner napkins are mainly used for dinner and are found on the dining table, near the cutlery and usually even on the plate. They are used so that guests can clean their mouths and fingers with them.
  • Tablenapkin: The table napkin is often placed on the table like a small tablecloth and is not used to clean the mouth or fingers, but to decorate and keep the table clean. They are also sometimes called the centre cloth, as they are usually placed in the middle of the table.
  • Cocktail napkin: The cocktail napkin is used at parties and champagne receptions. It usually just lies on the table and is used to keep both mouth and fingers clean.

Bunte Servietten liegen am Frühstückstisch unter Besteck und kleinem Teller.

Here you can see how different types of napkins can be used individually at the dining table. (Image source: StockSnap / Pixabay)

Of course, you don’t have to stick absolutely strictly to these types and their uses now, but can also freely decide how you want to design your celebration or dinner with the napkins.

How much do napkins cost?

Napkins can be very cheap but also quite expensive. In this table, we will show you roughly what you should expect to pay when buying napkins.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (1 – 12 €) Paper napkins, cellulose napkins
Medium-priced (12 – 15 €) Cotton napkins
High-priced (from 20 €) Full-twist napkins, cotton napkins

The prices are only meant to give you an overview of the price ranges. So that you can decide for yourself how much you would like to spend on your napkin. It is clear that cloth napkins are more expensive than traditional paper or cellulose napkins.


Now we hope that you have learned everything you need to know about napkins from our guide and that we have been able to answer all your questions. You now know what types of napkins there are, what materials they can be made of and what you need to look out for in terms of requirements, quality and care. Finally, you have the top products from various categories as inspiration for your purchase.

You are now perfectly prepared for the next celebration and the next occasion. In this sense, you can offer your visitors and yourself a joyful sight.

(Cover picture: Neshom / Pixabay)