Best Napkin Holder
The OXO Good Grips Neat napkin dispenser is the most functional model we tested. It can cater to all four napkin sizes and keeps the napkins secure. Some napkin dispensers demand a precise dimension from a napkin, but this one allows for versatility. Once you have picked out the napkins of your choice, you don't have to worry about them flying everywhere in the wind. This product has an innovative pinch mechanism to help keep your napkins in place without making it too hard to pull a napkin out.
Next to some of the other products we tested, the OXO Good Grips Neat napkin dispenser lacks decorative swirls and rustic style. It is not the prettiest holder we encountered, but it's functionality far exceeded the others. The only real complaint we had against this product was some glue left from the packing that just won't come off. We thought that it might affect the functionality but were pleased to find that it does not, and with a good scrubbing, it should come off one day.
Although the Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood napkin dispenser held up well against the box fan, without a clipping mechanism to keep the napkins in place, there is no certainty that they will stay put. There is also a chance that this product might not be as durable as the other products. Its wooden frame makes for a charming aesthetic but could prove to break more easily. That being said, this product is a great and affordable option for your kitchen table or even your garden on less windy days.
Our critique of Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin dispenser is only that it lacks a clipping mechanism and that sometimes napkins might get caught on its beautiful swirls. Although this product did not seem to need a clipping mechanism to keep all the napkins secure during the fan test, it may not perform so well outside on an especially windy day. We also noticed that when we tried to load the napkin dispenser, sometimes the outermost napkin would get stuck in one of the decorative swirls. However, this napkin hold would work well in almost any other situation and is a great option as it offers artful functionality.
The Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser is our favorite model for holding square napkins. It has a nice aesthetic without sacrificing function. The wooden handle that keeps the napkins in place works well, and the notch in the front makes it noticeably easier to grab napkins. The handle isn't too heavy, keeping the napkins in without preventing you from getting them.
Unfortunately, the Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser is a little less versatile than some of the other products we tested as it only fits a standard square napkin or smaller. This product is also surprisingly expensive compared to the rest of the products we tested, but perhaps worth it. Despite being limited to square napkins, this napkin holder checks all the boxes and looks good doing it.
The Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispenser is a great option for someone looking for a square napkin dispenser with a clip. This product has an innovative and out of the box design that makes it easier to grab a napkin from any angle but keeps the napkins in place otherwise. This is a great napkin dispenser to place in the center of your kitchen table as it is easy to access from all sides.
Although it is innovative and functional, the Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispenser does not have a delicate charm or aesthetic prowess. It is not obtrusively unattractive, just not beautiful. It also has more moving parts, increasing the chance of problems. This product does the job well without drawing too much attention to itself.
The CY craft Acrylic Guest Towel napkin dispenser is great for rectangular napkins. It has a great weight so that it won't get bumped around too easily as people reach for napkins, and it has a unique and modern aesthetic. We were also pleased to see how well it held the napkins in place during our box fan test. The thick plastic walls protected the napkins well. It also has a notch in the front so that grabbing a napkin is quick and convenient.
We found it unfortunate that the CY craft Acrylic Guest Towel napkin dispenser does not have something to keep the napkins in place. Without this function, the napkins might blow away with a strong wind, although the solid plastic walls proved to be effective against our box fan wind generator. However, this is a great product for any indoor setting, such as your kitchen or dining room table, and can be used outside on less windy days.
We did notice that the Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon napkin dispenser was not the easiest model to grab a napkin out of. Because this product doesn't have a small cut out on the side from which to grab a napkin, it's a little less convenient to grab a napkin quickly. That being said, it is a beautiful product for square napkins and would be a wonderful and decorative addition to your table.
Unfortunately, the Home Acre Designs Modern Farmhouse napkin dispenser does not have a notch in the side to make it easy to grab a napkin. We found this simple feature can make a world of difference in accessibility. All in all, this is a beautiful, simple, and functional napkin dispenser.
The Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy was the only napkin dispenser we tested that did not hold the napkins in place during our box fan test. When placed next to the fan, the napkins almost instantaneously began lifting out of the towel caddy. This product would be a beautiful addition to your indoor dining set, but we would not recommend taking it outside.
Why You Should Trust Us
Head tester Liv Mertens recognizes the importance of a napkin holder and our team has a critical eye for decor, and a logical approach to function. When our team sits down to eat, we like to have napkins readily available, and preferably tastefully displayed. Whether we are eating outside, inside, or need a tasteful guest towel holder for the bathroom, our team is looking for something practical and classy. We picked out nine of the top napkin dispensers available to test at our own tables. By handling and testing each of the products with our own hands, we were able to gain invaluable insight to pass on to you.
We tried to uncover the best napkin dispenser in every situation, whether that is a napkin dispenser for your garden, your dining room table, or one you can use for both. Our team has carefully taken each priority into account in order to give you a better picture of the products themselves and what to expect as the consumer. We diligently selected the top eight napkins holders to compare against one another, focusing on function, special features, function, and versatility.
Analysis and Test Results
Once we had received all nine products, we quickly saw that all of them were made well and did their job in accordance with basic expectations. Deciding which napkin dispensers were the best came down to our testing process. We bought one of every size napkin we could find. This gave us four different napkin sizes to work with. We then employed a box fan to test the products against the wind, because we all remembered picnics and birthday parties that included running after paper napkins.
We considered how easy it was to grab a napkin and how well it held napkins against our box fan wind machine. For the box fan test, we placed each product full of napkins in front of the wind generator blowing at full force. We were surprised to find that all of the napkin dispensers held their own against the box fan except for the Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy.
Testing for ease of use was a little more straightforward. This metric depended on whether it was easy to grab a napkin or not. Some napkin dispensers are easier to use than others. We found that the Simplehuman Quick Grip Napkin Holder is the easiest to grab a napkin from because there is access no matter what side you happen to be facing. The products we found difficult to use are those without any notch in the walls, such as the Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon and the Home Acre Designs Modern Farmhouse napkin dispensers.
We also though it was important to note that when testing the Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin dispenser we noticed that the decorative scrolls would sometimes accidentally catch the outer napkin. This was easy enough to fix, but a little annoying and affected the function of the product.
When we were considering special features, we were looking for features that make the product easier to use. The most useful feature was the clipping or weight mechanisms found on the OXO Good Grips Neat, the Saratoga Home Farmhouse, and the Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispensers. We found that the clipping mechanisms were a great idea to help keep the napkins in place against the wind or rowdy table guests.
We also considered aesthetics in special features. If a napkin dispenser can do its job well and look good doing it, it is all that much more desirable. We thought the prettiest napkin dispensers were the Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood, the Home Basics Scroll Collection, and the Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon. Each of these products are not only functional but nice to look at as well.
To evaluate versatility, we tested each of the products against the four different sized napkins. We found that some napkin dispensers work well with all sizes, while others demand more specific dimensions. Depending on which napkins are available to you, or which you prefer to use, versatility could be a make or break factor. The most versatile products were the ones that sit upright, such as the OXO Good Grips Neat, the Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood, and the Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin dispensers. They were also the only products that fit the larger 8.5" by 8" dining napkins.
We put each of these products through rigorous testing in order to discover the best and the worst of each of these products. Depending on whether you like rectangular napkins or square napkins, you want it to function outside or inside or both, or if you just want something that looks good, any of these products could be what you are looking for. By evaluating each of them, we are happy to be able to give you the information you need to make the right decision.
— Liv Mertens