Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Napkin Holder of 2021

By Liv Mertens ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 9, 2021
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To help you find the best napkin holder, we did an in-depth dive with a range of styles and brands to bring you a comprehensive overview and help you discover which model is right for you. We focused on the top nine napkin holders and tested them on our own tables with our own dining ware. To test each of the product's versatility, we bought four different size paper napkins and later placed each of them in front of a box fan to test how well they would hold up against the wind. Each napkin dispenser was judged by how easy it is to use, how well it holds your napkins down, and how versatile it can be.


1

Best Overall


OXO Good Grips Neat


Napkin Size: Any | Material: Stainless Steel
Can be used with napkin of any size
Napkins dispense with ease
Clip to hold napkins in place
Not very pretty

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 window box fans stealing them away. This product has an innovative pinch mechanism to help keep your napkins in place without making it too hard to pull them 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 came across, but its functionality far exceeded expectations. The only real complaint we had against this product was some glue left from the packing that just won't come off. We thought it might affect the functionality but were pleased to find that it does not, and with a good scrubbing, it should come off.

The OXO Good Grips Neat napkin dispenser is the most versatile and...
The OXO Good Grips Neat napkin dispenser is the most versatile and functional napkin holder we tested

2

An Excellent Value


Barnyard Design Rustic Wood


Napkin Size: Any | Material: Wood
Can use it with any size napkin
Easy to grab a napkin
Napkins secure against breezes
Nice to look at
No clipping mechanism
The Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood napkin dispenser is versatile, easy to use, and cute to boot. It also happens to be one of the least expensive models we tested. This product is a great deal. Not only can you use it with any size napkin that you please, but when we put it up against the fan, it held up well. We loved that it is made out of wood and has a charming rustic appeal. We found that it was easy enough to grab a napkin and think it is well worth the price.

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. This product also leaves something to be desired in the durability category. Its wooden frame makes for a charming aesthetic but will undoubtedly break more easily than say, a metal napkin holder. As long as you aren't planning on playing toss or throwing this product against a wall, this napkin dispenser is a beautiful and affordable option for your kitchen table or even your garden on less windy days.

The Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood napkin dispenser can hold any size...
The Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood napkin dispenser can hold any size napkin.

3

Best Bang for Your Buck


Home Basics Scroll Collection


Napkin Size: Any | Material: Steel
Accommodates any size napkin
Napkins are easy to get and stay put in the wind
Nice to look at
Lacks a clipping mechanism
If you are looking for something nice to accent your dining room table and works for all sizes of napkins, the Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin dispenser is our vote. This product manages to be simple, elegant, and incredibly functional. When held up to our wind generator, the napkins stayed nicely in place. This product offers versatility without being physically intrusive.

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 holder would work well in almost any other situation and is a great option as it offers artful functionality.

This napkin dispenser has elegant swirls to highlight your dining...
This napkin dispenser has elegant swirls to highlight your dining room table.

4

Best Decorative Napkin Holder


Saratoga Home Farmhouse


Napkin Size: Standard square napkin - 6.5" x 6.5" and smaller | Material: Steel, Wood
Easy to grab a napkin
Clip to hold napkins in place
Great style
Expensive

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, but perhaps worth it as it does have a classic rustic feel. Despite being limited to square napkins, this napkin holder checks all the boxes and looks good doing it.

The Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser has a napkin weight to...
The Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser has a napkin weight to keep the napkins in place.

5

Best Rectangular Napkin Holder


CY Craft Acrylic Guest Towel Holder


Napkin Size: Standard rectangular napkin - 4.5" x 8" | Material: Plastic
Easy to grab a napkin
Napkins stay put in a breeze
Only fits one size napkin
No clipping mechanism

The CY Craft Acrylic Guest Towel napkin dispenser is great for rectangular napkins. Its heavier weight means that it won't get bumped around too easily as people reach for napkins, wine, or salt and pepper. It has a unique and modern aesthetic that allows you to keep an eye on when it might need a refill. 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. This napkin dispenser also has a notch in the front so that grabbing a napkin is quick and convenient.

Unfortunately, the CY Craft Acrylic Guest Towel napkin dispenser does not have a weight or clip 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, outside winds may do a little more damage. 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.

This napkin dispenser protects the napkins from the wind.
This napkin dispenser protects the napkins from the wind.

6

Practical and Easy to Use


Simplehuman Quick Grip


Napkin Size: Standard square napkin - 6.5" x 6.5" and smaller | Material: Stainless Steel
Dispenses napkins with ease
Secures napkins with effective clip
Aesthetic isn't for everyone

The Simplehuman Quick Grip is 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, and manages to otherwise keep the napkins in place. 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, rather has a diner feel to it. It also has more moving parts, increasing the chance of problems. The napkin dispenser focuses on function more than form; it does the job well without drawing too much attention to itself.

The Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispenser has a paper weight to...
The Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispenser has a paper weight to keep the napkins in place.

7

Simple and Pretty


Artifacts Trading Company Rattan


Napkin Size: Standard square napkin - 6.5" x 6.5" and smaller | Material: Burmese Rattan
Napkins stay put in the wind
Nice to look at
Not easy to grab a napkin
We loved the basket look of the Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon napkin dispenser. It is constructed with a tight and sturdy weave and frames your napkins beautifully. This beautiful and simple basket also protected the napkins against the wind from our box fan surprisingly well. We loved the classic and simple look and can see it going well with any indoor or outdoor table set up.

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. It also only fits square napkins, which can be limiting, and is very light which makes it a little less stable. That being said, it is a beautiful product for square napkins and would be a wonderful and decorative addition to your table.

The Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon napkin dispenser...
The Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon napkin dispenser beautifully frames the napkins.

8

Homey and Square


Home Acre Designs Modern Farmhouse


Napkin Size: Standard square napkin - 6.5" x 6.5" and smaller | Material: Metal
Napkins stay put in the wind
Looks great in the kitchen
A bit awkward to retrieve a napkin
The Home Acre Designs Modern Farmhouse napkin dispenser is a homey option, perfectly fit for a country feel. It has small handles on the sides and welcoming cursive writing, reminding you to put napkins in its belly. It is charming, and square napkins stay put in breezy conditions. Its tin construction is lightweight and easy to clean.

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. This napkin dispenser is also limited to square napkins. All in all, this is a beautiful, simple, and functional napkin dispenser.

The napkin dispenser is light and decorative.
The napkin dispenser is light and decorative.

9

Most Decorative Rectangular Napkin Holder


Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy


Napkin Size: Standard rectangular napkin - 4.5" x 8" | Material: Stainless Steel
Simple and convenient napkin access
Elegant
Napkins do not stay put in the wind
If you are looking for a graceful napkin dispenser to accent your dining room table, the Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy is an excellent choice. It has beautiful gold swirls and an easy-grab notch in the front. This product even has tiny little golden feet to add to its elegance. It's a handsome choice if you prefer rectangular napkins.

We think the Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy is beautiful and fun, but this napkin dispenser was not designed for your garden. When we tested this product with the box fan, it quickly became clear that napkins will fly out of it freely in the wind. 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.

This towel caddy has a beautiful golden design.
This towel caddy has a beautiful golden design.

Why You Should Trust Us


Head tester Liv Mertens recognizes the importance of a napkin holder. She and her team have 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 nine napkins holders to compare against one another, focusing on function, special features, function, and versatility.

The Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser makes it easy to grab a...
While some napkin holders require specific dimensions, others work...

Analysis and Test Results


Once we 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, set up a box fan, and turned a critical eye on the products. We were working with four different sized napkins: Large square (7.5" x 7.5"), Rectangular (7.75" x 4.5"), Decorative medium square (6.5" x 6.5"), and Small square (5" x 5"). The four different size napkins allowed us to gauge the versatility of each product.

Function


To determine functionality, we considered how easily napkins could be inserted or removed, and their resistance to wind. To test the ease of use portion of the function metric, we simply tried taking napkins out of each product. Although this may seem like a fairly simple test, we did learn a lot. For example, it does make it easier to grab a napkin if there is a finger notch or if the product holds the napkins in a vertical fashion. The exception to this rule was the Home Basics Scroll Collection. Even though it holds napkins vertically for an easy grab, we noticed that the decorative scrolls would sometimes accidentally catch the outer napkin when it was being loaded up. This was easy enough to fix, but a little annoying and affected the function of the product.

While putting napkins in the Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin...
While putting napkins in the Home Basics Scroll Collection napkin dispenser, sometimes the decorative swirls will get in the way.

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. Both of these products hold the napkins horizontally and do not have finger notches.

We also tested wind resistance. We set up a box fan at the end of a dining room table in hopes of simulating wind — although it is important to keep in mind that wind is much more dynamic than the air coming out of a box fan. In the testing scenario, we place the napkin holders, filled to the brim with napkins, on the table at varying distances from the fan. We were pleasantly surprised to find that all of the napkin dispensers held their own against the box fan except for the Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy.

The Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy does not protect very well against...
The Chez JuJu Gold Towel Caddy does not protect very well against wind.

Special Features


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.

The Saratoga Home Farmhouse napkin dispenser has a wooden...
The OXO Good Grips Neat napkin dispenser has a great clipping...
The Simplehuman Quick Grip napkin dispenser has a weight to keep the...

In addition to the useful clipping mechanisms, 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. The calculation for aesthetics was admittedly subjective but did follow a general rule. The items that excelled in the aesthetic category were homey and included decorative aspects. We thought the best looking napkin dispensers were the Barnyard Designs Rustic Wood, the Home Basics Scroll Collection, and the Artifacts Trading Company Rattan Luncheon. Each of these products is not only functional but nice to look at as well.

Versatility


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.

The envelope style napkin dispensers were the only products able to...
The square napkin dispensers were too small for the biggest napkins.

Conclusion


We put each of these products through rigorous testing in order to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each napkin holder. Whether you like rectangular or square napkins, need your holder function outside or inside (or both), or if you just want something that looks good, there is a model here for you. 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