Updated: November 2017
Table Runner Reviews:If you have ever thrown a big holiday party then you know that having a table runner is a nice feature on a dining room table when all the food and beverages are layed out. Each year at Thanksgiving we get out our decorations and that includes a beautiful table runner just for this occasion. The runner goes down the middle of our dining room table and serves quite a few purposes. Although it is decorative, I like to think of the table runner as a nice protective barrier between the hot dishes and the top of the table. The runner will prevent it from getting damaged or marked up. We have found that even candles, when put into glass holders, tend to heat up the bottom of the holder and then they create small air bubbles on the surface of the dining table which is not good. The table runner does a good job of keeping the table top clean and free of marks.
Choosing Your Table Runner - The dimensions will vary a bit, but we found that most table runners are roughly 13 to 15 inches wide and 63 to 90 inches long. Your table dimensions will certainly play a big part on deciding which one you buy. Measure your table from end to end and then decide how wide you want the runner to be. A few were almost 2 feet wide which seems too much. Given that you have placemats (most likely) on the table, you don't want the runner to overlap those. Styles - From what we found in stores and looking online the patterns, colors, and designs are almost endless. There are basic black table runners to colorful, seasonal ones. If you go online you can find a good selection at Crate and Barrel, Target, Pottery Barn, Pier 1, and Williams Sonoma. Their retail stores do carry some, but the online storefronts carry many more. Brands - You may not think that something like a table runner really matters in terms of who made it, but reviews do show that brands like Benson Mills, Lenox, DII, and Pfaltzgraff receive better comments than the generic products. Pricing - The majority are priced under $50 and most that we saw are under $25. There are some with nicer materials or embroidered designs that run $100 or more, but think about cleaning those before purchasing. Care/Maintenance - This is a big feature since cleaning some of these can be a hassle. Sure they look great, but what if red wine is spilled on it or say someone has chocolate drip onto it. If it's not easy to wipe clean or even machine wash, then ownership becomes an issue. Some of the bamboo table runners get high praise from consumers for looks and durability, but cleaning ground in stains can be a problem. You need to wipe them clean almost immediately or else the food or liquid stain will be so lodged in that it's nearly impossible to get out. The Tag Two-Tone Herringbone Cotton Table Runner gets excellent customer feedback since it's machine washable (line dry it though). You can browse the best selling table runners online here.