Best Kitchen Sink Mats & Protectors: Top 8 Options In 2021
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Soapy hands and glassware are a quick recipe for slippery accidents that won’t only ruin your dishes and glasses, but can also scratch or chip your expensive kitchen sink. That’s where kitchen sink mats hop in for the rescue!
These simple yet extremely handy kitchen gadgets will help you keep both your glassware and kitchen sink intact among other benefits they can offer!
Whether you’re curious about sink protectors or you want to invest in the right one, this article has got you covered!
I’ll walk you through 8 of the best kitchen mats available on the market, so you can pick the ideal one for your needs. Let’s dive in!
The Top 8 Kitchen Sink Mats & Protectors
1. Best Overall Sink Mat – OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat
Starting off with one of the best overall options on the market, the OXO Good Grips silicone mat. This sink mat is easily one of my favorites because it combines good quality with reasonable pricing.
The sink mat is made of silicone, which ensures optimal softness and protection of your china and glassware when they’re in the sink.
The silicone is also free of controversial materials, such as PVC. The material is heat resistant, so you don’t have to worry about keeping hot pots in the sink!
The best part about the OXO sink mat is that it’s designed to fit almost all standard-sized sinks. In addition to the standard sink size mat, there’s also the small option that is perfect for double sinks.
Since it’s made of silicone, you’ll also be able to cut out the clearance hole with ease for better water flow.
OXO provides two easy-to-cut circular patterns to allow you to have the drain hole wherever you want! The mat also comes with raised feet to allow water to flow freely under the mat
- Comes with several cut-out options to allow you to have the sink drain where you want it
- Fits most standard-sized sinks with a small option for double sinks
- The PVC-free silicone is highly protective and heat resistant
- The feet could be a little higher
2. Best Antimicrobial – Rubbermaid Antimicrobial Sink Protector Mat
The Rubbermaid sink protector mat is made from artificial rubber plastic. This one is soft and flexible enough to conform to the design of the sink but dense enough to stay at the bottom.
The sink mat’s material is highly resistant to bacterial growth, so it’ll prevent odor and stains causing bacteria from building up in the sink. This allows the kitchen sink to smell fresh and look clean without any grime.
The sink is clear-colored, but it’s also available in black, so it can suit any sink design. Additionally, it’s dishwasher safe and has a clearance hole in the center for the drains, so they’re only suitable for these kinds of sinks.
- Highly resistant to odor-causing bacteria
- Available in two colors to suit all kinds of sink designs and decors
- Attractive design
- Only suitable for sinks with center drains
3. Best Sink Mat with Handles – Madesmart Soft Draining Sink Mat
Most sink mats on the market are quite easy to lay flat on the bottom of the sink. However, they’re typically quite difficult to remove when it’s time to clean them up.
If you want a sink mat that you can easily place and remove, you should go for the Madesmart sink mat. This sink mat is made from BPA-free plastics, which ensures its safety as well as long-term durability.
It has a non-slip design that prevents dishes and glassware from sliding around and protects them from shattering.
The soft grips allow for easy portability and the raised feet allow for excellent drainage without worrying about the drain hole spot.
The only drawback about this one is that it can be quite bulky for some people, so make sure that you measure your sink and see if it fits.
- Easy to remove from the sink with soft handles
- Flat non slip surface to keep glassware stable
- Excellent water flow with raised feet
- A bit bulky for low-depth drains
4. Best Adjustable Mat – Joseph Joseph SinkSaver Adjustable Sink Protector Mat
One of the main issues with sink mats is matching the drain’s location in the sink. Some models have the drain cut out in the middle while others have it cut out at the top.
Lucky for you, this innovative sink protector will solve this problem. With this design, you can use this brilliant sink mat if your drain was placed anywhere in the sink, whether it’s in the center, top, bottom, or any of the sides!
This is possible thanks to its two-piece design that lets you arrange them in various configurations so that you can fit them in any drain!
Despite all its merits, the products still have some drawbacks. For example, it’s only available in one size option, although it fits most standard-sized sinks.
Additionally, it can only be washed and dried by hand, so you can’t toss it in the dishwasher for a quick fix.
- Allows you to adjust its configuration to fit the design of your sink
- Has a soft rubber base to protect and secure glassware
- Wide grid openings to let the water flow
- Not dishwasher safe
- Available in one size only
5. Best Plastic Sink Mat – Bligli Pebble Sink Mat
If you’re all about aesthetics and design, you might be looking for a slightly more attractive sink mat than the ones available on the market.
In that case, you should keep the Bligli pebble-inspired sink mat in mind! This one is also available in a variety of color options, including blue, green, gray, and black!
It’s made of PVC plastic, which is durable enough to withstand wear and tear. It’s also an antimicrobial surface to stay odorless after continuous use.
The sink mat is quite easy to clean with mild soapy water and gentle scrubbing. Cleaning the sink mat regularly is essential because it gets discolored if left unclean after coming in contact with foods that leave stains.
- Attractive design and available in a variety of color
- Durable and won’t fray with time
- Easy to clean
- Might discolor when it comes in long-term contact with staining foods
6. Best Budget Sink Mat – Spectrum Diversified Hexa Sink Protector
Sink protector mats are quite beneficial and save you the hassle and the cost of replacing broken glassware and china.
It also saves you the costs of repairing chipping sinks. However, you don’t have to pay a lot of money in order to get yourself a good one!
The Spectrum Diversified Hexa Sink Protector is a great option for anyone on a strict budget but still wants to get a decent and functional sink mat.
It’s made of durable and non-toxic plastic that is capable of absorbing shocks to protect both your sink and delicate utensil.
The hexagonal pattern adds a touch of elegance as well as functionality by making the water flow properly, especially with the raised feet. However, you should keep in mind that this sink mat has no cutout for the drain.
- Ideal for buyers on a strict budget
- Unique and elegant pattern
- Non-slip surface to secure and stabilize glassware and china
- Lacks a clearance opening
7. Best Saddle Sink Mat – iDesign 36700 Euro Plastic Sink Saddle
If you have a double basin sink, the bottom shouldn’t be the only spot that you need to care about.
Glasses and dishes can still bang against the sides, especially at the septum that separates the two sinks.
This one is made of plastic, which does an excellent job at protecting items from breaking. It’s long and wide enough to cover most of the divider and comes at an incredibly affordable price.
- An excellent additive for added protection
- Highly affordable
- Durable and easy to clean
- Requires frequent cleaning because it traps food particles
8. Best Stainless Steel Sink Grid – iDesign Gia Stainless Steel Sink Protector Grid
Another kind of sink mat is one made of stainless steel, such as the iDesign Gia stainless steel protector grid.
These protectors are much more durable and long-lasting than other plastic, rubber, and silicone ones on the list.
They’re also easy to clean with a scrubbing brush for a quick fix. The design of the sink protector grid allows it to fit almost all kinds of sinks, as it’s available in different sizes as well as drain cut-out models.
The only drawback about this design is that you won’t be able to cut or adjust it if it doesn’t fit, so you have to make sure that you have the right measurements.
- Sturdy design with excellent rust resistance
- Ideal for easy drainage
- Available in various finishes and designs
- Non-adjustable design
The Benefits Of Having A Sink Mat
Despite being an affordable item, sink mats are quite a handy gadget for your kitchen. Here are some of the reason why you should always have one:
1. Protects Your Plates from Cracking
Kitchen sink mats are made of a wide variety of materials. However, the majority of these materials have a common feature of being soft, such as rubber, plastic, and silicone.
The main function of these soft kitchen sink mats is the protection of whatever items you put in the sink.
For instance, if your sink is made of granite composites like quartz, it’ll have an abrasive effect on certain glassware. Also, delicate china and porcelain dishes may crack or even break if they hit the sink hard.
The sink mats are designed so that they prevent this from happening either by offering a soft surface to land on or by having an anti-slip material that prevents glasses from tipping off and falling.
2. Protects the Kitchen Sink from Chipping and Cracking
Kitchen sinks are made of a wide variety of materials. If you have a white kitchen sink, there’s a good chance it’s made of fireclay or porcelain enameled steel.
Although they’re typically durable, there’s a good chance that some of these surfaces would chip or crack if a hard and heavy pot hit them hard. The problem with these materials is that they can be quite expensive and hard to fix.
If you want to maintain the quality of your expensive sink and protect it from chipping and cracking, you might want to invest in a sink mat or a grid that acts as a protective barrier between the two.
3. Prevents Plates and Other Utensil from Blocking the Drain
If you leave some dishes in the sink, there’s a chance that they block the drain, which results in water stagnating and pooling inside the sink.
Kitchen sink mats will save you this hassle because they’re usually built with tiny feet at each corner that gives them a slight elevation.
This should be enough to prevent water from pooling inside sinks with a poor clearance and eliminate problems like water spots and stains.
4. Doubles as a Drying Rack in Poor Clearance Sinks
Lastly, after washing the dishes, you might want to let them dry up in the sink. As previously mentioned, some sinks just have poor clearance.
This causes the dishes and other items to not fully dry up, especially when they’re in direct contact with the pooling water at the bottom.
The barrier effect that the kitchen sink mat creates can make them double as a drying rack in those situations. It can generally work as an extra drying rack if you’re short on counter space.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Buying A Kitchen Sink Mat
Kitchen sink mats are simple items but they exist in various materials, types, and designs. Here’s a quick look at some of these aspects to help you pick the one that suits your kitchen better:
The material of the sink mat is one of the most critical aspects because it directly affects its functionality.
Kitchen sink mats are generally made of 4 main materials with variation in quality between each other.
Silicone is the most common material that is used while making soft sink mats. The main benefit of using silicone is its highly protective properties, as it functions as a cushioning pad and a safety net if any glassware or porcelain item tips off.
Silicone is reasonably priced, despite not being the cheapest material. The main problem with this material is that it wears out quickly.
Stainless steel sink mats are typically called sink grids. They’re quite common and offer excellent protection to the sink.
For that reason, they’re quite common in premium material sinks like porcelain enameled cast iron sinks and granite, and fireclay sinks.
Stainless steel sink grids also have great drainage properties and are often used as a drying rack.
However, poor quality stainless steel racks have the disadvantage of accumulating rust at certain spots.
Despite having similar properties to silicone, rubber mats aren’t as common in the market. The rubber is often a synthetic one so it doesn’t promote bacterial growth.
It’s usually relatively pricier than other soft materials but it doesn’t fray or shows signs of wear quickly.
Plastic sink mats are the most affordable ones on the market but they’re also the most flimsy and stains quickly when they’re not washed and scrubbed frequently.
They’re highly protective and easy to clean but they can also be made of toxic material such as Bisphenol A (BPA), so you have to make sure that they’re made from safe materials.
The size of the sink mat is also quite important. Ideally, you want a sink mat that is slightly smaller than your kitchen sink but holds the same relative dimensions.
Luckily, most sink mats out there are available in various standard sizes as well as squares and rectangles.
Also, if you buy a soft sink mat, you can always cut a larger sink mat to fit the size of your sink properly. However, you should only settle for this solution as a last resort.
Some kitchen sink brands will have an offset design that isn’t a complete rectangle or a square. In many cases, these sinks would come with their proprietary sink mats, grids, or protectors to save you the hassle of finding a suitable one.
Ease of Cleaning
Depending on the material of the kitchen sink mat, some of them would be extremely easy to clean while others would be quite tricky.
To avoid the hassle of cleaning the sink mat every other day, look for dishwasher safe models and avoid plastic models that would typically get stained with time.
For good clearance you need to take care of two aspects, how raised the sink mat is, and whether it has a drain hole.
Most sink mats will come with a slight elevation that meets the first aspect but they typically vary in how they approach the drain hole issue.
Some sink mats solve the clearance problem by offering adjustable sink mats or DIY cutouts that allow you to cut the hole directly above your sink drain.
As previously mentioned, some sink brands make sinks with unique features, such as an offset drain opening.
For example, the Kohler Whitehaven Kitchen Sink has an off-center clearance that is at the top right of the kitchen sink to give you a larger workspace in the sink and wider storage underneath.
It might be quite difficult to find a kitchen sink mat with a top-right uncovered clearance, which is why Kohler also sells a specific kitchen sink mat for this exact model.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sink mats and sink grids technically do the same thing, as both of them are kitchen gadgets that are designed to protect the sink and glassware from cracking and chipping.
And while some people might use the terms “sink mat” and “sink grid” synonymously, they’re different in their composition.
Sink mats are often made of soft and pliable materials that resemble bathroom mats while grids are often made of stainless steel and focus more on protecting the sink rather than the glassware.
There are plenty of methods to clean a kitchen sink mat. However, this mainly depends on the design of the kitchen sink mat and what they’re made of.
Many stainless steel sink grids and silicone-based sink mats are dishwasher safe while others must be washed by hand. Here’s how to effectively clean a sink mat:
1. Mix some mild dishwasher soap with warm water
2. Dip the sink mat in the warm soapy water or put the solution in a bottle and spray it to cover the mat completely, then allow it to sit for a minute to soak.
3. Use a soft kitchen scrubbing brush and clean the mat from both sides. You can dip the brush in some baking soda or vinegar (but not both) before the scrubbing
4. Rinse the sink mat properly and allow it to mostly dry before you place it back in the sink.
There are various types of sink mats out there, such as
– Sink protectors, which protect both sinks and delicate glassware from cracks
– Sink grids, which will protect the sink from kitchen utensils
– Sink saddles, which protect the glass from banging the sides of the sinks
This depends on the type of sink mat. But as a rule of thumb plastic or silicone sink mat may be replaced every 10 months to a year while stainless steel grids should be replaced every 2 to 3 years or as soon as they show signs of rust or wear.
Stainless steel sinks are quite durable and won’t crack or chip like porcelain and fireclay sinks. However, heavy pans and silverware can mark an irreversible dent in them.
By using a sink protector, especially a sink grid, you’ll make sure that they remain smooth and intact.
In the end, I hope that this guide has helped you to find the best kitchen sink mat for your needs.
Ideally, I’d recommend the OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat as my overall favorite option because it offers you a lot of customizability and suits almost all kitchen sinks.
However, if you want to save some extra cash while getting a decent kitchen mat, you can definitely go for the Spectrum Diversified Hexa Sink Protector, as it’s quite effective and functional while being relatively more affordable.