Spills happen, and whether you’re working in the kitchen making dinner or setting up your bar cart for a night of entertaining, the likelihood of your food and drink preparations ending with zero spills is low. Cleaning is part of cooking, but a missed spill can result in a sticky mess that can leave a stain or invite a new family of flies to the meal you’ve been preparing all day. Whether you are hosting a dinner for one or 10, you have a lot to think about and messy spills shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why our favorite sous chef when mixing drinks or chopping fruit and veggies is a spill mat.
The best spill mat is a flexible piece of rubber that sits on your table, countertop or bar cart. It provides a sturdy base for drinks or a cutting board. The rubber mat’s raised edges make it easy to catch spills before they hit the surface of your table, counter or cart. These flexible mats can be rinsed easily or even placed in the dishwasher once you’re done using them for a quick clean.
Spill mats also make for a stable drying rack for mugs, cups, wine glasses and other dishes. Once the dishes have been put away, you can also store the spill mats flat or rolled up. Skip the sticky mess and keep spills contained with a versatile spill mat.
1. S&T INC. Heavy-Duty Rubber Spill Mats
For a mat that is tough enough for commercial use and versatile enough for everyday kitchen use, we recommend the S&T INC. Heavy-Duty Rubber Spill Mat. S&T makes their mat with heavyweight, commercial-grade rubber that is durable and long-lasting. The mat sits flush on a counter or tabletop and has a raised edge all the way around to stop liquid from spilling over the side. A non-slip base keeps the mat in place even on a wet surface and the mat easily rolls up for a compact storage option when not in use.
Pros: S&T sells their mat in a set of two which gives users a mat for both their countertop and their kitchen table or a backup mat to use when one is dirty.
Cons: The S&T arrived rolled up and may take a few days before they are able to lay flat.
2. YouTensils Silicone Dish Drying Mat
For a mat that can handle multiple dishes at once, we recommend the YouTensils Silicone Dish Drying Mat. The extra-large YouTensils mat measures 18” x 21” and provides a stable base for dishes while drying. The mat is made with food-safe FDA-approved silicone and features a slightly raised edge to help contain water runoff. The mat easily folds or rolls up for compact storage and users can either hand wash the mat or place it in the top rack of the dishwasher. We also like that the YouTensils drying mat doubles as a trivet and is safe for holding dishes up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pros: A bonus silicone scrubber for cleaning stuck on food is included with each mat.
Cons: Hard water stains can quickly develop and the mat doesn’t have any way to drain.
3. Gasare Silicone Mats
Protect your counters and tabletops with a large and versatile silicone mat from Gasare. Sold in a set of two, each mat is made with food safe silicone, measuring 25″ x 17″ and is 1.4 mm thick. The nonslip backing helps secure the mats in place even while users are preparing food on top of the mats. Available in several colors, the mats can be washed with soap and water and can also be cut to a specific size to fit around areas like faucets and small appliances. We also like that the mats can be rolled up for compact storage.
Pros: The Gasare can be used as an oversized trivet and are safe for dishes and small appliances between -40 degrees and 446 degrees Fahrenheit .
Cons: The Gasare are not dishwasher safe.
4. Talisman Designs Cocktail Bar Mat
Turn your house party into the hottest bar in town with a professional-looking spill mat from Talisman Designs. The cocktail style spill mat includes a textured rubberized section for mixing drinks and drying glasses as well as a dedicated area for rimming drinks. A removable cutting board makes it easy to chop up fruit and veggies for drinks and the nonslip grip keeps the mat in place. The mat measures 18″ x 12” when open and 9″ x 12” when closed. The mat features a fun design with martini and cocktail glasses printed in light gold.
Pros: The mat is made from BPA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe.
Cons: The Talisman does not have as big a drying space as the other mats on our list and the salt rim section can be awkward to use for other purposes.