The Best Dish Drying Mats Our Allstars Love

The mats that will streamline your dish cleaning process, beginning with our favorite, the Norpro Microfiber Mat.

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Multiple dish mats on a colorful background

Many people think of a dishwasher as a must-have kitchen appliance. But according to a 2017 survey by the US Energy Information Administration, only about 68 percent of American households have a dishwasher — and close to 20 percent of those use it less than once a week. That means that on most days, many of us are getting our hands sudsy and scrubbing away grease, grime, and crumbs.

If you don't have someone to assist with drying duties, or enough dish towels to cover the counter for dripping tableware, you need something to hold clean dishes until they are dry and ready to return to the cupboard. Enter dish drying mats. To find the best options for different home cooks, we polled our community of Allrecipes Allstars to discover what they look for in a quality drying mat. "It needs to be able to hold a host of dishes, absorb a lot of water, and not get too smelly too quickly," Allstar Ashley Berger says. After taking durability, absorbability, and size into consideration, the clear winner was the Norpro Microfiber Dish Drying Mat. Read on to discover the best dish drying mats you can order online.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: Norpro Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Large size
  • Hang loop for speedy drying
  • Inexpensive

Grain of Salt

  • Takes a long time to dry

This mat earns top marks for absorbability, quick-drying, and size — just ask Allstar Kim Shupe. "I have had my Norpro Dish Drying Mat for so many years, I can't remember how long it's been!" she says. "I have used it just as a spot for drying dishes, but I also now put it beneath a dish drying rack to catch any water that may have spilled underneath it. I like that it's easy to move around, doesn't take up a lot of counter space, and I can simply throw it in the washing machine when it needs to be cleaned."

The Norpro mat is very absorbent thanks to three layers, two of which are microfiber sandwiching a thin layer of foam. All told, this mat can hold up to four times its weight in water, plus it has a hang tab you can use to help it dry quickly before the next use or between deeper cleans in the washing machine. "I do sometimes wish it wasn't quite so absorbent, as it can take a long time to dry in between uses," Shupe notes. This means it's crucial to completely air out to avoid any potential mold or mildew buildup.

The Details: Measures 16 x 18 inches; microfiber material

Best Silicone: To Encounter Silicone Dish Drying Mat Set

Silicone Dish Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Can be wiped dry
  • Doesn't slide on counters
  • Includes two mats

Grain of Salt

  • Doesn't absorb water

If the idea of a soft, damp dish mat is unappealing, a silicone drying mat might be the right option for you. We recommend this two-pack of mats from To Encounter. The mats have raised ridges perfect for catching water and providing ventilation for dishes to dry quickly. Plus, if you only need one of them for drying, you can use the other as a nonslip surface beneath cutting boards, mixing bowls, or small appliances.

With black, light gray, and dark gray options available, the silicone mats can be cleaned in the dishwasher and rolled up into a tight cylinder for storage. These mats also come in different sizes, so you can choose a set that suits your needs. After using the mats, be careful moving them as there may be some standing water on top that needs to be wiped away.

The Details: Measures 17 x 13 inches; silicone material

Best Microfiber: S&T Inc. Absorbent, Reversible Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Reversible Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Ultra-absorbent microfiber
  • Easy to wash
  • Available in a variety of patterns

Grain of Salt

  • No hang tab for drying

Allstar Aysegul Sanford has had one of these drying mats for over two years. "I love the ease of use and that I can wash it and put it away when I am done drying my dishes as opposed to having a rack on the counter at all times," she says. In addition to the absorbent microfiber, this mat will add some style and color to your kitchen, something a few of our Allstars noted as a priority. The large mat comes in nearly 30 different patterns, including trellis, triangles, gingham, lemons, whales, and even holiday prints, plus it's reversible if you would prefer a solid color on some days.

The only downside: There's no loop for air-drying the mat completely, so you may need to pop it in the dryer or lay it over a hanger.

The Details: Measures 16 x 18 inches; microfiber material

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Best Extra-Large: Zulay Kitchen XL Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Will fit large pots and pans
  • Multiple uses
  • Cleans easily

Grain of Salt

  • May be too big for some counters

Hand-washing all your dishes, or often hand-washing large pots and pans? You may need an extra-large drying mat, like this Allstar-recommended one from Zulay Kitchen. At 24 by 17 inches, it will comfortably fit a large baking dish or pot or numerous plates and glasses without worrying about them knocking against one another. The combination of microfiber and foam absorbs moisture with ease while also drying quickly for easy storage in a drawer.

Bonus: The extra-large size means this mat has uses beyond just drying dishes. You could lay it under a dog bowl to absorb water splashes or even use it as a bathmat. "I've had this one for a year, and it works great and still looks like new!" Allstar Ashley Berger says.

The Details: Measures 17 x 24 inches; microfiber material

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Best Extra-Small: OXO Good Grips Silicone Wine Glass Drying Mat

Silicone Stemware Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Will fit anywhere
  • Doubles as a trivet
  • Easy to store

Grain of Salt

  • Need to clean between ridges

For kitchens with narrow counters and limited free space, this OXO silicone mat is the perfect addition. At just 6 inches wide and 17 inches long, it will fit on even the most crowded countertops. The mat's raised ribs maximize drainage and airflow so that glasses and dishes dry quickly, plus they provide the perfect landing spot for a fresh-from-the-oven sheet of chocolate chip cookies.

If you aren't going to run it through the dishwasher after every use, make sure you wipe out the areas between the ribs to prevent the buildup of mold or mildew.

The Details: Measures 17 x 6 inches; silicone material

Best Drying Rack/Mat Combo: Umbra U Dry Dish Rack with Stemware Holder and Mat

Microfiber Dish Drying Mat

Why It's Great

  • Options to hang, stand, or lay dishes
  • Folds for easy storage
  • Can machine-clean both pieces

Grain of Salt

  • Slots and caddy on rack are small

If you like laying some things on a drying mat but wish you could stand or hang others, this mat and rack combo from Umbra is for you. A microfiber mat sits below a removable plastic dish rack, complete with 19 slots for standing dishes on their side, a small cutlery caddy, and four stem holders to hang wine glasses to dry. Another perk: The rack is top-drawer dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and the mat can be tossed in the washing machine.

While the rack does give you options to stand dishes, the slots are quite narrow and may not fit all your plates and bowls. The same goes for the cutlery slots, which may only fit a few forks or spoons at a time.

The Details: Measures 18 x 24 inches; microfiber mat, plastic rack

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Our Takeaway

The Norpro Microfiber Dish Drying Mat earns the top spot on our list, thanks to its super absorbent material, functional size, and hang loop for effortless drying. If you think a dish drying mat will make your life easier, this one is sure to do the job.

How to Pick the Right Dish Drying Mat


When it comes to drying mats, they will typically be one of two types: microfiber or silicone. Microfiber mats are the softer option of the two types. Depending on the brand and style, they may have multiple layers of absorbent microfiber and even a thin layer of foam in the middle. The biggest benefit of a microfiber mat is that all the water is absorbed and then evaporates — there isn't any water left standing beneath the dishes after you put them away.

Silicone mats, meanwhile,are the harder mats. Often flexible and easy to roll up and stow away in a drawer or cabinet, silicone mats do not absorb water the same way microfiber mats do. However, they often feature raised ridges that prevent condensation on the underside of overturned bowls, for example, which may help speed up the drying time. Silicone mats also have the added benefit of being able to be used as trivets to hold hot plates and pans.

Size and Shape

How big are your counter and sink? Drying mats can be incredibly convenient, but only if they fit comfortably in the space you have. Before purchasing one, you may want to measure the counter area on which you plan to put the mat to make sure it's not hanging over the edge or butting up against your appliances when you lay it out. Likewise, if you have a large double sink, but not much counter space, you may want to consider a rack or a mat that you can lay over the sink instead of on the counter.

Common Questions

Do dish drying mats work?

While some cooks may point to a dish drying rack as the most effective drying option since it allows for all-around airflow, racks can be bulky and inconvenient to store. Drying mats, on the other hand, are much easier to fit on a crowded counter, plus they either absorb the water or catch it (depending on the material). And yes, they do result in bone-dry dishes.

Are dish drying mats sanitary?

Dish drying mats are perfectly sanitary as long as you maintain them properly. That means making sure dishes are completely clean before placing them on the mat and cleaning the mat regularly and drying it completely before storing it. Skipping any of these steps could result in mold or mildew on your drying mat.

How do you wash a dish drying mat?

Even though it will be holding clean dishes, your drying mat or rack will need to be cleaned in order to prevent the buildup of mold or mildew. And depending on the material, your mat will be cleaned in one of two ways. Most microfiber mats can be tossed in the washing machine along with kitchen towels, oven mitts, and other like items, while most silicone mats can be cleaned in the dishwasher — though you may need to wipe them down between uses to get rid of any standing water before you put them away.

Can you put a dish drying mat in the dryer?

Microfiber mats that can be washed in the washing machine can also be dried in the dryer.

Why Take Our Word for It?

Alyssa Sybertz is an experienced home cook, recipe developer, and food writer who has covered cookware, cooking techniques, and all things kitchen for Allrecipes. For this piece, our team consulted with more than 10 home cooks who are part of the Allrecipes Allstar community to help determine product recommendations and factors to consider when shopping for dish drying mats.

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