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The best dish drying mat you can buy

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best dish drying matOXO/Business Insider

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The Insider Pick:

I prefer to think about my dish drying methods as infrequently as possible, leaving space in my brain to remember useless facts about my high school classmates who I haven’t spoken to in almost 10 years. But I live in New York City, and though my kitchen is considered palatial by Manhattan standards, I can’t afford to sacrifice too much counter space with a clunky dish rack.

Dish drying mats are a great solution for small spaces, especially if you live alone and wash only a few dishes at a time. They tend to be smaller than dish racks, and more easily stored when not in use.

It also seems like a good alternative to the dish towel method I use when all our wine glasses are dirty at once and I need a safe place to dry them away from heavy pots and pans. Dish drying mats are all pretty similar, but the ones on this list have special touches that make them stand out from the rest.

Here are the best dish drying mats you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

The best dish drying mat overall

The best dish drying mat overall


Why you’ll love it: The Norpro 18-by-16-Inch Microfiber Dish Drying Mat absorbs up to four times its weight in liquid and is cushioned to keep your breakables safe while they air out.

I know — you’d rather be doing anything other than reading about dish drying mats right now. You’d rather finally read that explainer on Bitcoin you saved six months ago or shopping for new shoes or something. But you know you need a drying mat, and that’s why you’re here.

Let’s begin with the best: The Norpro 18- by 16-Inch Microfiber Dish Drying Mat. It’s a simple gray or cream square of cushioned microfiber that claims to hold four times its weight in liquid and to dry faster than a towel. The absorbent material means your dishes won’t be stewing in their own dirty water as they dry, which is always a plus.

Visually, it barely even registers, which is useful if you’re likely to leave it out on the counter even when it’s not in use. There’s also a small tab on the side that allows you to hang the mat up when it’s drying, and it folds up if you prefer to store it in a drawer. More than 1,000 people left 5-star reviews of this mat on Amazon, and it comes recommended by Best Products and The Kitchn.

One Amazon buyer noted, “I have used this for everything from a 5 qt. crock pot insert to glass marbles. The glass marbles really sold me. I laid them on the Dish Drying mat, used the flat of my hand to spin them around, presto they were dry, put them away.”

Pros: Absorbent microfiber, dries quickly, machine washable, cushioned to protect delicate dishes

Cons: Needs to dry between uses

Buy the NorPro 18-by-16-inch Microfiber Dish Drying Mat for $3.93

Get two NorPro Dish Drying Mats on Amazon for $12.44

The best combo dish drying mat and rack

The best combo dish drying mat and rack


Why you’ll love it: Not sure if you want a dish rack or a dish mat? The Umbra UDRY Dish Drying Rack and Microfiber Dish Mat gives you a little of both.

The Umbra UDRY is a unique dish drying mat because it is actually a mash-up of a dish drying mat and a dish drying rack. I don’t mean in the usual sense, where the mat simply rests under a full-sized rack. This is a true hybrid between the two concepts.

It’s a full-size microfiber mat that comes with a detachable rack that fits along one side. You can fit plates, silverware, and other upright items into the slats while still leaving room to dry some pieces flat on the mat portion.

Both portions are easy to clean. The BPA-free plastic rack is dishwasher safe, and the mat can be tossed in the dryer. Like the NorPro microfiber mat, this one folds up for stress-free storage when empty. It’s also pretty attractive, with a clean and modern look that fits in with most kitchen decor.

One buyer noted that “the slats to hold the dishes are not high enough so dishes can easily fall,” so you may want to be careful when drying delicate items. Overall, the Amazon responses are positive.

“The microfiber is very absorbent and the rack is strong,” said one shopper. “I was skeptical at first if it would be able to hold some of my heavier plates, and it did!” The Kitchn editor Marshall Bright also recommends it.

Pros: Drying rack and mat all in one, rack is removable, both pieces are easy to clean

Cons: Rack portion might be small depending on needs

Buy the Umbra UDRY Dish Drying Rack and Microfiber Dish Mat on Amazon for $14.97

The best reversible dish drying mat

The best reversible dish drying mat

S & T

Why you’ll love it: The S&T Microfiber Dish Drying Mat is a highly absorbent and reversible drying mat that adds some punch to your kitchen decor with fun patterns.

If you’re partial to patterns, the S&T Microfiber Dish Drying Mat comes in some super fun ones like gingham, trellis, and even adorable owls. But all the styles are also reversible, so if you get tired of gazing into the owl’s wide eyes, simply flip the mat over and you have the corresponding solid colors.

Functionally, this mat is pretty similar to the NorPro mentioned earlier. It’s made of cushiony microfiber that absorbs tons of water without soaking your countertops, foldable, and machine washable. We love that the patterns aren’t chintzy and would go in a variety of different kitchens.

This is the number one best-selling dish drying mat on Amazon, with more than 500 reviews, 75% of which give it 5 stars. It was featured by Best Products, too.

“Very absorbent mat,” says one shopper. “The mat keeps the table from getting soaked and while the mat does get very damp it doesn’t have any excess water soak through. I usually have to hang it out to dry overnight but it does its job well.”

Pros: Cushioned microfiber, cute patterns, reversible, machine washable

Cons: Takes a while to dry

Buy the S&T Microfiber Dish Drying Mat on Amazon for $6.49 to $9.95

The best over-the-sink dish drying mat

The best over-the-sink dish drying mat


Why you’ll love it: The Surpahs Over the Sink Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack is a genius solution for tiny kitchens because it lets you dry your dishes without taking up any counter space.

Though I currently have a human-sized kitchen, I’ve lived with my fair share of shoeboxes with zero counter space. I wish I’d known about the Surpahs Over the Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack back then because it’s a game-changer.

This is a dish-drying-mat-rack hybrid that unrolls so you can dry dishes above your sink, thus freeing up a ton of counter space. Genius. It’s not a mat in the traditional sense, as it’s made of silicone-coated steel tubes that allow water to drip down into the sink.

As the product description points out, the rack is multipurpose and “also can be used as vegetable colander and prep works platform over the sink” and a “heat resistant trivet mat on countertop.” We love a good multitasker around here.

This hybrid mat and rack is an Amazon’s Choice pick, has more than 1,400 reviews with a nearly perfect 4.9 rating, and has been featured by NY Mag’s The Strategist and here at Insider Picks.

“The drying rack has made my life so much easier in my kitchen,” one reviewer says. “It’s like having an extra countertop or space. I don’t have to dry my dishes on the counter on a towel I can just lay them on the drying rack and be done. What is also great about it is that I also use it as a cooling rack for my bread.”

Pros: Saves counter space, easy to clean and durable, multi-use

Cons: Could block the sink from use

Buy the Surpahs Over the Sink Multipurpose Roll-Up Dish Drying Rack on Amazon for $23.88

The best silicone dish drying mat

The best silicone dish drying mat


Why you’ll love it: The OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat is easy to wipe down and resistant to heat.

Microfiber is great, but silicone is another popular choice of material. The OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat has a ribbed pattern that allows water to drain while keeping dishes above the liquid and safe from bacteria.

The material is non-slip so it will adhere to your surfaces without putting your breakable dishes in harm’s way. It’s also a multi-use product: As Best Products points out, it’s heat resistant up to 425 degrees, so it “doubles as a trivet.” Like most drying mats made of flexible materials, it rolls up for easy storage.

Out of 800+ Amazon buyer reviews, 68% give the mat 5 stars. One fan says, “This mat has replaced the many paper towels left on counter to dry large items […] Like how the mat is ribbed so that even if you place a bowl flush atop the mat, there’s still air that can circulate beneath so the inside dries too.”

Pros: Made of food-grade silicone, easy to clean, has good ventilation

Cons: Some reviewers complained that the ribbing makes it harder to clean

Buy the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat on Amazon for $14.99


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