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Are the Top Placemats of 2022 Disability-Friendly?

In part one of this blog series, we compared vinyl, wooden, quilted, and metal placemats to silicone table mats. This time we are going to review those table mats in terms of the following properties:

  • Non-slip
  • Antimicrobial
  • Machine washable
  • Inclusivity for people with disabilities
  • Heat resistance

We hope this blog provides you with information to help you make an informed decision on your next table mat purchase.

Vinyl Table Mats Vs. Silicone Table Mats

Are Vinyl Placemats Non-Slip?

Vinyl table mats offer non-slip properties, but these pale in comparison to Tenura silicone.

If you knock over drinks on vinyl table mats, they are waterproof, but woven vinyl table mats, which are currently trendy, offer little protection, allowing liquids through the gaps.

Do Vinyl Placemats Have Antimicrobial Properties?

Some vinyl table mats have antimicrobial properties, as do Tenura table mats. The antimicrobial protection ensures bacteria can't harbor.

Can You Machine Wash Vinyl Placemats (Dishwasher Safe)?

Some vinyl table mats aren't machine washable due to their low-temperature resistance, so you may have to wash them by hand. Tenura table mats can be washed either by hand or in the dishwasher.

Are Vinyl Placemats Suitable for Disabled People?

These table mats are lightweight and easy to take on the go, just like Tenura table mats. Both mats are suitable for use with disabled people who require support at mealtimes.

Are Vinyl Placemats Heat Resistant?

Vinyl mats are heat resistant, usually up to 96.08°F, which is impressive but not as remarkable as the 482°F heat resistance of Tenura table mats. So, be cautious when placing hot plates and pans on vinyl table mats as they may warp or melt.

Quilted Table Mats Vs. Silicone Table Mats

Are Quilted Placemats Non-Slip?

Quilted table mats have no fundamental non-slip properties. Some will fare better than others, depending on the quilted table mats material. Still, the fabric will be no comparison to silicone's non-slip qualities.

Do Quilted Placemats Have Antimicrobial Properties?

The vast majority of quilted table mats do not have antimicrobial properties, meaning bacteria can harbor on the material and adversely affect a person's health. Some silicone placemats aren't antimicrobial, but Tenura table mats are.

Can You Machine Wash Quilted Placemats (Dishwasher Safe)?

This type of table mat is often machine washable. However, it depends on the fabric dyes, which could bleed or fade if washed at a high temperature. Tenura table mats are far more convenient to wash, as no matter how many times they go in the dishwasher, they will not fade.

Are Quilted Placemats Suitable for Disabled People?

Quilted table mats are lightweight, and you can take them on the go. However, they have no non-slip properties to reduce the risk of spillages for the disabled. Non-slip table mats such as silicone table mats can offer this assistance.

Are Quilted Placemats Heat Resistant?

These table mats have little heat resistance, contrary to Tenura table mats.

Exposure to high heat or flames can cause quilted table mats to discolor/burn or even set alight. However, some synthetic fabrics, such as nylon or polyester, can be fire-retardant.

Wooden Table Mats Vs. Silicone Table Mats

Are Wooden Placemats Non-Slip?

Often not, they are slippy unless a lacquer is applied, impacting the table mat's appearance. Sometimes wooden table mats will have non-slip rubber coasters on the bottom, but this will have little benefit in preventing unwanted movement of objects on top of the table mat. To avoid unwanted movement from items on top of table mats, look for slip-resistant mats like Tenura.

Do Wooden Placemats Have Antimicrobial Properties?

Certain types of wood like pine and oak naturally demonstrate antimicrobial properties, and you can treat certain woods to possess antimicrobial properties.

Bacteria, insects, and fungi can affect the wooden table mat's appearance, chemical composition, and structure, accelerating degradation. The antimicrobial additive in silicone table mats protects against mold, fungi, and a wide range of bacteria, which is vital as placemats are often close to your food.

Can You Machine Wash Wooden Placemats (Dishwasher Safe)?

It is worth noting that wood can stain, especially when in contact with curry or red wine, and sadly, you can't put them in a dishwasher to clean, which may leave you tempted to wash the placemat in hot soapy water is fine. However, leaving it to soak can cause it to swell and lose form, becoming a hazard due to its unlevel misshaped surface. You shouldn't need to soak your silicone mat. We would instead suggest you put it in a dishwasher.

Are Wooden Placemats Suitable for Disabled People?

This table mat isn't suitable for disabled individuals as they can be heavy, bulky, and have no beneficial properties for the disabled. Whereas silicone table mats are anti-slip, flexible, and lightweight, making them suitable.

Wooden table mats aren't dishwasher safe, so each table mat would have to be hand washed by the carer rather than putting all silicone mats in a dishwasher, which saves lots of time and effort.

Are Wooden Placemats Heat Resistant?

Wooden tablemats can burn, causing discoloration, and if exposed to a high temperature, you could have a fire on your hands. Tenura silicone is incredibly robust even in extreme temperatures (up to 482°F).

Metal Table Mats Vs. Silicone Table Mats

Are Metal Placemats Non-Slip?

If the metal table mat has a pattern etched on its surface, making it tactile, it has better non-slip properties. However, this affects the ability to keep it hygienic.

Tenura silicone provides a brilliant level of non-slip which stops things on its surface from being easily knocked over, helping you avoid spillages.

Do Metal Placemats Have Antimicrobial Properties?

Not all metals are antimicrobial, but silver is an example of a naturally antibacterial metal. The quantities of such metals within the placemat will determine if the placemat is antimicrobial. If unsure, check with the manufacturer. Tenura's silicone mats are antimicrobial, but some of our competitor's silicone mats are not.

Can You Easily Wash Metal Placemats (Dishwasher Safe)?

When handwashing the table mat, you should avoid rough brushes that can leave scrapes and scratches in the metal's finish, where bacteria can harbor. Some metal table mats are just metallic lacquer on top of another material. With harsh cleaning chemicals, these coatings can peel off.

You shouldn't need to use harsh brushes or chemicals on silicone table mats, as you can put them in hot soapy water or a dishwasher. Typically you should avoid placing metal table mats in a dishwasher.

Are Metal Placemats Suitable for Disabled People?

Metal table mats aren't suitable for the disabled as they can be heavy, sharp, and tricky to transport, the opposite set of characteristics to Tenura silicone table mats.

Are Metal Placemats Heat Resistant?

Most metals have incredibly high melting points, meaning hot objects such as pots and pans placed on their surface will not deform the metal. Metal is a good conductor, so some metal table mats can get hot if pans are directly placed on their surface. Instead, a silicone table mat may be a more appropriate solution as it has low thermal conductivity and brilliant heat resistance.

To Conclude…

We know that Tenura silicone table mats are a great addition to mealtimes. They can lessen the cleanup time because you reduce the risk of spillages, and you can put them straight in the dishwasher, but let's look at how all the table mats we have reviewed in this blog have fared:

The Best Non-Slip Table Mats Are…

If you are looking for a mat with non-slip qualities, you will want to go with a vinyl, silicone, or tactile metal table mat.

The Best Antimicrobial And Machine Washable Table Mats Are…

With the Coronavirus pandemic and health being in the back of everybody's mind, you may be more interested in the antimicrobial properties of your table mats and if they're machine washable. Therefore, silicone table mats are a great choice.

The Most Inclusively Designed Table Mats Are…

Both vinyl and silicone table mats are suitable for use by a disabled person who requires a carer at mealtimes. These table mats reduce the likelihood of spillages, thanks to their non-slip properties. A carer can easily wash them in hot soapy water (or put their Tenura table mats in a dishwasher). These table mats are lightweight, so you can take them out and about.

The Table Mats With The Best Heat Resistance Are…

Vinyl, metal, and silicone table mats have heat resistance, some of these materials more so than others. You will need to be the most careful with vinyl as they have the lowest heat resistance (up to 96.08°F), then silicone (up to 482°F), followed by metal. Most metals can withstand temperatures of 932°F. But in your kitchen, you aren't dealing with temperatures over 446°F. It is important to note that metal placemats can conduct heat and will be hot to the touch if you place hot pans on their surface.

Please read part one of this blog series if you want to know more about the above placemats regarding their toxicity, environmental impact, price, and durability.

You can also view and purchase the superior Tenura silicone table mat from our website.