I think everyone in my family has some version of these placemats, and I resisted for a long time. Do you really need them, anyway? I had pretty linen ones for dinner parties. And setting a plate on a bare table seemed just fine for nightly dinners. But I bought finally bought some, and here's why I love them.
1. They're round. The circumference is no taller than an average rectangular placemat (from top to bottom), but they're not as wide. So if you have a small table or are squeezing in a lot of guests, they take up less room.
2. They wipe clean. These particular ones from Target (many, many other sources exist) are polypropylene and wipe down easily. You can shake off crumbs and even run them under water if necessary.
3. They come in a ton of colors. I have a neutral beige for everyday use, but these particular ones come in orange, turquoise, lime green, red, you name it. They're about $2.50 each, so they're an inexpensive option for classing up a color-coordinated party.
4. They don't need ironing. Obviously this is the case for any plastic or synthetic placemat. But after wrestling with some cotton/linen ones that always came out of the dryer looking like crumpled Kleenex, this is key for me.
I find it's more pleasant to set down a plate onto a mat rather than clang it on the table.
What about you? Anyone have these placemats?
Buy It!: Polyround Placemat, $9 for four at Target.
Related: 5 Stylish, Wipe-Clean Placemats