Best Wipe Clean Tablecloths To Consider (3 Types)

Best Wipe Clean Tablecloths To Consider (3 Types)

Buying a wipe clean tablecloth can be confusing with all the different types available.

You may have heard of the all the different types such as oilcloth, PVC, vinyl, plastic, acrylic, Teflon, coated cotton, etc and the list goes on…

The best type for you depends on several factors:

  • How you want the tablecloth to feel
  • The width of the tablecloth required
  • The type of design you want
  • Your budget

Let’s break down the different types to give you a better understanding of each one and their pros and cons.

3 Main Types of Wipe Clean Tablecloths

When it comes to wipe clean tablecloths, there are three main types to consider:

  1. Acrylic
  2. Oilcloth PVC
  3. Vinyl PVC

Any other type you may have heard can most likely fit in to one of the three types above.

Important note about stain resistance: No wipe clean tablecloth on the market can guarantee to be stain resistant.

While some types are better at resisting stains than others, all wipe clean tablecloths are prone to being stained if your usual staining culprits (curry sauces and red wine etc) are left to sit on the tablecloth surface.

Any spillages from liquids that could stain should be wiped as soon as possible to avoid/minimise any staining.

Now let’s take a look at each type of wipe clean tablecloth…

1. Acrylic Coated Tablecloths

Acrylic coated tablecloths blend the beauty of fabric tablecloths with the practicality of a wipe clean surface, making them a popular choice for both home and commercial settings.

They are known for their durability and superior stain resistance, thanks to a combination of a poly-cotton base fabric and a dual-layer acrylic coating.

This type offers a more natural feel compared to other wipe clean options and comes in a variety of designs and widths to suit different tastes and table sizes.

Acrylic Coated Facts

TypeAcrylic coated
Also known asTeflon coated tablecloths
Base fabricPoly-cotton blend
Base fabric coatingFluoropolymer (either Teflon™ or a non-branded alternative)
Top coatingAcrylic
Typical fabric widthBetween 140cm to 180cm
Matt or gloss finish?Matt only
Machine washable?Yes
Stain resistance quality★★★★☆
Typical price range£££
Pros of Acrylic
  • They have the best stain-resisting properties compared to other wipe clean tablecloths
  • Highly durable due to the acrylic coatings and fabric treatments
  • Most natural feeling wipe clean tablecloth
  • Machine washable to freshen them up
  • Can be ironed on the reverse to remove creasing
  • Available in wider widths
  • Provide cost savings in commercial settings
Cons of Acrylic
  • More expensive than other types of wipe clean tablecloths
  • Only available in a matt finish

A Note About Buying Acrylic Coated Tablecloths

Not all acrylic coated tablecloths sold on the market are the same.

Some do not have any fabric coating like Teflon™, and some only have one layer of acrylic making them an inferior fabric.

Here at Simply Tablecloths, we only sell acrylic tablecloths with two layers of acrylic, and a fluoropolymer fabric coating (either Teflon™ or a non-branded alternative) to give you the best wipe clean finish and better stain resisting properties.

2. Oilcloth Tablecloths

Oilcloth tablecloths, characterised by their vibrant patterns and glossy or matte finishes, bring a classic and cheerful touch to any table setting.

Traditionally made from a cotton fabric base coated in clear PVC, oilcloth tablecloths are easy to clean and maintain, making them ideal for everyday use in households and cafes.

They are highly durable and available in a wide range of designs, though they may feel more plastic-like compared to acrylic tablecloths and are limited by a 132cm width.

Oilcloth Facts

Also known asPVC, oilskin, oil cloth, coated cotton
Base fabric100% cotton
Base fabric coatingNone
Top coatingClear PVC
Typical fabric width132cm
Matt or gloss finish?Available in gloss & matt
Machine washable?No
Stain resistance quality★★☆☆☆
Typical price range££

Pros & Cons of Oilcloth

Pros of Oilcloth
  • Can easily be cut with a pair of scissors
  • Does not fray
  • Matt and gloss finishes available
  • Good value for money
  • Cheaper than acrylic coated tablecloths
  • Base fabric and PVC coating makes it more durable than vinyl PVC
Cons of Oilcloth
  • More expensive than vinyl PVC
  • Not machine washable
  • Top PVC coating may feel too plasticky so some people
  • Has a maximum width of 132cm which is too narrow for larger tables
  • Limited plain designs

3. Vinyl PVC Tablecloths

Vinyl PVC tablecloths are the go-to choice for practicality and budget-friendly needs. With no fabric base, these tablecloths offer a straightforward, plastic feel that is incredibly easy to maintain.

Ideal for one-off events, crafts, or as a protective cover, vinyl PVC tablecloths come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are the most cost-effective option among wipe clean tablecloths, though they may lack the aesthetic and tactile qualities compared to acrylic and oilcloth types.

Vinyl PVC Facts

TypeVinyl PVC
Also known asVinyl, PVC, plastic
Base fabricNone
Base fabric coatingN/A
Top coatingNone
Typical fabric width140cm
Matt or gloss finish?Matt only
Machine washable?No
Stain resistance quality★☆☆☆☆
Typical price range£
Pros of Vinyl
  • Cheapest wipe clean tablecloth available
  • Great for one-off events
  • Can easily be cut with a pair of scissors
  • Does not fray
Cons of Vinyl
  • Feels like plastic / No fabric feeling
  • Ridged feel
  • Not machine washable
  • May feel too plasticky for so some people
  • Design may fade with time with no top coating
  • Has a maximum width of 140cm which is too narrow for larger tables
  • Creasing harder to remove as it can not be ironed

So Which Wipe Clean Tablecloth Is Best?

If you buy the right type, acrylic coated tablecloths are considered the best type of wipe clean tablecloth due to their more natural feel, durability, superior fabric coatings, stain-resistance and extra wide widths available.

However, they may not be the best for your particular needs. For example if you need a wipe clean tablecloth for a one-off event, then a vinyl tablecloth may be your best option as it is more cost effective.

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