There are many ways to protect your shelves from scratches and nicks. The best shelf liners will vary depending on the type of shelf you have as well as your personal preferences. Of all the liner materials out there, the most popular options can be broken down into four categories: foam, vinyl, heavy-duty plastic, and fabric. Each material has its pros and cons to consider. To help you in your search, I've put together a breakdown of these common types, as well as a great option for each one. Read on to find the right option to elevate your shelf game.
While the exact material isn't usually stated, this type of liner has a foam-like quality that distinguishes it from other liners. They have a grippy texture, but they don't use adhesive and won't leave any sticky residue on your shelves. This means they're great at holding items in place, like those stashed in a utensil drawer. These liners can usually be trimmed to the dimensions you need, too. Another common trait with this option is an open, weave-like design, which means that while they're breathable, they won't protect shelves from spills or crumbs. They could also be damaging for natural stone or refinished surfaces.
The Best Foam Shelf Liners
What's great about it: With a foam-like construction, this Gorilla Grip original drawer and shelf liner has a grippy feel that's achieved without any adhesive, so it stays in place and prevents items from sliding around. Since it's non-adhesive, it won't leave a sticky residue on your shelves and it's effortless to remove. This option comes in a 12 inch by 20 foot roll (pictured above), as well as five other sizes — all of which can be cut to the exact dimensions you need.
It's also reversible and has a breathable, grid-like design. The tradeoff with this construction is that the liner isn't spill-proof or crumb-proof. This option also shouldn't be used on refinished, porous, vinyl, lacquered or natural stone surfaces. To clean this liner, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. It's available in 14 different colors and patterns, so you can easily find an option to complement your decor.
What fans say: "Bought this to line drawers and cabinets. Easy to use and cut. Nice designs to choose from. Had no issues installing and holds in place. Utensils stay put in drawers and make cabinet interiors look nice."
A little thicker than paper, this type of liner is easy to trim to fit your shelves or drawers. They come in both non-adhesive and adhesive varieties. Usually, they are harder to reuse and clean if they get dirty, but it's simple enough to cut a new piece when needed for a fresh start. If you opt for adhesive vinyl, it's important to note that it may leave a stubborn residue on your shelves.
The Best Adhesive Vinyl Liners
What's great about it: Made out of waterproof vinyl, this Con-Tact Brand shelf liner is ideal for those who want an adhesive option that won't slip or slide. It's able to stick on all kinds of surfaces including kitchen cupboards, shelves, and drawers. This liner is easy to apply and the adhesive doesn't fully adhere right away, so if you make a mistake you can immediately correct it.
Although it's sticky, the brand says it won't leave a messy residue after removal. However, if you don't want to take any chances, it may be best to choose a different option. Available in rolls of 18 inches by 9 feet (pictured above), as well as rolls of 18 by 20 feet and 18 by 60 feet, this liner comes in eight different patterns. To clean, just wipe it down with a damp sponge.
What fans say: "I like this product because it was a good adhesive, good price and fit the bill. I use this product to line underneath my kitchen sink and organized using the same color scheme. I would purchase this product again."
The Best Non-Adhesive Vinyl Liners
What's great about it: Made out of nonslip vinyl, these Con-Tact Brand shelf liners come in more than a dozen fun design choices. In total, there are three different sized rolls to choose from — 18 inches by 4 feet, 12 inches by 5 feet, and 18 inches by 8 feet (pictured above) — though the availability for each varies with the design. They're suitable for all places in your home and are also easy to trim to the exact proportions you need.
Non-adhesive and easy to remove, this option is durable, waterproof, crumb-proof, and stain-resistant. It's important to note that these liners should not be placed on urethane or lacquered surfaces as they might damage the finish. To clean, just wipe the liner down with mild soap and water.
What fans say: "So pretty and cushiony! The padding is perfect for the crystal and fine for the plates and other treasures, and the non-slip allows enough maneuverability, but stays firmly put once in place. The cutting is easy with the pattern on the back guiding you. Go for it!"
HEAVY-DUTY PLASTIC LINERS
If you have wire shelves, heavy-duty plastic liners serve as great, sturdy bases for big and small items. Typically, they're waterproof, spill-proof, and easy to wipe clean. However, this type of liner can't be cut, so you'll need to find an option that matches the exact dimensions of your shelves.
The Best Heavy-Duty Plastic Liners
What's great about it: For those who have wire shelves, this three-pack of Gorilla Grip heavy-duty shelf liners is made out of thick polypropylene plastic and can act as a sturdy base for your items. Able to be used all over your home and even in your garage, these liners are long-lasting, waterproof, and feature a smooth surface to stabilize whatever you put on them. They also protect shelves from any spills, dust, or debris.
Since heavy-duty plastic can't be cut, you'll need to go with the option that most closely matches the dimensions you need (there are seven different sizes to choose from). These liners do have corner cut-outs to help them fit perfectly on top of your wire shelves. Available in your choice of black, charcoal, clear, or a quatrefoil pattern, the liners can be wiped down with mild soap and water to clean.
What fans say: "Bought a shelving wire unit from Seville for our pantry. Wanted shelf liners so things wouldn’t fall between the bars. With these liners I got more than I thought I wanted! The liners are sturdy enough that items that straddle the bars are now stable. Of all the shelf liners and reviews I went through I am more than pleased that I chose these."
If you want to be as gentle on your shelves as possible, fabric liners are a great option. Because of how soft they are, they won't scratch your shelves, and they're usually non-adhesive, so they won't leave any residue behind. This type of liner is easy to wash (some options are even machine-washable), reuse, and trim to the size you need. While they'll absorb spills to a degree, they won't fully protect your shelves from getting wet, though.
The Best Fabric Liners
What's great about it: Made with a blend of viscose and polyester, these non-adhesive fabric shelf liners are washable, reusable, and reversible. You can quickly throw them in the washing machine, and they won't shrink, wrinkle, or otherwise lose their quality over time (just don't use bleach or fabric softener). Since they are fabric, you won't have to worry about them ruining your shelves, regardless of the material. This option is super protective for your shelves and the items you place on them, however, spills can seep through the material, so they don't offer complete protection. These liners are available in a handful of vibrant patterns, and for under $25 you get two rolls measuring 12 inches by 10 feet.
What fans say: "I bought it to line my bins but use them now to line my shelves too. Easy to clean and washing machine friendly! Makes cleaning up spills a snap."
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