Jun 02, 2023
The 12 Best Shelf Liners of 2023
The Mcrbeay Shelf Liner is our top pick because it’s thin yet durable and easy to clean. Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we
The Mcrbeay Shelf Liner is our top pick because it’s thin yet durable and easy to clean.
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Better Homes and Gardens / Kevin Liang
Your home is an investment you need to protect, and that includes your home’s surfaces. Shelf liners are a great way to aid in your home’s overall cleanliness by protecting surfaces from dust, dirt, scratches, and spills. They come in an array of colors and materials and have adhesive or non-adhesive backs to best fit your needs.
If you’re questioning whether you should take this extra step to cover your shelves, Kate Swenson, founder & CEO of Order by Kate, says it’s worth it.
“Lining your shelves is a must! By lining, you are creating a strong layer of protection,” she says. “If you want to keep [your shelves] looking brand new, lining is worth the time and money. Who wouldn’t want to extend the life of your cabinets?”
We spoke with Swenson and fellow Order by Kate professional organizer, Lisa Harkin, to learn more about what to look for when shopping for shelf liners.
It’s multipurpose, easy to cut, easy to clean, and durable.
It’s only available in neutral and clear color choices.
“When looking for a shelf liner, it’s important to choose a liner that is easy to cut, washable, durable, and looks pleasing to the eye,” Swenson says. “The liner should also be able to grip and hold products in place.”
It was important for our overall pick for best shelf liner to have all of these qualities. Many options on the market are washable and durable, but many are missing grip to stay in place.
One side of the Mcrbeay Shelf Liner is designed with a striped pattern to help keep your items in place. The stripes also serve as a visual helper for trimming to the right dimensions for your shelves. The backside is non-adhesive, so you won’t have to worry about leaving residue on your surfaces.
This pick is best for those who like liner to blend into its surroundings. You can choose between white, dark gray, and clear colors, so you’ll need to look elsewhere for bright colors or patterns.
The Order by Kate team says they prefer thin, clear liners in either plastic or vinyl. This pick checks all of these boxes, plus it’s moderately priced and comes in multiple size options.
Price at time of publish: $19
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 20 feet | Material: EVA Plastic | Adhesive: No
It’s vinyl and non-adhesive, two of the most desirable qualities in a shelf liner.
This pick is only available in prints and taupe.
When it comes to the best shelf liners, non-adhesive vinyl is what most professional organizers will pick, including the Order by Kate team.
Vinyl is easy to clean and protects your surfaces from scratches and stains. Non-adhesive options can be reused and are typically more durable than adhesive options. In the long run, you’ll get more use out of non-adhesive liners, which in turn, gives you the most for your money. The Magic Cover Shelf Liner is both vinyl and non-adhesive, making it one of the best shelf liners to consider.
Typical budget picks are adhesive, but we wanted to avoid that. Inexpensive adhesive backs are known to leave sticky residue behind, so we knew a non-adhesive liner would be best for the budget option. This pick has a smooth finish on top, so it does lack that grip design to help non-adhesive liners stay in place. However, you can add putty or double-sided gel squares to each corner of the liner to make it stick better to your surface.
The Magic Cover Shelf Liner is only available in taupe and prints, so this isn’t the pick for you if you prefer clear liner.
Price at time of publish: $10
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 5 feet | Material: Vinyl | Adhesive: No
It’s made from an absorbent material with a waterproof backing to protect your surfaces.
It’s only available in one width.
It can be difficult to decide what makes a splurge purchase worth it. There are endless options out there that claim to protect your shelves, but keep in mind, all liners are not made equally. To make sure a liner is worth your money, Harkin says to “invest in a liner that is easy to cut, durable, and easy to clean.”
Drymate’s Premium Shelf & Drawer Liner checks all of these boxes. It’s made from a durable material that is machine washable, and when cutting, you won’t have to worry about the edges fraying.
These are the best shelf liners to help prevent water and moisture damage in your cabinets. The polyester front is absorbent to soak up spills, and the waterproof back stops the spills from settling onto your surfaces. If you’re known to put away a dish that’s not 100% dry, an absorbent liner is great for you.
These liners come in at around $2.40/square foot, making them more than $1 more per square foot than most options on our list. It’s important to keep in mind that these liners are only available in widths of 12 inches, so they aren’t ideal for wider shelves.
Price at time of publish: $28 for two
Product Details: Dimensions: 59 x 12 inches | Material: Polyester, Waterproof backing | Adhesive: No
The printed measuring grid on the back allows for precise cutting.
There is a limited selection for widths.
Adhesive liners typically aren’t a professional organizer’s first choice. They need to be measured 100% accurately for a proper fit, and they require a steady hand when being applied. They can leave sticky residue behind when removed which can damage your surfaces. However, there’s a time and place for adhesive liners.
“Adhesive liner works well for areas where heavier items are placed and where items may need to slide out,” Harkin says.
The Gorilla Grip Adhesive Liner is made from thick vinyl to support your heaviest items. You get to choose from 17 different color and pattern options to go with your style. However, it’s important to note that this pick comes in a limited selection of widths. This may require more cutting and measuring on your end.
Adhesive liners aren’t trial-and-error like non-adhesive liners. Once you cut and place the liner down, you’re committed until you peel it off. It can be intimidating to cut adhesive liner since it needs to be near-perfect, but you don’t have to worry about that with this pick. There’s a printed measuring grid on the back to guide you.
Price at time of publish: $12
Product Details: Dimensions: 11.8 inches x 20 feet | Material: Vinyl | Adhesive: Yes
There are 16 color and 15 size options.
The double-sized ribbed texture makes these liners more visible than other options.
Non-adhesive liners are the best shelf liners for renters. They won’t leave a sticky residue behind once removed, unlike most adhesive options, and can be reused for your next move. These shelf liners will protect your surfaces so you can ensure you’ll get your renter’s deposit back. Plus, they cover up any stains made by previous tenants and create a clean, new surface.
Liner can be a great way to transform plain shelves. Gorilla Grip’s Drawer & Shelf Liner is available in 16 colors, including a transparent option, to bring life to your shelves. They’re also available in 15 sizes so you can find the right fit.
The liners have a double-sized ribbed design that keeps them from slipping on the bottom and keeps your items in place on the top. While the ribbed texture does serve a purpose, those wanting the “barely there” look will notice these liners more than options without texture.
In addition to lining your shelves, this multi-purpose liner can be used for drawers, wire shelves, under the sink, or in the laundry room.
Price at time of publish: $38
Product Details: Dimensions: 24 inches x 10 feet | Material: Vinyl | Adhesive: No
It’s available in five color options and 10 different sizes.
Only one side is textured to keep it in place.
Your cabinets are an investment you need to protect. That’s why it’s important to pick a shelf liner that protects your shelves while still looking pretty.
Plastic is one of the best shelf liner materials; it’s waterproof, protects your surface from spills, and is easy to clean. The Bloss Shelf Liners are non-toxic and odor-free, meaning you can also use them for your refrigerator shelves.
If you’re interested in color-coding your shelves, these liners come in five colors for cohesive organization. There’s also a transparent option if you like your liners to blend into your shelves. This pick comes in 10 different size options so you can find your shelves’ best fit. Luckily, plastic is easy to cut, so trimming is an option if needed.
With non-adhesive liners, we often find that double-sided texture is the most effective in keeping your items and the liner in place. The Bloss Shelf Liners feature a grip texture only on one side, so you may need to use putty or square stickers to keep them in place.
Price at time of publish: $17
Product Details: Dimensions: 7.7 x 177 inches | Material: EVA Plastic | Adhesive: No
It’s a multi-purpose liner that can be used for shelves, drawers, and even in the refrigerator.
The ribbed texture makes this liner more noticeable than other clear liners.
Do you want to protect your shelves but don’t like the look of traditional liners? “Clear plastic/vinyl non-adhesive liner works in all spaces and blends into the color of the shelves and drawers,” Swenson says.
The Glomen Shelf Liner is great for people who want a “barely there” protective layer. The traditional roll comes in five different sizes to fit every shelf width, and there’s even a thick version for those wanting extra protection. A heavier liner has a better chance of staying true to shape and flat against your shelving.
This pick is made from EVA plastic, which means it can be wiped down easily and is safe to use in the refrigerator. By purchasing a multi-purpose liner, you’re ensuring you’ll get the most use out of the product.
Non-adhesive liners can be known to shift, but this liner features a double-sided ribbed texture to keep it in place and the items on top in place. While the ribbed stripes serve a functional purpose, they do make the liner stand out more than other clear liners. Those who truly want that “invisible” look should opt for a choice with less texture.
Price at time of publish: $15
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 feet | Material: EVA Plastic | Adhesive: No
You can select classic prints including granite and marble.
It’s only available in one size.
Patterned shelf liners don’t have to be bright or bold to make an impact. In fact, the best shelf liners will enhance their surroundings instead of being a distraction.
When you think of patterned shelf liners, you probably envision wild colors and designs. While there are plenty of those options on the market, we wanted to showcase a pick that will bring design to your space without going overboard.
Con-Tact Brand Grip Prints Liner is available in neutral, muted prints that bring a subtle texture to your shelves. For this pick, we favor the marble and granite prints for a classic, timeless look. You can also select from fun designs including polka dots and geometric designs.
These liners are as functional as they are pretty. The grips on the back keep these liners in place while the smooth surface on the top allows the pattern design to shine. The cushioned top will protect glassware and other breakables from chipping in your cabinets.
This pick is only available in 12 inches x 20 feet, so it isn’t the ideal choice for small projects. However, leftover material can be used to line the back of your cabinets to add texture and color to your kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $17
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 20 feet | Material: Vinyl | Adhesive: No
They come in six different sizes and feature rounded edges to fit your shelves’ corners.
They are only available in two colors, clear and gray.
Wire shelves may look great, but they make it nearly impossible to store items. In the closet, wire shelves can leave indentation marks on folded clothing. In your pantry, you’ll have to worry about small items falling through the gaps. By lining your wire shelves, you’re adding a solid surface for storage and protection.
The Sterling Shelf Liners company offers a heavy duty liner that comes in six different sizes. These are the best shelf liners to fit corners due to their rounded edges. When you have the perfect dimensions and corner-hugging edges, your liners will stay flat against the shelves and give you optimal storage space.
Harkin and Swenson say it’s ideal to line wire shelves in your closets, pantry, laundry room, and even the garage. The Sterling liners only come in clear and gray, but luckily these options go with most styles.
When looking for wire shelf liners, consider a material that’s easy to clean. The Sterling liners are made from plastic and can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth. They’re also waterproof, which prevents liquids and crumbs from falling between the wire gaps. This is especially important in the pantry.
Price at time of publish: $50 for four
Product Details: Dimensions: 36 x 18 inches | Material: Plastic | Adhesive: No
This liner is 2 millimeters thick, making it a durable, sturdy choice.
The width is only available in 12 inches.
Some shelf liners look pretty, but they don’t do much to actually help with storage. Items will oftentimes stick to the liner, or, on the contrary, items will shift around because the liner doesn’t have enough traction. Sticking and slipping aren’t a problem with this pick.
The NextClimb Non-Slip Shelf & Drawer Liner is the best shelf liner for your heavy storage spaces. It’s 2 millimeters thick (the equivalent of two pennies stacked on top of each other), whereas most shelf liners are virtually flat. This can help prolong the life of your shelves by protecting heavy items from scratching.
In addition to your shelves, this durable liner can be used for your other projects, including in your toolbox or vehicle. You can also make non-slip dinner mats with leftover material.
The grid design makes this non-adhesive liner also non-slip. The design grips the surface while also keeping your items in place. This liner is only available in a width of 12 inches, so wider shelves won’t be a match. However, you can trim accordingly for more shallow shelves.
Price at time of publish: $15
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 10 feet | Material: Vinyl | Adhesive: No
It’s thin and transparent, which creates a “barely there” look.
It’s only available in neutral color choices, plus a clear option.
Most professional organizers agree that the best shelf liners are vinyl, including Swenson and Harkin. You’ll get bonus points for thin, clear liners because “you can barely tell it’s there,” Swenson says.
The Evaland Drawer and Shelf Liner looks ultra-thin and comes in neutral colors and a transparent option. Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider other liners if you want to bring color or patterns to your shelves. It can be used on multiple surfaces, including refrigerator shelves, and is BPA-free.
This pick is non-adhesive, so you won’t have to worry about leaving residue behind when removing. The grip texture helps to make the liner non-slip. If you want extra support, Swenson recommends putty or square stickers on each corner.
The vinyl material protects your surfaces from scratches, dust, spills, and moisture damage. Busy parents will also appreciate that this pick is easy to clean. You can wipe away the mess or wash it in the sink to deep clean.
Price at time of publish: $31
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 33 feet | Material: EVA Plastic | Adhesive: No
These mats are pre-cut to fit average refrigerator shelves.
They are only available in packs of eight.
“Refrigerator liners should be easily washable, oil-proof, and water resistant,” Harkin says. “We recommend [non-adhesive] liners so you can wipe them down in the sink.”
The Lanney Refrigerator Liner Mats check all of these boxes. In addition, they’re made from EVA plastic, which is a safe material for direct contact with your fruits and vegetables. These mats also aid in temperature regulation to protect your produce from frost.
Each mat is pre-cut to fit the average refrigerator shelf, so they’re easy to install. If you want to line your smaller produce drawers, they can be easily trimmed with scissors. The transparent color gives a “barely” there look, but don’t be fooled; these mats are hard at work. The waterproof material has an anti-slip back that protects your refrigerator from spills and crumbs, saving you time during deep cleans.
It’s important to keep in mind that these mats are only available in packs of eight. The average refrigerator has less than eight shelves, so you may be thinking you’ll waste the remaining material. However, these mats are multifunctional and can also be used for cabinet shelves and drawers. If you’re feeling crafty, you can even cut the mats into the shape of coasters to help protect your coffee table.
Price at time of publish: $11
Product Details: Dimensions: 12 inches x 17.7 inches | Material: EVA Plastic | Adhesive: No
Overall, the Mcrbeay Shelf Liner is our overall top pick for its customizable size options and non-slip texture. We also love that its thin yet durable material is easy to clean and comes in a clear style. The non-adhesive Gorilla Grip liner is another great option as it’s made of easy-to-clean vinyl, it comes in lots of colors and sizes, and is waterproof.
When shopping for shelf liners, you’ll notice that there are a variety of sizes available. Most liners come on rolls with multiple feet of material, however, you may need to carefully select the width of your liner. You can easily trim a liner to be more shallow, but you’ll want to avoid liners that aren’t wide enough.
To determine what size you need for liners, measure the length and width of your shelves. Harkin recommends rolling out your liner and marking the measurements before cutting. If you’re using an adhesive liner or adding adhesive stickers to your liner, make sure to confirm you cut the correct dimensions before placing the liner down.
Shelf liners come in a wide variety of materials. Some options, like our splurge pick, are made of fabric to absorb spills and have a waterproof backing to protect your surfaces. Others are fully waterproof to help protect your shelves from water and moisture damage.
Our Order by Kate experts prefer transparent plastic and vinyl liners because they work in every space and blend into their surroundings. Swenson and Harkin also say a thicker liner may be needed for wire shelves to hold the product securely.
Typically, the best shelf liners are non-adhesive. The Order by Kate team prefers non-adhesive liners because they’re easier to remove and replace if needed. However, adhesive liners do have their perks. Harkin says adhesive liners work well on shelves where heavier items are placed and where items may need to slide out frequently.
When it comes to money, adhesive liners tend to come with more square feet per roll, so they’re great for budget shoppers. However, adhesive liners aren’t reusable like most non-adhesive options, so in the long run, you likely aren’t saving much.
“By lining, you are creating a strong layer of protection,” Swenson says. “Your shelves will be protected from dust, dirt, scratches, and oil/water stains.”
In addition to wallpaper and contact paper, shelf liners can be used to express creativity and add color or design to your home.
In newly built homes, lining your shelves will keep them looking new and pristine. For renters, lining your shelves will cover up any stains made by previous tenants, plus, the liner will create a clean, new surface for you to use.
Adhesive liners come with a back lining that sticks to your surfaces. These are more of a permanent option and can potentially leave a sticky residue behind after being removed. Non-adhesive liners typically have a grip design to help them stay in place.
The Order by Kate team recommends using non-adhesive liners with a beaded grip material to help the liners stay in place. In addition, Harkin says you can add one double-sided gel square to each corner of your liner to keep non-adhesive options from shifting.
Any shelf in your home can use a liner. The Order by Kate team recommends lining shelves in the kitchen, pantry, bathrooms, office, and laundry room. Some may find use out of lining shelving in the garage.
“We always suggest a ‘lining’ session when talking to our clients,” Swenson says. “Especially if they are moving into a new home.”
By lining all shelves in your home, you’re protecting your surfaces and helping them look their best for years to come.
Addie Morton is a freelance writer with three years of experience researching and writing about home design for a variety of brands. For this story, she consulted with professional home organizers Kate Swenson, founder & CEO of Order by Kate, and Lisa Harkin of Order by Kate. Based out of Atlanta, Swenson and her team specialize in unpacking and organizing luxury homes.Price at time of publish: $19Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $10Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $28 for twoProduct Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $12Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $38Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $17Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $15Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $17Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $50 for fourProduct Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $15Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $31Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: Price at time of publish: $11Product Details: Dimensions: Material: Adhesive: