Shelf liners are flexible, removable sheets that line your dresser drawers and shelves to protect their surfaces from damage and make cleanup a breeze. When reorganizing cabinets or cleaning, adding shelf liners is an inexpensive measure that will help preserve your fixtures, furniture, and belongings.
Today’s shelf liners have come a long way, not only in substance but also in style. But with so much variety, finding the right shelf liners for your needs can be tricky. In this guide, we offer a list of some of the best shelf liners available and explain the features shoppers may want.
- BEST OVERALL: Con-Tact Brand Clear Self-Adhesive Vinyl Shelf Liner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Duck Brand 15-Foot-Long Easyliner Adhesive Surfaces
- UPGRADE PICK: Con-Tact Brand Zip-N-Fit Self-Adhesive Shelf Liner
- BEST FOR THE REFRIGERATOR: DII Aqua Lattice Shelf Liner Set
- BEST FOR WIRE SHELVING: Sterling Wire Shelf Liners
- BEST FOR DRAWERS: Gorilla Grip Drawer and Shelf Liner
- BEST FOR UNDER THE SINK: Drymate Under the Sink Mat
How We Chose the Best Shelf Liners
With so many types, sizes, and added features included in today’s shelf liners it is hard to know which will suit your specific needs or unique shelving. Many of the shelf liners on the market are made with durable constructions with plastic, vinyl, and fabric being favored. These materials can also help with waterproofing, stain-resistance, and select picks are even machine-washable.
With nonadhesive and adhesive liners included, there are ample options to suit personal preferences. Most of these picks are also trimmable with included grids for measuring and cutting. As an added bonus, most of the above products are offered in multiple colorways to disguise the presence of shelf liners. Alternatively, some of these picks come with decorative or textured constructions.
Our Top Picks
The best shelf liners guard against damage and are easy to clean. With that in mind, here are our top picks for best shelf liners on the market.
Con-Tact Brand’s clear self-adhesive, an industry leader for shelf liners, offers a highly versatile, semi-transparent version that can be used for tables, counters, and workstations as well as shelving. It features a grid on the adhesive backing to help with accurate measuring and cutting. The adhesive backing keeps the liner in place, but it’s not so strong to render it unremovable in case it needs to be shifted.
Crafters love this self-adhesive liner because it can be used on Cricut machines and for stencils. This adhesive vinyl liners is easy to clean with a damp cloth and soap. Since it is transparent, this liner is best for surfaces like kitchen cabinets, pantry shelves, and even laundry room shelving in pristine condition. To cover imperfection or damage, consider going with a patterned liner.
- Type: Vinyl
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Self-adhesive
- Size/quantity: Various roll sizes, including 9 feet long by 18 inches wide and 20 feet long by 18 inches wide
- Versatile construction; clear, acid-free vinyl material comes in multiple opacities
- Can be used on shelving, counters, tables, Cricut machines, and workstations
- Convenient features; grid included for measuring as well as cutting
- Easy to clean; waterproof and durable enough to withstand thorough cleanings
- Brand claims this shelf liner is clear, but it’s actually semitransparent
Get the Con-Tact Brand self-adhesive shelf liner at Amazon, The Home Depot (6-roll pack), or Con-Tact Brand.
A single roll of Duck Brand Easyliner adhesive is 15 feet long by 20 inches wide—a whopping 3,600 square inches of coverage. The average-sized roll of vinyl shelf liner is around 9 feet long by 18 inches wide, making Duck Brand a great deal when you have many shelves to line.
The liner is made of heavy-duty adhesive vinyl and features a paper backing for easy measuring and cutting. The liner comes in white, which may not look great in dark kitchen cabinets but will make finding things in a dim interior easier. And for a basic liner, you can’t beat the price for the coverage one roll provides.
- Type: Vinyl
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Adhesive
- Size/quantity: 15 feet long by 20 inches wide
- Built-in paper backing; grid lines included for measuring and cutting
- Large quantity provided; can cover up to 3,600 square inches
- Bright white colorway can create light-reflecting effect for dimly lit cabinets
- Hard to remove once applied; may require some elbow grease for removing
Get the Duck Brand shelf liner at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Walmart.
The trickiest, most time-consuming part of installing a shelf liner is the measuring and cutting—even with a pre-printed grid on the back. Con-Tact Brand’s Zip-N-Fit is a nonadhesive shelf liner that has a perforated line every 1/4 of an inch apart to help users easily lay the liner down on a shelf and pull apart exactly where needed.
Sizing this liner to fit around corners is also a breeze: just lay the liner in place and carefully pull apart around the corners. Such convenience isn’t cheap, however, with a 4-foot-long by 18-inch-wide roll, users may want to use Zip-N-Fit for drawers and shelves in hard-to-reach areas.
- Type: Plastic/synthetic
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Nonadhesive
- Size/quantity: Various roll sizes, including 4 feet long by 18 inches wide and 5 feet long by 12 inches wide
- Perforated line every ¼ inch; easy to tear or cut if required
- Comes in 4 colorways to match any current color palette: almond, black, white, and taupe
- Suitable for heavy-duty use; can be used for workshops or jobsites
- No clear option provided; may not fit seamlessly in some spaces
- Smaller quantity offered compared to competing products; may not cover large expanses of shelving
Get the Con-Tact Brand Zip-N-Fit shelf liner at Amazon, The Home Depot (6-roll pack), or Con-Tact Brand.
Refrigerator shelves seem to invite spills and crumbs. Cut down on cleaning time with these removable, machine-washable liners. With these, there’s no need to wipe up messes—just remove the liner and pop it in the machine. The liners are reversible too. Use the pattern side for a fun pop of color or the grid side to add a fun geometric pattern. Available in two-packs, these washable shelf liners also work great in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other spill-prone zones.
- Type: Paper
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Nonadhesive
- Size/quantity: 10 feet long by 12 inches wide (1 roll)
- Mostly available in 2-packs; suitable for those who need multiple shelves
- Machine washable and reversible; nonslip on both sides of the liner
- Suitable for fridges, kitchen cabinets and drawers, bathrooms, and laundry rooms
- Some users have reported finding pesky dirt and debris buildup
- Not suitable for covering large spaces; only comes in 1 small size
Get the DII nonadhesive shelf liners at Amazon, Lowe’s, DII, or Walmart.
Open wire shelves is an economical option for a linen closet and pantries thanks to its durability and versatility. Due to the open spaces between the wires, however, small items can slip through or fall over. The solution?
A stiff shelf liner like this set of five from Sterling. Usually available in sets of three, four, and five, these placemat-like liners are waterproof, tailored to fit perfectly around wire shelf poles, and easy to wipe clean. Made from heavy-duty 30-gauge polypropylene, the liners are thick enough to keep small items upright. There are several size options available and they are designed to fit standard wire shelves.
- Type: Plastic liner
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Nonadhesive
- Size/quantity: 24, 30, 36, or 48 inches long by 14 inches wide
- These placemat-like liners are available in sets of 3, 4, or 5
- Waterproof construction is perfect for garages, laundry rooms, and pantries
- Suitable for heavy-duty use; nonslip on wired shelves or workshops
- Comes in 2 colorways (clear or graphite) to suit any current space requirements
- Some users have reported that the material is light and flimsy
- These liners are not stain-resistant; may tarnish over time with frequent use
Get the Sterling shelf liner at Amazon (sets of 3, 4, or 5), The Home Depot (set of 3), or Walmart (set of 3).
Hills Point Industries’ Gorilla Grip is an excellent adhesive-free drawer and shelf liner that really locks things in place. This shelf liner’s textured surface doesn’t just keep utensils and other items from shifting but also features an open-weave construction that prevents dirt and debris from accumulating on the surface.
Available in various roll sizes, Gorilla Grip shelf liners are easy to trim and clean and come in a variety of colors and patterns. These liners from Hills Point Industries are also reasonably priced.
- Type: Fabric
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Nonadhesive
- Size/quantity: Various roll sizes, including 10, 20, or 30 feet long by 12 inches wide; 10, 20, or 30 feet long by 17.5 inches wide; and 10, 20, or 30 feet long by 20 inches wide
- Open-weave, textured construction provides cushioning while resisting slipping and bunching
- Trimmable construction can be made to fit any cabinet or shelving unit
- Easy to clean; simply wipe down with a damp cloth
- Comes in various colors and patterns, including beige, blue, black, and textured
- Some users have reported insufficient traction; may not meet some users’ preferences
Get the Gorilla Grip liner at Amazon,Gorilla Grip, or Walmart.
If there’s one place in a home that demands a liner it’s underneath the sink. This area is susceptible to moisture, plumbing leaks, and spills from any liquid products you may store there. But not just any liner will keep leaks and spills from puddling as Drymate does. Made from an absorbent fabric with a waterproof backing, this liner contains liquids and wicks away moisture.
The waterproof is suitable for kitchen cabinets as the backing stops liquids from soaking through, preventing water damage and staining to the surface below. It also features a slip-resistant backing that helps to keep the mat securely in place and prevents it from sliding around. Easy to trim to size and machine washable, the mat isn’t badly priced. Shoppers have two size choices: 29 or 59 inches long by 24 inches wide.
- Type: Fabric
- Adhesive vs. nonadhesive: Nonadhesive
- Size/quantity: 29 or 59 inches long by 24 inches wide
- Suitable for moist or commonly wet areas; prevents drip marks and excessive moisture buildup
- Waterproof, slip-resistant backing and absorbent fabric construction are durable enough for long-term use
- Trimmable and machine washable; available in several colorways, including charcoal, blue, indigo, gray, and textured
- Some users have reported a few manufacturing defects and poor construction
Get the Drymate shelf liner at Amazon, or Walmart.
What to Consider When Choosing Shelf Liners
No matter what surface needs protecting or covering, there’s typically a liner for it. Durability and practicality are key when choosing the best shelf liners. Here are several features shoppers may want to consider when looking for shelf liners.
Types of Shelf Liners
Material matters when it comes to the best types of shelf liners. The standard adhesive-backed vinyl shelf liners everyone’s familiar with still exist, and they work for many applications. But, they’re not the best option for wire shelves because they do not provide sturdy support. Selecting the correct material for each situation protects your furniture and the goods you stash inside.
Instead of adhesive, foam liners have a grippy texture that won’t leave sticky residue on shelves when removed. Foam liners are a good choice for drawers or shelves containing delicate items that need extra protection because the textured surface holds items in place. These liners are either trimmable with scissors or have perforated sections that can be torn apart to fit the dimensions of drawers and shelves.
Vinyl shelf liners are a bit thicker than paper or fabric, which makes them less likely to tear. They come in a large variety of colors and patterns, in both nonadhesive and adhesive varieties, and are easy to trim with scissors to fit shelves or drawers. Though vinyl shelf liners are hard to reuse, they’re one of the least expensive options, so it won’t break the bank to replace them. Unfortunately, adhesive-backed vinyl can be tricky to apply and can leave sticky residue on your shelves.
Fabric liners are soft and won’t scratch your shelves. Typically nonadhesive, they won’t leave any residue behind. Just like fabric for clothing, they come in all kinds of prints and colors and are easy to trim, wash, and reuse. While fabric liners will absorb some moisture if something spills, they won’t fully protect your shelves or stored items if they get wet.
Heavy-duty plastic shelf liners work best for open wire shelves because they provide a sturdy base for irregularly shaped items. They are waterproof, spill-proof, and easy to wipe clean. These liners are hard to trim since they are usually made of heavy-duty plastic, so you’re best off finding them in a size that already fits the exact dimensions of your shelves.
Adhesive vs. Nonadhesive
The first and most important decision to make about shelf liners—with or without adhesive—comes down to where you plan to use them.
- Economical adhesive shelf liners tend to give you more product per roll, so if you have a lot of shelves and drawers to cover, they’re an inexpensive option. But once applied, it’s no simple matter to change the position of these peel-and-stick liners, and it can be difficult to remove them completely, so don’t use this type of liner on surfaces prone to adhesive damage, like cork or unfinished wood. Be sure to measure accurately and apply with a steady hand.
- Nonadhesive shelf liners have a nonslip, grip bottom design to keep them from sliding around your shelves and drawers. They do stay put most of the time but may shift on occasion. They’re more expensive than adhesive liners, and you get far less product per roll because these liners are thicker.
When choosing a shelf liner for your drawer, cabinet shelf, or wire shelving, the size will play a big part. Before you select a new liner, measuring out the space where you’ll use them and buying a size that can fit is key. Most shelf liners on the market come in 20-inch, 18-inch, or 12-inch sizes to fit the average drawer or cupboard. Shelf liners can also be cut or resized if needed in more compact spaces.
Liners are available in different textures. Some are smooth with a hard plastic surface, some are ribbed for extra grip, and others are made of soft synthetic fabrics. Softer and grip-type liners are good for dishes, glasses, or delicate items prone to scratching. Smooth liners work well for linens or items prone to leaking because they clean up with a swipe of a sponge.
Liner cleaning options vary, so choose one that best suits the area you are lining.
Liners made from plastic or vinyl are easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Most fabric liners are washable.
The surface of the shelf or drawer will determine what type of liner will work best. Open wire shelves need stiff plastic liners so smaller objects won’t slip through. Wood cabinet shelves can use flexible liners with adhesive or foam liners without adhesive.
The Advantages of Using Shelf Liners
Though they are simple in concept, shelf liners have many useful purposes for the contents of your storage spaces while also protecting a drawer, cabinet shelf, or wire shelving itself. Here are a few of the main benefits that come with owning shelf liners:
- Moisture and humidity can wear on objects as well as wooden cabinets, kitchen cabinets, and drawers. Shelf liners can help to reduce moisture while also protecting from stains, smudges, rings from glassware, sticky residue, and oils.
- Certain shelf liners can help muffle or dampen noise in utility drawers or on workshop shelving.
- Fabric and other textured liners can help prevent objects from shifting or moving in drawers which is particularly helpful for those that use organizers.
- Liners make cleaning up drawers and shelves with crumbs, stains, and other messes easy, as they can be removed and rinsed or machine-washed.
Shelf liners make your kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and drawers look better while also making them easier to clean. Here are some frequently asked questions about how to use and install shelf liners.
Q. Is shelf liner the same as contact paper?
Contact paper and shelf liners are both used for the same purposes. However, contact paper is classically thinner and malleable, while select shelf liners are thicker and made with vinyl, fabric, or plastic.
Q. Does shelf liner attract bugs?
As with any surface, if your shelf liners are cleaned regularly, they should not attract bugs or pests.
Q. How do you use a shelf liner?
Shelf liners are cut to size and then placed inside a drawer or shelf. The liner may have an adhesive backing that will stick to the shelf or drawer bottom or be made with a nonslip grip material that prevents it from shifting.
Q. How do you cut a shelf liner?
Use a sharp pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut shelf liners to the proper size.
Q. How do you keep a nonadhesive shelf liner in place?
Most nonadhesive liners have a nonslip underside that keeps them in place. But if you find that they still shift, place a strip of mounting tape on one side of the drawer or shelf, then lay the cut piece of liner on top.
Q. How do you remove a shelf liner?
To remove an adhesive shelf liner, simply pry up one corner of the liner and peel it away. If it gets stuck in some places, apply warm air to the area with a hairdryer. This should loosen the adhesive and make it easier to remove the liner.
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