Shopping For A Tablecloth? Start With Our Size Calculator

Oct 16, 2023

tablecloth buying guide

For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home—a place of creation, gathering and where meals become moments and memories.

And while these spaces are often designed for function, they deserve a sprinkle of personality and charm, too. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to add your own flair is with something as simple as a tablecloth.

Whether it’s a splash of color in a monochrome room or a touch of texture in a minimalist space, a tablecloth can effortlessly elevate the aesthetics of a room, making it feel cozier, warmer and undeniably more inviting.

But how do you choose the perfect one for your table? Let’s dive into the basics of selecting the right drop length, size and shape based on your table.

Hungry for more? From holiday tablescapes to everyday dining, our Linens Collection offers something for every occasion and aesthetic.

Shop Our Linens Collection

Tablecloth Drop Length

When setting out to choose the perfect tablecloth, one term you’ll frequently encounter is drop length.

Drop length refers to the portion of the tablecloth that hangs over the edges of the table. It’s the difference between the actual dimensions of the table and the dimensions of the tablecloth. For instance, if your table is 60″ wide and your tablecloth is 70″ wide, you’ll have a 5″ drop length on each side.

Why is drop length important?

While it might seem like a minor detail, the drop length is integral to both the function and form of your dining setting and the functionality and aesthetics of your tablescape.

For functionality, the right drop length ensures that your tablecloth stays in place. Too short, and it might not adequately cover the table, leading to potential damage or staining of the table’s surface. Too long, and guests might accidentally tug on it, causing potential spills.

For aesthetics, the drop length plays a big role in defining the overall look and feel of your dining setting. A longer drop can give a more formal and elegant appearance, while a shorter drop tends to feel casual and laid-back. Here are some general guidelines based on the occasion and look you want to achieve:

  • Formal dining settings: The drop length for more formal occasions typically ranges between 10–15″ on all sides. For very formal settings like banquets or wedding receptions, the cloth might even graze the floor, resulting in a drop of about 29–30″.
  • Casual dining settings: For casual or everyday dining, a shorter drop of 6–8″ is common. This provides enough coverage to protect the table and give an aesthetic appeal without being overly formal.
  • Outdoor settings: For outdoor events like picnics or barbecues, tablecloths might be flush with the table or have a very minimal drop to prevent them from flapping in the wind.
  • Buffet or Console Tables: If you’re hosting larger parties at your home and have extra tables where guests will be standing or where food will be served buffet-style, longer tablecloths that reach or nearly reach the ground (a drop of around 29–30″) are often used. This hides the table’s legs and can conceal storage or supplies underneath.

How To Calculate Your Tablecloth Size

Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner or just want to spruce up your daily dining, choosing the right tablecloth size can make all the difference. It ensures that your table setting looks elegant and proportionate, giving it both the proper fit and desired aesthetic.

Follow these steps to calculate the ideal tablecloth size for your table:

1. Measure your table.

    • Rectangular or oval tables: Note the length (longest dimension from end to end) and the width (shortest dimension from side to side).
    • Round tables: Measure the diameter—the distance across the middle, from one side to the other.

2. Determine your desired drop length (see the section above for additional details).

3. Calculate your tablecloth size.

  • For Rectangular or Oval Tables:
    • Length: Add twice the desired drop to the table length. (Table Length + [2 x Drop Length] = Tablecloth Length)
    • Width: Add twice the desired drop to the table width. (Table Width + [2 x Drop Length] = Tablecloth Width)


tablecloth buying guide infographic

4. Factor in potential shrinkage.

If you’re looking at cotton or linen tablecloths, remember that they can shrink after washing. Consider adding an extra 1–2″ to your measurements to accommodate for this.

Standard Tablecloth Sizes

Once you’ve got your ideal dimensions, you might want to compare them to standard tablecloth sizes available in stores. Oftentimes, there’s a size close enough to your calculated measurements, which can be more convenient and cost-effective than opting for custom-made.

Remember, while these calculations give you the ideal measurements, personal preference plays a role too. It’s your dining space, so choose what feels right and looks best to you!

Round Tables

  • 70″ diameter: Typically fits a table seating 4–6 people, or table sizes between 42 and 55 inches.
  • 90″ diameter: Suitable for tables seating 8–10 people, or table sizes between 55 and 70 inches.

Square Tables

  • 52″ x 52″ inches: Ideal for small square tables between 28 and 40 inches, seating 4 people.
  • 70″ x 70″ inches: A larger size that generally fits tables between 46 and 58 inches, seating up to 8 people.

Rectangular/Oval Tables

  • 52″ x 70″: Designed for smaller table sizes that usually accommodate 4–6 people.
  • 60″ x 84″: Fits standard 6-foot tables, seating 6–8 people.
  • 60″ x 104″: Suitable for 8-foot tables, accommodating 8–10 people.
  • 60″ x 120″: Ideal for longer tables seating 10–12 people.

**Please note that depending on your desired drop (whether it’s the formal 10–15 inches, casual 6–8 inches, or any other preference), you’ll need to factor that in when choosing a tablecloth. If you find yourself in between standard tablecloth sizes, always opt for the larger size. It’s better to have an extra inch or two than wish you had more coverage.

Table Runners

Table runners usually run the length of the table and overhang on both ends. If you’re shopping for a table runner, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Length: Allow for a 6–10″ overhang on both ends of the table.
  • Width: Select a table runner with a width that’s about one third of the table. Ensure it provides enough space for your centerpieces and other table décor without overshadowing the table itself.
  • Material: Choose a material that suits the occasion and the frequency of use. For instance, cotton or linen runners are versatile and ideal for daily use, while silk or velvet might be reserved for more formal events. If your table sees a lot of spills, consider a runner with a water-resistant finish.
  • Texture: A table runner with texture—like one made of burlap or featuring embroidery—can add depth and interest to your table setting.
  • Seasonal choices: Consider having different table runners for different seasons or holidays. A festive runner can instantly make your table setting appropriate for occasions like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter.


Hungry for more? From holiday tablescapes to everyday dining, our Linens Collection offers something for every occasion and aesthetic.

Shop Our Linens Collection

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
apple recipes for fall

15 Fall Apple Recipes That Are Apple-solutely Delicious

16 recipes for fall

Each Of These 16 Fall Recipes Are The Epitome Of Cozy Comfort

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Planning Guide & Timeline

How to set your Thanksgiving table

How to Set Your Thanksgiving Table