What Size Tablecloth Do I Need? The Ultimate Guide for All Sizes and Shapes
Are you looking for a tablecloth but unsure what size to buy? I’ve got all sizes and shapes covered and other tablecloth topics to ponder.
There is a range of sizes that will work for any table. Tablecloths are only made in a few sizes. If you are between sizes, it’s always a good idea to size up rather than down. You don’t want the tablecloth to feel like it’s not going to stay put.
The best way to use the size guide below is to find your ideal-sized tablecloth and search ONLY for that size. It will save you a lot more time to do it this way. Otherwise, you find a tablecloth you like, only to discover that it doesn’t come in your size.
Formal Vs. Casual Tables
The first question you should ask is what type of table are you setting? Is it for a formal table or a casual event? There are different guidelines for each type of event.
First, you need to know what “drop” means. Drop is the distance from the top of the table to the bottom edge of your tablecloth. The Etiquette Scholar says that a formal tablecloth drop is 10 to 15 inches and the desired drop for a casual table is 10 inches.
These are just guidelines. I’ve set many tables without having the ideal drop but knowing this can help you find the best tablecloth size. Generally, formal tablecloths are longer, think Downtown Abbey, and shorter ones are more casual.
Tablecloths for Rectangular Tables
The standard width for a rectangle table is between 30 inches and 40 inches wide.
Here’s the simple formula for what size you need (if every size was available)
- casual – length of the table + 20 inches x width of the table + 20 inches
- formal – length of your table + 30 inches x width of your table + 30 inches
If your table is 32×60 you would ideally look for a tablecloth that is 52×80 to 62×90. As you shop you will find that these exact dimensions don’t exist.
These are the standard sizes for rectangular tablecloths: 52×70, 60×84, 60×90, 60×104, 60×120, 60×144. If your table is wider than 40 inches you can find 70×90 and 70×108, 70×126 and 70×144. The best way to shop is to include the size you want in your search. Not every tablecloth comes in all sizes.
Tablecloth size chart
|table length||tablecloth for standard table sizes||tablecloth for wide tables >40 inches|
|< 60 inches||52×70 or 60×84|
|60-72 inches||60x 84 or 60×90||70×90|
|72-84 inches||60×90 or 60×104||70×90 or 70×108|
|84-96 inches||60×104 or 60×120||70×108|
|96-108 inches||6×120 or 60×144||70×120 or 70×144|
Tablecloths for Round Tables
Round tables are easier because there are fewer choices available.
To find the best size round tablecloth you take the diameter of the table and add 20 inches for casual or 30 inches for special events.
Standard sizes include 60 inches, 70 inches, 90 inches, 108 inches, 120 inches and 132 inches.
Rules of thumb for round tables:
- Table diameter < 40 use a 60-inch tablecloth
- Table diameter between 40 and 50, use a 70-inch tablecloth
- Table diameter between 50 and 70 use a 90-inch tablecloth
- Table diameter between 70 and 88 use a 108-inch tablecloth
- Table diameter between 88 and 100 use a 120-inch tablecloth
- Table diameter > 100 inches use a 132-inch tablecloth
Tablecloths for Square Tables
Square tables are rare and square table cloths are harder to find. The standard sizes that you will find are 50×50, 52×52 and 54×54.
One hack for square tables is to use a round tablecloth. There are a lot more sizes available. The sides of the table might be visible, but the table will be covered for the place settings.
Tablecloths for Oval Tables
This is an easy one. Treat your oval table just as you would a rectangular table. Measure the width at the widest point, and the length at the longest point.
What if you have a tablecloth that is the wrong size?
There are lots of hacks that can help you to make the tablecloth you have work, even if it’s not the right tablecloth size.
If it’s too small, you can use the tablecloth as an overlay. In this case, the cloth intentionally leaves parts of the table exposed and doesn’t cover the entire table. Here’s an example of a flax linen tablecloth that only covers part of the table.
If you want the entire table to be covered you can use something that is oversized under the overlay. For example, I’ve used a drop cloth, a blanket and a curtain on my table with a smaller overlay cloth. You can layer a runner over the cloth too.
If you have a tablecloth that is too large, you can just use it that way and it will look more formal. If it is so large that it touches the floor you have two options. You can pull the fabric onto a fold on top of the table like a pleat. The pleat can be hidden with a runner or put your centerpiece directly on top of the pleat. The other option if it’s dragging the floor is to double the cloth.
When to Use A Floor-Length Tablecloth
I haven’t talked about floor-length tablecloth sizes. Most of the places where you see floor-length tablecloths are banquet tables for events. Most of these tables have ugly metal legs.
Since most dining rooms don’t have these kinds of tables it’s not necessary for the table linens to touch the floor in your home.
Andrea, what great tips! I tend to buy what I like and then layer if I have to.. or just make one out of fabric l love. You always have the best tips. Also I think I’m an upholder!
I’m loving these tips, Andrea. I seem to nee all the help I can get when it comes to tablecloth size.