Bamboo placemats are a great way to decorate your table for an Asian-style dinner party. Bamboo grows quickly and in abundance so why are bamboo placemats so expensive in stores? There really is no reason and you can save a ton of money by buying cheap bamboo placemats online. You can also be content in the knowledge that by buying a more sustainable product than plastic or cotton you are helping the environment too.

Using bamboo placemats you can add extra authenticity to your dining for only a few dollars, top it off with some chopsticks and tatami mats and you will be able to have an asian dinner party your friends and family will love!

In this article I will look at why cheap bamboo placemats are great and how you can go about buying them online.

Why Use Bamboo Placemats?

Bamboo TrunkCredit: Wikipedia Commons

They are cheap! As long as you are not buying them in stores you can easily pick up a set of four for around $15. Bamboo is natural and plentiful, there is no reason to pay $25+ on a set.

Bamboo is environmentally beneficial! Bamboo is not just environmentally friendly it is actually beneficial. Bamboo plats grow rapidly, up to four feet per day even without the use of fertilisers, pesticides and with only limited use of water. Additionally, a bamboo forest releases 30% more oxygen then the same size stand of trees.

Easy to clean. You never have to put bamboo placemats through the washing machine. A quick wipe over with a damp, slightly soapy cloth is enough to clean them. This makes them great for kids.

Easy to store. Most bamboo placemats simply roll up making them very easy to store while taking up little space. In Japan and other Asian countries space is at a premium so easy storage is a must.

Cheap Bamboo Placemats Online

Bamboo placemats come in a few different styles, common styles include: thin bamboo slices bound with cloth, bamboo slat style mats and bamboo tile mats. Some mats will have decorative cloth borders. It is possible to get many different styles of cheap bamboo placemats through Amazon and the external trusted sellers it lists such as Kohl's. When you combine postage with other items like a table runner, choptsticks or some great serving bowls it becomes even cheaper!

Bali Bamboo Placemat by Sonoma Life + StyleCredit: amazon.comBali Bamboo Placemat by Sonoma Life + Style

This fan-shaped natural bali-style bamboo placemat by Sonoma is perfect for more casual Asian meals. The fan shape has a laid back appeal and the extra space at the top of the placemat is great for a beer or extra soy sauce. It is made from thin bamboo slices which make it easy to roll up and put away after eating.

This placemat is sold individually through Amazon third-party retailer, Kohl's, for $1.99 each. With combined shipping a set of four can be bought for less than $14.

Caribbean Bamboo Placemat by Sonoma Life + StyleCredit:

Caribbean Bamboo Placemat by Sonoma Life + Style

This Caribbean-style bamboo placemat from Sonoma looks beautifully rugged like something you would expect to see in an island beach house. The small bamboo slats make it sturdy, easy to clean and easy to store.

As with the other Sonoma offering, this placemat is available through Kohl's at $1.99 each.

Natural Bamboo Tile Placemat by KHF Inc.

Natural Bamboo Tile Placemat by KHF Inc.Credit: amazon.comThis Bamboo placemat by KHF is made from naturally coloured bamboo tiles - it's practical and easy to clean while still looking great. Bamboo tiles like this are typically made from older and larger bamboo plants making them a little bit more expensive than placemats made with thinner bamboo pieces. The result looks awesome though, and they really stand out over the more common bamboo placemats.

KHF's bamboo placemats are available for $3.99 each on Amazon.

Set of 4 Chocolate Brown Slat Bamboo Placemats by American Chateau

Set of 4 Chocolate Brown Slat Bamboo Placemats by American ChateauCredit: amazon.comThese dark brown dyed bamboo placemats are made from wide slats making them even easier to clean than other bamboo placemats. They are held together by a fabric backing and frame. The chocolate brown bamboo would look great against a light-coloured table, especially if it were combined with a matching table runner.

A set of four American Chateau dark-chocolate bamboo placemats is available for $14.99 on Amazon. Combine your purchase with the matching table runner and you can get it for under $30.

Bamboo Table Runners

Bamboo Tabel RunnersCredit:

In many Asian countries food is traditionally placed in bowls in the middle of the table. For a more authentic experience consider investing in a bamboo table runner as well. A bamboo table runner will protect your table from hot dishes and make cleaning up any spilled food easy. A dark-coloured bamboo table runner will compliment a light coloured table nicely while a natural bamboo-coloured table runner will go nicely with a dark table. A combination of bamboo placemats and table runners will make a western-style tablecloth unnecessary.

Pictured right: The Benson and Mills Bali Bamboo table runner available on Amazon for $19.99.

Tips for Hosting an Asian Dinner Party

  • Asian meal decor is traditionally very simple - especially if it is an Japanese or Korean style dinner. Keep decor clean and simple: a nice table runner and placemats, simple but nice chopsticks, white decorated bowls and plates and simple folded napkins are all ideal.
  • Encourage guests to bring one plate/bowel of their favourite asian food. It's great to share what each person loves and it can make for a conversation starter.
  • Place all of the meals in the centre of the table and encourage everyone to reach for whatever they like. Sharing is a great way to improve your friendships.
  • For a more authentic experience sit on cushions or tatami at a low table. Sitting on the ground instead of at a high table can be a lot of fun and it makes everyone more relaxed.


Asian cuisine is my favourite way to eat and I love the feel and look of bamboo placemats. Also I swear that chopsticks make food taste better! If you want to have an authentic Asian meal at home then bamboo tablewares are the perfect place to start!