A kitchen sink can take a beating. Depending on the material, kitchen sinks can experience scratching, chipping, dents, and other damage just from regular use.
To keep your kitchen sink looking its best, make sure that you have a sink protector among your kitchen sink accessories.
There are a ton of different sink protectors out there, though, and not all are equally good. And even among the good ones, your specific sink and needs mean that some will be better for your needs than others.
In this guide, we’ll help you find the right sink protector for your needs. We’ll start by talking about why you might want a sink protector, talk about the different types out there, and then go into how to choose the best sink protector for you.
Then we’ll finish up by reviewing our top five favorite sink protectors currently on the market.
Sink protectors line the bottom of the sink to protect it from damage from dishes and debris. They also help protect dishes from breaking if they’re dropped into the sink.
They can be made from a variety of materials. Some of the most common include stainless steel, PVC, and silicone.
The materials that sink protectors are made from enhance durability and make them easy to clean. Typically, they just need a wipe down and some are even dishwasher safe.
They’re generally also heat resistant so they won’t be damaged by pots or pans taken straight from the stove or oven.
Because they have holes built in for water to drain, they can often double as a dish drying rack or drying mat within the sink if properly cleaned. They generally have feet underneath them to allow air and water to flow underneath.
You probably don’t want to use it as a dish drainer on your countertop, though, or you’ll just end up with a puddle of water underneath.
Many will also have a larger hole to give access to the drain or garbage disposal. Some don’t have a drain hole, but allow you to easily DIY a hole by cutting one out to match the location of your drain.
They’ll have guides for where to cut holes for different drain hole locations integrated into the design of the mat.
Sink protectors come in a wide variety of different sizes for all kinds of sinks. Some also come in pairs, giving you one for each side of a double bowl sink.
What Are The Different Types Of Sink Protectors?
Sink protectors primarily come in two different types.
They can be rigid sink bottom grids, which are typically made of stainless steel or plastic, or flexible kitchen sink protector mats, which are generally made from PVC or silicone.
Sink protectors of the rigid type are more likely to have feet that lift them up from the bottom of the sink, allowing air and water to flow underneath. This allows them to be used as drying racks as well.
The soft sink protectors may have legs, but they more frequently lay directly on the bottom of the sink, so they can’t be used as a dish drying rack. They’re often cheaper than the rigid kind, though.
They can also be more easily custom cut for your sink size and drain placement. In addition, they’re typically more effective at protecting your dishes from damage.
There are also a third type, sink saddles, which are placed over the divider between the sink bowls of a double sink to protect it — and your dishes — from damage. These are almost always flexible, allowing them to bend to cover the top and both sides of the divider.
They don’t protect the bottom of the sink, but they can easily be combined with another type of sink protector for that.
What Do You Look For In The Best Sink Protector?
When choosing a sink protector, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Size is one of the most important considerations for a sink protector. You want the sink protector to measure at least ¾ of an inch less on all sides than your sink bowl’s dimensions.
This will ensure that your sink protector will actually fit inside your sink basin. Even smaller is fine, but that’s less of the bottom of your sink that’s protected.
Many sink protectors are available in multiple sizes, so you can choose the right one for your sink’s size. Flexible sink protectors are also often designed to allow you to cut them down to the right size for your sink.
You’ve spent money to have a good looking sink, so you probably don’t want a sink protector that ruins the effect. Stainless steel is easy to match with a stainless steel grid, but other sink materials may be trickier to coordinate with.
Stainless steel can look good with most sink materials, but it’s purely subjective.
Remember, though, you can always put your sink protector somewhere out of sight when you’re not using it, but you’ll have to make sure you remember to put it back when you’re ready to use the sink again. The flexible style of sink protector is particularly easy to store, since it can be rolled up for storage in a wider variety of places.
Ease Of Cleaning
Most sink protectors are pretty straightforward to clean, but some are easier than others. For the most part, you can just wipe them down with a soapy rag and then rinse them clean, but more, smaller holes are trickier to get in between. The easiest to clean ones can just be tossed in the dishwasher.
Best Sink Protectors Reviewed
Now let’s talk about our top sink protectors!
1. OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat
Our overall top pick is the OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat. It’s a high-quality, heavy-duty sink protector that combines the best of both the hard and soft types of sink protectors.
It’s made of a soft, flexible silicone material, but still has feet to help keep the sink protector elevated for air and water flow underneath.
It’s available in small and large sizes. The small measures 11.3” by 12.8”, while the large measures 13” by 16.25”.
Three guides in different locations that you can cut to match your sink’s drain placement
If you’re on a tight budget, the Bligli PVC Pebble Sink Mat is a great option. It has a pebble design, meaning it’s composed of many irregular shapes attached to one another at the sides.
This design is great for cutting down to fit sinks of different sizes and customizing drain hole placement. This makes it an excellent option or large to small sinks, as well as sinks with unusual shapes or sizes.
It comes in black and gray color options. Both colors are available in pairs, but the gray is also available in a single pack.
Made from non-toxic, latex and phthalate free PVC
Measures 15.8” by 11.8”
Pebble design is great for customizing the size, shape, and drain placement
Our favorite high-end sink protector is the Elkay Dayton Stainless Steel Bottom Grid.
This kitchen sink grid was specifically designed for the Elkay Dayton stainless steel farmhouse sink, but can also be used in other large kitchen sinks with a center drain hole. It measures 25 7/16” by 13 ⅜”.
It’s made, as you probably can guess, from stainless steel, which makes it corrosion resistant. It also features a polished finish, which helps it match the Elkay Dayton sink, but also looks good with a variety of other sink materials.
The soft feet ensure that the bottom grid doesn’t scratch your sink.
Our last pick is from iDesign, AKA InterDesign. Unlike the other sink protectors we’ve talked about so far, this one is a sink saddle, so it straddles the divider between basins in a double sink.
The iDesign Lineo Sink Saddle is made of silicone, making it durable enough to last for years of heavy use, yet soft enough to cushion dishes that hit it. It also has grips to hold it in place so it doesn’t slide around.
It measures 8.25″ (front to back) by 1.75″ (across the divider) by 4.5″ (top to bottom), but the sink saddle design allows it to work with most sink sizes.
All of the sink protectors that we’ve reviewed here are high quality options, but there are other great one also on the market. Like Elkay, many other sink manufacturers, including Blanco, Kohler, and Kraus, make sink bottom grid protectors for their sinks, so you may also want to see what your sink’s manufacturer has to offer.
Now that about wraps things up on the best sink protectors. By now, you should have no problem selecting one for your kitchen.