Should You Use Paper Napkins or Linen Napkins at a Dinner Party?

Fine dining requires proper etiquette., which includes the proper use of napkins.

In the past linen napkins were used in most dinner parties. But after 1950s paper napkins became popular as they were disposable and people didn’t need to go through the hassle of cleaning it. It was very convenient to use. But nowadays the use of linen napkins have increased again as people have become more environmentally conscious. Here are the factors you should consider when choosing paper napkins or linen napkins at a dinner party.

Cloth napkins are more traditional and more appropriate for fine dining.


After using paper napkins we usually throw it out. It ends up in landfills causing land pollution. But linen napkin is reusable. You can wash it, dry it and use it again. But washing and drying consumes energy and gives off greenhouse gases. You can use cold water to wash the napkins in order to reduce the environmental impact.


Paper napkins are convenient as you don’t need to go through the hassle of washing it. You can use it and throw it in the bin. Then take another one if needed.


Buying cloth napkin is expensive than paper napkins. But cloth napkins are reusable. Also, in general people use 3 paper napkins in one sitting; whereas, they use one linen napkin when having dinner. So, in the long run, you actually save money by buying linen napkins.

Looks better at dinner table

The linen napkin looks better at the dinner table. The guests will get a good feeling seeing beautiful linen napkins at the table. It symbolizes class and luxury as opposed to the paper napkins.


Though many paper napkin manufacturers are coming up with colorful and decorative napkins, the varieties of linen napkins are more. You can choose from a wide selection of linen napkins for your dinner party.

Paper napkins are more sanitary, and easy to use.

The type of napkin you choose entirely depends on your preference. Both types of napkins have their pros and cons. Linen napkins are good for formal dinner parties. But paper napkins are convenient and are widely used in restaurants today. If you use linen napkin, you should make sure that you wash it in a way that it consumes less energy and gives off less greenhouse gases. When using paper napkins you should be careful not to throw the napkins here and there. Some companies have come up with recyclable paper napkins. So, using these napkins can lower the negative impact on the environment.

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