After you have invested in a beautiful ceramic, stone, metal, or clay sink, you need to protect it. The best sink protector helps you prevent your delicate sink surfaces from scratches and stains.
With a sink protector, you can also reduce the chances of breaking your glasses and plates if you drop them in the bowl.
The Best Sink Protector Reviews
The best sink mat fits securely on the bottom of your sink basin. It is made of a material that will not corrode or degrade after exposure to water and dish soap. Here is our list of top choices for the best sink protectors on the market.
1. Serene Valley Sink Protector
- Plenty of air circulation
- Rubber feet protect your sink basin
- Laser-welded grid hold significant weight
- Smooth welds to prevent mold and bacteria mildew
- Fits precise sink shape
- Only comes with a center drain
- Higher price than other options
This stainless-steel grid has a durable outer wire with a ¼-inch diameter. The inner wire of the grid is ⅛-inch. The grid measures 29-5/8″ x 14-7/8″ with a two-inch corner radius. With rubber-coated feet, the grid sits about one inch above the base of the sink. The manufacturer uses precise laser welding to ensure a tight fit in a sink with a center drain.
This sink protector is strong and can manage the weight of several pots and pans as well as heavy crockery. Pieces of food do not get stuck under the rubber feet, so the bottom of the basin stays clean. The large grid helps dishes, flatware, and glasses dry quickly. The clearance on the floor and around the sides prevents scratches and damage to the basin.
What We Liked
The rounded edges fit many sinks, and the tight grid kept flatware and small items from slipping between the wires. This is an essential feature as flatware is likely to scratch sinks of all types.
The Serene Valley Sink Protector is one of the best stainless steel sink protectors on the market, especially with the protective non-scratch feet.
We also liked how quickly dishes and other items rapidly dried on the rack, and how snug the protector fit within the space of the sink. The tight fit kept flatware and other things from falling into the space between the protector and the sink. The wire grid’s sturdy design prevented items from falling toward the drain, which is a problem with less-sturdy grids.
2. Rubbermaid Sink Mat
- Flexible mat
- The grid design allows for airflow
- Affordable price
- Center drain option
- Can sag under the weight of dishes
- Dishes could scratch sink bottom
The Rubbermaid Sink Mat is a lightweight rubber model that measures 12.48 x 11.48 x 0.39 inches. The mat has small feet that rest on the basin bottom. Rubbermaid treated the mat with MicroBan to keep bacteria from building up on the top and bottom. MicroBan also prevents odors.
Despite having feet, this flexible mat is ideal for curved basins with a center drain. The large grid design on the mat let crockery and flatware dry quickly. The mat is clear, so it fits in with all sink colors. If the mat gets dirty, you can wash it in the dishwasher. Unfortunately, the rubber material does not support the weight of many dishes, so it is possible to scratch the basin bottom.
What We Liked
The Rubbermaid Sink Mat was a wise choice for curved sink basins. But, the curved mat did provide some problems, especially with items placed near the drain. However, we liked how well the mat protected the bottom of the sink due to the placement of the feet. We also appreciate how easy it was to clean the mat.
The MicroBan coating kept the mat from having problems with mold and bacteria. The coating did not come off in the wash. The wavy pattern of the mat kept flatware from sliding through and scratching the bottom of the sink. It is easy to determine this as one of the best sink protector options on this list.
3. OXO Good Grips Silicone Sink Mat
- Customizable drain opening
- The grid design allows airflow
- Heat-safe silicone
- Flexible silicone pitches toward drain, making glasses tip
The OXO Good Grips Mat is another high-quality silicone mat that measures 16.2 x 12.7 x 0.2 inches. It does not have a pre-cut drain hole. Instead, you can remove some of the grid pieces to create a drain hole that fits your sink design. The silicon is heat-safe so that you can place hot pots and pans on it. If the silicon gets grimy, you can wash the mat in the dishwasher.
The silicone mat has small feet throughout, so it consistently sits above the bottom of the sink—the PVC-free silicone cushions crockery, glasses, and flatware to protect the sink and the kitchenware. The small feet encourage airflow, helping to dry dishes and keep the sink clean, too. The small size fits in double sinks.
What We Liked
The OXO Good Grips Silicone Mat is one of the best sink protectors we found. The mat sits a bit above the sink to keep items from scratching it, but we did not like how the mat pitched toward the drain, especially with sinks with a slope. The heat-safe silicone was one of our favorite features because we could immediately clean the kitchen after cooking.
Another benefit of the OXO mat was flexible drain opening options. All we had to do was remove a few of the pieces to create an opening. The large grid pieces were strong, but not strong enough to support a sink-full of dishes. The OXO mat is a good buy but is best for a sink that is less likely to scratch.
4. Dayton Stainless Steel Sink Protector
- Strong stainless-steel grid
- Sturdy rubberized feet
- Customized for Elkay sinks
- Occasional quality-control issues
- Only fits specific sinks
- Weak at the drain opening
The Dayton Stainless Steel Sink Protector measures 26.1 x 13.9 x 1 inches, and fits sinks an Elkay sink with a faucet-side drain. The stainless steel sink protector is corrosion-resistant and dishwasher-safe. The rubberized feet are strategically placed to prevent the wire grid from sagging and scratching the basin.
The large grid allows for airflow to quickly dry dishes and flatware. The stainless-steel grid is strong, so the wire grid holds the weight of heavy pots and pans. The grid is tight enough, so flatware does not slip through to scratch the basin bottom.
What We Liked
The Dayton Stainless Steel Sink Protector is one of the best sink protectors, despite being designed for Elkay sinks. The large wire grid was strong and supported the weight of several dishes, which quickly dried because of the space between the wires. The sturdy rubber feet protected the sink and added to the strength.
The grid also fits into the bottom rack of the dishwasher and is easily cleaned. The stainless-steel finish dried quickly. We also liked that the frame sits on the countertop to dry dishes when we had too many to put in the sink.
Best Sink Protector Buyer’s Guide
Sink protectors ideally protect both the sink and the items you put in it. Accidents happen, so glassware and crockery can break if dropped in a basin. Those items, along with flatware, can scratch sinks, which is why a sink protector is an essential purchase. Let’s look at some things to consider when buying a sink protector.
The best sink mats are made of a material that is easy to clean. Silicone, rubber, and PVC usually have several holes, so water quickly moves through the mats. However, some manufacturers use defective materials that do not stand up to the rigors of being in the bottom of a sink.
The alternative to silicon, rubber, and PVC is metal. Stainless steel and aluminum are the usual materials, but they need to be coated. The best sink mat should not rust or corrode, even after regular exposure to water and dish soap.
When choosing a stainless-steel sink protector, consider buying one with the same gauge of stainless steel as your sink. Doing so will make your sink protector look like it came with the sink. Be sure the wire grid intersections have a quality weld, so food, bacteria, and mold will not get trapped in them. Smooth welds will stay clean.
Manufacturers make sink protectors in two designs: grids and mats. The grid design is aluminum or stainless steel and resembles a cooling rack. Grids are versatile, and they help dishes dry quickly because of the spaces between the wire grid. You can place the metal grid on a counter or in the sink.
Mats work well in the bottom of sinks. They protect the basin from scratches and other types of damage. They are less versatile than grids, as they only work in the basin, not on the counter. They have less airflow than grids, so dishes take longer to dry when resting on them.
Sink protectors have to rest on the bottom of the basin, and they do it in two different ways. The first is with rubber feet, which will not scratch the surface of the sink. Some sink protectors do not have any feet and just rest in full on the sink’s bottom. Mats usually do not have feet, while grids do.
Plastic feet and metal feet can scratch the bottom of the sink. Check the feet before you make a purchase, especially when buying a stainless steel sink protector. The best feet are coated in a protective rubber, so they do not leave scratches.
Measuring for the Proper Size
Sinks do not come in a standard size, so it is important to measure correctly. The perfect sink protector fits very little space around it so that it stays in place without scratching the sides of the sink.
Use a tape measure and start at the bottom, where the sink begins to curve toward the drain. Measure from one corner to the next side, continuing around the sink to get the width and depth. Consider that you might not be able to measure tightly to the edge of the sink, especially if the sink has curved corners.
When you are measuring, do not forget to measure the distance of the drain from the basin’s sides. If the drain is centered, choosing a sink protector is easy. But, drains that are not centered offer more of a challenge. Some people create a cardboard or paper template of their sink bottom to get a precise measurement.
Things to Consider
Why buy a sink mat, and what else should you know about them?
The easiest way to prevent scratches from cutlery, crockery, and glassware is to use a sink protector. But, if the sink protector does not fit well, it can also scratch the sink. Many manufacturers make customized sink protectors, but they can be rather expensive. Fortunately, other manufacturers make some of the best sink protectors on the market today.
Problems with Sink Mats
While the best sink protector can help prevent scratches and damages, some issues arise. Most sink protectors, especially wire grids, have feet scattered throughout them. If the sink protector does not fit snuggly, it can move inside of the sink. Eventually, the rubber coating on the feet can wear down and scratch the sink.
Another common problem with sink mats is food getting stuck under the small feet. Sometimes the food can stain the sink or cause tiny scratches. Wire grid sink protectors can also have spaces between the wires that are so large that flatware slides between them.
One other problem to consider is staining. Rubber mats can stain sink bottoms, so if you buy one, you should buy a colorless sink mat. If you do use a rubber or silicone mat, keep a close eye on it so you can immediately see if it begins to discolor.
Questions to Consider
The best sink protector is out there, and we have compiled a list of the best options we could find. Stainless-steel sink protectors usually cost more than those made of rubber or silicone. Since new sinks and the labor to install them can be more costly, adding a sink protector is a sure-fire way to make your sink lasts a long time.
Ask yourself a few helpful questions before deciding what sink protector is the best choice for your kitchen:
- Do I need a stainless steel sink protector, or will a silicone or rubber one do?
- What are the benefits of a stainless-steel sink protector?
- What are the benefits of a silicone or rubber sink mat?
- Does my sink manufacturer recommend a sink protector?
- How much do I want to spend on the sink protector?
Making Your Choice
The sink protector you choose should fit snugly within the confines of your sink. It should be easy to clean, and it should not create problems with food getting under the feet and in the grid’s junctures. The best sink protector is strong enough to hold your dishes and cookware because of the smooth welds at the grid intersections.
Check out any of the products listed above for a great quality sink protector that takes all of these features into account.