Standard Coaster Sizes and Guidelines (with Drawing)

Coasters are a widely used item found in bars, restaurants, and homes. They can be made from paper, cork, wood, plastic, or even ceramic tile. Their primary purpose is to prevent ring marks from forming on the surface of tables, but they also serve to absorb the condensation of cold drinks to avoid a puddle appearing on a table.

They can also be used as promotional items to advertise businesses or as a decorative item to add color or interest to a space.

The standard coaster size, either in a circular or square shape, comes at 3.5 inches across or 4 inches across. Paper coaster usually has 3 standard sizes of thickness, including 1mm, 1.4mm, and 2mm.

Coaster Sizes

Standard coaster sizes

The most common size for a coaster is 3.5 inches across or 4 inches across. You can also find coasters that fit somewhere in between these two measurements, but it is rare to find coasters outside of these sizes.

Since most drinks, glasses have a base diameter of around 3 inches, it is unnecessary for coasters to be any bigger than 4 inches across since they will needlessly take up extra space. The thickness of a coaster is less uniform and will largely depend on the material of your coaster.

Paper coasters that you will typically find in bars and restaurants tend to come in three standard sizes of thickness. These are 1mm, 1.4mm, and 2mm. The 1mm paper coasters are the cheapest to buy since they use less material, and this can be a good money-saving exercise for businesses; however, the fact that they are thinner means that they are not likely to last as long as the more heavyweight coasters.

While you could save money on the number of coasters you can buy with a 1mm thickness, you may find you go through them more quickly because they don’t absorb as much liquid as the thicker coasters.

The medium weight paper coasters are 1.4mm thick, which many restaurant businesses will opt for as a compromise between the lightweight and heavyweight coasters. The thickest paper coaster that most manufacturers produce is 2mm thick, and this will generally last for longer than the thinner coasters because it is able to absorb more liquid and therefore won’t need to be disposed of as soon as the lightweight paper coasters.

For other types of coasters, such as those made from particleboard or cork, a 3mm to 6mm thickness is more common. This creates more of a barrier between the drink and the surface of a table, so any moisture is very unlikely to get through. It also means the coasters are much stronger than their paper equivalents since they are supposed to be used repeatedly and are not disposable.

Cork or particleboard coasters can be found in bars and restaurants, but they are more common in homes. Other types of coasters, such as those made from wood or ceramic tile, will typically be 5mm or 6mm thick. Coasters any thicker than this are rare.

Coaster Shapes

Traditionally coasters made from any type of material will be either circular or square. Circular coasters will have more of their surface area covered by glasses or mugs since these have circular bases; however, square coasters might be preferential if you have an interior that has more straight lines and edges.

The shape of the coaster does not affect the size, and both shapes come in standard sizes varying from 3.5 to 4 inches across. A 3.5-inch square coaster will have four sides which all measure 3.5 inches in length, whereas a circular coaster of the same size will have a diameter of 3.5 inches.

The diameter is the measurement taken from one edge to another, crossing through the center point of the circle.

Coaster Types

Disposable coasters

Disposable coasters

Disposable coasters are the paper kind which you will commonly see in bars and restaurants. These can be used a handful of times, depending on how thick the coaster is, but they are destined for the garbage can after several uses.

The key benefits of disposable coasters are that they are inexpensive, and since they are made of paper, they can be recycled. Disposable coasters can be bought for home use, and they are particularly useful if you are having a large party and don’t want to risk your tables being damaged.

There are many websites which allow you to create custom paper coasters which can be really fun for an event like a birthday party or anniversary because you could print a photo of the person you are celebrating on the coasters.

Wipe-clean coasters

Wipe clean coasters

Wipe clean coasters are those which are intended to be reused over and over again, and they can last for many years. A wipe-clean coaster could be made from wood with a glossy finish to prevent moisture from soaking into it, or it might be made from ceramic tile with a glazed surface so that it is easy to keep clean.

Cork coasters are also widely produced with a laminated surface so that they can be continually reused and wiped clean. Wipe clean coasters are good for the environment because they are a reusable item that prevents the need for further coasters to be made. They are stronger and more robust than disposable coasters, and they look more classy and elegant than paper coasters.

Wipe clean coasters are more expensive to buy than disposable coasters; however, the fact that they can last for many years means that they are a good investment and could, in fact, end up costing less in the long run compared to buying bulk amounts of paper coasters.

The fact that these coasters have a glossy surface and can be wiped clean makes them less likely to harbor bacteria and germs. You can use an antibacterial spray and kitchen towel on these items to regularly wipe them down, removing any sticky drinks, spills, and potentially dangerous bacteria.

Since paper coasters are absorbent, they are more likely to harbor bacteria, and therefore to prevent the spread of germs or disease, some manufacturers recommend that they are best for single-use purposes.