The 7 Best Cutting Mats for Crafting, Quilting, and Sewing Projects

By Corrie Pelc


A cutting mat is an important tool in any crafter’s kit. Whether you’re scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, or making any other crafts, a cutting mat’s job is to protect your work surface when you’re using sharp tools. Many cutting mats also double as rulers, with marked lines or grids for you to use as you’re making measured cuts.


Thankfully in today’s market, there is a plethora of cutting mats to choose from. How can you tell which is worth your money? That’s where we come in. Read on!

Top Picks

How to Buy a Cutting Mat

When purchasing a cutting mat, here are a few considerations to take into account to determine which one is best for you:


Self-Healing vs. Hard — Cutting mats come in two different types. Self-healing cutting mats are made from soft plastic materials such as PVC, vinyl, or rubber. If the cutting mat is nicked by a knife, the soft plastic layers move back together once the knife is gone, making it look like it's "healed" itself with no obvious cut left behind. Hard cutting mats are made from tempered glass or another hard material that blades cannot penetrate. However, because hard cutting mats have such a rigid surface, they can dull cutting implements over time.


Thickness — You can find cutting mats in almost every thickness imaginable. In general, we suggest looking for a mat that is 1.5 millimeters or thicker. Anything less than 1.5 millimeters thick may not provide enough protection to the table or surface beneath it. Sometimes the thickness of self-healing cutting mats is measured in plys, which tells you how many layers of compressed plastic build the mat. We suggest always aiming for a cutting mat that is at least three-ply.


Extra Features — Are there any extra features you want in a cutting mat? For instance, some are double-sided so you get two mats for the price of one. Some have grids or ruler markings to use as guides. And others have a nonskid surface to ensure the mat doesn't move during use. Depending on your favorite craft, think about what extra features are important to you.

Test Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Cutting Mat

Let’s take a look at the test factors we used in determining our list of the best cutting mats:

  • Type: Is this a self-healing (soft) or hard cutting mat?
  • Material: What type of material is this cutting mat made from?
  • Sizes: What sizes does this cutting mat come in?
  • Thickness: How thick is this cutting mat?
  • Grids/Rulers: Does this cutting mat have any grids or rulers on it?
  • Extra Features: Does this cutting mat come with any extra features, like is it double-sided or does it have a nonskid surface?


Here’s a look at our list of the best cutting mats available on the market today.

Best Self-Healing Cutting Mat: Dahle Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: PVC Sizes: 9x12 inches, 12x18 inches; 18x24 inches; 24x36 inches; 35.5x47.875 inches; 36x48 inches Thickness: 1/8 inches; five-layer design Grids/Rulers: Inches, metrics, and angled trimming guides Extra Features: Double-sided

With almost 4,700 ratings and 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the Dahle Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Matt is the best self-healing cutting mat available on the market today. This cutting mat is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and features a 1/8-inch, five-layer design for excellent protection of the table or other surface you are working on. Choose from six sizes and three colors: black, blue, and clear. Each mat features a screened-on guide with inches, metric, and angled trimming guides. And if you prefer a plain mat with no cutting guides, the Dahle Vantage Self-Healing Cutting Mat is double-sided — just flip it over and use the backside with no guides on it.

Pros

  • Highly-rated on Amazon
  • Comes in six sizes and three colors
  • Features inch, metric, and angled trimming guides on the front

Cons

  • None that we can see!

Best Hard Cutting Mat: Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat

Type: Hard Material: Tempered glass Sizes: 23.75x14.25 inches Thickness: ~1 inch Grids/Rulers: Measuring grid area Extra Features: Non-slip feet

If you prefer a hard cutting mat, may we suggest the Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat. This mat is three crafting tools in one — it has a 12x14-inch measuring grid area, a mixing palette area, and a 7.5x11-inch removable non-stick mat with a heat-resistant surface. Made from tempered glass, this hard cutting mat is a great option if you're working with wet mediums. And non-slip feet on the base of the Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat ensure it doesn't slip while you’re working.

Pros

  • Made from tempered glass and won’t show marks
  • Also includes a measuring grid area and mixing palette
  • Non-skid feet on the bottom of the mat keeps it steady while you’re working

Cons

  • Only comes in one size

Best Budget Cutting Mat: US Art Supply Self Healing Cutting Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: PVC Sizes: 12x18 inches Thickness: 0.3 inches and five-layer design Grids/Rulers: Grid markings on both sides Extra Features: Double-sided, no-slip backing

For those who want a cutting mat but are on a budget, check out the US Art Supply Self Healing Cutting Mat. This 12x18-inch self-healing cutting mat comes in either green on both sides or pink on one side and blue on the other, depending on your color preference. Each double-sided mat is made from five-ply PVC with grid markings on both sides. The grid markings are a 1/2-inch grid with 1/8-inch marks for precise alignment, plus 45- and 60-degree guides. The US Art Supply Self Healing Cutting Mat is built to be non-slip no matter what side you're using and it is specially-designed not to dull the blades you use on it.

Pros

  • Costs under $13
  • Double-sided with grid markings on both sides
  • Five-layer PVC design for excellent thickness

Cons

  • Only available in one size

Best Portable Cutting Mat: Olfa 1119734 Folding Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: Plastic Sizes: 17x24 inches Thickness: 2.5 millimeters Grids/Rulers: Grid markings Extra Features: Hinged to fold in two

Need a cutting mat that you can easily travel with? Then look no further than the Olfa 1119734 Folding Mat. What makes this self-healing cutting mat so unique is that it's hinged to fold in half. When completely open, the mat measures 17x24 inches in size for small to medium-sized projects. The mat is 2.5 millimeters thick, allowing it to provide excellent protection to tables and other work surfaces from cutting blades. The front of the Olfa 1119734 Folding Mat provides lots of grid markings while you work, with both horizontal and vertical grid lines in 1-inch increments.

Pros

  • Hinged to fold in half for easy transport
  • Both horizontal and vertical grid lines on the front
  • When completely open, mat measures 17x24 inches

Cons

  • Slightly thinner than some other mats on our list

Best Cutting Mat for Quilting: OLFA Double-Sided Self-Healing Rotary Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: Plastic Sizes: 24x36 inches Thickness: 1.5 millimeters and three-ply design Grids/Rulers: Grid markings Extra Features: Double-sided

A quality cutting mat is essential for quilting projects as it allows you to use rotary cutting tools to cut through several layers of fabric at one time. In our book, the best cutting mat for quilting is the OLFA Double-Sided Self-Healing Rotary Mat — designed especially for use with rotary blades. This self-healing cutting mat is 1.5 millimeters thick and features a double-sided, three-ply construction of heat-welded plastics for extra durability. The mat measures 24x36 inches, making it a great size for most projects. It has a dark green color with yellow grid lines, making them easily visible for detailed cutting work. The OLFA Double-Sided Self-Healing Rotary Mat's grid lines help with cutting accurate straight lines and angles, helping to make trickier cutting tasks a little easier. And the mat can be flipped over for projects where you don't need grid lines.

Pros

  • Designed especially for use with rotary blades used to cut fabrics
  • Three-ply construction of heat-welded plastics for extra durability
  • Dark green color makes yellow grid lines easily visible for detailed cutting work

Cons

  • Cannot be used with fixed-blade knives as they may damage the mat

Best Cutting Mat for Sewing: ALVIN GBM2436 Series Professional Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: Composite vinyl Sizes: 3.5x5.5 inches; 8.5x12 inches; 12x18 inches; 18x24 inches; 18x36 inches; 24x36 inches; 30x42 inches; 36x48 inches Thickness: 3 millimeters Grids/Rulers: Grid markings with 45 and 60 degree angles and 0.5 inch grid lines Extra Features: Double-sided

The ALVIN GBM2436 Series Professional Self-Healing Cutting Mat is our top pick for the best cutting mat for sewing. This self-healing cutting mat comes in eight different sizes, allowing you to choose the correct size for your project's needs. Regardless of which size you choose, all of the cutting mats are 3 millimeters thick for great work surface protection. The mat is also green on one side and black on the other, with full grid markings on both sides. Made of composite vinyl, this mat can be used with either rotary blades or straight utility blades for cutting fabrics without damaging the mat. The ALVIN GBM2436 Series Professional Self-Healing Cutting Mat's surface is also non-stick and liquid-proof, making it a great option for just about any craft you can think of.

Pros

  • Available in eight sizes
  • Double-sided self-healing mat is green on one side and black on the other
  • Both sides have grid markings

Cons

  • Bit expensive compared to other mats on our list

Best Cutting Mat for Knives: Arteza Rotary Cutting Mat

Type: Self-healing Material: Plastic Sizes: 18x24 and 24x36 inches Thickness: 3 millimeters and three-ply design Grids/Rulers: Grid markings Extra Features: Double-sided

If you're looking for a cutting mat that is designed to help make accurate cutting easier, then look no further than the Arteza Rotary Cutting Mat. This self-healing mat is dark gray on one side and light gray on the other, making it double-sided. Both sides have a wide array of grid lines, including metric guides with 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75-degree angles. The mat is 3 millimeters thick so it will fully protect the table you're working on. Its non-glare surface means you can read the grid lines in any type of lighting and the mat is available in two sizes — 18x24 and 24x36 inches.

Pros

  • Double-sided self-healing cutting mat with dark gray on one side and light gray on the other
  • Offers array of grid lines, including guides for five different angles
  • Non-glare surface makes reading the grid lines easy in any lighting

Cons

  • None that we can see!

Do you have a cutting mat you can’t live without? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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