Are reusable napkins better than paper napkins? Fifty years or so ago, we would not be having this conversation. Cloth napkins were the best choice for restaurant dining, bar none. It took decades after the paper napkin was first introduced to the public before it became legitimate enough to be considered on a restaurant table and open this topic for discussion.

As it has been in the past, the answer remains the same: reusable napkins still beat out disposable napkins on the restaurant table. Here’s why:


Don’t buy into the myth that paper napkins are cleaner than cloth napkins. Reusable cloth napkins are just as clean, if not cleaner than their disposable paper counterparts. The only argument for paper napkins in this context is the false sense of superiority from the fact that it is used only once before ending up in the garbage bin. That is not to say that reusable napkins are not single-use. In fact, they are! Napkins are used by one customer at a time. When laundered properly and handled under sanitary, food-safe conditions, table napkins are clean and safe.

Even the CDC agrees – cloth napkins are safe to use for as long as there is strict adherence to laundry, single-use, and other guidelines for restaurants.


One of the biggest advantages that reusable napkins have over paper napkins is sustainability. Not only do they have longer lifespans (and more usage per item) than paper, but they are also more effective to use. This is not hard science, but it is safe to assume that every cloth napkin has the cleaning capacity of at least five paper napkins depending on ply and paper size. That does not even take into consideration how saucy and messy the food involved is.

With proper maintenance plus eco-friendly laundry servicing, you can maximize the usage of your cloth napkins while keeping your carbon footprint significantly lower. Would you really pick paper napkins that exacerbate our already dire landfill situation over cloth napkins?

Dining Experience

When it comes to dining experience and customer perception, there is no contest between cloth napkins and their paper counterparts. Picnics and fast food are the only acceptable situations for dining with paper situations. Otherwise, cloth napkins are the more appealing, more proper (on top of more sustainable and cleaner) option for your diners. If you’re looking for a more elevated appeal, cloth napkins are the premier choice.

The Question of Cost

Are paper napkins cheaper than cloth napkins? Of course, especially if you go by the piece. But are they cost efficient? Outright purchase of cloth napkins for a restaurant at full capacity can take quite the strain on anyone’s budget. That, however, is not a reason to switch to paper.

The only way to go about your restaurant’s napkin needs is with a reliable restaurant linen service provider. The right one opens the door for you to enjoy every benefit that comes with using reusable napkins without the huge upfront costs and maintenance woes.

The convenience and the assurance of quality and supply stability are well-worth jumping into this whole new venture.

Get Top-Notch Table Linens from Metro Linen!

Let’s talk about napkins! Contact us today to learn more about our napkin service and how we can help your business. Call us at (972) 569-8353 to speak with our reps for a consultation, learn more about our products and services, or get pricing information!