Our top 5 coasters for a stylish coffee table and stain-free surfaces

Slate or agate, gold or... well, gold, it’s all go in the world of coasters — find the most stylish options for keeping your surfaces spick and span in our top 5 list

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So, you want to keep your worktops, end tables and coffee tables pristine, and you want something that’s going to look good while it’s doing it. The theory behind finding the best coasters couldn’t be simpler, so unfortunately there’s not really much advice we can give on the actual act of buying them — if you like the design, and it’ll save your beloved surfaces from stains, scratches or those dreaded (whisper it) cup rings, it’s the one.

What we can do, however, is round up our five best coasters from across the shops — and even one individual maker — while giving a little nod to the biggest trends to help you on your way to divine drinks-mat inspiration. But if changing up your style on a whim isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for something with more timeless appeal, we can help there too. 

Natural materials are huge right now, whether authentically sourced from a local quarry or a clever affordable dupe. Dedicated followers of interior fashion are sure to fall in love with delicate stained glass-like slices of agate adorned with gold, or ultra-minimal white marble in unexpected shapes for a hint of the postmodern, although just between us, we think there’s no danger investing in these little bits of natural beauty for the long term: if they make you smile, and make your coffee table look like a million bucks, we say go for it!

If you like the thought of bringing the outdoors in, but aren’t one for contemporary accents, natural slate is a real classic, and a trend-immune alternative that looks right at home in cottage snugs or on a huge wooden table at the heart of the kitchen. The only thing we’d advise keeping a lookout for is a rubber or felt backing to protect your worktops and keep drinks from going flying, as these materials, while beautiful, can be slippy!

1. Black Agate Crystal Gold Edge Coasters

For a coaster that really rocks, look no further than these geology-inspired beauties

Specifications
Best for: Making a statement
Shape: Round
Colours: White / grey / gold
Material: Encased crystal
Quantity: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Really stunning + Handmade and unique 
Reasons to avoid
- May differ wildly within packs 

Agate slices by themselves are undeniably striking, but adding lustrous gold leaf around the edge elevates them to something even greater. We’ve fallen head over heels for these opulent, ornamental agate coasters from Not on the High Street, each one hand-decorated and entirely unique. These get our number one spot for the sheer amount of wow factor they can instantly add to the coffee table, and the fact that no two are the same. So next time you want to impress your guests, don’t worry about getting the posh coffee out — just give them one of these beauties. 

2. MADE Sienna Coasters

Minimal, modern and naturally hefty, these are the best coasters for drinks that are too hot to handle

Specifications
Best for: Minimal simplicity
Shape: Pentagonal
Colours: White and grey marble
Material: Marble
Quantity: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Dense, quality natural marble + Clean modern design 
Reasons to avoid
- Heavy 

Taking the Classical appeal of marble to new, modern heights is a big thing in interiors right now, and these pentagonal marble coasters from MADE are the latest in a long line of lust-haves to come out of the trend. Beautifully made from natural marble, they’re pleasingly chunky but still clean and sleek, and naturally insulating to keep heat far away from sensitive worktops. And because of their natural origin, each one, like our number one agate slice coasters, is one of a kind. 

3. Just Slate Coasters, Set of 4

These natural slate coasters look fantastic in a rustic scheme

Specifications
Best for: Country tables
Shape: Square
Colours: Black
Material: Slate
Quantity: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Made of natural Scottish slate  + Non-slip rubberised backing 
Reasons to avoid
- Bits can break off exposed edges — be careful! 

Slate coasters are a lovely way to bring natural materials to your interior, especially when they’re offsetting a cosy country living room or kitchen. They play nicely with all kinds of wood, and despite their rugged looks, won’t leave a mark on smooth varnished surfaces. This is all thanks to a clever rubber backing, which also serves to keep them in place on sleeker tabletops. The foliated effect of the natural slate is simply stunning and — you guessed it! — unique to each piece, so for a real rustic effect, and a timeless addition to your table, give these a try. 

4. Debenhams Home Collection Cosmo coasters

Any modern girly space would readily accept these on-trend coasters

Specifications
Best for: Contemporary vibes
Shape: Circle
Colours: Pink / gold / white and grey marble
Quantity: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Very trendy + Protective felt underneath 
Reasons to avoid
- Not particularly timeless 

If you’re looking for a coaster that ticks all the trend boxes, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than this. With delicate blush pink adorning one half, marble effect on the other, and an elegant hint of gold, there’s nothing about Debenhams’ Cosmo coasters that isn’t very much of the moment in terms of style. They’re slim, sleek, and have a thoughtful layer of felt underneath to keep them from scratching delicate surfaces, so you can use them anywhere for an instant injection of cool. 

5. Just Slate Hammered Metal Coasters, Set of 4

Hammered metal is huge right now, so get in on the trend with these fab gold coasters

Specifications
Best for: A bit of glamour
Shape: Round
Colours: Gold
Material: Mid steel
Quantity: 4
Reasons to buy
+ Give a hint of glamour  + Rubber backing to stop spills 
Reasons to avoid
- Not a smooth surface 

If your initial thought was that these hammered gold coasters look a little like one of those dimply mint chocolates, you’re not alone (what, just us?) — but don't get us wrong, that’s all part of their charm. They feel glamorous and a little decadent without being over the top, a difficult balance to strike. This is no doubt thanks to their almost artisanal hammered look, and the borderline bronzy shade that gives them a more casual vibe than you might expect from gold coasters. For maximum design mileage with no fuss at all, go for gold with these gorgeous coasters.