Any sewing or quilting project will need a little pre-planning so to make accurate cuts before you are ready to go, why not use a self-healing cutting mat. These mats can take a fair amount of punishment before they are rendered unusable, but only when using a quality product. To save your kitchen table and make sure you have a designated area for making cuts, finding the right mat is a great idea.
Because there are a lot of sub-par products on the market, we have created the following list of the top self-healing cutting mats available. Each one has the durability to ensure it will last many cuts and projects, and there is something to please every budget.
- Editor’s Choice
Alvin GBM Series Green/Black Professional Self-Healing Cutting Mat 24 x 36 (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
OLFA 9881 RM-SG 18-Inch x 24-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat (Amazon) – Review
- Best Large Mat
Fiskars 12-83727097J Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat, 24×36 Inch,Grey (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Small Projects
US Art Supply 12 (Amazon) – Review
- Best Color Options
Dahle Vantage 10673 Self-Healing Cutting Mat (Amazon) – Review
- Best Folding
Olfa 1119734 Folding Mat, 17 (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Alvin GBM Series Green/Black Professional Self-Healing Cutting Mat 24 x 36
A professional self-healing cutting mat that measures big 24 x 36 inches, Alvin has been trusted by pros and enthusiasts alike for many years. It has been designed to be used with cutting paper but is also ideal for sewing and quilting projects, helping to protect the surface underneath.
The nonstick surface is easy to work with and there are grid lines at angles of 45 degrees and 60 degrees. The self-healing technology is one of the best and protects and surface and a knife from blunting. Available in both black and green, it features a durable, 3 mm thick plastic material that keeps bouncing back even after multiple uses.
- Nonstick surface
- 24 x 36 inches
- Available in black and green
- Multiple grid lines at different angles
- 3mm thick
Best Value: OLFA 9881 RM-SG 18-Inch x 24-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat
Next is the high-quality self-healing cutting mat from OLFA. It is also double-sided and has a generous workspace of 18 x 24 inches. Any surface cut is rehealed after each use and it is well suited to projects of small to medium size when used with rotary cutters and blades.
There are plenty of yellow grid lines at different angles to make it easy to cut with accuracy. Using this product will not only protect the surface underneath but also rotary blades as there is less friction. At 1.5 mm thick, it has plenty of giving and a triple-Layer Heat Welding Process has been used to give it the durability it needs to last for a long time. The green surface and yellow lines ensure that visibility is optimal, allowing for comfortable cutting.
- 1.5 mm thick
- 18 x 24 inches
- Yellow grid lines at multiple angles
- Has a strong scent, to begin with
Best Large Mat: Fiskars 12-83727097J Self Healing Rotary Cutting Mat, 24×36 Inch,Grey
One of the most popular self-healing cutting mats on the market, it measures 24 x 36 inches making it one of the larger products on our list. The thickness adds to the durability making it one of the better mats in terms of longevity. When it comes to functionality, we like the design and the center square grid that makes for simple and straight lines.
The measuring gird is on both sides so it can be flipped over to prevent overuse of one side and there are also angled lines at 30, 45, and 60 degrees. The quality of the mat ensures that blades last longer between needing to be sharpened and the measurements are easy to read so quilting and sewing projects can benefit where accuracy is key.
- Large mat
- Angled lines at 30, 45, and 60 degrees
- Some of the numbers may be upside down
Best For Small Projects: US Art Supply 12
Available in multiple sizes, this 12 x 18-inch version is the best small self-healing cutting mat and made from 5-Ply Double Sided Durable PVC Cutting. A non-slip product that stays in place even on a smooth surface, it features a half-inch grid and 1/8 inch marks with markings at angles of 45 and 60 degrees.
This product is ideal for multiple crafts projects including scrapbooking as well as sewing and quilting ideas. We like that it has different colors on either side, so if you find the black and white side more comfortable than the green and white, then it is easy to switch. It is available in sizes up to 40 x 60 inches for larger projects, with plenty of others in-between.
- Double-sided with dual colors
- Available in different sizes
- 5-ply material
- Has a rubbery odor at first
Best Color Options: Dahle Vantage 10673 Self-Healing Cutting Mat
Available in different sizes, this is another impressive mat ideal for crafts that has 5 layers to back up its claim as being self-healing and durable. The 1/8 inch PVC material ensures it protects any surface underneath and keeps the blade sharp. The measurement grid ensures it can be used to make accurate cuts in straight lines and there are angled lines on the top surface to make it easy to cut stars and triangles.
It is available in a clear, black, or blue and can be used on either side to add to its durability. The grid is in measurements of half inches and inches making it ideal for trimming quilt squares or for rotary cutting of fabric.
- 5 layers of PVC to add to its durability
- Angled lines
- Available in 3 colors
- Has a strong odor at first
Best Folding: Olfa 1119734 Folding Mat, 17
For some crafts, a folding mat is even more useful and this measures 17 x 24 inches giving the user plenty of space to work with. The green mat with yellow lines is a common contrast that is easy to see and there are an inch and half-inch increments on the outside to make easy measurements.
The cutting surface itself has a durable feel and springs back to life after each cut. It is designed for use with rotary blades and art knives which is ideal for most sewing and quilting projects. Because it folds flat, it is easily kept out of the way and can fit into a bag making it portable. With a thickness of 2.5mm and when laid flat, it will not skip threads if cutting over the fold as it remains almost invisible.
- 2.5mm thick
- Easy to pack away
- Great for use with rotary blades and art knives
- 17 x 24 inches
- Not double sided
Any craft enthusiast or professional will find that there are times where accurate cuts need to be made. When this is the case, using a book or cutting directly onto a table can damage the underneath so it is less than ideal. The saving grace is these situations is a quality self-healing cutting mat, but only when the product is up to the standard.
Because of this, we have created a buyer’s guide. It details everything there is to know about these useful mats so you end up with a product that won’t let you down and allows you to make easy, and straight cuts.
Not every mat is going to offer this, particularly folding mats but it helps the user to get double the cutting before the mat shows signs of wear and tear. A lot of brands will include different color schemes on either side so the user can pick what feels most comfortable on the eye.
Any self-healing cutting mat worth considering is going to have to have a certain thickness. This tends to start at around 1.5 mm but the better options will often be closer to 2.55 mm and beyond. A thicker mat will provide added protection and help it to absorb deeper cuts before pushing itself back into place.
A common sight on most cutting mats, angled lines make it easy to make different shaped cuts such as triangles and stars. When it comes to arts and crafts, you never know when you are going to need to take on a new challenge and cut different shapes which is where these lines come in handy. Most mats have lines at 45 and 60-degree angles, with some adding another one or two on theirs.
The Right Size
Not everyone needs a large cutting mat to work on but if this is to be used on a quilting project where the size of the fabric is larger, then the added space will come in handy. A large self-healing cutting mat will usually be around 24 x 36 inches.
Most cutting mats in this niche will be made from materials that do not stick to fabric or even the table underneath to make for an easy cut. Most brands use a type of PVC for their mats which can help prevent fabrics from moving around but also won’t stick to them.
Above all else, a self-healing cutting mat should be able to absorb cuts from craft knives and rotary blades and this is all down to the quality of the absorbent material. A lot of products will use multiple layers of PVC and the likes to ensure theirs bounce back after each cut. Look for 5-ply products as a sign of a decent mat.
This could be best described as low odor since a lot of cutting mats are made from some form. of plastic so when taking them out of their packaging there is often a strong scent. This can mean the mat needs to be aired outside for a little while before using, which is a common approach for making the scent go away faster.
Anyone who has had to use a craft knife or rotary blade to cut will know that a book can get ruined pretty fast, as can a table. These two approaches also do not offer the same straight lines to follow as a self-healing cutting mat. This is why so many crafters, sewers, and those undertaking a quilting project can appreciate how useful a cutting mat is.
The better products not only protect the surface underneath but also the blade, preventing it from blunting so fast. The mat itself should be thick enough to bounce back to a regular smoothness.
Any craft project that warrants the use of a rotary blade, craft knife, or something similar will require a cutting mat. They are ideal for protecting the surface and absorb the indent without piercing the material. A lot of people use them for making clean accurate cuts of paper or for sewing and quilting projects.
Although these mats can withstand hundreds of cuts and last a long time, there does come a point where it is necessary to replace them. Dual-sided products last linger but even these have a shelf life. It is usually obvious that a change is needed when several scratches impact the accuracy of a fresh cut.
One of the easiest ways is to only cut with the correct blades. Some sharper and stronger knives may make an indent that cannot heal and after frequent use, this will soon render the mat useless. A rotary blade or craft knife is best used. Another method is to be sure to use a dual-sided mat, and not to cut in the same place every time. This can be difficult if used te angled lines but otherwise, rotate the mat and use different areas.
Without a cutting mat, the rotary blade will make an indent in a table or another surface that is permanent yet easily avoided. any time where a rotary blade should be used, so should a mat, and a self-healing product will stick around for longer.
A self-healing mat should last for many years, especially when not used so frequently. When cared for properly, there should be no reason to have to look for another for a while.
This varies depending on the brand, but the best mats available only cost around $30. It is possible to invest a little more for different angled lines, or a foldable product, but this shouldn’t set you back much more.
One of the best things about these products is their longevity, as they last for many years without the need for a replacement.