Though advertised as a “must-have” in every home, coasters are often relegated to thoughtless housewarming gifts and stocking stuffers. Beyond keeping furniture from warping and staining, however, coasters, if purchased deliberately, serve as design objects and can bring a sense of purpose to the at-home drinking experience (even if it’s a can of nothing special that’s perched atop). Materials like leather and brass gain a luxe patina with regular use, while understated neutral tones and warm woods serve as a major departure from all-too-common kitschy gift sets.
Graf & Lantz Bierfilzl Square Felt Coasters
Since the 19th century, Bavarian beer halls have used felt pads as coasters, absorbing condensation and spillage, and protecting wooden surfaces. Los Angeles-based company Graf & Lantz has updated the bierfilzl, or beer felt (the Bavarian catch-all term for coaster), for contemporary homes.
House Industries Ornament Coasters
Leather, being porous, isn’t the most obvious material of choice for a coaster. But embossed leather coasters get softer with time — so it should be purchased with the goal of earning a well-worn patina.
Kiel Mead Brass Coaster
Much like leather, brass tarnishes with regular use. While the patina can be polished away, the bronzed hue that brass housewares assume over time — from spills and oils — is best treated as a badge of honor. Kiel Mead’s cork-backed coasters feature distinct etchings, each catching light in different ways and serving as functional design objects.
Hasami Porcelain HP0001 3 1/3-Inch Plate
Hasami Porcelain models its wares on traditional Japanese nesting lacquerware, designed to be modular and multifunctional. Its smallest piece, for example, is simultaneously a serving tray, plate, lid and coaster.
Saito Wood Ayous Coasters
Founded in the years following World War II, Saito Wood specializes in premium plywood housewares (like very good trash receptacles) grounded in mid-century aesthetics. Its coasters, in a warm, teak hue, are made from seven layers of laminated, pressed ayous wood for a rigid yet lightweight surface.
A celebration of all things beer. From coolers to coasters to easy-to-find IPAs, here’s everything you need to know to put your best beer forward, all the time. Read the Story