The perfect table runner adds a bit of style and balance to a well-set dinner table. Typically placed lengthwise in the table’s center, the right table runner can help set the tone for the celebration—and protect the tablecloth underneath.

In fact, table runners date back to the 15th century when they were dreamed up by servants to protect tablecloths when royal feasts got out of hand. (Laundering a table linen was no small chore in the 1400s.) Napkins, in addition, came along soon afterward to discourage diners from using their tablecloth to wipe their mouths.

So honor an important era of history by picking out a few table runners for your home table. Then you can safely raise a toast to celebrate your table’s style.

Buffalo Check Table Runner

Spruce up your weekday family meals with this everyday table runner. It is available in a variety of lengths so buy the one that works best for your dinner table. It’s 100 percent cotton, machine washable and comes in a slew of color options.Amazon

Solino Home Pure Linen Table Runner

A simple but elegant to dress up a dinner table, dresser or china hutch, this 100 percent pure linen runner comes in a variety of lengths, sizes and colors and yet is sturdy enough to be machine washable. Coordinated placemats and napkins are also available.Amazon

Burlap Table Runner

When you think burlap, you might imagine a coarse and fraying material, but not with this table runner. It’s professionally stitched and the edges are sewn to prevent frazzled ends. And while we pitch this as a “rustic” option for your table, it’s just as much at home with country-home decor thanks to the material’s golden hue.Amazon

Acrabros Sequin Table Runner

Whoa, these are so bright, you might need to wear shades. These sequin table runners are perfect for weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries and then—we’re just guessing—can afterward be converted into outfits for TV’s Dancing with the Stars. They’re available in gold, rose sold, champagne gold and silver.Amazon

Simhomsen Vintage Gold Burgundy Lace Table Runner

Whereas the previous table runner shines as bright as Las Vegas on a summer night, we picture this eloquent option starring in an episode of Downton Abbey. Burgundy inserts accent the embroidered pansies on this vintage runner. Remarkably it’s still safe for machine wash—just remind the servants at the Crawley manor to line dry it and apply a light ironing between uses.Amazon

Banana Leaf Table Runner

You didn’t think we’d leave out the perfect option for a Floridian table, did you? This 100 percent polyester runner is spill and stain resistant so it’s perfect for setting up outdoors. There’s even an option for an umbrella hole. Set this table runner out, fire up the grill and don’t worry if people make a mess—it’s machine washable.Amazon