Ugh. It happens all the time. You’re about to bake some delish cookies, and you try to remove just the right amount of parchment paper from that pesky little cardboard box to fit on your sheet pan…
The paper rips. It tears. It tatters. It shreds. It’s an irregular shape nowhere close to the size you need.
You end up angrily crumbling it and throwing that sad lump of paper away, only to start the tragic process all over again.
What a waste.
So maybe you’re clumsy like me, and can’t figure out that puzzling cardboard contraption of death. Or maybe you’re trying to find a more cost-effective and long-lasting option to use on your sheet pans, one that you can use over and over again through a multitude of baking adventures.
Enter the silicone baking mat. A reusable, nonstick angel sent by the baking and pastry gods.
In this review, we’ll go over all the basics – discussing what makes this pliable sheet a great option for both professional and home bakers. In addition to sharing our top pick up front, we’ll also tell you all about our other favorite choices to buy.
Bye-bye, wasteful paper. Hello, silicone!
Table of Contents
Foodal’s Top Pick Up Front: Silpat
While all mats in this review are highly rated on Amazon, there is one that is revered by professional pastry cooks (including myself!), culinary chefs, and home bakers: the Silpat Premium Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat is definitely the #1 choice.
As the original silicone mat, Silpat is an incredible product of great quality that has been utilized in professional and home kitchens for years.
Silpat is a line of silicone products made by the company Sasa Demarle Inc. For over five decades, Sasa Demarle Inc. is an authorized production facility in France that has been committed to improving cooks’ baking experiences.
As described on the company website, Sasa Demarle was founded in 1965 by M. Guy Demarle. As an experienced French baker, Demarle hoped to improve baking his baguette bread with a nonstick tray.
A few years after he invented the first nonstick baguette baking trays, he then invented the very first line of silicone baking mats for pastries: Silpat.
Silpat is made with the highest quality food grade silicone reinforced with fiberglass mesh. Along with the silicone, this specially designed mesh provides consistent heat distribution, which helps with even baking and browning.
It is the ideal replacement for parchment paper. While you can use it for all your basic sheet pan baking recipes, like cookies, it’s designed perfectly for working with difficult – and very sticky – ingredients. Use this mat for gooey batters and sticky candies like taffy and caramel. No greasing necessary!
The mats can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from -40°F to 480°F. So if you need to freeze something, or make a recipe that requires a hot temperature, Silpat can be used without any issues!
With proper care and maintenance, Silpat products can be reused for up to two to three thousand times, as claimed on the company website.
Silpat products conform to United States regulations for food grade silicone. They are certified through the FDA and NSF (National Sanitation Foundation). They are also Kosher certified.
They all have the same aesthetic: a light brown mat with a burnt orange outer lining.
Silpat makes a range of differently sized mats, to suit your individual baking needs.
Silpat has sizes for the traditional half-sheet pan (11 5/8 x 16 1/2 inches) and full sheet pan (16 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches).
The toaster oven size (7 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches) and petite jelly roll size (8 1/4 inches x 11 3/4 inches) both fit a quarter-sheet pan.
Silpat offers a microwave size, an octagonal mat with a diameter of 10 1/4 inches. They also sell individual mats with markings for traditional pretzel shapes, macarons, and round cookies.
So whatever your baking plans are, Silpat’s got you completely covered!
Now that we’ve reviewed our most recommended model, let’s go over some silicone basics, and why it’s the right choice for busy bakers. Then we’ll review some of the other popular models you can buy.
So, What Exactly Are These Made Out Of?
The majority of high-quality silicone mats are made of a combination of both silicone and fiberglass.
As described on Silpat’s company website, silicone is a manmade material, a composition of inorganic rubbers created by linking silica atoms.
While some baking mats are made solely of silicone, more high-quality models – like all of those described in this review – are made with the addition of fiberglass. The majority of these mats have a very strong and flexible woven fiberglass core, completely surrounded by a transparent silicone covering.
Fiberglass is a pretty cool material – it’s a composite material that actually consists of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass. It can be manipulated and strengthened by finely weaving it. You can actually see the woven patterns if you look closely at your mat.
The end result?
Fancy science talk aside, the combination of these invented materials of silicone and fiberglass can withstand extreme temperatures, making a product that is incredibly pliable and strong, rejects stickiness, and can be reused many times with no damage.
Why Should I Use It?
Silicone mats are an investment worth buying for a variety of reasons:
A Reusable Alternative
If you are concerned with minimizing waste, silicone is the more practical alternative to disposable paper or foil.
This type of mat was designed for multiple uses. Unlike parchment paper and aluminum foil, silicone mats do not need to be discarded after just one use.
In the long run, you’ll save money as well. Even though may not rely on this nonstick mat for every single baking feat, you’ll still reduce the total amount of paper or foil rolls you’ll use, and won’t need buy as many roll replacements.
Longevity of Use
Speaking of multiple uses, these mats have a seriously long lifespan. Seriously! When maintained properly (we’ll discuss proper care in the section below), they can be used thousands of times.
Just think of all the cinnamon rolls, cookies, and caramels you’ll be able to make…
The Nonstick Master
This is the ultimate nonstick surface on which to bake your delicious goodies! You don’t need to apply a thick coating of oil, butter, or cooking spray. You save money by not using these ingredients, and you’ll reduce extra caloric intake by eliminating these fats.
Even with the stickiest of caramels or the gooiest of cinnamon rolls, they all will release easily from the pan. You won’t have to deal with the annoyance of peeling off bits of parchment paper from the bottoms of your beloved treats.
Another great benefit to this nonstick material is the ease of cleaning up afterwards. Easy release means easy cleanup. Anything on the pan is easily removed with hot soapy water and a soft sponge, no soaking or scrubbing required.
Proper Care and Maintenance
After working in a few professional kitchens and bakeries, I noticed that one of the recurring problems with maintaining the longevity of silicone mats is the result of improper care.
During a busy shift at work, we would often ignore the care that these mats need. We would toss them in the industry-sized dishwasher, store them improperly, and handle them harshly. It was no wonder that our mats were ripped, torn, and thinly worn out long before they were expected to expire.
So please keep this in mind, to protect your investment: Silicone mats should not be treated like a disposable piece of paper! There are a few simple maintenance rules you should follow to ensure the longevity of your purchase:
Don’t use knives or sharp objects anywhere near these babies, and don’t try cutting your mat to size. Despite how durable it is, the silicone is still pretty delicate, and can easily be cut through if you’re not careful.
You do not want to expose the fiberglass inside, as it could be a potential physical hazard.
Yes, most silicone mats can reach temperatures close to 500°F. But this does not mean you should ever use them directly on a heat source.
Don’t place these products directly on an oven rack, stovetop, hot plate, or grill. And don’t use them under the broiler. Any of these forms of extreme heat will melt and destroy your mats. Always remember to place them on a sheet pan!
While silicone mats can be placed on the top rack of your dishwasher, I prefer to treat them more gently to minimize the risk of damage.
Wash them by hand with hot, soapy water and a soft sponge. Be sure to lightly scrub without applying too much pressure.
There may still be a film of oiliness on the surface, even after you clean it – this is completely normal with the silicone material, so don’t be concerned if, despite that long soapy soak you gave it, it still feels a little oily.
Proper storage may be the most important aspect of the care and maintenance of these kitchen implements. I have seen nightmarish images in kitchens where precious silicone mats have been mercilessly folded, crumpled, and stuffed in tiny little drawers with sharp or hard kitchen equipment.
Please don’t do this. Please.
Like I mentioned before, though they are flexible, they are still very delicate objects. To increase the longevity of your mats, you can store them one of two ways: flat, or lightly rolled.
After cleaning, allow the mats to dry completely before storing to prevent a buildup of excess moisture.
While you can stack multiple silicone mats on top of each other, avoid placing anything heavy, hard, or sharp on top of them.
Carefully follow my maintenance advice, and you and your silicone mat will be a happy baking duo for a long time!
Now that you understand all the use and upkeep basics for this phenomenally nonstick product, let’s take a look at the other top options available to purchase.
The Most Popular Models
The AmazonBasics model, made in China, includes two nonstick silicone baking mats that fit the size of a half-sheet pan.
Each mat measures approximately 11 5/8 x 16 1/2 inches. Both have the same aesthetic features: a light brown base, with a dark gray outer lining. They are not available in any other sizes.
They are oven safe up to 480°F, and are made from durable, food grade silicone.
During baking, the mats evenly transfer heat to the food, providing consistent and thorough baking results.
In addition to being used to bake cookies, bread, fish, and much more, AmazonBasics notes that the mats work well for placing under bubbling casseroles or fruit pies that may drip over while baking – perfect for catching spills without dirtying and baking pan or your oven.
Even though AmazonBasics claims that this product can withstand scraping with metal spatulas and utensils without damage, some customers have had issues with ripping and tearing. To avoid damaging your mats, I would recommend staying away from the use of metal utensils, and only use plastic.
Cleanup is easy – wash the mats by hand with soap and warm water, and allow to air dry. Though I prefer washing them by hand, AmazonBasics states that they can also be cleaned in the dishwasher, top rack only. If you are using the dishwasher to clean them, be sure to place the mats away from any sharp objects.
While they will be just as flexible, the material is of a slightly lower quality than Silpat, and may have less longevity of use and a slightly inferior performance value than the comparable Silpat model.
However, the two-pack feature, and a relatively lower price point compared to the Silpat, are differing features to seriously consider if you value a better deal rather than buying the highest quality product available on the market.
Be sure to read the Amazon returns and refunds policy, if you have any concerns with your purchase. You may return most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Refunds are typically issued in about two to three weeks.
If you receive a damaged or defective item, Amazon will ship you a replacement of the exact item.
Another top product is the Kitzini Silicone Baking Mat Sheet Set, which includes two baking mats.
Unlike both the Silpat and the AmazonBasics models, Kitzini provides a 2-pack of differently sized mats, one that fits a half-sheet pan, and another that fits a quarter-sheet pan. This is super convenient for those who regularly use both sizes of pans.
The half-sheet pan mat has a brown center and bright blue outer border. The quarter-sheet pan mat has a brown center and a bright red outer border.
Kitzini also sells another set of 3 mats: 2 half-sheet pan mats, with a red and blue outer lining, and one quarter-sheet pan mat, with a purple lining.
Kitzini’s mats are made with professional food grade silicone with a fiberglass core, making them another stellar option for ditching the parchment paper when making toffee, caramel, macarons, or crispy roasted potatoes.
This bakeware is certified by the FDA, and can withstand extreme temperatures, from freezing to 400°F.
Note that we have noted a discrepancy with the temperature limits. Amazon listed two temperatures, 400°F and 450°F. Upon further review of the Kitzini website, it’s confirmed that the mats can withstand a temperature limit of 400°F.
In addition to your purchase, you will receive via email a free bonus e-book, “Fantastic Healthy Food,” featuring sweet and savory healthy baking recipes.
If you are not completely satisfied with your product, Kitzini offers a 100% money back guarantee. Kitzini’s return policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, the company cannot offer you a refund or exchange.
Please keep in mind the following – to be eligible for a return, the bakeware must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.
While Kitzini provides free shipping on all orders, you are responsible for paying your own shipping costs when returning any Kitzini product.
The line of silicone baking mats by Artisan offers an amazing range of options and sizes to choose from.
The same as the other brands, all of the Artisan mats are strong and flexible, with a woven fiberglass core that is completely encased by transparent silicone.
They are composed of materials approved by the FDA and LFGB, and are BPA free and PFOA free.
All of the Artisan models can withstand temperatures from -40°F to 480°F, making this yet another versatile option for baking, roasting, and freezing.
The original models from Artisan come in a few different sizes, all with a thick red border:
The half-sheet size (16.5 x 11 inches) is offered in both a 2-pack and a 4-pack. The quarter-sheet size (11.5 x 8 inches) is offered in a 2-pack. There is also a 3-pack option, with a quarter-sheet, half-sheet, and 2/3-sheet sizes. The 2/3-sheet size fits a large sheet pan with dimensions of 15 x 21 inches.
Looking for a little more guidance and exact precision to make your pastries even more beautiful? Artisan now offers newer models with helpful measurements written on the surfaces.
There is a 2-pack half-sheet option, with ruler borders in inches across bottom and one side.
Artisan also has a “pastry-style” mat in two different sizes: a 1-pack half-sheet mat and a 1-pack full-sheet mat measuring 18.75 x 13 inches. The pastry guide on the surface of the mat includes concentric circles of varying diameter in the middle (for pies and tarts), and gridlines spanning the entire surface with measurements in both inches and centimeters.
Foodal was unable to acquire warranty information at the time of the review, but we will update this section with feedback from the manufacturer’s customer service department as soon as possible.
If your kids (or kids at heart) enjoy helping you in the kitchen, consider buying the line of Silchef silicone mats.
The bright 3-pack set will bring some colorful charm into your kitchen, and the measurement guidelines in inches on the bottom of the mat will help you and your kids roll out dough to the right size.
The 3-pack includes 2 half-sheet mats and one quarter-sheet mat, all with a thickness of 1mm. The half-sheet selections measure 16 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches. One has a bright red border, and the other has a bright yellow border. The quarter-sheet size measures 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, and has a bright green border.
These are made of nontoxic and BPA-free silicone and fiberglass mesh, approved by the FDA and LFGB. As with the other models, the combination of the two materials creates better air circulation and even heat distribution.
They can withstand a temperature range of -40°F to 482°F, making them safe for the oven, microwave, and freezer. They are also safe to clean in the top rack of your dishwasher.
Another great detail? These products are backed by Silchef’s 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
Make the Switch from Pesky Paper to Superb Silicone
If you’re tired of wasting all that parchment paper or aluminum foil every time you bake, it’s time to make the switch!
Silicone mats provide one of the best nonstick work surfaces for baking a range of delicious treats. Even heat distribution, no sticky messes, and long-lasting durability are all amazing reasons why these flexible creations are the preferred surfaces for home cooks and professional chefs.
They’re environmentally friendly, waste-free, long lasting, and make the need for spraying your baking surface with cooking oil or coating it with butter obsolete.
Take into consideration our reviews of the best options you can buy. And don’t limit yourself to just one mat – you’ll want to have at least a few in your kitchen, especially if you are an unstoppable baking fiend like me.
What’s your preferred choice? For those of you who like this cool material, how has the switch changed your baking routine? Let us know in the comments below.
Credited photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via various manufacturers: Silpat, AmazonBasics, Kitzini, Artisan, and Silchef.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best grub, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.