The 13 Best Cutting Boards, According to Professional Chefs

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A good cutting board is essential to any home cook's kitchen. You may even want a few of the very best cutting boards. Whether you're just learning the ropes in the kitchen or regularly take on multi-day cooking projects, a cutting board is likely your most-used piece of kitchen equipment, right up there with your chef’s knife and prep bowl. So it’s the kind of tool that’s worth putting some real thought into—there are endless options out there, and it’s worth asking some questions to find the best cutting board for you and your cooking style. What types of cutting boards are there? What materials and features best suit your needs? Do you need different sizes? How many of each? And, of supreme importance, what should you do with that frosted glass board Great Aunt Mabel gifted you 35 holidays ago?

Whether you’re adding to your current chopping board collection or just looking to replace a warped old thing, you’ll need to know which boards are the most durable, gentlest on your knives, and pretty enough to adorn your countertop. We tapped the pros for their recs—executive chef Suzanne Cupps, who chopped a helluva lot of veggies during her time at 232 Bleecker, along with BA food director Chris Morocco and cookbook author and contributor Andy Baraghani. The experts all agree: The best cutting boards are made from wood, rubber, or plastic. Here’s how they compare.

Shop some of our top picks:

John Boos Block Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board Read more about the best wooden cutting boardsNoTrax Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board Read more about the best rubber cutting boardsMaterial reBoard Read more about the best plastic cutting boardsEpicurean All-In-One Cutting Board Read more about Epicurean cutting boards

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How Many Cutting Boards Do You Need?How to Wash Your Cutting BoardsHow to Care For Your Cutting BoardsWhat kind of cutting board is right for you?

The right cutting board for you may be different from the right cutting board for your friend, or your sibling, or the guy who lives two doors over. It all depends on what kind of cook you are, and on your priorities: Are you the kind of person who’s down to spend the time and care on maintaining a gorgeous wood board that’s destined to become an heirloom? Or are you more the fast and on-the-go kind of cook who needs something they can throw in the dishwasher at the end of the day? Here’s a breakdown of the differences between cutting board materials and what that means for you as you’re making your choice between them.


Pros: Wood is soft enough to protect your chef’s knife but still hard enough for smooth cuts, making it perfect for prepping everything except raw meat, Chris says. (Though you can do that too, if you’re willing to give them a thorough, soapy handwashing afterward.) Another thing we love about wood boards is that they tend to “heal” themselves (i.e., they close up those cut lines after use), which prevents germ-harboring grooves from forming and keeps them in good shape for longer.

Cons: These boards require the most maintenance, because wood is the most absorbent board material out there. They can be prone to retaining odors and stains, which means cleaning and caring for them is extra important—and requires more work than plastic or rubber. Scroll to the end for more on that.

Who it’s best for: Wood boards are best for those who are game to give their kitchenware the care and attention they deserve—you know, the people who are regularly sharpening their knives and deep cleaning their Dutch ovens.


Pros: Rubber cutting boards are a favorite within restaurant kitchens for a reason. They’re super durable and even softer than wooden cutting boards, which means they’re even easier on your knives. While they aren’t usually dishwasher-safe, unlike wooden boards, they don’t need to be oiled—just wash them with mild detergent and leave them to air-dry.

Cons: The only real cons here are that rubber cutting boards don’t have the luxe look and feel you get from a wood board, and that they tend to be heavier and pricier than plastic ones.

Who it’s best for: Rubber cutting boards are great for people who want to invest in a piece of equipment that will last them for years to come, but doesn’t require a whole lot of upkeep.


Pros: The main selling points of plastic cutting boards are that they’re lightweight, sanitizing them is easy—most are dishwasher-safe, though very hot temps could result in warping—and they’re cheaper than most wood and rubber boards. Plastic is also a less absorbent material than wood (and about the same as rubber), according to Morocco, which means they won’t harbor bacteria easily.

Cons: Cupps notes that plastic boards “can also be slippery, which isn’t safe.” Morocco recommends laying a damp dish towel, paper towel, or nonslip rubber mat under your plastic board to keep it steady. They’re also probably not the move if you’re looking for a super long-lasting purchase. Plastic boards tend to warp more easily than rubber, can get irreparably scuffed, and “develop deep grooves [with frequent use] that make them less sanitary over time,” Morocco says.

Who it’s best for: If you’re the kind of home cook who is a dishwasher devotee, isn’t quite ready to invest in a more durable board, or wants to cut up raw chicken one day and mince garlic the next, then plastic boards are the pick for you.


It’s a trick! If you’ve got a glass cutting board from 1985 laying around, know that it is brittle and breakable, and may even dull, chip, or break your chef’s knife, according to Baraghani. You also may find yourself vacuuming shards of glass off the kitchen floor should you try to use it. Morocco could think of only one reasonable use case for glass boards: “They make a perfect gift for your enemies.”

The Best Wooden Cutting Boards

Baraghani is partial to boards made of maple or walnut, because those are the softest and most beautiful. These can be pricey, and while we think they’re worth it and will serve you well, we’ve outlined a range of others—like the best bamboo board—that come with their own set of perks.

Best Wood Cutting Board Overall: John Boos Block

John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board

A John Boos block is our go-to large cutting board. When you need to prep full meals fast, having ample surface area is key, and this reversible maple cutting board from the brand will be nice and gentle on your knife edges. It’s an edge grain board, which means it was made with strips of wood that are arranged side by side and then grafted together. This technique makes the board super beautiful (all those stripes) but not quite as resistant to cuts and scratches as end grain cutting boards (see below).

Size: 24 x 18 x 2.25
Care: Hand wash, oil and wax occasionally
Extra features: Reversible

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John Boos Block RA03 Maple Wood Edge Grain Reversible Cutting Board

John Boos Maple End Grain Chopping Block

This heavy-duty, high-quality John Boos butcher block is a splurge that’ll last you a lifetime. It does everything the board above does but is thicker and made using an end grain technique. A board like this is composed of short pieces of wood that are arranged vertically and then fused together. Because the ends of each piece make up the cutting surface area, your board boasts a stunning checkerboard pattern that allows your knife’s edge to sink easily into the wood fibers. Think of slicing into an end grain cutting board like sliding your knife between the ends of a handful of dried spaghetti–your blade will slip between the fibers instead of hitting resistance. It’s a one-two punch: Your favorite chef’s knife stays sharp, and your board heals quickly from nicks and scratches. End grain boards are usually pricier but can last home cooks decades if they are hand-washed and treated to a little mineral oil as needed.

Size: 20 x 15 x 2.25
Care: Hand wash, oil and wax occasionally
Extra features: Reversible

John Boos Maple End Grain Chopping Block

An end grain cutting board in action

Best Wood Cutting Board for Clever Design Features: Five Two Double-Sided Bamboo Cutting Board

This Five Two Double-Sided Bamboo Cutting Board is lightweight and pretty enough for serving your favorite charcuterie platter. It’s also a reversible board, with one side that’s a flat and smooth cutting surface and the other that features a groove to catch juices, plus a slot to prop up your iPhone while cooking. Bamboo boards are more porous than your traditional maple wood, teak, acacia wood, and walnut wood boards. This means they take a little more elbow grease to clean but tend to be stronger than the aforementioned other types of wood.

Size: 18 x 13 x 1 (large)
Care: Hand wash
Extra features: Reversible, grooved and flat sides, phone slot

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Five Two Bamboo Cutting Board

Best Wood Travel Cutting Board: Roadside Travel Cutting Board

For a teeny, travel-friendly option, we love this adorable portable beechwood board. At four by six inches, it’s smaller than most paperback books, which means you definitely have room in the pack for it. It also comes in a chic leather case to protect it from spills. No more cutting apples on rocks!

Size: 4 x 6
Care: Hand wash and oil occasionally
Extra features: Leather case included

Best Wood Cutting Board for Slicing Fruit: Our Place Walnut Cutting Board

This pretty walnut cutting board from Our Place is our top pick if you chop a lot of juicy fruits. Unlike regular, flat cutting boards, one side of this handsome board slopes down into a little juice trench that’s been carved into the wood and holds an impressive ⅔ cup of juice (which you can and should save for a refreshing treat). It’s made of soft walnut, which is perfect for repetitive tasks—like dicing herbs—that wreak havoc on your knives. And it doubles as an ideal serving platter for showcasing a fresh fruit spread with some hunks of cheese and requisite prosciutto coils. A word of warning: For the first few uses you might notice some wood splintering. With proper care, this will settle over time, as the board develops a patina (the soft sheen that comes with use and age).

Size: 17 x 12 x 1.25
Care: Hand wash and oil occasionally
Extra features: Juice trench

The Best Rubber Cutting Boards

For all chopping tasks, including raw meat, these boards are Cupps’s top pick. “They’re durable, sturdy,” and easy on your knife, she says. Morocco agrees, adding that they’re simpler to care for, too. The only drawback? They “don’t have as nice a tactile feedback on a knife as wood does,” he says.

Best Rubber Cutting Board Overall: NoTrax Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board

For price to quality ratio, we love NoTrax’s professional-grade Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board for daily use. It’s made of natural rubber that won’t slide around on your counter; it’s reversible and large enough for most home cooks; and it won’t dull your knives or harbor nasty bacteria. Plus, this board comes in both a flat and grooved-edge version for all your juice-catching needs. The surface is re-sandable, which means this board can last you years, and it comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes so you can find the option that’s best for you and your needs.

Size: 18 x 12 x 0.5 (large)
Care: Hand wash
Extra features: Reversible, re-sandable, choose between flat or grooved

NoTrax Sani-Tuff Premium Rubber Cutting Board

Best Less Expensive Rubber Cutting Board: Asahi Rubber Cutting Board

For a slightly smaller, synthetic rubber board, the Asahi Cooking Cut does everything the NoTrax does but for less money. If you have tight countertops or minimal bench space, this one’s for you. Its beige color mimics the look of wood while offering all the benefits of a rubber board.

Size: 15.74 x 9.05 x 0.5 (large)
Care: Hand wash
Extra features: Reversible and re-sandable

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Asahi Rubber Cutting Board

The Best Plastic Cutting Boards

If you’re looking for affordable all-arounders, you’re in the right place. Plastic is the easiest material when it comes to maintenance, and it’s also the least expensive. Opt for these if you want a board you don’t really need to think twice about, but know that you’ll need to replace them every so often as they accumulate bacteria-harboring grooves.

Best Plastic Cutting Board Overall: OXO Good Grips Carving & Cutting Board

The OXO Good Grips cutting and carving board is a great option for home cooks wanting to chop veggies and slice raw and cooked meats. It’s a fairly large cutting board, the juice groove on one side catches any stray liquid, and the rubber “feet” prevent slippage—excellent news for anyone wielding a sharp knife. It’s made of dishwasher-safe stain- and odor-resistance polypropylene, so you can slice those beets without worrying about leaving a faint wash of color behind. It also comes in a smaller utility size if that’s more your bag—or a set of three in varying colors, which you can color-code for different uses to avoid cross contamination.

Size: 14.34 x 21.11
Care: Dishwasher-safe
Extra features: Reversible, grooved and flat sides, no-slip

OXO Good Grips Carving & Cutting Board

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Plastic Everyday Cutting Board Set

Best Sustainable Plastic Cutting Board: Material reBoard

These colorful, mid-size reBoard cutting boards by the kitchenware enthusiasts at Material are a supremely pretty and lightweight option suitable for most tasks. Made from repurposed sugarcane fiber and upcycled plastic, they’re lightweight, nonporous, dishwasher-safe and more sustainable than the majority of plastic cutting boards. Senior cooking and SEO editor Joe Sevier likes his own board so much that he’s now gifted one (“in a color matching their kitchen decor”) to everyone in his family. Plus we love their design: With two sizes and five colors, they’re a fun (and extremely practical) addition to any kitchen arsenal, and they even have a clever cutout for easy hanging. Material also recently launched The (grippy) reBoard, a version of the beloved board with—you guessed it—grippy feet that keep it from slipping.

Size: 14.75 x 10.75 x 0.375
Care: Dishwasher-safe
Extra features: Reversible, cutout for hanging, no-slip option

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Material reBoard Cutting Board

Material (grippy) reBoard

Most Fun Plastic Cutting Board: Fredericks & Mae Cutting Board

This Fredricks and Mae confetti chopping block is one of the most joyous things we’ve seen in a while. Perfect for prep and presentation, it is niftily made using the bits and bobs left over from producing solid color plastic boards. Associate food editor Zaynab Issa likes that the “confetti-like flecked patterns offer even more visual camouflage” than plain black cutting boards, “disguising discoloration and knife scratches.” Your charcuterie platter is dying to get in touch.

Size: 11 x 16 x 1
Care: Dishwasher-safe
Extra features: Metal handle

Fredericks & Mae Cutting Board

Epicurean Cutting Board

Epicurean boards make up a unique niche in the chopping board universe. Made from composite paper and wood, they have a nonporous surface which is a bit softer than a plastic board. The handiest thing about these boards is that they can be chucked in the dishwasher, unlike solid wood boards. Plus, they come in a slick slate shade–one more reason to choose these over purely plastic options.

Size: 14.5 x 11.25 x 0.25
Care: Dishwasher-safe
Extra features: Juice groove, no-slip

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Epicurean All-In-One Cutting Board

How Many Cutting Boards Do You Need?

We recommend going the economical route with plenty of kitchen tools and gadgets, like paring knives and cast-iron skillets. But cutting boards are definitely an area where you should consider investing in a more expensive model. If you’re serious about cooking and have the space, you might want to buy multiple cutting and carving boards. Buy a specific (color-coded) rubber or plastic board and designate it for tasks like breaking down chicken or fileting fish, which will help you avoid cross contamination. For vegetable prep, when your knife is interacting with the board more, opt for “wood or rubber, which will be so much gentler on your blade and feel more pleasant” to work with than plastic, Morocco says.

Whatever your preferences, Cupps and Baraghani agree that while three boards is the dream—a smaller one for jobs like cutting cheese or crushing garlic and then two large ones to keep meat and vegetables from fraternizing—a minimum of two is ideal. And if you really can’t bear to disappoint Aunt Mabel, use your glass cutting board as a serving board for snack platters, an onion galette (presliced!), hunks of this cheesy apple crumb bar, or pre-topped tinga tostadas with bacon-y black beans.

How to Wash Your Cutting Boards:

As we mentioned, plastic cutting boards tend to be the lowest maintenance option as you can simply pop them in the dishwasher. Even still, if you’re cutting meat or fish, you might want to consider scraping off any remnant bits under cool water before throwing it in. In restaurant kitchens, porters often have a metal scraper that looks a bit like a palette knife for this; your pastry scraper can also work. It prevents the proteins from being cooked into the board’s nooks and crannies in hot water.

Use that same cold-water scraping technique when you wash your rubber board, then follow with a hot, sudsy soap up. Both rubber and plastic boards can be left to air-dry since they aren’t prone to warping.

The high-maintenance board is your wood board–but it’s also stunning, long-lasting, and soft on your chef’s knife. Think of it this way: the time you spend maintaining your cutting board will be made up for since you’ll have to sharpen your chef’s knife less. Since you’re using your plastic or rubber board for raw meat (right?), a scrape down followed by a warm, soapy hand-wash is usually enough for wooden boards. Just don’t forget the underside. If you constantly get only one side of the board wet, you are unevenly hydrating the wood. Keep that same idea in mind when cutting: If your board is reversible, try to use both sides of it. If not, chop in different zones of your board to keep the surface evenly worn. That might sound extra, but if you chop in the same two-inch quadrant daily, the angle on your board will quickly change, which can cause knife dulling and slippage. Drying is the last, crucial step. With a clean dish towel, dry your board as thoroughly as possible. Then prop it up on its side until bone dry to further guard against warping.

How to Care for Your Cutting Boards:

Plastic cutting boards, as well as rubber cutting boards, don’t require oiling or any special care. A wooden board wants to be treated with some TLC, however. Step right this way for an in-depth explainer on how to clean and care for it, but here’s the gist: At least once a month, pull out a clean microfiber cloth, a food-grade neutral oil like mineral oil, and a board sealant, which combines oil with a protective beeswax.

John Boos Butcher Block Oil

John Boos Mystery Butcher Block Oil

DEAL: John Boos Butcher Block Board Cream

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12 Pack Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Rub a small bit of the oil onto every surface of your clean, dry board. (You want the board to be really dry before you do this, so as to not seal in moisture.) Follow with the balm, which will buff into a creamy consistency. Don’t wipe that away just yet. Leave your board to deep-condition overnight, and then in the morning, gently wipe away any extra with a cloth or paper towel.