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

Or, jump to:

How Many Cutting Boards Do You Need?How to Wash Your Cutting BoardsHow to Care For Your Cutting Boards

What 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.

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