The Tests

  • Place lids of different diameters, materials, and weights (lids to our winning canning pot, traditional and cast-iron skillets, saucier, sauté pan, medium and small saucepans, and winning and Best Buy Dutch ovens) in holders and evaluate fit and stability

  • Place winning wooden spoon and whisk and winning and Best Buy ladles and spatulas (if applicable) in holders and evaluate fit and stability

  • Place tablets and magazines (if applicable) in holders and evaluate fit and stability

  • Place and remove 4-lb Dutch oven lid from each holder 100 times; check for damage

  • Wash by hand or in dishwasher 10 times

Here’s a scenario familiar to most cooks: You lift the lid of a pot to stir or add ingredients and have nowhere to put that lid without taking up and dirtying valuable counter or stovetop space. Lid holders promise to save that space and keep your work zone clean. We were skeptical as to whether any of these gadgets were really worth buying, so we put them to the test, gathering four models priced from $11.99 to $80.00 and using them to hold nine lids of different sizes (from 6 to 13 inches in diameter and from 9 ounces to nearly 6 pounds in weight) and materials (steel, glass, and cast iron). Three were essentially heat-resistant stands with troughs that cradled the lids and contained any drips; a fourth model held lids faceup, so they couldn’t drip in the first place.

One of the lid holders failed at its primary function—lids of every size rocked and slipped around in the shallow trough, never quite finding a good resting place. The other three models did a good job of handling lids of different sizes. In general, we preferred petite lid holders to big ones. Though smaller models caught slightly fewer drips when we made them hold hot, tomato sauce–laden lids, their more modest footprints meant they took up less room on the counter. All the lid holders were easy to clean and reasonably durable, surviving our abuse testing (placing and removing a heavy Dutch oven lid 100 times for each) with just minor scuffing. Better still, most could simultaneously hold the lids as well as dirty ladles, spoons, or spatulas.

Testers found that the best-performing lid holders were an improvement over simply placing a messy lid on the counter, with some models capable of handling cooking utensils as well.

But one particular lid holder’s versatility really won us over. The Yamazaki Home Ladle and Lid Stand ($18.00) held every lid and utensil we asked it to, and it was the only model that could also hold tablets and even magazines—doing so just as securely as our favorite tablet stand. This sturdy, compact lid holder took up very little space, and it’s so chic and handy that we wouldn’t mind keeping it on the counter all the time.

Winning Traits

  • Holds lids of all sizes and weights firmly and securely

  • Sits securely on counter

  • Small, space-saving footprint

  • Can hold items other than lids, including electronic tablets, spoons, and ladles