Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Mantel or Mantle?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between mantel and mantle?

The noun mantel is a decorative protruding shelf over a fireplace. For everything else, use mantle.


The noun mantel is the ornamental shelf above a fireplace.

  • I have an Oscar on my mantel.
  • The mantel on my fireplace is made from Italian marble.


The word mantle is a noun with many meanings.

Mantle: A sleeveless coat or a cloak.

  • The child was wrapped tightly in his mother's mantle.

Mantle: Something that covers.

  • The cabins in the resort were covered by a fresh mantle of snow.

Mantle: The layer of the Earth between the crust and the outer core.

  • In some places under the ocean, the mantle is actually exposed on the surface of Earth.
Interactive Test
Top Tip

A Way to Remember Mantel

Let the el in mantel remind you of shelf.