In 1995–2001, the efficiency of riparian buffer zone areas to reduce the concentrations of suspended solids in discharge from peatlands drained for forestry purposes was studied at 7 locations in south-central Finland. The two largest buffer zones reduced the concentrations of suspended solids by > 70%. The efficiency of the three medium-sized buffer zones to reduce through-flow sediment concentrations was 50–60%, but no reduction occurred at the smallest two buffer areas. Thus, the capacity of buffer zones to reduce sediment concentrations was strongly related to their size. However, significant correlations were also found between reduction capacity and inflow water sediment concentrations, although the correlations at the two smallest buffer zones were low. The use of buffer zones in reducing sediment load from peatlands drained for forestry purposes is recommended, but relatively large areas for efficient removal capacity are needed.