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A good, heavy-duty floor mat (not to be confused with a rug) is an essential piece of household equipment with a wide variety of uses. This is one item where function beats form every day of the week. So what kind of things should you look out for?
Well, it depends on what you’re using the mat for. Do you need something to keep under exercise equipment like a treadmill or home spin bike? Are you trying to keep a puppy from scratching the floors? Or maybe you just need a solid, absorbent mat by the door to soak up any gunk you might be bringing home with you. Whatever you’re using it for, practicality is key.
What To Look For In a Floor Mat
Durability: When making our recommendations for the best floor mat, we first took into consideration durability. Chances are high your mat will see a lot of use and you need something that can take a little wear and tear. Because these mats were chosen for convenience above all, we also chose ones that are easy to clean.
Traction: You’re going to want to look at traction, meaning how well your mat grips to the floor and how effective it will be at preventing you from slipping on it. It’s also one of the reasons why a floor mat is good for exercise equipment, as it will prevent your rowing machine or bike from shifting or moving, even during your most intense workouts.
Absorbency: A final consideration: absorbency. The best floor mats should effectively wick away water, sweat and grime. Wipe your shoes down on a floor mat before entering the room; the mat’s fabrics should trap dirt and debris, so you’re not tracking it into the rest of the house.
Design: This isn’t the kind of thing that needs to be pretty, but we’ve included floor mats available in a variety of patterns and textures as well, to help you find something that will fit your decor style.
1. BalanceForm Exercise Equipment Mat
This mat was specifically designed to go under exercise equipment, making it great for both a studio gym and home gym alike.
The mat measures 3 feet x 6.5 feet in dimension, which is perfect for most treadmills, ellipticals, and other equipment. We also like that it absorbs vibration and reduces noise (great if you’re in an apartment and don’t want to disturb neighbors on the floor below).
The textured pattern was designed to keep machines from moving around, offering additional stability.
The material is cushy without being overly plush — your equipment won’t sink into it. If the mat gets dirty or sweaty, it can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.
Pros: Well-sized to fit under exercise equipment. Easy to clean.
Cons: Does not work well as a door mat.
2. Gorilla Grip Original Durable Rubber Door Mat
If you’re looking for something rugged and durable, we like this extra sturdy floor mat that’s great for entryways, in the kitchen, garage or outside on your walkway.
It’s waterproof and easy to clean but also comfortable underfoot and subtle in design, which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s very absorbent and actually stays in place instead of sliding around (thanks to a rubber backing). That makes it great under furniture (say, a bench or side table) and great near a litter box or pet crate too.
A thick border keeps moisture and dirt trapped on the mat — and not anywhere else. Run it under a vacuum to clean.
Choose from more than a dozen colors, patterns and textures to find the right mat for your decor scheme. The floor mat starts at 17 x 29 inches; four other sizes are available.
Pros: Thick and plush. Tiny, textured bristles help to wipe down soles of shoes and hold furniture in place.
Cons: Waterproof design doesn’t mean that it repels water, but rather that it won’t be damaged by water; simply wring out or air dry.
3. VersaTex Multipurpose Utility Mat
This indoor/outdoor floor mat is durable and grippy, with a top texture that traps water and mud without absorbing them, making it great as a doormat. The tough rubber material also means it works excellently under an exercise machine, to prevent slippage. People also use it under puppy crates, large appliances like refrigerators, or outdoor grills to catch grease.
And if it’s not exactly the right size, it is still thin enough to cut to the perfect dimensions for whatever you need, which might be our favorite feature.
Pros: Fully multi-functional and can be cut to desired size.
Cons: Simplest design on our list.
4. WaterHog Eco Premier Commercial-Grade Entrance Mat
Any product that’s eco-friendly gets extra points from us, which is why this mat makes the list.
According to the manufacturer, this mat’s textured fabric is made from 100 percent recycled drink bottles, while the rubber backing includes 20 percent recycled rubber from car tires.
The fabric is textured for better friction to trap dirt and water, and it’s both stain and fade-resistant, so it will stay nice-looking for longer.
Pros: Eco-friendly and stain-resistant. Multiple sizes available.
Cons: Deep grooves in the fabric mean it’s not ideal for under exercise equipment.