First impressions count! It is the door mat that first welcomes our guests and family. It represents the style and taste of the owner. Whether it's storming or snowing, it's their job to catch the dirt where it belongs - outside.
We've looked into the different door mats for you. Here is an explanation of the most important aspects to consider, along with buying advice and an informative door mat ranking.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The most important facts in brief
- 3 The Best Door Mat: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and rating criteria for door mats
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about door mats answered in detail
- 6 Conclusion
The most important facts in brief
- The main task of a door mat of any kind is to keep dirt and wetness away from your living and business spaces.
- The most important buying criteria you should look out for are size, material, design, washability and additional functions.
- Not every door mat is suitable for every environment. Your intended use is decisive.
The Best Door Mat: Our Choices
Buying and rating criteria for door mats
Finding the perfect door mat is not that easy. To help you in the best possible way, we have worked out the most important buying criteria for you:
In the following paragraphs, you can read about what is important for the respective criteria and what really needs to be considered.
Design / Colour
They come in almost every conceivable colour and shape. The selection on the Internet alone is gigantic. It is best to find a door mat that suits your taste and harmonises with your floor and furnishings. It's up to you whether you choose a plain one, one with a personalised print or one with a funny message or a "Welcome". There are even door mats especially for singles, couples and newlyweds.
At first glance, this aspect seems a little more complex than expected. However, you don't need to have studied materials science to acquire some useful basic knowledge. The following list of the six most important door mat materials will help you enormously in finding the right material for your purpose:
- Nylon: Particularly strong and resistant mats are made of this synthetic fibre. It dries quickly and is very hard-wearing and durable due to its tread resistance. That's why you'll find them mainly in the entrance areas of shopping centres or on public transport. Thanks to its impermeability, this mat is not only stain resistant, but also fades very slowly.
- Polypropylene: The rough structure of this material is ideal for efficiently brushing off any dirt and is also very durable and resistant. The fibres are not only very easy to clean, mites and bacteria do not like them either, which makes them the ideal doormat for allergy sufferers. For these reasons, this type of doormat is particularly popular in shops, offices and hotels. You can find them mainly as floor protection in demarcated areas or in long lengths as dirt traps in entrance areas.
- Coir (coconut fibre): The prime example of a classic and at the same time ecological doormat is made from coconut shells. This rough and bristly material brushes off dirt effortlessly, but dries relatively slowly on the opposite side and is quite susceptible to dirt. As it is also not wheelchair accessible due to its nature, it is not suitable for commercial purposes, but is mainly used in domestic use nowadays.
- Cotton: Cotton is ideal for wet, oily or greasy moisture, but less so for dry dust or dirt. It has the highest absorption capacity for moisture, but dries more slowly. The cotton pile of this type of mat does get quite trampled down over time, but you can usually restore the old shape quite easily by normal washing. Admittedly, it cannot withstand the heavy use in commercial environments, but it is excellent for domestic use.
- Microfibre: Many advantages speak for microfibre as an ideal doormat material. Its fast absorbency is fantastic. Moisture and dirt adhere very well to microfibre and its soft, flexible and very fine texture allows hard-to-reach shoe sole or roller tread areas to be cleaned easily. Movement on the surface causes the microfibre doormat to become statically charged, absorbing the dirt particles until they are sucked away. Since hardly any lint or fluff is formed, you can also wash it without any problems. This material is not only durable, but also has antibacterial benefits.
- Natural rubber / nitrile rubber: This material is particularly suitable for outdoor areas with much use entrance areas, as it is very resistant. However, it does not absorb moisture, which means you definitely need to make sure it has a drainage option. You also have several design options. It comes in a perforated or a textured, closed surface design. The perforated structure has the particular advantage that it effortlessly wipes off all dirt and it sticks in its holes. Both versions are comparatively quite heavy and therefore do not slip so quickly. The added nitrile ensures better heat resistance and a longer service life in especially oily and greasy areas.
When buying the perfect door mat, the right dimensions of the door mat are also important. From small to standard to oversized, all sizes are represented. Depending on the entrance door, a different size is suitable. However, most door mats are standardised and fit in front of average-sized entrance areas.
If you need a particularly small or large door mat, we recommend a so-called cut-to-size mat. Here you can individually determine the size of your desired door mat. In general, the larger the mat and the longer the contact of the shoes, the cleaner the rest of the building will be afterwards.
Area of application
Before buying a mat, you should definitely think about where you want to use it. Not every mat is suitable for every location. Not every material is suitable for every purpose. If you are using the mat commercially, you must also consider that the shop must still be wheelchair accessible. If you do not have a lower mat frame, bevelled carpet edges may be the ideal solution to avoid possible stumbling blocks.
Washability / Cleaning
If several people wipe their feet on the doormat every day, it is not surprising that you will have to clean this doormat at regular intervals so that it can continue to serve you well. Unfortunately, dirt stands out particularly well on lighter-coloured mats.
The good news, however, is that most mats can be cleaned in the washing machine without any problems and without immediately disintegrating into their individual components. This is only possible with mats up to standard size. Unfortunately, larger mats usually do not fit into standard household machines and must therefore be taken to a dry cleaner.
Door mats also have some useful additional features that can be of advantage to you. We have selected the most important ones and listed them here:
- UV resistance: Even in direct sunlight, special fibres do not fade.
- Brush function: Hard fibres are suitable for dirt, soft fibres for moisture.
- Stainless steel mat frame: For a particularly high-quality impression.
- Nubs on the underside: Provide special slip resistance.
- Fine ribs: Not only do they dampen noise, they also insulate.
- Reflective stripes: You get better visibility as they glow in the dark
Guide: Frequently asked questions about door mats answered in detail
What types of door mats are there?
- Outdoor: This type of mat is designed to withstand wind and weather. It is the ideal mat in front of your front door. To ensure that your visitors find their way to you without accidents, it should be a mixture of anti-slip and dirt-trapping mat. To remove the worst dirt from shoes immediately, doormats made of particularly robust materials such as coconut fibres, rubber or caoutchouc are particularly suitable.
- Indoor: Indoor mats are used not only instead of, but often in addition to outdoor mats. A mat for indoor use should not only remove dirt effectively, but also look particularly good. It is therefore not so much designed to remove coarse dirt, but functions mainly as a final fine cleaning instance. The material used for indoor door mats is usually cotton, nylon or microfibres.
- Dirt runners: Dirt runners differ from indoor mats mainly in size. They are usually two to three metres long. This means that the contact with the shoes on it is much longer, which enables it to clean the shoes more efficiently. Because of its size, it is often referred to as a clean run zone and is usually found in shopping centres or offices.
How to clean a door mat properly?
However, we have compiled a small, helpful list for cleaning door mat materials for which you need to pay attention to a few special features:
- Coir (coconut fibre): Turn the doormat onto its back and tap it lightly with the flat of your hand. Please do not knock against any other object! Then brush with a bristle brush. For very stubborn dirt, you can use a hair shampoo. Soap the mat briefly with it, rinse thoroughly with warm water and leave to dry with the coke fibres facing downwards.
- Cotton: First shake out coarse dirt firmly. Here the back is important. Mats with rubber backs may be washed in the washing machine at 30 or 40 degrees with a gentle detergent. Vinyl backs unfortunately do not withstand the washing machine. Allow the mat to air dry afterwards.
- Rubber: Wipe off coarse dirt first. Then you can rinse the mat in the bathtub or use a high-pressure cleaner. Place the mat on edge to dry.
All other door mat materials can be easily vacuumed or washed with a gentle detergent at 30 to 40 degrees using a standard household washing machine. However, most mats are not suitable for use in a dryer. It is sufficient to let them air dry.
In summary, when choosing the right doormat for you, the most important thing is the material, which must be different depending on the intended use. So the first step is to think about where you want to use your door mat and choose the right material accordingly.
Once this has been decided, you only have to choose a design that you like. It doesn't matter if it's simple, eye-catching or funny. There is a design for every taste.
Image source: Marissa Daeger / unsplash