There are different types of doormats for different applications from matching your door entry and soaking moisture to preventing slips or falls and keeping away dirt, mud, rocks, and sand from entering the house.
Doormats, also known as entrance mats or welcome mats, have existed since the 19th century. The earliest versions were made of weaved blades of grass or reed. They also come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, designs, and type of material depending on the place it came from. In Japan and other Eastern countries, the grass is the principal material.
In Hindu countries, the main component of a doormat can be straw, dwarf palm, coconut palm or screw pine. The type of material a doormat is made of can also differ depending on its use. Absorbent and non-slip mats are used in bathrooms while nylon, rubber, stalks, aluminum and other metals can make up an entrance mat.
Table of Contents
- A. Types and Designs
- B. Specialty Mats/Designs
- C. Features
- D. Uniquely Shaped Door Mats
- E. Products to Improve the Mats You Already Own
A. Types and Designs
1. Scraper Mats
These mats are made to place outside of your door and allow people to scrape off their shoes before coming into your home so that they don’t track dirt and debris inside. Usually abrasive in design, they often have edges that are perfect for placing against your shoe to make it easier to do the scraping. They are made out of very tough materials, including PVC, coir, and vinyl, to name a few, and they are slow to fade and made to stand up to the elements. Outdoor mats can be decorative as well, and many businesses use them to keep their stores clean and keep them safer, but also to show off a logo or company name to increase the visibility of the business. Their fiber is usually very dense and they have a vinyl back to make them last a lot longer.
2. Interior Mats
Interior mats are made specifically for the indoors, which means they often come with various colors and designs on them since there is no need to worry about fading from the sun or damage from other elements. Most indoor mats have the capability to remove dirt and water from visitors’ shoes but also look nice in your home.
They almost always have backings made of a non-slip material such as rubber, plastic, or latex so that your visitors can use the mat without worrying about it slipping and sliding everywhere or falling down themselves. Interior mats can be made out of natural or synthetic fiber, cotton, polypropylene, and certain types of rubber, which are materials that are sturdy enough to last indoors but of course, should never be utilized outside of your home.
One of the nicest aspects of indoor mats is the fact that they come in a wide selection of designs and colors, which means if you’re looking for something to make your home a little more decorative and elegant, the right interior doormat just might do the trick.
3. Indoor/Outdoor Mats
As the name implies, these mats can be placed on the inside or the outside of your home or office, so their materials are sturdy and endure regardless of the weather or the elements. If a mat is both for indoors and outdoors, it is recommended that you check both its capability to scrape dirt off shoes and its absorption capability, because both are important for these types of mats. Indoor/outdoor mats can be decorative and attractive as well as sturdy and well-made, and whether you intend to use this type of mat for your home or your business, this is a practical choice.
4. Decorative Mats
Decorative mats can be for indoor or outdoor use, but their main characteristic is their uniqueness. A decorative mat can come with company names and logos, funny sayings to entertain your visitors, bright colors of favorite flowers or sceneries, names or initials of family members, patriotic designs, logos of favorite sports teams, and even geometric or mesmerizing designs to attract visitors or customers.
Many companies even offer custom-made designs for your decorative doormat, which means you can order it in any design you enjoy, even if you thought up the idea yourself. There are literally thousands of decorative mats available on the Internet, so whether you want one with a large pink tulip on it or a logo from your favorite football team, it is all but guaranteed you will find it if you start online.
B. Specialty Mats/Designs
1. Anti-Fatigue Mats
People who work on assembly lines or at a packing table know how tired your feet and legs can get because standing all day can wreak havoc on your muscles and joints, especially if your shift is more than eight hours long. Fortunately, anti-fatigue mats can help. These mats are usually made of a flexible foam that allows some “give” and provides greater comfort while you’re working, as well as extra thicknesses that usually include up to 5/8” in height.
Both the height and the material used to make these mats make them not only more comfortable but also more accommodating to your legs and feet. Even if your shift requires you to work while standing in the same position for eight hours instead of being able to walk around some, anti-fatigue mats will help ensure the amount of pain or stiffness you feel in your lower extremities is either greatly reduced or eliminated altogether.
These mats also come in dozens of sizes and are usually made of some type of PVC foam, making them non-rigid so they can accommodate and cushion your feet while standing. In addition to having them in commercial scenarios, anti-fatigue mats can also be used in kitchens or workshops in individual homes.
2. Drainage Mats
These mats are designed not only for comfort while standing in a professional kitchen or machine shop, but they are also made so that liquids and even small pieces of food drain through the holes in the mat so that clean-up afterward is much easier and faster. The main reason the mats are made the way they are is so that you can pick up the mat when your shift is over and easily sweep or hose down the floor to get it clean once again.
It makes cleanup a lot easier than having to sweep or clean other types of mats, which can easily become stained with the items being dropped on the floor. Drainage mats are made of heavy-duty rubber and have holes that are the right size and spaced far enough apart to allow the food to go right through them. They are also resistant to grease and chemicals, and they come in a wide variety of colors and sizes to suit every facility’s needs. Once again, these mats are also available for home use and are especially useful if you live in areas where it rains a lot.
Drainage mats come in several different materials and designs as well, including those that are slip-resistant, those that can be used on both wet or dry surfaces, those with beveled edges to make it easier to step on and off the mat, those made of a super-foam that resists even thick items such as motor oil, and even mats that come in small square shapes that you can lock together and create the size you need. When it comes to drainage mats and their designs and sizes, the sky is the limit, and it is unlikely you will be disappointed while trying to find the one that is right for you.
3. Ribbed Entry Door Mats
Manufactured mainly for indoor use and the main entryways of commercial entities such as retail stores and restaurants, these mats are usually made out of thick, rigid carpet that has a beveled design so that you cannot trip while walking on it. Great for main entrances and areas that experience heavy traffic, these doormats are guaranteed not to curl and usually include a non-slip backing so that the mat doesn’t slide all over the place.
They are usually roughly half-an-inch in thickness and come in sizes from 3’ x 4’ to 4’ x 8’, allowing them to accommodate any type of commercial business. Although not available in every color, they usually come in basic colors such as black, charcoal, brown, and even burgundy. These are perhaps one of the most important doormats you will ever purchase because they prevent slips and falls and therefore potential lawsuits by customers or colleagues.
4. Anti-Static Mats
These mats are almost always used indoors in workplaces around equipment such as printers, computers, and copying machines, among others. They are usually made out of a foam vinyl material to reduce muscle strain, and their main purpose is to eliminate damages from electrical shock. Most of the time, these mats come with a grounding cord that can be as long as 10 feet, and the mats can be as small as 2’ x 3’ or as large as 4’ x 6’ in size. The grounding cord attaches to a grounded electrical outlet, and even if you have to cut the mat, the anti-static properties will not be affected. They are used mostly for commercial businesses such as corporate offices, hospitals, and schools.
5. Carpet Mats
Carpet mats are used mostly in warehouses and industrial locations, and they are designed to prevent grime, dust, and dirt from being tracked from outside to indoors, or from a warehouse to an office area. Some of the advantages of these mats include either standard or deluxe carpet, rubber trim to help it stays in place, the ability to eat up dirt and even water, a wide selection of sizes and colors to suit any business’s needs, and an easy-clean feature that allows you to hose down, vacuum, or sweep the mat to get it nice and clean again. The mats are dense, non-staining, won’t crush flat or fray and are made to last a very long time. They can be put through a lot and still work right and look good, and their reasonable prices mean you can easily purchase numerous mats without worrying about breaking the bank.
1. Weather Resistant
Weather-resistant rugs are usually outdoor rugs, and they can be made out of materials that include natural or recycled rubber, coir, vinyl, and polypropylene. Many of them also have exterior paint in the design, as well as vinyl backing that makes them even more resistant to the elements. Many interior doormats are also weather-resistant, but this is not nearly as important of a feature as it is in mats that remain outdoors all year around. In addition to being weather-resistant, most of these mats are also resistant to fading and to stains, making them extremely long-lasting and valuable.
2. Snow- and Ice-Melting Door Mats
These are specialty mats that are extremely useful in areas that get a lot of snow and cold weather. They are made to be placed outdoors in front of main entrances to offices, retail shops, restaurants, and even schools and hospitals, and their exteriors are insulated, sealed, and heavy-duty in nature. The main advantage of these types of mats is their ability to melt snow and ice – up to two inches per hour – which is helped along by their power cord that is protected from the elements and plugs into any 120V outlet.
They get quite warm over time, up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit over the outside temperature, and include a section that is specifically designed to scrape ice and snow off of shoes and boots. As long as you don’t place these mats over wood or carpeted surfaces, they work very well, and they are approximately half-an-inch thick and three feet by three feet in size, although their sizes vary by manufacturer. These mats save a lot of time because you won’t have to shovel as much snow and ice from your right outside your door or place as much salt along the sidewalks.
They are also invaluable because they keep your home or commercial location a lot safer and therefore reduce the chances that you’ll be sued by one of your customers or visitors. When you own any type of business or commercial facility, the safety of your customers or employees is always a big consideration, and snow-melting outdoor mats are a great way to accommodate this.
3. Mats with the Ability to Keep Your Feet Clean
There are numerous outdoor mats intended to get the dirt and grime off of your shoes so that you won’t track it all over the inside of the home or business you’re visiting, and one of these types of mats is made of turf instead of other materials usually associated with doormats. If you own a lodge, a restaurant with an outdoor eating area or patio, or a golf club that has a lobby, these turf mats can be a life-saver. Their artificial turf fibers are extra strong, and the mats are slip-resistant thanks to a rubber backing that is guaranteed not to curl or crack.
Their numerous color options are made of a material that prevents them from fading in the sunlight, and their colors usually include red, green, charcoal, natural beige, and blue. They also come in dozens of sizes to accommodate any area you need to put them in, and they are usually around half-an-inch in thickness. Artificial turf mats also present a certain amount of ambiance in businesses such as golf courses and sporting facilities whose fields are made of this type of material, so they are both functional and attractive regardless of which one you choose to purchase.
4. Microfiber Doormats
There are also mats made of microfiber which have the important characteristic of being able to soak up more than just dirt and grime because they can suck up snow and rain as well.
Most of these mats are made of a blend of polyester and microfiber, and they are plush and extremely absorbent. Their rubber backing prevents them from slipping or skidding, and they also will never curl or crack. Most of them also come in a speckled design so that any dirt or grime that gets on them will be disguised, which is also the reason most of them are made in dark colors such as brown, burgundy, or navy blue.
Since they are mostly for commercial use, the companies that make these mats usually offer discounts for ordering large numbers of them, and they are especially helpful in areas that get a lot of snow in the winter time or a lot of rain throughout the year. They are both attractive and highly functional, offering the best of both worlds when you need a safe and durable outdoor mat for your facility.
5. Eco-Friendly Door Mats
Eco-friendly doormats include those made of all-natural wood such as bamboo, which offers advantages such as extreme durability, a unique and beautiful look, and a product that is kinder to the environment and other hand-selected woods such as teak. They can be used either indoors or outdoors, have weather-resistant capabilities, and are available in dozens of colors, designs, and sizes.
Woods such as bamboo and teak also keep your feet cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter months, and since most of these types of mats are hand-crafted in other countries, no two mats will ever look exactly alike. Other woods used include rubberwood, as well as materials such as polypropylene, which is also good for the environment.
All eco-friendly doormats provide a very unique look for your home, and their natural beauty will make your visitors pay attention and take notice. If you’re interested in taking care of Mother Earth and leaving a smaller carbon footprint behind, these eco-friendly doormats are a great place to start, and their uniqueness and beauty ensure you will never regret making this choice.
D. Uniquely Shaped Door Mats
Most doormats are rectangular in shape, but there are companies that make specialty, shaped mats for your convenience and satisfaction. These include:
- Half-circle mats: these can be either indoor or for outside use, and they can be made of any of the other materials that doormats are usually made of
- Animal shapes: these include bear rugs and rugs shaped like other animals, including zebras, dogs, cats, birds, and many others
- Specialty shapes: these shapes include butterflies, flowers, hearts, leaves, letters of the alphabet, sports balls such as footballs and basketballs, stars, circles, triangles, and a variety of geometric shapes
- Logo shapes: these mats are designed for specific companies that have logo designs they wish to share with their customers
- Spelled-out words or phrases: you can get rugs that say “hello,” “enter,” “beach,” “sunshine,” and hundreds of other words
- Cartoon character shapes: these include bats, spider characters, or any number of other specialized cartoon characters that both children and adults love
E. Products to Improve the Mats You Already Own
Companies now make special anti-slip products that you can cut to any size or shape and place under any doormat or rug to make it slip-resistant and safe. Most of these products come in strips that are six inches wide and 25 or more feet in length, and once you’ve measured and cut the strips to the size you need, all you do is place the strip on the bottom of your mat. Most of them come with double adhesive sides, which enables one side of the strip to stick to the mat and the other side to stick to the floor. They are usually water-based and made of a cellulose fabric with an open-weave design, and you can clean residue off of the surface easily if you use a citrus-based cleaner. If your mat no longer remains movement-free or it never was in the first place, these adhesive strips are the solution you’ve been looking for.
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.