How To Choose A Tub & Shower Mat

A notable bathtub and shower mat can brighten up the entire bathroom while keeping your feet cozy and toasty! But most importantly, they protect you from slipping on the wet floors.

If you're shopping for new tub and shower mats for your powder room, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the plethora of choices. But don't worry, we have done all the work for you: in this guide, you'll find exact how to choose the best mats that are comfortable, stylish, and highly functional.

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How to Pick the Best Tub and Shower Mat for Your Bathroom?

Whether you're buying a mat for your shower or tub, it can be easy to shop on looks alone, but it's critical to consider material, safety, suction, and more. Read on to learn more about these factors:

Shape and Size

If you're buying a mat for your bathtub, you need something that will fit the shape of your tub. Tub mats come in many different shapes, like oval, rectangular, and square.

Measure your tub and then pick a mat that will easily fit your tub floor and cover it fully.

Antibacterial Rectangular Shape Bathtub Mat
Short Rectangular Shape Bathtub Mat
Short Oval Shape Bathtub Mat
Small Flower Shape Bathtub Mats
Long Clear Oval Shape Bathtub Mat
Clear Bubble Rectangular Bathtub Mat

Foot Traction

If your main goal for buying a bath mat is to prevent slips, consider PVC or rubber mats. These have lightly textured surfaces that help feet get a solid grip and avoid fall accidents.

In fact, when a PVC or rubber mat gets wet, it become even better at gripping the feet. If you have small children or elderly family members who will be using this bathroom, these traction mats can be invaluable.

Suction Cups

Every quality bath mat has suction cups that keep it firmly in place to further protect against sliding and slipping. If you have elderly members in the house, choose a bath mat with suction cups to ensure they won't lose their balance in the bathroom.

If the bottom of your tub is lined with tile or has a textured form, non-slip shower strips will be a better option for you than a bath mat.

Black Vinyl Rubber Shower Mat
Colorful Simple Rubber Shower Mats
Grey Rectangular Non slip Bathtub Mat
Colorful Oval Rectangular Rubber Shower Mats
Clear Square Rubber Shower Mat
Bubble Rubber Bathtub Mat

Cushioning

If comfort is as critical to you as safety, then choose a cushioned mat that offers added comfort with every step you take. Rubber bath mats are known to be most cushioned but you can choose a PVC mat with soft bubbles on its surface for extra padding.

Drain Holes

Whatever shower or tub mat you choose, make sure it has drainage holes to prevent pooling and allow smooth water flow.

Another function of drain holes is that they prevent the buildup of mildew and mold, letting the bath mat dry completely without any effort. You can either choose a mat with several small holes over the entire surface, or you can choose one with a single large hole that's designed to be positioned right over a drain.

Blue Bubble Bathtub Mat
Short Clear Bubble Bathtub Mat
Blue Round Bubble Shower Mat
Rectangular with Clear Bubble Bathtub Mat
Oval Bubble Bathtub Mat
Simple Rectangular Bubble Shower Mat

What Are the Best Tub & Shower Mat Materials?

If you want a mat to use inside your shower and/or tub, then a PVC or rubber mat is the way to go. But if you're looking for bath mats outside your shower or tub, there are several options:

  • Cotton mats provide a soft, lavish sensation, and they are exceptionally durable. They absorb water well and self-dry very quickly. Also, they are machine-washable, so you don't have to worry about cleaning them manually. On the down side, they are relatively thin (not much cushion) and quite expensive.

  • Chenille mats work incredibly well in absorbing water and collecting dust, so you can also use them to wipe off dust and dirt from shoes. They certainly have a super luxurious feel, unfortunately, they don't offer much slip-resistance.

  • Bamboo mats will appeal to people who prefer to stand on a solid surface or follow a minimal-green-stylish décor for their homes. Bamboo mats are not only ecologically-sustainable but they are almost indestructible as well. But remember, bamboo is a type of wood, which means a bamboo mat requires drying after each use and regular cleaning, otherwise it can develop mold.

  • Memory foam mats are perfect for people who suffer from chronic body aches as they offer an ergonomic platform targeted at relieving joint and muscle pain in your feet and legs. If you're looking for a mat that provides exceptional standing comfort and water absorbency, plus they are machine washable, you'll love a memory foam bath mat.

  • Microfiber bath mats are the most popular options today because a) they are very affordable, and b) they have unbeatable moisture absorbency. If you're looking for a no-nonsense shower mat that is durable and self-drying, pick this one.

Blue Memory Foam Bath Mat
Brown Bamboo Bath Mat
Dark Brown Bamboo Shower Mat
Soft Cotton Blend Bath Rug
Natural Cotton Bath Rug Set
Blue Soft Cotton Bath Rug

What is the Best Way to Maintain Shower Mats?

How you maintain your tub or shower mat will determine its overall lifespan. With a few simple tips shared below, you can extend the life of your mats significantly:

  • Hang the mat over the tub or shower door after each use. This will help it dry very quickly.

  • Wash your bath mats every week if you have a large family, as too much water accumulation can lead to mildew over time.

  • Wash your mats twice a month if only one or two people use the bathroom. 

  • Follow the suggested wash instructions mentioned on the care labels of your mat. 

  • Shake the mat out and wipe down any rubber or mesh backing before you place it in the washer.

  • Wash the mats on a gentle cycle with cold water, and then hang them outside to dry or tumble dry on low.

  • If you have a rubber mat, either clean it manually with a water and bleach solution, or place it in a washing machine with some other sturdy items (like your towels). But never place these mats in the dryer; just hang them to air dry.

Which is Better: Rubber vs. Non-Slip Bath Mats?

Safety is key when it comes to choosing the best bath mats for your bathroom. Both rubber and non-slip bath mats can help prevent slips and falls, but there are some inherent differences in how they work:

  • Rubber bath mats: These are placed inside the bath tub or shower and they adhere to the tub/shower floor via suction cups. If you're always worrying about you, your children or an elderly family member slipping inside the shower stall or the tub, use a rubber bath mat.

  • Non-slip bath mats: Non-slip bath mats are meant to be used outside the bath rub or shower. These mats have a non-slip backing of rubber or mesh that keeps them firmly glued to the surface of the bathroom.

The best non-slip bath mats are the ones that have a really thick piece of rubber fixed to the back as they will be less likely to skid.

Quick Tips

Don't have enough time to read the whole saga shared above? Here's a quick rundown of this post:

  • PVC or rubber mats are best to use inside the tub, as they provide 100% safety against slips and falls.
  • If you're looking for a mat for outside of your tub or shower, you can choose from cotton, microfiber, chenille, bamboo, and memory foam.
  • Cotton and chenille bath mats are most luxurious and expensive - perfect for that spa-like feeling.
  • If you're on a strict budget, buy a microfiber bath mat for its durability, anti-slippage, and water absorbency.
  • Wash and clean your bath mats at least once a week - even if they are "anti-bacterial".

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