- A well made bath mat is necessary for staying safe while stepping in and out of the shower.
- To find the best options, we tested eight bath mats and spoke with a cleaning expert.
- Our top pick is plush, absorbent, and available in multiple colors and size options.
Bath mats are a bathroom essential, but finding a high-quality mat can be challenging. To start, you’ll want to look for several features including high absorbency, durable construction, and a non-slip design. While a bath mat with efficient construction can be used for several months, a poorly made mat will slip and slide, take longer to dry, and can quickly become dangerous.
We put eight bath mats through extensive comfort, absorbency, and wash and dry tests to find the best options currently available. Our top picks are all easy to clean, stay in place, and range in material from soft cotton to plush, foot conforming memory foam. You can learn more about our extensive testing process in our methodology section.
We also spoke with Jon Gholian who is the founder of NYC-based cleaning company Cleany, to learn more about the best ways to care for your bath mats. Gholian also shared some tips and tricks to help guide you through the process of shopping for a bath mat which can be found in the FAQ section of this guide.
Here are the best bath mats of 2021
- Best bath mat overall: Brooklinen Bath Mat
- Best budget bath mat: Ikea TOFTBO Bath Mat
- Best decorative bath mat: Society6 Bath Mats
- Best memory foam bath mat: Target Room Essentials Velveteen Memory Foam Bath rug
The Brooklinen Bath Mat is made of 100 percent cotton for a feel that is incredibly soft and absorbent.
Pros: Absorbent, great value, stylish design, plush feel
Cons: Longer dry time after washing, lighter colors may attract bathroom dust and dirt
The Brooklinen Bath Mat is designed to evoke the relaxing feel of the spa with its thick plush design. The mat is made of 100% Turkish cotton, which makes it surprisingly comfortable despite its towel-like appearance. With its simple design and multi-color availability, the mat can complement a wide variety of bathroom decor styles.
The mat performed extremely well during our absorbency tests and only felt slightly damp, even when multiple people used it after back-to-back showers. The mat did require more time in the dryer than other mats, but remained in great shape after three runs through the washer and dryer.
If you share a bathroom with multiple people or are looking to get away with cleaning your bath mat less often, we recommend choosing a darker colored mat, as the white shade we tested easily collected bathroom dust and dirt.
The best budget bath mat
The fast drying Ikea TOFTBO Bath Mat is a great inexpensive mat option for those that share a bathroom with multiple people.
Pros: Unique design, fast drying, lightweight, absorbent, durable, great price
Cons: Slipped and slid a bit when stepping on it, design may not match well with more minimal decor styles
The Ikea TOFTBO Bath Mat offers a unique feel due to its fluffy microfiber fabric that provides a great amount of foot support. The mat performed the best in absorbency during testing, and was fully dried after being run through a regular dryer cycle. This absorbency is key for those that share a shower with more than one person, as it helps you avoid the uncomfortable feeling of stepping on a soaked mat.
The mat is also extremely durable despite its unique construction and suffered no damage after three washes. While the mat performed well during absorbency tests, it lacks a non-slip backing and did move a small amount when stepped on. Ikea recommends using the STOPP anti-slip underlay to keep the mat firmly in place.
The best decorative bath mat
Available in an endless assortment of designs, the Society6 Summer Fern/Simple Modern Watercolor Bath Mat is just one example of the design possibilities available when shopping with the brand.
Pros: Available in multiple designs, skid-proof backing
Cons: Is not the most absorbent mat
While minimal bath mats with simple designs can complement a wide variety of bathroom decor, Society6’s bath bats (we tested the Summer Fern/Simple Modern Watercolor design) will add a fun pop of color to any bathroom. Society6 allows customers to support independent artists by buying home products that feature their designs.
Regardless of what design you choose, you’ll get the same base bath mat: a plush, microfiber and memory foam mat with curved edges. Its bath mats were one of the few we tested that feature a non-slip backing which kept the mat in place.
After running three showers in a row during testing, the mat did feel uncomfortably soaked through, which means it may not be the best choice for shared bathrooms. However, even when the mat was extremely wet, the non-slip coating kept it from slipping and sliding.
The mat washed and dried well but kept its shape better when air dried instead of being placed in the dryer, which caused the mats’ ends to curl up a bit.
All in all, if you’re looking to add a decorative statement piece to your bathroom, Society6’s bath mats offer good quality and unique designs.
The best memory foam bath mat
Target’s Velveteen Memory Foam Bath Rug is made of comfortable memory foam that contours to your feet.
Pros: Extremely soft, non-slip backing, available in multiple sizes, lightweight
Cons: Not the best option for shared bathrooms
The Velveteen Memory Foam Bath Rug was by far the softest, most comfortable mat we tested. Not only is it made of plush memory foam, it’s also topped with a soft, velvet-like fabric that makes the mat feel even cozier.
The mat worked well at absorbing water, but repeatedly felt soaked and uncomfortable to stand on after being used for three showers in a row, which isn’t great if you share a bathroom with multiple people. The mat has a PVC latex backing that kept it in place even when it was extremely wet.
The mat washed well and kept its softness and plushness through multiple washes. I tried both air drying it and machine drying it, and it kept its shape with both methods.
What else we tested
What else we recommend and why
Boll & Branch Spa Bath Mat: This mat had the feel of a softer towel and performed about average during comfort testing. The mat worked well at absorbing water but did slip and slide a bit when wet and when dry. Overall, the mat remained damage free and soft after going through multiple washes, making it a great option for those who are looking to splurge when shopping for a new bath mat.
Parachute’s Classic Turkish Cotton Tub Mat: This mat felt comfortable and warm when stood on and performed well throughout testing. The mat worked well at absorbing water and didn’t slip or slide much when stepped on after showering. While this cotton mat washed and dried well, it did have a few loose fibers that were pulled out after running the mat through many cleaning tests. This did not have a major impact on the mat’s overall performance and it remained in great condition.
What we don’t recommend and why
Coyuchi Air Weight Organic Bath Mat: This bath mat was not very comfortable or plush feeling and moved around quite a bit when we stood on it after showering. The mat was okay at absorbing water but did get completely soaked through after multiple showers. The mat washed well but lost its softness through the multiple wash and dry tests, leaving it feeling rough and stiff.
Signature Living Store Bamboo Bath Mat: This bamboo bath mat was surprisingly comfortable despite being made of wood. It also has a non-slip design which worked well when the mat was wet and dry. However, our main issue with this mat is its lack of absorbency. The mat has open slats which led to water falling through the mat onto the floor, which can cause floor damage over time.
Our testing methodology
We put all eight bath mats through the same five tests:
Comfort: While using each mat as part of our normal showering routine, we observed how comfortable the material was to stand on.
Absorbency: We also noted how wet each mat felt after showering and if any mats became slippery and started sliding. Each mat was tested in a communal bathroom shared by three people, who regularly took back-to-back showers.
Dry time: Every morning we checked to see if each mat had completely dried overnight, and if any mats were still wet.
Cleaning: We washed and dried every mat three times according to its care instructions and inspected each mat to see how it held up. We cleaned the wood mat three times with a wood safe cleaner and then checked the mat for any signs of damage.
Durability: After regular use and multiple trips through the washing machine, we noted any damage that occurred over the testing period and ranked the mats accordingly.
What we look forward to testing
iDesign Formbu Bamboo Floor Mat: While the slatted bamboo bath mat we tested easily allowed water to spill onto the bathroom floor, we liked the concept of a solid wood bath “mat.” iDesign’s wood bath mat doesn’t have any slatted openings, meaning the shower water will simply evaporate off of the mat. Due to its low maintenance and simplicity, we are looking forward to testing it as a wood option.
Frontgate Resort Bath Mat: This mat is designed for max comfort and support, and the brand claims it gets softer the more you wash it. The mat is available in several colors including beachy blues and rustic reds and greens.
Gorilla Grip Store Gorilla Grip Original Luxury Chenille Bathroom Rug Mat: We tested two bath mats with a non-slip backing and are looking to test this Gorilla Grip mat; it’s constructed with soft chenille, available in multiple shades, and is equipped with a strong rubber backing.
What are the best materials for bath mats?
The best bath mat materials are mainly based on preference with a few exceptions. If you share a bathroom with multiple people you’ll want to purchase a mat made of absorbent materials that have a quick drying time. Gholian recommends choosing cotton or bamboo over other materials. “Most people prefer the foam mat nowadays for comfort but this takes longer to dry than cotton or bamboo which easily absorbs water,” said Gholian. He also recommends choosing a mat that has an anti-slip backing, which will help keep the mat in place even if it does get soaked.
What size bath mat should I buy?
The size of your bath mat should be based solely on the size of your bathtub or shower. You’ll want to ensure that your mat covers the entire floor surface that you step on when stepping in or out of the shower. A mat that’s too small will look awkward and will lead to wet floors, while an oversized mat will also reflect poorly on the room’s design. A good rule of thumb is to keep a few inches of space between the bath mat and the wall.
How should you clean your bath mat and how often should you clean your bath mat?
Surprisingly, you should aim to wash your bath mat more frequently than many of us would think. Gholian strongly suggests washing your mat at least every 2-3 weeks, but prefers to wash his bath mats weekly for the most thorough cleaning.
Of course, machine washing and drying can impact the longevity of your mat. If you’d like to keep your bath mats for longer, you can opt to hand wash them with a gentle detergent and simply hang them to dry. However, using a gentle wash and dry cycle will also work well.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to each mat’s care instructions (most mats are machine washable) and follow them closely. Many mats discourage the use of strong detergents and cleaning aids such as fabric softener or bleach which can ruin the mat completely.
How often should you replace your bath mat?
When deciding when to replace your bath mat, you’ll want to do so “at least every 6 months if not a little bit sooner at that point,” said Gholian. You may be able to get a little more longevity out of your mats if you have a few you rotate between.
How can you find bath mats that are both stylish and functional? Is it necessary to splurge to find a great bath mat?
Choosing a bath mat style that complements your bathroom’s decor is up to your personal preference. Retailers like Society6 offer a wide range of designs and colors if you’re looking for a more colorful bath mat or bathroom rug. Other retailers such as Brooklinen, Target, and Ikea offer neutral colored bath mats with simple designs that will fit well in most bathrooms.
If you plan on cleaning and replacing your bath mat as frequently as Gholian suggests, you’ll want to focus your shopping efforts on finding a bath mat that is well made, comfortable, and affordable enough to replace at least 1-2 times a year.
Check out more bath guides