Bath & Bath Products

What are Bath Mats? The Difference Between Bath Rugs vs Bath Mats

What Are Bath Mats The Difference Between Bath Rugs And Bath Mats

My two years old daughter loves playing with water. She stands by the basin and bathe her toys spilling water everywhere. One day, I was running after my two-year-old daughter while feeding her and I stepped on my mat outside my bathroom and tripped. Oh, it was bad. I ended 3 weeks on bed with a sprained ankle and some bruises.

The next thing I did after my plaster came off was to go shopping for a bath math.

I was surprised at the variety and design that was available. I casually asked the sales staff for a rug to be placed outside my bathroom, and he whether I wanted a bath mat or a bath rug!

It was then I realized that there is difference between bath mats vs bath rugs. In fact, it had not even crossed my mind of their different purpose. Had I been more careful with my selection of bath math, I wouldn’t have fall so hard.

There should be a bath mat or rug in every bathroom, but which one to pick? In fact, many of us do not know the difference between rugs and mats.

The difference between bath mats and rugs is not only an important component of bathroom designing process but also they have different aesthetics and functionality. They both are two different bath accessory, and each serving a unique purpose

When deciding whether to buy a bath mat or bath rug, it’s also important to understand their distinct features to help find the product that works best for your home

The purpose?

The ideal size of bath mat or rug?

The best material to absorb water?

In this guide, I will answer everything you need to know before you head out to buy bath rugs and bath mats!

Understanding the difference between Bath Mats and Bath Rugs

Don’t we all want to have a soft, plush and warm place to land our feet when we step out of the bathtub or shower.

Most of us have bath mat or bath rug in our bathrooms at home but did you know that they are not interchangeable.

However, there is a difference between the two that can affect your decision regarding which one to use in your bathroom at home.

So what is a Bath Mat

What is a Bath Mat or a Shower Mat?

bath mat also commonly called bathroom floor mat is one which are placed directly outside the shower or bathtub for you to step on after your bath or shower.

It is designed to hold water from wet feet after your bath or shower and to prevent slipping. Bathroom mats helps keep the floor dry and clean by absorbing excess moisture.

The sole objective of bath mats is to provide anti-slip surface to step after your bath to prevent slipping. Functionality is what defines bath mats — to soak water and provide a surface for you to step on after taking a shower or bath.

It is light weight, highly absorbent, and mostly made of cotton terry, similar to a thick towel. Bath mats are available in various sizes and materials. They are often rectangular in shape and measure 20 inches x 30 inches.

A bath mat is frequently included in set of bath towels and is designed to match the colour scheme, style and quality of bath towels. They also come with anti-slip silicon backing for added safety that keeps bath mats in place

Bathroom mats are essential as they make the place more hygienic. Mould, germs, and mildew can easily grow if the floors are often wet. A high-quality bathroom mat can also shield your hardwood floors from water damage.

Purpose of Bath Mat or Shower Mat

The main purpose of Bath Mat or Shower Mat is to give you a non-slip surface to step on after you have taken your bath or shower. Bathroom mats are essential since they keep the space more hygienic

Bathroom mats can soak up excess moisture or splashes, keeping floors dry and mold-free. Bath mats absorb water to prevent the development of mold, mildew, and bacteria on your bathroom flooring.

In order to prevent a dangerous situation from arising when you step out of the bath, it is advisable to purchase a non-slip mat.

After understanding what bath mat is, it is important to know what is the best material for a Bath Mat?

Purpose of Bath Mat or Shower Mat

What Is the Best Material for a Bath Mat?

To make a smart selection, you will need to know the different bath mat fabrics that are available.

So, What are different Types of Bath Mats available according to its fabric

  • Cotton Bath Mats
  • Synthetic Material Bath Mats
  • Microfiber Bath Mats
  • Memory Form
  • Bamboo Bath Mats
  • Rubber Bath Mats
  • Eco-Friendly Fabric Bath Mats
What are different Types of Bath Mats

Cotton Bath Mats

Cotton is the most popular material for bath mats. Why? That’s because of its ability to wick away moisture and its hypoallergenic properties. Cotton fibres are resilient and supple by nature.

They are soft to touch and will consistently pamper your feet and toes when you step on it. They make sturdy bath mats that are particularly plush and cozy to walk on.

Cotton Bath Mats are available in a range of textures. They can be with large fluffy loops or flat piles that can be kept in place beneath doors. Some cotton bath mats are also available in reversible options. Choose a mat that is constructed of long-staple fibres. These are more durable and of higher quality.

Cotton Bath Mat

Synthetic Material Bath Mats

Polyester, and nylon are examples of synthetic textiles that are durable, quick to dry, and low maintenance. They might not absorb water as effectively. Depending on your taste, pick from waffle weave, shaggy, or fluffy fabrics.

Microfiber Bath Mats

Another popular choice in terms of softness is microfibre. In addition to being extraordinarily fluffy, it is also very warm and dries quickly. They seem to bear your weight as you step on them.

Micro Fibre Bath Mat

Microfiber bath mats tend to have cushion spring feel to them. Memory foam is used in the creation of some microfiber bath mats to give extra cushioning and support.

Microfiber bath mats can serve the purpose even though they don’t absorb moisture as quickly or thoroughly as a high-quality cotton bath mat.

However, the major problem with a microfiber bath mat is that they may get damaged very easily if they are poorly constructed. As a result, you should budget more money for a durable microfiber bath mat.

Memory Form

Rugs and bath mats both are available in memory foam. It provides padding and relieves pressure, especially when standing for an extended period of time, like in front of a vanity. To preserve memory foam from moisture, memory form is usually covered with other materials such as cotton or microfiber.

Memory Form Bath Mat

Bamboo Bath Mats

Bamboo bath or shower mats are made of bamboo giving a spa like look to your bathroom. They may be elevated and have slats. It may also be fitted with non-slip rubber to prevent it from moving.

As bamboo is naturally water repellent, the majority of water landing it will be repelled or pool on the surface of the mat.

Bamboo mats needs regular drying and cleaning, as it can become moldy in humid conditions. It is generally low in maintenance, dusting it weekly with a cloth or brush with a mild cleaner is will suffice.

Bamboo Bath Mat
Bamboo Bath Mat

The problem with bamboo mats is that they don’t have softeness of cotton or microfibre, are not anti-slip, and do not absorb water like memory form. They might get moldy if not regularly cleaned. The main benefit of bamboo mat is that it is made of sustainable material. They also save the effort for machine washing and drying.

Similarly other options are Wood mats, Stone Mats, Cork Mats, Vetiver Root Mats. Will

Rubber Math Mats

Another popular and traction-friendly materials for rubber bath mats include rubber, plastic, and vinyl. Look for an antibacterial option that are more resilient to mold and mildew. The most basic of mats are plain white, although some have rounded edges or pebble- or bubble-like designs.

Eco-Friendly Fabric Bath Mats

For consumers looking to buy eco-friendly, all natural materials, they have to option to pick bath mats made from bamboo or teak fabrics. They are sustainable option and have a reputation for being green.

It goes without say that cotton is also naturally occurring fabric that is environmentally safe, allergen-resistant. So you can opt for cotton in addition to other sustainable choices.

Now lets understand what a bath rug is.

What is a Bath Rug?

A bath rug or bathroom rug is a decorative accessory that adds character and style to the bathroom. They bring out the décor of the bathroom by creating a focal point and defining space.

You can coordinate your Bathroom rugs with other design elements like towels, shower curtains, paint, or wall décor, to create a pleasing look and add an aesthetic appeal. They can also be made to stand out making a bold statement.

What is Bath Rug
Bath Rug

You can place your Bath rugs anywhere in your bathroom, either in front of the sink, toilet or tub, or in the middle of the floor or right inside the door.

Apart from adding to an aesthetic function, bath rugs can also serve a practical role depending on their fabric type.

Bath rugs are available in a wide range of designs, hues, sizes and forms. So, get creative, don your designer hat and select the one that best suits your taste.

A bathroom rug is thicker and frequently includes a canvas or non-slip backing. It is typically made of combed cotton. You might want to buy a bath mat in addition to bath rug as they do not have anti-slip backing

What is the Best Material for a Bath Rug?

Now let’s get to the best material for Bath Rug, as they too come in variety of materials.

  1. Wool
  2. Microfiber
  3. Nylon
  4. Cotton

Wool Bath Rug

When seeking for a thick rug, wool is an excellent choice. It can store moisture pretty well and allows more air to pass through it than other materials. Since it’s a natural fibre, it also has superior moisture- wicking qualities and quick-dry feature.

So, if you stay in high humid place, wool bath rug is an natural choice for your bathroom or other spaces.

Wool Bath Rug

Microfiber Bath Rug

Microfibre Bath Rug is made of smaller and concentrated strands of fibres that allows it to hold water seven times its weight. Microfiber rugs are thought to be more enduring and simpler to maintain than fabrics with bigger strands.

Nylon Bath Rugs

Nylon, is the most durables of all synthetic carpets. They are made from relatively large fibres and resists wear and tear. They are resistant to stains and rarely fades in colour.

Since nylon fibre are durable and resistant, nylon bath rugs make an excellent long term investment.

Cotton Bath Rugs

Cotton Bath rugs made with 100 percent cotton have excellent absorbing qualities and soak up water as many times their weight, thus ensuring both dryness and comfort. 

What is the Difference Between a Bath Mat and a Bath Rug?

Now as we have already gone through what is bath mat and what is bath rug, it is easy to point out the difference between them.

Rugs and bath mats each have unique purpose and aesthetics. The main difference between the two lies in their functionality.

While Bath mats tend to be more functional serving as a non-slip surface, bath rugs are decorative in nature giving a luxurious feel to the bath space.

Bath Rugs are used to create an aesthetic statement, and co-ordinated with different design element in bathrooms, to complement the theme and colour scheme of the bathroom and your bath towels.

Bath rugs gives you design freedom as they come in a variety of hues, patterns, sizes, and forms. A bathroom rug might be square or have a floral pattern; it can also be thinner and include decorative features like fringe.

Here are some tips to help you in selecting the best Bath Mat or Bath Rug for you.


The primary functions of bath mats are to prevent slips and absorb water after showers. They have thick and texture feel and tend to have compact footprint.

However, bath rugs’ primary function is fashion and giving your bathroom a welcoming, and cozy feel So if you are seeking for a way to collect water after stepping out of the shower and to prevent slips then go for Bath mats. Additionally, they are also preferred to avoid skin contact with chilly bathroom tiles.


Bath rugs and mats have different capacities for absorbing moisture. Bath mats absorb liquids considerably more quickly than bath rugs. Bath rugs comes in larger sizes and consequently take longer to absorb water.


Bath mats are not actually styling tools, so using a bath mat to make a design statement might not be the best option.

Bath mats, on the contrary, are available in different sizes and shapes. They provide you a tonne of room to get creative with the design of your bathroom. Since they are available in various textures, size and colors, you have the option of changing the bath rug whenever you want a new look.


A standard Bath mats’ size typically range from 17 by 24 inches to 21 by 34 inches.

Bath rugs can be as large as 22 by 60 inches or even 27 by 45 inches, while


Since bath mat is an extension of towel set, they are placed specifically right outside the shower or tub to absorb water following a bath.

A bath rug, on the other hand, can be used in areas other than the shower or bathtub. In fact, since bath rugs aren’t made to soak up a lot of water or have an anti-slip backing, so they might not be useful in these areas. So you can place it in a comfortable spot while you stand to brush your teeth, shave, or put on makeup, or you can lay a bath rug in the centre of your bathroom. They can extra comfort, support and warmth especially chilly mornings.

Although both are excellent options for your bathroom at home, the decision between a bath mat and a bath rug really comes down to personal preference, how you want to use it and how you want to coordinate with interior design of the space

Bath Mats vs Bath Rugs

How to Care for Bath Mats and Bath Rugs

Fortunately, it’s easier to clean and wash your bath mats and many bath rugs easily in a washing machine. Read the below guidelines for caring your bath mats and bath rugs.

  1. Washing your bath mats and rugs before using is a good idea. Do not rip off the tags as they may cause the fibre to tear. Use scissors to remove all tags
  2. Sort your items by color and weight.
  3. Choose proper wash cycle and check not to overload your machine.
  4. Wash in cool to lukewarm water. You may use a specialty detergent especially made to launder fine fabric which is mild and do not damage the material. You may also use plant-based cleaners with powerful cleaning enzymes which are pH balanced.
  5. After removing from machine, give the bath mat or rug a gentle shake to fluff it.
  6. You may tumble dry it but only on low heat. Try using organic woold dryer balls which will spped up drying time and give fluffiness to your bath mats and bath rugs in the dryer.
  7. Keep in mind never to use bleach or fabric softener on any bath towel, bath mat, or bath rug. They ruin the look, feel and absorbency of the cotton fabric by leaving a waxy build-up on the fibre.

Machine washing might be an option for some cotton bath mats, but always check the care label first. You can tumble dry the rug on low if it is made of cotton. However, laying it flat to dry will yield the greatest results. The need for dry cleaning for bath mats depends on the fabric. This is especially true of bath rugs made of synthetic materials.

Bath Mat Vs Bath Rub

How often should you wash bath mat?

Mold or mild-dew can grow even beneath the the bath mat or rug which may nto be visible. A good rule of thumb is to wash your bath mat at least once a week to keep things simple.

If you share your bathroom with 2 or more people, then its advisable to washi your bath mats every 3 to 5 days.

If you have your own bathroom than you might get away with cleaning them once in every 10 days

After reading all about Bath Mats and Bath Rugs, am sure you must be having many questions regarding the best fabric!!

Which Bath Mat is best for Bathroom?

What kind of Shower Mat is best?

What is the most absorbent Bath Mat?

As you know there are plenty of choices in regards to fabric options for your bath mat and rug. They include microfiber, wool, bamboo, nylon, and chenille, among others. But the most popular choice is cotton. A cotton bath mats and rugs will deliver superior quality performance over time, especially when the cotton fibres are of high quality:

So why cotton is the best material for Bath Mat and Bath Rug?

  • Absorption: Cotton has the ability to wick away moisture, making it the perfect material for the humid bathroom environment—especially if it’s used in a bath mat that’s intended to keep floors secure and dry.
  • Superb hand feel: Unlike any other fabric, 100% cotton has a velvety smoothness. Its incredible feel under your feet, will make your purchase worth-while when you
  • Durability: The extra-long cotton fibre bath mats and rugs will last you quite a while. While keeping their softness and aesthetic appeal, these floor coverings can withstand heavy, frequent use.
  • Easy care: Rugs and bath mats are required regular cleaning; especially bath mats, which if left damp all the time could start to grow mould or mildew. Cotton rugs and bath mats are incredibly easy to clean. As they are machine washable, they will make your task easier. Remember to wash in cool or cold water with mild detergent.

After reading about bath mats, you must be thinking!

Why cotton is the best material for Bath Mat and Bath Rug

Can I use a towel instead of a bath mat?

Just like a rug cannot be used as bath mat, a towel as a bath mat is not a good idea as without anti-slip base, it will not hold onto a place and may slip.

But if you don’t want your discard your favourite towel. Or want to use that colourful towel you picked up in your last shopping. Or you have purchased an extra pair of towel to make a matching bath mat, then make your own DIY Bath Mat. Reusing old towels is a fantastic method to protect the environment and create something new.

There are two ways to make your own DIY bath mat.

One method is cutting towel into strips and braiding them into a bath mat.

Additionally, a single towel can be transformed into a bath mat by adding a hem to the edge of the sides. Then stitch a ribbon along the sewed edge, to conceal these edges. The ribbon can provide your bath mat a lovely decorative touch. You can apply velcro to the mat to the floor to keep your homemade bath mat in place while also making it non-slip.

By stitching a ribbon along the sewed edge, you can conceal these edges. Additionally, the ribbon can provide your bath mat a lovely decorative touch.

Also do read our guide on how to select perfect bath towel

Your bathroom’s appearance and functionality can be greatly improved by using the proper bath mat, bath rug, and tub mat. Pick a size and material that fit your space the best. For an easy upgrade to interior of your space, change out your rugs. Don’t forget to replace your bath mat once a year. Do let us know which one do you prefer more – Bath mat or Bath Rug!

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