Let’s start with the basics: The primary purpose of a bath mat is to dry off your feet and prevent you from slipping on a slick floor. So ideally you want a product that absorbs moisture well, dries quickly, and helps you avoid any post-shower accidents. Another thing to consider? You’re probably familiar with the concept that rugs “tie a room together,” and that same notion can be extended to the humble bath mat. You don’t need to be a design-minded person to find joy in aesthetic appeal, of course, and a mat that’s easy on the feet and the eyes is a simple way to add a little visual interest to a bathroom of any size.
Then there’s the simple fact that there are so. many. types. to choose from: Are you a low-key, towel-style bath mat person? Or more of a plush, high-pile type? Perhaps you, like us, never even stopped to ponder this very question until now! For the purposes of this review, we researched and tested those products that fell both under the “mat” and “rug” description; for fair comparison, we did not test wooden or diatomite stone bath mats. The nomenclature really seems to be up to a retailer: In general, those described as mats are flatter, while those described as rugs have a bit more texture and floof. But it’s all a matter of personal preference — and maybe whether or not you’ve got a low-clearance door.
All that to say, we tested a slew of bath mats, both at our New York offices (for a first round of absorption testing), and in our homes, taking into consideration functionality, dry time, washability, visual appeal, and availability of sizes and colors to find the best picks for every bathroom.