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    Updated on Apr 10, 2020. Posted on Apr 10, 2020

    The Best Bath Mats For Anyone Who's Never Put Much Thought Into Buying Bath Mats

    Make your feet (and your floor) happy!

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    If you’re like most bathroom-having humans, you likely haven’t spent a ton of time thinking about what truly makes a bath mat excellent. It’s certainly much easier to pick up the most decent-looking one with your latest Bed Bath & Beyond coupon when your current mat starts looking (or smelling) a little worse for wear. But after testing nearly 20 top-rated bath mats on the market, we can confidently say that it’s a household product you’d benefit from putting a little thought into.

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    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.

    Made by Design Bath Rug

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    Need another excuse for Target run? We didn’t think so, but here’s one anyway: It turns out you can find what we think is the best budget-priced bath rug in its fluorescent-lit aisles (and, of course, on its website). The Made by Design Bath Rug, crafted from polyester with a latex backing, comes through in terms of comfort, moisture absorption, and non-slippage, plus its simple, tufted design means it’ll fit in on any bathroom floor. And with a thin border, it’s less prone to looking misshapen or not lying flat after some use. Looks-wise, it’s a solid dupe for Pottery Barn’s Textured Organic Bath Rug, except it’s significantly softer and a fraction of the price; it’s also not reversible, but more on that in a bit.

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    As we note in our review of Best Bath Towels, the weight of a towel, or bath mat in this case, is measured in GSM, or grams per square meter, which also indicates how dense its threads are. A higher GSM doesn’t always mean the towel is softer, more absorbent, or even physically thicker, but it does usually correspond with price (similar to how higher thread-count sheets are generally pricier). At 300–400 GSM, this rug is lightweight to medium-weight, making its price more than justifiable.

    Beyond affordability, where this rug truly racks up the points is in its nonskid backing. We tried our darndest to slip and slide while atop it, but this thing wouldn’t budge, even after a machine-wash and a cycle in the dryer. (Note, however, that it’s probably best to wash on a cold cycle and air-dry for maximum longevity.) While, as some reviews note, the nonskid backing may start to wear away after frequent washes, for this price point, we still think it’s the best option money can buy.

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    An aside on reversible bath mats: We didn’t weigh reversibility very heavily during our research and testing phases, because we don’t think the advantages of this feature override a quality mat that ticks all the other boxes. By default a nonreversible mat can’t have a nonskid backing, something we think is important to consider — especially if you have children or elderly folks in your household who may need a more steady footing. Perhaps the main draw of a reversible mat is the idea that you can flip it over for the next person taking a shower, if someone is hopping in right after you’ve used it — or to hide an unsightly stain on one side.

    If reversibility is on your checklist, you might consider the Amazon Banded Bath Mat, a no-frills, towel-style bath rug that gets the job done. And if memory foam is more your speed, the Genteele Memory Foam Bath Mat is a perfectly fine option that won’t slide around on your tile floors. In general, we weren’t sold on memory foam as ideal material for a bath mat we could confidently suggest as the best, as it can be a detriment to dry time and leave your feet feelin’ kinda weird, but hey, to each their own.

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    Back to Made by Design, though. Furry friends frolicking about your home? Apparently cats love it too! It’s a good option for drying off pets after a bath or surprise rainstorm, as well as upcycling into a cat bed after you’ve had your fill of it. (Have you even seen the price of pet beds these days?) We also awarded points for its availability in a 24” x 17” size, dimensions that are surprisingly less common to come by, in addition to the more standard 34” x 20” bath mat. In six muted colors, it’s a great choice for tiny bathrooms, whether you’re living in a diminutive New York City apartment or a college dorm. And at $8, you won’t have to feel guilty about tossing it after a year — or semester — of use.

    Get it from Target for $8+ (available in two sizes and six colors).

    Midrange Pick: Brooklinen Bath Mat

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    If you’re in the market for a chic upgrade to your current bath-mat sitch, we recommend the Brooklinen Bath Mat. It’s a hotel-style, heavyweight option made from 100% Turkish cotton, one of the smoothest and strongest premium cottons around, clocking in at 1,000 GSM. Translation: This thing is soft as heck. Like we mentioned before, a high GSM doesn’t necessarily equate to a physically thicker product, and this mat is the perfect example of that. While this isn’t a particularly thick bath mat visually, make no mistake — its fibers are dense, it’s impossibly soft, and absorbency is top-notch.

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    In fact, that Brooklinen’s bath mat isn’t super-plush is a bonus: It can easily fold, if you need to reduce its surface area to fit smaller bathrooms. Or take a cue from one interiors-savvy reviewer who folds two up in a basket — one for them and one for a guest. It’s available in two sizes (20” x 31” and 27″ x 45″) and five neutral shades. Its thin, subtle piping detail along the edge doesn’t interfere with its ability to lie flat while adding some subtle visual interest. It’s also OEKO-TEX-certified, a fancy term you may have seen in various product descriptions that simply means it’s passed an independent certification program that tests household fabrics and materials for more than 300 known harmful substances. Phew.

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    The Brooklinen bath mat holds up excellently in the wash (the company recommends machine-washing cold, tumble-drying low), so if you’re the kind of person who launders their bath mats frequently, you won’t have to worry with this one. And as plenty of reviewers have attested, that high GSM means their feet dry quickly — as does the mat itself, even when left on the floor rather than hung to dry. Note that this does not have nonskid backing, so if a truly non-skid mat is a non-negotiable, see our $ and $$$ picks. That said, it works just as well in that capacity as any towel you might otherwise place on the floor.

    For fans of higher-pile, plush bath accessories, we’d recommend our close runner-up in the $$ category, the Wamsutta Ultra-Fine Reversible Bath Mat Like Brooklinen’s, it’s made of 100% cotton, is reversible (a soft, sheared surface on one side and textural loops on the other, to suit whatever your fancy), and holds up well in the wash. An incredibly soft option with excellent absorption capability, it lost points only in terms of dry time and aesthetic appeal. While its design doesn’t quite conjure up images of our granny’s house, it’s not the minimalist aesthetic our winner boasts — but it’s a solid bath mat that does its job well. Plus, it’s conveniently available in five sizes, in addition to one that fits around your toilet, if you decide to go the granny-chic route after all.

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    If clean, modern vibes are more your scene, though, we think the Brooklinen mat will satisfy both your tastes and your drying needs.

    Get it from Brooklinen for $25+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

    Frontgate Resort Skid-Resistant Bath Rug

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    What gives a bath mat the right to cost nearly $50? For one, when it’s a quality product that’ll last you years and stand up to endless cycles in the wash, we think it’s well worth the investment. The Frontgate Resort Skid-Resistant Bath Rug is so comfy, you’ll find joy in using it both as a dry bath rug and right out of the shower — for the long haul. It proved to be the most skid-proof out of all the rugs and mats we tested across price tiers, with a sturdy backing that 200+ customers who rated it an average of 4.5 stars agree makes it worth the splurge.

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    If you’re unfamiliar, Frontgate is a premier name in the housewares space; peruse any of their products’ reviews section (including this one’s) for a testament to how long-lasting they are, and you too might be swayed to drop a pretty penny on your new favorite bathroom accessory. As with our $ and $$ winners, it impressed us with its ability to effectively soak up moisture, keeping our damp feet toasty and comfortable, and drying relatively quickly. Its nonskid capability is second to none, and its modest aesthetic is neither fuddy-duddy nor particularly design-forward. Available in four sizes — 21” x 34”, 24” x 40”, 30” x 50”, and 30” x 72” — this bath rug can accommodate master and guest bathrooms small and grand alike, and with a whopping 24 colors to choose from, even the pickiest decorators among us are sure to find their perfect match.

    The Frontgate’s high-pile construction makes it an especially great choice for those who live in colder climates (or anyone who just has an especially chilly bathroom), its 1.8 inches of thickness providing a solid, cozy barrier between bare feet and an icy tile floor.

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    And about that plush design: It’s made with 100% long-staple cotton yarns, or cotton from a plant with longer individual fibers. The longer the staple, the softer, stronger, and more quality the cotton, and thus, the softer, stronger, and more quality the product made with this cotton ultimately is. A longer fiber length also means a smoother surface and fewer exposed fiber ends. TL;DR: This bath rug is less likely to tear or pill than one made from short-staple cotton, and it’s said to actually become softer with wear. (Though once you’ve given this rug a try, you might wonder how that’s even possible.) Long-staple cotton: It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

    That said, it may not be the best option for a small bathroom with a low-clearance door, in which case, we’d recommend the Parachute Looped Bath Rug, our runner-up at this price point. If the sensation of walking on clouds appeals to you, you’ll want to keep reading. The competition was stiff in the high-end price range, with Frontgate edging out Parachute’s impossibly soft bath rug for two primary reasons: For a premium price, we think a bath mat ought to be available in more than two colors and two sizes (in Parachute’s case, white and gray, and standard rug and runner sizes), and we also think that it shouldn’t easily budge while you’re standing on it. If neither of these elements strikes you as important, however, and you place a bit more value on style, Parachute’s Bath Rug, also crafted with 100% long-staple Turkish cotton, is a phenomenal investment.

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    We’re sold on the Frontgate Resort Skid-Resistant Bath Rug, and we’re confident you’ll be too. But if for any reason you wind up with buyer’s remorse or disappointed with your purchase, the company offers a 90-day guarantee — plus they’ll repair or replace any product for a full year from the date of sale. We’d say that’s worth a premium price for something you’ll use every day.

    Get it from Frontgate for $39.20+ (available in four sizes and 23 colors).