The Neighborhood: Doormats 101

Indoor Doormats

The 411 On All Things Doormats

Our Intro to Let You Know

Hey now! Welcome back to The Neighborhood, our series of guides, articles, and resources dedicated to all things doormats and floor coverings. We’re going to continue our discussion on doormats with a deep dive into the world of indoor doormats. Just in case you’re interested, you can see a more robust discussion about doormats in our article Doormats: The Ultimate Guide to Find the Right Doormat for You.

We’ll start this piece off by telling you a little bit about who we are and what we do. At Matterly, our history is deeply rooted in matting and floor coverings; like 6 decades deep. From where we sit as we type out this article, a quick walk through one set of doors leads out to a manufacturing plant floor where thousands of floor mats are made every day. We’re making rubber, we’re extruding fibers, we’re printing on textiles, and it’s all being done right here in America.

Image of one of Matterly's manufacturing facilities in Georgia.

Stick around as we unravel the secrets behind choosing the perfect mat, maintaining it like a pro, and even styling it to match your vibe.

The Lowdown: Indoor Door Mats & Why They Matter

Let's kick things off by talking about why indoor door mats are not just glorified dirt catchers or quaint little afterthoughts you thought might look cute inside your front door. These unsung heroes play a crucial role in keeping things clean, adding a dash of style, and reducing the risk of slips and slides that no one likes to welcome into their home. By adding a quality indoor doormat or accent mat, you easily enhance the look, floor protection, and safety of the high-traffic areas inside your home.

Safety First

Don’t mistake the good looks of a quality indoor doormat for what it really is; a mat whose primary function is to enhance safety and protection in high-traffic areas. Quality indoor door rugs will provide traction and moisture control, which are common factors in accidents around the home. High-traction indoor mats, especially rubber-backed indoor mats, will create a safer surface and help reduce unsafe conditions during inclement weather.

Legit Floor Protection

Your mat, my friend, is the unsung hero of home maintenance, preserving the sanctity of your floors by standing guard against scratches, spills, and the general wear and tear of daily life. Your floors are an investment, and indoor doormats are the last line of defense to protect your floors. Whether you’re looking at wood floor protection, or tile floor protection, invest in the protection of your investment with a quality indoor doormat.

Lower Maintenance

Who enjoys spending their free time constantly vacuuming and sweeping the dirt, sand, and debris tracked in from the great outdoors? Yeah, nobody. Interior door mats excel at wiping and trapping the dirt and moisture from shoes that frequently find their way inside your home. Inside doormats are tools you can implement to reduce the burden of constant cleaning and upkeep of your floors.

A Floor Décor Statement

Decorative styling for the floor shouldn’t stop at the front door or high-traffic areas. We know the first thought that comes to mind for decorating your floors is area rugs; but indoor door mats have come a long way. No more settling by placing an inefficient unbacked accent rug that slips, no more settling for the first indoor mat you see at your local big box. More than ever before, you have incredible variety and design on entry mats specifically designed to handle the demands of your entryway.

Indoor Doormat, Door Rug, Accent Mat – Is it Semantics?

Low-profile and rubber backed Un-Rug inside door rug placed just inside the front door

Ok we know you’re seeing several different terms being used like indoor doormat, door rugs, accent rug mat, etc. We frequently get questions from customers like “What is the difference between a doormat and a door rug?” Sometimes it’s just a simple habit of calling everything on the floor a rug; like Southerners calling all soft drinks Coke, but there are some subtle differences when talking about a mat versus a rug.

We’ll talk about those differences in a different article, so for the purpose of this writing, we’re going to refer to door rugs, doormats, and accent rugs being one and the same.

What’s Your Type – Types of Indoor Door Mats

Admit it, we all have a type. Rugged and handsome, practical and disciplined, elegant and refined, caring and protective; and your front door or entryway has a type too! Find the right match for your floors below and consider these popular types of indoor mats.  

Grip and Grace in One – Rubber-Backed Doormats

Known for their durability and grip, rubber-backed mats excel at stability and floor protection, more so than any other type of backing. When combined with a textured or bi-level surface, you have a high-quality indoor doormat. Rubber doormats are typically more expensive due to their quality and longevity.

Dependable, Durable, & Water Resistant – Closed-Cell Fiber Mats

Versatile and weather-resistant closed-cell fiber doormats are ideal for indoor or outdoor settings due to their ability to effectively wipe and scrape dirt, mud, sand, grime, and snow. Recycled PET and polypropylene are the two most common closed-cell fibers used in doormats. Unlike nylon, microfiber, and coir fibers that absorb moisture, closed-cell fibers dissipate moisture, which is a fancy way of saying it traps and spreads water between fibers resulting in a much faster drying time.

Incredible Clearance – Low-Profile Mats

Ultra low-profile Un-Rug Interior Mat placed inside front door.

Let's not forget the sleek players—the low-profile mats. Perfect for spaces with doors that have low clearance, these mats add style without sacrificing functionality. They hug the ground, making them ideal for doors with minimal clearance while still offering excellent dirt-catching capabilities.

 Absorbent Solutions – Microfiber Mats

A smaller segment of the indoor mat world, microfiber mats excel at absorbing water and moisture. Microfiber mats are typically imported and paired with a vinyl or PVC backing to create an effective and low-cost interior mat. Microfiber doormats will typically have a shorter lifespan than closed-cell fibers.

A Classic Player – Coco Mats

Close up of coco mat surface with loose fibers.

Coir, derived from coconut fibers, is a natural fiber that is often paired with vinyl for a cost-effective matting solution. Coir mats are constructed with a coarse texture, ideal for scraping off dirt and moisture from footwear. Coco mats absorb water and take longer to dry out than PET or polypropylene. Known as an eco-friendly option, imported coir mats will also shed its fibers resulting in a shorter life cycle because of their loose construction.

From the durability of rubber to the sleek solutions of low-profile mats, these aren't just accessories; they're your entrance's best friends, combining style, durability, and practicality to make a lasting impression. Now, let's explore how to put these mats to their best use and elevate your entryway game.

On the Hunt: Choosing the Right Indoor Doormat

Selecting the perfect indoor door mat involves a bit more than just picking something that looks good. Let's take a look at some things to consider when searching for the ideal mat to ensure it not only complements your style but also stands up to the daily challenges of your home’s floors.

Size Matters – Find the Right Fit

First things first—size matters. Your interior mat should be proportionate to your entryway. Too small, and it might not catch enough dirt; too large, and it could become a tripping hazard. If you have double doors or sliding glass doors, well then you need a doormat for double doors.  Also, as discussed in the previous regarding door clearance, take into account how thick your doormat can be before it starts to interfere with your door.

Stylish double door Neighburly Retro Vibes placed just inside set of double doors.

A Material World – Meet Your Needs

Choosing the right material is key. Rubber for unbeatable grip and floor protection, PET fiber mat for shoe scraping, coir for a traditional look, or microfiber for absorption. Align the material with your specific needs. If your entrance is prone to dirt and grime, prioritize materials with easy-cleaning properties. High-traffic area? Opt for an entryway mat that features durable materials. It's not just about looks; it's about selecting a mat built to perform.

A Symphony of Style – Harmonizing with Your Décor

Your mat should be a style accomplice, not an intruder. With so many different styles and decorative angles for interior door mats, do not settle for what you find at your local big box store just because it’s there. Harmonize with your decor by selecting a mat that complements your interior aesthetic. From classic patterns to modern minimalism, the right mat is just a few clicks away. Make a statement without sacrificing cohesion.

Traffic Jams – Assess the Foot Traffic

Your mat needs to keep up with the pace. Assess the foot traffic in your entryway—is it a bustling household or a tranquil space? High traffic demands a durable, sturdy indoor mat that can handle the constant shuffle, in which case a rubber-backed mat with a PET fiber surface would be ideal. Select based on the demands of your unique entrance, ensuring your mat stands the test of time.

While not the only things to consider, these are the essentials to identify when searching for the right indoor doormat for your home. From ensuring the right fit, harmony with your décor, or navigating foot traffic, these decisive tips are your roadmap to entrance perfection.

More than the Front Door – Indoor Doormat Placement

Choosing where to place your indoor door mat is more than a practical decision; it's an art of optimizing both function and style. Let's explore strategic placements that go beyond the entryway and front door, enhancing different areas of your home.

Entryway Elegance: The Classic Placement

Start with the basics. Placing a mat just inside the front door sets the tone for your entire home. Opt for a durable, welcoming mat that not only catches dirt but also adds a touch of elegance to the entrance. Consider larger indoor doormats for double doors and sliding glass doors.

Kitchen Comfort: The Culinary Companion

We’re going to let you in on a little secret; doormats can make awesome kitchen mats. Bring the same durable and floor-protective qualities from your entryway to your kitchen by placing an indoor mat near the sink, refrigerator, stove, or prep area. Choose an outdoor/indoor mat with a rubber backing and PET surface to ensure it will handle spills and protect while adding a cozy element to the heart of your home.

Bathroom Bliss: Luxurious Landings

Ok, another secret about doormats, they work incredibly well as a bathroom mat too. A definite upgrade from the underwhelming options from the bargain box store, transform your bathroom space by strategically placing mats near the shower or bath. Opt for a rubber-backed option to enhance traction in the wettest room of all.

Laundry Room Chic: Style in the Transition

Revamp your laundry room with the addition of an indoor door mat. Opt for double-door doormats strategically placed in front of washing machines and dryers to effectively capture and contain moisture and lint. This stylish solution not only captures dust and dirt, but also adds a chic touch to this frequently overlooked space.

Cozy Corners: Unwind in Style

Neighburly Due North indoor doormat placed below stool in music room as an accent mat.

Transform overlooked corners into cozy retreats by positioning indoor mats under chairs and tables. You’ll be surprised at how doormats protect your floors against the scratches and nicks often created by sliding furniture and accent tables. Be it a dedicated reading nook or a serene corner for reflection, a thoughtfully selected indoor doormat introduces warmth, comfort, and protection to the space.

If you’re serious about finding the best doormat for your home, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes and familiarize yourself with the materials used in the doormats you are considering. Understanding the materials and construction of outdoor doormats allows you to make an informed choice based on your specific needs, weather conditions, and aesthetic preferences.

Sustainability in Every Step - Eco-Friendly Indoor Door Mats

We all want to do better when it comes to the environment, and if sustainability is important to you, there are eco-friendly options for you. As environmental consciousness continues to shape consumer choices, the demand for eco-friendly indoor doormats has seen a significant rise. Embrace sustainability in every step with these environmentally conscious doormat options.

Recycled Rubber Backed Mats

Many quality rubber-backed mats feature recycled content in their backing. These mats contribute to waste reduction while offering durability and functionality. Repurposing rubber helps minimize the environmental impact, making these mats an eco-conscious choice. The Matterly WaterHog and Neighburly collection of mats feature 20% recycled rubber content.

Recycled Fiber Outdoor Mats

Outdoor mats made from recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) or polypropylene showcase a commitment to recycling plastic waste and prove to be very durable over time. These mats contribute to reducing plastic pollution while providing a durable and weather-resistant solution. The Matterly WaterHog and Neighburly collections feature 90% and 80% recycled PET respectively.

Natural Fiber Blend Mats

Imported interior doormats crafted from a blend of natural fibers like jute, coir, and sisal are popular low-cost options. This combination offers an eco-friendly option with a diverse texture, effectively trapping dirt and moisture.

Domestic vs Imported

It’s important to consider the supply chain if environmental impact is an important factor to you. The farther a doormat has to travel to get to you, the less environmentally friendly it actually is. Imported mats often travel thousands of miles via trucks, ships, and rail that have large carbon footprints. And that’s just to get it to a warehouse in the United States.

Carbon Offset

Environmental impact is not limited to the materials used in making your doormat, more companies are utilizing carbon offset programs to help reduce their environmental impact. Check with your doormat manufacturer to see what environmentally-friendly programs they are actively participating in. Here’s a link to the environmental initiatives that Matterly is currently supporting = We Are Committed.

Matterly utilizes recycled materials throughout our collections and actively participate in programs to reduce our carbon footprint.

Alright let’s wrap this up

Indoor door mats are not just an afterthought; they are essential storytellers in your home. From plush entryway mats to chic kitchen additions, the material choices and placements create a narrative that reflects your style. These mats are often underestimated, but they play a crucial role in keeping your floors clean, protecting them from damage, and injecting character into your space, no matter the weather. So, when selecting an inside doormat, remember that it's not just a utilitarian item, but a statement piece that will proudly showcase your home's personality.

December 08, 2023 — Mallory Toplisek