How to Choose the Right Doormat?

Of course, you want to create a good impression and choose the perfect doormat for your house. In this article, we explain everything you should consider when selecting a new doormat.

By following this advice when new visitors catch the first glimpse of your house they'll be impressed from the outset, and at the same time, you'll know you've chosen the ideal first line of defense against debris, dirt and mud entering your home.

The Basics of door mats

Door Mats are functional products but that doesn't mean they should be without style.

The primary function of a doormat is to take dirt and moisture from shoes and hold onto them so that the mess doesn't make its way into your house.

Traditional Coir Doormats have an excellent scraping action ideal for removing dirt

Doormats can also look great too and provide the perfect finishing touch to your entrance, but the most important thing is how well they clean.

Good quality matting is a worthwhile investment as it protects your interior floor coverings from dirt and damage and reduces the amount of time you have to spend cleaning.

The right type of material for each location is key. If you choose the wrong material for outdoor use you will have to replace mats more frequently and they won't be durable enough to scrape away mud, dirt, and debris.

Two mats are better than one!

Combat dirt brought in by foot traffic with and indoor doormat teamed with an outdoor doormat

In an ideal world, each entrance needs 2 doormats.

Your 1st barrier matting should be a scraper mat such as a coir mat, to scrape off dirt and debris, followed by your 2nd barrier matting, an absorbent mat such as a washable doormat to soak up the excess moisture from shoes.

You can either have one outside the door and one inside, or put both mats inside. If you can only purchase one mat then choose coir as it has an excellent scraping action and is still absorbent, but less so than washable floor mats.

Size Matters when it comes to door mats.

Choose the biggest mat that your budget and available space allow. If your mat is too small, people who walk straight in without wiping their feet will only place one foot on the mat and the next one will land on the other side of it, without having been wiped at all!

A large mat inside the house big enough to stand on while you remove your shoes can be the ideal cue to encourage people who sometimes need a gentle reminder that you'd like them to remove their shoes.

Super Absorbent Washable Doormats made from Cotton

You can even turn your mat around and have it running in a portrait rather than landscape orientation to ensure that both feet make contact with the mat as many times as possible.

Many people use cut to size coir matting to carpet the entire floor of an enclosed porch and this is a brilliant way to ensure your mat is big enough.

Thickness matters, but not how you might think.

A long, thicker pile is not always better. Shorter pile mats tend to have a firmer brushing action and can remove dirt more effectively. Think about how bristly very short-cropped hair feels!

However, a mat that is too thick for your location can cause a problem. Check the clearance of your door to ensure that it will still open with the mat in place. Door clearance is the main reason why you need to know how thick the mats you are buying will be.

The best mat for each location:

Outside your Front Door (exposed to elements)

Ideally, if outdoor mats are going to need to withstand UK weather conditions they should be rubber mats or made from a non-porous material.

Entrance doormats made from rubber resist fading and have a great non-slip surface. They are very hard-wearing and will keep their style for years. They are even available big enough to fit a double door.

Best choices for exposed outdoor locations: 

Large mat made from rubber and coconut

Outside (under covered porch)

Coir matting, made from coconut shells has a rough texture which is great for trapping dirt and cleaning muddy shoes but it is very absorbent.

In an exposed outdoor location it will quickly become saturated and unless it is lifted frequently to allow the mat and the floor underneath to dry out it will not be as durable as you would like. But under a covered porch it is perfect.

A traditional coir mat with a woven backing will allow water to run away so is the best option when coir is used outdoors

When coconut matting is used outdoors we recommend a woven backing is chosen to allow moisture to run away. A PVC or rubber backing on an outdoor doormat left outside will not dry out properly which will result in a bubbling effect and reduced lifespan of your mat.

Printed designs placed outside will have a much shorter life expectancy than if they were kept inside, but with sufficient shelter a printed coconut may be used under a covered porch.

Best choices for sheltered outdoor locations: 

Are Coir Mats Good For Outdoors

On a whole, no. Ideally, coir mats are suited for indoor use only.
This is due to the nature of the fibre. Coir is made from coconut husk, which is a natural material. With all natural materials if they are left outside exposed to the elements all year round as your doormat would be; your coir mat will eventually start to degrade and rot.
However, if you do want to use a coir mat outside, the best mat would be that with a woven back. So, if you need a made-to-measure size there is our Made to Measure Traditional Doormat or we have a range of standard size coir doormats. Both of these options come in a range of thicknesses. To ensure that your natural coir mat lasts as long as possible we do recommend that when your mat gets wet, you pick it up and allow the mat to drain and the area under the mat to dry before placing it back down. This will help prolong the life of your outdoor coir mat.

Indoors in a Mat Well

PVC backed coir is excellent for mat wells as it can be cut to size to your requirements, even if the mat well is an unusual shape. It comes in a range of thicknesses, (17mm, 20mm, 23mm, 30mm), which can cater to most depths of mat well or recess.

Cutting to size PVC backed coir matting is perfect for mat wells and comes in a choice of colour and thickness

If your mat well is deeper than this simply have a piece of plywood of the appropriate thickness cut to size to put into the bottom of the mat well and sit your coir mat on top.

As most mat wells are indoors a printed design to personalise your mat is also possible.

Our traditional hand-stitched mats are also good for use in mat wells too, their beautifully hand-crafted appearance means that they are well suited to period homes and would always be the choice for an external mat well

Best choices for mat wells:

Indoor Mats (Loose Laid - NOT in a mat well)

All of our mats are fine for use indoors, but if you can follow the advice above to have 2 mats, a scraper mat followed by an absorber mat then you will have the cleanest possible floors.

 Fun designs and colours to suit every decor

Indoor mats with scraping action:

Our personalised mats are fun and we have message mats such as “remove your shoes”, for those who need to be told!

We have mats with various decorative designs from patriotic flag doormats to those with catdog and even pheasant designs for pet lovers. If your mat is going to be loosely laid on the floor rather than going into a mat well, designs featuring a tied or sealed edge have a more attractive finish than PVC-backed mats.

Indoor Mats to absorb moisture

Our machine washable doormats come in a choice of colours and sizes to suit every situation. The super absorbent cotton pile of these indoor mats soaks up moisture brilliantly keeping your floors clean. They can be washed in the washing machine or with a carpet cleaner to keep them looking tip-top. Choose indoor doormats of the biggest size that will fit for maximum protection.

Mats for Patio Doors / Double Doors

When choosing a mat for double doors the same advice applies as when buying for your front door. Every entrance is best protected with a scraper mat and then an indoor absorber mat. We have specially sized extra long mats for patio doors available in Coir scraper mats for outside, and machine washable mats for indoor mats. 

We are here to help

We hope this article gave you a good overview of how to choose the right doormat. If you have any more questions or need individual advice in choosing floor mats for your home then please get in touch. Our expert team is here Monday to Friday 9-5 on 020 8819 5869, please call us, we're here to help.