Bath rugs and mats are a functional yet stylish addition to any bathroom, but with such a variety of styles, colors, and materials on offer, selecting the right one requires some deliberation.
Luckily though, this means that there are options to suit every budget, requirement, and taste. Here we offer some tips on picking the perfect bath rug or mat for you.
Should I go for a bath rug or a bath mat?
Bath rugs and bath mats can be used in much the same way. Placed in front of the shower or bath they help to absorb water from your body after washing. They also keep excess water off the floor, which may otherwise render tiles slippery and lead to injury.
However, there are also some key differences between the two, which may impact your decision:
- Bath mats are specifically made to be casually thrown down in the bathroom when needed, and may otherwise be hung up or stored away. Bath rugs, on the other hand, will remain on the bathroom floor at all times.
- Bath mats are mostly functional, although that doesn’t mean that they can’t look good too.
- Bath rugs, which are usually thicker and fluffier than bath mats, are much more about adding to the look of the bathroom. They often have a rubber or some other type of anti-slip backing.
- Bath mats are usually more absorbent and easier to clean than bath rugs
- Bath rugs can be used to add a touch of luxury to the bathroom and can keep your toes warm on those cold, winter mornings when the last thing you want to do is walk on a freezing tiled floor.
You may even choose to purchase bath mats and bath rugs to really get the best of both worlds.
How should I select the colors of the bath rugs and mats?
Bath rugs allow you to have a little fun with color in the bathroom – a room that can otherwise look quite sterile. However, you do want to ensure that the one you choose compliments both the tone and feel of the room.
If you are aiming for a relaxing spa-like feel, then you will want to opt for calm and warm nature-like colors such as browns, beiges, and pale greens. Blues can also be used to represent the color of the ocean.
For an ensuite on the other hand, you may want to echo the colors of the bedroom by selecting ones that closely match those of the duvet, curtains, or carpet.
Bath mats are much more similar to towels in function and appearance, so it’s good to select colors that will match them. Many places actually sell bath mats in the same colors and designs as the towels, so opt for that if possible.
If not, choose a bath mat in the dominant color of your towels. If you use two different colors, then select just one for the bath mat. Alternatively, you could buy a bath mat in each of the colors and alternate their use.
What is the best material for a bath mat?
When selecting a bath mat, functionality really is key. You want to choose a material that will make it less likely that you will slip and fall in the bathroom. There are a few different options available:
The most common types of bath mats are made from cotton. This material has clear advantages in the amount of moisture it can hold, ease of cleaning, and underfoot softness. However, it may not be quite as durable as other kinds and may slip more easily on a tiled floor.
Synthetic materials such as nylon are undoubtedly the best in terms of quick drying time. This means that they will need to be cleaned less frequently. They are also quite durable. However, they do not hold as much water as their cotton alternatives and are also more likely to slip.
Plastic mats are commonly used in showers and baths, and occasionally outside. They are not as stylish as fabric alternatives and do not absorb water. Yet, they have been designed for ease of cleaning and to not slip, even on a wet floor.
A bath mat made with natural fibers such as coconut, rush grass fibers, and bamboo is a further alternative. They absorb water well and can add to a luxury, spa-like feeling of the room but might be a little trickier to keep clean depending on the nature of their overall design.
Where should bathroom rugs be placed?
Where you decide to put the rug will depend a lot on its size and the setup of your bathroom.
- Larger rugs look great placed in front of the bathtub.
- Smaller rugs add a nice little touch to the sink area.
- You could even opt to use more than one rug if you have the space to do so.
Make sure, however, that the size you choose is suitable for the space. Anything too small will just look out of place, and rugs that are too big will not lie flat, creating a dangerous trip hazard.
How often should you wash your bathroom rug?
How you look after your rug or mat will determine its overall lifespan. Regular cleaning is an essential part of caring for your bathroom rug to eliminate bacteria.
While the bath mat can easily be hung over the bath or shower to dry after use and then chucked in the washing machine every other week, bath rugs can be slightly more difficult to maintain.
Care requirements differ for each type, but here are a few rules of thumb to follow:
- Shake the rug out to dislodge any dirt, debris, and hair that may be trapped.
- Ensure you carefully check the label for any cleaning instructions specific to the rug that you have.
- Most types of rugs are machine washable, but you will want to choose a gentle cycle so as not to damage the backing of the rug. Select a warm or hot temperature for fabric rugs to ensure that any mold or bacteria is killed.
- For hand wash only rugs, those constructed of bamboo, jute, and other natural fibers, fill your sink with warm water and a few tablespoons of laundry detergent, add in the rug and use a sponge to scrub it gently. After washing, you will need to rinse the rug with cool water until all the soap is removed.