When buying or leasing a car, floor mats are usually the first thing people buy. Though they’re simple in concept, they’re invaluable – they protect your vehicle’s carpet every time you get in and out of the car. They also come in handy in the event of a spilled drink, rainy days, or muddy shoes. Most people would consider floor mats a must-have for any driver.
Floor mats come in a variety of materials, but the most common ones are carpet, vinyl, and rubber. Each type has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to think about what you’re looking for when deciding what to buy.
Carpet Floor Mats
This is the most common kind of floor mat. Carpet floor mats are a popular choice because they mimic the original carpet flooring of your car. They’re available in tons of different designs. You can opt for classic black, gray, or beige to match your interior, or you can kick it up a notch with bright colors or exciting patterns. Whether you’re looking for just a pop of pink or want to go all out with magenta zebra stripes, chances are you’ll be able to find it.
Carpet floor mats are also easy to clean. You can simply vacuum them just like your seats, or you can remove them and shake them out.
The main downside to carpet floor mats is that they aren’t as durable as other materials. Most manufacturers will add an additional layer to provide some extra strength, but carpet floor mats are still suspectable to the same wear and tear as your original carpet. Heavy use can potentially wear holes through the material, which not only looks unpleasant but also puts a dent in the amount of protection.
In addition, carpet floor mats lack protection against heavy spills. They may stand up well enough to the occasional wet shoes, but a spilled soda or leaky gallon of milk will make quick work of any carpet.
Vinyl Floor Mats
Another popular choice is vinyl floor mats. They’re lightweight and flexible while providing decent protection for your carpet. Vinyl is better at defending against spills than carpet, since it allows liquids to bead up on the surface. However, this is a double-edged sword as the liquid may very well end up sliding off the floor mats and onto your carpet.
Vinyl floor mats mostly come in black with the occasional gray or beige, so if you’re looking for an interesting design or bright color, you may want to look elsewhere.
One problem with vinyl is that it’s such a smooth material that the floor mats might slide around on the floor of your car or be knocked out of place by your feet. Some brands have a textured bottom to prevent this, but even then, vinyl floor mats have a tendency to move when you don’t want them to.
Rubber Floor Mats
The most reliable of the three is rubber floor mats, which provide heavy duty defense against dirt, debris, spills, and countless other messes. Rubber is a sturdy material; it’s strong, durable, and waterproof. In addition, rubber is also resistant to stains and discoloration, which makes them long lasting in function and appearance.
Rubber floor mats are generally manufactured with textured undersides to keep them in place when you drive. Since the material is stronger, this has a better effect than vinyl, which still tends to slide around despite any preventative measures.
One of the issues with rubber floor mats is that they typically lack any interesting designs. For the most part, any rubber floor mats you find are going to be regular old black, gray, or tan. However, for people who favor performance over appearances, this is a small sacrifice for the protection rubber floor mats provide.
With so many types of floor mats out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when deciding on which is the best choice for you. In addition to the three types mentioned in this post, there are still plenty more varieties on the market.
As with all purchases, it’s important that you do your research and consider your personal needs and lifestyle before making a decision. Do you live in an area where it rains frequently? Rubber floor mats may be your best bet due to their waterproof properties. If you’re more concerned about appearances, then carpet floor mats with a fun pattern may be a better fit for you.
Sit down and think about what you’re looking to achieve with your purchase and how much you’re willing to spend. Floor mats are definitely an important part of taking care of your car and buying them shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Did this article help you? What type of floor mats do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!