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How to Choose Best Bathroom Rugs and Mats

With a wide array of brick & mortar and online stores, many people find it difficult to decide on what bathroom rugs they should choose. While picking a bath rug may be a very personal thing, because we have different preferences for color, materials, and designs. This post focuses on the key factors you should consider for selecting bathroom rugs:

1. Your Safety Should be Your Top Consideration

When you step out of your shower or bath tub, your feet are wet and your bathroom floor is likely wet as well due to the moisture in the air. A good bath rug should stay in place and hold you up safely, otherwise you could slip, fall and hurt yourself on hard surfaces or worse.

Fall from slippage in bathroom

Bath rugs come with different kinds of backings, the major coating/backing used in bathroom rugs includes rubber (or Thermoplastic Rubber - also known as TPR), plastic, or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), which possess different chemical properties and hence different friction / attrition to bathroom floors.

In terms of slip-resistance of bath rugs, the other side of the equation is your bathroom floor. Fortunately, most new homes or remodeled homes use slip-resistant tiles, hardwood or laminate floors, which usually work the best with rubber and PVC-backed rugs in keeping them staying in place.

To compare rubber and PVC backings, we should know that rubber is usually used as a surface coated on the bottom side of the backing, whereas PVC can be coated as tiny dots on the backing. When there are tens of thousands of PVC dots under the bath rug, you can expect it to have a much higher level of resistance to slippage, simply because the numerous dots increase the friction more effectively than rubber surface. Being repellant to water, rubber backing slips more easily when your floor has water or is wet. On the other hand, PVC dots are coated on non-woven fabrics, which absorbs water, making PVC dots backing superior to rubber backing in resisting slippage.

To drive the comparison home, take a look at the following two figures:

 Rubber Backing PVC dots Backing
rubber backing of bath rugs PVC dots backing of bath rugs


2. Water Absorbency & Quick Drying

One of the main functions of bath rugs is absorb the water from your feet when you step out of shower or bath, and because of the high usage frequency (especially when you have a big family), it is important for bath rugs to dry quickly. As you probably know that moisture in bathroom is inviting to mold and mildew and their rapid growth, and dry/fluffy bath rugs make your feet pleased as well.

The fluffs on the top of bath rugs can be categorized as 100% cotton, artificial fibers, and blended fibers (some cotton with some man-made fibers), of which, cotton absorbs water with highest efficiency due to its long cellulose attracting water molecules; however, cotton is the slowest to dry for this very same reason.

Microfiber is arguably the most commonly used artificial fiber in bath rugs, because it is very soft and absorbs water very well and it dries more quickly than cotton. 


3. Softness (Cushion) and Cold Floor Insulation

Besides the slippage-resistance and safety consideration, bath rugs should insulate your feet from the cold bathroom floor. When we take a shower or bath in a hotel, most people throw a piece of bath towels on the floor before stepping out, which helps insulate the feet from cold floors. The towels are usually thin and do not provide any cushion at all.

We need better cushion for bath rugs used in homes, the microfiber / cotton fluffs can provide some cushion to our feet. Bath rugs of low quality become easily matted over time due to their thin fluffs. To make it better, higher-end bath rugs are padded with thick memory foam between the fluffs and the backing, making bath rugs more cushiony (aka cushy).

Inspired by this, Rally Rugs M2-Soft bath rugs come padded with thick memory foam, as shown in the 3D view below:

 4. Easy to Clean / Wash

Similar to clothes, good bath rugs can be used repeatedly. When it becomes dirty, we can wash it in washer machine. Low-quality bath rugs may not hold up in the wash with problems like the rubber backing disintegrates in machine and causes huge mess.

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