A mat for under your treadmill is easily overlooked. Most people focus all of their attention on buying the treadmill but forget about the importance of a cushioning layer.
Luckily, you’re here. So you might already know that mats; reduces noise, protect your floor and provide extra cushioning. In this article, you’ll discover the best treadmill mats for carpet, concrete and hardwood floors. Let’s dive into it!
Our choices for the best treadmill mats
Do You Need One (even if you have a carpet floor)?
You might wonder if you need a mat. Long story short; yes, in my opinion, you absolutely need one. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to walk, jog or run. Or place the treadmill on a hardwood floor, concrete or carpet, using one is always strongly recommended.
Some people think that you don’t need it if you have a carpet floor because the floor itself already serves as a cushioning system. Well, carpet does provide more cushioning than a concrete floor, but certainly isn’t a substitute.
Without a mat, your machine will be vulnerable to dust, and the weight can still damage your carpet. So I recommend using one even if you have a carpet floor.
Noise reduction probably the biggest benefits of using a mat. When you start to walk or run, the belt is going to vibrate. These vibrations may cause noise.
A floor mat creates a layer of cushioning between the floor and the treadmill which absorbs the shocks. That’s how it reduces the noise caused by the vibrations.
It reduces two types of noise. Which are the pounding of your feet and the sound of the motor. The two combined might make more noise than you think. Therefore buying a mat to reduce noise is especially a good idea if you live in an apartment or don’t want to wake up family members.
Now that you know the primary purpose, you might wonder what the other benefits of a treadmill mat are. In addition to the noise reduction, it will;
- Keep your floor clean from sweat and potentially leaking motor oil.
- Protect your machine from dust which could cause damage.
- Expand the lifetime of your fitness equipment.
- Distribute the weight of the machine which protects your floor from damage and provides more comfort during your workout.
- Keep your treadmill in one place.
Why size matters
The proper size makes all the difference. If the mat is too small, it could cause instability. It should be at least as large as the treadmill itself. You might want to get a mat which is bigger than the treadmill because it will help to protect your floor from drops of sweat.
To make a good buying decision, you need to know the dimensions of your machine. Make sure you have the correct length and width, not just the dimensions of the belt because the belt is smaller than the total measurements. You won’t be the first one who buys a mat that doesn’t fit.
Why thickness matters
The thickness matters because a mat that is thick enough provides more protection from vibration, noise and damage. The thickness becomes increasingly important if you have a relatively heavy treadmill. Heavy treadmills usually need extra support because the weight will put more pressure on your floor.
If you make the mistake of buying a thin mat, it might tear easily, curl at the ends or cause your machine to damage the floor. In my opinion, a mat should at least be 3/16” thick. Thicker mats usually provide more comfort and absorb more noise. However, the material is certainly as important as the thickness.
What is the best material; rubber or PVC?
Mats are made from all sorts of materials. The two most common materials are PVC (vinyl) and recycled rubber.
PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC) is a popular thermoplastic polymer which is a type of plastic. PVC mats are durable and protect your floor from water. However, they tend to be thinner than rubber mats and PVC mats can release unpleasant odors, although this tends to go away after a few days.
Rubber mats are usually made from recycled tires. Vehicle tires are designed to perform on unforgiving roads. That’s why mats made from recycled rubber are often highly durable and provide good protection for your floor. So that's why in my opinion, rubber mats are a better choice to put under your treadmill than PVC mats.
Treadmill mat reviews (our top 5 picks)
Just like the name says the Rubber Cal mats are made from rubber. It's available in two sizes; 48” (W) by 6.5 feet (L) and 48” (W) by 7.5 feet (L). 6.5 feet is approximately the same as 78”, 7.5 feet is roughly the same as 90”.
So the approximate sizes of the Rubber Cal mats are;
- 48” wide x 78” (6.5 feet) long
- 48” wide x 90” (7.5 feet) long
The mats both have a 3/16” thickness, which makes them thick enough to protect floors from getting damaged. Of course, I can't guarantee that your floor won't get damaged, but I can say this mat is worth considering.
- It is suited for most large and heavy duty treadmills.
- It is made from recycled rubber.
- It's a bit heavy. So if you want to move your treadmill after your training, it might not be as practical.
ProImpact makes this product from recycled tires, which means it is made from rubber. ProImpact says it's made from ‘Super Green’ recycled material. The total dimensions are; 36” wide and 78” long.
It's 4 millimeters thick, which is approximately the same as 3/16”. Additionally, you may want to know that its materials are produced in the USA.
- It's made from rubber.
- The materials are made in the United States of America.
- It weighs 3 pounds, which is relatively lightweight.
If you’re looking for an extra large, the Stamina Fold-To-Fit might be a good choice. You can easily adjust it in size. So you can fold it into the ‘correct’ size.
It consists of 7 folding sections which allow you to shorten the total length by folding the individual sections underneath each other. The overall measurements are; 1/4” thick, 36” wide and 84” inch long. So it's relatively long.
- You can adjust the size to make it fit.
- It has a non-slip surface which increases safety.
- The folding sections might be unpractical if you don’t use them.
This one is lightweight and thin. It only weighs 17 Lbs. and is 2 mm thick, which is roughly the same as 5/64”. This product might be a good choice if you want to create a small layer between the floor and your machine.
Furthermore, it's 35.5-inches wide and 78-inches long, which is a quite average.
- Manufactured in the USA.
- It's lightweight which makes it easy to wrap it up the until the next training.
- Due to the fact it is lightweight and thin, it doesn’t absorb, protect and provide as much comfort as most thicker mats.
The RF36T from Body Solid is made from PVC material. It's 36” wide, 78” long and 1/8” thick. 1/8” is relatively thin. Whether it does the job will depend on the weight of the machine, your weight and the kind of floor you place it on.
- You get one year of warranty on the RF36T.
- PVC material provides good protection against carpet fibers.
- With 1/8” thickness it is relatively thin.
After comparing a lot of mats, there’s one which I believe is the real winner. In my opinion, the winner is;
This one is made from rubber, which has a lot of benefits. Rubber provides good cushioning. The cushioning will absorb the shocks, which helps to reduce the noise. So that’s why I would go for rubber.
Other then the fact that it is made from rubber; the Rubber Cal is entirely made in the USA, available in two sizes and is thick enough to handle most heavy-duty treadmills. That's why I recommend the Rubber Cal.