Best Car Garage Mats

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

36 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
497 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best car garage mats

Last Updated July 2020

A garage is an inherently dirty place. It’s where we store our cars, and it’s where the dirt, water, and grime those cars accumulate eventually seep to the ground. Garages also play host to oil changes, tire changes, engine swaps, and fluid flushes, so it’s no surprise they get a bit grimy from time to time.  If you’re looking to protect your garage floor from spills, stains, and other damage, a car garage mat should be in your arsenal.

Available in myriad shapes and thicknesses, garage mats keep gunk off your floor while at the same time absorbing fluids for a safer work surface. They’re also more comfortable to lie on than concrete, which is worth its weight in gold if you plan on doing underbody vehicle work.

Which garage mat is right for you? Start by understanding the purpose of the mat. Do you want to protect your whole floor or catch water runoff from the tires? Do aesthetics matter or does practicality reign supreme? With our buying guide, we aim to give you all the info you need, plus some recommendations, to make an informed choice.

Sound reflects off a concrete garage floor. If you’ve ever dropped a metal wrench on one, you know. Thick, absorbent mats are fantastic at absorbing vibrations, so they have the tangential benefit of making your workspace quieter.

Key considerations

Size

Don’t buy a garage mat without confirming its size and the size of your space. Some mats can be cut to size, but not all. Generally, garage mats are either large rectangles that you park your car on top of or small, tire-size blocks.

Small: The smaller mats are usually made from nonabsorbent plastic and are solely meant to collect liquid runoff from tires and wheel wells. Many also have parking aids like bump stops or reflective strips.

Large: The larger mats are significantly more diverse. These can be plastic, rubber, foam, absorbent fabric, or layers of these materials. Some are solid, while others are made up of interlocking pieces that you can take apart and adjust. These mats often have tabs, hooks, or locking mechanisms to guarantee the mat stays together while in use.

Materials

The material that makes up your garage mat dictates its leak protection, durability, ease of cleaning, and comfort. Most are made of a form of plastic, but there are several high-quality versions fashioned from synthetic fabrics, foams, and vinyl polymers. To make the distinctions clear, we’ve separated the common materials into four categories.

Solid rubber, plastic, or vinyl: These mats are tough, easy to clean, and naturally water resistant. They’re often cheaper than other varieties as well, but considering they repel liquids instead of absorbing them, leaks may spill over the sides.

Absorbent fabric: Fabric mats are on the opposite end of the spectrum: they absorb leaks instead of repelling them. This makes them fantastic at containing spills, but they’re harder to clean as a consequence. These often look like carpet and are surprisingly comfortable to lie on when doing underbody work. In addition, fabric mats can be cut to shape.

Foa: An all-purpose solution, foam mats are primarily designed with impact resistance in mind. These usually lock together like puzzle pieces, diminishing their leak-containing ability, but some have hooks for more stable connections. When shopping, confirm that the mat is rated for garage use.

Combination: These mats offer the best of the varieties above, combining absorbent fabric with a rubberized backing. This design is stellar at wicking away fluids, and the backing prevents them from leaking through to the floor. Some of these have raised foam edges for even better liquid containment.

DID YOU KNOW?

As an alternative to anti-slip tape or a high-friction backing, some garage mats use adhesive that sticks the mat to the floor. These mats may be harder to adjust and clean, of course, but they stay put.

Features

Extras

Anti-slip backing: While car garage mats are relatively simple, there are a few features that set them apart. An anti-slip backing is among the most common, as it prevents the mat from sliding around when in use. Some even boast anti-slip materials on the top, giving you a high-traction surface to walk on even when the mat is wet.

Reflective strips: Smaller, tire-size mats typically have strips of reflective tape on the front so you can see them in the dark. This helps you park your car in the right spot, and given the low profile of these mats, you’ll welcome the help.

Bump stops: These ridges on the ends of small mats also help you park your car in the right place.

Cleaning tools

Car garage mats are very simple to clean, assuming you have the right tools. Some mats come with their own, including a squeegee for rubber mats and a brush for fabric mats. And while it’s unlikely you’ll find a garage mat that comes with a shop vacuum, you may find a shop vacuum that comes with a mat — all-in-one protection and cleaning.

DID YOU KNOW?

Interlocking foam mats offer loads of convenience compared to other styles because you can add or remove pieces to fit better in your space. However, keep in mind they may not lie flat right out of the box.

Car garage mat prices

Inexpensive: If you’re interested in protecting your garage floor, you can do so for just $10 to $20. These are smaller, tire-size mats made of plastic. While they won’t catch oil leaks or other fluids, they will contain the gunk and water that’s tracked in on your tires.

Mid-range: Spend between $25 and $100 and the field opens up dramatically. You’ll find larger plastic, rubber, and vinyl mats in this price range, along with fabric mats with an anti-slip backing and other features.

Expensive: At $150 and above, you’ll encounter the largest, thickest, and most durable mats available. Expect to see combination mats with raised foam edges, as well as those that come with included cleaning supplies.

DID YOU KNOW?

Do you have an oddly shaped garage? Many fabric mats and some rubber mats can be trimmed to fit around your work zone. However, use caution if your mat has raised, waterproof edges or foam parts, because cutting those can hamper the mat’s leak mitigation capabilities.

Tips

  • Look for heat-sealed seams. Multilayered mats have rubberized seams on the edges to keep everything together. Keep an eye out for heat-sealed seams, which are very durable and will hold up to prolonged use.
  • Choose a removable mat if you plan on moving in the near future. There isn’t much point in buying a heavy-duty, adhesive-backed mat. You’ll protect your floor, sure, but it can be a pain to remove. Instead, consider an interlocking tile mat or movable rubber version.
  • Match the mat to the vehicle. Do you own a heavy truck or SUV? Consider buying a thicker, heavy-duty mat that can stand up to its weight. Smaller, light-duty mats, such as those made from foam, are usually rated only for small cars, ATVs, and motorcycles, and they won’t hold up to the increased weight over time.
If you’re interested in building a greener workspace, some manufacturers offer eco-friendly car garage mats made from recycled fibers.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean my garage mat?
A.
Garage mats should be cleaned regularly to prolong their life and preserve a safer walking surface. The cleaning method you choose depends on the mat’s material, however. If your mat is solid rubber, plastic, or vinyl, it can simply be sprayed with a hose and squeegeed if necessary. If it’s made of absorbent fabric, it can also be hosed off, but it must be dried properly to prevent mold and mildew. In these cases, your best bet is a shop vacuum or a healthy period of air-drying. If your mat is filthy enough to require a cleaner of some sort, confirm it’s approved for use on your particular surface. A product rated for cleaning rubber may not work well on carpet, for instance.
 

Q. Are garage mats slippery when wet?
A.
Concrete garage floors can get very slippery when wet, and you’d be correct in thinking the same can apply to rubber-style garage mats. Not all mats are created equal, though, and many have an abrasive surface or diamond pattern for improved traction. Of course, fabric mats generally offer a less slick surface, but no matter what variety you have, always use extreme caution walking on wet surfaces.
 

Q. What are the advantages of car garage mats compared to garage floor sealants?
A.
Garage floor sealants are very popular because they put a protective barrier between your garage floor and any dirt your vehicle tracks in. Sealants work by penetrating the concrete to repel water, oil, and other liquids for easy cleanup. Floor coatings, on the other hand, sit on top of the floor and can completely change the aesthetic of your garage while offering a wide range of chemical and abrasion resistance.

Either option provides great long-term protection and a clean look, but both necessitate a fair amount of labor. By contrast, garage mats are a snap to install, are moveable, and can look fantastic if chosen wisely. They also have unique features like leak containment and parking aids.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Andrew
    Andrew
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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