Best Treadmill Mats

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

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

19 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
112 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best treadmill mats

Last Updated September 2019

Treadmills designed for in-home use often duplicate the performance and features of professional-grade gym models. However, treadmills are heavy by nature, and they can cause damage to flooring as well as generate a significant amount of noise during use. A popular solution to this problem is a treadmill mat.

A treadmill mat is a foam, plastic, and/or rubber piece that fits between the treadmill and the floor. The mat actually performs two separate duties: it protects the floor from friction and weight damage, and it protects the treadmill from outside contamination. A quality treadmill mat also reduces vibration and noise generated by the treadmill’s moving parts and the user’s feet. The rubberized surface of the mat also helps hold the treadmill in place.

Some treadmill owners may believe that a treadmill placed on padded carpeting does not need an additional treadmill mat, but, in reality, carpeting is not designed to withstand all the effects of a treadmill in action, and the loose fibers and debris in the carpeting can damage the treadmill’s motor and belt drive.

If you would like more in-depth information on treadmill mats, our shopping guide below should address many of your questions. When you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

A treadmill mat actually serves two purposes: It protects flooring from the damaging effects of treadmill vibrations, and it reduces the effects of outside dust and debris on the treadmill itself.

Key considerations

Dimensions

Treadmills marketed for in-home use can vary in size, but most fall into the compact-to-midsize category. The standard dimensions of a home treadmill mat should be at least 6.5 feet by three feet (78 by 36 inches), but some mats can be 84 inches or greater in length and 48 inches or more in width. The thickness can also vary from one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch. The most important factor is a six-inch minimal extension around all sides of the equipment. It pays to measure the treadmill or other exercise equipment before purchasing a treadmill mat.

Construction materials

Treadmill mats must be able to reduce vibrations, absorb shock, and provide a nonslip surface between the floor and the machine. Most manufacturers use one or more of the following materials:

  • EVA foam. EVA foam has many of the same benefits as actual rubber, but it is also very lightweight and easy to store. It does provide a fairly nonslip surface and absorbs shock well. However, durability may be an issue with an all-EVA treadmill mat. It is often sandwiched between layers of PVC or rubber to improve noise reduction.
  • PVC: Treadmill mats made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are generally less expensive than rubber mats, and they can be quite thick. The vinyl material is easy to clean between uses, and it can be moderately durable. However, PVC can also require a period of off-gassing before first use.
  • Rubber. Some treadmill mats are constructed from a single piece of extruded rubber, but most are made from a composite blend. Recycled tires and other sources may be used as well. Rubber is extremely durable and can also recover faster from the effects of heavy treadmill use. However, pure rubber treadmill mats can be more expensive.

Durability

Treadmill mats must be able to withstand a significant amount of stress from heavy pieces of exercise equipment. It is not unusual for mats to start shedding material over time, especially less expensive models made from EVA foam or rubber composite. If durability is an important consideration, we recommend investing in a solid rubber mat or one with a rubberized outer shell and a PVC interior layer.

Ease of maintenance

Some users may choose to leave the treadmill mat in place at all times, while others choose to store the mat between uses. Most treadmill mats arrive in a compact roll, and some can be difficult to flatten out during use. Others are designed to be folded in half between uses, but not rolled. If a treadmill mat serves double duty as an aerobics or yoga mat, the outer surface should be easy to clean and dry between uses. We recommend a PVC equipment mat for multiple uses.

EXPERT TIP

Your treadmill mat should extend at least six inches from the treadmill’s footprint on all sides.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Colors

The majority of treadmill mats are black, but different color schemes are available. Mats constructed from rubber composites tend to have flecks of different colors, while some PVC-based mats feature a variety of solid colors.

Interlocking mats

When creating a home gym with multiple pieces of equipment, many people invest in foam mats with interlocking edges. One interlocking piece may have the proper dimensions for a treadmill, but connecting several of these mats can create an entire play area for children or a home gym for adults.

Other uses

Although a treadmill mat’s dimensions are designed specifically for in-home treadmills, it can serve a number of other purposes. Some homeowners may want to protect hardwood flooring by installing equipment mats under heavy furniture. A treadmill mat can also work as a sleeping bag pad or a temporary mattress topper. It could also be used as an anti-fatigue mat behind a wet bar or in the kitchen.

Commercial treadmill mats for professional-grade treadmills can be two inches thick.

Treadmill mat prices

Inexpensive: The most basic treadmill mats for under $20 are not actually full-size mats at all. Instead, they are small squares constructed from the same PVC, EVA foam, or rubber as their larger counterparts. They are designed to fit under the contact points of the treadmill to reduce vibration and noise, but do not protect the entire machine from outside debris. A few full-size PVC or EVA mats can also be found at this price point, but durability may be an issue.

Mid-range: Between $20 and $50 is where most first-time treadmill owners will find suitable mats for home exercise equipment. Most options in this price range will meet or exceed the minimum size recommendation of 6.5 x 3 feet. Some mats will feature solid rubber construction, while others are composites of rubber sandwiched around a PVC or EVA foam core.

Expensive: For over $50, you’ll find high-end treadmill mats constructed from solid rubber or a high-tech composite material. Some brands at this price point are marketed toward professional gyms, not average consumers. They could be as thick as two inches, while the standard in-home mat thickness is closer to one-fourth to three-eighths of an inch. Some manufacturers also offer multipacks of equipment mats at this price point.

EXPERT TIP

Some treadmill mats require a period of time after unboxing for off-gassing.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Some treadmill mats require a period of off-gassing, which means allowing enough time for chemical odors from manufacturing to dissipate before use.
  • Make sure to measure the dimensions of the treadmill before shopping for a treadmill mat. A standard treadmill mat should measure at least 6.5 x 3 feet.
  • Some shedding is normal as treadmill mats age. Be sure to vacuum or sweep up any loose material between uses to protect the motor and belt mechanism.
  • Treadmill mats with rounded corners have less of a tendency to curl up between uses.
  • Always use a treadmill mat on carpeting, because the machine can deposit lubricant, grime, and other debris while in use.

Other products we considered

In terms of construction material and durability, the RevTime Heavy-Duty Treadmill Mat uses several different forms of real rubber, which makes it noticeably more durable than its foam-based counterparts. It also comes in several different thicknesses and dimensions for more versatility. The MotionTex Fitness Equipment Mat is PVC-based, which makes it easy to clean between uses. We also liked the rounded corners, which minimizes unwanted roll-up. It is also suitable for other types of exercise equipment. Because of its lighter weight, the Body-Solid Tools Treadmill Mat can also be used as an aerobics or yoga mat. We also like its affordable price point. However, we do recommend a period of off-gassing before using it.

Many treadmill mats can also be used with stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, or climbing machines.

FAQ

Q. My spare room has very thick carpeting with padding. Do I really need a treadmill mat?
A.
A treadmill mat provides more than cushioning for the equipment. Even if you place the treadmill on thick carpeting, the vibrations and constant pounding can still cause damage to the carpet fibers and flooring. A treadmill mat also prevents dust, debris, and loose carpet fibers from entering sensitive parts of the treadmill.

Q. I live in an upstairs apartment. Will a treadmill mat reduce enough noise and vibration to not bother my downstairs neighbors?
A.
In that kind of close quarters situation, we’d recommend investing in the thickest treadmill mat you can find and consider placement very carefully. Other occupants in your apartment and your downstairs may be aware of the treadmill when it is in use, but the overall noise and vibrations should be dampened.

Q. I just bought a very basic treadmill for home use. How thick should my treadmill mat be?
A.
Manual treadmills and lightweight motorized models generally require a mat that is one-fourth of an inch in thickness. The main consideration is the length and width of the machine, because the mat should extend at least six inches from all sides.

The team that worked on this review
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

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