If you've ever balked at the prices car dealers charge for an "optional" set of floor mats, we understand. It can be enough to turn you off to the idea of floor mats altogether.
Before you reject the expensive dealer choices, and before you conclude that the best the aftermarket has to offer are those cheap "one size fits all" mats you find in the bargain big-box stores, please take the time to peruse the floor mat offerings from CARiD.
Ours are not the flimsy ones that you've seen elsewhere. Rather, these are the ones you'd actually want because they're beefy and durable enough to perform the job of protecting your carpets effectively. Many folks make the mistake of overpaying for floor mats when making a new vehicle purchase, because the inflated cost can be tucked into monthly payments that make the expenditure seem smaller than it really is.
Of course, you don't need to purchase a new car to appreciate all the benefits high-quality floor mats and liners have to offer. At CARiD, we understand a good set of mats is a key part of keeping your interior well-maintained and clean. We also know floor mats can be stylish accessories that make a statement. That's why we offer a wide variety of high-quality floor mats and floor liners made of rubber, polyethylene blends, carpeting, and even aluminum - all at values that can't be denied. We're confident that once you look through the selection of mats we have to offer, you'll be ready to ditch your factory ones in a hurry!
In this shopping guide, we'll discuss the many ways floor mats are beneficial, how they're superior to OEM ones, and which mat types are best for specific needs. We'll also highlight available colors, materials, customization options, the difference between "mats" and "liners", and more.
Why Do I Need Floor Mats?
A quality floor mat or floor liner can do a lot to boost the luxury, utility, and sportiness of your vehicle's interior image. At the same time, they'll effectively serve as a barrier of protection that keeps any spills, slush, and dirt from staining and degrading your permanently-installed floor carpeting. Below are the reasons you "need" floor mats.
A Cleaner Interior Means Better Resale Value
By properly containing all the muck from your feet, quality floor mats keep your vehicle's carpeting underneath pristine and new-looking. This will put more money in your pocket when it's time to sell, and you'll get to enjoy a cleaner interior meanwhile.
Because many vehicle owners never replace their original factory floor mats, the shortcomings of those mats eventually lead to factory carpeting that's stained, discolored, dirty, and worn. For this reason, used cars that still have new-looking carpeting are a rarity. While it's true dirty carpeting can be cleaned, it can never really be brought back to showroom-new condition again - especially since factory floor mats usually permit the kind of wear that makes carpeting appear threadbare.
Install a set of quality floor mats when your vehicle is new, and you'll be the one person whose interior retains more of its "new car essence". A clean spotless interior is often a tie-breaker when it comes to choosing a used car. Factors like that allow you to sell your vehicle quicker instead of it languishing on the market with price reductions.
There's a Different Kind of Mat For Every Need
The good news is whether your primary concern is providing a barrier against food spills, mud, snow, or sand, we've got rugged mats tailored for any specific needs. If you prefer to class up your coach, we've got luxurious mats made of carpeting and even finely grooved rubber. Need floor coverings for a work truck or shuttle vehicle? We've got durable mats that protect your floor while being easy to walk on. And if you just feel like making your interior a more cheerful place to spend time, we've got mats in bright colors. We've even got mats made of solid aluminum in bare polished metal or in colorful powder coat finishes.
Custom Mats Let You Make The Statement You Want - Privately
For many individual reasons, customers who value discretion tell us they appreciate how custom floor mats broadcast a chosen message effectively while keeping it privately confined to the vehicle's interior. The entire outside world can see a bumper sticker, window sticker or license plate frame, but only those invited inside your vehicle will notice the floor mats. They are one of the first things passengers' eyes will fall on when getting in.
We've got custom mats that display logos for automotive makes and models, sports teams, U.S. military branches, national flags, and more. Additionally, there are mats with nature scenes and iconic symbols recognizable from everyday life. We also make it possible to create your own mat with initials or a custom message up to 20 characters.
Aren't My Factory Mats Good Enough?
With the overwhelming design, engineering, and manufacturing costs automakers face attempting to produce vehicles that are sales home runs, expenses must be pared down wherever they can on expendable items customers don't consider important. Factory floor mats are a perfect example, because most customers don't give them a thought during a test drive or in the showroom.
It's no surprise, therefore, that OEM mats are made to lower standards, with the primary consideration being eye appeal before a sale. Factory floor mats aren't intended to last, and they can lack many of the important features a protective vehicle floor covering really needs to have. If you don't think this is true, consider how dealerships always try to talk you into paying an higher price for optional floor mats of higher quality that actually get the job done.
Have you taken a close look at the existing floor mats in your vehicle lately? Odds are if they came as standard equipment, they've become more worn, stained, and full of ground-in dirt than you think. Factory floor mats typically consist of a thin layer of lightweight carpeting bonded to a thin layer of polymer type material that blocks water from getting through. Not a great formula for protection, and not the type of construction that is guaranteed to last the length of time you own your vehicle.
In addition, if someone who drives the vehicle wears high heels, the top layer can be scraped away completely in spots. Add in a few winter seasons of tracking dirty slush into the car, and you've got floor mats that require lots of elbow effort with carpet cleaner to look presentable again. At that point, there's no guarantee that all the stains will come out or that the carpet itself is still in one piece.
If I Buy Aftermarket Floor Mats, Which Criteria Are Important To Me?
Even though we don't walk on vehicle carpeting, it's subject to greater wear than most other floor coverings. There's no doormat to wipe your feet on before entering your car or truck. In fact, the floor mats in your car serve as doormats themselves. That's why the mats or liners you select must stand up to whatever the biggest threat your vehicle's carpeting faces - whether it's melted slush, mud, liquid spills, food spills, sand, or even green slime. They should withstand all this, and be easy to clean.
When customers contact us by phone looking for "the best" floor mat, we always ask them to first consider which factors are most important to them personally.
Protection for Factory Carpeting Underneath
If you consider protecting floor carpeting an essential part of enjoying a clean interior, we would recommend vehicle-specific mats that are custom-tailored to each car or truck's floor design to ensure the most coverage. To add to that, consider floor liners with raised edges that also wrap over center hump areas. (See further below for more details about liners vs. mats.)
Bad Weather Protection (I Live In Snow Country)
If you live in snow country and need protection from heavier levels of winter muck that include ice-melting road salt, abrasively gritty sand/cinders, or grimy mud, we'd recommend a look through our "All Weather Mats" section, which typically features deeply grooved mats made of more durable synthetic rubber. Mats made of real rubber will also effectively trap muck and spills while being softer to the touch, but they may not be as wear-resistant. Deciding between these materials is a personal choice that should be based on severity of your climate as well as specific styles available with each material.
We also recommend deep-grooved mats for wet regions with a lot of mud. We've even got floor liners that resemble the knobby tread patterns of off-road tires.
Utility (I Have A High-Traffic Work Vehicle)
Primarily, floor mats designed for "utility" should be able to withstand heavy use for a long time without developing holes or imperfections that compromise their function. For example, if you have a taxi, shuttle van, or a work truck where boots are stomping in and out all the time, mats will need to last longer. They'll also need to go longer periods before they start to look worn, because tired-out mats can make a whole vehicle interior seem that way. A weary-looking vehicle reflects badly upon its owner or operator, so make a careful selection when high wear is a factor.
Keep in mind that floor mats with deeper grooves may physically wear down faster. And while rubber is very durable under normal-use conditions, it doesn't match the greater durability of vinyl. We'd recommend synthetic rubber (vinyl) floor mats and liners with low or no grooves for heavy use work vehicles.
While most carpeted floor mats aren't designed for heavy use vehicles, "berber" type carpet mats can stand up to heavier use without becoming worn-looking. Berber style carpeting is designed with looped fibers made of heavy, bulky yarns. They are available in either solid colors, or interwoven with yarns of differing colors which create a surface with multiple color flecks that hides dirt and stains. Built for heavy-duty use, the yarn mixture provides the strength of polypropylene with the stain resistance of nylon. A berber mat can be the mat of choice if you want durable carpeting.
Kid protection (I have 4 children)
If you have lots of children in your vehicle regularly, you need maximum protection against messes and spills. For this, we recommend deeply grooved mats that can hold larger amounts of liquids. If children are small and you'd prefer a slightly softer mat surface for delicate knees and elbows, we recommend looking in our "Rubber Mats" section. Or if your children are big teenagers with cleated spike athletic shoes, the greater durability of liners or mats in our "Synthetic Rubber Mats" section may serve you better.
Ease of Cleaning
High tolerance to dirt, snow, and liquid means effective containment of anything messy. Whatever hits the floor mat should not bleed through the mat or run off onto surrounding areas under normal use. High tolerance also means it should be possible to clean the surface of the floor mat easily and effectively with just a simple hose. And even when dirt has been left to dry and cake onto the mat for a while, it should come off with minimal effort - without leaving a permanent mark. If you spend a lot of time on the road, choosing a floor mat best equipped to handle your regional climate becomes more important. Using a mat without tolerance to dirt, snow, and spills means you'll be spending a lot of time cleaning your mats - or looking at ground-in stains.
Rubber and vinyl floor mats take an easy win in this category. Because rubber and vinyl materials are non-porous, any dirt, muck, and liquid spilled will sit on top of their surface instead of being absorbed. So they can be cleaned relatively quickly and easily with a simple hose. It's important to note that rubber and vinyl floor mats equipped with deeper grooves or complex patterns may require a bit more effort to pry out stickier gummy residue should that be something you encounter regularly.
Comfort (I like to drive barefoot)
If you like to drive barefoot and would prefer maximum comfort and plushness under your feet, we'd recommend a look through our "Carpet Mats" section. There, you'll find carpet mats with impressively deep-pile carpet that would be comfortable enough to sleep on. You'll also find various carpet mats that feature an extra layer of padding underneath. These provide the best all-around experience for driving barefoot.
Luxury (I Have A High-End Car And Want The Best)
Unlike economy cars with hard plastic surfaces all around the interior, high-end vehicles feature dashboards, armrests, and center consoles covered in soft-touch materials that exude comfort and luxury. So it follows that floor mats in such vehicles should live up to higher standards as well. We've got mats that are a natural all-around fit.
When it comes to a luxury feel, nothing is softer and more luxurious under your feet than carpeting. Perhaps that's why it's hard to imagine anything other than deep, cut pile carpeting in a Rolls-Royce or a high-end Mercedes Benz. If impressing passengers with luxury is your goal and the warm, softly-padded comfort of carpeting makes you happiest, we've got carpet mats that are deep cut pile. Also look for luxury carpet mats built with an additional layer of padding underneath the nylon carpet. Padded layers add a cushioning feel and, with the carpeting itself, serve to suppress road noise from underneath the vehicle - creating a quieter interior that enhances the feel of a high-end vehicle.
For those who value spill protection and ease of cleaning, rubber floor mats consisting primarily of deep, parallel grooves create a look of pin-striped elegance that meshes nicely with the overall look of luxury interiors. And because rubber ridges are generally soft and pliable to the touch, they provide a softer touch surface that feels nice under your shoes.
If you're looking for a color match with your vehicle's interior, carpeted mats offer the greatest variety of choices because the fibers can be dyed an almost unlimited number of colors. Vinyl and rubber, by contrast, must be manufactured with the color molded in place. By necessity, this limits color choices for these materials. While we've got rubber floor mat sets available in over a dozen colors, most vinyl/rubber floor mats are available in black, grey, or tan only.
If a "stand out" interior is what you wish to project, consider that a floor mat in an alternative or contrasting color makes a great contribution. And bright colors can also create aggressive flair if they match or contrast with other color themes on the vehicle.
What Is The Difference Between "Floor Mats" And "Floor Liners"?
When you're making a choice about what's best for your needs, it's essential to understand the difference between "floor mats" and " floor liners". We'll start by comparing them to household carpeting. Figuratively, floor mats are more like a sectional rug while liners are intended as more of a wall-to-wall carpeting overlay. Mats are flat on the bottom, while liners are molded to the contours of a specific vehicle floor and feature edges which run up along the walls of the foot wells or cargo space - not unlike how wall-to-wall carpeting wraps up stairways and into closets as well as other nooks.
Both mats and liners may feature grooves, cups, or other compartments to trap dirt and water to prevent it from escaping, or they may feature a smooth, flat surface. With a few exceptions, carpeted floor mats and liners do not have ridges. Some styles of mats and liners may feature small, flexible spikes on their underside to grip carpeting underneath better.
Floor mats are typically made of rubber, polymers, or carpeting while floor liners are usually always made of polymers. Note that different terms are used by various manufacturers for polymer construction of floor mats and liners - "rubberized plastic", "vinyl", "thermoplastic", and "synthetic rubber" are just a few. In this guide, we'll refer to all polymer construction as synthetic rubber.
The amount of floor area covered by a mat or a liner is an important consideration - especially if you have a higher-use vehicle. In short, a floor mat covers some or most (but not all) of a vehicle's floor area. Floor mats can be custom-fit or universal fit designs. A floor liner is designed to cover a complete section of the floor area of a specific vehicle. Liners are always custom-fit designs with high lips around most or all edges, and they come shaped to match uneven floor contours. Unlike floor liners, mats are flat on the bottom and do not feature high walls or lips around their perimeter.
Should you decide that floor liners best meet your needs, you'll find virtually all liners on the market are made from vinyl or rubber due to the greater physical flexibility those materials offer. And if you've got a driveshaft tunnel running down the center of your vehicle, look for a liner with over-the-hump coverage that accounts for raised contours. This type of liner will always be made of rubber or vinyl as well. While carpet mats (even custom-fitted ones) tend to cover smaller footwell areas, they're not available in full-width configuration. Plan on a vinyl or rubber liner if greater floor coverage is desired.
What's The Difference Between "Vehicle-Specific" vs. "Universal-Fit"?
When looking at various floor mats and floor liners, it's important to know the difference between vehicle-specific and universal-fit products. While floor liners are almost always custom-fitted for individual vehicles, floor mats may or may not be. But what does that mean exactly?
Products that are vehicle-specific are shaped and contoured to match the exact floor pattern of your make and model vehicle. As such, they'll fit perfectly over all areas that need coverage without gaps, overlaps, or unwanted excess. If a product is vehicle-specific, our system will automatically ask for vehicle year, make, and model information.
Universal fit mats are designed for many different vehicles, not just one. Because of this, universal-fit mats have a more generic shape to ensure they sit well within the confines of a typical footwell area. Generic shapes are usually smaller in size as well - resulting in coverage gaps and lower amount of protection for your floor. The tradeoff is usually a more attractive price.
Some universal-fit mats may be available with a larger amount of material that's designed to be trimmed. Or, universal mats may be offered in a "small/medium/large" range of sizes within the Product Options box - so don't hesitate to take a peek in there if you're considering a universal-fit product.
How Are Floor Mats Sold? In Sets? By Rows?
Floor mats and liners are sold in sets for 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-row seats, and each row can be purchased separately. Individual mats for driver- and passenger-side seats are not commonly offered. In the case of floor liners, a single piece will sometimes cover the entire floor from left to right.
Our system will help you with the selection process. Once you enter vehicle year, make, and model in our Product Options field, our system will know if your vehicle is a 2-seater, has a back seat, or is available with third-row seats. If more than one type of seating configuration was available from the factory, drop boxes will prompt you to specify which layout exists for each row of seats in your vehicle. Applicable mats and/or liners for first, second, and third row floor areas you select will be displayed beneath the drop boxes.
What Materials Are Available?
You will primarily find rubber construction on floor mats (NOT floor liners). We recommend rubber if you want the comfort of softer, more pliable material under your feet along with full dirt and spill protection.
Synthetic Rubber (Vinyl)
While chemical formulas for "synthetic" floor mats made primarily of polymers (instead of rubber) vary, they tend to look and feel like rubber. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes noticeable that synthetic mat surfaces are usually a little harder and less flexible to the touch. Like rubber, synthetic mats do offer full resistance to water seepage and will likely last the full amount of time you own your vehicle without degrading.
Floor liners are typically made from stiffer polymer compounds in order to support their contoured shapes. Because synthetic rubber is harder than real rubber, it's less prone to becoming worn and developing cuts under heavy use. This makes synthetic floor mats an excellent choice for durability if you've got a vehicle that's going to be hauling a lot of family, pets, friends, or passengers on a regular basis.
In our "Carpet Floor Mats" section, you'll find a variety of floor mats manufactured from carpet. For those more inclined toward utility, we've got value-priced carpet mats closer to OE thickness. On the other end of the scale, you'll find plush, deep-pile carpet mats that would be at home in any fine, high-dollar luxury car.
With a range of custom embroidering options and a huge choice of all kinds of pre-designed logos, carpeted mats offer the best choices for the car owner who's interested in mats that make a statement.
Yes, we've even got floor mats made of lightweight aluminum. When you consider it, aluminum actually has qualities that make for a good floor mat. Dirt and liquid won't penetrate the surface; it's extremely durable and won't tarnish, rust or fade; and because it's rigid it can't bunch up under the brake and accelerator pedal to create unsafe driving conditions. Of course, aluminum would likely work best in "bare floor" vehicles (Jeeps and the like) with no carpeting at all in them. The aluminum mats can do a wonderful job protecting and dressing up the sheetmetal floor.
Aluminum floor mats also serve as a nice complement to vehicles equipped with lightweight body panels or weight-reducing components. In our "Aluminum Mats" section, you'll find mats that are flat in shape, and you'll find ones that are custom-fitted for certain select car models in 1st and 2nd row configurations. All feature a rugged-looking raised diamond tread pattern that enhances grip when shoes are wet. And for looks, we've got aluminum mats available in a brightly polished mirror finish as well as durable powder coat colors such as black, yellow, blue, red, or orange.
How Well Will These Mats & Liners Stay In Place?
If you've ever had a floor mat constantly slide out of place under your feet, you know how annoying that is. Plus, your personal safety can be put at risk if mats bunch up under brake or accelerator pedals and interfere with their operation.
To prevent unwanted sliding, a number of the floor mats and liners we sell feature small cleats along their bottom surfaces that effectively dig into your vehicle's factory carpeting beneath. These are not sharp, metal cleats like those found on athletic shoes. Instead, they're made of soft and flexible rubber or vinyl which is not harmful to carpeting.
An additional advantage some custom-fit mats and liners offer is built-in button holes on the edges of the mats. For applicable vehicles, these are positioned to match the exact spots of "locating pegs" that many vehicle manufacturers install on underlying floor carpeting. When button holes are fitted over existing carpet pegs, the mats stay in place instead of sliding around. In some cases, button holes are even designed to snap in place onto the pegs.
Some mat manufacturers provide pegs which "screw into" the factory carpeting, and serve as anchor points for the built-in button holes.
What Customization Options Exist?
Floor mats can be selected with pre-designed logos as well as your own personal initials or message. We feel such customized mats are worthy of strong consideration, since the right ones can convey a lot of things about you without requiring a word to be spoken.
Custom Logo Mats
In our "Custom Logo Mats" section, you'll find mats that let people know what sports team or auto manufacturer you're a die-hard fan of without having to bring it up. Or, show pride in your alma mater or armed forces division you served in. We've got mats with flags of many different nations as well as images of exotic beach scenes, outdoor wildlife, western cowboy themes, and more. A quick look will also reveal iconic logos such as the peace sign, "No Smoking", and skull and crossbones among others.
Should you prefer mats with your own initials or short message, we've got you covered as well in our "Monogrammed Mats" section. There, you'll find mats that let you choose carpet color, embroidery color, and even lettering font during the ordering process. Other mats allow you to choose up to 3 initials (in a choice of fonts) that appear on a leather insert on the mat's center area.
"Embroidered" vs. "Applique" Logos
When ordering custom mats, you'll see some feature a customized area that's "embroidered" while others feature an "applique". Appliques are a one-piece logo design that's manufactured separately, then sewn or glued onto the mat's surface. Embroidered logos are stitched right through the mat's entire thickness. Because embroidery is performed after the floor mat is ordered, you can choose the thread color. Conversely, colors of appliques are limited to a pre-determined selection.
Mats May Also Be Offered With Contrasting Borders
In addition to whatever you choose to be displayed on the center, some of our custom mats can also be ordered with a contrasting border. Depending on the manufacturer of the mat you're purchasing, border material may be woven nylon velour or another type of fabric to go with carpeting on the mat. Or, you may have a choice of selecting a border made of a different material entirely. Either way, an array of color choices will be presented for the border area.
Selecting custom border options will be possible during the check-out process. It may be easy to overlook this extra specification (if it's available), so pay close attention to each step before you finalize your order. Barring any manufacturing defects, custom-made mats are non-refundable.
When chosen to match your specific needs and preferences, floor mats and liners are an effective solution for the enthusiast who values the condition of their vehicle's interior. And if you know someone else who will benefit from them, mats and liners also make a great gift. We'd love to hear from you with any product questions - we're open seven days a week to help you make the most informed purchase possible.