Buying an Outdoor Doormat in 2023:
How to Find the Best Outdoor Door Mat for your Home
Why use an outdoor doormat? Why invest in a quality doormat?
According to the Institute of Industrial Laundries in the U.K., 80% of the dust, dirt, and grime of buildings are “tracked-in” from the outside.
Not only that, but one square yard of quality grade carpeting can actually accumulate half a kilo of harmful dirt over a week — twice as much in bad weather.
Without an outdoor doormat as your gatekeeper you are inviting in unwelcome guests - from dirt and debris to even worse that can affect air quality inside your house.
So it only makes sense to protect your home and health with an outdoor mat worth its weight.
From materials, size, and even color, let us help you find the perfect welcome mat for your front door.
6 Qualities Found in the Best Outdoor Door Mats
1. Outdoor doormats must be designed to get wet. Whether you have a covered porch or not, your outside doormat will get wet. Rain, snow, or just wet feet will be a regular occurrence so your doormat must be fast-drying in order for it to last.
2. Look for UV-resistant doormats: the best material for an outdoor doormat will be UV-treated to slow down fading and breakage from the sun.
3. Your doormat needs to resist mold and mildew. As mentioned, outdoor doormats get wet all of the time. Soggy doormats lead to growth of mildew and mold so choose a doormat designed to resist this fungus growth.
4. Outdoor doormats need to be crafted with synthetic fibers. Despite any weather, your doormat should last for years, not just a season. Synthetic fibers are superior to natural fibers because they do not break down so easily. Natural fibers will shed and rot the more they are exposed to the elements.
5. Choose an outdoor door mat with a bit of "heft" to it A lightweight doormat will not stay in place at your door, meaning you are constantly readjusting it. Outdoor doormats get so much traffic it is important you find one that has weight and substance to it. You can further anchor it with a rubber outdoor mat pad.
6. Outdoor doormats must be easy to clean. With the amount of foot traffic they receive, paired with bad weather, outside doormats may need to be cleaned often. You should take it easy on yourself and find one that can be washed with a garden hose right at your door. That means, once again, be sure it can hold up to water like our Lobster Rope Doormats.
What is the best material for an outdoor doormat?
Here are the most popular outdoor doormat materials and their pros and cons:
Good Old Rubber Mats
Maybe not the prettiest of mats, but rubber is one of mankind’s greatest inventions - it’s tough, durable, waterproof and flexible.
The drawbacks? Rubber gets super hot in the summer and in the winter can develop cracks from frigid air. Also, rubber doormats look best in industrial settings so they tend to detract from, rather than add to, a warm, inviting entrance.
The benefit of coir doormats is in the variety of cute and funny doormats available in this style, which gives a lot of versatility to your door decor.
Unfortunately coir breaks down easily and will shed. As cute as they are at first, they do not stand up well to bad weather and show wear quickly. You will need to replace coir doormats often since rain, snow, sand and sun can hasten their breakdown. We recommend coir doormats for indoor use only.
Fabric or Carpet Doormats
There are many choices available in fabric or carpet doormats but if you plan to place it outside, be sure it is made of synthetic fibers.
Natural fiber doormats are best for indoor use so avoid placing a doormat outdoors if it is cotton, wool, or cotton blend.
Look for fabric or carpet doormats that have been specifically made for outdoor use, and are fast-drying.
Synthetic Rope Doormats
Synthetic material that won't break down in bad weather can make the best front door mats.
There are many color and style options available in doormats woven from synthetic rope. While all synthetic rope options will last longer than natural fiber, the heavier-duty the rope the longer your doormat will last.
Our polypropylene and polysteel Lobster Rope Doormats use nautical rope designed to tether lobster traps to buoys in the sea. This rope is made for all elements - wind, rain, snow, ice, and sun - and dries extremely quickly. It is an ideal material for an outdoor door mat and they last for years.
Check out all of our weatherproof Lobster Rope Doormats right here - over 30 colors available.
A warning about bacteria growth on outdoor doormats:
You'll know pretty fast if your doormat is not weatherproof.
After a rain shower does your doormat dry quickly? If not, the inevitable will occur: mold and mildew will grow and it will be dragged into your home by everyone who walks over the doormat.
Mildew and mold can negatively affect your indoor air quality and overall health so the last thing you want is it brought into your home every time someone crosses the threshold.
Not to mention that fungi growth can leave quite an unattractive odor - not exactly the first impression you are trying to make!
Mold and mildew love moisture so always choose an outdoor doormat that is made of material that dries quickly, like our Lobster Rope Doormats.
What size should a doormat be?
Doormat Size Guide:
The most common question people have when buying an outdoor door mat is how big it should be. Standard outside doormat sizes begin at 18 x 30 - this is one of the most commonly purchased front door mat size. It works well for single doors.
A standard front door measures around 36" wide. We recommend a large outdoor doormat around 21 x 33 or 24 x 36/38 for front doors. Large outdoor doormats balance your door well and make a statement.
TIP: grab a piece of chalk and draw the size of each doormat before you buy so you can see the scale and balance of each size against your door.
A great rule of thumb is that your front door mat size be about the same width as your front door or slightly less.
What is the difference between a doormat that traps dirt vs. passes it through?
Doormats that trap dirt, mud and sand are at a greater risk of bacteria growth than a doormat that catches and releases dirt.
This is because the doormat that traps dirt gets bogged down over time with all of the "yuck" they've captured at the door. The only way to fix that is to beat the dirt out of them. This regular doormat "thwacking" is not only time-consuming but actually quite hard - it feels like you never get it fuly clean. But, if you go that route be sure to wear a mask so you don't breathe in all that you are beating out of the doormat.
Doormats that catch dirt and pass it through the mat last much longer and are easier to clean. Just lift them up and sweep the dirt away. All Lobster Rope Doormats are designed to catch and release dirt, which is why they continue to look so good at your door even after many years of use.
What is the best outdoor doormat for mud?
The best front door mats are made of tough materials that hold up to vigorous scrubbing. Lobster Rope Doormats use super durable nautical rope in a raised weave design to scrub the mud and dirt off your boots without affecting the condition of the doormat.
What is the best outdoor doormat for rain?
Any doormat designed to dry quickly will work well in the rain, initially. Moisture is an inevitable fact for an outdoor doormat. Being able to recover quickly between exposure to rain, snow, ice and more is key to the doormat lasting for years. Choose synthetic materials as natural fibers will break down more quickly the more exposed they are to water.
Do I need an indoor and outdoor doormat?
Your heaviest traffic door, typically the front, should have both an indoor and outdoor doormat.
The job of an outdoor doormat is to scrub off dirt, mud and debris before someone enters the home. The job of an indoor doormat is two-fold: first, to collect shoes for homes that request that shoes not be worn inside. Second, if shoes are allowed indoors the doormat must be absorbent so that moisture will not be tracked inside.
With a patio or side door you can often get away with just one doormat, indoor or outdoor, based on your preference.
What are the best outdoor doormats for removing dirt?
Doormats that have a raised weave or feature heavy-duty bristles are the best for removing dirt and mud. You will want a mat that can handle heavy scraping.
Avoid natural fibers for this job, like coir, as they will break down more quickly with heavy use and moisture exposure.
Lobster Rope Doormats are designed with a raised weave that captures mud and dirt, passing it through the doormat. The polypropylene rope will not break down with exposure to water.
Commercial Lobster Rope works double duty to pull tractor from mud.
How do I choose the right doormat color for my front door?
It's easier than you think to choose the right doormat color for your front door. Here are a few popular design ideas:
1. Choose a doormat that contrasts with your front door color. Dark charcoal or black doormats love a lighter-toned doormat, like this Sand & Cape Gray Doormat. Add drama to light front doors with deeper doormat colors, like this navy or charcoal doormat.
2. For those who prefer a more monochromatic look, find a doormat with a color in it similar to your front door. Navy front doors look warm and inviting with this Navy & Silver Double Weave doormat, for example.
3. Let your doormat inspire your door! If you find a doormat with strip of color in it you love, paint your whole door that color to transform your entire entryway. This Navy/Teal/Silver doormat has inspired many a teal front door!
4. Pair your doormat with your planters. Love a pop of red flower in the summer? So does this Navy, Red, Light Tan doormat. Or how about a cool blue hydrangea planter to complement this Navy & Hydrangea doormat.
5. Choose a doormat based upon the area in which you live. If you're coastal, this Beachy Vibes is a perfect fit. Or, if you reside near mountains or lakes, this Navy, Green, Dark Tan gives off a wonderful woodsy vibe.
6. Any doormat with a splash of color in it will liven up your step. This Navy/Light Blue/Seafoam doormat gives a cool, calming feel to your door white this Teal/Navy/Seafoam infuses it with pure energy.
7. If you're busy and don't want to spend loads of time on your door decor, choose a doormat to be a poppin' statement piece like this highly saturated Blue/Yellow/Green Doormat. This burst of color looks especially good against white or wood tone doors.