Best Bath Rug of 2020
The ITSOFT Non Slip Shaggy Chenille effortlessly withstood the abuse we inflicted throughout our testing regime. The sea anemone-like fibers are a uniform one-inch across the mat, which adds to its exceptional aesthetic appeal. This particular bathmat is well constructed with a thicker-than-average base and rubber backing that adds to its comfortable, underfoot luxury. The backing is made of thermoplastic rubber, which holds well on slippery floors. Our testing plan included a heavy-handed, five-second dousing with the garden house and the ITSOFT mat managed to feel just damp, not soaking wet. It also dried completely after a mere 30 minutes. On top of that, the dirt and grime that we smeared across the fibers were no match for the dirt-repellent properties that this rug boasts. After a few quick shakes, this bathmat again looked respectable, ready to impress guests with its elegant design and optimal functionality.
Weighty and durable, the ITSOFT Shaggy Chenille scored highly across the board. The tag claims that this rug is dryer-safe, so we went ahead and dried in on high heat. It withstood the heat but also excelled when hung on the line, drying speedily. This is a bonus for consumers living in cold and damp environments where line drying might not be practical. Overall, this rug is a thick, luxurious bathmat that you'll want to sink your feet into time and time again.
The GENTSING Shaggy is everything you want in a plush bath rug — it's soft, thick, and feels luxurious underfoot. The high-pile and dense shag help dry your feet and keep them warm while you towel off the rest of your body. Even when damp, the thick fibers don't feel unsettling, and, as long as it hasn't gotten too soaked, it dries decently fast for how deep the pile is. The backing is both robust and grippy, imparting confidence for long-term use and excellent stability. Machine-washing is a snap — we followed the directions and washed on cold, though we didn't use the gentle cycle as instructed to push the limits a bit, and this impressive rug remained looking just as good as it did on day one.
If you're someone that loves having wild or bright colors in your bathroom, you may be a bit disappointed with the limited hues the GENTSING is offered in. You'll also want to be mindful of not soaking it completely, as the dense fibers absorb quite well and will hold onto that moisture for a good while. That said, the rubber backing is thick and durable, so there's zero chance of water seeping through to your bathroom floor. The plush fibers have the potential to look matted and sad after longterm abuse, though a trip through the washing machine can help revitalize them. Overall, this is an excellent rug on all levels AND the price is beyond fair — a win-win in our book.
For a low maintenance and affordable choice, look no further than the LuxUrux Luxury Chenille. Sold as a set of two, these rugs camouflage dirt, mud, and grime in an almost magical way. You'll be surprised and delighted by how the one-inch long chenille fibers trap and hide dirt, only to release it and be fully refreshed after a shake or two. The uniform fiber pile gives beneath your feet, engulfing your toes in fleecy-soft comfort. While this set of rugs might not be the fastest drying on the market, they absorb well and can protect delicate floors with ease. The fibers feel slightly damp after a good soaking, but the water does not affect the rug's aesthetic, which we appreciate.
The LuxUrux rugs are one of the few in our review that do not explicitly say "dryer-safe." It is plenty easy to run them through the washing machine and hang to dry, though. Still, we did throw them in the dryer just to see how they would fare, and we're happy to report that they came out looking fresh and undamaged. Regardless, we recommend following the wash instructions disclosed by the manufacturer. The backing on the LuxUrux isn't quite as robust as other non-slip specimens — the white rubber PVC holds up but isn't the grippiest. We caution users to ensure that their floor surface is dry before placing these mats. All in all, this set is an elevated option for those looking to outfit their bathroom with a functional, low maintenance, and affordable rug set.
The Gorilla Grip Original Luxury Chenille was another easy favorite for us. The lush pile of inch long chenille microfibers absorb splashes, drips, and whatever else you throw at it. This rug handled each of our imposed demands with ease and looked good while doing it. The absorbent fibers wick away moisture and dry far more quickly than we could have predicted, feeling only vaguely damp after a five-second direct spray from the hose, but not overly icky from saturation. This is a great option for a bathroom with a lot of foot traffic or a house with wet, splashy children. The fibers are hearty and plenty soft, offering above-average underfoot comfort too.
The thick rubber backing that makes the Gorilla Grip so sticky retains water more than a thinner backing, which could be seen as either a pro or a con depending on your style of usage. The fibers on top dried within 15 minutes of being soaked — a very impressive time — while the backing took just over an hour to fully dry. The body that the fibers attach to is thinner than others in this review, and while that takes the lush-ness down a few notches, it's nothing major. This rug looks outstanding pre and post-spin cycle and should have no problem standing up to regular and intense use.
The Cotton Paradise set stands out amongst the crowd for a variety of reasons. They are comprised of 100% cotton, a bonus for those that prefer to stay away from plastic or polyester components. Our reviewers love the simplicity of this towel-style mat, with a decently plush foot-feel and a thickness akin to a cozy fresh beach towel. The lack of any sort of rubber backing means that washing and drying are also super easy — the material is safe to use with a stain remover, and there's nothing to get damaged in the dryer. Durability is high here too — the cotton bounces back and only gets softer and suppler with each wash.
Consumers with balance issues might find the lack of rubber backing on this rug to be unpredictable and dangerous. Because of its minimalistic design, this style of rug tends to bunch, slide, and move if you don't have sure footing. Those looking for a luxurious underfoot feeling will likely also find the Cotton Paradise to be lacking in comfort. While the manufacturers created a thick cotton, this bare-bones style gives you somewhere to dry your feet and nothing more. Because this is a towel-style rug, it absorbs as one would anticipate a towel does — adequately and enough to protect the floor. The tight cotton weave and excellent absorption create a slower-to-dry situation, but the total dry time is still well within an appropriate timeframe.
The Gorilla Grip Original Thick Memory Foam is our highest scoring memory foam mat. Its thick, velvety topper and pillowy loft make it a dream for those in search of a luxury experience when stepping out of the shower. This mat boasts the best underfoot feel of those we tested while also earning high aesthetic and durability scores. The surface of many memory foam bath mats acts as a Velcro and attracts dirt and other particles, but this is not the case for the Gorilla Grip version. With just a few shakes, this mat concedes and releases dry filth particles, creating a good-as-new look that will keep your bathroom looking fresh.
The faux velvet surface of many memory foam mats degrades fairly quickly over time, and the Gorilla Grip version is no different. While it scored better in this area then other similar mats in this review, light abuse does start to take away from the delectable softness. We docked a few points because of how prominently it shows footprints and residual water, especially when compared to chenille and cotton rugs. And, even though the topper dried fairly quickly after a soaking, the backing held onto water past the two-hour mark in our testing. The care tags state that the Gorilla is dryer safe, though we have (perhaps unfounded) misgivings about repeatedly putting plastic and rubber into the dryer. All this aside, we unanimously agree that this rug is our go-to memory foam pick if plushness under your clean feet is priority number one.
Some folks, and several of our testers, are minimally minded and love the sleek and classy look of a hotel-style, luxury floor towel. The White Classic Luxury is explicitly described as a floor "towel," not a bath mat, and that is perfectly accurate. This hard-working, 100% cotton rug absorbs water, looks good, and makes cleaning day a breeze. The lack of a rubber or plastic backing allows users to toss it in the washing machine and then the dryer without being concerned about damaging anything. Stains are a bit more obvious due to this type of rug's flat surface texture, but a basic stain remover can lift blemishes easily. The 100% cotton construction is neither plush nor soft, but it's a durable cotton weave great for absorbing water and preventing puddles on the ground.
As with other bath mats of this style, slip and slide issues are the main concern for those that are less sure-footed. The lack of a rubber, non-slip backing creates an easy to care for bathroom accouterment but certainly comes at the price of stability. Since towel-style bath rugs have a low profile texture, stains also show more aggressively than on their chenille and fibrous counterparts. However, with proper stain removal techniques, these cotton floor-towels should last and look fresh for a long time. Our testing team unanimously agrees that towel style rugs are best suited for minimally minded bathers who want a utilitarian mat that looks clean and sleek without being expensive.
The Yimobra Original Luxury Shaggy is absorbent, plush, and fun. The fleecy texture soothes worn-out feet, and the absorbent fibers envelope wet toes magnificently. The varied chenille fiber lengths soak up every last drop of water, but, unfortunately, that is where our words of praise end. The chenille fibers of this bath rug behave differently than others we tested, and we believe that is due to its cheaper fabric composition. That said, anyone who wants to prioritize affordability and absorption will find the Yimobra Shaggy serves its purpose, and it comes in some really fun, bright colors.
The varying fiber lengths of the Yimobra work well for absorbing water but create a chaotic and disjointed aesthetic. Which, to be fair, some might really like, as it adds an element of whimsy. However, the significant water absorption it provides comes at a price — this shaggy mat took four hours to dry after getting wet. Many thicker, more durable rugs in this review dried in under a quarter of that time. Additionally, the polyester backing on this rug feels more like dirty fabric than non-slip backing. The tag states that this rug is machine washable and dryer safe, so long as low heat is used. After just a few washes, both the fibers and backing showed signs of wear. The fibers became less defined, and the backing's slight gumminess became smooth and slippery on vinyl flooring. Overall, this bath mat did not overly impress us, though the fleecy foot-feel is nice, and the water absorption is good.
The H.Versailtex 2-Piece Thick Chenille bath rugs shake out dirt particles easily, absorb water well, and provide a great choice for the frugally-minded deal-hunters because you get two rugs for less than some singles! The rugs have two different fiber lengths in a striped pattern, which creates a subtle texture and a bit of style. These rugs surprised our reviewers by being highly absorbent; this is a good choice for those who want to prioritize floor protection, and the underfoot feel is also quite nice.
However, these chenille rugs didn't stack up as well in other metrics. After our water-dousing test, the H. Versailtex took over four hours to dry completely. This slow drying time would not be such a negative if it scored higher in other metrics. Because this rug takes so long to dry, it holds onto dirt and dust longer than its competition. These factors, when accompanied by the less-than-grippy surface, creates a true you-get-what-you-pay-for scenario. Still, while not fancy, these rugs do get the job done, kind of. If you are looking for a simple two-for-one set to protect your floors in an area without a lot of traffic, these will certainly do.
Despite incredibly optimistic reviews from users online, the Yimobra Memory Foam left us lukewarm. Initially, we were pleased with this sleek, low profile mat. Yimobra created a pleated look that, in photos, appears to add an air of elegance to a basic memory foam option. The surface is decently soft and far more forgiving than the typical velvety covers of memory foam mats, especially when it comes to hiding wet footprints. It's washer and dryer safe but not overly flexible, so we do not think it's ideal for consumers with small laundry set-ups. Half repellent and half absorbent, this rug does indeed protect floors from post-shower puddles and doesn't hold onto stains through wash cycles. However, the slightly-rougher-than-velvet exterior adds to an overall inexpensive look, and the polyurethane foam filler is thinner than many similar mats.
This thin, pillowy mat looks pounded out after just a few wet footprints step across its surface. Once wet, dirt clings to the surface like Velcro, even after aggressive shaking. We are thankful that stains wash out, but we aren't interested in using a bath rug that has to be machine washed and dried after every shower. Standing an unimpressive half-inch off the ground and covered in dirt, this mat looks like something you'd use to prevent your Honda's oil leak from getting onto your driveway, not something you'd want to rest your clean feet on. For the price, this bath rug will do the trick, but we do not think it deserves very much hype.
The Genteele Memory Foam is indeed a budget buy, and for being sold at such a low price point, this bath rug is fine — though nothing to write home about. It is yet another memory foam mat that washes well but cannot live up to the expectations of daily life. Still, Genteele created a nonslip backing beneath a plush pillow of polyurethane, which is all some folks need or want. The PVC dots and non-woven white fabric on the underside grip the floor well and do not have any discernable odor.
That said, while this memory foam mat is texturally soft to the touch, the body is rather stiff and cardboard-like. So much so, in fact, that the fold line from being stuffed into a shipping box never flattened out. The surface looks incredibly fresh after a wash cycle or two but have you ever tried to shove a piece of cardboard into your washer? Exactly. Our reviewers also experienced the strangest phenomenon while testing this rug: it miraculously repelled all of the water we doused it with (the water actually pooled on the surface), yet somehow still took over two hours to dry. Because we executed our controlled air-drying test outdoors at altitude, we shudder to think of how long this bath rug would take to dry indoors or in a humid climate. We will likely pass on purchasing this rug in the future, but the super-budget conscious or consumers looking to outfit an unused bathroom will find that the Genteele Memory Foam bath mat may suit their needs.
Why You Should Trust Us
This review is headed up by Ally Meller, a respected personal trainer, fitness instructor, and yoga teacher who knows a thing or two about showering on the go. She has slipped and slid her way through showers from South Lake Tahoe, CA and Costa Rica to Spain and beyond. Ally and her husband recently gutted and remodeled a 1997 RV, and her keen eye for design was a pivotal part of the couple's success. She admittedly has expensive taste, high expectations, and can often be found cleaning German Shepherd hair off of everything she owns.
Our testers put this collection of bath rugs through the wringer to separate the winners from the sopping wet losers. For weeks we stomped through mud puddles and took tons of showers before dancing across each rug to determine which can hold up to the demands of daily life and which aren't worth the money. A small RV-sized washer/dryer combo unit was then truly put to the test as we stuffed rubber-backed rugs and cardboard-ish mats inside to assess ease of cleaning and durability. Suffice it to say, we used these rugs to the max to help you find the right option for your bathroom.
Analysis and Test Results
We spent weeks testing these popular bath rugs to determine which ones offer the most absorption, aesthetic pleasure, underfoot comfort, and bang for your buck. We included metrics such as drying time, durability, and ease of cleaning. Each of our specified tests was created to find weak points in the fabric, pile height, backing, or ooey-gooey filling.
Call us dramatic, but we believe that a bath rug's absorptive properties can truly save lives! If a bath mat doesn't absorb water, the water ends up on the floor, which has the potential to create a dangerous slip-and-fall environment. To test absorption, we first simulated a shower by hosing our testers down with the garden hose. We evaluated how wet the surface of each rug and backing was, and then checked for signs of water beneath the rugs. After this initial evaluation, we sprayed each rug individually on full blast for five seconds. Following this thorough dousing, we reevaluated all of the previously stated properties to create our over-arching analysis.
In general, we found that the shaggier the rug, the better it absorbed water. This wasn't true in every case, but rugs that we initially disliked won back a few points due to their super-absorptive qualities. We unanimously agree that the more dense the weave, the better the absorption. The chenille ITSOFT, Gorilla Grip, and LuxUrux rugs are among our top contenders in the absorption metric. Each rug possesses a strong weave, dense fiber patterns, and a thick, impenetrable backing. The Yimobra Luxury Shaggy is also pleasantly fleecy and absorbent, as is the plushly thick GENTSING Shaggy.
Ease of Cleaning
As self-proclaimed clean freaks, it should come as no surprise that this is a heavily weighted metric. We are all for fun and games, but when push comes to shove, we want our bathrooms looking spic and span. To truly get a feel for how easy these rugs are to clean, two of our testers created a mud puddle, stepped in it, and then stepped all over the already wet rugs. We allowed the mud and water to air-dry overnight so the stains could set in. Once the mud stains were good and dry, we tossed them in a typical spin cycle before popping them in the dryer. We repeated the same process but sprayed the muddiest bits with a stain remover before the spin cycle.
Predictably, the towel-style bath rugs without rubber backings scored as our easiest to clean. Stains were effortlessly lifted out of the Cotton Paradise 900 GSM and the White Classic Luxury with just a few spritzes of stain remover and a spin through the washer. Despite initial reservations about putting rubber and plastic in the dryer, the Gorilla Grip Original Luxury Chenille was a strong contender in this battle as well. The backing on this rug is flexible and seems unlikely to crack or warp even with extended use.
When it comes to choosing a bath rug, aesthetics are a key component and perhaps often the main thing people search for when outfitting their bathroom floors. While we can acknowledge that a pleasing aesthetic is highly subjective, we used our keenest design eyes to sort the luxurious from the scrappy-looking. We considered elements like pile height, density of fibers, and thickness of the rug's backing to gauge this metric.
Aesthetically speaking, a few bath rugs stood heads above the rest. Our highest scorers are the towel-style rugs due to their high versatility, extremely sleek profiles, and classy looks. The Cotton Paradise 900 GSM and the White Classic Luxury both look streamlined while absorbing post-shower droplets or folded and slung over the side of the tub. A couple of chenille rugs score highly in this metric as well. While they came up just a smidge behind the towel-style options, the LuxUrux Luxury Chenille and the ITSOFT Shaggy Chenille still scored highly. When it comes to chenille rugs, the quality and fiber quantity of these two options are evident. We found rugs with denser fiber patterns, thicker weaves, and more secure backings to look better overall. Chenille rugs can add a bit of coziness to an otherwise icy bathroom but when overdone, they can look cheap and played out. We certainly appreciate our two high-scoring chenille options for their upscale look. We also really appreciate the enticing thick weave of the GENTSING Shaggy.
Drying time is another metric in which our inner clean-freaks pay strict attention to. There is nothing worse than stepping on a wet bath rug, especially with your socks on! We systematically drenched our rugs and gave them equal and ample time to line dry. Initially, we hosed our own bare feet down and took four steps on each rug. After this first step, we evaluated how saturated the rug fibers felt, took notes, and determined which rugs felt dry, damp, or wet. Our next step was to saturate each rug with a five-second garden hose soaking. One tester timed while the other tester sprayed. The hose-dousing test was by far the most telling when it comes to drying time. We hung each bath rug on a clothesline and checked its progress every ten minutes. The two-hour mark was when we executed a pivotal check-in. Rugs that were dry or nearly dry were scored above average, and rugs that you could still wring out like a sponge were rated well below average.
From the beginning of our drying time testing, we started to notice trends contingent upon fiber types and densities. The fleecier chenille fibers have, no surprise, significantly longer drying times than the more streamlined chenille rug fibers. Our drying time superstar is, without a doubt, the ITSOFT Shaggy Chenille. The tightly woven chenille fibers of this mat dried in 30 minutes, including its thick backing. The Gorilla Grip Luxury Chenille and LuxUrux Luxury Chenille are also both worthy contenders in this metric. The Gorilla Grip fibers dried at a lightning-fast speed, but the uber-thick rubber backing took just over an hour. The LuxUrux was fully dry after an hour and ten minutes on our outdoor clothesline. The GENTSING Shaggy took a long time to dry when super saturated, but with more typical use, it was able to dry in a very respectable time.
Generally, the plush memory foam rugs disappointed us with their long drying times. However, there are always exceptions to the norm: the surface of the Gorilla Grip Thick Memory Foam dried quickly, and after two hours, just the thick backing felt damp to the touch. The towel-style rugs certainly did not wick away water like the classy chenille rugs, but both the Cotton Paradise 900 GSM and the White Classic Luxury were dry after about two hours. The 100% cotton construction of these towel-style rugs makes them retain water a bit more aggressively than others we tested, but the ease of hanging them over the tub side to dry makes up for that small negative.
We assessed underfoot feel by, you guessed it, putting these rugs under our feet. Immediately upon unwrapping their packaging, we dug our toes into the plush softness of each contender, assessing the texture of the fibers and overall feel. Unsurprisingly, the rugs with the weakest feeling fiber types also had the least amount of cushion. We love a good budget buy, but when it comes to bath rugs, you get what you pay for in many respects. We assessed each rug with wet feet, dry feet, clean feet, and dirty feet. Our ratings are based on how each rug felt before use and then how they felt after several trips through the washing and drying process. We did see some fibers degrade with use, but ultimately we didn't detect a major difference in underfoot feel pre and post washing.
The ITSOFT Shaggy Chenille married soft fibers with a plush under-cushion to create the best underfoot feel of the bunch. The thick backing holds to the floor well and creates a cozy landing pad for your shower-drenched feet. Equally as impressive is the GENTSING Shaggy with its super soft fibers and sturdy back. The Gorilla Grip Memory Foam is another favorite — Gorilla Grip constructed a well-made mat with an inch of give and a velvety soft topper. The towel-style mats are not exceedingly impressive when it comes to underfoot feel, but if minimalism is your game, then the lack of a rubber backing could be ideal. It should surprise no one, however, that the towel-style bath rugs do indeed feel like towels on the floor. Consumers looking for luxurious functionality should stick with a chenille or memory foam mat. Those looking to outfit their space with the look of luxury, without the tactile sensation of it, will love the look of the towel-styles rugs.
In our opinion, durability is what makes a purchase worthwhile, especially a purchase that is intended to be used in a high-traffic, highly exposed, underfoot location. Even though we test for a limited amount of time, we do our best to simulate months or years of use over the short term. We stepped on these bath rugs straight out of the shower and after hosing our feet off. We soaked them with a garden hose before line drying them and then rubbed muddy feet all over them. After each rug was abused, we put them through two machine wash and dry cycles. We even dried the rugs whose tags said not to do so in order to see how the rubber, PVC, and polyester backings held up to the heat (because we know not everyone reads labels!) Then we did it all again.
We are pleased with the number of durable rugs that we were able to round up, especially since many of them could be considered "bargain buys." The towel-style rugs hold up to the demands of frequent washings and stains long before the fabrics start to pull apart. For chenille options, the ITSOFT, Gorilla Grip Chenille, and LuxUrux rugs all have strongly engineered backings that make them good choices for the long haul, as does the GENTSING Shaggy.
Overall, the battle of the bath mats was a great success. We are happy to pass our tried-and-true knowledge onto you as you set your bathroom up for success. After hours spent with our feet, hands, and faces all over these bath rugs, we are confident that we exhausted our options and are truly bringing you some excellent options. We discovered that the bargain buys aren't always the most functional and that sometimes, the most functional are also the sleekest. If a luxurious feel is what you're after, a memory foam mat is a great choice. If you have a high traffic bathroom floor, a chenille mat could suit your needs perfectly. And if you are minimally minded, a towel-style rug will add a touch of elegance to your all-important porcelain throne room.
— Ally Meller