There is nothing in your car that takes more daily abuse than your carpets. All winter you grind mud, snow, rain, and ice from your boots into it. In summer, there’s sand, road grime and dirt. You might take your shoes off every time you walk into the house, but that’s a lot less practical in your car.
Even without the dirt and snow and grime, the constant traffic on your car’s carpet wears away at it. Factory floor mats offer some protection, but they wear our quickly too, and besides — you’ll want to keep those in tip-top shape to maximize that resale value. Factory mats also lack coverage, which is where the best aftermarket accessory floor mats really shine.
Aftermarket mats, especially all-weather mats made from vinyl or rubberized plastic, are easier to clean as well. Pull ‘em out, hose ‘em down — job done!
Read on for a list of the best floor mats to keep your car in showroom condition for longer.
WeatherTech is the brand that put laser-measured custom liners on the map and is the most recognized name in automotive floor coverings as a result. The company’s range of vehicle-specific liners were developed with 3D laser mapping of almost every modern vehicle on the road.
Made of rubberized thermoplastic, the result of the precision measuring gives you unparalleled coverage for your floors, and protection from all manner of contaminants.
The surface is non-slip, so you get good grip, while also offering a waterproof tray that is non-stick. We wish the channels were deeper and more plentiful, to keep more of the water and ice away from our boots. The backing is ribbed for more friction to make sure the mat doesn’t move around underfoot. That’s also helped by the precision fit, which fills your footwell completely.
If you go for a WeatherTech liner that looks surprisingly affordable, make sure you’re buying a whole kit for your car and not just the driver’s footwell. WeatherTech’s mats are 100 per cent recyclable.
SmartLiner’s extra-strength lip seals the mat to the carpet for better spill protection than any other mat on this list. The lip prevents liquids and other contaminants, like fine sand, working its way under your floor covering and into your carpet.
Not only that, but the precision fit SmartLiner range offers excellent coverage that penetrates deep into the under-seat area, even wrapping around the seat rails to offer maximum protection for more of your interior.
Like the WeatherTech mats above, these are a custom, form-fitting solution that promises to keep your vehicle looking new after years of use. There are four colour options, black, tan, light grey, and dark grey. What's more, the textured designs are aesthetically pleasing as well. The non-slick surface could use deeper channels to trap more liquid, as these will fill quickly with melting snow.
If you want to cover every square millimetre of carpet with a high-quality protective coating that is a breeze to clean, look no further than this line-up from SmartLiner.
Drivers who live in regions with deep snow and mud will appreciate the high ridges that come on the WeatherTech trim-to-fit all-weather floor liners. The channels allow the mats to capture all the mud and snow, and keep it contained, while keeping your shoes or boots dry. They’ll hold a whopping 1.5 litres of liquid without spilling.
The heavy-duty rubber is made ultra-pliable so it can handle extremely low temperatures without curling at the edges or cracking. As a result, it offers great grip, as well as comfort on long drives.
These liners are a universal fit and can be trimmed with a box cutter or scissors for the right fit. The bottom is coated in anti-skid ridges to keep them securely in place. Still, it’s important to note these aren’t precision-cut, so they won’t offer the full-carpet coverage of other mats.
The deep and rugged tread pattern of the Bestop floor liner, coupled with the deep well and full-floor coverage, make it the ultimate protection for even the muddiest boots. The treads are 5/16 of an inch (6mm) tall, while the raised lip is not only tall enough to trap water and mud but will hold it while you remove the mats for cleaning.
Bestop makes a range of vehicle accessories for trucks and 4x4s, so you know they’re focused on off-road performance. It builds this liner from TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) which is a rubbery plastic blend known for its ability to spring back to shape while also repelling contaminants. That means these liners will retain their looks and their floor coverage longer, even under heavy-duty use.
The front liners are sold separately, and neither rear nor front are cheap. The front liners have stake holes so you can place them securely using your car’s existing mat holders.
These San Auto floor mats are designed for off-road lovers and feature a cool mud-and-tire-tread pattern as well as a flashy colour trim highlight. The tread design is a clever Easter egg, but it’s also functional, helping trap mud and snow in the crevices to make sure the rest of your interior is protected.
These mats offer good coverage for the footwell and are trimmable for a closer fit. They feature hook holes so you can secure them on your existing mat stakes as well as a non-slip backing. Unlike others on this list, it’s more adhesive than friction generating, but it works well.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the low cost of this front-and-rear mat set, especially for the looks. San Auto makes its mats from odourless rubber that is resistant to temperature fluctuations, and won’t warp or shrink even in freezing weather.
The three-piece set of mats from FH Group is unbelievably cheap protection for your vehicle’s interior in most weather. The ridged rubber mats are trimmable to fit footwells and rear-seat floors and feature a lip to keep small spills and minor amounts of snow and salt trapped.
If your carpets get mostly light use but you need protection for the immediate underfoot areas, there mats will work well. The whole set is less than a third the cost of the rear Bestop liner above, which is crazy cheap. The back of these mats are nibbed to help them stay in place on the carpet, and while there are not pre-existing holes for your mat holders, you can easily cut out the detents that are pre-moulded.
This isn’t the prettiest mat, nor the most durable, but at this cost there are far worse places to put your feet.
In a sea of rubberised plastic Lund’s Catch-It floor liners stand out for their luxurious carpet look and feel without sacrificing protection for your vehicle’s floors. This is a great liner if you want to retain more of a factory look on your floors.
We like the deep wells and channels that keep any spills or snow securely inside the liner, and also appreciate the raised ridges that are perfectly shaped for scraping the soles of your boots before setting off on a drive. This prevents your feet slipping off the pedals due to mud or ice.
The vyram polyolefin carpet material can be rinsed clean with a hose, but it will trap moisture if you don’t let it dry properly. It’s not as easy to clean as the others on this list but that’s the sacrifice some are willing to make for fashion.
On the back of the Lund Catch-It liners you’ll find aggressive spikey nibs that bite into the carpet for security, and the form-fitment means they won’t migrate around your footwell. If you’re willing to take on a bit more cleaning and maintenance Lund will reward you with a great-looking and odour free liner.
Aries StyleGuard XD offers a premium liner that is loved for its comfort as well as heavy-duty protection and great looking form fitment.
These are easily the most expensive liners on this list, and a set of front liners alone is more than any other option here. For the money though, you get 100 per cent coverage and protection with unmatched comfort.
That comfort is courtesy of the three-layer construction. Thermoplastic rubber forms the textured top surface for hydrophobic dirt and grime resistance. The middle is a thick pad of polyethylene (XPE) foam that has vibration and weight absorption properties. Underneath, Aries’s proprietary OmniGrip fibers offer up wire-like bristles to the carpet and anchor the liner in place.
The Aries range is laser-measured and cut to fit each vehicle exactly, so you get full-floor protection. The high ridges on the sides help prevent spillover onto the carpet, and the rigid sidewalls make these mats easy to remove and clean without dropping dirt or mud back onto your OEM carpet.
If you’re willing to pony up the extra money, Aries liners are a high-end option.
Like all things automotive, shopping for the best floor liners means navigating some jargon. One common source of confusion is the interchangeable use of the word floor liner versus floor mat. Most of the custom-fit coverings for your car interior are a floor liner. They’ll usually provide protection for the entire base and the sides of your footwells.
Floor mats will usually refer to the universal-fit options. There are most often shaped like a rectangle with a trapezoid at the top. You will frequently hear floor liners referred to as “floor mats”, much to the chagrin of the marketing departments from floor liner companies!
We use “mat” as a substitute for “liner” throughout this article.
Most of our cars have handy plastic hooks on the floor of our vehicles, designed to locate our factory-fitted floor mats and stop them sliding about. They also have ridges on the bottom to generate friction, or even little spikes to bite into the carpet.
The floor liners on this page all have friction-generating features on the bottom to make them less prone to sliding around. The laser-cut or 3D mapped liners will be held in place by their shape as well, with high walls that keep them securely within the footwell.
Even the cheaper mats in this list will have anti-slip ridges on the bottom, but they’ll also have holes to accept the factory hooks. Some will be open, some you can punch out with a box cutter. If your mats begin to slide around when previously they didn’t, they’ve likely hardened due to the weather, or just worn out. You should replace mats that move around in your footwell with new ones.
You can clean rubber or vinyl floor liners with a hose, or even with a spray-and-wipe household detergent and a microfiber cloth.
Carpet liners require vacuuming, and some can also be washed in the washing machine. I clean my car’s carpet mats with a handheld steam cleaner, which is very effective.
Remember to let your liners dry completely before returning them to your car, as moisture trapped between the carpet and the bottom of the mat can cause mould to grow.
We're always looking for more feedback! If you've purchased one of the car mats on this list and would like to share your experience, please comment below and let us know what you think about our picks.