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What Are the Best Car Floor Mats?

Car floor mats

The beautifully maintained interior of a 1980s Dodge

The best car floor mats for your vehicle depends on lots of factors: where you live, whether you have pets, the season and your style. Are you a truck owner who needs a mat that can stand up to mud and dust? A parent who carts around teams of kids in a minivan? A sports car owner looking to jazz things up for car show season? A luxury car owner who loves the feel of leather under your feet? Whoever you are, no matter your vehicle, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time deep-cleaning the interior of your car. The best car floor mats will be the ones that meet your needs and keep your car’s value by protecting the interior from stains and damages. Let’s take a look at a few of the factors you should consider when selecting a set of floor mats.

Picking The Right Mats

First, select the type of floor mat that best fits your vehicle, climate, and lifestyle.  There are lots of options out there but these are the most common car floor mat types you will come across:

  • Factory-style mats. Exactly what it sounds like. These mats are designed to mimic the mats originally available from the vehicle manufacturer. Nothing fancy, just standard floor protection. Usually just  carpet but the fit will be exact to the vehicle.
  • All-weather floor mats. Like all-weather tires, these mats work for inclement climates, stains and spills. It doesn’t matter if it’s rainy, wet, snowy or muddy; these mats will protect your floor. They provide a valuable barrier against soil, dirt, sand, mud or sticky substances, and they can also be removed and hosed down for easy cleaning.
  • Fashion mats. Floor mats are a great way to accessorize your car. Add some color with a fashion mat that also provides some protection. These are available in a huge variety of styles. You can get mats that match your vehicle make/model, your favorite sports team, a favorite hobby, or just about anything else that you want to show off.
  • Made-to-order mats. It’s easy to find floor mats that fit standard SUVs and sedans, but what about your vintage car or modified vehicle? Made-to-order floor mat manufacturers take exact measurements of your car to ensure an ideal fit.
  • Luxury mats. These are mats that are all about the looks and bringing a bit of the finer life to your vehicle’s floors. They may be quilted or made from materials such as leather or fine cloth.

Material Matters

Once you have an idea of the style of floor mat you intend to purchase, consider these different materials:

  • Rubber. Rubber floor mats have lots of benefits. For starters, they won’t absorb water, and many come with ridged designs that keep water and slush from sloshing onto your car’s carpets or leather. Plus, rubber mats can withstand a lot of traffic from kids and pets. Best of all, they can be easily removed and hosed down.
  • Carpet. If you don’t have a carload of kids — or people of any age getting in and out of your vehicle all day long — consider a carpeted mat. They look great, but be forewarned: They are definitely harder to clean. If you don’t mind shampooing or vacuuming your interior mats semi-regularly, however, go for it.
  • Molded plastic. These rugged floor mats offer light weight and great durability. They are usually molded to fit your specific vehicle for maximum edge-to-edge floor protection. Cleaning is easy as popping them out for a quick rinse and back in again once dry.
  • Leather. These are the top of the line for luxury but require the most care for a long life. You will need to read the care instructions that come with the mats carefully and not deviate.

Cargo Areas Need Protection Too

The cargo area of your vehicle gets a lot of wear from tool boxes, luggage and other heavy and unwieldy items. A cargo liner goes a long way toward protecting the carpets. Many can be custom-fit according your vehicles dimensions. Just like floor mats there are different material options for cargo liners depending on your needs. There are carpeted cargo mats designed to match your existing interior carped. There are rubber and vinyl cargo mats designed for waterproof protection and easy cleaning. And for the ultimate cargo area protection there are entire cargo area liners that not only protect the cargo floor, but the side walls and seat backs from messy jobs.

If your original factory floor mats are still in good shape, it never hurts to store them if you ever want to switch back or for the next owner to use. And if you ever want to change up your vehicle’s style you always swap out your old floor mats for something new in just a few minutes. Just make sure whichever floor mats you choose are safely secured, ideally using the factory floor retainers (if so equipped). You don’t want a loose floor mat interfering with operation of the driver’s pedals.

Bottom line: The best car floor mat will be both aesthetically pleasing and keep the value of your vehicle on the long term.

Check out all the floor mats and liners available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on the best car floor mats, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Holly Reich View All

Holly Reich writes about cars, culture, travel,  health, beauty and more.Her work has appeared in Fortune, Parents, NY Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Redbook, NY Observer and dozens more. Holly, a recipient of several writing awards, has also reported on media outlets including: Fox, Lifetime TV, The Discovery Channel, AutoLab and AutoWorld radio. She is a voting member of WWCOTY (Women's World Car of the Year), TAWA (Texas Auto Writers Association) and Citizens NYC. Holly's passions include,  cooking, swimming, Pilates, gardening and hanging with her family in NYC.

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