Mats to reduce noise & protect your floors
This article reviews several top treadmill mats & other exercise equipment mats for carpet & hardwood floors.
I provide a “what to look for” buyer’s guide and also discuss several benefits a well-made mat offers.
Why should I buy a mat?
Compared to the much higher price of the fitness machine it was bought for, a fitness equipment mat may seem like more of an afterthought than a necessity.
However, the humble mat serves a number of valuable purposes.
The best ones not only keep your floor free from sweat, machine oil, & cosmetic damage, but also reduce the amount of exercise equipment noise while you’re working out.
Bottom line: It’s a very good idea to pick a good one.
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.
So many mats, so little time
While doing product recon & research in local stores for this article, it became clear to me that:
- there’s a wide variety of equipment mats available
- their quality varies widely as well
I came across several mats not worth writing about – they were just thin slices of plastic marketed as an important fitness accessory.
And I see that many of those junky ones are available on Amazon too. 😒
Well whatever, we’ve got better things to talk about.
The 5 mats I’m reviewing are all above average in quality and have high owner satisfaction ratings.
I tried to provide a decent range of prices, sizes, and uses – mats for carpets, hardwood floors, etc.
Here they are:
Best Treadmill Mats
- Best Treadmill Mat for Carpet
- Best Mat for Hardwood Floor
- Best Mat for Reducing Noise
- Best Heavy Duty Treadmill Mat
Best treadmill mat honorable mentions
Benefits of a good mat
As I mentioned earlier, a well-made mat can serve a few important purposes that can make your life just a wee bit smoother.
Let me briefly list what to expect from one of the higher-quality models.
(After the product reviews, I’ll expand on each of these benefits.)
Qualities of a top treadmill mat
They’re not quite in magic carpet territory, but a great equipment mat will provide these nice benefits:
- Protects your floors from you & your treadmill
- Protects your treadmill from your floors
- Absorbs vibration which reduces treadmill wear
- Reduces treadmill noise
- Prevents treadmill movement
- Easy to clean & doesn’t mess itself
Treadmill Mat Reviews
This mat gets my vote for both best mat at reducing noise and best overall for a variety of floor surfaces.
It’s a heavy duty noise reduction mat that’s built to handle heavy treadmills, heavy people, & heavy usage.
What I like:
High customer satisfaction rating – over 90%, 4.5⭐ with 250+ online reviews
Made of rubber – rubber is a great material for absorbing shock and reducing vibrations & noise (think of how smooth & quiet a car ride is, all things considered). The shock absorbing quality is good for your joints & bones as well as for your floor
It’s a green American product – the rubber used for these mats is recycled from US car & truck tires
Available in ⅜” thickness – it was the only treadmill mat out of the 15+ I handled that was ⅜” thick, as everybody else went from a quarter inch down to a measly 1/10”
(⅜” is a good minimum thickness for runners, big treadmills, & heavy-footed people)
It’s 4 feet wide and is available in various lengths – from 3’ to 10’
Best Treadmill Mat for Carpet
Another great treadmill mat for carpet (or hardwood for that matter).
This SuperMats 30GS has a narrower profile of 30” (2 ½ feet) which makes it a good fit for smaller treadmills.
What I like:
Made in the USA – using USA-sourced raw materials
Durable – Made of strong vinyl composite
Free of harmful chemicals – materials used in the SuperMats are safe for children & pets (and anyone else who might be into chewing treadmill mats)
Noise dampening – at ⅕ of an inch it’s half as thick as the Rubber-Cal treadmill mat I reviewed above. Yet due to its quality of materials & manufacturing it is also an effective vibration & noise reduction mat
Very good customer satisfaction rating – 85%, 4.4⭐ with 900+ online reviews
Size – 6’ x 2.5’
(larger size available: This same mat comes in a larger 8.5’ x 3’ size. You can take a peek at it here.
Best Treadmill Mat for Hardwood Floor
My 3rd top pick is also a very good treadmill mat to reduce noise.
It’s commercial-grade rubber material makes it a great mat for a hardwood floor.
What I like:
Made from commercial grade rubber – Rubber is the material for shock & vibration absorption. And since hardwood floors tend to make sound reverberate more, this TRANR model is a ready & able noise reduction mat in that situation
Another green American product – the TRANR treadmill mat is made in the US using recycled tires
Ideal for hard surfaces – this mat is for hardwood, tile, even low pile carpet
Very high customer satisfaction rating – 94%, 4.5⭐ with 250+ online reviews
Size – 6’ x 3’ , ¼” thick
Best Cheap & Yet Still Decent Treadmill Mat
Though not made of rubber, this mat still has some vibration & noise reducing ability.
Its very low price is indicative that it’s not as good as those 3 top treadmill mats I just reviewed.
I don’t recommend it in an apartment setting for heavy-duty running or for heavy people doing treadmill jogging.
But it is a good choice for light walking exercise, or for those who are on a very tight budget.
What I like:
High customer satisfaction rating – 93%, 4.5⭐ with 250+ online reviews
Vinyl composite material – this is durable & easy to clean, and makes the treadmill mat effective as a liquid & dust barrier
Won’t run – unlike other cheap treadmill mats down in this price range, this Gympak model shouldn’t stain your carpet or floor over time
Size – 6.5’ x 3’
A “Light Use Only” Low-Budget Treadmill Mat
Amazon jumps into the best treadmill mat ring with this high-density PVC mat.
This mat can’t compete with my 3 top picks reviewed earlier.
The material isn’t as good as rubber for shock & vibration absorption, nor is it the best material if you’re looking for a good noise reduction mat.
But…if someone is only an occasional exerciser who weighs under 200 lb. or so, this could be a good choice if their treadmill is also considered lightweight like one of these.
What I like:
High customer satisfaction rating – 93%, 4.5⭐ with 350+ Amazon reviews
Poly vinyl material – this makes this treadmill mat durable
Size – ⅕” thick available in 3 sizes: 2.5’ x 6’, 4’ x 6’, & 3 x 8.5’
Treadmill mat buying considerations
Material – What’s the mat made of?
As you may have gathered from the treadmill mat review section, rubber beats plastic.
It is a better absorber of shock vibrations, noise, and the user’s weight while running or walking.
It also grips better to the surfaces its come in contact with.
As far as plastic goes…
Not all plastic is alike; some of those junky treadmill mats I came across in the sporting goods stores told me that.
High-density polyvinyl chloride (aka PVC) is probably the best plastic material you’ll find on a treadmill mat.
But rubber-based materials are the preferred choice for top treadmill mats that can provide effective noise reduction, shock & vibration absorption, and better stabilization.
Thickness of the equipment mat
Earlier in this treadmill mat review I mentioned the wide range of mat thicknesses I came across during my product recon & research, and that they varied from one-tenth of an inch to top pick Rubber-Cal’s ⅜”.
Thicker isn’t always better when it comes to treadmill mats though.
If the mat is made of inferior plastic – say it’s real squishy or soft – the weight of the treadmill alone will negate the barrier benefit.
Recommended mat thicknesses
Thicker is better with rubber heavy-duty treadmill mats, experts in the field say.
I’ve found that three-eighths of an inch of rubber is a good minimum for a treadmill mat when the treadmill’s heavy, the person’s heavy, &/or the person is a regular runner.
For less intensive uses, one-fifth to one-quarter inch high-density PVC might do a decent job, depending on what you expect it to do of course.
The SuperMats model reviewed above is a good example of that.
Get the right size
It’s kinda obvious, but make sure you know your treadmill’s dimensions when pokin’ around for a treadmill mat.
It doesn’t have to be a lot bigger than your treadmill is. After all, the treadmill’s feet are usually inset a little bit.
But since you’ll be working out on it, you’re likely to be tossing sweat at least down onto the treadmill’s frame.
That could go run off an edge at some point, so it’s prudent to have a little leeway on all sides if possible.
Cost – avoid going for the lowest price
The treadmill mats mentioned in this article range in price from under 50 bucks to over $150, depending on how big a mat you need.
There are cheaper treadmill mats out there than these, but I don’t recommend any of them.
Treadmill Mat Benefits
Here I’ll go into more detail on the beneficial purposes of a quality exercise equipment mat.
Note: This information applies to any cardio machine, not just a treadmill.
Protects your floors from you & your treadmill
You put in a good workout on your treadmill, you’re going to sweat.
Over time, that adds up to a lot of drops.
As many treadmills age they may start to leak their lubricating oil.
And even a drop or two every now & then will damage a carpet or stain a floor.
The treadmill mat catches both of these potentially damaging liquids and keeps your floor clean.
First there’s how much the treadmill weighs, and some of them weigh a lot.
Then there’s your weight.
And depending on what you’ve been eating regularly, you might weigh a lot too.
All of that combined weight is focused on those 4 rubber (or plastic) covered feet under your exercise equipment.
The pressure of all that weight alone is enough to cause indentations & deformities in flooring over an extended period of time.
Now add to that the repetitive shock waves sent down through the treadmill’s feet as you walk or run.
Step by step, mile after mile, you’re pounding the treadmill’s feet into your floor.
Floor restoration or repair and carpet replacement can get expensive.
A top quality mat takes care of all of those aforementioned issues.
Protects your exercise machine from your floors
Working in the other direction on this one.
Dust and carpet fibers can easily creep up into the mechanics of your treadmill, rower, or elliptical without a layer of protection in between your floor and the underside of your treadmill.
Over time, the performance of certain moving parts could suffer.
Or worse, a malfunction caused by accumulating material could occur.
A mat is an effective barrier that can prevent any unwanted debris from reaching your motor & belt assemblies.
Absorbs vibration which reduces treadmill wear
Weight-related impact damage can occur to more than just your floor: it can happen to your treadmill too.
Think about it.
The entire weight of the runner or walker is coming down onto the treadmill thousands of times every workout.
Without any cushioning underneath, all of that weight pressure forces the treadmill into the hard surface of the floor beneath it.
Over time, structural integrity issues start cropping up, especially with the cheaply built treadmills.
And treadmill repairs can be time-consuming & costly.
A quality treadmill mat solves this potential problem by providing sufficient cushioning between the treadmill and the floor.
The best treadmill mats are capable of absorbing & dispersing the force of the user’s impact.
This greatly reduces the wear & tear on the treadmill over the long haul.
Reduces treadmill noise
Continuing with the absorption theme, the top treadmill mats reduce noise levels by absorbing the vibrating noises coming from the treadmill’s motor & other moving parts.
Another way these mats provide noise reduction is by the way they cushion the user’s weight impacts, as I talked about in the previous section.
This absorption process weakens the sound waves that travel from the user’s feet through the treadmill and down to the treadmill’s feet and into the floor.
A good treadmill mat can reduce noise by a noticeable amount.
Prevents treadmill movement
Depending on how well they were built, even larger, heavier treadmills can rock during use.
Some treadmills are prone to “walking”, where they slide ever so slightly during the course of a workout.
Soft carpet fiber and slick hardwood floors can contribute to this movement.
And cheap treadmill mats have a tendency to slide around themselves too.
A top-quality treadmill mat, especially those made of rubber, provide a tacky surface that can grip both the treadmill’s legs & the flooring beneath it. This eliminates any possibility of unwanted treadmill wandering.
Easy to clean & doesn’t mess itself
A good treadmill mat is simple to maintain.
They’re easy to vacuum or wipe down with mild soap and water.
Many poorly-made treadmill mats can cause more mess than they protect your floor from.
Cheap mats can start to ‘dissolve’, where they start scattering crumb-size pieces of themselves.
This can be an annoying thing to have to deal with, and in worse-case scenarios, the loose material can stain carpet.
This is true especially if foot traffic in the area is high.
Stick to a quality treadmill mat and you never have to worry about it making a mess.
I hope my product research & review information on exercise equipment mats in this article is useful to you, and that the buyer’s guide & benefits sections are helpful too.
I wish you well on your fitness journey; let’s go.