The first thing you need to determine before you buy a new doormat is what is important to you. Do you want an outdoor mat that collects dirt and debris? Are you most concerned with how it looks on your doorstep? Or do you want something that has staying power?
As I was looking for the perfect solution I decided I really wanted something that checks all three boxes. I determined that I really need TWO mats for every door since I have so many animals. One that we can wipe our feet on outside, which of course the animals DON’T do. And a second one inside that can pick up all those muddy or wet paw prints.
But I have different needs at the front door vs the back door vs the pet door. This is my personal preference for each door based on my many people AND pets.
Best Outside Doormat
Lobster Rope Mat – This is the perfect solution for outside the front door. The advantages of this type of doormat are that it doesn’t fade and they are mold and mildew resistant. It dries quickly and it’s tough. it also traps dirt and grass and keeps it from getting tracked inside. It is simple to clean off with a garden hose. These are strictly meant for an outdoor space.
I bought a Wicked Good Lobster Rope doormat. They come in all kinds of colors, patterns, and sizes. These are made from the most durable, weather-resistant material designed to be used by fishermen. If you hate a soggy doormat, this is the best choice for you. It’s not even wet WHILE it’s getting rained on.
It also DOES NOT fade, even after our blistering 100 degree summer sun.
Worst Outside Doormats
Natural coir fiber mats are a popular choice because you can get literally anything printed on them. I have coir doormats and they are cute at first, but they don’t last. Whatever is printed on the coir mats fades and then they just look like an ugly brown mat. Coir doesn’t trap dirt well at all. These are natural fiber doormats, which I like, but they don’t do the job.
Rubber doormats are slippery when the weather is cold and they don’t do a good job of catching excess water. I found even when I wiped my feet on them before coming inside I still tracked wet footprints everywhere.
Best Indoor Mats for Pets
The mat I have in front of my pet door, which is used by cats and dogs, is a synthetic material. It does an amazing job of catching water and collecting dirt on the pet’s paws. The downside is that these are pretty ugly. I don’t think I’m going to put this in front of my main door any time soon. The best thing about them is you can throw them in the washing machine and they look like new.
I bought an Ooompa Chenille doormat. My sister, who has 7 dogs, has one outside her front door and swears by them. She says this is the best outdoor doormat for controlling the muddy mess and wet feet that would otherwise make a shambles of her house. They only work outdoors if you have a covered porch. These mats come in different sizes. I bought the smallest size because it’s in front of the dog door.
Side note, they do such a good job of trapping moisture that it can work against you if your pet happens to barf on them (as mine did). Nothing got on the floor, but that rug didn’t want to let it go.
Best Indoor Mat for People
The mat I have inside my front door is NOT a doormat. I have a wool rug. It’s my second line of defense. Wool rugs can last for 100 years. Wool is a type of material that actually repels dirt and the pattern does a great job of disguising debris. Even muddy prints that do make it in can be quickly cleaned off.
I know washable rugs are popular, but do you know what sucks about washable rugs? Washing them. I don’t have to wash my wool rug to clean it. I can either spot clean muddy paws with a damp rag or if it’s something more serious (back to the pet vomit) I use my Little Green Machine, which is still faster than washing and drying a rug.
I feel like an oriental rug gives my entry a warm welcome feeling. Not all wool rugs can serve this purpose, you would want to stick to a hand-knotted wool rug vs a tufted one. You can read more about wool rug types here.
At my main entryway, I have an outdoor lobster mat and an indoor wool rug. I wouldn’t have a solid wool rug, I would ONLY get a wool rug that has lots of pattern.
As you can see from this list, the best outdoor door mat depends on your situation. I have three different doormats depending on what they are exposed to. The best material depends on whether it’s open to the elements, whether you get lots of moisture, and how you want it to look and feel.
Before you go, if you enjoyed this post you might be interested in learning more about Barkitecture, a pet friendly trend in design.