One often tends to use the words “rug” and “mats” as synonyms for each other. But, there exists a substantial difference between both words. Whereas a rug is used as floor covering and as a décor, mats are usually placed at the entrance of a room to wipe off the debris from the shoes while entering a house. 

You’ll finally have answers to the differences between these two words. Before that, it’s better to understand both the terms with their respective functions.

What is a rug?

What is a rug?

A rug is a piece of floor covering which is generally small than a carpet, and it is thick and pliable. Rug manufacturers make this piece available in an array of styles, colors, and designs. Rug manufacturers also customize when one cannot find their desired structure for a room. 

A variety of materials, patterns, colors, and styles are used in a rug. The categories are- synthetic and natural.

Wool, cotton, jute, hemp, and sisal are included under natural materials. Polyester, polypropylene, nylon, and PET-yarn fall under synthetic materials. 

Rugs have differences not only in their design approach, but they can be found in a variety of shapes. They can range from the customary rectangular shape to a circle to an oval. It primarily depends on the rug manufacturers when they manufacture rugs hanging on the market’s demand and customers. 

Purchasers sometimes intend to own rugs that have their desired colors and design. They look for customization services that are lately possible, as rug manufacturers offer such amenities. 

Having an area rug in a room is beneficial for numerous reasons. Before purchasing a carpet, it is essential to consider the size of the space you want your rug to be placed. Consider the maintenance of the rug a well or discuss it well with the rug manufacturer when you are buying a carpet. This will help you to build a room functionally. Apart from their role in aesthetics, they also provide comfort and warmth.



Typically, the word ‘Mat’ has many meanings attached to it. However, when under the category of floorings, a mat is defined as a floor covering, which refers to a piece of fabric material. It can be placed on other flat surfaces or directly on the floor.

We automatically picture a doormat or an exercise mat when one mentions mats. Doormats are usually rectangular and are made of long-lasting materials. Nylon, rubber, palm, and cloth fabric are some materials that are considered in making mats. The welcoming piece of floor covering that is kept near the entrance of a door is a mat. 

There are various types of mats. Its types and uses are enlisted below.

  • Table mat: this type of mat is generally used in the tables. They can be used to prevent a hot utensil from touching the table or as a décor item underneath dining wares.
  • Vehicle mat: it is used to protect the floors of the car.
  • Bathroom mat: it is used in the entrance of the bathrooms to avoid slippage and falls.
  • Sports mat: yoga, fitness, and pilate mats come under sports mats, all of which are used in different workouts. 
  • Doormats: Usually, this mat is placed near a doorway entrance in the shape of a rectangle. Rubber and nylon are conventionally used materials.

A proper outlining has been done to point out the critical differences between rug and mat.

  1. Measurements: a noticeable and primary difference between an area rug and a mat lies in the dimensions. Whereas rugs are large pieces, mats arrive in smaller pieces with various designs and colors. After customization from the rug manufacturer, Rugs can be made into the desired size. 
  2. Texture: mats do not possess a soft surface. Rugs, on the other hand, are comfortable and versatile.
  3. Traffic: compared to rugs, mats can sustain more traffic.
  4. Design: the universal role of mats is to keep the debris out from the foot. Rugs do not have such a purpose; they provide comfort and add to the décor of a space. Rugs and mats come in various sizes and colors, yet rugs take up the attention owing to their multi-purpose usage. 
  5. Location: rugs can be placed in any room or under some furnishing, depending upon the room’s look. In general, mats are placed in an entryway.
  6. Price: mats are cost-effective when compared to rugs. Because of their unique design and craftsmanship, rugs take longer to manufacture; hence, there is a difference in pricing.
  7. Shape: rugs are available in a variety of sizes. Rug manufacturers bring in a lot of figures in rugs when they sell them. However, mats usually come in rectangular shapes.
  8. Maintenance: mats do not possess a specific rulebook about how you should clean them. One can clean them with minimal requirements. Rugs, on the other hand, require proper maintenance and professional cleanliness.

Knowing the key differences and features of mats and rugs, you know why one shouldn’t use the terms alternatively. This variance would help determine which product is best for your home.

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