The Best Treadmill Mats
Treadmill mats are essential for protecting your floors or carpets from the wear and tear of a treadmill. Oil from moving parts can stain carpet or wood flooring, and the basic pounding from daily running or walking can cause deep ruts and scratches or wear away carpet fibers. Treadmill mats come in various sizes and thickness, depending on the material. The best treadmill mats are made of durable material and thick enough to absorb the shocks from running.
Treadmill mats come in a variety of sizes to fit various treadmills. The average treadmill mat is 6.5 feet long by 3 feet wide. This accommodates many standard and economy treadmills, but will not fit the larger, more expensive models. Some treadmills can be 7 feet long. Make sure to take measurements of your treadmill to get the proper size.
The average treadmill mat is 1/4-inch thick. This will work if you walk or run occasionally on your treadmill. If you run consistently, the best treadmill mat will be 3/8-inch thick or more, notes “Your Online Guide to Treadmills and Fitness Running Machines.” An extra-thick treadmill mat will keep the wear down on the treadmill frame and muffle the noise.
The best treadmill mat cushions the treadmill while you are running and keeps your treadmill from moving. The best material is durable and made from rubber, PVC foam, rubberized vinyl or rubber interlocking squares. Super-tough rubber mats are durable and long wearing. A rubber mat provides the proper traction so your machine does not slip while you are exercising.
Treadmill mats are priced from $39 to more than $150, depending on the size, quality and manufacturer. The best treadmill mat is one that is matched to your machine size, location and type of usage. For walkers or occasional users, a good treadmill mat can be found in the lower price range. However, for heavy runners or larger equipment, you should spend the extra money to save your floor and add longevity to your machine.
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.