Before joining Wirecutter, I spent the better part of three decades as an automotive writer, reporter, and editor for various automotive publications, including about 10 years as an associate editor for Consumer Reports. A lifelong gearhead, one of my primary beats at CR and an area of personal interest has always been the automotive aftermarket and car accessories. That ranges from sophisticated audio and electronics products to things that are less likely to make for interesting party conversation, like tires, car batteries, wipers, and, yes, floor mats.
But any universal mat is going to be a compromise. They are rarely a perfect fit for any vehicle right out of the box, although most rubber mats can be trimmed using scissors. Even some of the least expensive include cut lines for this purpose.
Aftermarket mats and liners can be purchased through a wide variety of outlets: big-box department stores, auto parts retailers, and any number of sources online such as Amazon and AutoAnything. Some manufacturers offer direct shipping from the factory.
In the end, we chose to test 23 sets of mats and liners. This included premium liners from each of the companies that sell them, a variety of inexpensive mats, and a couple of custom-fit mats that split the price difference between those two categories.
Before installing the new mats and liners, we removed any old mats in the vehicles per installation instructions and thoroughly vacuumed the vehicle floors to ensure as good a fit as possible. We used vehicle factory mounting holes with mats and liners that were designed for them, noting how compatible those fits were. While installing, we noted any difficulties due to poor fit, overly stiff products that made them harder to install, or anything else that caused a problem. Once installed, we noted how well the products fit lengthwise and from side-to side and how flexible they were to conform with uneven floors and obstructions like floor-mounted fuel-door releases. We also evaluated universal mats to find out how easy they were to trim for a customized fit.
When it came time for the dirty business of testing for stain resistance and cleaning, we turned to the Internet and to Pat Slaven, who at the time was Consumer Reports cleaning expert, for advice. Pat has been making messes and cleaning them up in a lab environment for decades. First, we asked about rubber mats and liners.
We spread our mats and liners out on the lawn and mixed up a bucket of mud according to directions. We then spread a measured quantity onto a section of each mat. Next, we poured a half cup of grape juice and coffee onto each, and smeared mayonnaise to represent oily food. And then we let the soiled mats and liners sit for a period of 24 hours. The next day we cleaned them using a garden hose, scrub brush, and a bucket of water with mild dishwashing soap mixed in.
Carpeted mats as a group tended to be harder to get clean than rubber mats for much of the same reason that scrubbing your home carpets is more difficult than vinyl flooring. Fibers can more easily trap crud than a flat surface. But we were pleased to see how well they stood up.
Even though Hexomat mats lack the raised lip of a liner, their hexagonal pattern divides each mat into dozens of small compartments to help contain liquid. Hexomat mats are arguably not the most stylish of the products we tested (not that style and floor mats are two things normally discussed in the same sentence). But they get at least most of the job done at a much lower price than model-specific liners.
In this article, we recommend the best car floor mats for cars based on our testing and review of heavy-duty rubber floor mats and custom-fit floor liners designed for specific vehicles. We also tested universal floor mats, or universal-fit mats, in our search to find high-quality floor mats that are the perfect fit for your vehicle.
The floor mats in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors like Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. Our product testing team then ordered the floor mats that best met these criteria.
To determine the best car floor mat, we thoroughly researched and rigorously tested each product with consideration for what most people would be looking for out of a car floor mat. We unboxed, trimmed down the mats (if necessary), fitted each mat in our test vehicle, and finally tested the water retention of each mat.
The VIWIK TPE Floor Mats come in a close second for our favorite floor mats. These thick, durable floor mats offer excellent coverage and water retention. They are sized to fit and were a near-perfect match for our test vehicle (a 2018 Ford Fusion).
These floor mats offer a significant upgrade from the factory floor mats and stand out because of the full back seat coverage they offer. VIWIK floor mats are a good pick if you anticipate lots of backseat spills.
The VIWIK floor mats proved easy to install and fit almost perfectly. The driver-side mat seems a bit large and does impact (very slightly) the feel of the pedals. Thankfully, these mats did not hinder our ability to use the pedals. However, the large size of these mats position your feet a little further from the pedals than the factory mats, which can take some acclimation to get used to.
While the VIWIK floor mats have a high price tag, most reviewers feel the cost is worth it. Many claim these mats fit like a glove and are impressed by the durability and large coverage area. The VIWIK mats are also praised for being easy to install.
Our testing team was pleasantly surprised at the versatility of these car floor mats. Without being too bulky or needing high retention walls, these best-selling car floor mats do a great job of keeping dirt, debris, and messes within the confines of the floor mat itself.
The Armor All 78840ZN All Season Floor Mat is the only sub-zero weather-specific floor mat that we tested. These car floor mats are designed to withstand temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit without the mats curling, cracking, or hardening.
The car floor mats feature patent-pending anti-slip technology in the form of the Carpet Claw, which secures the mats in place and prevents them from moving. Additionally, the floor mats are manufactured by an industry leader in car care for the past 50 years.
The Kiwi Master Floor Mats and Cargo Liner utilizes digitized computer modeling of your vehicle for the perfect fit inside your car. TPE construction means these floor mats are built to last and can withstand anything you throw at them. Anti-shift nibs on the back of this floor mat keep these mats secured in place. Additionally, these floor mats come with a lifetime warranty.
After thoroughly researching and testing the best floor mats for cars, we found that the Smartliner Custom Fit floor mats were the best. The Smartliner mats dominated our various tests and were a noticeably better option than other floor mats we tested.
The WeatherTech Universal Trim To Fit that we tested is certainly worth the price for many buyers. While other car floor mats may be better equipped to handle adverse weather conditions, the WeatherTech Universal Trim To Fit strikes a nice balance between standard and heavy-duty floor mats.
Model 3 All-Weather Interior Liners are made from thermoplastic elastomer material for ultimate protection and spatial coverage. Unlike traditional floor mats, liners are comprised of vertical walls that ensure maximum protection to the foot-well carpet and easy cleanup. Exclusive grid pattern crafted by Tesla's Design Studio.
SMART DESIGNOur engineers have also incorporated smart, thoughtful elements into our floor liner designs. For instance, our floor liners for second row passengers incorporate a patent-pending multi-panel interlocking design that not only provides optimum coverage when installed, but allows individual sections to be removed in order to ease cleaning.
Swapping out car floor mats is one of those car maintenance tasks you can do on your own and usually takes less than a minute or two to complete. Choosing a universal size that fits most current car models is simplest. But you can always find a specialty size based on older footwell design, or for a larger vehicle like a commercial truck.
We considered highly-rated products on Amazon with lots of favorable reviews. We favored floor mats in universal sizes for cars, sedans and trucks. Budget-friendly, low-maintenance and all-weather mats won out overall, but a handful of higher-end and design-focused matching car mats in eye-catching sets also made our list.
Amazon reviewers rave about how easy they are to use and install. They love the neutral color offerings and bottom spikes that grip floors with more gusto than pricier options. The carpet-style format makes these effortless to clear with hand vacuums, like the top-rated ThisWorx car vacuum.
Treats your car floors to these brilliantly-designed WeatherTech all-weather car floor mats. They feature multiple deep grooves and thick reinforced rubber construction to stand up to just about anything you throw at it.
Whether you have a stunning car interior that deserves a chance to shine through or you just love the sleek modern aesthetic of clear floor mats, these BDK Heavy-Duty Translucent Mats are the best see-through option on the market.
With a 4.7-star rating from more than 1,000 Amazon reviewers, these dazzling PVC mats are one of the most loved alternative designs on the market. They offer a universal trim-to-fit size, non-slip bottom grips and an elevated perimeter lip that traps debris, liquid and gunk. 781b155fdc