Rug vs Mat: 6 Areas of Your Home That Need a Mat Instead of a Rug

rug vs mat

Yes, there’s a difference between a Rug and Mat

These days rugs seem to have a lot of cachet. Oriental rugs, Persian rugs, Kilim rugs, Meshed rugs. Some rug aficionados will be able to tell you about regions, dyes, weaving, and materials the way that wine grower-producers talk about varietals, aging, and terroir. Think about how friends have traveled to far Marrakech and spent days combing through the labyrinths of bazaars to find the absolute perfect rug for their living room. 

Thankfully, you don’t have to do that to find a good mat!

Why do we call them “mats”?

At Porte + Hall, we like talking about “mats” instead of “rugs.” But why? Just like rugs, our indoor mats are woven, aesthetically pleasing, and manufactured with care and longevity in mind. But we like using the term “mats” for several reasons. The most important is that “mat” speaks to its (literally) down-to-earth and hard-working nature. And unlike rugs, our mats have skid-resistant backings and are made to keep dirt and moisture at the door. 

Mats are needed in the hardest-working areas of your home 

So where does a mat go, exactly? What makes it so special? We like to think of a mat as a sort of “filter.” So when buying a mat, think about the areas of your home or apartment that need the most filtering. Where do dirt, liquid, lint, and food scraps have the potential to build up? Just some of the places that come to mind are:

  1. Outside the doors to your home
  2. Inside the doors to your home
  3. Hallways
  4. Kitchens
  5. Laundry rooms
  6. Play rooms

Outside Your Front Door

There’s a million reasons why a mat is better than a rug outside your front door. Where your home meets the outside world is where most of the dirty work gets done, dirty work that rugs weren’t meant to do. Rugs weren’t built for traffic. Do you have a mini rug inside your car at the foot of your driver’s seat? No. You want something tough (that you're also not going to slip on), something that literally scrapes off the outside world, drains water well (be it from a fresh spring rainstorm or nasty winter puddle), and is easy to clean. You also want something that, similar to a rug, is inviting and looks smart on your porch.

Our Outsider doormat accomplishes all of that. Its teak or smoke frame has serious curb appeal, and its well-designed, slip-resistant insert scrapes off dirt, retains water, and pops out easily for no-fuss cleaning. 

Inside Your Front Door

Once you’ve entered the home, you want something that’s going to tackle the remaining dirt, absorb the last drops of moisture, and not slide around under your feet. We oversized our indoor doormat, the Insider, to be more in proportion to your actual door size and give it more wiggle room for doing its job. And you’ll want to wiggle your feet on it. Or you could go with our Innerweave Doormat, which has a more natural, weaved aesthetic, and also feels great underfoot. Both have a variety of vibrant looks to match the palette of your foyer.

We also designed a longer Insider Runner and oversized 4’x 6’, which –if you have the space– adds more runway for feet and paws to dry off.

rug vs mat


Hallways are often the most cultivated parts of our home, a place where we can display our most carefully-curated artwork and gorgeous antique photos of our lineage. They’re also literal runways and racing stripes for kids and animals, and great locations for mats. Our Insider line, especially our Insider Runners, are especially well-suited for busy hallways because of their skid-resistant backing. Their ultra-thin, low profile makes it easy to roll suitcases, strollers and wheelchairs over. They also come in a variety of patterns to add visual spice. 


The kitchen is an area where you’ll need some serious filtering. Especially around the sink. When soapy water, cooking oil, and food scraps make their way to the floor, you’ve the perfect conditions for a disastrous slip.  You’re going to want a mat that sops up water, stays in place, and adds a liveliness to the look of your kitchen.

Laundry Rooms

Whether you’ve got a designated laundry room, a service porch, or just a nook, the washer and dryer are definitely overlooked areas where we spend a lot of time. It’s an area of that house that's often drab and visually sterile, adding to the doldrum of the task of washing your clothes. We think it’s an area that’s ripe for a warm glow-up, and a nice place to add some texture under your feet.


Some of the best feedback we get about our mats is that they do a great job of staying clean and staying put. Whatever your babies (or fur babies, for that matter) might throw down or throw up, our mats are ready to roll up their sleeves and tackle it. They’ll provide a soft surface for your littles ones to play on, and will give you the peace of mind that very little effort will go into cleaning up the aftermath.

It’s Really the Mats That Matter

While rugs may have a certain prestige, the reality is that a lot of places in the home are better suited to mats than rugs. Where a rug is more like great memorabilia or proof of vacation, a mat is the durable workhorse of your home. It may not be the centerpiece or the showcase of a given room, but it keeps the dirt and moisture outside so that the rest of your furniture can shine (and stay clean and dry). And, our mats prove that something can be both utilitarian and attractive.