Buying Floor Mats for the Winter

By Lori Straus

With winter just around the corner, it’s time to inspect your floor mats. As tempting as it can be to get the cheapest ones on the market, consider buying ones that offer more than just basic coverage. Floor mats should be able to keep almost all water and salt from the winter away from your carpet. If water and salt get into your carpet, they can seep through and begin eating away at the frame of your car. You don’t need us to tell you that that’s an expensive repair.

What to Look For In Floor Mats

We’ll cover a few features you should evaluate when shopping for floor mats.

Higher Sidewalls

Some mats will have what can best be described as “a bit of a lip” whereas others, like TuxMat and WeatherTech floor mats offer protection wherever you have carpet in your vehicle. The more protection your floor mats offer, the less potential for damage to your vehicle.

Non-Slip Underside                                                                               

You don’t want to risk getting out of or into a car and having the floor mat slide, possibly causing you to fall. At the same time, the floor mats shouldn’t have such an aggressive tread on the underside that it could tear your carpet. You’ll find a range of features: “cleats,” a non-slip fabric backing, aggressive tread, an anchor screw, and even clips.

Accurate Fit

Black fitted Car floor mats

As with many auto accessories, you need to know the make and model and sometimes even the year of your vehicle before buying floor mats. Because interiors vary from car to car, improperly fitted floor mats will allow more salt and water to leak through.

Also consider the material on the surface of the floor mat. It should, of course, be waterproof. That is, after all, the purpose of having floor mats. However, some floor mats are harder than others, which can create more noise as boots touch the floor. This won’t be an issue for everyone.

Price Point of Floor Mats

As we said at the beginning, well-fitted floor mats can help you save a lot of money down the road. In a sense, they are no different than keeping your fluids maintained and your filters clean. You don’t want to break your budget, but don’t scrimp here either if price is the only thing holding you back after you’ve researched your options.

What Brand Name to Buy?

There are many players in the market so take time to read and watch reviews. The biggest names are Husky and WeatherTech, but TuxMat is a Canadian company that has entered the market in recent years and online reviews look very promising. Make sure the reviews seem sensible, though. For example, I watched one reviewer take a butane torch to the mats. If your car is on fire, we certainly hope you are out of the car before you worry about whether the fire will destroy your floor mats. Good floor mats should last—as you research your options, investigate durability and find reviews that show you the mats at least after one winter season. Once you see the difference between high-quality floor mats and low-quality ones, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision that works for you, your vehicle, and your budget.