What is a Towel Mat?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Sometimes referred to as a bath mat, the towel mat is a simple bathroom rug that is normally positioned near the bathtub or the entrance to a shower stall. The purpose of the mat is twofold. First, the mat provides a warm and comfortable spot for bare feet when emerging from bathing. Second, the mat catches water dripping off the bather, preventing the development of puddles that increase the chances of someone slipping and falling in the bathroom.

As with the towels used in a bathroom, the towel mat is normally composed of fiber blends that are both resilient and absorbent. Typically, the back of the mat is coated with a non-skid material that makes it possible for the mat to remain in place once it is set into position. The backing is usually machine washable, although there are some designer mats where hand washing or dry cleaning is recommended.

Considered one of the essential bathroom accessories, towel mats are often designed to match hand and bath towels that are also used in the space. This helps to create a more unified look to the bathroom, while still serving practical purposes. Retail stores that carry towels often also carry the mats as well, making it easy to purchase a towel mat that complements the selection of towels.


While most mats can be machine washed with no problem, most manufacturers recommend that the mat not be placed into a dryer. This is because the heat can expedite the breakdown of the backing found on most mats. Instead, the mat should be allowed to air dry in a spot with indirect sunlight. If this is not possible, drying the mat on a low heat setting in the dryer may be acceptable.

Since the towel mat can be purchased at any outlet where bathroom supplies are available, there is always the option of purchasing several mats. Having several mats on hand is practical, as it means there is always a bath mat in place even if one is currently being cleaned. If the design of the mat is somewhat unique, purchasing several mats will also ensure that the homeowner can continue to use the design in a bathroom long after the design has been discontinued.

Just as with towels, it is possible to purchase the towel mat in a wide range of colors and thread counts. Cheaper mats normally are available in a limited range of colors and tend to have a lower thread count. More expensive mats usually are available in a wider range of textures and colors, and will contain a higher thread count.


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