2024 Best Outdoor Doormat Buying Guide

Written by: Karen Marsh


Buying an Outdoor Doormat in 2024:

How to Find the Outdoor Mat for your Home

Wicked Good Lobster Rope Doormat, Outdoor Doormat, 2023 Best Outdoor Doormat Buying Guide

Do I need a doormat outside? The answer is an emphatic “yes!”

According to the Institute of Industrial Laundries in the U.K., 80% of the dust, dirt, and grime of buildings are “tracked-in” from the outside

Not only that, but one square yard of quality grade carpeting can actually accumulate half a kilo of harmful dirt over a week - twice as much in bad weather.

Without a heavy duty outdoor door mat as your gatekeeper you are inviting in unwelcome guests - from dirt and debris to even worse that can affect air quality inside your house. So it only makes sense to protect your home and health with an outdoor mat worth its weight.

From front door mat size, materials, and even color, let us help you find the perfect welcome mat for your front door.

What type of mat is best for outdoors? Choose a weatherproof mat that both dries quickly and is breathable so slime does not grow beneath it. Read on for more best outdoor doormat details:

The Best Outdoor Doormats have these 7 qualities:

  1. Outdoor door mats must be made of material that dries quickly. Whether you have a covered porch or not, your outside doormat will get wet. Rain, snow, or just wet feet will be a regular occurrence so outside doormats must be fast-drying in order for it to last and avoid mold and mildew growth that can be tracked inside.

  2. Outdoor mats must be made of synthetic fibers. Despite any weather, outdoor mats will last for years, not just a season - if you stay away from natural fibers, like coir, which shed and rot. Synthetic fibers are superior to natural fibers because they do not break down so easily. What happens when natural door mat material meets water? That’s right - it breaks down. You can find synthetic fiber outdoor doormats that are marine-grade, meaning they are made to last in water. 
  3. Outdoor mats must have added UV resistance. While you cannot avoid fading over a period of years, avoid rapid fading and breakdown of your outdoor doormat by choosing one with extra UV protection. This not only helps protect the color but also the breakdown of the material. Your doormat needs to resist mold and mildew. As mentioned, outdoor doormats get wet all of the time. Soggy outside doormats lead to growth of mildew and mold, so choose an outdoor doormat designed to resist this fungus growth.

  4. A doormat for outdoors needs to be breathable. Many outdoor mats trap dirt, weighing them down over time, and leading to odors developing. Choose a breathable mat, such as a woven doormat, which passes the dirt through, letting you sweep it away from time to time. 
  5. The best outdoor doormats must be constructed from heavy duty materials. 
    If you want an outdoor mat that lasts for years, choose heavy grade door mat materials that can stand the test of time. Plus, avoid the annoyance of a lightweight doormat that will not stay in place at your door. Outdoor doormats get so much traffic, so it is important you find one that has weight and substance to it. You can further anchor it with a breathable rubber outdoor mat pad.
  6. The best outdoor doormats are easy to clean - no vacuuming involved.
    With the amount of foot traffic they receive, paired with bad weather, outside doormats may need to be cleaned often. You should take it easy on yourself and find one that can be washed with a garden hose right at your door. That means, once again, be sure it can hold up to water like our Lobster Rope Doormats.
  7.  Invest in a long-lasting outdoor door mat that adds curb appeal to your home. You would be amazed at how a beautifully placed stylish outdoor welcome mat can elevate the look and feel of your home’s entrance. It is like an instant makeover to your front door and creates a warm and inviting welcome.

What is the best outdoor door mat material?

Here are the most popular outdoor doormat materials and their pros and cons:

Rubber Outdoor Doormats: 6/10

Maybe not the prettiest of mats, but rubber is one of mankind’s greatest inventions - it’s tough, durable, waterproof and flexible.

The drawbacks? Rubber gets super hot in the summer and, in the winter, can develop cracks from frigid air. Also, rubber doormats look best in industrial settings so they tend to detract from, rather than add to a warm, inviting entrance.

Plus, rubber door mat material is not breathable and can lead to slime growth beneath it. 

Coir Doormats: 2/10 

The benefit of coir doormats is in the variety of cute and funny doormats available in this style, which gives a lot of versatility to your door decor.

Unfortunately, coir is a natural fiber that breaks down easily and will shed. Coir door mat material does not stand up well to bad weather and shows wear quickly. You will need to replace coir doormats often since rain, snow, sand and sun can hasten their breakdown. We recommend coir doormats for indoor use only.

Fabric or Carpet Doormats - 0/10 

Never use a carpet or fabric mat outdoors. I know - these are some of the most popular outdoor mats in big box stores and they are generally quite inexpensive. But you get what you pay for: typically a hard to clean mat that looks dirty after a few uses, a rubber backing that is not breathable, and has mildew and mold growth.

There are many choices available in fabric or carpet doormats but if you plan to place it outside, be sure its door mat material is of synthetic fibers. Use a cute fabric or carpet mat indoors to collect shoes. 

Synthetic Rope Outdoor Doormats 10/10 

Synthetic material that won't break down in bad weather will always make the best front door mats. There are many color and style options available in outside doormats woven from synthetic rope. 

While all synthetic rope options will last longer than natural fiber, the heavier-duty the rope, the longer your outdoor doormat will last.

Our polypropylene and polyethylene Lobster Rope Doormats use nautical rope designed to tether lobster traps to buoys in the sea. This weatherproof door mat material is made for all elements - wind, rain, snow, ice, and sun - and dries extremely quickly. It is an ideal material for an outdoor doormat and they last for years.

A warning about bacteria growth on outdoor doormats:

Your eyes and nose will tell you pretty fast if your outdoor welcome mat is not weatherproof and fast-drying.

After a rain shower, your outdoor doormat should dry quickly. If not, the inevitable will occur: mold and mildew will grow and can be dragged into your home by everyone who walks over the doormat. Mildew and mold can negatively affect your indoor air quality and overall health, so the last thing you want is it's brought into your home every time someone crosses the threshold.

Not to mention that fungi growth can leave quite an unattractive odor - not exactly the first impression you are trying to make!

Mold and mildew love moisture, so the best outdoor doormat is made of material that dries quickly, like our Lobster Rope Doormats.

Outdoor Doormat Size Guide: What size should a doormat be?

The most common question people have when buying an outdoor doormat is how big it should be. Standard outside doormat sizes begin at 18 x 30 - this is one of the most commonly purchased front door mat size. It works well for single doors.

A standard front door measures around 36" wide. We recommend a large front door mat size around 21 x 33 or 24 x 36/38 for front doors. Large outdoor doormats balance your door well and make a statement.

TIP: grab a piece of chalk and draw the size of each doormat before you buy so you can see the scale and balance of each size against your door.

A great rule of thumb is that your front door mat size be about the same width as your front door or slightly less.

What is wrong with an outdoor mat that traps dirt?

Doormats that trap dirt, mud and sand are at a greater risk of bacteria growth. On the other hand, the best outdoor doormat catches and releases dirt.  This is because the doormat that traps dirt gets bogged down over time with all of the "yuck" they've captured at the door. The only way to fix that is to beat the dirt out of them. This regular doormat "thwacking" is not only time-consuming but actually quite hard - it feels like you never get it fully clean. But, if you go that route be sure to wear a mask so you don't breathe in all that you are beating out of your outdoor welcome mat.

On the other hand, the best outdoor doormats catch dirt and pass it through the mat, so these last much longer and are easier to clean. Just lift them up and sweep the dirt away. All Lobster Rope Doormats are designed to catch and release dirt, which is why these woven outdoor doormats continue to look so good at your door even after many years of use.

What is the best outdoor doormat for mud?

The best outdoor doormats are made of tough materials that hold up to vigorous scrubbing. Lobster Rope Doormats use super durable nautical rope in a raised weave design to scrub the mud and dirt off your boots without affecting the condition of the doormat.

What is the best outdoor doormat for rain?

Any outdoor doormat designed to dry quickly will work well in the rain, initially. Moisture is an inevitable fact for an outdoor doormat. Instead of rugs that hold onto moisture longer, go for fast-drying outdoor door mats that don’t hold water.

Being able to recover quickly between exposure to rain, snow, ice and more is key to all outdoor mats for front door lasting for years. For the best outdoor doormat for rain, choose synthetic materials as natural fibers will break down more quickly the more exposed they are to water. Engineered to be durable in all weather, Lobster Rope Doormats are outdoor doormats that dry quickly and will never rot over time.

What are the best outdoor doormats for sand?

Always choose outdoor mats that capture and release sand, instead of trapping sand and getting bogged down over time. Lobster Rope Doormats have a raised weave design that makes maintenance easy and quick - just lift the doormat and sweep away the sand.

What are the best outdoor mats that won’t stain?

The best outdoor doormats should be designed to retain their color, even in wet conditions. Wicked Good Lobster Rope Doormats never bleed, stain, or transfer their color to surfaces.

Do I need an indoor and outdoor doormat?

Your heaviest traffic door, typically the front, should have both an indoor and outdoor doormat.

The job of an outdoor doormat is to scrub off dirt, mud and debris before someone enters the home. The job of an indoor doormat is two-fold: first, to collect shoes for homes that request that shoes not be worn inside. Second, if shoes are allowed indoors the doormat must be absorbent so that moisture will not be tracked inside.

With a patio or side door you can often get away with just one indoor or outdoor welcome mat, based on your preference.

What are the best outdoor doormats for removing dirt?

Outdoor doormats that have a raised weave or feature heavy-duty bristles are the best for removing dirt and mud. You will want a mat that can handle heavy scraping. Avoid door mat material made of natural fibers for this job, like coir, as they will break down more quickly with heavy use and moisture exposure.

Lobster Rope Doormats are designed with a raised weave that captures mud and dirt, passing it through the doormat. The polypropylene/polyethylene rope will not break down with exposure to water.

Commercial Lobster Rope works double duty to pull tractor from mud.

How do you clean an outdoor doormat?

Choose an outdoor doormat that allows for easy cleaning, such as hosing it down right at your door. Lobster Rope Doormats do not need vacuuming or beating against surfaces - just a quick shake-it-off or rinse with a hose is all it takes to keep it fresh and clean. Their fast-drying breathable rope will never take on odors and nor create a slimy surface beneath your mat.

How do I choose the right outdoor doormat color for my front door?

It's easier than you think to choose the right doormat color for your front door. Here are a few popular design ideas:

  1. Choose an outdoor doormat that contrasts with your front door color. Dark charcoal or black doors love a lighter-toned doormat, like this Light & Dark Tan Double Weave. Add drama to light front doors with deeper doormat colors, like this solid navy or black nautical rope doormat.
  2. For those who prefer a more monochromatic look, find an outdoor welcome mat with a color in it similar to your front door. Navy front doors look warm and inviting with this Navy & Silver Double Weave doormat, for example.
  3. Let your doormat inspire your door! If you find an outdoor doormat with a strip of color in it you love, paint your whole door that color to transform your entire entryway. This Navy/Teal/Silver doormat has inspired many a teal front door!
  4. Pair your outdoor doormat with your planters. Love a pop of red flower in the summer? So does this Navy, Red, Light Tan doormat. Or how about a cool blue hydrangea planter to complement this Navy, Light Blue, Seafoam rope doormat.
  5. Choose an outdoor welcome mat based upon the area in which you live. If you're coastal, this Beachy Vibes Lobster Rope Doormat is a perfect fit. Or, if you reside near mountains or lakes, this Navy, Green, Dark Tan gives off a wonderful woodsy vibe.
  6. Any outdoor doormat with a splash of color in it will liven up your step. This Navy, Light Blue, Seafoam gives a cool, calming feel to your door while this Teal/Navy/Seafoam outdoor doormat infuses it with pure energy.
  7. If you're busy and don't want to spend loads of time on your door decor, the best outdoor doormat for you can be a poppin' statement piece like this highly saturated Blue, Green, Yellow rope doormat. This burst of color looks especially good against white or wood tone doors. 

How do you pick the best outdoor doormat for your front door? Here are 4 tips to remember:

M: Material must be weatherproof & water-resistant.

A: Average doormat size for a single door is 18”x30” or 24”x36” for doors with sidelights.

T: Time: Save yours by choosing outdoor mats for front door that can be used year-round.

S: Sun: Choosing an outdoor doormat with added UV protection will help slow the fading process in high-sunlit areas.

Ready to find the perfect outdoor doormat? Check out the all-weather, quick-drying Wicked Good Lobster Rope Doormats below:

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