Do You Need a Mat Under a Treadmill? Unpacking Home Gym Essentials

Building your home gym can be stressful – not only because there’s so much to do, but because it’s usually really expensive. Things like mats and flooring get overlooked often, but do you need a mat under a treadmill? It kind of seems like an added expense and you would rather spend that money on some resistance bands.

It looks so simple, which might fool you into thinking it doesn’t do much, but a treadmill mat is very useful. Treadmills weigh a lot, and when you combine that with a person on top of them, running… Well, that can wreak havoc on your floors. But the usefulness of a treadmill mat doesn’t stop at floor protection. So, do you need a treadmill mat? Honestly, it’s not a necessity and you can use your treadmill without it. But is it a good idea to have it? Absolutely, and once you get it, you’ll never want to be without it.

If you’re still not convinced, that’s fine. We have a whole list of things that will make you think differently, so let’s start!

Do you need a mat under a treadmill?

It’s not mandatory, but if you have a mat under your treadmill, it will protect your floor, dampen noise, and improve stability. It will also reduce vibration and minimize dust.

Treadmill mat on floor

What is a Treadmill Mat and Why is it Needed?

A treadmill mat is just what the name suggests – a mat you put under your treadmill. Its main purpose is to protect your floor from the damage the treadmill can cause, but it also protects the treadmill itself. These kinds of mats are usually made from rubber or PVC and apart from protecting the floors, they also reduce vibration and noise the treadmill makes.

The use of a mat for under treadmill goes beyond just protecting the floors. The mat will help absorb some of the impact and make the surface under your feet softer. This will make your workout more comfortable, and it will protect your joints.

When you really think about it, you’ll see that a treadmill mat is a necessity, but if you don’t have it, you can use interlocking rubber tiles or foam floor tiles for the same purpose, and they’ll work just fine.

5 Advantages of Using a Treadmill Mat

Treadmills are fantastic. They can do wonders for your cardiovascular health, help you manage and lose weight, and they’re a very convenient way to stay active even if you lead a busy life. Physical activity is important for both mental and physical health, so you need to make sure not to let your treadmill sit in the corner and collect dust.

But your treadmill won’t be as effective if it’s not stable, and you’ll be irritated if it damages your floor. Let’s see all the things that are great about using a treadmill mat and how it can help your treadmill be even better than it already is.

Treadmill mat on wood floor

✅ Floor Protection

Your floor will easily get scratched, scuffed, so get a mat to protect it. This is especially important for hardwood or carpeted floors.

✅ Less Noise

Treadmills are not known for being silent. They can be very noisy, and they produce a lot of vibration, which is where the treadmill mat comes in. It will absorb the vibrations and minimize the impact on your floor, which will dampen the noise.

✅ Stability and Safety

Slips and shifts can lead to accidents and injuries. A mat will make the treadmill more stable and make your exercise environment safer.

✅ Shock Absorption

A treadmill mat will absorb some of the impact that would otherwise land on your knees and ankles. This is especially good for runners because running can be pretty hard on the joints, so any kind of help with absorbing the shock is more than welcome.

✅ Cleanliness

There’s a lot of dust, debris and sweat that can accumulate in your space during the workout and you don’t want that flying around your space. A mat will do a great job at collecting some of it and preventing it from reaching the floor.

4 Disadvantages of Using a Treadmill Mat

There’s a good number of advantages to using floor mats for treadmills and overall, they can contribute a lot to both your workout and your home gym. But before you run out and buy one, take a minute to check the disadvantages. Nothing is perfect and, although useful, a treadmill mat for hardwood floors (or any other kind of floor you have) might not be perfect for everyone.

❌ Size and Space

Treadmills take up a lot of space, so imagine the size the mat needs to be to cover the entire space beneath it. If your workout area is tiny, a mat might not be very practical, and it can be in the way more often than not.

❌ Odor Retention

Odor retention is a fancy way of saying the treadmill mat might end up smelling really bad. Some materials are better at odor retention than others, so if you’re sensitive to smells, this might be an issue.

❌ Cost

Treadmill mats can be pricey, especially if they’re made of super durable, high-quality materials. Consider the fact that a treadmill mat might not have been at the top of your list of purchases (or on the list at all), so that might affect the total budget. It won’t cost you like a fitness machine, of course, but for an accessory, the price tag can be pretty high.

❌ Aesthetic Impact

If you’re going for a minimalist look in your gym, a treadmill mat can be a bit of an eyesore. This, of course, is a subjective concern, but it’s still something to consider.

What Floors Do I Need a Treadmill Mat For?

Not all floors need a treadmill mat, but some will get easily damaged unless you protect them. Let’s see which types of floors you shouldn’t leave without protection.

Treadmill on a hard floor surface

1. Carpet

If you’re wondering does a treadmill on carpet need mat, the answer is – absolutely yes! When you place a treadmill on a carpet, it can create friction and heat and damage your carpet. If you put a treadmill mat on it, the carpet won’t get damaged, and your treadmill will be more stable.

2. Tile

Tiles are durable, but they can still crack or chip under the weight and movement of the treadmill. A mat will absorb the shock, reduce the impact on the tiles, and prevent potential damage.

3. Cement

A treadmill on top of a cement floor can transmit vibrations, which leads to noise and potential stress on the treadmill’s components. The treadmill mat for concrete floor will absorb the vibrations, minimize the noise, and reduce impact – both on the treadmill and the floor.

4. Hard Floor

Hardwood, laminate, or vinyl floors are easily scratched, scuffed, and dented. All of this is caused by the treadmill on hardwood floor and its movement, so to prevent that, put a mat under it, and it will act as a protective layer.

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What to Look for When Choosing a Treadmill Mat?

There are a lot of treadmill mats on the market, but not all of them are useful. If you go into this wanting to get something that’s just cheap and simple, you’ll probably end up with a flimsy piece of nothing. You don’t need to spend days searching the Internet and reading reviews if you know what to look for, which we’ll get into right away.

1. Size

Check the dimensions of your treadmill and the space that is available in your workout area. The mat should cover the entire space below the treadmill, and it should extend a little bit beyond its footprint to catch any debris and protect the floor around it.

2. Material

Treadmill mats are usually made of rubber, PVC, or foam. Your best bet is either rubber or PVC because both are durable, stable, and excellent at absorbing shock. A foam mat is still better than having no mat, but they’re better suited for light use.

3. Floor Type

Different floors might need specific features in a mat. For example, if you have hardwood floors, you want something durable and heavy-duty to prevent scratches and dents. If you have a carpet, you might want a non-slip bottom.

4. Thickness

The thickness affects how good the mat is at absorbing shock. Thicker mats provide better cushioning, reduce the impact on joints, and minimize vibrations. But make sure the thickness doesn’t compromise the stability, especially if you have a treadmill with a narrow base.

5. Texture and Grip

A textured surface will improve grip and prevent slipping, so don’t go for a mat that is completely smooth. Although smooth surfaces are easier to wipe down, textured surfaces are safer and more effective.

Treadmill Mats That We Recommend

1. Best Treadmill Mat – Sunny Health & Fitness Home Gym Foam Floor Protector Mat

Sunny Health & Fitness Foam Floor Protector Mat

Sunny Health & Fitness Home Gym Foam Floor Protector Mat

Sunny’s non toxic treadmill mat is made of PVC; it’s practical, and very durable. It comes in 4 sizes, but we recommend the medium one, whose dimensions are 79’’L x 36’’W x 0.15’’T, and it weighs 5.07 pounds.

The high-density PVC is excellent at absorbing vibrations, and it protects your floor from any damage the treadmill can cause. Its surface is textured and non-slip, and all you need to do to maintain it is to wipe it down with a damp cloth once in a while.

Sunny Health & Fitness Foam Floor Protector Mat

While Sunny’s mat is excellent, we have two more for you to consider, and both of them are cheaper than Sunny’s.

2. Best Floor Protector – Marcy Fitness Equipment Mat

Marcy Fitness Equipment Mat

Marcy Fitness Equipment Mat and Floor Protector

Marcy’s treadmill mat is another great one. It’s rectangular, black, and made of premium 1/4 -inch EVA foam. It absorbs shock from anything you put on it, and you can even use it as a regular workout surface because you can drop barbells, kettlebells, or dumbbells on it.

The surface is non-slip and matte, so your treadmill will be stable on it even if your workout gets very intense. It’s excellent at absorbing shock and reducing noise, and although it’s heavy-duty, it is lightweight. Its dimensions are 36’’ x 78’’, so it will work with most treadmills, ellipticals, or stationary bikes.

Marcy Fitness Equipment Mat

Our last recommendation is the most affordable option, so if you’re looking to pinch a few pennies, this is exactly what you want.

3. Best Treadmill Mat Pads BestXD

BestXD Treadmill Mat Pads

BestXD Treadmill Mat Pads

This isn’t actually a mat, but a set of 4 mat pads. They’re very convenient for people who have a tiny workout space and can’t fit a full-sized mat. These pads are also significantly cheaper than regular mats.

Their dimensions are 3.94’’L x 3.94’’W x 0.5’’T and they are rectangular. Although tiny compared to treadmill mats, these pads are heavy-duty and can take up to 1000 pounds of weight. You place them under each leg or foot of your treadmill, and it will protect your floors, reduce noise, and absorb shock – everything a mat would do.

BestXD Treadmill Mat Pads

How to Properly Care for a Treadmill Mat

If you want your treadmill mat to last you, you can’t just stick it in the washing machine and hope it comes out clean and ready to be used again. In fact, washing it in your machine will ruin it and you will need to buy a new one.

The best thing to do is to read the manufacturer’s instructions and clean the mat exactly the way they say. You shouldn’t use any harsh chemicals or abrasive tools or you risk damaging the surface. If there are no specific instructions on the label, then wipe it down with a damp cloth and let it air dry.

That’s about it – nothing complicated as far as maintenance goes. Check for any damage or indentations regularly, wipe it here and there, and you’re all set.


Why Is My Treadmill Slippery?

If your treadmill is slippery, it might be time to clean its belt and the surface underneath it. Dust, debris, and any lubricants on the treadmill’s surface can make it slippery.

Can I Use A Yoga Mat Under My Treadmill?

You really shouldn’t use a yoga mat in place of a treadmill mat because it can’t absorb the shock and vibration as effectively. If you want something to place under your treadmill, the best choice is an actual treadmill mat, but you can also use interlocking rubber tiles or foam floor tiles.

Do Rubber Treadmill Mats Need To Be Changed Often?

Rubber treadmill mats don’t need to be changed too often because they have a decently long lifespan. Just make sure to inspect it regularly to see if there is any visible damage.

How Thick Should A Treadmill Mat Be?

Thickness of around ¼ inch or ½ inch is generally okay. This will do a good job at absorbing shock, protecting your floors, and it will keep the treadmill stable. Thicker mats will give you more cushioning, but they could compromise stability.

Will A Treadmill Damage My Floor?

A treadmill can damage your floor, especially if you don’t use anything to protect it. It produces vibrations and friction, which can cause issues for your floors. If you want to prevent damage, place a treadmill mat under your treadmill.


So many mats, so little time… It would take forever to find a proper mat without knowing anything about it, but you won’t have that problem because you now know exactly what to look for. The thickness, the material, how to maintain it, do you need a mat under a treadmill on carpet or hardwood floors – there’s nothing we haven’t covered and you’re ready to get a perfect mat to keep your treadmill company.

Do you use something under your treadmill already or were you not aware of the damage it can cause until now? Have you ever had a treadmill damage your floor and how did you handle it? Do you notice any improvements in your workouts since using a treadmill mat? Do you have a treadmill pad for wood floor to recommend?

Let’s see what you have to say about treadmill mats and if you have any tips on how to save a damaged floor, don’t hesitate to share!

Mat out!


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  4. J. D. Cantwell “Cardiovascular Aspects of Running,” Clinical Sports Medicine 4, no. 4 (1985): 627-640.
  5. “The Importance Of Treadmill Mats?,” Street Directory, https://www.streetdirectory.com/etoday/-ewjele.html (accessed February 8th, 2024).
  6. Xueping Dong, Canfeng Li, Jiyi Liu, Pengzhou Huang, Guanwei Jiang, Mengdi Zhang, Wentao Zhang, Xintao Zhang, “The Effect of Running on Knee Joint Cartilage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Physical Therapy in Sport 47 (2021): 147-155.
  7. Photos by Sunny Health & Fitness, photos by Freepik.

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