Floor Mats vs. Floor Liners: Which One is Best for Your Ride?

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Aries StyleGuard XD Floor Liners

Floor Mats vs. Floor Liners

Maxliner second row floor linersEvery new car these days will come with a set of floor mats in one form or another, but many can leave a lot to be desired for quality and protection. Maybe too thin, too small, or maybe even too nice and plush for grubby shoes. Or maybe worst case your mats are missing or damaged, at which point you owe it to yourself (and your resale value) to consider some replacement floor mats. The added comfort and/or protection of aftermarket floor mats is one of the easiest and cheapest investments you can make to keep your car fresh and clean for years.

So let’s get into the differences between floor mats and liners so you can choose the right level of comfort and performance for your budget.

Floor Mat Features & Benefits

Floor mats are made of high-quality composites that make them flexible and durable. Although they are soft to the touch, they are still good at protecting your truck. The pockets and ridges can hold as much as eight cups of liquid, ensuring they protect your floors even if you spill a drink or step into the car with wet boots. Floor mats come standard in your truck, but you can also purchase different types or custom ones.

If you are looking for floor mats you are probably in one of two camps; you need more protection or you need SOME protection for lost mats. Basic mats are for the second choice, though many offer added protection over or in lieu of factory mats as well. If you’ve got an old truck, or wheeling rig that you will get messy but don’t want to wear out the difficult to repair factory carpet, you won’t go wrong here.

Floor Mat Cons:

There are some drawbacks to floor mats. First, if you don’t have custom-made mats, they will not be able to protect your floor as well. Even if you do have custom mats made, they won’t be as precise as liners. Even so, mats are a good choice if you are not concerned about keeping your car’s carpet perfect and if you are on a budget.

Floor Liner Features & Benefits

There are several advantages here over floor mats, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the right choice for everyone. Consider your vehicle and what you’re using it for and think about which of these two would better suited for your needs.

Floor Liner Pros:

Like floor mats, floor liners are made from flexible yet durable materials. The big difference is floor liners are laser-cut to match your truck precisely. This ensures that your floor is 100% protected from mud, snow, and anything else that you track into your truck. They also include nibbed backing that prevents them from sliding around when people or pets get in and out of your truck. Finally, floor liners tend to last longer than mats, especially in terms of standing up to harsh weather.

Floor Liner Cons:

Floor liners do have some disadvantages. Perhaps the biggest one for some is just how rugged they look. While this is a benefit to some people, others prefer their truck or car to look cozier, which is typically a feature the carpet provides. Floor liners are also more expensive since they are larger and have such a precise design. Despite the price, liners are the better option if you’re dedicated to keeping your truck’s carpet in perfect condition.

Weathertech 3d floor matsThis category ranges the spectrum from basic to premium. Liners like the WeatherTech Digitalfit and Husky Liners have been the gold standard for years, being perfectly contoured to your specific make and model (where available) but also class up the place a little in the process. There is an old saying that clean engine bays gets a little more of a white glove treatment in the mechanics bay. Similarly, having premium protection visible when you open the door and lets everyone know you care about your vehicle and are serious about keeping it nice.

While these liners are tough and durable, they don’t really provide the cozy look or feel of carpet. In the case you want both, look at something like the Aries StyleGuard XD or Lund Catch-it Carpet mats. These both provide excellent protection and spill containment, but with a slightly softer look and feel.

So, what interior protector should you choose?

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