Rowing Machine Mats: Why You need One + Buying Guide

Last updated April 27, 2022
Rowing Machine Mats

Rowing mats are a great idea for those who use their rowing machine in their home - especially if the room used isn’t a dedicated gym space and doesn’t have a workout-friendly floor. 

In this article, I’m talking about all things rowing mats and giving you the lowdown on the best use case for them. By the end of the article, you’ll know all there is to know about this (often) forgotten about rowing machine accessory.

Do you need a rowing machine mat?

There’s a time and a place for a rowing machine mat, especially if you’re using your rowing machine at home. They’re designed to offer floor protection from the rowing machine and its user. Here’s some of the reasons why…

Advantages of a rowing mat

  • It prevents damage to the floor. If you have a wooden floor, the feet of the rower can cause dents. A mat stops this
  • It stops sweat dripping on the floor and causing damage
  • A mat prevents the rowing machine from slipping and sliding during intense use

Quick point - you’ll often see people claiming that a mat helps to reduce noise, but this is utter nonsense. A rowing machine isn’t banging on the floor - the noise comes from the movement of the seat, the chain, and the flywheel, none of which are affected by the mat.

What to consider when buying one?

Whilst most rowing machine mats are roughly the same specs, here are a few things you’ll need to consider when you’re buying one…

Material

Most rowing machine mats are made from non-slip rubber or PVC. These are generally the best because they’re the easiest to clean, they have a grippy texture, they offer great protection to the floor, and are reasonably priced. They’re also non-absorbent, which is important for something that is going to be sweated on!

Size

A Concept 2 rower is 96 in (244 cm) x 24 in (61 cm), so any mat you buy has to be around that size. Concept 2 sells a mat that is 250 cm (98 inches) by 80 cm (31.5 inches). Remember it has to cover the entire footprint of the rower and not just the feet, otherwise, you’ll still sweat on the floor.

Pricing

There is a wide range of pricing for a rowing machine mat. To be honest, any mat that is thick enough to protect the floor is suitable, so you can spend as little as $15 all the way up to the hard-wearing floor mats selling for nearly 80 bucks.

Good buying options

Here’s a selection of suitable mats from Amazon, with a different one for each budget.

KASMET Treadmill Mat

This one is at the premium end of the market, with a heavy price tag compared to the others. It’s thick (0.24 inches), non-slip, easy to clean and non absorbent. It’s one of the few mats that are long enough to cope with the 94 inch long (239cm) Concept 2 rower, but only if you buy the XL version.

It’ll suit most other models of rower too, including the Hydrow, Ergatta, and Aviron machines. 

KASMET Treadmill Mat (96.4x37.8x0.24 Inch) Non-Slip & Durable Equipment Mat, Made up of 100% Heavy Duty PVC Foam

RESILIA Extra Long Exercise Mat

I think this is a great mat for the price and offers a nice blend of floor protection, non-slip grip, and easy cleaning. It retails for less than $60, but it has all the quality of a mat that costs a lot more.

The unique thing about the RESILIA mat is the size - at 102 x 36 inches (259 x 91 cm) it’s big enough to cope with any rower, including the Concept 2, which is the longest of the main popular rowing machines.

RESILIA Extra Long Non-Slip Exercise Mat - 8.5 Feet, Black, Waterproof, Large Mat for Use Under Treadmill or Rowing...

PEXMOR Fitness Equipment Mat

This is a hard-wearing and heavy duty mat, which comes in at less than 30 bucks. For the price it’s excellent. There’s a light tread on it for extra grip and the size is perfect for the Concept 2 rower, at 96” x 36” (244cm x 91cm). 

The mat is made from high-density PVC and is easy enough to clean. It’s also non-absorbent. The PEXMOR mat offers a great level of protection to the floor and doesn’t cost much. It’s everything you need in a rowing machine mat.

RESILIA Extra Long Non-Slip Exercise Mat - 8.5 Feet, Black, Waterproof, Large Mat for Use Under Treadmill or Rowing...

Conclusion

To conclude, I would recommend you buy a rowing machine mat if you use your rower on a slippery floor, a floor susceptible to denting and marking, or a carpet. Basically, any floor that you want to look after! You’ll solve a lot of problems for a relatively small cash investment.

About Steve Hoyles
Steve Hoyles is a personal trainer and weightlifting coach with two decades in the industry. He is the owner of MyGym, a strength and conditioning facility in the UK. His fitness copywriting has been featured in magazines and websites all over the world.
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