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Best Drum Rug/ Mat For Insulating Your Kit In 2023… We Found It!

What kind of carpet is used for drums? Are drum mats any good?

Hunting down the best drum rug is never as easy as it seems.

That’s because (contrary to popular belief) drum mats aren’t just a random scrap of carpet that some clever soul decided to upsell as a ‘drum rug’. These specially designed acoustic mats, do have a purpose apart from keeping your feet warm. Aside from working to keep your kit stable, they also provide much needed insulation for those performing on a hard floor.

Something that, especially when you’re playing such a high volume instrument, does wonders for sharpening your sound. Ask any drummer & there’s nothing worse than having your complex solo melding into one big mass, due to a horde of unwanted reflections and reverb. So much so that a simple drum rug can go a long way to acoustic treating your performance space. Plus, the majority (especially if you opt for a pattern) look pretty rad too.

So really, to think of a drum rug as an accessory is very much missing the point. In most cases, be you performing at home on a hard floor or on stage, a drum rug is a necessity. Not to mention that when compared to other sound enhancement practices, it’s actually quite cheap. So to help you track down the best value drum rug for your situation, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best drum mats that you can buy today… you can thank us later!

After something specific about drum rugs? Perhaps why they differ in size, or how they differ from conventional carpet? Use the menu below to find the answers you need in a single click…

drum kit set out on a specialist rug

NOTE: Interested in more than just drum mats? Be sure to also check out our rundowns of the Best Electronic Drum, Amps + the Most Popular Drumsticks.

When it comes to buying a drum rug, there’s a lot of factors to consider! Aside from size and carpet type, there’s also the matter of performance, design and even practicality. Let’s face it, as a drummer you don’t want to be hauling around a drum mat that weights 10 tonnes. Neither do you want to be seen playing with one that doesn’t fit in with your style. That’s unless you’re the alternative type of course.

In which case, to make the process of drum mat selection even more straight forward, we’ve split our drum mat reviews into both plain and patterned. Now all that’s left to do is, read on…

If the best drum rug to you is something simple & functional, that doesn’t shout ‘FUNKY’, then check out these plain drum rugs. A subtle way to insulate your kit & reduce unwanted reverb…

1: On Stage DMA4450 Drumfire Non-Slip Drum Mat

close up of the fibres in a drum mat

2: Vic Firth VICRUG1 Deluxe Drum Rug

3: Meinl MDRS-BK Small Drum Rug

4: Meinl Percussion E-Drum Rug for Electronic Kits

5: Roland Tdm-10 V-Drums Mat

the underside of a drum rug

In the case that a drum rug to you is all about flamboyance & colour, then look no further. All these drum rugs sport at least some sort of funky pattern or design that makes them stand out from the crowd…

6: Tama Drum Rug (Southwest Pattern)

7: Meinl MDR-JB Drum Rug Jawbreaker

8: Tama Drum Rug (Paisley Pattern)

drummer sat behind a drum kit rocking out

9: Non-slip soundproof drum rug (multiple patterns)

10: Black Widow Drum Web Stabilization Mat

Drum rugs aren’t always cheap.

In fact, some of the best drum rugs come at quite the premium £$€. But that’s not to say that as a beginner, it’s a cost you need to foot. If anything, you can get away with a drum rug that’s slightly less ‘pro’. Because yes – while you don’t want to a buy a drum rug that doesn’t do it’s job, having a rug that’s specifically geared towards high-end acoustics, in many ways could be unnecessary.

Hence why if you’re just getting a feel for being a drummer & aren’t committed to being a die-hard professional, we’d say this cheap drum rug would more than suffice. You wouldn’t think it by the price, but it’s actually a really effective insulator, especially on hard floors…

11: NYDD Rectangular soundproof mat for drums

reviews of the best drum rugs

Choosing the best drum rug does (to some extent) come down to taste. Intricate patterns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea – neither are small drum rugs, especially for those who have a full-size kit. So when reaching a conclusion on the best drum rug, in many ways we had to search for the best all-rounder.

A rug that for most drummers, be they professional or just starting out, would more than suffice and at the same time doesn’t leave you with the need to upgrade later down the line. Something you’ll likely consider doing if you buy a drum rug on the cheap, or one that’s overly small. So after a lot of deliberation, we’re pleased to say that the best all-round drum rug we think you can buy is the…

Vic Firth Deluxe Non-Slip Drum Rug

And to be honest, reaching this conclusion wasn’t actually that difficult. Yes, we had a lot of factors to take into consideration, but when it came down to it, the Vic Firth more or less ticked all the boxes.

Aside from being plain black (i.e. goes with anything), it also is pretty thick for a drum rug, but not too thick that it’d be a nightmare to clean or carry about. What’s more, when compared to other drum rugs of its size, it’s performs really well in terms of deadening sound. While it’s by no means the best drum rug in this category, for it’s thickness it puts up a really good fight.

As a rug, it’s also stable too. The non slip backing does a great job of keeping this mat in place, as does it’s weighted corners. A real nice touch that helps to ensure your drum rug doesn’t scrunch up or get blown about. Something that, especially when you’re playing life, is good to have. Let’s face it, the last thing you want is for your fancy drum mat to be the reason your guitarist falls over and smashes his prized Fender. Ouch!

Then of course, in terms of size, it’s no slouch either. For the majority of full-size kits it should be perfect. Not too big, but equally not too small And when you consider that it also comes with its own carry bag as well as a strap to keep it secure, it becomes quite hard to find fault with this drum rug. Even the price (for the quality you’re getting) isn’t all that extortionate. So much so that we haven’t even botherd to nitpick, as we’re convinced that Vic Firth has got the recipe right.

Ask us and as far as drum mats go, this is virtually all the you as a drummer will ever need.

Enjoy this review of the best drum rugs & eager for more? Be sure to jump into all our Reviews Of Instrument Accessories, as well as our Knowledge Of Percussion Instruments. Recently, we also did a full rundown of the Best Snare Drum Stands + another on the Most Popular Drum Thrones, which may also be a good read.

drummer's stool perched on top of a drum mat

Or, if you’re here purely to read up on drum mats, keep reading & we’ll answer even more of your burning questions to help you fathom which drum rug is the best for your kit & setup…

While a drum rug may on first glance seem quite minor, there’s actually a lot of reason for buying one. That’s because drum rugs do a great deal in terms of helping both you as a drummer perform at your best + also helping to slightly tune your sound. To put this into perspective, here’s 4 ways a drum rugs can help you in terms of both performance & practice…

  • Hardware location – When you’re drumming on tour often setup has to be quite rapid. By that we mean, you most likely don’t have time to go out and measure the precise width in-between each drum, to ensure that your kit is properly spaced. However, if you travel with a drum rug, you could be set up in a matter of seconds. Simply plot where the feet of your hardware are meant to sit, and all you have to do is unroll your rug and match up the position of your kit. Hardly rocket science.

* Get your hands on a heavily patterned rug and you may not even have to mark out your points all-together. Often patterns can be a great reference point.

  • Stability – A major factor as to how well you play comes down to the overall stability of your equipment. Play on a kit that isn’t stable and you’re likely to not give your best performance. Hence investing in the best drum rug possible, as they can very often be all you need to soften any harsh imperfections that you find in a hard floor.
  • Reverb reduction – Now, anyone who knows anything about acoustics, knows that reflective surfaces don’t do wonders for your sound. Exactly why you very rarely come across a tiled recording studio, or a vocal booth with any sort of window. So as you can imagine, hard floors can do much the same with set of drums – be a unnecessary source of echo. Exactly why investing in a quality drum rug can somewhat ‘soften’ your sound, as it’s not echoing all round your performance space.
  • Visual appeal – As you can imagine, when you can get drum rugs with all sorts of custom styles, patterns and designs, they can actually be a major part of your performance decor. Find a drum rug with a skull that fits with the style of your band, or a pattern that say “Indie Rock”, and it could become part of your trademark as a drummer. A visual cue that helps fans to remember you over the next drummer.

The size of a drum rug really all depends on the size of your kit.

Your average drum rug comes in at around 5 by 6 feet, and should more than suffice for your average drum kit. However, if you do have a kick, snare, hi-hat, multiple toms and umpteen cymbals then you’d likely be wiser to upsize your expectations.

And yes, if you’re a junior then a smaller mat would likely suffice. However that’s not to say we’d advise you to size down. In fact, in this instance we’d encourage you to buy the same size drum mat as a full grown adult (providing you can justify the cost + space). Reason being that should you do so, when you come to upsize your kit and go full-size, you won’t have the hassle of having to upgrade your drum rug.

Yes – we found Roland noise eaters to work very well when it comes to diffusing excess sound, pedal noise and other unwanted frequencies.

In fact, if your regularly perform/ practice upstairs, then a pair of these would be fantastic for reducing the amount of interference below. Roland claim that their Noise Eaters can reduce unwanted vibrations by around 75%! And while we’d say that in reality that figure is closer to 50%, we were still genuinely impressed with these drum mats.

Aside from being compact & sturdy under foot, they do their job remarkably well. We noticed a particular drop in pedal noise when using the noise eaters, as standing on large rubber bobbles allows them to somewhat pivot under your feet. In other words, your pedals become less ‘stiff’ and more forgiving. Therefore, if you were to hit them at a slight angle, you’d likely still be able to achieve the sound you want, as the pedal doesn’t feel like it’s bolted to the floor.

So while Roland Noise Eaters are by no means a full-size drum mat, we’d say they’re very much a worthy accessory. By that we mean they do much the same job as a drum rug, but cater for a specific part of your setup – the pedals for your kick & cymbals.

If you want the best results with a pair of noise eaters, we’d still say you’d require a full-size drum rug. However, if you’re a drummer who’s often performing in the spotlight, a pair of Noise Eaters is also a great additional weapon to have up your sleeve.

There is no set size for a drum mat, as really that all depends on your setup. However, before you buy a drum mat you’ll likely benefit from asking yourself these 3 questions…

  • Is it big enough for my current kit?
  • Is it going to be big enough if I expand my kit in the future?
  • Could it potentially be too big that it’s not portable?

Get a yes to the top 2 and chances are you’ll be very close to finding the best drum rug for you and your setup. Now, if you’re not a touring musician then the third question shouldn’t be something to worry about. Although on the flip side, if you’re always on tour (or going to be touring very soon), then this is something you’ll likely need to consider.

Let’s face it, non one likes to be hauling a bulky drum mat around a festival, especially if it’s not the best of weather.

Rugs are in recording studios for much the same reason that they’re used with drum kits.

Rugs are a great sound insulator & really do help to deaden any unwanted frequencies and spouts of reverb. Especially important if you’re recording a drum solo, and have your drum kit all rigged up with highly sensitive ribbon microphones, all poised to record your performance.

Fail to use a drum rug in this situation and it could very easily affect the quality of your recording. Especially if your mics are floor mounted. In which case we’d recommend investing in a pair of Roland Noise Eaters (above), as these will not only help deaden the floor-sound, but also reduce the level of noise picked up from your foot pedals. Ideal if you’re laying down a backing track or playing live in something like the Radio 1 Live Lounge.

The carpet used for drum rugs isn’t just an off-cut from the local carpet shop. It’s carpet with a purpose.

The carpet used in drum rugs is specifically chosen for its comfort, but also its acoustic absorbent properties. Now, while this may be less of a focus with cheap drum rugs, it’s certainly something you should find if you choose to go lux. What’s more, apart from the carpet itself, another easy to tell a drum rug apart is the way it’s backed.

Usually drum rugs will be clad in an uneven rubber backing – usually a series of spots – designed to decrease the transmission of vibrations in-between your kit and the floor. Plus, being rubber also helps the mat to grip & therefore prevent it from bunching under foot when playing. Crucial if you’re chasing the perfect performance and want to remain on-beat.