The problems with cheap mats
How investing a little can save you a lot.
Many of our customers (and almost all our chair mat customers) come to us saying something along the lines of “I bought a cheap alternative and it failed me – now I am willing to spend a little more if you can assure me that it’s worth it.”
While it can be tempting to grab the cheapest mat you can find thinking it’s a bargain, it is almost always counter-productive. Cheap mats are cheap for a reason – they are made cheaply, so can be sold cheaply.
With mats, investing in a high quality product is likely to save you money in the long run. Here are some of the most common problems our customers have with cheap mats:
The most common problem we hear – again, mostly from disappointed chair mat owners – is that the cheap versions cracked after a few months. A cracked mat does not have the surface area to support anything, let alone chair casters rolling on and off its surface.
Cracking is a major tell-tale sign that a mat has been poorly made. Mats made that are too thin or contain foul-smelling plasticers are the most common culprits. Cheap mats are also often made from material that was extruded too quickly, resulting in brittle products.
All our mats are made from twice extruded PVC for added strength, purity and clarity. Double extrusion lets us create products that are up to 4.3 times the thickness of cheap mats.
Another annoyance that many of you tell us about is curling. This is usually a problem with entrance mats and cheap floor matting with carpet surfaces. The reason mats curl is sometimes how they were stored, or it can be because of the cheap materials mentioned before.
All our mats are delivered flat, so you don’t need to spend a week weighing one down with furniture before you can use it. They also last longer and hold their shape for their entire life.
Yellowing usually appears when a mat is left in direct sunlight. Just as our skin can become damaged from UV rays, so too can your new mat. The common culprits are cheap plastic mats without UV protection, especially clear and neutral colours.
All our outdoor mats are made using a UV-resistant material that is resistant to the damaging effects of the sun. Just like we wear sunscreen, our mats are protected from the Aussie sun too.
4. Sliding around
If we had a dollar every time someone was disappointed with a cheap doormat sliding around, the Matshop brand would be bigger than Bunnings. Unfortunately for us, no one gives out free dollars, but luckily for you, we still have an answer to your slippery mat questions.
Tape, pins, glue and Velcro are all great options for keeping mats in place – check out our post on how to stop floor mats from moving for more detail about each option. The best way to make sure a mat stays in place is to buy one with a non slip rubber backing.
Shedding is very common in natural coir mats, which shed their fibres – that cannot be avoided. Cheap coir mats, however, tend to have less bristles covering an area, meaning they are packed more loosely and are more likely to shed.
Traditional coir mats have no backing and a woven edge, which partially helps to slow the shedding. If you want something you can be sure won’t shed at all, get an artificial coir mat instead. Artificial coir has the same natural appearance without the mess or upkeep!
How to avoid cheap mats
Now you know why cheap mats aren’t always the best choice, you might be wondering how to make sure you don’t end up like those chair mat customers of ours. We’ve got you covered for that one too – here’s how to make sure your mats are high quality.
The easiest way to avoid a poor quality mat is to research the company you are buying from. A good quality company won’t knowingly sell you a bad quality mat!
1. Read the reviews
This is an obvious one but you might be surprised how many people tell us they didn’t get round to it. There’s no worse feeling than being disappointed with a product and then reading the reviews that could have warned you off.
Look for companies with great – but not perfect – reviews. Obviously, great reviews are promising but companies with a completely clean sheet should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some online markets have fake reviews so check out their authenticity as well as content.
2. Get in touch
Reaching out to the team is a great way to get help deciding which product is best for you, but it can also help you to evaluate a company. If the people on the phone know their products well and can make personalised recommendations, it’s probably a great company.
If you can’t find anyone to talk to, or the sales team don’t know their products well, it could be because there isn’t much to know. Ask questions about your mats to learn how and where they’re made for a strong prediction on their quality.
3. Look for guarantees
A company selling great products is confident in doing so. Money-back guarantees and free samples are a clear sign that a business is not trying to rip you off. If you can get a full refund, no questions asked, just by returning the product, it is likely that it will be a good one.
We offer a 365-day money back guarantee for this exact reason. We are confident in our products and we want you to be too. If, for any reason, you are not 100% happy with your mats, you have a whole year to send them back for a full refund.
4. Check out the returns policy
Like guarantees, a flexible returns policy symbolises a company that cares about their customers. Before you buy anything, but especially mats with safety features, check out how easy it will be to get your money back if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
We offer returns for all reasons including change of mind, provided the item is returned in its original condition. If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we guarantee a full refund including postage.
How to find great mats, and avoid cheap ones
Hopefully you find this information useful. If you find cheap mats online, ask yourself how they are able to sell their products so cheap. If something feels too good to be true, it just might be.
For information about any of our products, or for other mat-related queries, feel free to reach out to one of the team. Our matxperts are very knowledgeable and can help you find the perfect solution for any application.