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As the saying goes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." And since your doormat is one of the first things guests see before they enter your home, you might as well choose carefully. You could opt for a welcome mat based on the season: Thick, rubberized styles will help catch salt on snowy days, for example, while a nautical rope design has a summerlike vibe. Make sure to choose a doormat that's large enough to allow guests to get both feet on it, to help catch the maximum amount of dirt, grit, and allergens before stepping inside. And of course, remember to clean it regularly so you don't end up tracking more grime onto your floors—which would defeat the purpose.
Here, the best doormats to liven up your front porch.
Terrain Fern Fronds Doormat
Want to give your threshold a boho feel? Whether you live in the city, country, or suburbs, Terrain's Fern Fronds Doormat will add rustic flair. It's made of a durable, all-natural coconut fiber that absorbs moisture and resists mildew. Painted on the fiber is a pair of lacy fern fronds, which will look just as great in the springtime as the wintertime. Perfect for either indoor or outdoor use, the mat can be easily cleaned by shaking and vacuuming.
Colors of Maine Recycled Lobster Rope Doormat Recycled Lobster Rope Doormat
A mat made of nautical rope will bring a beach-house sensibility to your front steps. These mats were originally created by craftsman David Bird, in response to a surplus of rope caused by a mandate that lobster fisherman could no longer use it because of its potential to harm whales. Each one is handmade, and available in a variety of different sizes and reversible color combinations.
Gems Water Guard Mat
Particularly in the wintertime, one of your door mat's most important duties is to soak up excess snow, sludge, and water (and keep it from damaging your floors). This water guard mat from Garnet Hill is designed with exactly that issue in mind. Resistant to mold, mildew, and other elements, this mat comes in five different sizes and eight colors—no need to sacrifice style for comfort here! A water-dam rubber border helps keep messes off the floor and in the mat, which can hold up to 24 ounces of water.
Sullivan Fine Products Cedar Doormat
This streamlined wooden mat evokes spas and saunas and is handmade from red cedar by Jeff Sullivan, an artisan based in Weymouth, Massachusetts. It comes in two sizes: Either 30 or 36 inches long, with both sizes being 18 inches wide and 1.5 inches high. (Those with more limited mobility should keep in mind that it's definitely a bit of a step up.) It's crafted to withstand all weather conditions since Sullivan uses wooden dowels—not metal hardware, which is prone to rusting and rotting—to fortify the joints. A clear sealant also helps add extra protection.
Design Within Reach Chilewich Bold Stripe Shag Mat
Chilewich mats are made from tufted vinyl, so they have the look and texture of softer yarn, but they can withstand plenty of abuse and be cleaned with a vacuum, mop, or hose. This Bold Stripe Shag Mat has been one of the brand's standbys since 2004 and designed to resist stains, mold, and mildew. Non-slip backing helps keep it in place and there are two sizes: The smaller doormat (29 x 19 inches) and the larger utility mat (36 x 24 inches).
AllModern Alvardo Single Picture Frame Doormat
Welcome your guests in style with this picture frame doormat. Available in four different colors and sizes, it has an understated flair that will work well for all seasons. The mat itself is handmade from natural coir, with heavier backing that helps keep the fibers in place. Its border motif is hand-stenciled on and meant to reduce fading (though if you really want to keep the mat in good shape, try to keep it out of direct sunlight—covered porches work best).
Fleur De Lis Living Kaitlin Gatsby Non-Slip Outdoor Door Mat
This rugged rubber doormat, with an elegant fleur-de-lys pattern, proves that it's possible to be both tough and beautiful. And although those curlicues might look fancy, they also serve a purpose: catching dirt, salt, and snow before it gets tracked inside. The mat is sold in two generous sizes, either a larger 30 x 48 inches, or a smaller 24 x 36 inches. (Both options measure just over a half-inch thick.) This doormat resists mildew and odor really well, and when you do need to clean it, you can simply vacuum it thoroughly or mist it with a garden hose.
Family Home Personalized Doormat
Home is where the heart is with this customizable doormat, which puts that sentiment on full display. A great wedding or housewarming gift, this custom doormat can be personalized to display your loved one's surname in a variety of different fonts. It measures 22 x 36 inches, and is made from super durable coir. Because the fibers are natural, you'll want to keep it away from excessive moisture and direct sunlight. The mat can be easily cleaned by vigorously shaking or vacuuming it.
L.L. Bean Recycled Waterhog Doormat
Fun fact about the "Waterhog" doormat: The heavy-duty polyester material, which mixes thick and thin fibers to best remove gunk, can absorb 1.5 gallons of water for each square yard. It has a timeless look—you can't go wrong with a simple "Welcome" message—and comes in six tasteful colors (brown, blue, charcoal, or medium gray, green, and khaki). The smaller size measures 22 x 32 inches, while the larger is 28 x 40 inches; both are just one-quarter inch thick for easy clearance. A non-slip rubber backing will help prevent it from sliding around, and eco-minded shoppers will be happy to know that the fabric is made from 94 percent recycled materials.
Trans-Ocean Frontporch Birds Accent Rug
Not so much a doormat as a work of art, this hand-tufted rug has polyester-latex backing to help keep it securely in place. The designer, Liora Manné, lives in New York City and got her start designing textiles for the fashion industry. The rug is available in two sizes: Either 24 x 32 inches, or a much larger 42 x 66 inches, which would work well in front of double doors. It's rugged enough to be used outdoors and can be cleaned with water and mild dish soap, although you might find it too beautiful to keep outside during bad weather.
Lexi Dwyer has written about patio tables, recycling bins, window boxes, and inflatable hot tubs for The Spruce. Although she loves her basic, bristled coir doormat for keeping New York City grime out of her apartment, writing this piece is making her seriously consider an upgrade.