Love the look of your hardwood, tile, or concrete stairs but don’t exactly love how slick they can get? You need more traction, though you're not sure whether or not to carpet your stairs. You can infuse some fresh style and up the traction with the addition of stair treads atop each step. Stair treads allow you to climb and descend stairs with more confidence and stability, and you won’t wreck the look of your existing stairs. Instead, you’ll add an extra layer of protection to their surface.
To help you find the best stair treads for your home and your needs, we researched a variety of available options, evaluating different products for durability, grip, design, and surface coverage.
L.L.Bean Everyspace Recycled Waterhog Mat Stair Treads
Grippy rubber backing
Naturally stain-resistant polyester material
Thick and thin fibers capture dirt
Can be cut to size
May require some adjusting over time
May move more in heavily trafficked areas
Stair treads like the L.L. Bean Everyspace Stair Treads come in handy to protect your floors and prevent slipping when anyone in your home travels up and down the stairs. With a rubber backing to grip the floor, these treads are highly functional and provide traction for feet, shoes, and paws.
The set comes with four 8.5-by-30-inch recycled mats and eight different colors to choose from, so you can customize them to your exact taste. While they come in a standard rectangular shape, you can easily cut them to perfectly fit any shape, size, and configuration of stairs once you've done your calculations. The waffle texture won't shed, and it adds a unique design detail that's pleasing to the eye.
Though the price is somewhat high, this durable four-mat set is easy to clean with a vacuum or hose. The mat material is also stain-resistant and dries quickly, so these treads can also be used outdoors without the risk of mildew or mold.
Price at time of publish: $70
Dimensions: 8.5 x 30 inches | Material: 24-ounce recycled polyester | Number of Treads: Four
nuLOOM Indoor/Outdoor Braided Lefebvre Stair Treads
Mimic the feel of a traditional rug
Multiple color choices
Durable synthetic materials
Don’t come with nonslip or sticky backing
Edges can unravel with wear
The Lefebvre Stair Treads are another option with a bit of texture. These stair tread carpets measure 8 x 28-inches and are woven from a synthetic material that resembles sisal. While the material is rated for indoor and outdoor use, it's not machine-washable so you'll have to spot-clean it. Using it indoors will keep the material looking new.
The set includes 13 stair treads, and there are coordinating floor mats and area rugs that can be purchased for a coordinated look. We also love that you can choose between two different shapes (rectangular or oval) and eight fun colors. While they don't have a non-slip backing, you can purchase latex pads to place underneath.
Price at time of publish: $110
Dimensions: 8 x 28 inches | Material: Polypropylene | Number of Treads: 13
August Grove Saco Country Stair Tread
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
Latex non-slip backing
Weighted enough to stay put in high-traffic areas
Expensive if you need more than a few
The August Grove Saco Country Stair Tread is a beautiful way to add traction and flair to any wood stairs. Made out of a blend of 80 percent jute and 20 percent cotton and other fibers, each stair tread really pops with a black and tan pattern that curves into an elegant oval shape. The concentric braids infuse some style into basic hardwood or outdoor wood stairs, all while helping you keep your feet (or your pets’ paws) secure.
Each of these oval stair treads also features a grippy latex backing, which helps prevent the treads (and you) from slipping and sliding. The manufacturer recommends applying an anti-skid pad if your hardwood is particularly slick.
These treads can really add up in price; they’re sold individually, which can make a set of five or more pricey. However, they look great in any home and offer a great amount of weighted traction.
Price at time of publish: $23
Dimensions: 8.5 x 27 inches | Material: Jute, cotton, and other fibers | Number of Treads: 1
Best for Garages
Blue Hawk Black Rectangular Outdoor Stair Tread Mat
Heavy-duty and durable
Molded surface offers great traction
Captures water, dirt, and mud
Not all edges are straight
Adhesive and tape won’t stick to the underside
If you have stairs leading from your garage into your home, we recommend the Blue Hawk Rectangular Stair Tread Mats. These outdoor-friendly black treads come in packs of two and is both an anti-slip solution and a functional doormat for your garage. The heavy-duty textured carpet side traps water and cleans the bottoms of your shoes, and the recycled rubber backing provides superior grip and traction.
Price at time of publish: $15
Dimensions: 9 x 35 inches | Material: Recycled rubber | Number of Treads: 2
Pottery Barn Waterhog Dogwood Leaf Indoor/Outdoor Stair Treads
Durable PET polyester fibers
Stain-, rot-, and water-resistant
Available in a range of dogwood-patterned colors
Cleated backing is really only suited for outdoor use
Placing stair treads outside means they’re going to get a whole lot of exposure to the elements, from sunlight to wet weather to muddy shoes and even pet traffic. That means you need a hardy set of treads. Pottery Barn’s Waterhog Indoor/Outdoor Stair Treads can meet your needs easily. These seriously durable stair treads are constructed out of 100 percent PET polyester, a material that can resist not only a lot of daily use, but also stains, rot, and water. With non-slip and cleated backing, they can grip stair surfaces securely; they’re especially great for wooden outdoor stairs.
The only real drawback to mention with these outdoor-ready stair treads is they’re really not as indoor-friendly as they seem. Because of their cleated backing, the treads are better at sticking into and gripping outdoor stairs, and the cleats might not even make a difference indoors! However, if that’s where you plan to use them, they’re a hardy set that’ll hold up to wear and weather well.
Price at time of publish: $79
Dimensions: 8.5 x 30 inches | Material: PET polyester | Number of Treads: 4
Symple Stuff Comerfo Comfy Machine Washable Slip Resistant Stair Tread
Available in multiple colors and sizes
Fade-resistant synthetic fibers
May be a bit wide for some stairs
Double-sided carpet tape may be needed for added stability
Add some traditional carpeting to your slick stairs with the Symple Stuff Comerfo Comfy Stair Treads. Built to last and stay securely in place, these treads feel like plush carpet underfoot, and their synthetic fibers in an array of different colors add warmth and traction just like actual carpeted stairs would. Latex backing on each tread prevents them (and you) from slipping, too. One of the best features of this product, though, is the ease of care. These stair treads are machine-washable and stain-resistant, and they won’t fade or fall apart when cleaned regularly.
Make sure to measure your stair width before buying these treads. They’re available in two sizes, and some users note that they can be too wide for thinner stairs. While the latex backing is pretty grippy, some stairs may require the addition of double-sided carpet tape to keep these treads in place. Either way, we find the convenience of machine-washable stair treads hard to beat, especially when they don’t fade or fall apart.
Price at time of publish: $48
Dimensions: 7 x 24 or 8.5 x 30 inches | Material: Synthetic fibers and latex | Number of Treads: 13
Rubber-Cal Stars Recycled Step Black Stair Tread
Modern, aesthetically pleasing pattern
Easy to wipe or rinse clean
Prone to slipping
Rubber is thin
The Rubber-Cal Stars Stair Tread is an excellent choice for your outdoor steps and any other moisture-prone spaces. Made of durable recycled rubber, these high-quality mats are designed to make your stairs safer, even in wet-weather conditions. The anti-slip pattern offers not only traction but also a striking appearance. These 29.75 x 10-inch Rubber-Cal treads are super-easy to clean, too. Just rinse them off with a hose or warm, soapy water.
Price at time of publish: $79
Dimensions: 10.25 x 29.75 inches | Material: Natural and reclaimed rubber | Number of Treads: 6
Natural Area Rugs 100% Natural Fiber Basketweave Stair Treads
Bring the warmth of natural fibers onto your stairs with a set of Natural Area Rugs Basketweave Stair Treads. Handcrafted by an artisan rug maker, these treads are woven out of 100 percent seagrass fibers and edged with a thick black fabric border. With an attractive chunk braided weave, these treads look great anywhere, and they’re durable enough to resist stains and handle heavy traffic. They're a great option for pet lovers who keep their four-legged family members top of mind when it comes to home design. The rugs are also resistant to stains and static, helping to look crisp and new for a long time, even after some wear.
Keep in mind, however, that these natural-fiber stair treads won’t stay put unless they’re paired with double-sided tape or a grippy non-slip rug pad. They’re not the softest under bare feet, but we think the durability and style they add are worthwhile.
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 9 x 29 inches | Material: Seagrass | Number of Treads: 13
Winston Porter Orean Skid Slip Resistant Stair Tread
Slip- and skid-resistant rubber backing
Stain-, mildew-, and fade-resistant
UV-treated for indoor or outdoor use
Can move with use and wear
Not the hardiest for pets
If having good traction on your stairs is as important to you as having proper stair railing and guards, we suggest the Orean Skid Slip Resistant Stair Treads from Winston Porter. Thanks to the slip-resistant and anti-skid rubber backing and a corrugated weave, you can rest assured knowing that you and your loved ones are protected from slips and falls. These polyester stair tread carpets are also resistant to stains, fading, and mildew.
The Orean treads come in two different sizes (8 x 30 inches and 7 x 24 inches) and a multitude of stylish colors. If you need enough treads for multiple staircases, this product can be purchased in quantities up to 15.
Price at time of publish: $67
Dimensions: 7 x 24 or 8.5 x 30 inches | Material: Polyester and rubber | Number of Treads: 13
Shape28 Stair Treads Ultra-Thin with Non Slip Rubber Backing
Eye-catching and colorful pattern choices
Soft to the touch
Grippy rubber backing adds stability
Take time to flatten out
Looking for something with a fun pattern? The Shape28 Stair Treads come in four patterned designs and six different colors. Whether you opt for eye-catching red swirls, a neutral gray floral print, or something more subtle, you can refresh your stairs while adding a bit of functionality to them, as well. Each tread, which measures 9 x 26-inches, has sturdy rubber backing for ultimate traction and slip prevention.
While they're notably thin, the Shape28 Stair Treads are softer and more cushioned than you'd expect. Best of all, they're machine-washable for easy cleaning, although you can spot-clean and rinse them off as needed.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 9 x 26 inches | Material: Microfiber and rubber | Number of Treads: 7
Bungalow Flooring Waterhog Stair Treads
Textured, traction-improving surface pattern
Captures and holds water
Made with 94 percent recycled materials
Sizing can vary from tread to tread
For a textured option that is sure to stand out, we recommend the Bungalow Flooring Waterhog Stair Treads. The raised texture has an elegant foliage design that will look beautiful inside and outside the home, and the raised texture makes it easy to clean your shoes before heading inside.
Each 8 x 30-inch stair tread is skid-resistant, quick-drying, and made from 94 percent post-consumer plastic materials. If you're looking for something that's versatile, durable, and stylish, you can't go wrong with this pick.
Price at time of publish: $70
Dimensions: 8.5 x 30 inches | Material: Polyester and rubber | Number of Treads: 4
What to Look for in Stair Treads
Style is a crucial consideration when picking stair treads, especially if they're indoors. You don't want bright-red stair treads ruining the look of your chic, minimalist living room, nor do you want patterned stair treads that clash with the look of your staircase. There are many stair tread cover options available now, so take the time to look for ones that complement the existing style of your home.
The material of your stair treads is another thing that can make or break the look of your staircase. If you want a more boho look, find some stair treads that are made of wicker or another natural fiber. For a low-profile, extra-durable look, look for stair treads in a low-pile textile.
Speaking of durability, it's important to pick long-lasting stair treads if they'll be in a dirtier or rougher part of your home, like the garage or a transitional interior space like a mudroom, or if they're outdoors. Look for stair treads that are sold as waterproof or quick-drying, or look for ones made of rubber. These features will ensure that your stair treads will last for more than just a season, even in the roughest of environments.
How do you install stair treads?
How you install stair treads depends on the treads themselves. Generally, you'll clean up the stairs, measure double-sided carpet tape to the size of the tread, apply the tape, and then press the tread onto the stair. You'll want to make sure the tread is a half-inch to an inch away from the front of the stair and that it's centered on the stair length-wise.
Do stair treads work?
Yes. Stair treads are a great way to provide some extra friction to slick hardwood stairs, reducing the risk of slipping and falling for those who use them. Stair treads are also easier to clean than hardwood floors, and they protect the stairs from scratches, scuffs, and wear, extending the longevity of a staircase.
Does carpet make stairs slippery?
Carpet doesn't make stairs slippery. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Carpet stair treads provide extra traction to smooth, slip-prone hardwood stairs, and they reduce the risk of falls. They also extend the life of your stairs by shielding them from everyday wear and tear. However, choosing the right kind of carpeting for stairs with both style and functionality in mind can be more complicated than for other areas of the home.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a freelance writer, homeowner, and mother with extensive experience researching, testing, and reviewing home goods, cleaning solutions, and baby products. You can find more of her writing on Byrdie, MyDomaine, and Verywell Health. Additional reporting was done by Rabekah Henderson, a freelance design and decor writer whose work has appeared on MyDomaine, Atomic Ranch, Cary Magazine, and American Farmhouse Style.