If you'd rather not carpet your stairs but want more traction, stair treads allow you to enjoy the hardwood look while providing grip and protecting the surface.
We researched dozens of models, evaluating their durability, coverage, material, and design. Our top pick is the L.L. Bean Everyspace Stair Treads because they are functional, sturdy, and aesthetically pleasing.
Here are the best stair tread carpets for every budget and taste.
Best Rectangular: L.L.Bean Everyspace Recycled Waterhog Mat Stair Treads
What do buyers say? 200+ L.L. Bean reviewers rated this 5 stars.
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 for uniquely shaped stairs. The waffle texture won't shed and 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.
Best Braided: nuLOOM Indoor/Outdoor Braided Lefebvre Stair Treads
For another option with a bit of texture, the Lefebvre Stair Treads are a great option. These stair tread carpets measure 8 x 28-inches and are woven from a synthetic material that resembles sisal. The material is rated for indoor and outdoor use, but it's not machine washable (spot clean only), so 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.
Best Oval: Gracie Oaks Godinez Stair Tread
Oval stair treads have a stylish appearance and can add interest to an old flight of stairs. We're partial to the Godinez Stair Treads, which have a subtle two-tone weave that adds interest and conceals stains well. The braided synthetic fibers are available in four different colors (ivory, tan, light blue, and charcoal), so you can choose the best option for your home.
While these stair tread carpets don't have a non-slip backing, they're weather-resistant and suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Because they don't have a non-slip backing, it's recommended that double-sided non-slip rug tape is used to keep them from moving around on the floor.
Best for Garages: Blue Hawk Black Rectangular Outdoor Stair Tread Mat
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 work as both an anti-slip solution and a garage doormat. 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.
Best Outdoor: Weather Guard Argyle Stair Tread
Your best bet for outdoor use is the Weather Guard Argyle Stair Tread. These 8.5 x 30-inch mats come in sets of two, and they're available in nine versatile colors. Most importantly, the weather-resistant material is ideal for outdoor use.
With a molded argyle surface texture and sturdy recycled rubber backing, these treads trap water, scrape and clean your shoes, and provide impressive traction, even in wet, slushy weather. The Weather Guard Stair Treads are also easy to clean and resistant to fading, so you don't have to worry about discoloration from sunlight.
Best Basic: Ottomanson Softy Collection Rubber Back Stair Tread
If you're looking for a simple option with an affordable price tag, you might consider the Rubber Back Stair Treads from the Ottomanson Softy Collection. This set of seven synthetic stair treads is woven with a soft cut-pile design reminiscent of a low-pile plush carpet. The stain-resistant material can be spot cleaned or vacuumed if needed. And the non-slip rubber backing helps them stay in place and prevents slipping.
Best Rubber: Rubber-Cal Stars Recycled Step Black Stair Tread
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.
Best Natural-Fiber: Red Barrel Studio Ivy Stair Treads
The Red Barrel Studio Ivy Stair Treads are made of real seagrass. They're designed to provide cushioning and noise reduction while enhancing the look of your stairs. And thanks to the non-slip backing, they offer traction to reduce slips and falls in your home. These 29 x 9-inch natural-fiber carpet treads come in a set of 13. Installing them with a double-sided adhesive carpet tape is recommended to help keep them in place.
Best Traction: Winston Porter Orean Skid Slip Resistant Stair Tread
If having good traction is important to you, 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 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.
Best Patterned: Shape28 Stair Treads Ultra-Thin with Non Slip Rubber Backing
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 decorate 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.
Best Textured: Bungalow Flooring Waterhog Stair Treads
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. Plus, 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.
What to Look for in Stair Treads
Style is a crucial consideration of 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. Stair treads come in many different styles 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 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 your stair treads 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. But generally, you'll clean up the stairs, measure double-sided carpet tape to the size of the tread, apply the tape, then press the tread onto the stair. Additionally, 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 to those who use them. Stair treads are also easier to clean than hardwood floors, and they protect the stairs from scratches, scuffs, and wear too, 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 reduce the risk of falls. Plus, carpet stair treads also extend the life of your stairs by shielding them from everyday wear and tear.
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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.