Quarantine has us all doing strange things. For me, one side effect has been zeroing in on small areas of my apartment (that are TOTALLY FINE, btw), but could maybe be jusssst a little better. And then going down dark internet rabbit holes trying to find the solution. One of those things was my bath mat situation! I cannot believe I’ve written over 1,500 words about bath mats but alas, here we are… stuck at home and getting weirder by the day.
The Best Bath Mats
Here is the very important background: I have an incredibly small bathroom and every rug I’ve put in the bathroom has gotten moldy or gross. I had a few I liked that got destroyed by the laundromat OR when I sent them out, I would get charged $10 extra for the “special item.” No thank you.
Earlier this year I got rid of them, gave up, and decided to just use a hand towel in that area. And it was fine – it worked great! After showering I’d just hang it up on the ledge of the tub, and every week I swap out the towel. But what if… I could find the PERFECT thing!? So I posed the question to you guys over on Instagram. I was picturing something graphic and bold. It needed to be small. A hand towel was the perfect size but in measuring the area I realized the biggest I could go would be 16″ x 29″ (or 40cm x 74cm)!
Annd probably most importantly, it needed to be more towel-like than rug-like, if that makes any sense. The term “bath mat” brings up a bevy of options… some are rugs, some are towels, some are totally other things I didn’t even know about! As mentioned above, rugs do not work in my space. And then there’s the matter of cleaning the bath mat! Like many New Yorkers without in unit (or building!) laundry, I send my laundry out. So it needs to be able to go in the dryer.
Teak and Bamboo Bath Mats
I ended up going in a totally different direction than I had thought. My initial thought was “graphic towel mat from a cool small business!” But besides the fact that I couldn’t find that, for every good recommendation you guys gave me, there was someone else saying “Ditch the fabric mat and get a teak mat – it will change your life!” “It makes your bathroom feel like a spa!!!” I was intrigued and ended up ordering this teak bath mat from DWR. I found a lot of more affordable options but just liked this one the best. It’s the prettiest one IMO, the perfect size and I also really like that it has suction caps on the bottom to prevent slipping.
More affordable teak and bamboo mats: World Market has a great bamboo one, too, as does Urban Outfitters. Etsy has some great options (teak and bamboo), as does Amazon (I really like this bamboo one, this teak one is too big for my space but beautiful – as is this one, and this is another great bamboo option!)
But now I’m going to share all of your recommendations. I spent pretty much all day Saturday going through them. Hey, nothing but time over here, right? Even though I ended up going in a totally different direction than I thought I would, I enjoyed sifting through these shops so much… they are incredible and gave me a lot of inspiration (and also made me dream of a bigger bathroom!).
The Most Recommended Small Businesses!
I was thrilled to see Quiet Town mentioned so frequently as my sister introduced me to them a few years ago and I bought my shower curtain from them (and these gold hooks, too!). They are local to me in Brooklyn and make SUCH COOL STUFF. And as it turns out, they also have amazing bath rugs. They are gorgeous but too big for my space and also they are rugs not mats. I love this one, though – so maybe it will work for one of you!
Oh my gosh, how did I not know about Dusen Dusen yet? The coolest geometric towels I’ve ever seen. She also makes dog beds, clothing, and puzzles even! Her towels are amazing but she doesn’t make bath mats. I had to include her here as I am smitten with the company. I was excited to see that she’s also carried at Design Within Reach, you know they are my fav.
Cold Picnic was another one that came HIGHLY recommended…. also Brooklyn based. They make the boobs bath mat that is all over instagram (I feel like they are an influencer favorite), and tons of other good ones (this is my personal favorite!) but alas, TOO WIDE for my tiny space. And also: more of a rug than a towel.
Abyss & Habidecor
Abyss & Habidecor came highly recommended by a few of you. From my DMs, which made me crack up: “Pure luxury!” “Expensive but you’ll have for years and not regret.” Sounded right up my alley (lol) and they have BEAUTIFUL stuff. But none of their bath mats were small enough for my space. I will say that I LOVE this leaf mat, or even this simple tangerine mat if I had a bigger space. Or the ones that look like stones, like this. And now I’m eyeing these marbled bath sheets. Oof.
Aelfie also came highly recommended by many of you. And I love this checkerboard one but it’s sold out. I love this tiger rug! Also: these pillows are amazing and hilarious and would make great gifts.
Other Small Biz Recs!
Angela Adams //
Beautiful rugs, she even does made to order commissions. Not right for me / this project but love her stuff!
She does not sell bath mats but her shop is FULL of incredible home finds. Her mini rugs could work in a bathroom (a nicer bathroom than mine, that is!), but her site is stocked with beautiful things!
LOVE Marimekko and their beautiful prints but they don’t seem to make bath mats anymore. A real bummer as something like this would have been perfect! I do love their towels though – these navy and emerald stripe towels are so me.
Really pretty (love this!) but more minimal and muted tones than I was going for. My sister would love!
They have something called a bath stone which looks cool – and it dries itself. Not what I was looking for, but cool!
D. Porthault //
Incredible but wildly expensive! Def recommend checking out their printed towels just for fun.
Sunday Shop //
A reader messaged to say they had the most beautiful home goods she’d seen in her life and I would tend to agree? This shop is reason enough to plan a trip to New Orleans when all of this is over. So many beautiful things. Of course they did not have what I was looking for but I spent over a half an hour perusing their site. They have a gorgeous array of towels and DO NOT get me started on the colored glassware. Wow!
A few people recommended these and I think it would be really fun and very instagrammy. (though not absorbent at ALL so you’d still need a towel!) but it was too big for my space! This would be fun to put in an entryway.
House of Noa //
This is interesting but more for kitchen (and probably great for parents who deal with more messes than I do). They make wipe clean mats that look like rugs. I personally prefer my real rug but if I had kids or was a messier cook I would be all over this.
Simple and elegant but not what I was looking for!
Not really a small business but included them as they support amazing artists! They have a great selection but I couldn’t find anything I was really really obsessed with (and to be honest I wasn’t so sure about the quality; would love to know if you’ve had a good experience!!).
Not small businesses, but good options!
World Market //
Not a small business by any stretch BUT they do have have some great things… including this $25 bamboo mat that I thought about getting. A reader messaged me to tell me that she knows firsthand that they use the same factories as Anthro, which I thought was interesting!
They have some great mats but nothing that scratched my particular itch. I love this one, but it’s too big for the space. And this one is great (folded in half as it’s more towel-like) but it’s boring, lol… I wanted a fun print!
I loved so many things at Urban. I always forget about them for home stuff but they have a lot of great things! Loved this “get naked” one, same with this naked lady. They also sell a bamboo one that looks just like the World Market one.