To answer this question I will firstly look at the pro’s and con’s of cork bath mats.

  • Mould proof
  • Warm feel
  • Don’t need machine washing and drying
  • Sustainable material
  • Provide safety, slip-free.

  • Doesn’t absorb so stays wet on surface
  • Not easy to dry feet on a continually wet surface
  • Water drains off on to the surrounding floor

For all the advantages of cork bath mats, they only fulfil 1 of the 3 required functions of a bath mat. It does allow you to dry safely without slipping. However, it fails to absorb excess water from the feet to make it quick and easy to get dry and fails to prevent water from dripping all over the bathroom floor.

What are the alternatives to a cork bath mat?

There is one type of bath mat that ticks all the boxes. A Natural Step bath mat can be wiped clean like a cork bath mat without any need for machine washing and drying, it also repels bacteria but most importanly absorbs excess water from the feet keeping floors dry. 



Why is a cork bath mat sustainable?

Cork comes from the bark of a cork oak tree, these typically grow in the warm climes of Spain and Portugal. The Cork Oak Tree will typically live for 150-300 years and the bark regenerates sufficiently to harvest every 9 years. This means each tree can be harvested between 16 and 32 times. Compare this with wood, a tree can be harvested only once and you need to wait 25-30 years to do so! According to certified carbon negative, cork bark can sequester up to 70 times its own weight in carbon. Cork is also biodegradable at the end of product life.

Why are Cork bath mats mould proof?

Cork is traditionally used for flooring and of course sealing wine bottles. Even though it has a ‘spongy feel’ it contains a natural fatty substance called ‘suberin’ that makes it water resistant and therefore mould proof.

Why do cork bath mats hold warmth?

According to an academic paper from Harvard, cork holds warmth because it doesn’t transfer heat easily. The high volume of air compressed within the structure of the cork is responsible for restricting heat transfer.

Why do you not need to machine wash cork bath mats?

As we said before, cork is water proof, so there is no bacteria formation as there would be with a fabric bath mat, they simply need the surface wiping clean with an anti-bacterial spray or bicarbonate of soda solution.

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