There are now lots of material options for a bath or shower mat, wood being one option. But how practical is a wood bath mat?

Pros and Cons of Wood bath mats


  • Sustainable material (look out for FSC sustainable forestry mark)
  • No machine washing and drying needed
  • Hygienic
  • Easy to reuse at the end of life


  • Water pools on the surface so you are still going to have to wipe the mat and floor dry afterwards.

Natural Steps bath mat in situ image


Alternatives to wood bath mats?

If you are looking at a wood bath or shower mat, you probably don’t like all the washing and bacteria forming on fabric mats. However, what is the point in a bath mat if they don’t mop up the water?

A natural earth stone mat has the same benefits as a wooden bath mat but instead of repelling, they absorb the excess water quickly and temporarily lock it away. They then dry out naturally between uses, appearing dry on the outside at all times. To see a video explainer or find out more go to

Hygiene and functionality of wood bath mats

Wooden bath mats are treated so they don’t absorb water, they repel it, this is both a positive and negative for a bath mat. On one hand it means the mats don’t saturate and become a breeding ground for bacteria like fabric bath mats, on the other hand it means that the water just pools and runs off the mat, calling into question how useful the mat is at all.

Care for your wood bath mats

Over time, the treated seal on wooden bath mats often deteriorates and they start to discolour with mould and slowly rot. It is advised that wooden bath mats are wiped dry after use, also use an antibacterial spray from time to time. Look after your wood bath mat and it should outlast a fabric mat by many years.

Wood bath mat

Wood bath mats reduce wasted time and money

Wood bath and shower mats are great in the respect that they can be wiped clean, so save on machine washing and drying. We have all heard about the energy and environmental crisis so the cost savings can be significant, up to £40 a year!


Wood sourced from sustainably managed forests or Bamboo plantations is an excellent renewable material in permanent products like furniture and building materials. The carbon captured remains intact and new trees are continuously planted. When used in disposable products, wood is not such a good idea, especially if they are not recycled. Products like paper towels for example are contaminated waste and end up in landfill. This creates an additional strain on forestry and methane or carbon release in landfill or incineration.
The fact that wood bath mats don’t need machine washing and drying is also excellent for the planet.

Bath mats made of wood are semi-permanent and have to be treated to prevent bacteria and mould forming, this can make them difficult to recycle at the end-of-life. That said its very easy to find a use in the garden for old wood so your old mat can have a 2nd life without the need to landfill or incinerate.

If you are going to buy a wood bath mat always check that the wood comes from a sustainably managed forest by looking for the FSC logo.