How often should you replace a bath mat? Chances are you're overdue for a new one

Experts reveal how often you should be replacing them

Pink bathroom with a bathtub and colourful, patterned towels and bath mat
(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Bath mats are a great way to update your bathroom decor, add a pop of colour or pattern to an often neutral-coloured, plain-looking space. Fabric bath mats are the most popular for their comfort and looks, but you do need to replace them regularly. So how often should you replace a bath mat? 

As pretty and soft as they are, fabric bath mats are infamously a place where bacteria and even mould easily grow due to their constant contact with water and the ground. That’s why you need to wash your bath mat often, ideally every week. And yet, bath mats are one of the most commonly missed areas when cleaning a bathroom

Even if you are extremely diligent and wash your bath mat at least once a week, you still need to replace it periodically. And we’d venture to say that your bathroom is most probably overdue for a new one.

A small bathroom with a floral bath mat

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Jane Watson)

How often should you replace a bath mat?

‘Fabric bath mats should be replaced every 1-2 years, depending on usage and wear,’ explains Baqir Khan, owner and cleaning expert at Extreme Cleaning.

‘Because bath mats are one of the most frequently used bathroom items and they often come in contact with water, this can easily turn them into favourable spots for mould development and bacteria,’ says Petya Holevich, Fantastic Services' domestic cleaning expert and supervisor. 

Pink bathroom with a bathtub and colourful, patterned towels and bath mat

(Image credit: George Home)

‘Over time, the fabric can become worn, faded, or less absorbent, diminishing its effectiveness in keeping the bathroom dry and safe,' adds Baqir. 'Regular washing can extend the lifespan of a fabric bath mat, but eventually, it may become too worn to effectively serve its purpose.’

But it’s not all bad. Look on the bright side – this way you can embrace the latest bathroom trends through regularly updating your bath mat. Right now, scallop-edge bath mats are all the rage, for example.

So if your bath mat is due a replacement, we've rounded up some of our current favourites to swap out the old one for. One softer and more stylish than the next, whether you opt for John Lewis' summery stripes, Dunelm's trendy scallop edges or the geometric pattern of the M&S mat made with a quick dry fabric that might just prolong its lifespan.

But of course, there are always other materials than fabric bath mats that you could go for. All of which are innately longer lasting, whether that's wood or stone as they don't wear out so quickly and aren't as susceptible to bacteria, damp and mould.

Whatever you decide though, just please replace that old fabric bath mat.

Sara Hesikova
News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.