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It’s not a flashy piece of gear. It’s not what makes or breaks a show. But for a drummer, it’s still an essential piece of gear.
What is it? A drum rug, of course!
Drum rugs can serve a variety of purposes, from helping you stabilize your kit, to protecting the floor it sits on.
So, in this guide we’ll look at the best sound absorbent, non-slip drum rugs. We’ll also answer your most pressing questions concerning drum rugs a little later. Let’s get into it.
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Meinl Cymbals Drum Rug With Travel Bag (MDR-OR)
The trippy looking Meinl Cymbals drum rug with travel bag is sure to evoke a sense of psychedelia any time you take the stage and start hammering away at those drums.
This rug measures 6.5’ x 5.25’ and uses a tightly woven fabric to handle bass drum and pedal spurs and prevent your stands from sliding as you play.
It’s got a rubber lined non-slip bottom, storage strap, and a travel bag, which is quite generous.
So, this Asian design inspired rug has been made to last, and it costs somewhere in the upper-middle, so far as drum rugs are concerned.
Most reviewers liked its design, rubber backing, and overall simplicity.
Several reviewers, however, said this rug is not intended for use outside and under no uncertain terms should you expose it to liquids. Better keep the beer away from the carpet.
Item weight: 12 lbs.
Package dimensions: 72.5 x 60.25 x 0.1 inches
Roland V-Drums Mat – Medium
As a drummer, you’re probably familiar with the Roland V-Drums, which is one of the more popular lines of electronic drums.
This isn’t to say you couldn’t use this mat for an acoustic kit, but it all depends on what you’re looking for, and so far as drum rugs are concerned, this is as about as pricey as they get. But those who know what they want probably won’t accept any substitutes.
The V-Drums mat features a three-layer structure with nylon filament, felt, and soft urethane resin for noise reduction and sound absorption. It just so happens that it works great with Velcro tape, which can be used to secure your kick-trigger pad or kick pedal.
Just in case you’re at a gig, someone drops a bottle of lighter fluid and lights a match, you’ll be glad to know the mat instantly won’t go up in flames, because it’s made of non-flammable materials.
Its dimensions are 120 x 130 cm (3.94’ x 4.27’). That covers a decent amount of space, but it would probably be a little insufficient for a larger acoustic kit.
So, what did customers think of it?
Some said it was the “critical drum accessory” they never knew they needed, and others said it works and looks great.
Unhappy reviewers were in the minority, but they said it was kind of overpriced, and yeah, you are kind of paying for the brand name more than anything.
Item weight: 4.62 lbs.
Package dimensions: 51.18 x 47.24 x 0.31 inches
TAMA Drum Rug Paisley Pattern (TDRPA)
TAMA Drums is another go-to brand for drummers (perhaps more so than Roland), and they’ve got this beautiful TAMA TDRPA drum rug with a paisley pattern.
Paisley tends to be pleasing to the eye, and if you wanted to coordinate with your paisley, bandana, tie, or shirt, you might dig this. Then again, some might call that cheesy.
Well, the TAMA drum rug, like the Roland one, kind of comes at a premium (although other designs are available at slightly different price points). So, is it worth it?
Well, its feature set (if you can call it that), is quite basic. It features a fabric design with hook and loop fasteners, and it measures 72” x 80” (or 6’ x 6.7’), which is quite big.
To be fair, though, it also comes with a non-slip rubber underside.
The good – buyers loved its size, quality, and design.
The bad – not much. There was one reviewer who found the mat to be a little delicate for their tastes.
Item weight: 9.43 lbs.
Package dimensions: 4.9 x 4.9 x 72.6 inches
Vic Firth Deluxe Drum Set Rug (VICRUG1)
Vic Firth is a major player when it comes to drum accessories, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they’ve got their own drum rug.
The Vic Firth VICRUG1 comes with full non-skid backing for added stability and weighted corners. It’s made of high-grade polyester filament with a nylon carry case, and it measures 6.5’ x 5.33’.
The black rug with red accents is overall a solid buy, and customers thought so too, even though they didn’t have much to say about the carpet.
Item weight: 9.33 lbs.
Package dimensions: 63.96 x 78 x 0.01 inches
Zildjian Deluxe Drum Set Rug (ZRUG1)
Zildjian is best known for their high-quality cymbals, but they’ve certainly got more than their share of accessories too.
Case in point, the simple, black Zildjian ZRUG1 deluxe drum set rug. It bears a similar name to the Vic Firth rug, and honestly, its features/specs are about the same too. To be fair, Vic Firth merged with Zildjian in 2010, so it’s no wonder there are some similarities with their products.
This rug comes with a non-skid backing and weighted corners. It measures 6.5’ x 5.33’ and is made of a polyester filament with nylon carrying case. Yep. The same thing as the Vic Firth rug, just with a slightly different design.
Customers liked the quality and reliability of the rug. Some thought it was a little too expensive, though.
Item weight: 11.97 lbs.
Package dimensions: 78 x 63.96 x 0.01 inches
Kaces Crash Pad Drum Rug With Carry Bag (KCP5)
Now we’re starting to enter the midrange grade of products.
The Kaces Crash Pad drum rug features a black polypropylene fabric design. It works great for anchoring spurs and stands, and it also comes with a wood barrier at the edge, which helps keep the bass drum in place.
Nylon carry bag is included, and the non-skid rubber trim prevents the mat from creeping. According to the manufacturer, this is one of the best-selling drum rugs, but it is smaller than some of the others we’ve already looked at, at 5.5’ x 4.5’.
Buyers generally thought this was a good rug for the money, and even heavy-footed drummers said this product worked great for them!
Some thought it could be better for the money though.
Item weight: 4.4 lbs.
Package dimensions: 22 x 10 x 10 inches
Zildjian Gig Drum Set Rug (ZGIGRUG)
If the other Zildjian drum rug on this list was a little too rich for you, then you might like the more reasonably priced Zildjian ZGIGRUG.
The ZGIGRUG has been designed with stability and portability in mind. It measures 5.5’ x 4.5’ and is made of heavy-duty polypropylene corners. It also comes with a bass drum stopper with the Zildjian logo on it.
This rug is ideal for smaller acoustic and electric kits in confined spaces. It rolls up easily and fits nicely into the nylon carrying bag.
Reviewers were generally happy with the rug and mentioned its quality, stability, and design.
There was one reviewer who pointed out that this is not a great option for hardwood floors, but we can’t determine for sure one way another without further corroboration.
Item weight: 2.99 lbs.
Package dimensions: 66 x 54 x 0.01 inches
YUANZHOU Drum Rug
We’ve got to give YUANZHOU credit for one thing. They obviously noticed that drum rugs mostly feature boring designs. Because their rug is stylish – well, it’s a tad cheesy, but it’s the perfect combination of cool and hot (okay, okay, don’t boo too hard).
Joking aside, we do feel the YUANZHOU drum rug features a cool design.
It measures 3.94’ x 5.9’ and features a no-slip rubber bottom. It has a tightly woven velvet fabric top, and if you’re not crazy about the treble clef design, there’s also one with a guitar for the same price.
Buyers generally thought it was a good rug for the money.
But some felt it didn’t quite have the grip they needed.
Item weight: 2.2 lbs.
Package dimensions: 47.24 x 31.49 x 0.01 inches
On-Stage DMA4450 DrumFire Non Slip Drum Mat With Bag
The On-Stage DMA4450 DrumFire drum mat is a popular choice, and that’s no surprise considering its price point and utility.
This product features a lightweight design made from durable, non-slip PVC material. The mat lays flat at the edges (without curling), and it comes with two Velcro straps to secure the mat when rolled up. You also get a carry bag with shoulder strap.
The mat measures 4’ x 4’, but a 6’ x 4’ version is available for the same low price.
Reviewers thought the mat was perfect for gigging, and said it was durable and sound absorbing too.
Less enthusiastic reviewers thought the mat was only good for short-term use and didn’t find it to be durable enough.
Well, you get what you pay for.
Item weight: 3 lbs.
Package dimensions: 12 x 6 x 6 inches
Black Widow Drum Web Anchoring Drum Mat
Here’s one last budget option before we move into the Q&A.
The Black Widow drum web anchoring drum mat is quite affordable. It promises to lock pedals in place and prevent drum creep.
The mat weighs less than 2 lbs. and can be folded up into its carrying case. Self-adhesive Velcro security strips are included.
Buyers said this was a solid, small drum rug. Some even said it was the best they’d ever used, as it provided the necessary stability to their kit while playing.
Some weren’t thrilled with the Velcro system though.
Item weight: 1.5 lbs.
Package dimensions: 12 x 5 x 12 inches
What Should I Look For In A Drum Rug?
Often forgotten, but typically essential, a drum rug isn’t necessarily a sexy piece of gear.
The thing is that a drum mat can have a direct impact on your performance. Drums can slip and creep, and the added stability that the right rug provides can elevate your playing and facilitate a worry-free performance.
So, the value of a drum mat aside, the best product is the one that suits you. Perhaps you play at a professional level, maybe you just jam with your friends occasionally in your music room.
As a pro, you’ll have high expectations for your drum rug. But as a beginner, you probably won’t need anything fancy.
It’s always nice to get a quality product regardless, but it’s not always necessary to spend $200 or more to get what you want.
With that, we will go a little deeper into a few criteria that will likely guide your buying decision:
- Electric or acoustic kit
The size of the drum mat will probably have some bearing on your buying decision.
Some rugs are more suited to smaller kits and small rooms, while others are more accommodating of bigger kits and more gear.
So, if you don’t have a good sense of how much space your rug needs to cover, that’s always a good place to start. If you do, then you’re all set in this regard.
It is worth noting, though, that smaller rugs are generally cheaper, while bigger rugs are more expensive (though not always). So, be sure to keep your budget in view when shopping for the right product.
One of the main reasons to buy a drum rug, in the first place, is for increased playing stability.
If the carpet doesn’t prevent your kit from shifting around and creeping, then it isn’t of much use, is it?
Most if not all carpets should add some stability. But not all of them will give you the exact stability you need.
Non-slip or no-skid bottoms can make a big difference, so that’s always something to look out for. But as much as possible, we’ve noted the features of each mat, as well as any issues buyers experienced with each of them above.
So, while we can’t vouch for other mats you might look at, our analysis should at least provide a solid starting point.
No point spending a couple hundred dollars on a rug if it’s not going to hold up to some abuse, right? Not to say that all mats can bear all the elements.
In our analysis above, we pointed out certain products that weren’t great for outdoor use, those that should never be wetted, as well as those that tore a little too easily (in some rare instances).
It’s good to be care for your gear regardless of how much of a beating it can take. We don’t advise being careless.
That said, some gear is better for wear than others. So, in finding the right drum rug for you, it’s not a bad idea to think about how sturdy and durable it is.
Where is your drumkit going to go?
We anticipate there are going to be different answers depending on the individual.
Some drummers may be looking to keep their kit in their practice or jam room.
Others might be hauling it from gig to gig and venue to venue, while still others might have the need to move it around from time to time.
If you’re going to be taking your kit everywhere, then be sure to find a solid all-purpose rug that will keep floors from damaging.
Remember that your kick and hi-hat pedals come with spurs. This is what gives them stability, and in come cases you can play without, but it’s not a bad idea to think ahead.
If you’re going to be keeping your kit in your basement, then this might not be as big of a deal.
The point is that you never want to scratch a shiny, new expensive dancefloor with your gear. You want to prevent such occurrences, and your drum mat can help you with that.
Electric Or Acoustic Kit
Whether you play an electric or acoustic kit might have some bearing on what mat you buy, to a greater or lesser extent.
Some mats were created especially with electronic kits in mind, but that isn’t to say they can’t be used with acoustic kits too.
Still, electronic kits don’t always take up as much space as acoustic kits (and likewise rugs made for electronic kits), so that can be a bit of a factor too.
Not a major concern, but something to keep in mind.
One more thing worth thinking about is your budget. Carpets represented here cost from about $20 to $250. Not a major expenditure, but nothing to sneeze at either.
What can you afford? You budget can help you make up your mind about the purchase and narrow in on the few options that make sense for you.
At Music Industry How To, we always recommend against overspending or going into debt, so please spend responsibly.
What Are The Best Drum Rug Brands?
The following are some of the most recognizable brands in the industry. Here’s a quick rundown of each:
Roland makes a mix of musical products, including pianos, organs, synthesizers, keyboards, amplifiers, effects pedals, electric drumkits and accessories, DJ gear, professional A/V equipment, accessories, and more.
They are probably most known for their keyboard instruments and BOSS effects, but their V-Drums are also quite popular, so they’re a good brand to keep on your “watch” list.
TAMA Drums probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. They make drum kits, snare drums, percussion, hardware, microphone stands, sticks, bags, and accessories. Can we trust them to make a decent drum rug too? You bet we can!
Vic Firth is doubtless best known for their drumsticks. Their artist roster includes the likes of Benny Greb, Tony Royster Jr., Cherisse Osei, and many others.
I think we can count on Vic Firth for drum rugs, but I think they’re still holding out on us… just a little.
The legendary Zildjian is best known for their cymbals, of course, although they do make sticks, mallets, and other accessories too.
They merged with Vic Firth back in 2010, and I can only imagine that has enhanced both brands.
In terms of drum rugs, well, it’s the same deal as Vic Firth.
Top Drum Rugs, Final Thoughts
It can be a little crazy what drummers must go through, especially hauling heavy gear in and out of venues with a big flight of stairs.
A drum rug can add to that load, but if you’re performing often, it’s a piece of gear you would miss not having.
So, take your time, browse the above list, and find a rug that’s right for you. You won’t regret it.