The Ultimate Guide to Coir Mats

What is a coir mat?

Coir might not be a familiar term to you, this is a material commonly used to manufacture entrance mats that are installed in entrances and porches. Coir mats can be identified by their short, tough bristles. They are used to dry and remove dirt from footwear before entering any premises. The tough bristles are great at removing tough dirt from your shoes.

Traditional Coir Doormat

Classic dirt-scraping coir entrance mat made from coconut husks

What is coir flooring?

Coir flooring can be a better option over other natural floor coverings due to its robust characteristics. It is a strong, but coarse fibre and due to this it probably isn’t the best material for areas where comfort under-foot is a priority. You might consider carpet entrance matting as an alternative to coir.

This type of flooring can be installed directly onto your floor, but an adhesive underlay is highly recommended. The underlay will help the coir carpet last longer and be easily removed once replacement is required. We recommend opting for a good quality adhesive, it will help to hide any unevenness in your floor.

What are coir mats made from?

coconut husk

Coir mats are a natural product, they are made from coconut husks. Some people also refer to these mats as coco mats or coconut mats for this reason.

How are coconuts made into doormats?

The husk from the coconut is soaked in water for several months and then beaten to soften up the cellulose fibres to create beautiful coir mats. The coconut husk is the water-resistant layer between the outer coating of the coconut and the hard shell inside.

What are coir mats used for?

Due to coir mats having rough bristles, they are ideal for use as entrance mats and will ensure a clean step into any premises. The mats are generally used in locations where an eco-friendly building is a requirement, or a natural look and feel is needed to complement the aesthetic of the entrance.

Jéan Smit, sales account manager at COBA Africa, with 21 years of experience in the matting industry:

Due to the natural look of coir mats bush lodges in South Africa tend to go for this option. Having a natural look is important to them.

Can coir doormats be cut to size?

Yes, coir doormats can be cut to any size or shape, making it a good choice for use in mat wells or unusual entrances. They are also available in four colours, natural, grey, black or dark brown.

coir mat colours

Can a coir mats be patched up?

According to Jéan Smit, this is a question asked by many. It’s not recommended to patch up coir mats, because there are different grades of coir that can lead to colour variance in the mat. It would also be difficult to recreate the natural flow of the coir bristles.

Patching up a coir mat would be visible from miles away – Jéan Smit, COBA Africa

Are coir doormats waterproof?

Yes, they are relatively waterproof. Coir is famous for its durability, flexibility and moisture absorption. These hard-wearing mats can easily remove moisture from footwear. However, we don’t recommend leaving your mat outside on a rainy day as it may expand or be left with uneven colouring after excessive water damage.

We have specific entrance matting systems that are designed to cope with the outdoor elements.

How do you clean coir mats?

vacuum coir doormats

The secret to cleaning this mat effectively comes down to time. Cleaning this mat as quick as possible  after soiling will avoid permanent stains. Do not use any strong detergents,  this will prevent discolouration or marks on your mat.

Coir mat 4 step cleaning guide:

Step 1 – Give your mat a thorough dry vacuum.
Step 2 – Sprinkle cleaning powder all over the mat.
Step 3 – Leave the cleaning powder on for a good 30 minutes.
Step 4 – Vacuum again to remove the cleaning powder and debris.

The coir mat bristles scrape off dirt, but the dirt gets stuck deep within the space between the bristles causing the mat to become heavier, thus shaking the mat out to remove dirt can cause a rip – Jéan Smit, COBA Africa

You can find more tips for cleaning and maintaining our wider range of entrance matting products in our guide How to clean entrance matting.

How long will a coir mat last?

This will depend on the traffic of the entrance, the thickness of the mat and how well it is looked after. Generally, the mat will last for 6 years. This will differ depending on the application. As humans we generally walk in the middle of an entrance, due to this the sides of the mat would still be fine, but the middle would experience more wear and tear.

It’s important to keep in mind that with wear and tear the mats can become thinner over time causing a tripping hazard. It is important to keep a close eye on mat maintenance and replace when needed.

worn coir mat

We as people, have the tendency to walk in the middle of an entranceway causing a mat to wear out quicker in the middle – Jéan Smit, COBA Africa

What are the benefits of coir doormats?

    • Coir creates robust doormats, making them ideal for entrances.
    • Coir doormats can be cut to size so you can create bespoke mats.
    • Competitively priced compared to other entrance mats.
    • 100% natural mat giving it eco-friendly qualities. Our coir is a natural material, making it better for the environment.
    • It is biodegradable.
    • Removes moisture from shoes and in turn assists to avoid a slipping hazard.

Coir mats date back as one of the first entrance mats that were used, giving it a nostalgic characteristic. Jéan mentions that generally the older generation want to use them as they are familiar.

What cons do coir doormats have?

    • It has a deep pile which can make it difficult for wheelchairs and trolleys to pass. With this in mind, it can be seen as an unsuitable option for public buildings and supermarkets.
    • Due to being a natural product it is naturally less flame retardant. This needs to be considered in higher risk areas.
    • Mat fibers are lost over time. This may cause you to regularly replace your mat if it is used for a high traffic entrance.
    • Sometimes the mats can take longer to clean given their deep pile.

We stock a wide range of entrance mats suitable for indoor and outdoor use. There is a mat suitable for every environment

Now you’re an expert!

Now that you know everything there is to know about coir mats, you can make an informed decision if they will suit your entrance environment.

If you are still not sure about which type of doormat to opt for you can contact our friendly sales team to provide you with their expert opinion.

Get advice

Related Buying Guides

Featured Product Categories

Useful Articles

Person Sitting

Stay Up to Date

Get the latest floor safety articles, product updates and offers.

People Standing