5 Best Drum Rugs in 2022 Reviewed
If you don't think you need a drum rug, you're wrong. And if you have a ratty hand-me-down that you have a sneaking suspicion might not be cutting it, you're probably right.
Drum rugs are essential for two main reasons: keeping your instrument in place while playing and absorbing sound. Being able to play your kit without chasing it around your practice space and not driving your neighbors up the wall with wild jamming—if those aren't enough reasons to invest in a good drum rug, there are even more.
These are the five best drum rugs of 2022. Read the reviews and discover why a drum rug is just about as important as a pair of sticks.
5 Best Drum Rugs Reviewed
A drum rug isn’t just a bit of carpet you pick up at the local thrift store—it’s a uniquely designed product. Here are the best drum rugs from some of the biggest names in drumming.
Zildjian is one of the world's oldest, most prestigious cymbal manufacturers. Played by drummers like Keith Moon of The Who and David Grohl of Nirvana, you can trust the brand name alone. Their gig drum rug provides more proof of why Zildjian is a major name amongst drummers.
You can't go wrong with this simple, straightforward gig rug from Zildjian. When ornately designed, richly textured Persian carpets are common for drummer's rugs, Zildjian keeps it simple with a handsome charcoal gray design and black corners.
What this rug lacks in character, it makes up for in functionality. The gig drum rug is ideal for smaller kits and electronic drum sets.
The polypropylene fabric and weighted corners make it ultra-durable and stable, able to withstand even the gnarliest players who thrash their kits. Polypropylene is a synthetic material manufactured to be heavy-duty, and this rug, paired with non-skid rubber trim, doubles down on sound absorption.
Despite being thick and heavy-duty, you can easily roll up the gig drum rug and slip it into its handy nylon carrying bag. Carrying it feels lighter than air.
- Brand: Zildjian
- Dimensions: 5.5' x 4.5'
- Color: Charcoal gray with black corners and a black bass drum stopper
- Material: Polypropylene
- Unobtrusive, functional design that looks sleek and gets the job done
- Durable polypropylene design means no rips, punctures, or tears
- Rubber trim and weighted corners mean absolutely no skimming and sliding
- Large foam bass drum stopper helps keep your kick and toms from creeping forward
- The stop for the kick drum may not be heavy-duty enough for some drummers.
Tama's Southwestern Pattern Drum Rug is deceptive at first sight: it appears to be a classic Persian drum rug, the kind you see in videos of bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. But it's a slick, chic update on the traditional Persian design.
The Southwest-inspired pattern is all diagonals, arrows, and triangles in meditative, mandala-like repetition. It lets you zen out with free-associative jazz as comfortably as you can thrash some heavy metal on this drum rug.
The tightly woven top layer is super absorbent of sound due to its plush fabric design. It'll also hold in place as you play while looking eye-catching and incredible.
The span of this rug is enormous, stretching out 72" in height and 80" length-wise. The bottom surface has a non-slip rubber coating, a must for all drum rugs. This rug works perfectly with a five-piece kit. Its large size ensures that it can fit any cymbal setup you have. You can add even more pieces to your kit without maxing out the space this rug provides.
There are hook and loop fasteners for easy transport if you're on the road. You'd be surprised by how quickly space gets taken up once the whole band loads their crew on board. But you can easily slip in this drum rug in tight buses, where every inch counts. The fact that this one is lightweight, large, and rolls up tightly is a huge asset.
- Brand: Tama
- Dimensions: 72" x 80"
- Color: Red with white, blue, black, and orange accents
- Material: Woven fabric
- Great rug for gigs as it's both lightweight and non-slip
- Color scheme goes well in any practice space or venue
- Soft surface is light on your feet but won't tug or tear
- Fibers can come unraveled after heavy use
This attractive number from DW Accessories is more of a drum mat than a drum rug, but there's no way it wasn't making it into our best of 2022 roundup. This particular mat has rocketed in popularity in recent years.
The old style of threadbare carpets with unraveling tassels, pock marks where the drum legs have stabbed it repeatedly, and reeking of spilled drinks and sweaty practice sessions have gone by the wayside. This mat looks great. It's completely rubber-backed, and it's exceptionally chic.
The matte black of the Large DW Drum Rug is perfect for goth, noise, experimental, ambient, and industrial drummers who don't want bright colors detracting from their performances. The deep black removes visual distractions so audiences can focus on what matters: the music.
You can also focus on the music because this mat ensures your kit won’t slide around on stage. The thick padding also prevents damage to hardwood floors in your practice space or the recording studio.
This rug also has excellent sound absorption, crucial for playing in hardwood-paneled spaces where sound ricochets wildly.
- Brand: DW Accessories
- Dimensions: 62" x 78"
- Color: Black
- Material: Industrial-grade carpet
- So heavy duty that it not only doesn't wear down or shuffle around as you play
- Thick padding protects the floor underneath
- Easy to clean the smooth surface
- If you buy the loop, you can velcro right to it.
- Because of its size and material, it rolls up quite large and is less portable than some other mats and carpets on this list.
Mooove on down and soak in the quirkiest drum rug on this countdown. The DRUMnBASE Vegan Cow Drum Rug has so much character that you'll forget it's serving a critical function. Thanks to its 1.5mm thick anti-slip rubber backing, weighted corners, and quality construction, you won't have to worry about this rug's performance. It'll never let you down.
This rug is for professional drummers (and vegans) accustomed to playing in high-end practice spaces, recording studios, and even performance venues, where the look of your kit and equipment reflects your band’s professional air.
The Vegan Cow Drum Rug adds a touch of elegance suitable for finer venues. It’s also the perfect aesthetic for musicians who play country, bluegrass, folk, and Americana. It could also be a suitable choice for musicians playing jazz, gospel, and other genres where the rustic appeal makes more sense than the Persian rugs on this list.
The 6-foot by 5.25-foot area provides ample coverage for a standard five-piece acoustic drum kit. It's also waterproof, so if you're going to go berserk sweating out some unholy shred, you won't damage it.
Perhaps the best thing about this rug, though, is that it’s vegan. Even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, you’ll appreciate it the polyamide velour for one reason alone: cost. A real cowhide rug of this size could run upwards of $1500. The DRUMnBASE vegan cow rug gives you the same aesthetic for a tenth of the price.
- Brand: DRUMnBASE
- Dimensions: 72" x 63"
- Color: Red-brown cowhide pattern
- Material: Polyamide velour
- The solid and dependable polyamide velour manufacturing makes it slip-resistant and good for grip
- Weighted corners mean the rug stays flat with no curling corners
- The kitsch, rustic design will add a fun flair to your practice space and look great for a range of genres
- Awesome price for a rug that looks like natural cowhide
- Oddly shaped, which may get in the way of your drum setup
Another renowned name in the drumming world graces this list. There was a time when all drum rugs were ratty pieces of carpet cut straight from the living room. Then brands like Zildjian and Ludwig revolutionized the drum rug space, and nothing has been the same. With Persian rugs, bamboo mats, woven blends, rubberized polymers, and velours, who needs carpet anymore?
Ludwig has massively flexed for the past few years by perfecting what it already knows works, and this approach is why the drummaker is still leading the pack. They have been selling this classic black 7½ by 6-foot black carpet drum rug consistently since they first put it on the market, and they don't even offer any other rugs as options on their online store. When it's so popular and works so well, why would they?
The signature diamond pattern rubber back provides the most robust grip on this list without making the surface bumpy or uneven. The corners won't curl up because of the weight of the rug.
It’s a heavyweight, but don't worry about carrying it. Yes, it does create quite the little sausage when you roll it up, but it's never too heavy to carry easily in a nylon over-the-shoulder bag.
The elegant black design with interlocking white bars border creates a meditative place to get in the zone.
- Brand: Ludwig
- Dimensions: 78" x 63"
- Color: Black
- Material: Heavy-gauge carpet
- Super absorbent of sound without muffling or muting
- Ample size means you can set up your kit in different arrangements
- Won't move around on hardwood floors
- No need to buy grips for the bottom
- The velcro of this rug can be tricky when trying to anchor equipment.
What You Should Look For in a Drum Rug
There are far more options for drum rugs than the five we've included on this list. Many brands make rugs that come in polyester, rubber, nylon, carpet, bamboo, and other polymers in various colors, sizes, and shapes. But there’s a reason we’ve narrowed it down to these five.
With so many options, what aspects should you look for in a drum rug? Some qualities are more critical than others, but always remember those two key functions: holding your drums steady and absorbing sound.
Weighted corners are essential for the most critical function that drum rugs perform: stabilizing the drums. Drummers put a lot of force into their playing, and kits have a lot of moving pieces. Sure, the legs under each piece are arranged in such a way to stabilize them, but they can easily skid under the force of a drummer's downward swipe.
Drum rugs provide sticking power, especially when playing on a hardwood floor. Not only does hardwood make things slide around more, but it's also easier to damage. Those jagged little legs that stick out of each piece in the kit can dig into and seriously damage hardwood.
If your practice space or recording studio has hardwood floors, consider investing in a thicker drum rug, like the Zildjian and Ludwigs discussed above.
Studies have shown that drummers are prone to developing a number of injuries, from tendinitis and carpal tunnel to abdominal muscle strain and back problems as severe as herniated discs.
One of the main ways that drummers injure themselves is when their drum kits aren't correctly set up or spaced. Drum rugs go a long way in ensuring you aren't lunging to reach your crash cymbal every five seconds.
That repetitive movement will cause injuries; it's only a matter of time. Protect yourself with a drum rug.
Vibration and Echo Absorption
In addition to reducing echo, drum rugs help absorb vibration. Hard surfaces, especially hardwood, amplify echoes and vibrations. If that's the sound you're going for, you're in luck. But most people don't want that hollow, tinny, washed-out sound when they play.
The sound waves can reverberate from the floor into your drums, producing unwanted extra sounds. The echo can also make your sound less precise.
Music professionals recommend drum rugs for sound absorption. They will absorb and diffuse the sound so you can get that rich intimacy of sound.
Don't just think about what the rug will do for you while playing. Think about how often you’ll be traveling with it, from home to your practice space to a local gig, on the road, at the studio, and so on. You want something light but not so light that it'll tear or move around.
You also want something that will roll up easily, so steer clear of entirely rubberized options. Those kinds of mats are impossible to roll up and transport. The one possible exception is that you're buying a mat to keep permanently in place at a practice space, or especially a recording space, where the rubber will add some much-needed sound absorption.
What Does a Drum Rug Do?
You can technically play your drums without a rug underneath, but it isn't a good idea. Drum rugs help ground your instrument so that it doesn't slide around. They also help absorb echoes, vibrations, and other pesky soundwaves that interfere with your sound.
Although you can convert a regular rug into a drum rug, it's best to buy a mat or rug specifically made for drums. Why? They tend to be thicker, more durable, and more sound-absorbent than other rugs. They also usually come with weighted corners so the corners won't stick up while playing or moving around your space.
They're also usually designed to be easy to roll up, so you can take them anywhere.
Why Should You Use a Drum Rug?
You don't want your drums flying around the room as you play them. Nobody wants their bass drum moving one way, the crashes moving the other, and the snare zig-zagging away.
Drum rugs help clarify your sound and help reduce the occurrence of injury. When drums move away from you, you have to over-extend to keep playing. Even if that's just a few inches outside your normal range of motion, it makes all the difference.
Drum rugs stabilize your instrument, so you don't have to overcompensate.
How Big Should a Drum Rug Be?
The size should accommodate your entire kit and leave enough room to space everything apart comfortably. A standard acoustic kit usually takes up 75” x 55”, give or take. All the rugs on this list provide enough space for an acoustic kit, although you might feel a little more cramped on the smaller rugs like the Zildjian or DW.
That said, the answer also depends on the type of kit. If you play an electronic kit, you only need about 50” x 48”. Every rug on this list provides enough surface area for an electronic kit.
Shopping for the Best Drum Rug? Buy Now!
If you’re shopping for the best drum rug, you’re in the right place. Drum Center of Portsmouth has a large selection of drum rugs of different brands, sizes, and materials. You can find exactly what you need, and always in your price range.