Did you just buy a treadmill and are wondering if you can put it on carpet without anything underneath? You might be wondering if carpet doesn’t do the same thing a treadmill mat does. Let’s find out what’s best for you and your treadmill.
While not absolutely necessary, it’s a good idea to use a treadmill mat on carpet. The biggest reason for this is that carpet releases dust. Dust getting into the moving parts and electronics of a treadmill will shorten the lifespan of the machine.
There are some other benefits to using a treadmill mat on carpet as well. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Pros and Cons of putting a treadmill on carpet
Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of putting a treadmill directly on carpet. For clarity, we’re talking about putting a treadmill on carpet without any mat in between.
There are some pros and cons to doing this.
- Money: Not buying a treadmill mat does save a bit of money. It’s a pretty small pro because there are some drawbacks to saving that money. And compared to the price of a new treadmill, a mat is quite cheap.
- Some noise transfer damping: Carpet is usually relatively soft and often has a foam underlay. This will dampen some noise and vibrations. Carpet will dampen some of the noise and vibrations that would otherwise be transferred to the neighbors/other rooms.
- Noise damping in the room: Some treadmills are noisier than others. Carpet is very good at absorbing noise inside the room making it more comfortable for your ears to run on the treadmill.
- Dust and dirt: Carpet releases dust especially when using the treadmill. This dust gets into the treadmill. Dust will get into the moving parts, shortening their lifespan and reduces the cooling capacity of the motor. Your treadmill will last shorter if there is more dust getting in.
- Hygiene: You sweat on a treadmill. Keeping a little towel nearby will help keeping sweat under control. However, some still might fly around in the heat of the moment. If it lands on the carpet, it will get very dirty over time and it’s hard to clean.
- Can damage the carpet: The small rubber feet under many treadmills combined with the rubbing of running on it, can cause damage to the carpet. The carpet will dent although that usually bounces back after a while. However, the feet rubbing on the carpet can actually wear the carpet in the places where the feet touch the floor. Also read: Can a treadmill damage my flooring?
- Not the best noise and vibration damping: Treadmill mats are usually made from dense rubber. This is better at absorbing noise and vibrations from the impact of running on a treadmill. Especially if you don’t have an underlay under your carpet, it doesn’t actually dampen that much.
What does a treadmill mat do?
A treadmill mat does some of the things carpet does but also does a few other things.
- Protect your flooring: Having an extra layer of protection between your treadmill and the carpet will protect your carpet. The weight is spread out so you don’t get any deep indentations. The vibrations are damped and spread out which means your carpet doesn’t get damaged. Remove the treadmill and mat and your carpet will be fine.
- Dampen noise and vibrations: A good treadmill mat also reduces the noise and vibrations that are transferred to the floor. This reduced the noise level in the room a little but it’s more effective in reducing transferring the noise to other spaces. Carpet will do this as well but to a lesser degree, especially compared to a thick rubber mat.
- Prevent dust and dirt from getting in: Probably the biggest problem of putting your treadmill on carpet is the amount of dust. A treadmill mat doesn’t release dust because they’re made from rubber or PVC. It’s also easier to clean and keep dust free. Carpet tends to release much more dust and when it does, most of it goes into the treadmill. Even with a mat, proper maintenance is still necessary.
- Providing a stable base: If the carpet and/or underlay is too ‘squishy’, running on the treadmill can feel a little unstable. A rubber mat is a bit harder and therefore more stable. You need very soft carpet for this to be a problem though.
- Prevent the treadmill from moving around: A treadmill mat provides grip to prevent the treadmill from sliding around. Without a mat a treadmill can ‘walk’ a little especially with repeated impacts from running. On carpet this can happen but it’s not common. It really depends on the type of carpet you’ve got.
- Make the area easy to clean: A treadmill mat is easier to clean than carpet. Just a wet cloth with mild detergent will get it nice and clean. Carpet is much more difficult to clean.
Do you really need a treadmill mat on carpet?
While it’s not absolutely necessary to put a mat under your treadmill, it’s still a very good idea with many benefits. Your treadmill will last longer and you’ll receive fewer complaints from the neighbors.
Above you can see what a treadmill mat does. So there are a few benefits to having one on carpet.
The biggest thing a good treadmill mat does for you on carpet is keeping dust and dirt out. Of course you’ll have to clean the mat regularly as well but that’s a lot easier than cleaning carpet under a treadmill.
Of course you DON’T have to remove the carpet where you want to place it. Just put the mat on top of the carpet and place the treadmill on top of that. Because you still get some of the noise damping effects of the carpet, it’s not necessary to get a really thick mat. A treadmill mat 1/3” thick provides all the benefits you’re looking for.