If you ever had a drum set move forward in the middle of a gig, you know how horrible that experience can be. It is drum set needs to be stable for you to be able to play to your best. The best way to achieve that is by using drum rugs. A drum rug is an essential drum accessory that should be part of every drummer’s arsenal. Now that you know that you need a drum rug, how do you find a good one? Do not fret; we are here to help you pick out the best drum rug for you.
What does a drum rug do?
A drum rug is meant to stabilize your whole drum set, especially your bass drums. They make sure that your drums do not move anywhere, and they stay exactly where you set them to be. A drum rug also protects your floor from getting damaged by the spurs.
Best Drum Rugs of 2021 – A Quick Glance
1. DW Drum Set Rug – Best Overall
DW is one of the biggest names in the drumming world, and believe us when we say that they have made an excellent drum rug. It is one of the best drum rugs in the market now and works great with all drum kits, electronic or acoustic.
The bottom is made of non-skid rubber seems pretty rugged, ensuring the rug doesn’t slip even on very slippery floors. Even if your kick drum ends are made of cheap little rubber, the drums still won’t move an inch.
It has a very clean aesthetic with a black background having a silver DW logo on each corner. You can also use colored tapes to mark the position of your hardware. The blacked outlook can become an issue at times as your stick shavings will be clearly visible. You will have to clean it often to preserve its look, especially if you are an aggressive player.
Overall this is a fantastic drum rug for a six-piece acoustic kit and a perfect size for an electric drum kit like Roland TD25KV. This industrial quality mat may cost you more than other rugs but it is made to last.
2. Roland V-Drums Mat – Good for Electronic drums
Roland is renowned for its remarkable electronic drums, so you can trust them to make great accessories too. This rug is made of a triple-layered structure of nylon filament, felt, and soft urethane.
The urethane part of this composition allows it to absorb shocks and vibrations, reducing noise levels. The bottom surface grips the floor greatly and doesn’t move or skid. It also protects your floor from any damage.
This mat features velcro tape to hold all your drum pedals(or your kick-trigger pads) firmly in place. Either you consider this an advantage or drawback but the VelcroVelcro is so strong that you’ll have a hard time making subtle position changes to the pedals once you’ve placed them down.
Overall, this is an excellent drum rug that makes no compromises. However, it is quite pricey and is a little hard to find nowadays.
3. Meinl Cymbals MDR-BK Drum Rug – Best for the Money
When it comes to value for money, the Meinl MDR-BK is the best rug for a drum set. It’s 5.5″ x6.5″ long, making it great for most standard drum kit configurations. It features a high-quality non-slip rubber on the bottom to make sure your rug doesn’t slip even on the slipperiest of surfaces.
The fabric on the top is quite remarkable as it is tightly woven, therefore allowing your spurs to sink into the rug and stay stable deeply. The overall grip is so good that you might have a hard time moving your pedals once you have set them down.
A great thing about this rug is that it is available in plenty of different designs, making finding one suited to your taste relatively easy. The standard one is made of a beautiful black fabric with red detailing on the edges.
You also get a zipped carrying bag with this rug, making it easy to transport it. To sum it up, this Meinl drum rug is excellent for intermediates and professionals who need a high-quality product.
4. On-Stage DMA4450 Non-Slip Drum Mat – Best in Budget
The DMA4450 DrumFire Non-Slip Drum Mat is a very popular, affordable option from On-Stage. Its underside is made from a non-slip PVC material that makes sure the mat doesn’t move.
It is also a great way to protect your wooden/vinyl floors from any possible scratches or marks. The PVC composition also makes sure that it doesn’t curl over time.
This is an extremely portable mat (not as portable as the Black Widow, but what is) as it is lightweight and features two Velcro straps that allow you to roll up and secure the mat quickly.
You also get a nylon bag to carry it in. If you are someone who travels a lot for your gigs, this will be great for you. It’s available in 4″ x4″ and 6×4″ sizes.
5. Black Widow – Affordable Drum Carpet
For people who hate carrying around a large traditional drum rug, the Black Widow provides a unique and innovative solution. It is big enough only to cover your drum throne and your kick pedals; in fact, it weighs less than 2 pounds. This makes it extremely portable and will be a joy for people who tour a lot.
However, if you wonder whether the small size makes the whole thing unstable, trust us; it doesn’t. This rug features a patented design that involves self-adhesive Velcro security strips that allows it to be stable. These strips attach to your bass drum pedals, hi-hat pedals, and any other pedals you might use.
Usually, anything with Velcro is poorly made and doesn’t do justice to its purpose. Your regular Velcro mat will move around a lot and won’t last very long. This isn’t like any of them; it’s surprisingly able to keep everything stable and is exceptionally durable. It is made out of military-grade nylon, allowing it to be very durable and surprisingly easy to clean.
Overall, the black widow drum rug isn’t a better or worse solution than a traditional rug; it is just a different solution. It is also significantly cheaper than your full-sized drum rugs, making it great for beginners who don’t have deep pockets.
6. Road Runner Drum Carpet
This Road Runner Drum Rug is a great option to keep your drums from moving around during your sessions. It features a non-skid rubber trim edging on the bottom to prevent slipping.
The top fabric is made for heavy-duty work and should last very long. What makes this rug different from all the others is that it features weighted corners which prevent curling.
It has a large choke towards the front of the rug that makes sure that your bass drum doesn’t budge even an inch even through intense sessions. The only issue with this is its aesthetic; it’s a pretty standard design and won’t be catching anyone’s eye.
Things You Should Look For In Drum Rugs
Not all drum rugs are made equal, and there are a few things you should look for. We have discussed the two most basic things about a rug, its size, and its looks.
What Size Drum Rug Should you buy?
The drum rug size that you should buy boils down to the size of your drum kit. It’s simple to say that you should not buy a drum rug smaller than your drum kit. While it’s easy to set a lower limit for the size, the higher limit is a bit more complicated.
While you might be tempted to buy as large a rug as you can, there are quite a few problems when using large drum rugs. When you are doing shows in, say, some club or your church, you are usually only given a set amount of space to set your things up.
If you buy too big a rug, you will have to fold it here and there to fit it in the area. This leads to you not only having a tougher time setting things up, but the rug also will not be as stable as it should be. So always buy a drum rug that is just large enough for your drum set; too big or too small is not going to work.
The aesthetics of a drum kit are actually more important than you might think. A good-looking drum setup will enhance your audience’s experience and will even motivate you to practice more often. While a drum rug isn’t the visual centerpiece of a drum kit, it can either enhance the overall look or bring it crashing down.
Imagine a beautiful oak shell drum kit with the most exquisite and shining cymbals; now imagine how bad it will look with a bright green drum rug. On the other hand, imagine a clear acrylic drum kit with chrome hardware with a clean black drum rug. This rug will complement the overall look of the equipment.
So please, always consider the design and color of your drum rug before you make a purchase. Realize that you are going to be stuck with this rug for quite some time and that an ugly rug will ruin your experience a little.
Drum Rugs – FAQ’S
What is the best size for drum rug?
There is no best size for a drum rug. The size of the perfect drum rug depends primarily on the size of your drum set. Too small a rug and you won’t be able to fit your drum while too big, and you possibly end up with a hindrance. Excessively sized drum rugs can especially be an issue during live performances. Standard drum rugs range from 4″-5″ long and 5″-7″ wide and are usually great at accommodating your standard five-piece drum set. However, please do not buy them blindly; always measure your kit’s size and buy accordingly. It is best to get a drum rug that is slightly bigger than what’s required by your set.
How To Keep Your Bass Drum From Sliding?
Getting a properly sized drum rug will be the first step to keep your bass drum from sliding. If your bass drum slides forward even after that, you should adjust the drum spurs’ angle towards the front to prevent them from moving forward.
How Heavy Should a Drum Mat Be?
The weight of your drum mat mostly comes down to what you want to use it for. If you frequently gig and have to move around a lot, you should look for a lightweight mat. Lugging around a giant roll of carpet to all your gigs will be a massive headache. However, if you are going to use it for practicing at home or if you want a rug for your club’s house drum, get something heavier and thicker. These will be more durable and stable.
Can drum rugs affect the sound of the drums?
Yes, drum rugs can affect the sound of your drums. They dampen your drums’ sound as the rug’s material absorbs the vibrations, especially the high-frequency ones. This dampening effect can come in real handy when you want to practice or perform indoors without disturbing the neighbors.
Is it mandatory to get a rug for drummers?
Yes, we can say pretty confidently that a drum rug is an essential part of any drummer’s kit. They prevent your drums from moving around( this includes skidding, creeping, and whatnot), especially when on a slippery surface. They also protect your expensive wooden or marble flooring from getting scratches and grubs. This makes a drum rug mandatory for a drummer.
Can I use an exercise mat as a drum mat?
Yes, you actually can use an exercise mat as a drum mat. An exercise mat’s suitability as a drum mat comes down to its thickness and springiness; you will want the mat to be thick but not too springy. You should avoid using exercise mats if your bass drum has spurs, as the spurs will tear the mat within a few short practice sessions.
Are there any drum mats out there that reduce resonance from a hollow stage?
Yes, there are a few drum mats that have specialized designs to reduce resonance. One of them is the Auralex Hovermat. It uses a proprietary sound barrier to limit the sound transmission between the sound source(your drums) and the building(a hollow stage in this case). While it can’t completely cut out the resonance, it does noticeably reduce it. However, this mat is quite expensive because of this feature.
Are drum mats worth the investment?
Yes, drum mats are worth the investment provided that you frequently drum. They prevent your drums from moving around, which will allow you to practice and perform much better. They also protect the floor, which is crucial as you don’t want to damage your floor, nor do you want to pay a fine for damaging some venue’s flooring. They can look quite good and accent the overall look of your kit. They can speed up the amount of time it takes to set up, as you can label the location of various hardware on the mat. With these many advantages, a drum mat is simply an excellent investment for your regular drummer.
Well, this ends our round-up of the six best drum rugs you can get your hands on. Each of these rugs delivers excellent value for your money and have their own selling point. If you want the best value for your money, you should get the Meinl Cymbals MDR-BK. It has all the features you need in a drum rug and more. However, if you want something ultra-portable and friendly on the pocket, you should check out the On-Stage DMA4450. It is an innovative drum rug that’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before. To conclude, get a great drum rug to allow you to play your drum set to the fullest.