National Door Mat Day

A person standing at their front door with a smile, holding a doormat with a welcoming message, suburban neighborhood scene with fall foliage..
National door mat day illustration

Have you ever given much thought to the humble door mat? Probably not. I mean, it's just a mat that you wipe your feet on, right? Well, think again my friend, because there's a whole day dedicated to this unsung hero of cleanliness - National Door Mat Day!

When is Door Mat Day?

It's national door mat day on the 31st August.

The History of National Door Mat Day

Believe it or not, National Door Mat Day actually has its roots in the early days of the internet! Back in the late 90s, when the world wide web was still in its infancy, a group of enthusiasts who were passionate about all things doormat-related decided to carve out a special day to honor these oft-neglected mats.

It all started on August 31, 1998, when a forum thread titled 'Doormats: The Unsung Heroes' went viral. People from all corners of the internet flocked to share their love for door mats, swap cleaning tips, and even show off their impressive doormat collections. The camaraderie and enthusiasm were infectious, and soon the idea of a national day dedicated to door mats gained traction.

Since then, National Door Mat Day has become a beloved online celebration, with enthusiasts sharing their favorite doormat designs, swapping cleaning hacks, and even participating in doormat-themed memes and challenges. It's a day that brings people together to appreciate the small yet vital role that door mats play in keeping our homes clean and our guests feeling welcome.

How to Celebrate National Door Mat Day

So, how can you celebrate this special day? Well, it's as simple as giving your doormat the recognition it deserves. Start by giving it a thorough cleaning to show it some love. Grab a broom, a vacuum, or even a hose if it's extra dirty (just make sure it's suitable for outdoor use).

Next, consider upgrading your old, worn-out doormat with a fresh new design. There are countless options out there, from funny welcome messages to stylish patterns that can add a pop of personality to your doorstep. Let your doormat be a reflection of your unique style and sense of humor!

Finally, don't forget to spread the word about National Door Mat Day. Share a photo of your freshly cleaned doormat on social media using the hashtag #DoorMatDay and encourage your friends and loved ones to join in on the celebration. After all, the more, the merrier!

History behind the term 'Door Mat'


Early Origins

The term 'door mat' first emerged in the 1700s. During this time, people started using mats made of woven straw or reeds to place outside their doors. These mats served as a form of hygiene by trapping dirt and debris from the shoes of visitors before entering the house. They were also used to prevent mud and dust from being tracked indoors. These early door mats were simple in design and primarily utilitarian.


Step 1: Origin of the term 'door mat'

In the 1600s, the term 'door mat' first made its appearance, referring to a simple mat placed at the entrance of a home to keep the interior clean. These mats were often made of coarse material such as straw or reeds and were known for their durability and function.


Coco mat invention

In 1882, the first coco mat was invented. Coco mats were made from natural coconut fibers and were commonly used as a material for doormats due to their rough texture, which helped clean dirt and debris from shoes.


Step 2: Evolution of the door mat

During the 1700s, the concept of door mats began to evolve. As people sought to add a touch of elegance to their homes, door mats started to be made from more refined materials like coir, woven fibers, or even patterned fabric. The functionality of the mat remained, but it also became a decorative element for the entrance.


Introduction of rubber mats

In 1945, rubber mats became popular as an alternative to coco mats. Rubber mats were more durable and had a better ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. They quickly gained popularity as doormats due to their effectiveness in keeping dirt and moisture out of homes.


Material Evolution

In the 1800s, door mats went through an evolution in terms of materials used. Straw and reed mats gave way to coir mats, made from the husks of coconuts, which offered improved durability and functionality. Coir mats became popular due to their ability to effectively scrape dirt and mud off shoes. They were also more resistant to weathering, providing a longer lifespan for the mats.


Mat Design and Decor

By the 1920s, the door mat began to transition from a purely functional item to a decorative one. People started incorporating various designs, patterns, and colors into their door mats to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their doorways. With a growing focus on home decor, door mats became an opportunity for self-expression and a reflection of personal style.


The term 'door mat' emerges

By the 1970s, the term 'door mat' had become a widely used expression to refer to a person who is constantly taken advantage of or treated poorly. The term drew an analogy between a doormat, which is stepped on, and a person who allows themselves to be mistreated. This usage of the term became popular in the context of relationships and interpersonal dynamics.


Step 3: Symbol of hospitality

By the mid-19th century, the door mat took on a deeper cultural significance. It became a symbol of hospitality, with hosts using a door mat to welcome guests into their homes. The act of wiping one's feet on the mat before entering signified a polite and respectful gesture, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and manners.


Rubber and Synthetic Materials

The 1960s witnessed a significant shift in door mat manufacturing. Rubber and synthetic materials started to replace natural fibers due to their superior durability and weather resistance. Rubber mats provided better traction and were easy to clean. They also offered a wider range of design options, enabling homeowners to choose mats that complemented the overall look of their homes.


Symbolic meaning of a 'door mat'

During the 1990s, the term 'door mat' gained broader symbolic meaning beyond interpersonal relationships. It began to be used to describe someone who lacks assertiveness or self-confidence, allowing others to walk all over them in various aspects of life. The term reflected the idea of sacrificing one's own needs for the sake of others, often leading to a feeling of being taken advantage of.


Step 4: Door mat as a metaphor

In the 1950s, the term 'door mat' took on a metaphorical meaning. It started to be used to describe a person who is overly submissive or allows others to take advantage of them easily, akin to the way a mat is walked upon. This metaphorical usage highlights the contrast between the original purpose of the door mat and the negative connotation it acquired in describing human behavior.


Functionality and Fashion

In the present day, door mats have become an essential part of home decor and practicality. They serve as a welcoming gesture, inviting guests into the home, while still fulfilling their primary function of trapping dirt and debris. Door mats now come in various shapes, sizes, and materials to cater to different needs and preferences. From personalized doormats with family names to trendy designs, door mats continue to evolve as a mix of functionality and fashion.


Empowerment and boundary-setting

In the present day, the term 'door mat' is often associated with the need for empowerment and boundary-setting. It has become a call for self-respect and asserting one's rights by refusing to be treated poorly or taken advantage of. The term serves as a reminder for individuals to establish healthy boundaries in their relationships, both personal and professional.


Step 5: Contemporary perspectives

Today, the term 'door mat' remains in use both literally and metaphorically. While door mats continue to serve their practical purpose, the metaphorical meaning persists as well. Its intriguing history showcases the evolution of a simple household item into a symbol of hospitality and later into a cultural metaphor.

Did you know?

Did you know that the world's largest doormat measures a whopping 200 square meters (2,150 square feet)? That's like having a doormat big enough to cover an entire house!


fun property

First identified

31st August 2015

Most mentioned on

31st August 2015

Total mentions


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