If you’ve taken up darts, you’ll first notice three common things:
- You can’t throw a dart with accuracy
- You don’t understand why you can’t throw a dart accurately (it looks easy)
- Your darts miss the board or bounce out, leading to holes in the wall, furniture, and floors
The third point on this list is one that will frustrate homeowners and renters the most.
Bounce-outs are a surprisingly common occurrence when playing darts. No matter how accurate you are or how streamlined the dartboard wires are, darts can always collide and the end result is your dart pointing down into your hardwood floor!
Therefore, the solution for this is to get a darts mat. These cover most of the floor space around a dartboard and offer a level of protection when it comes to bounce out. A darts mat specifically (not just a flooring mat) will also have a distance marker so that you can use it as a home oche and throw line.
What are Dart Mats
Dart mats are a 2-in-1 solution to protect your floor from darts whilst also acting as a throw line. They are usually made from heavy-duty material to absorb the impact from darts and prevent the dart point from penetrating through to the floor underneath.
These are usually viewed as an accessory purchase along with the likes of a dartboard surround or stand but for the benefit of floor protection and a throw line, I’d recommend them more than going without.
Full disclaimer – I don’t own a darts mat. I have a laser throw line so I use a rug as a “dart mat” because it doesn’t make sense to me to have two throw lines and it doesn’t fit with my ultra-portable setup.
With the above in mind, I’ve compiled the best dart mats on the market to compare and see which ones are worth the money and will enhance your darts setup!
5 Best Dart Mats
|1||Viper Padded Throw Line||7/10|
|2||Shot! Darts Professional T Dart Mat||7.5/10|
|3||North Gear Heavy Duty Throw Line Rubber Dart Mat||7/10|
|4||Target Darts World Champion Darts Mat||9/10|
|5||Winmau Xtreme Dart Mat||8.5/10|
Quick Review: The Viper darts mat is a great-looking product for those that care about the aesthetic of their playing area. It’s sleek and reasonably priced but not as non-slip as others on the market.
Our Rating: 7/10
Product Dimensions: 24 x 6 x 6 inches; 7.6lbs
The Viper Padded Throw Line is heading up this list and is a solid option to get started with these reviews.
Firstly, the look is a class-winner. The matt black finish with minimal branding or “flash” actually stands out more than if it did have some over-the-top branding. As it has such a clean aesthetic, this dart mat would look great in any home or dart setup.
The soft, padded mat does its job which is to provide floor protection and cushion any darts that bounce out. It can be rolled up quickly for ease of storage but keep in mind there will be an initial break-in period of 4 hours.
The only thing letting this mat down is the grip. Numerous customers have found the mat slides around when stood on, regardless of whether it’s on a wood floor or carpet. This is not ideal but not a deal-breaker as you can apply a grip or non-slip underlay to hold it in place.
- Throw Line – A throw line is available for both steel-tip and soft-tip darts.
- Clean Design – The matt black finish with minimal branding makes for a clean and aesthetic darts mat. This would look great with most dart setups.
- Slides – The grip on the mat is not the most secure and many customers have found the mat can slide around on hardwood flooring.
Quick Review: This mat is both heavy-duty and functional. The “T” design provides more surface coverage than other dart mats making this the ideal choice for beginners who frequently miss the board.
Product Dimension: 9ft 9” (2995 mm) L x 2ft (625 mm) W x .11” (3 mm) D. Additional T Defence Zone Measures 4ft9”(1500 mm) L x 2ft (625 mm) W. 26.5lbs total weight.
The Shot! Darts Mat is a high-end product with a focus on quality and functionality. The standout feature that you won’t find with other mats is the T-Zone design. This allows for maximum floor coverage for enhanced protection from bounce-outs.
The velcro adhesive dots allow both mats to be connected securely but also mean they are easy to take apart and fold away for storage.
The one item that may put people off with this mat is the cost. This is definitely priced in a higher bracket than the others on this list. This is a reflection of the product quality and intended professional use but it still might be out of budget for many casual players.
If you want a professional quality dart mat though, the protection and coverage provided by this mat is second to none and may be worth the price for many players.
- T-Zone Coverage – The T-zone design provides close coverage and extra protection from bounce outs that occur close to the board.
- Heavy-Duty – Made from truly heavy-duty rubber, this darts mat will absorb any dart impact keeping your floor safe and protected.
- Price – This is one of the most expensive dart mats on the market. It’s not to say it’s not worth the price but this would be a high-end purchase for a more professional setup.
- Smell – As this is industrial rubber, it comes with that “new rubber smell”. Therefore, you may need some odor hacks and treatment for the first few days to remove the initial smell.
Quick Review: A good option for those looking for a basic darts mat. It has multiple throw lines for a variety of games and rolls up for ease of storage.
Product Dimension: 118 (L) x 24 (W) x 1 (H) inches. 20.6lbs
The North Gear Dart Mat is a more generic option for those looking for an affordable and simple solution to floor protection from darts.
The mat itself features 4 dart throw lines allowing players to throw from a variety of distances (accurately) depending on the game you are playing. It’s not the cheapest on the list – but it’s close! For the affordability, ease of storage, and variety of playable throw lines, it definitely covers all the basic needs in a darts mat.
Some people have flagged that the thickness of this mat is an issue, however, thickness is not necessarily a reflection on floor protection.
Overall, there aren’t too many points that can be made about this darts mat. It’s a solid option at an affordable price and serves its purpose.
- Multiple Throw Lines – 4 printed throw lines allow for play with a variety of games.
- Price – This isn’t the cheapest dart mat but it certainly offers good value and is very affordably priced.
- Thickness – This mat is on the thin side compared to others on this list but that doesn’t mean that it won’t still give adequate protection to your floor.
Quick Review: The Target darts mat is one of the most bought and highest reviewed mats on the market. The number of benefits far outweigh any drawbacks making it stand out within this category.
Product Dimension: 62.1 x 15.2 x 13.7 cm; 2.07 Kilograms
The Target Darts Mat is one of the best dart mats on the market and has multiple features that makes it stand out from the competition.
Firstly, a big issue many players have with a darts mat is the rubber smell and poor quality that comes with some of these material mats. The Target darts mat is made from an odorless fabric meaning it doesn’t have that “out-the-box” rubber smell.
It’s surprising to see that for a brand of such quality, this product is actually coming in as one of the most affordable and value-for-money dart mats available! When you browse Amazon reviews you’ll find this to be the highest reviewed and most purchased dart mat so it comes well tested but players globally.
On the mention of globally used, you’ll also get free shipping from the UK which means an already affordable mat stays affordable.
The only thing stopping this from being a perfect dart mat is the thickness which is on the thin side. Depending on your floor, this mat won’t offer full protection from steel-tip darts. Therefore, It’s great for aesthetics and casual play but some players will want a more heavy-duty mat.
- Highly-Rated – Of all the mats we are reviewing, the Target Darts mat is by far the most purchased and positively reviewed (at least from Amazon). This means
- Price – For such a well-reviewed and rated product, you’ll also find the price point is both affordable and incredibly competitive.
- Good Material – The lightweight and odorless fabric make this mat stand out from the competitors using a strong-smelling rubber product.
- Free Shipping – One of the few products to offer free international shipping – An important factor when many dart manufacturers/brands are based in the UK
- Thin – It’s worth pointing out that this is not a heavy-duty darts mat and is on the thin side. Therefore, it may not offer protection for all flooring.
Quick Review: This darts mat is a heavy-duty mat from a reputable brand. If you are looking for a professional quality darts mat, there are few better options to choose from.
Product Dimension: 25.98 x 5.12 x 6.3 inches; 19.51 Pounds
The Winmau Xtreme Dart Mat is a high-quality darts mat that can easily pass for professional standard and use.
The fact that it comes colored and styled can be a positive or negative thing depending on your personal preference. If you like a “loud” darts setup, it’s great. If (like me) you prefer a simple black & white setup, the lack of color options could be an issue.
I’m personally a Winmau fan and their products rarely disappoint. When it comes to making the product reviews and roundup lists, A Winmau product is typically in the top 1-3 places (usually 1-2). The main reason being that they are a reputable and quality brand.
If you’re ever having a decision between two similar products, I’d usually opt for the Winmau one as an easy decision. My dartboard, surround, and laser throw line is all Winamua and can be seen throughout this site so again, this mat is a solid option for those sitting on the fence.
The heavy-duty mat, great aesthetic (others opinion), and reputable brand all make this a solid option and it ranks close to the top of the best options in my opinion.
You could also check out the Winmau Outshot Dart Mat for a similar product with a unique addition.
- Reputable Brand – Winmau is a leading darts manufacturer/brand. The product quality is almost always great and you know what you are getting with a Winmau order.
- Floor Protection – The heavy-duty mat is designed to offer great protection for your floor.
- Strong Smell – As with many rubber dart mats, the smell can be very off-putting when brand new and without proper treatment, this smell can last up to two weeks
Our pick for the best darts mat for most players is the Target Darts Mat. When it comes to simplicity, affordability, value for money, few dart mats are ticking these boxes quite like Target!
I’ve already covered all the benefits (and one downside) above so don’t need to repeat that, all I’ll say is that if you are looking for a dart mat, no other can compete when it comes to price and customer satisfaction.
Below is a list of typical questions and notes that I often come across in relation to dart mats. This is a bit of an FAQ and buyer guide section covering things I may not have mentioned in the above product review.
How to Protect Your Floor From Darts
Dart bounce-outs are unavoidable. Even the best players on the planet have darts bounce-out on occasion, see below:
Therefore, if it happens to the best players with the most cutting-edge equipment, it’s definitely going to be a common occurrence for us casual players. The obvious solution to protect your floor from darts is to use a darts mat. These are specially designed to protect the floor whilst also having some dart-specific functionality like a throw line.
To mimic a dart mat, you could also purchase some heavy-duty matting. While I’m recommending certain dart mats, I’m not actually selling any so have no problem advising that the cheap and easy solution is a heavy-duty mat. The only issue with these is they may not be foldable or look particularly great in a darts setup!
Other than laying something down to protect your floor, there are few other solutions that are easy to implement. A net could be used to catch falling darts but who really has time to install one of these? The best solution is therefore a regular heavy-duty mat or a more visually appealing (and functional) darts mat.
How to Stop a Darts Mat From Moving
One particular issue people face with a dart mat, particularly those that have purchased a cheaper or low-quality product is that the dart mat moves around too much during use. This is usually an oversight or cutting corners from a manufacturer.
If you have this issue, it’s best to place an underlay underneath your darts mat with a surface grip. This will hold the mat in place. Another option is to anchor the mat with something weighted in the corners. This isn’t an ideal solution but is definitely a temporary fix to prevent your mat from sliding around.
Do You Need a Darts Mat
Most people definitely do not need a darts mat. A darts mat is an accessory item that is used for a specific benefit and not as a necessity. What I will say though is that some people will want to use a darts mat out of necessity to protect their floors from damage.
This will be true for those that have expensive hardwood flooring or for those that are renting (definitely a must for renters). Personally, I use a rug as a dart mat but this is because I use a laser oche which I’ve covered in other articles. As I don’t have a need for a throw line when using this, it doesn’t make sense to double up on a dart mat as well.
If you don’t have a throw line and want to protect your floor, I’d say most people will benefit from using a darts mat.
Dart mats are often seen as a fancy addition to a home darts setup, however, what most people fail to realize is that dart mats serve a very specific purpose. Dart mats are not only used as a functional throw line but also protect your floor from darts and bounce-outs.
If this sounds like an issue you’ve struggled with, I’d strongly recommend looking into purchasing a darts mat for an easy (and aesthetic) solution.
The products I’ve listed above are what I feel to be the best options on the market at the minute but there are some other good options if you check out specific brands.