Our list of the best drum rugs will help you choose an option that fits your needs, whether you’re touring, gigging, recording, or setting up your kit at home.
By Contributing Author Dango
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One of the only pieces of gear I have consistently lost over the years, or else showed up without when I needed one…….. is a drum rug.
It’s such a basic thing and every venue should have one. But oftentimes they don’t, in which case you have to scramble for a door mat, or heaven forbid–a towel.
No kit on its own can survive a gig and not move without something underneath it.
There’s no real “magic” to choosing the best drum rug, but every drummer should own a rug that’s not in their living room, and is dedicated to being packed up and taken into a dirty club to play a gig.
5 Best Drum Rugs
Some of the big drum manufacturers have developed some rugs over the years that are solid options.
Personally, I also think you can go to Wal-Mart or Amazon and spend $20-30 for something that will do the job.
So let’s take a look at some options that work well.
DW Drums Drum Rug
- The 5'x7' Dw DWCPRUG2 drum rug is where drummers can now place their prized kit atop a high-quality rug emblazoned with DW logos
- The Package Height of the Product is 1 inches
- The Package Length of the Product is 63 inches
If you want a classy rug with DW logos embossed on it, then this option is the way to go.
This is made of industrial strength carpet and has a non-skid rubber surface on the bottom. So in fairness, this is the same quality as you would see in any professional building when you walk in the door.
This will last longer than any household rug that doesn’t have the rubber bottom. This is a pro-quality rug you can take on tour for 5 years without it tearing or getting destroyed by moisture.
If you only play drums in your bedroom, this may be more than what you realistically need.
This rug is 5×7 and is pricier than some options. It’s an investment for sure and you really don’t want to forget this one at a venue. The addition of the four DW logos on the rug should help you remember it when tearing down your kit.
Meinl Cymbals Drum Rug with Travel Bag
- Plenty of surface area for larger setups (black finish) — the large Meinl drum rug measures 6.5' long x 6.5' wide to accommodate larger drum kit or percussion setups with room left over for your...
- Made for drum set spurs and stands — we use a tightly woven fabric so your bass drum and pedal spurs have something to dig into and stay securely in place — this durable fabric also prevents drum...
- Rubber lined non-slip bottom — on the underside of this rug is a layer of thick rubber lining that eliminates rug slippage on any surface — this lining also prevents spurs from puncturing through...
Meinl has added a few well-thought-out options to their rug offering.
This rug is available in 3 sizes, and 4 different colors, depending on what you like the look of.
Not only that, but this rug comes with a travel bag and Velcro straps for packing up. It was designed with gigging in mind and has you covered there on both counts.
The largest size is a large square at 6.5 x 6.5, which accommodates larger setups for metal or kits with a large rack. A lot of the Meinl Cymbal demographic are metal players, so this size makes sense.
The options here really outweigh DW, depending on what you are going for.
The biggest difference I need to mention is that even though this rug has a rubber padding underneath, it is not the same commercial grade quality as the DW.
This rug may be perfect for you and you may love the look, but it will not hold up as well as the DW rug in the long run.
Ludwig Drum Rug
- Featuring the famous Ludwig script Logo and keystone design
- Size: 63"x78"
As far as appearances go, this rug may be my favorite of all of the offerings.
For the reasonable price point, this one is just classy looking with the logo embossed around the outside like a frame.
This rug is 63” x 78” and will accommodate normal sized kits. It also features hook and loop fasteners to secure the rug during transit when rolled up.
This rug also boasts non slip but I can tell you that the bottom isn’t much better than a Wal-Mart option. So here you’re really paying for the name also.
It’s a great looking rug and if you play Ludwig, this may be the best pick for you.
Aucuda Drum Rug
- Set Up All the Drums:Sized 6x6 ft, suitable for your regular drum set, it makes it easier to pull the whole set around when needed. Easily cover your floor completely for protection, suitable for On...
- Excellent Stability for Drum:With a combination of tightly-woven fabric surface&non-slip rubber backing ensuring stability for your entire drum setup. Lets the drums stands and spurs dig in for...
- ROCK ON:Attached stap for easy packing and storage,simply roll up the drun rug, and it's ready for your road trip! Aucuda drum mats are fit for both indoors and outdoors, carry the durm carpet to your...
This is a brand I admittedly have never heard of or seen in person, but after researching it, I think this rug is worth mentioning.
I came across this rug from a quick Amazon search and it seems super competitive with the other rugs we’ve been looking at.
It’s 6ft x 6.5 and is available in 4 colors that look similar to the Meinl options. It comes with straps to wrap up and has the mid grade rubber bottom like Meinl does.
If you like the look of any of these, and want to save from the Meinl prices, check these out.
Zildjian Deluxe Drum Set Rug
- Full non-skid backing for extra stability
- Dimensions: 6.5' x 5.33'
- Made of high-grade polyester filament with nylon carry case
This rug may be the most unique option we’re looking at today because it’s an entirely different material.
The Zildjian rug is made of polyester filament and has a much different feel than a traditional rug.
Some people will love this, and some won’t. The biggest downside I’ve found with these types of rugs is that they can bunch up easily when you move anything.
However, the addition of some small weights on the corners help balance it out so it can lay flat easier.
This rug has a non-skid backing, comes with a bag, and has Zildjian logos on each corner. Dimensions are 6.5x 5.3.
How to Mark Positions on a Drum Rug
Lots of people like to mark a drum rug with tape or Sharpie to designate spots for all of their hardware and kick drum legs.
Each day when you set up the kit, having positions marked can save time and help with efficiency.
I personally never mark my rugs, because my setup can change, but marking the rug is super effective and can be very helpful if you have a drum tech or anyone helping you out.
At the very least it can be helpful to mark off your bass drum spurs so that you get the kit centered about the same each time.
It’s awful to get 75% setup and realize your hi hat pedal doesn’t quite fit on the rug. Then you’re trying to pick up 13 different heavy items at once to move the rug 6 inches.
What Kind of Tape to Use on a Drum Rug
The best tape for drum rugs is gaffers tape.
It’s really something worth having on hand all the time as a drummer because you can use it on hardware, on the drum heads, even on drum shells, without leaving residue.
Any professional stage setup or sound crew will always have some if you’re in a pinch and need to borrow some. But if you’re doing anything major like marking a rug or hardware, buy your own.
It’s not cheap but it will last and be worth it.
Electrical tape works, and I have used it many times. But electrical tape will leave residue on all of your stands and make a mess, and it comes off of a rug so much easier.
Masking tape or anything lightweight is a total waste of your time and won’t last 2 shows, so go ahead and invest in a roll of gaffer’s tape.
- PROFESSIONAL GRADE GAFFERS TAPE – This tape is what the pros use. It's industry standard, premium grade gaffer tape, not the fake ‘gaffer tape’ being sold on Amazon. Our tape is MADE IN THE USA...
- YOUR GEAR, CABLES AND SURFACE ARE SAFE AND INTACT – Whatever you use Gaffer Power on, it holds it down solid but is very easily taken off, leaving no residue. The adhesive will not peel back up....
- NON-REFLECTIVE, EASY TO RIP AND WATER RESISTANT – Using it on set or stage? it blends discreetly into the background; Tear strips easily with hands no matter the size. This a strong cotton cloth...
What Size of Drum Rug Do I Need?
The size of your rug is personal and depends entirely on your setup. This is why they make different sized rugs, and why you see some players modify or cut existing rugs to fit their setup.
I personally prefer a rug that covers the entire footprint of every stand, my throne, and even slightly larger. But there’s always times on smaller stages, smaller drum risers, or certain settings where you have to modify for something smaller.
I also can take different rugs for my main DW touring kit with 6 drums and 6 cymbals, versus when I take my DW Mini Pro kit to a wedding or coffee house and its 4 tiny drums and a couple cymbals.
Standard drum rugs are usually 5×7, and I’ve used up to a 6×9. Sometimes at a small venue I will “borrow” their door mat and then return it after the gig.
Things to Consider when Buying a Drum Rug
The most important things to take into consideration when purchasing a drum rug are:
- Where are you playing? Indoors or out?
- How big or small is your kit?
- How hard are you kicking the bass drum?
If you need a rug that works outdoors for any period of time, then the rubber bottom is a must. If you want it to last then you’ll probably need to spend $100 or more. But if you just need it for indoor venues, you can get away with a cheaper model.
I will warn you not to set up a rug you’ve used in venues anywhere back inside your bedroom or house. Those floors are always covered in beer and soda, and plenty of other germs and grime that you don’t want in your home.
My Secret Weapon for Preventing Hardware from Sliding
One other piece of advice from personal experience: I have always dealt with my kick drum sliding, regardless of the type of rug, pedal, or drum. Some pedals have velcro and some do not.
Regardless, I have found one solution worth sharing that works with any of these rugs and is inexpensive.
Check out the K-Brakes Universal System. They work with almost every model of kick drum and add on to your kick legs, with a low profile spiked foot.
There are some other companies producing low-quality knock-offs of these, but the actual K-Brakes system is legit. I have used it on tour since 2015 and I even fly with them for shows on backline kits.
If slippage is an issue for you, check these out! They will do more to secure your kick than any of these rugs, and are hardly visible from the audience.
- KBrakes Universal System stops your drums from sliding
- Equipped with a high impact rubber inserts KBrakes Universal System is prefect for 9mm-12mm kick drum spurs (threaded and non threaded)
- KBrakes Universal System has 512 Stopping Points that dig into the carpet and lock your drums in place and stop them from sliding away from you as you play
Our Top Picks for the Best Drum Rugs
I think the best rug here quality-wise is the DW rug. If I was buying a rug to last 5 years on tour, I would buy this one, or another industrial strength rug from Home Depot that can handle liquid and outdoors.
The Meinl option is the best mid-level option for value and options because of the bag and different colors. If you’re getting their mid-sized or smaller, it’s the best option.
If you’re on a tight budget or this is your first rug, then take all this into account, but don’t stress it.
You will probably own several drum rugs in your lifetime. I often opt for the Wal-Mart, black 5×7, $20 special because I know I will eventually lose it.
Sometimes we even lose 1 or 2 in one tour because it gets left, or misplaced by a stagehand at loadout, or some other scenario.
Sometimes a rug lasts me a couple years. There’s no shame in a cheapo if you don’t need the carrying bag, you don’t care that it looks cool, and you’re not going to be outdoors.
Hopefully this has been some helpful information for you to make a good decision. It’s going to really come down to preference, and what you like the look of more than almost anything.