Custom Fit vs. Universal Fit Floor Mats
So you’ve decided you want to buy a set of floor mats for your car or truck, but you can’t decide if you want a custom fit set or a universal fit set. Once you read through our guide, you’ll see that making a decision is really kind of easy! It all boils down to what you want out of your floor mats, and we’ll give you the right questions to ask yourself to make an educated decision.
About Custom Fit Floor Liners
Custom fit floor mats are designed to fit every square inch of floor space that is feasibly possible. The cost will be higher because each car model will need to be precisely measured and diagrammed for exact engineering – for a lot of manufacturers this is done through laser-precision technologies.
Because the mats will fit the exact contours of your vehicle, they typically feature raised lips that will surround the floor mat and sit flush with edges of your floor. This helps provide extra protection to your floors, as it will further contain spills and other messes.
With newer vehicles, it may take some time for the manufacturers to come out with mats for your vehicle. Engineers must thoroughly research each car, learn the differences between the new models, and engineer new mats or update the fitment catalog depending on the results. Typically your more popular models will have priority so as to satisfy the most customers as early as possible.
For custom fit floor mats, take a look at the MAXpider Kagu Line, WeatherTech DigitalFit or Husky Liners WeatherBeater. If you are interested in carpet mats, we also have the MAXpider Classic Line, as well as several Lloyd’s carpet lines.
About Universal Fit Floor Mats
Universal fit floor mats are designed to fit all vehicles on the road. This means that no vehicle will have a perfect fit, but they are designed to cover the most area possible for the most number of vehicles. Typically 2-4 sizes will be available so that you can pick the one best for you after measuring the space you will need to cover.
With universal fit floor mats, you will have some exposed floor areas since it is not a perfect fit. However, the cost is usually significantly less for one reason: these mats do not have to be re-engineered each time a new car model comes out. And since there are only 2-4 sizes available (vs thousands for custom fit mats), significant cost reductions can be made during the manufacturing process.
If you have an older or obscure vehicle, universal floor mats may be one of your only options. Or, if you have a brand new vehicle but new custom fit mats have not yet been engineered or added to the catalog, universal mats may be your only option (albeit temporarily).
Universal floor liners, many times, have pre-made cut-lines if you wish to trim or modify your mats to obtain a better fit.
For Universal Fit Floor Mats, take a look at the WeatherTech All-Weather Floor Mats.
Options In Between – “Best-Fit” Mats
There is one last category to talk about – WeatherTech manufactures a line of floor mats that are considered “Best Fit” and are a cross between true custom-fit floor liners and universal fit floor mats.
With “Best Fit” mats, WeatherTech manufacturers a set number of floor mats in varying sizes and shapes. When a new car model comes out, WeatherTech will determine which mat best fits it. It will be a better fit than the universal floor mats, but it still won’t be a custom fit. Cut lines are available if you’d like to trim the mats for a better shape and fit.
For “Best-Fit” mats, take a look at the WeatherTech All-Vehicle Floor Mats.
The Bottom Line
We highly recommend a set of custom fit floor mats. Secondary to the custom-fit floor mats, we would recommend a set of “Best-Fit” floor mats to get you better protection than the universal fit mats. If neither of these interest you, or if your budget doesn’t include custom fit floor mats, the Universal Fit floor mats still do a great job at fitting their purpose.