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Tacky Mats vs. Reusable Mats

Tacky Mats vs. Reusable Mats

What is a contamination control mat?

Contamination control mats are characterised by their ability to remove contaminants from the bottom of shoes and wheels at the entry and exit points of cleanrooms and workplaces. Their purpose is to aid in the process of keeping cleanrooms and the like as hygienic as possible. The two types of contamination control mats are tacky mats and reusable mats - both have benefits and drawbacks as illustrated below to help you choose the right means of contamination control for your cleanroom.

Tacky Mats

Tacky mats are disposable contamination control mats which are sold in stacks - after a mat layer is soiled, it can be removed to reveal another layer ready for use. Most tacky mats are used with a frame to secure them more firmly in place. 


  • Requires no maintenance - tacky mats are stacked in layers which are immediately ready for use when the previous layer has been peeled away.
  • Comes in sizes suitable for hallways and cleanroom entryways.
  • Has a very strong adhesive spread across the surface area of each layer, making it effective at catching contaminants.
  • Easy to ship, only layers need to be repurchased once the frame is in place. 
  • Relatively low purchase cost. 


  • Can catch and tear on wheels, causing the potential for contaminated material to be wheeled into the cleanroom.
  • The act of removing the soiled layer can release particles into the air, which can cling to the person entering the saferoom causing the potential for contamination. 
  • Many tacky mats are not recyclable leading to higher levels of landfill waste. 
  • The need to replace the mats could mean that it is not the economically friendly long-term choice.

Reusable Mats

Reusable contamination control mats, are mats which can be used multiple times before they need to be swapped out with a clean one. They are commonly made with polymer and last for several years before needing to be replaced. 


  • Can be reused for several years, depending on how heavy usage is.
  • Generally created from polymer - a material which is easy to clean and stands up well to wear and tear. 
  • Tend to be large enough to allow trolley wheels three full rotations before entering the safe room - this allows for a higher rate of contaminants captured.
  • The reusable nature of these mats makes them a relatively ecologically friendly choice.
  • Long-term economically friendly choice, as repurchase rate will be every few years. 
  • Can be custom fit to a room and integrated into flooring. 


  • Requires regular cleaning to remain effective.
  • Requires replacing every few years.
  • Relatively high purchase cost.
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