Whether you own a rifle or a handgun, one thing is certain; without care and maintenance, it will not last too long. And anyone who has spent any time caring for their firearms knows how messy it can get.
By the time you are done cleaning your weapon, your work table will be drenched in gun cleaning solvents and oils. Now, if you are like me and think of your work table as a sacred part of yourself, then you will not have it this way.
Then again, having to clean your work table for hours after each gun care session is not that practical either. So, what’s the solution?
Well, you do not need to worry about messing up your work table at all if you simply invest in the best gun cleaning mat on the market. These mats are designed to protect your table against liquid spills while keeping everything organized as you disassemble and clean your weapons.
And there are a couple of amazing choices out there too. In this article, I will give you a complete rundown of a few top-tier gun cleaning mats that can help keep your work table clean and organized.
Top 7 Best Gun Cleaning Mat Reviews
Here are my top picks for some of the finest gun cleaning mats that you can buy to clean and maintain your fire.
1. Real Avid Gun Cleaning Mat For All Handguns
Real Avid has always been a leading manufacturer when you are shopping for gun cleaning kits and accessories. And as it turns out, their gun mat for cleaning is one of the most popular choices out there. Having used one myself in the past, I feel like this is the perfect way to start off this article.
This unit comes with a dimension of 19 inches in length and 16 inches in width, making it a great choice for handgun owners. Sure, the length might not be ideal for cleaning long guns, but as far as pistol cleaning mats go, this should serve you just fine.
In addition, it comes with a magnetic parts tray on the side to keep small items like pins, springs or screws organized. I have lost count of how many times I had misplaced small firearm components while cleaning my pistol. So this is definitely a welcome feature for people like me.
It also comes with a non-slip backing that securely grips the surface, giving you a stable foundation to work on. The top of the mat is resistant to any sort of liquid spills, so you won’t have to worry about oil or cleaning solvents messing up the durability of your cleaning mat.
This cleaning mat comes with different graphical options, and the price between them is pretty much the same. If you want a larger cleaning mat for cleaning rifles, though, I would recommend going with the Real Avid Universal Smart Mat. It gives you a much larger surface area making it more suited for cleaning bigger firearms.
- The non-slip backing improves stability
- Oil and solvent resistant top surface
- Perfect for cleaning pistols and handguns
- Features a magnetic parts tray
- Not suitable for cleaning rifles or shotguns
2. Drymate Gun Cleaning Mat Made In USA
For my next pick, I decided to go with another high-performance cleaning pad, but one that comes at a much more reasonable price. If you are the type that prioritizes performance and function over looks, then the Drymate Gun Cleaning Pad is the best choice for you. This extra large gun cleaning mat might not look much, but it does what it sets out to do perfectly.
The size of the cleaning mat is pretty great, making it a good choice for cleaning all sizes of firearms. Its dimensions are 19 inches in length and 59 inches in width, giving you plenty of work surfaces for any weapon along with any cleaning tool you might want to keep on the mat.
Although it does not come with any parts tray, the surface of the mat comes with a grippy texture that keeps all your tools and small components in place. Its patented material has a good amount of liquid absorption capacity. So, oil or solvent spills should not be too much of a problem.
The backing of the material is also waterproof, which means even if you spill liquid on it, it will not seep through to your work table. Its slip-resistant backing ensures it remains stable on the surface where you put it. You do not need to worry about it moving out of position when you are cleaning your weapon.
If it gets dirty, you can easily toss it in the washing machine if you do not want to bother with hand washing. The size of the unit is perfect for long weapons. But if you want, you can cut it down to a smaller size without worrying about fraying the material.
- Amazing value for the price
- Simple and straightforward design
- Non-slip, waterproof backing
- Features a liquid-absorbing top surface
- Does not come with a parts tray
3. UsefulThingy Gun Cleaning Mat AR 15 – Rifle Maintenance Gunsmithing Tools
Claiming third place in my list of the best gun mat is none other than the AR 15 cleaning mat by the brand UsefulThingy. This is a fantastic option for those who own and clean their AR 15 rifles regularly. As a bonus, the informative graphics on the top can help you learn about all the components of your firearm.
Its surface dimension of 36 inches x 12 inches x 0.12 inches gives you ample space for cleaning larger weapons like rifles and shotguns. For handgun owners, the larger size will allow them to put all their tools on one side of the cleaning mat without worrying about losing anything.
The thing that makes this gun cleaning mat one of the finest in its use of neoprene material. This material offers excellent absorption against all sorts of liquid spills. And since you will naturally be using oils and solvents to clean your weapons, if you spill any on the mat, it will not damage it.
I am sure you have noticed how this mat is a bit thicker than the other options I have reviewed so far. Turns out, this added thickness gives it a better chance of preventing liquids from seeping through and ruining your worktable. It is also extremely stable, thanks to its non-slip backing.
Overall, it is a fantastic choice for the money. The infographics on the unit look pretty sleek and should enhance the vibe of your gun shed. It does not cost too much, despite its premium feel and performance. So, if you want the best rifle cleaning mat, go with this one.
- Comes with a neoprene construction
- The thicker design protects against liquid spills
- Looks quite stylish
- Perfect for larger firearms
- No apparent cons
4. Raiseek Magnetic Gun Maintenance Mat | Rifle Shotgun Cleaning Mat
If you have dabbled with gun care in the past, the name Raiseek should be pretty familiar to you. They are a leading manufacturer of many gun cleaning products and accessories. Naturally, I would be amiss if I forgot to mention the best AR 15 gun cleaning mat that they offer.
The size of the unit is 36 inches wide and 10 inches long, which already means you can clean larger weapons on it. But what makes it truly special is the recessed compartments that it comes with. It makes it a lot easier to keep everything organized when you are working on your gun.
On the left side of the mat, there are four compartments that feature a magnetic base. This means you can keep small metal parts of the gun, such as pins or springs on it, without fear of losing them. The other sections can hold your cleaning equipment, such as the cleaning rod or the gun solvents.
This cleaning mat also features a non-slip backing to ensure it stays in place. The top surface is resistant to spills thanks to its soft polymer constructions. So you will not have to worry about damaging the mat or your work table in any way when you are cleaning and maintaining your firearm.
While you might not be able to roll it up for easier storage, it does come with two hanging tabs on one side. So, when you are done with your work, you can simply hang it up from a hook and leave it for later. When you do buy it, though, you might need to lay it flat under a couple of books for a while before you can use it.
- Comes with recessed compartments for better organization
- Magnetic compartments for metal components
- Soft polymer construction
- Non-slip backing for better stability
- Needs a bit of a break-in before use
5. Ultimate Rifle Build Gun Cleaning Mat
Bring out the patriot in you with the Ultimate Rifle Build Gun Cleaning Mat with its stylish distressed flag design. But style is not the only good thing about this cleaning mat. If you are looking for a functional mat that helps you clean and maintain your firearms in an organized way, this one is a fantastic pickup.
The size of the medium model that I am talking about here is 11 inches by 17 inches which is decent for smaller firearms like pistols or revolvers. But you do have the option to go with the larger, 16 inches by 28 inches model if you need to clean rifles or shotguns, albeit at a higher price.
It is a pretty straightforward cleaning mat when you think about it. But just because it is simple does not mean that it is not effective. The top surface is fully resistant to any solvent or oil spills, and the edges of the mats come with reinforced stitching to prevent them from rolling up unwantedly.
In addition, the backing is made of rubber which naturally protects it from sliding all around the work table as you are working on your weapons. The cleaning mat has a thickness of around 1/8 inches which gives you a decent bit of lift from the work table to protect it against any damages.
If I am being honest, though, the thing that I love the most about this cleaning mat is its price. Even if you go with the larger model, you will have to spend a lot less than many other options on the market. That, combined with its stylish design, makes it a worthy investment for any gunsmith.
- Excellent looks and design
- Comes with reinforced edge stitching
- Thick and sturdy construction
- Amazing value for the price
- Nothing worth complaining about
6. TekMat Gun Cleaning Mat
TekMat is a brand that takes a lot of pride in its work. And if you ask me, they have the right to do so because of the level of dedication and commitment they put behind each of their products. This Gun Cleaning Mat by them is a testament to the level of quality you can expect from them.
Though it is designed to clean and maintain 1911-style handguns, it is a bit oversized with a dimension of 11 inches x 17 inches. But that is not a bad thing, though, as the extra space can be used to keep your cleaning tools and solvents organized without damaging your work table.
The brand went with thermoplastic fiber surface as their choice of material to manufacture the top of the cleaning mat. As a result, it is extremely resistant to oil or solvent spills. Even if you spill any on the surface, just a quick wipe with a cleaning rag will get rid of it.
This gun cleaning mat is around 3 mm thick and has a neoprene rubber back, which means your work table gets a better deal of protection against pokes and prods through the cleaning mat. It will also stay stable on whichever surface you put it on, giving you a solid foundation to work with.
I also love the stylish looks and design of the gun cleaning mat. It comes with an illustration of the different components of the 1911 handgun. They used dye sublimation printing for the graphics, which means you will not have to worry about the print fading off any time soon.
- Excellent build quality
- Spill-resistant thermoplastic surface
- Non-slip neoprene rubber backing
- Stylish graphics on the top
- Not suitable for larger firearms
7. Cerus Gear Sig Sauer P320 Schematic Promat Firearm & Gun Cleaning Mat
I will be wrapping up my list of reviews with another top-notch gun cleaning mat for handguns, but this time I decided to go with the Promat by Cerus Gear. It shares a lot of similarities with the TekMat cleaning mat that I just reviewed, but it is still worth a mention here because of its own unique features.
The total surface dimension of this cleaning mat is 12 inches x 17 inches, which should be sufficient for just about any handgun. While it might not be the best pickup for disassembling rifles or shotguns, for smaller firearms, the size is just perfect.
The top surface of the cleaning mat is made using soft, heat-blended polyester, which promises not to scratch your gun components while providing a spill-resistant surface that keeps oils and solvents off your work table. Cleaning a firearm can get messy, but with this cleaning mat, you will be able to keep the mess at a minimum.
Looking at the bottom, though, the similarities between this one and the TekMat cleaning mat become apparent. This, too, comes with a vulcanized rubber backing that is about 3 mm thick. What that means is the backing will not slip or skid when you lay it out on your work table, giving you a stable surface for your task.
This gun cleaning mat features a detailed schematic of the military-grade Sig Sauer P320 weapon. So, if that is the firearm that you are disassembling, the illustration can come in handy. It is available in three different colors, but personally, I would go with the classic black color scheme.
- Excellent value for the price
- Non-slip neoprene rubber backing
- Soft, heat-blended polyester top
- Detailed schematic of the Sig Sauer P320
- Not suitable for rifles or shotguns
8. Leather Gun Cleaning MAT by Sage & Braker
This is the gun cleaning mat for you if you want to clean your guns like a pro. Mats like this are made to pass down through generations just like Cadillacs. There are no better gun cleaning mats on the market now than Sage and Braker waxed canvas mats.
This Sage & Braker cleaning mat is made from waxed canvas, heavy wool, and thick leather. A waxed canvas gun cleaning mat isn’t cheap, nor is a Cadillac. For $150+, you can use it on your largest firearms, and it’s thick enough to protect them from any surfaces.
This is the perfect place to store all of their cleaning gear for those who don’t settle for anything less than the best. Unfortunately, most people will probably be unable to afford this Sage & Braker model. That’s completely understandable, but there’s no denying this product’s quality.
It is also the perfect storage solution for all your cleaning supplies. Your brushes and picks will be organized in four pouches, CLP and bore cleaning kits, and a place to stash your rags. Then, you can throw everything in your truck after rolling it up, fastening it with leather straps, and securing it with a buckle.
Like many shooting vests and upland chaps, this vest has a waxed canvas interior to prevent moisture from soaking in. It is made of high-quality heavy wool and thick leather on the outside. Protects surfaces from cleaners, lubricants, and oils while preventing scratches on harsh work surfaces.
- A pocket on the mat allows it to double as a gun cleaning kit as well
- Gun cleaning surface made from high-quality quilted wool
- High-quality leather buckles secure it when rolled up
- You will have it for the rest of your life
- There is a premium attached to it
Why Are Gun Cleaning Mats So Important?
The mess that can result from cleaning a gun with gun solvents is well known to anyone who has ever done so. An old towel can be used in place of a gun cleaning mat, but it ruins the towel and retains the solvent.
You will get solvent over everything the next time you use the towel. The reason you need a good firearm cleaning mat is because of this. Some characteristics distinguish the best gun cleaning mats.
The material should not absorb moisture and be leak-proof. Doing this, you prevent CLPs & other oils from leaking through your mat onto your table. In addition, it makes it easy for you to clean the mat after use by wiping away grease.
In addition to being large enough for the firearm you are working on, a cleaning mat should also be made of an appropriate material. On the mat, rather than on the table, you should be able to lay out all the components of your gun.
A gun cleaning box with an oil-soaked mat is the last thing you need. A dirty gun cleaning kit results from solvents leaking off the mat and getting everything oily.
It is for this reason that gun cleaning mats use special materials. The solvent you use to clean guns won’t seep into the material when it touches a gun mat. You can easily clean it up because it will lie on the surface.
How Does A Gun Cleaning Mat Work?
Rifle cleaning mats, pistol cleaning mats, and shotgun cleaning mats are the most common types of gun cleaning mats.
Whenever a firearm is damaged or shot, it must be disassembled and cleaned. Oil, dirt, carbon fouling/soot, and other things that can stain and cause a major mess can be found on many parts if you’re not careful.
You’re not going to like wiping off the oil and grease from your holsters or work area after your gun has been rubbed with oil or grease.
It is possible to misplace a spring or pin, which can roll off the table and disappear into another dimension.
The pains of disassembling a contemporary rifle are well known to anyone who has done it. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for little bits to disappear just when you need them most. The problem can be solved with gun cleaning mats.
Pistol cleaning mats are coated with liquid-resistant materials to prevent oils and grease from absorbing them. As a result, the oil will easily soak up old towels or dry mats and slowly spread around, which is extremely important in oil.
It would be a waste of time and money to lay down paper towels, and oil and grease would still soak through.
The coating and exterior finish of these mats resolve all of those issues. Gun mats perform better than others by causing oils and grease to bead up on their surfaces instead of absorbing them.
Just roll the mat up and throw it back into your cleaning kit or range bag after wiping them away with just one paper towel.
They all feature foam on the front and neoprene rubber on the back, making them all resistant to chemicals and particles when cleaning dirty firearms.
What To Look For In A Gun Cleaning Mat?
Gun cleaning mats are no different from any other industry. Some are fantastic, while others are complete duds. This article aims to help you make a good buying decision by reviewing some of the best gun cleaning mats on the market.
It was evident that some of the mats we examined had a lot of complaints about how easily dust, dirt, and lint were collected. However, in some cases, complaints were few to none.
You should therefore know what you are looking for before you start your search. It is important to consider whether you need a gun cleaning mat for a pistol or a deer hunting rifle.
Depending on this, you’ll decide what to buy. If you do your research, you can’t go wrong with gun cleaning mats.
Does The Cleaning Mat Have All The Necessary Features?
A gun cleaning mat’s primary purpose should be to prevent you from making a mess when cleaning guns.
If not, they’re at least going to contain the mess. In order to prevent CLP or solvent spills from entering your workbench, gun cleaning mats should have been designed to prevent them from soaking into the surface.
Secondly, do they prevent your firearm from sliding around while you clean it?
In the case of gun vise maintenance centers, we always recommend using one whenever possible, but if you cannot, you can always use a mat to prevent things from slipping too much.
In these situations, it is crucial to have a gun cleaning mat grip the surface beneath it.
Is It A Practical Solution?
Most DIY & review sites have thrown practicality & common sense out the window, but here at Rainier Ballistics, this hasn’t happened.
It is important to have a practical gun cleaning mat. A product must have extra features, durability, and reputation to justify its high price. We don’t need something that’s insanely overpriced just to appear rich.
A similar statement can be made about more budget-friendly products. For example, if your gun cleaning mat doesn’t meet your needs, you’re wasting more money than if you bought something useful but expensive.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, gun cleaning mats come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. And each of them can offer something unique to your overall gun care experience.
A magnetic cleaning mat, for instance, can make it easier to keep track of your smaller items, but they cost more.
And if you are on a budget, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with a simple and straightforward unit. Sometimes, going with a mat with a schematic of your firearm can also come in handy.
Hopefully, my in-depth review of some of the best gun cleaning mats could help you narrow down on which unit you would rather have for yourself. Good luck!
Larry, who is a family man and a gun enthusiast, enjoys keeping his collection in pristine condition. He also likes to take his kids shooting as often as possible.