Need a new gun cleaning mat to help you keep everything organized and protect your workbench when you’re cleaning your gun?
We’ve got you covered.
Table Of Contents
- Our Best Gun Cleaning Mats
- What Are Gun Cleaning Mats?
- How Do These Gun Cleaning Mats Work?
- What Are The Different Types of Gun Cleaning Mats?
- What Should You Look For In a Good Gun Cleaning Mats?
- Best Gun Cleaning Mats Reviews
- Final Thoughts on the Best Cleaning Mat for Firearms
Our Best Gun Cleaning Mats
- BOOSTEADY Non-Slip Gun Cleaning Mat – Rifle Length (Our Top Pick)
- Glock Bench Mat (Best Budget)
- Iunio Gun Cleaning Kit with Mat (Best High End)
- Wydan Gun Cleaning Mat
- Fiskars Cutting Mat
Cleaning a firearm can be a messy business, and it can be annoying (not to mention wasteful) to throw down paper towels or something similar every time you clean your guns.
A dedicated cleaning mat can help keep CLP and other potentially harmful chemicals off of your workbench, and it also makes for an easier time cleaning in general.
Most people don’t love cleaning their guns anyway, so anything to make this chore a little less of a headache is a good thing in our book.
A good, purpose-built gun cleaning mat makes cleanup a breeze and takes some of the pain out of cleaning a gun.
What Are Gun Cleaning Mats?
Gun cleaning mats are generally pretty straight forward. When you have a firearm that has been shot a good bit, or maybe one that’s having problems (particularly a semi-auto) you’re going to need to take it apart and clean it.
It seems simple enough, right?
When you do this, you’re going to be dealing with lots of parts that are covered in oil, dirt, carbon fouling/soot, and other things that can stain and just generally make a big mess if you aren’t careful.
A mess that you aren’t going to enjoy cleaning off your work area, or out of your holsters later when that oil and grease gets rubbed onto the outside of your gun.
And of course that’s not including the risk of losing a vital pin or spring that might go rolling off the table and into a different dimension, never to be seen again.
If you’ve ever disassembled a modern firearm, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Little parts like to go missing just when you need them most.
So how do gun cleaning mats help with all this?
How Do These Gun Cleaning Mats Work?
First and foremost, a gun cleaning mat is treated with a liquid-resistant coating that keeps them from soaking up oils and grease.
This is especially important when it comes to oil because something like an old towel or sheet of drymate is just going to absorb the oil and then slowly transfer it everywhere.
You can, of course, leave paper towels down, but that’s a tremendous amount of waste and expense, and you’re still probably going to have oil and grease leaking through onto your counters or what have you.
The coating and exterior finish on these mats fix all of those problems.
Instead of allowing the oils and grease to be absorbed, a good gun mat will actually cause the contaminants to bead up on the surface, allowing you to easily wipe them off with just one paper towel before you roll the mat up and throw it back in your cleaning kit or range bag.
Most of these mats are made of foam with a neoprene rubber backing and all of them will stand up to the chemicals and debris of cleaning a dirty firearm.
On top of that, many of these mats have magnetic parts trays that allow you to stick your springs, pins, and other small components to the cleaning mat itself without worry about the fiddly bits getting lost.
Which is perfect if, like us, you’re prone to losing those little components and then spending more time looking for a lost spring than actually cleaning your gun.
What Are The Different Types of Gun Cleaning Mats?
There are a few different types of firearm cleaning mats that gun owners need to be aware of.
First, there’s the simple neoprene-backed cleaning mat that’s made of foam and has a cloth top that’s been treated with various liquid-resistant finishes to keep the oil and grease and such from soaking in or damaging the mat.
Next, we have the solid plastic type that is essentially a tray made of an injection-molded chemical-resistant polymer.
These types of trays are…not the best in the world, and we generally recommend avoiding them as they tend to trap carbon fouling, and can even scratch up the finish on your firearm if you work on top of them, especially when you have abrasive chemicals on the surface of the plastic tray.
For this reason, we haven’t included any of this style of mat on this list.
Finally, you can use a self-healing cutting mat. These mats are great at protecting countertops and workbenches, and are perfect for detail stripping firearms when you need to break out the punches to remove pins.
These cutting mats are extremely resistant to oil and grease, and can be wiped down easily, and are the go-to option for anyone looking for a general-purpose workbench protector that’s useful for more than just cleaning guns.
What Should You Look For In a Good Gun Cleaning Mats?
A good gun maintenance mat has a few qualities that really make your life easier when it comes time to cleaning your firearms.
First, as we’ve discussed, it needs to have a finish that won’t absorb and spread oils, or trap carbon fouling just to get it on everything. Anything with an absorbent material (shop rags, old towels, etc) is just going to trap oil and grease.
Second, it needs to be made from a material that is relatively soft and giving so that you don’t scratch your guns or your work surface.
This also helps you from leaving marks from an errant punch strike in your tabletop or workbench during disassembly.
Next, if you’re prone to losing parts, you should definitely gravitate towards one of the many options that come with a built-in part holder or tray. These features will keep all your important pins and springs in place while you’re working, also very important during disassembly.
Also if you’re going to be cleaning a long gun you might want a larger mat so that you can rest the whole gun on something soft but even a high-quality small mat will work if you’re willing to arrange things carefully.
Finally, many mats come with diagrams of certain common firearms printed on them. Having an exploded and labeled view of a Glock or an AR-15 can be immensely helpful when you’re detail-stripping your commonly-used firearms, or just need a reminder of how to quickly get something put back together.
Most of them also have instructions for lubrication, which is vital to keeping your firearm working.
Alright, let’s take a look at the best gun cleaning mats.
Best Gun Cleaning Mats Reviews
We’ve tested just about every gun cleaning product on the market, and that includes cleaning mats. As gunsmiths, competition shooters, and hunters, we really do need the best equipment in order to make firearm cleaning as painless as possible.
Out of all the mats we’ve tested, these are the ones that have been the best over the years.
BOOSTEADY Non-Slip Gun Cleaning Mat – Rifle Length
This is the ultimate mat for modern sporting rifle shooters. It even has a great set of AR-15 diagrams on the front to help you keep all your parts together and in order. Similar to the Real Avid Smart Mat, it has a magnetic parts tray as well to help wrangle all those little pins and springs.
It’s also made of a thicker foam than most mats on this list, making it perfect for heavier guns that might press too deeply into thinner mats such as the Tekmat AR-15 mat or the Real Avid mat. The non-slip neoprene backing is also a big help when working on a slippery surface.
And of course, it is still a great handgun cleaning mat, it’s just geared more towards rifle length guns. They do have a smaller gun cleaning mat available as well though.
- Made of thicker foam than most mats
- High-quality magnetic parts strip
- AR-15 diagram for easy reference
- A little bulky when stored
- Might be overkill if you’re a pistol shooter
Glock Bench Mat Handgun Cleaning Mat
This official Glock Bench Mat is smaller than the BOOSTEADY model and is perfect for Glock pistol owners, or just anyone who wants a smaller mat that’s more suited to handguns.
As you might expect, it has a Glock diagram on the front for easy takedown, cleaning, and lubrication of all your Glock handguns (benefits of using the same design across their entire product line) and it’s perfectly sized for doing maintenance on everyone’s favorite polymer pistol.
It’s also well-padded, but not too thick, making it the perfect choice for keeping in a range bag for making repairs and doing some cleaning in the field before your guns go back in their holsters for another round of shooting.
Also, it makes a great mousepad.
- Compact handgun cleaning mat
- Has a Glock parts diagram on the front
- Easy to store in a range bag
- Little small for larger rifles
Iunio Gun Mat With Cleaning Kit
This is more than just a cleaning mat, it’s actually an entire gun cleaning kit.
If you don’t already have a dedicated cleaning kit with cleaning brushes, patch pushers, cleaning rods, and basic consumables like lubricating oil and cleaning solvent.
This kit comes with brushes for most common calibers, as well as dedicated brushes for cleaning all the nooks and crannies of even the dirtiest guns. Best of all, it all packs up in a hard-sided carrying case.
The mat itself is sized more for pistol cleaning , but you can use it for all manner of firearms.
This style of case also has one of the highest amounts of positive customer reviews on Amazon, so take that for what you will. It’s not made in the USA, but this isn’t a cheap copy(like the Useful-thingy version). This is the original version of this kit, made with quality materials.
Has everything you need for cleaning most common firearms, including consumable cleaning supplies
Good beginner cleaning kit
- More expensive
- Might have a lot of unnecessary brushes and cleaning equipment you already own
Wydan Rifle Cleaning and Maintenance Mat
This is the largest mat on our list at 52” x 14”, which makes it just about perfect for cleaning a rifle or shotgun.
This mat is made of thick foam with a neoprene rubber backing and is highly resistant to cleaners and solvents.
It’s just about perfect for covering a large countertop or kitchen table to protect both your cleaning surface and your gun, while still having room for all your parts and tools to rest comfortably on the non-slip surface.
Best of all, it rolls up into a surprisingly compact bundle, and the zippered compartment gives you space to store all your tools together, meaning you’ll never have to spend time looking for things come cleaning time. You can also use it for small gun parts like pins or springs.
- Extra-long mat for bolt-action rifles and other longer firearms
- Zippered tool pocket
- Bulky when stored
Fiskars Cutting Mat
So, this isn’t necessarily a gun cleaning mat.
It’s really designed for cutting things, such as fabric and the like, with craft knives. The surface is made of a cut-resistant polymer that actually heals itself when it gets scratched or cut.
So why use one as a firearm cleaning mat?
Despite being made for crafting, these mats are great for a general non-absorbent work surface covering, and their waterproof design makes them ideal for a gun cleaning mat.
They’re easy to clean too. The oil-resistant surface causes liquids to bead up on the surface so you can just wipe it down with a paper towel.
- Large surface area
- Cut-resistant, self-healing surface will protect your work surface
- Good general-purpose item to have in the workshop
- No parts tray
- Doesn’t roll up
Final Thoughts on the Best Cleaning Mat for Firearms
These are the cleaning mats we use, and the mats that our professional friends use as well.
If you’re looking for something that will last, and something that will actually make cleaning your guns easier, these are the options you should look into. Other mats can soak up oils or grease and spread both around your workbench, leaving you with even more to clean up.
Even worse, some mats will trap carbon fouling and wear the finish on your gun.
The mats above are all tried and tested and will last you for years…without damaging your gun or making an even bigger mess like some other mats can.
We do have one Honorable Mention pick for this list and that’s the Sage & Braker gun care mat. While the Sage & Braker mat is excellent, and would be our number one choice for a high-quality gun cleaning mat (it’s made entirely out of heavy wool, thick leather, and waxed canvas – was out of stock at writing).
Cleaning your guns may be a chore, and it’s one of the least fun things about gun ownership, but with the right cleaning mat at least you’ll be making it as easy as possible for yourself.