Finding the Best Heated Mats to Melt Snow: Our Advice & Tips

As a native born Coloradan, I know snow and ice—and trust me, nothing is more frustrating than trying to keep stairs or walkways free of ice when they sit in shaded areas in winter.

The challenge, of course, is that unless you are religious about shoveling/salting, ice and snow build-up can become hazardous in a hurry.

Heated outdoor mats are one alternative solution to keeping your walkway or stairs ice-free. After spending seven hours researching this topic (including trying out mats and asking our parent readers for their real-life experiences), we’ve come up with a few tips when it comes to purchasing these mats:

• Consider the total costs. Some mats are sold without power-supplies—yes, that is an extra expense. Also consider buying an Wi-Fi-enabled outdoor plug (like this one by Wyze) so you can turn on/off the mat without going outside.

• Some mats allow you to daisy chain them together for longer coverage. But the connectors to do this again may be an extra expense.

• Be careful about placing these mats on wood or plastic decks. We’ve heard stories from our readers about how these mats damaged (scorched) wood decks, so be careful to make sure the mat you are purchasing is compatible with the surface you are putting it on!

• Mats only can do so much snow melting. Most mats are designed to raise the ambient temperature about 40 degrees or so. That means they may work well unless the temperatures drop below zero—in the case, you may be out of luck! These mats’ top melt rate of 2″ an hour may also not keep up when blizzard conditions exit.

Here are the best heated mats to melt snow:

Best Tried & True Brand: HeatTrak Heated Snow Melting Walkway Mat

HeatTrak is perhaps the best known brand in this space—and we heard from several readers who complimented their quality and effectiveness. And after spending several hours researching this topic, we agree: these mats do a great job at melting snow.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Durable.

• Well built.

• Keeps up with typical snowfall.

• Excellent quality.

• Can daisy-chain mats together.

What Needs Work

• Power supply is an extra purchase.

• Connecting mats requires a special cord, also an extra purchase.

• Pricey.

• Doesn’t always clear the snow edge to edge.

Best Heated Door Mat: Cozy Products ICE-SNOW Melting Mat for Outdoor Use

If you aren’t looking to daisy-chain together mats for a walkways and just need something for your doorway, this mat by Cozy is a good choice. We liked the design and included power supply—and it does a good job at melting snow.

What We Liked

 Thick.

• Works well at melting snow.

• Affordable.

• Textured design.

What Needs Work

• Somewhat slippery when wet, despite the textured rubber surface.

Best for Stairs: HeatTrak Heated Snow Melting Mats for Stairs

Most heated mats are designed to work for doorways—this mat is designed for stair treads, with a couple different length options. Yes, this mat is by HeatTrak, which we discussed above. The same pros and cons apply (you have to buy a separate power supply, etc).

Best For Accessible Ramp: RHS Heated Walkway, Non-Slip Snow Melting mat

Most heated mats are relatively short in length—and while you can daisy-chain together some mats together, you may still not get the length needed when trying to melt snow on a handicap-accessible ramp. For this use, we suggest the RMS Heated Walkway. We like the yellow safety strip (something we didn’t see in other mats we researched). All in all, this mat is impressive and gets the job done.

What We Liked

• Works well at melting snow.

• Perfect for ramps or other inclines.

• Safety stripe.

• Includes power supply.

• Rolls up for storage.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Doesn’t daisy chain together for longer lengths.

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!