In this article, I’ll explain why you would need anti-vibration mats/pads for washing machines, if and how they can affect your washer’s performance, and what are some of the best products.
Whether you have your own washing machine, or you’re using the communal ones in your building – we can all agree that we don’t use them for the “comforting” sounds they make. In fact, in my experience, some washing machines can sound almost scary. Why are there metallic jangling sounds? You’ll have to live with the mystery – or maybe not.
Everyone knows that when it comes to noise, I’m a “less is more” sort of person. So it’s obvious why I would hate having a machine screeching and groaning while it’s doing its thing. However, having a loud machine would be a great bother for most other people as well. In particular, the people who have their machines in their apartments might find it difficult to sleep if their machine is making loud noises – that is, if they’re making use of the cheaper nighttime electricity fees to do their laundry.
Unfortunately, short of buying a whole new, quieter washing machine, there’s really only one other thing you could do in this situation – buy anti-vibration mats. These products can come in many shapes and sizes. They can be simple rubber feet that you put under the machine, whole pads, or even covers.
|Xcel Acoustic Damper Anti-Vibration Pads||8 6-inch squares, 0.25 inches thick||Foam rubber|
|ENJ Washer Anti-Vibration Vibrafix Pads||3-inch circular base, 1.25 inches tall||Hard rubber|
|The Vibration Solution Silent Feet Pads||3-inch circular base, 1 inch tall||Hard shiny rubber, fabric on the bottom|
|Intuitive Designs Anti-Walk Pads||3-inch circular base, 1.25 inches tall||Hard rubber|
|Casa Pura Anti Vibration Mat||24×24 or 24×40 - 0.2, 0.4, or 0.8 inches thick||Recycled rubber|
|Rubber-Cal Anti-Vibrations Washing Machine Mat||4×6 feet, 0.42 inches thick||Recycled rubber|
Why You Need Anti-Vibration Mats/Pads
Most washing machines produce at least some level of vibration, especially during their spin cycles. However, some of them are bound to make more noise than others – older machines vibrate more than new ones, of course.
Additionally, front-loading ones are louder than top-loading machines, because they spin faster. Inside of front-loading machines, the clothes are plastered to the top, only to fall back down again and again, while the clothes in top-loading ones just get thrown around the sides of the barrel.
Ultimately, I suppose there is more than one way to fix this, though getting anti-vibration mats is certainly the easiest solution. If you wanted to, you could try to separate the machine from all of the surfaces it could pass the vibrations on to. So:
- Lift the machine off of the floor. You could set the machine down on a small platform, which you can make using plywood or just a wooden palette. If overheating isn’t an issue, you could even lay down an old blanket before you put the machine back, to absorb more of the vibrations.
- Make sure that the sides of the machine aren’t touching anything either. If your washer is in a tight space of some sort, it may be passing vibrations on throughout the structure of your home. So, you can use blankets or foam materials to pad the sides.
- Cover the machine completely with soundproof blankets, as I suggested in my article on soundproofing a room with blankets. After all, the more you cover, the less you’ll hear.
But you can see how going through these steps is much more demanding of your time, and even money, than simply getting anti-vibration mats. Still, you may be wondering if covering your machine will affect its performance in any way.
How Will They Affect Your Machine
Anti-vibration mats and pads are perfectly safe for most washing machines. In fact, my suggestion to wrap the machine completely in soundproof blankets may be more controversial, since many people have older machines which may prove unpredictable.
However, anti-vibration mats are products which are specifically designed for the purpose of controlling washing machines. In addition, most of them are fairly invisible. So, unlike having a soundproof blanket covering your machine, you won’t need to change your loading routine at all.
Many anti-vibration products will also prevent your machine from shaking its way across the floor. Basically:
- Your machine won’t be able to damage your floor by vibrating against it
- The machine won’t be able to “walk” across the room
- You won’t have to push it back into place, and hurt yourself (or your floor) while you’re doing it
Anti-vibration products will save your machine and your floor. And they’ll even save your back, since you won’t need to push the machine around. Not to mention you’ll be able to sleep soundly when you run it at night.
Now, before I can get around to reviewing the best anti-vibration products for washing machines, I should explain some basic features they all share, and which ones you’ll want to pay attention to while you’re shopping.
Features to Look for When Shopping for Anti-Vibration Mats
Before you go shopping, you should know some basic facts about anti-vibration products. I’ve extracted four key areas you’ll want to pay attention to. So, allow me to explain the types of products you might buy, the materials they’re made of, their effectiveness, and, of course, the prices you might expect.
Types of Products
When it comes to anti-vibrations materials, there are several types of products on the market. There are small foam rubber pads, which can serve to protect your wooden floors from exercise weights or any other pressure damage. These are typically too thin to lift your machine off the floor, though – so they may not stop the vibrations completely.
There are also products which were specifically designed to absorb your machine’s vibrations and even prevent it from skidding along the floors as it’s working. You can slip these small circular rubber pads onto the machine’s metal feet.
On the other hand, if your machine is completely flat on the bottom, you may still be able to use many of these rubber stands. Just slip them under the washer and forget about them – they’re just tall enough to keep your machine from vibrating on the floor.
Finally, there are rubber flooring materials you can lay under the whole machine to act as a buffer between it and the floor. Unlike the smaller rubber materials you slip under the corners of the machine, flooring materials cover the entirety of the machine’s surface. So, if you were concerned about having to clean up dust bunnies that would move in under your machine if you had lifted it onto rubber pads, rubber flooring would solve with that problem.
Material and Thickness
As you may have noticed, most of the types of products you may see are at least partially made of rubber. Because of its density and mass, rubber is an excellent material for shock-absorption, which is exactly what you’re looking for. However, you should be prepared for the materials to have a rubbery smell, at least at first.
I wouldn’t mind the smell, though, especially since rubber is also very good at keeping the washing machine in place. Many of those circular rubber feet also have “anti-walk” claims, meaning that the machine won’t be able to vibrate itself across the floor.
On the other hand, if your machine really wants to go off and live on its own, who are you to stop it, right? “If you love something, set it free” – especially if it’s actively running from you. A machine shouldn’t be literally running: have a repair technician assess the risks and consider buying a new one. Then, you can get anti-vibration mats for that one.
And, as always, I’d recommend going for thicker materials, if they’re available. It may be pricier, but thicker is always better when you’re trying to get some peace and quiet.
As I said, covering as much of the floor as possible with thicker materials will be the most effective solution here. Although, that doesn’t mean rubber feet are useless. They’ll work in a pinch, and they’re cheaper than the most effective materials.
However, if you’re sparing no expense, I’d go for thick padding under the washing machine as well as on the sides. You want to ensure the machine isn’t touching the walls or other appliances and furniture. So, if you get anti-vibration mats and still have issues with your machine, you can always pad it, or cover it with a blanket.
The final thing you’ll need to consider when shopping for anti-vibration mats is their cost. Not to worry, though – I made sure to include products which will suit anyone’s budget. My picks range from $15 to $130, so there should be something for anyone. So, let’s get on to my six contenders for the best anti-vibration products for washing machines.
Top 8 Best Anti-Vibration Products for Washing Machines
1. XCEL Foam Rubber Padding Acoustic Damper Anti-Vibration Pads
The first product that can help reduce your washer’s vibration is this XCEL foam rubber padding. This material comes in packs of 8×6-inch squares of industrial-grade rubber. Actually, as the product name states, the manufacturer made the material plumper and thicker by injecting it with air – making it foam rubber.
The pieces are only a quarter of an inch thick, which means that you’ll be able to cut them easily. Since the pads are multi-purpose, you can pretty much place them anywhere you need them. However, you don’t really need to change their shape in any way in order to put them under your washing machine.
In fact, I’d recommend folding the 6-inch squares up to give them some more thickness, before sliding them under the corners of the machine. Or, if you don’t want to use up all 8 squares, you can double stack them, and have two on top of each other in the corners of the machine. That will hopefully lift the machine from the floor and stop it from vibrating or skidding.
XCEL manufactures these anti-vibration pads in the US, and they’re available for just under $15.
2. ENJ Products Washer Anti-Vibration and Anti-Walk VIBRAFIX Pads
Now, this ENJ Products anti-vibration material introduces us to the category of anti-walk washing machine foot pads. The product is a set of four rubber washer foot covers.
The pads have 3-inch circular bases and are 1.25 inches tall. These are excellent dimensions for our purposes since the machine will be lifted, and the 3-inch width will stabilize it and absorb the vibrations.
There’s a relief pattern on the bottom side of the pads to prevent the machine from vibrating away from its place. The hard rubber base of the pads also serves to make the machine more stable, which will reduce the vibrations even more.
However, the product will work best if the machine’s feet are already equal heights. So, if your machine’s feet can be adjusted, do so before you slip these pads on. Once you lean the machine over to one side, the feet will fit into the notch on the top side of the pads. The 1.75-inch wide, 0.25-inch deep indentation should be big enough to hold most washing machine feet.
If your washing machine doesn’t have feet and is completely flat on the bottom, this product would still be able to lift it. So the vibrations should still be significantly reduced. In fact, many users noted that these pads completely stopped their machines from vibrating. You can get the ENJ Products VIBRAFIX pads for around $25.
- 3-inch circular base, 1.25 inches tall
- Indentation for washer feet on top
- Grips on the bottom to prevent “walking”
- Hard rubber
- Pretty affordable
3. Intuitive Designs Anti-Vibration and Anti-Walk Rubber Pads
Intuitive Design’s anti-vibration pads are pretty much identical to ENJ Products’ pads.
They too are 1.25 inches tall with a 3-inch circular base. Also, like the previous product, this one has a pattern on the bottom to prevent the machine from skidding. Likewise, the top of the pad has a 1.75-inch indentation for the feet of the machine. And these pads also cost about $25 (actually, they might be a dollar cheaper).
The way this product actually manages to distinguish itself is by the type of rubber, and the design of the bottom grips. According to the manufacturer, the pads are made from their special rubber compound. However, since it’s hard rubber like any other, I imagine that’s just how they’re trying to seem different. Their design of the bottom grips is similarly unremarkable to my eye – but if it works, it works. And according to users, it does!
Even though these pads were made with washing machines and dryers in mind, the company also recommends using them on chairs, tables, beds, or wherever you might need them.
- 3-inch circular base, 1.25 inches tall
- Indentation for washer feet on top
- Grips on the bottom to prevent “walking”
- Hard rubber
- Still in the $25 range
4. The Vibration Solution Anti-Walk Silent Feet
This Vibration Solution product is the final rubber anti-vibration pad product on my list. The pads are an inch tall, and about 3 inches wide. Since the pad narrows towards the top, the washer foot indentation is only 1.88 inches in diameter.
Unlike the previous two pads, which are all rubber, this one also comes with some sort of carpeting on the bottom side. That should do wonders for vibrations – after all, fabric is great at absorbing vibrations. Still, it means that you don’t get the benefits of a textured bottom, which the other two pads give you. According to reviews, this doesn’t affect its ability to stop the machine from sliding.
Overall, this set of pads looks shinier and seems to be higher-quality than the others. Perhaps that’s why it costs almost double what the previous two do. The Vibration Solution Silent Feet are made in the US, and they go for about $45.
- 3-inch circular base, 1 inch tall
- Indentation for washer feet on top
- Hard shiny rubber, fabric on the bottom
- Still great at preventing vibration and “walking”
- Slightly pricier than other products in its category
5. Casa Pura Anti-Vibration Mat
That brings us to the rubber flooring portion of the list. The Casa Pura anti-vibration pad comes in two sizes: 24×24 and 24×40. You can order both in various thicknesses, including 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 inches. Since most washers and dryers have 24-inch square bases, the smaller size will probably work on your machine.
The pad is made of compressed recycled rubber granules which are great at absorbing shock. You’ll even be able to see the recycled bits in the specks of color sprinkled through the black rubber. Since it will cover the whole bottom side of the machine, there’s absolutely no chance of noise getting through to the floor. And, of course, the mat will even prevent the machine from sliding down the floor.
However, since this product isn’t really machine-specific, you could actually use it under other appliances, exercise machines, or wherever you need shock-absorption. The mat should also last you a good while – even if you get a new washing machine, it’ll still be good to use.
I’ve already said that the 24×24 size will be great for a washing machine. So, all that’s left to decide is the thickness you’d like. As I always say, the thicker the better. However, the thicker you go, the more it will cost you.
While the 0.2-inch thick mat is only about $25, the thickest goes for about $55. Naturally, you’ll need to consider your budget before deciding. For what it’s worth, this mat is excellent either way.
6. Rubber-Cal Anti-Vibration Washing Machine Mat
If you’ve read my article on floor soundproofing tips, you’re probably familiar with the Rubber-Cal mats. In that article, I recommended their use under carpets, because they’re excellent shock absorbers. I like them for washing machines for the very same reason.
Their anti-vibration washing machine mat is actually multi-purpose, despite the official product name. It’s just a 4×6 foot, 0.42-inch thick rubber pad, so you’ll be able to put it wherever you need it, just like the previous product on this list. Also, like the previous product, Rubber-Cal also recycles the rubber they use for their products.
This mat will definitely be too large if you only want to cover the floor under your washer. However, you can easily cut it down to size by using a sharp utility knife or a box cutter. Fair warning, though: rubber is pretty hard to cut. Still, the material density and thickness are exactly what makes it so effective.
In fact, there’s only one possible flaw of this material, and that’s its cost. If you don’t want to pay upwards of $130 for your anti-vibration pads, look elsewhere.
7. PneumaticPlus Rubber and Cork Anti Vibration Pads
The PleumaticPlus pads are similar to some anti-vibration mats because of their layered design. However, the materials that went into making them are pretty unique.
The 0.87-inch thick squares have a layer of ribbed rubber on both sides. So, putting them under the feet of your machine should keep it from skidding and protect your floor from damage. Between the layers of rubber, there’s a cork core, which should absorb vibrations.
Now, I’ve already said my piece about using cork for soundproofing. As with anything, there are pros and cons you’ll need to take into account. In this case, cork is fantastic at absorbing vibrations, if somewhat inferior to rubber foam. Thanks to the rubber, you don’t even have to worry about it not being waterproof, which is often a concern when using cork floor underlayment.
Fortunately, that won’t be a problem with these mats. There are two sizes to choose from, 3 by 3 or 4 by 4 inches. They also come in sets of four, so a pack will be enough for one machine. Also, each of the pads can take about 50 PSI of pressure, so keep that in mind before you purchase them.
- 0.87-inch tall, 3 or 4-inch squares
- Ribbed, rubber outer layers
- Cork core
- Fairly affordable
8. CLEAR STYLE 3-Inch Anti-Vibration Pads
The CLEAR STYLE Anti-Vibration Pads aren’t as popular as some other products that are specifically made for machines with metal feet. Some rubber pads start showing signs of wear after they’ve been in place for a while. Eventually, the vibrations from the machine can vibrate through the pad. Sometimes, that can even lead to damage on the wood or tile surface of the floor.
Well, this product has been designed specifically to prevent that kind of wear and tear. The rubber pad has a 3-inch square base that’s about an inch thick. Once again, there’s an indentation in the middle of the top side that’s 1.75 inches wide. However, the manufacturer has ensured that the inside of the pad won’t wear clear through to the floor.
Basically, these pads have small, disc-shaped inserts that are made of rubber-coated stainless steel. That material is more durable and less susceptible to rusting than other metals. Moreover, the rubber coating will ensure that the insert doesn’t make the noise any louder. Still, I should mention that the patent for this product is still pending, so its efficacy isn’t a sure thing.
Still, if nothing else, it should absorb vibrations and ensure that the machine doesn’t walk across the laundry room during the spin cycle. Like most of these products, this one comes in packs of four or eight pads. So you’ll be able to put them on a washer or get enough to use on your dryer as well.
- A 1-inch tall, 3-inch wide square base
- 1.75-inch hole on top for machine feet
- Non-slip rubber pad
- Comes with a rubber-coated stainless plate
- Fairly affordable
How to Set up Your New Anti-Vibration Mats and Pads
At this point, you may be wondering how you should go about installing some of these products. Well, before I explain, you may want to check what your washer and dryer look like. Some anti-vibration products are more suitable for machines that have metal feet while others are better if your machine has a flat bottom side.
But if you didn’t take that into account when ordering, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to use them for your machine, after making some adjustments. So let’s see how to install each of the products I’ve mentioned above.
Anti-Vibration Pads for Machine Feet
Anti-vibration pads with indentations on one side are the perfect things for dealing with machines that have metal feet. Before buying a set, you may want to measure the diameter of the feet. That’s the only way to be sure that the pads will be a perfect fit.
Once you do that, installing the pads will be pretty easy. While the machine is empty (and unplugged, for good measure), you should put the pads in one side at a time. So, lift one side of the machine just high enough to slip the pads under two of the feet. After you have them in place, do the same thing on the other side.
If you’re afraid of tipping the machine over, have a friend hold onto the opposite side of the machine. And, of course, don’t put your fingers directly under the feet. Just slide the pads in and you should be good to go.
On the other hand, even if the machine doesn’t have feet, you could get away with using these kinds of products. They’ll look a bit silly, and they may not be the ideal option for preventing skidding. But you should be able to use them until you need to get replacement mats.
Small or Large Anti-Vibration Mats
I’ve reviewed several rectangular mats of different sizes, and there are several ways to use those kinds of products. Again, it depends on the kind of machine you have.
Small 3 or 4-inch mats are an acceptable choice for any kind of machine. You can put them under metal feet using the same method I explained earlier. Alternatively, you can use them even if you have a machine with a flat bottom side.
But with these kinds of machines, you won’t be able to pull one side up from below. Washers and dryers without feet don’t have that space between the floor and the machine where you can safely put your hands. So you’ll have to lean the machine over to the side from the top, position the mats, then lean it back. You’ll definitely need a friend to do that.
If you have a mat that’s about as big as your washer or dryer, it’ll work well for machines with a flat bottom side. Or, if you happen to have a large sheet or roll of rubber, you can always cut pieces to put under the machine feet. If they’re too thin, you can stack or fold them up before putting them in place.
Hopefully, this article made it at least a bit easier for you to decide upon an anti-vibration material that suits your needs. However, there’s still a possibility that your machine may continue being noisy. If that’s the case, I’d first look into whether there’s a technical issue with the machine itself. But, as I suggested, you could also try to separate the machine and cover it with a soundproof blanket.
If you’d like to figure out more ways to live with a noisy machine, you could always read some of my many soundproofing DIY articles. Actually, there are even some simple soundproofing techniques you could use in your laundry room!