How to Make Your Own Tent Carpet

Tent carpet

Tent carpet is one of the tent accessories you may think you don’t need or can do without. However, a tent carpet or rug can significantly affect your camping experience. They may be a matter of individual preference and camping style and often depend on your budget.

A cost-saving option may be to purchase a tent bundle and get a carpet as a part of it. Campers have been increasingly interested in tent carpets and bell tent carpets. There is a wide variety of carpets for family tents and different sizes of bell tents.

A tent carpet can help change the interior of your tent into a cozy, comfortable living area for you to relax after a day of walking. There is a variety of high-quality tent carpets available on the market, but can you make our own tent carpet?

Some people opt for knitting themselves a carpet. You can also use stain-resistant fabric instead of fleece, make a thin laminate underlay for the insulation in the middle, and use a duty tarp for the backing. If using fleece, you may want to try an anti-pill fleece because cheaper fleece wears out quickly and will get all over your socks.

In this article, we cover the main reasons to get a carpet and some alternatives you can use instead. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons people use them. We’re going to give you the main reasons to get a carpet and some alternatives you can use instead.  Let’s start with the basics.

Table of Contents

All About Tent Carpets

Simply put, a tent carpet is a rug you can use on your tent’s floor, on top of the groundsheet. They are primarily designed to fit inside the main living area of a tent. However, many people use make-shift carpets/rugs to fit inside their sleeping area or throughout the tent. They are a great addition when camping and hiking in cold weather.

Why Do You Need a Tent Carpet?

Apart from making the inside of your tent a cozier and more comfortable place to be, much heat can be lost through your tent’s floor. In addition, a tent carpet can provide extra floor protection and are easier to clean than the sewn-in groundsheet. Here are the main reasons you should opt for a tent carpet.


Carpet tents help keep you warmer, especially when you get in and out of bed. Extra warmth is one of the key reasons people are opting to use tent carpets. Even if you’re camping in the warmer months, a tent carpet may prevent the cold ground from drawing heat down.

Having a carpet in your tent means you’re adding an additional level of protection from the cold ground. It can help retain some heat inside the tent on colder days, especially for long periods of time.


Given that many people put carpets in their homes, having one in your tent sounds so reasonable. Right? The truth is that groundsheets don’t provide much comfort. A tent carpet, on the other hand, will minimize the impact of bumps underneath your tent. It is also a much more comfortable playground for your children.

Needless to say, they’re incomparably more comfortable to step on when you get out of bed.


A groundsheet between you and the ground is not proper insulation. Not really. Also, you’ll lose a lot of heat through the floor. A tent footprint can help with this but a tent carpet can provide an extra level of insulation. It will feel warmer underfoot and preserve warmth in the whole of your tent.

If you want to improve the insulation properties of your tent carpet/rug, you can look for those that are thermal backed. In addition, there are water-resistant carpets that are even suited for outdoor use.


Running back to the tent from a toilet trip in heavy rain is not the greatest of experiences. In fact, it may be quite dangerous and lead to (serious) injuries. Thereby, investing in a tent carpet may make a significant difference. No slips and much more comfortable mornings and evenings.

Floor Protection

However careful you may be, something will fall over or you’ll drop something on the floor and damage your groundsheet. With a tent carpet, you’ll have an extra level of protection and it’s also much easier to fix or replace that than a groundsheet. Your tent may also be getting on a bit and a tent carpet can help it last a bit longer.

Noise Reduction

For some campers, the crunchy sound of a tent groundsheet when you walk on it is one of the most annoying ones. Especially when you try to sneak out of the tent while others are sleeping. With a tent carpet, you will significantly reduce this noise and make your tent a much more enjoyable environment for everyone.

A Matter of Style

Tents are getting more eye-catching with each new design, but the flooring is not exactly a style award winner. Unlike a groundsheet, a tent carpet will add a touch of style to your tent’s interior.  And make for a much more comfortable and cozier environment.

Red tent carpet

Benefits of a Tent Carpet in a Nutshell

  • An additional layer of insulation against the cold ground. Especially in the early or late season.
  • Adds home-like feeling to the interior of the tent
  • An extra layer of waterproofing to the tent groundsheet, especially if water-resistant.
  • The soft and comfy feel underfoot.
  • Prevents accidental damage to the groundsheet.
  • Easier to clean than the sewn-in groundsheet.

Buying a Tent Carpet

If you insist on buying a tent carpet, you should look where you bought your tent from. You may find carpets made specifically for your tent. Or you can try to contact the manufacturer of the tent. Other than this, there’s a solid number of tent/tent carpet manufacturers and retailers.

Alternative Solutions

Alternatively, you can buy a universal tent carpet. Rectangular in shape, these may not fit every tent shape but can be folded at the corners. Or you can tuck them under to avoid tripping.

If you’re looking for a cost-saving option, you can try driving your creativity. You may use large throws, especially in your tent’s sleeping area. Fleece throws may slide against the groundsheet but anti-slip matting can help with this. It is lightweight, quite cheap, and you can cut it to size.

You can also opt for extra-large picnic blankets. They’re also lightweight, you can wash them in the washing machine and roll them up nicely. Ideally, you’ll look for the ones with the waterproof backing.

Many people are also using rubber matting. Coming with a soft cushioned surface, the interlocking mats can provide an extra layer of comfort and protection. Due to their rectangular shape, they are more suited to square tents. Rubber mating may be a great solution for families with younger kids or babies.

Mats can be found in many colors and some of them resemble wooden flooring. All you need for luxury camping.

Foil mats are best suited to sleeping areas. This is because the foil will reflect heat back which is great if you sleep on an air bed, inflated or rolled mat. Foil mats are lightweight and usually have a little storage bag so you can store them away. Foil mats come in different sizes and it should be easy to find one that fits into your sleeping areas.

Bell Tent Carpets

Given that bell tents are round, it’d be best to buy a carpet for your bell tent. Yet, some creativity and careful planning may make other floor coverings a workable solution. You can use the above options in your bell tent, but you need to be careful about trip hazards when folding edges.

Rubber matting can help you work around this issue by using rubber matting. You can cut it to shape to fit your bell tent. All you need is some DIY and a bit of planning.

Bell tent carpet is probably the best solution, especially if you camp regularly. These are of great quality, albeit a bit too pricey. Yet, if you opt for one of these, you’ll have a durable solution that will fit your tent properly without cold spots.

Bell tent carpets are also easy to use, especially if you’re using a wood-burning stove in your tent. A good solution would be to roll the carpet away, along with a groundsheet when you’re not using the stove.  In this case, you shouldn’t forget to align the carpet and zipper of the groundsheet and get a two-piece bell tent carpet.

Alternatives to Bell Tent Carpets

If you’re using a bell tent, you may want to try scattered rugs or throws. This is quite common for bell tents but can be a relatively expensive option if you are buying a few at a time.

The plastic-backed picnic rugs may be a solid (albeit smaller) alternative to tent carpets. However, you should know that these are only temporary solutions.

Whichever covering you choose, you’ll feel the benefits of both comfort and safety. Quality tent carpets made for your tent will last longer and are easy to set. Rugs and throws may be a good solution for colder months, but without a waterproof backing, you need to make sure that your groundsheet doesn’t let in water.

To Sum Up

Regardless of your personal preferences, tent carpets undoubtedly make quite a difference in warmth and comfort. And they also prolong the life of your groundsheet. Whether you opt for a tent carpet designed for your tent, a universal carpet, or make your own floor covering, you will never want to go back camping just using your groundsheet.

You may go light if wild camping, but you should always find a way to pack a floor covering. It may be a picnic blanket, a throw, or rubber matting, but they’ll sure to provide comfort and a bit of luxury. They’ll also make the cleaning process a whole lotta easier.

You might also like…

Can You Take a Campervan to Isle of Scilly?

Can You Take a Campervan to Isle of Scilly?

The incredible outdoors. Being in total agreement with nature. Astonishing 360-degree panoramas! Camping on Scilly restores the mind, body, and soul and there is hardly a place more suitable than here. Yet, can you take a campervan to the Isle of Scilly? Stay tuned...

Can I Sleep on the Beach in Greece?

Can I Sleep on the Beach in Greece?

Are you a comfortable camper, traveling with your tent and sleeping bag, or prefer to have someone pitch your tent or dome for you? Greece presents a startling number of cheap places to camp next to many superb beach fronts or in a peaceful, shady forest. Make sure...

Can You Sleep in the Eurotunnel Car Park?

Can You Sleep in the Eurotunnel Car Park?

Since its start in 1994, the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle has been confirmed to be the most efficient operator in pushing people across the track. Now, the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle sees thousands of travelers crossing beneath the English Channel to reach Calais, and other...

Can You Wild Camp in Oslo?

Can You Wild Camp in Oslo?

Camping in some of the globe’s most scenic topography is one of the best things about a trip to Norway. There is the reward too: it maintains costs down in what is otherwise a pricey land to travel around. Can you wild camp in Oslo? Stay tuned to find out more! It’s...

Are Big Agnes Tents Worth the Money?

Are Big Agnes Tents Worth the Money?

As outdoor enthusiasts, most of us know about Big Agnes tents. Yet, maybe you just can’t decide the best choices from their massive collection. Or, you just want to know - are Big Agnes tents worth the money? Let's dive into more details below! It is kind of a waste...

Backpacking Puerto Rico – Essential Pre-departure Tips

Backpacking Puerto Rico – Essential Pre-departure Tips

There are many ways how you can explore the magnificent island of Puerto Rico. Sure, you can book a 5-star hotel trip, but where's the outdoorsy adventure in that? If you are an outdoorsy type of traveler on a budget, may we suggest backpacking Puerto Rico instead?...