Surprisingly, doormats can capture an astounding 80% of dirt and dust that would get tracked into your house otherwise. So spending an extra $8-10 on a doormat means a lot less vacuuming, sweeping and washing of your floors and carpets.
Door mats also reduce the wear and tear on your flooring, meaning it will look brand new longer and need replacing less frequently.
Ideally, you should have a heavy duty door mat outside of the exterior doors, and then a lighter weight – and ideally washable – door mat on the inside. Walmart sells great doormats for cheap, and Home Depot also carries a great variety of outdoor ones, including ones that can be used to really scrape dirt and mud of the soles of shoes.
Regularly shake out (outside!) and then wash your interior door mats to keep them clean and able to capture any dirt or dust your family tries to track in.
If you have kids who love to play outside in the dirt and mud, you can also add a stiff plastic door mat that is designed to knock off caked on mud and dirt. Train your kids to always use it first, as it will make your regular door mats last longer, and it will prevent clumps of dirt loosening and falling off in the house.