Perforating mats and Embossing mats

I found mats quite a confusing subject until I realised that they come in various thicknesses and materials. The thinner rubber mats 1.5mm are the best for embossing and the thicker around 10mm made of dense foam are to be used with perforating tools. You can buy all the mats in A4,A5 and A3 sizes. Neither of these should be used however if you are using colouring pencils, they require a hard surface! I have also seen felt mats advertised for both embossing and perforating I have no experience of these but if they were good it could save money. Anyone used one?