Outdoor rugs: What to look for when shopping

Browse some top-selling picks that will enhance your outdoor setup.

May 15, 2024, 4:35 PM
Shop outdoor rugs for every patio
Shop outdoor rugs for every patio
ABC News Photo Illustration, Ruggable, The Home Depot, west elm, Amazon- Yimobra

Outdoor rugs are a great way to refresh your patio, deck, or backyard setup while providing a cushioned walking or lounging surface and -- if you dine al fresco -- the perfect crumb catcher. Or as Ruggable notes in their buyer's guide on the topic, the right rug can "transform a plain deck or patio into a stylish and inviting area."

It's important to choose the right rug for you, though, especially considering they'll be regularly exposed to the elements. Below, we'll offer some tips for your consideration, as well as ten of our favorites for 2024.

Best materials for outdoor rugs

Natural fibers are beautiful and tempting to grab when shopping for outdoor rugs, but they can be prone to rotting, fraying, insect infestation, and other premature degradation factors if not treated properly -- luckily, most are. Options like re-jute, bamboo or sisal offer the warmth of natural tones without the threat of a short lifespan.

For this reason, synthetic fibers tend to be a heartier option when shopping, and it's vital to consider the climate in which you'll keep your rug.

Shop outdoor rugs for every patio
Shop outdoor rugs for every patio
ABC News Photo Illustration, Ruggable, The Home Depot, west elm, Amazon- Yimobra

When it comes to the right material for you, Wayfair's helpful advice page suggests:

  • Polypropylene: Best for rainy or humid climates
  • Polyester: Best for dry climates
  • Nylon: Best for high-traffic areas
  • Jute & Sisal: Best for use in covered areas

How to choose a rug you'll love

Easy advice for decorating your outdoor space is to consider an extension of your interior design: If you prefer minimal decor and neutral colors, you'll be happier with something more muted. Are you a devoted maximalist? Try one of the playful colors or animal prints we suggest below.

Look at your outdoor furniture, too. While the rug doesn't need to match those pieces perfectly, your space will look more harmonious if they mesh well.

When considering size and shape, first determine where the rug will live. A simple doormat can, of course, be much smaller to sit in front of your doorway but if you want to add a big splash under an outdoor dining table, measure the space you want to cover and order that or slightly larger in your desired shape to accommodate.

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Flatwoven Warm Sand Re-Jute Rug

Ruggable's top-selling outdoor rug is for the sleek minmalist who wants function and style without any loud statements or distractions. The natural tone has a beautiful jute look but is more durable, less prone to mildew and remains fully washable, plus it comes in a variety of sizes with the option to get a standard or cushioned pad for your preferred comfort level.

  • $149 to $529
  • Ruggable
19% off
West Elm

Ombre Pop Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Keep things simple with a pop of color with this ombre rug from West Elm made from recycled polyester that feels soft on your feet but is durable enough for high-traffic areas. Each rug is hand-woven by artisans in India, and the pattern is reversible for two looks in one.

  • $63.20 to $639.20
  • $79 - $799
  • West Elm

Yimobra Door Mat, All-Season Outdoor Indoor

Polypropylene makes this rug perfect for a rainy or moist climates, but it also functions well as a mat for anyone with an at-home pool thanks to its cushy, absorbent construction and four size options that let you cover as much ground as needed. Because of its absorbency, make sure to hang it to dry frequently to help extend its lifespan.

  • $19.99
  • Amazon

Elko Geode Indoor/Outdoor Runner 2.5 X 8

Simple, clean and perfect for narrower spaces, this Article rug's abstract but neutral color-blocking adds interest to a transitional or highly trafficked area without overpowering the space. It's hand-woven in India and easy to vacuum, and while the company warns of a bit of shed at first, it will dissipate over time as you continue cleaning -- aka this one gets better with age.

  • $99
  • Article
33% off

BERTHMEER 5'x8' Plastic Outdoor Rug

If you're on strict budget but need something attractive and easy to clean, try this under-$50 option from Walmart featuring a visually stimulating diamond pattern that comes in a variety of affordable sizes and colorways.

  • $36.99
  • $55.99
  • Walmart
19% off

Animal Print Rug 2'x3'

  • For a small but bright pop of color and personality, invest in this eye-catching outfoor rug featuring a cartoon tigers posing on a pink floral background. It works beautifully for aspiring maximalists with a love for kitsch, plus it has a non-slip backing, is UV-resistant and weather resistant and it's made from poly chenille that won't rot in the rain. The only downside is it's spot-clean only, meaning you can't toss it in the washing machine like some other options here.
  • $72.25
  • $89.99
  • Wayfair

Outdoor Absida Multicolor Rug

If color is your friend, you'll get plenty of it with this retro-inspired rainbow pattern rug from Ruggable. It's a fun way to create dramatic geometric shapes that contrast beautifully with the nature all around, and it pairs well with neutral and bright furniture alike.

  • $129 to $599
  • Ruggable