Everything you Need to Know about Outdoor Rugs

Bimini from Bimini by Kaleen

As the weather begins to transition from winter to summer, spending time on the porch, deck or patio is an excellent way to enjoy your home, but creating an outdoor space that’s functional and fashionable can be difficult. Everyone wants to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing the amenities of indoor living. One aspect of indoor living that can really enhance your outdoor space is an outdoor rug. Rugs have character, adding color and style to even the smallest space.

When thinking about outdoor rugs, most people picture something like a welcome mat. Welcome mats have their function, but outdoor rugs can come in a variety of chic and useful styles. Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs are made from materials and techniques that can handle the elements. To help understand the variety of outdoor rugs, here’s everything you need to know about outdoor rugs.

Outdoor Rugs Dos and Don’ts

Destressed Perfection from Breeze by Orian

A lot of time is spent deciding on outdoor furniture, be it for a front porch, deck or even an apartment balcony. Just like indoors, an outdoor rug can complete the look you were going for. Make sure you get it right with these essential outdoor rug dos and don’ts.


  • Do find an outdoor rug style that complements the outside furniture and décor.
  • Do use a rug pad with your outdoor rug.
  • Do think about the size and shape you want.
  • Do choose an outdoor rug that accents the space it’s going to inhabit.
  • Do make sure the front legs of all your outdoor furniture can be placed on the outdoor rug.


  • Don’t bring your indoor rug outside.
  • Don’t be afraid to choose an outdoor rug that offers color. Patterns can be a perfect pick too.
  • Don’t shop for an outdoor rug before measuring the area you have in mind for the rug.

What are Outdoor Rugs Made From?

TE-02 from Terra by Loloi

Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs are made from materials that can withstand the outdoor elements, which is why indoor rugs should not be brought outside. Because of these durable materials, they also hold up well in high-traffic areas.

Outdoor rugs are typically fashioned from synthetic materials or plant fibers. Plant fibers like hemp, jute, sisal, and seagrass are popular choices for outdoor rugs because they are durable and made from sustainable materials. They also deliver on style, affordability and are low maintenance. Unlike other natural fibers, outdoor jute rugs should be placed in a covered porch or patio because jute rugs can be damaged by moisture and are susceptible to mold and mildew.

Man-made materials like polypropylene and polyester are top picks for outdoor rugs as well. Polypropylene rugs are very durable and stain-resistant. Most polypropylene outdoor rugs are 100 percent UV resistant and can be dyed with vibrant patterns and colors. Propropylene rugs are a comfy choice and come with a very affordable price tag.

Outdoor Rug Care

EZ-02 from Enzo by Loloi

Outdoor rugs are relatively low maintenance, but like indoor rugs, care is required if you want them to last. Utilizing rug pads for your outside rug is also suggested. Rug pads help to prolong the life of rugs because they act as a buffer between the rug and the surface it’s on top of, protecting both. Pads also prevent slippage making the rug safer to use.

Vacuuming is also suggested for your outdoor rug since it prevents dirt from building up. Like most rugs, make sure to remove your vacuum’s beater bar before vacuuming. If it’s easier, a carpet sweeper or a broom are other great ways to get the dirt off outdoor rugs as is a hard shake or even a leaf blower.

When spills occur, clean them up quickly, letting them sit too long can lead to lasting damage. Most outdoor rugs can be thrown in a washing machine or rinsed with a backyard hose, but you should always check the cleaning tag on your outdoor rug before getting it wet.

While outdoor rugs can handle Mother Nature, when the weather turns and temperatures dip below freezing, it’s best to clean and store your outdoor rugs. When storing, make sure to roll your rug with the bottom facing out.

Can Outdoor Rugs go Indoors?

EAG-2306 from Eagean by Surya

Yes, outdoor rugs can go inside, but indoor rugs should not go outside. Outdoor rugs are made to withstand lots of traffic and rough conditions, making them an excellent choice for homes with kids and pets. They are also moisture-resistant, which means using an outdoor rug in moisture-prone areas such as the basement, laundry room and bathroom are smart solutions to prevent mold or mildew.

Outdoor rugs serve up fabulous designs that can complement any interior space. They are also softer than you might think, so you can still binge-watch on the rug or play with pets and kiddos. Maintainance and cleaning are also very easy with outdoor rugs. Most outdoor rugs can be cleaned with mild soap, a multipurpose scrub brush and a hose.

Tips for Maintaining Outdoor Rugs

RS091 from Home and Garden by Nourison

Shopping for an outdoor rug is just as much fun as an indoor rug. Outdoor rugs are as stylish and chic as indoor rugs and unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs can do double duty and often don’t have a high price tag. To make sure your outdoor rugs lasts, keep these top tips in mind.

  • Choose the right material for your outdoor area. Synthetic fibers are the best pick for open areas since they dry quickly and don’t mind moisture. Natural fibers are sturdy and sustainable, but some can’t handle the rain, making them a great choice for covered porches, patios and gazebos.
  • Make sure to purchase a rug pad. Rug pads are a flooring essential whether the floor is inside or outside. They help prolong the life of any rug.
  • Clean up spills as soon as the liquid hits the rug. Always check the rug’s individual care information, but usually, a mild solution of dish detergent and water will take care of spills.
  • Hang outdoor rugs in the sun to dry after a rainstorm or wash. Be sure both sides are completely dry before putting them back.
  • Leaf blowers are handy for getting rid of dirt and other outdoor debris.
  • Clean and store rugs before the snow season if you live in snow-prone areas. Always clean a rug before you store, and wrap it in plastic to keep unwanted pests from moving in.

Now that you know the ins and outs of outdoor rugs, slip off your shoes and sink those toes into your trendy and functional outdoor rug while you enjoy some fresh air.

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