5 Tips for Choosing the Best Kitchen Rug

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Kitchen Rug

Finding the perfect kitchen rug will give your kitchen the inviting feel of a gathering space while protecting floors from high foot traffic. Whether your kitchen floor is hardwood, linoleum, or tile, adding a kitchen rug will give you the benefits of noise reduction and a little cushioning for your feet. Plus, it has the added benefit of tying together your home decor. Follow these tips to ensure you pick the best kitchen rug that does what you need it to and looks good doing it.


Coordinate Your Rug With Your Existing Kitchen Decor

Kitchen Runner Rug and decor with a complimentary pattern and color palette A vintage-look floral rug like this one can inspire accent colors throughout a neutral-toned kitchen.

Do you want your kitchen to feel sleek or cozy? Whether you’re looking for a small accent rug or a large area rug, it’s important to choose a piece that coordinates well with your flooring and furniture. For example, if your kitchen cabinetry or home decor includes bright colors, consider a neutral rug that won’t compete with your design. You can also measure the vibrancy of your rug color or pattern against the tones or grain in your wood floors.


If you’re looking to brighten up a neutral kitchen, placing a saturated solid-color rug beneath your kitchen table or in front of your sink is a great way to transform the look of the room without working too hard. This can be really effective if you have a subway tile backsplash, or you’re an apartment dweller with lackluster countertops. Bringing in a multicolor rug gives you the freedom to switch up your palette.


You also want your rug size to fit your kitchen. You don’t want a rug so tiny that it looks like a dishrag fell from your stove handle, but you don’t want to overwhelm the space either. Typically, a runner rug is perfect for kitchens with narrow gaps between islands and counters. Place a short runner rug in front of the sink to cushion your feet while you wash dishes — it will also catch inevitable drips and drops. A runner also helps to visually extend the length of your kitchen. You want a maximum of 6 inches between the rug and your counters or cabinets. For open floor plans or kitchen-dining-room combos, read detailed rug sizing instructions in our Complete Rug Sizing Guide.


Pick a Rug Material and Weave Type That Meet Your Needs

Flatweave Runner Rug for a Kitchen Pair a durable flatweave kitchen rug with a non-slip rug pad for a natural look.

The best kitchen rugs are made from durable materials. While a seagrass rug looks stylish under your breakfast table, some natural fibers are susceptible to mold and mildew if they stay wet. You need your kitchen rug to be water-resistant for when an unwatched pot boils over or ice flies out of the fridge door. It should be also super soft to save falling dishes and give your feet a break when you’re standing for long periods of time.


If your kitchen tends to get busy, a flatweave rug is an ideal choice. Flatweaves tend to be colorfast, so they’re both beautiful and durable. They are also made from cotton and other easy-care fibers, which means when your dog topples the Thanksgiving turkey, you can just throw the rug in the washing machine. Your pets will also be less interested in tearing up a flatweave rug since it’s woven with smaller loops that don’t catch as easily on teeth and claws.


Have tile floors in your kitchen? Bigger loops are what you’re after. Consider placing a plush, high-pile wool rug under your kitchen table or in walkways. This will add instant warmth to the floor while enhancing your decor. A thicker rug also provides extra padding underfoot to add comfort and reduce noise. You can distract yourself from how much you hate doing dishes by wiggling your toes into its soft fibers.


For a cross-comparison of kitchen rug textures, read our Guide to the Best Rug Materials.


Consider Rugs That Are Easy to Clean

a geometric indoor outdoor area rug in a modern breakfast nook Bring a bold outdoor rug indoors as an easy-to-clean kitchen rug.

Between your dog’s sloppy eating and the times you go a little Emeril with the seasoning, kitchen messes are inevitable. It’s important to consider rugs for your kitchen that are stain resistant and easy to clean.


Flatweave cotton rugs are machine washable and smart, practical options. Additionally, rugs made with natural fibers such as jute, sisal, or bamboo are simple to hand wash with soap and water and are sturdy enough to withstand heavy foot traffic.


Area rugs in high traffic areas receive their own slew of stains. Instead of gating off your kitchen, consider polyester and polypropylene rugs. For one thing, they’re non-flammable, which is an obvious benefit in the kitchen. Traditionally used as indoor/outdoor rugs, they’re also stain resistant and by far the easiest to clean. You can use fast, aggressive cleaning methods, such as scrubbing or bleaching, and your rug will be fine. For more sensitive cleaning options, read our guide on How to Get Stains Out of Rugs.


Think Safety

Rug pad placed under a kitchen rug for safety Don’t forget the non-slip rug pad!

It’s important to think about safety when purchasing a kitchen rug, especially with slick tile or polished hardwood flooring. There are a couple of options when it comes to preventing slip-and-fall accidents. Some rugs come with a nonslip rubber backing so your rug will stay in place on its own. A rug pad is another solution to help keep your rug in place. But for even more safety, choose a nonslip material like rubber or polypropylene instead of a felt one. Any type of rug pad will also help minimize wear and tear, reduce noise, and add comfort. To consider your options, read our rug pad guide.


Rely on Foam Standing Mats Over Rugs for Serious Comfort

woman standing on a foam anti-fatigue kitchen mat by a stove For extra cushion in the kitchen, an anti-fatigue mat is your best friend.

While a thick kitchen rug can feel plush and luxurious, you may need a little more help for tired feet in the kitchen. Anti-fatigue mats are good options for anyone who spends a significant amount of time standing in front of the sink or counter. These cushioned rugs are made with memory foam or similar materials that cushion and support the feet. Plus, they typically feature a rubber backing so they stay in place. Whether you’re packing lunches or chopping up onions, a supportive cushioned rug will help prevent those aching pains in your feet, knees, and back.

While these synthetic mats are super kind to your body, they just don’t bring that handmade polish a decorative kitchen rug does. Place these smaller mats where you stand the most, then position a larger kitchen rug under your table to make the rest of your kitchen pop.

A rug does wonders when it comes to adding color, style, and warmth to your kitchen space. Learn more about adding rugs to any room in your home by visiting The Complete Rug Buying Guide. Or start shopping kitchen rugs on Overstock for free shipping* to be included with your order. You’ll get more rug for less so you can enjoy your kitchen more.


*Not eligible in Alaska or Hawaii.