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What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Rug for Your Patio

What to Consider When Choosing an Outdoor Rug for Your Patio

When you’re dreaming of longer days and warmer temperatures, capture all of your optimism and excitement for the summer season in a vibrant outdoor rug. The best outdoor rugs create flow between your spaces and soften the hardy surfaces of your home’s exterior. Use these helpful tips to get the most from your outdoor area rugs, no matter what time of year it is.

Best Materials for Outdoor Rugs

Outdoor area rugs can be made from many materials. Synthetic materials are inexpensive, light, and tend to dry quickly. They’re not super plush and you won’t sink into them, but most outdoor rugs are that way. So if you have a vision of yourself cuddled up on the porch swing with a blanket and a cup of coffee, nestling your toes in between the fluffy fibers of an outdoor rug, try one made with polypropylene. This material is strong, comfy, and has a texture that mimics wool, so it stands up to storms and other weather. The wrong outdoor rug can get moldy when exposed to moisture, so choose polypropylene if you expect a decent amount of precipitation.

If you’re dreaming of a resort-like exterior filled with natural fibers, unfortunately jute and seagrass are big no-nos when it comes to outdoor rugs. Bamboo and sisal can thrive under a covered porch, but never poolside. An outdoor rug should be able to get wet, but natural fibers will mildew if they take in too much moisture, and fade in too much sunlight. Mold and mildew may also be an issue when placing an outdoor rug on concrete, tile, or grass. These flooring types tend to trap moisture, which can spell disaster for any outdoor rugs if they aren’t aired out frequently.

The best fade-resistant outdoor rug material is polyester. It’s also stain resistant, unless oil-based spills are involved. While polyester outdoor rugs are more prone to shedding and pilling in high traffic, they’re fire retardant, should the grill flare up or those tiki torches tip. Want to lay down an outdoor rug on dirt to give a bonfire party a homey feel? Pick a polyester rug with a flatweave construction — it’ll will be easier to dust off and store when the party’s over.

For something pet friendly, elastic, anti-microbial, and weatherproof, get an outdoor rug made from at least one synthetic material. All the best indoor/outdoor rugs are.

Choosing the Right Size Outdoor Rug

Choosing the right outdoor rug size is crucial for crafting an al fresco conversation area or pleasant poolside lounge space. Measure the space with your outdoor furniture staged. At a bare minimum, the front legs of couches and chairs should sit on top of your outdoor patio rug — this way your rug will center a backyard conversation area without appearing too small. For outdoor dining spaces, pull the chairs away from the table to determine how big your deck or patio rug should be. You don’t want chair legs to catch on the edges, so choose an outdoor rug that’s at least two feet bigger than your table on all sides. For more tips on measuring for an outdoor rug, read our complete area rug size guide.

If you’re worried about deck splinters or scorching hot tiles in the heat of summer, then an outdoor rug is a must. But for porches and apartment balconies, it can be tricky to find an outdoor rug that fits. Most runner rugs are between 2-3′ wide and come in varying lengths, so you can find a comfy covering for these narrow outdoor spaces, too. Whether you’re sipping your morning coffee on your balcony or watching the sunset from a rocking chair on the porch, the soft touch of an outdoor rug makes bare feet even better.

Caring for Outdoor Rugs

Accidents happen. No way around it. But you can clean up spills as quickly as possible to prevent them from setting. Read our tips on How to Clean an Outdoor Rug for more helpful information on outdoor rug care. Maintenance will vary with your outdoor rug material.

  • Vacuum regularly to keep dirt and debris from getting ground into the fibers.
  • Sweep underneath the rug occasionally to prevent damage from dirt and debris caught beneath it.
  • If your rug is water resistant, then you can place it over a railing or on an incline and hose it down.
  • For stubborn stains, scrub the rug with a brush and a solution of mild dish soap and water. Avoid soap that contains bleach.
  • Make sure both sides of your rug are dry before you put it back on the floor to prevent mildew.
  • Roll up your rug and put it in storage during extreme weather and when you know you won’t be using it for long periods of time.

Using Outdoor Rugs Indoors

With all the dirt and dust mites you bring into your home from family hikes or the kids’ soccer practice, it’s good to have a sturdy rug that can be thrown in the wash and then hung to dry. Because outdoor rugs are made to withstand wear and tear, they make excellent kitchen, dining, and bathroom rugs. So if you’ve found a texture, pattern, or color that you love in an outdoor rug, there’s no reason not to use it inside. Darker rugs will create more intimacy, and lighter shades can open up a small area.

If you’re going for a layered boho look in your living room, toss in a few outdoor flatweave rugs and top them with scattered floor lanterns and pillows. While leafy vines and florals are popular patterns for an outdoor tropical paradise, you can become one with nature in your own home by bringing an outdoor rug inside.

Because outdoor rugs are often reversible, you can just flip the dirty sides and deal with them later. Will your whole family be trudging in from flag football on Thanksgiving Day? Use your rug in your entryway to guard against mud tracks. Make sure to get an appropriate rug pad to protect your floor and prevent slipping, and be aware that some outdoor rug materials shed more than traditional indoor rugs.

Now that you’ve got the basics covered for using outdoor rugs on patios, porches, balconies, and backyards, it’s time to find the perfect rug. Find your new patio rug on Overstock, then we’ll ship it to you for free! Still not sure about which rug to choose? Check out Tips on Buying Outdoor Rugs for more outdoor rug ideas.