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The Best Outdoor Rugs to Dress Up Your Back Yard This Summer

Best Outdoor Rugs
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updated: January 2, 2024

Home interiors tend to get a lot of love, but there’s something to be said for dressing up your backyard. The right outdoor rug will help define your entertaining space while adding texture and color to your al fresco living room. Beyond that, you’ll want to consider size, material and how well it’ll stand up to various weather conditions. We asked the pros to lay it all out for us. What to keep in mind when choosing an outdoor rug durability

Since this rug will have to endure the elements, durability is tied to the material it’s made of. “For outdoor spaces, my tried and true are polypropylene, polyester, nylon, and natural fibers like jute or sisal,” explains Becky Shea, New York City-based interior designer.

Highly durable synthetic polypropylene gets high marks for being resistant to water, mold and mildew, she notes, while polyester “is another great synthetic that is fade resistant. If you’re in a really sunny spot, this is a safe choice for your home!” Nylon, another synthetic, is stain-resistant and a great choice for homes with families and pets, she says.

Natural fibers like jute and sisal score high for durability indoors, but not for outdoor rugs. “They are not nearly as weather-resistant as synthetic fibers,” she says. “I personally love the look and feel of natural to synthetic, but it does require a little more upkeep and maintenance. If time is of the essence in your life, stick with the synthetics if you want durable coupled with longevity.”

Size

When you’re looking to fill a large expanse, don’t skimp. A good rule of thumb, says Shea, is to leave roughly two feet of space between the nearest wall and the rug, “which allows all of the furniture to sit on top of the rug.”

One exception, Shea notes, is “If your space has nice decking or pavers that you want to see, I’d consider a smaller footprint that can fit the majority of your furnishings on the rug but have chairs half on, half off, or a side table completely off the rug.”

Maintenance and cleaning

Unless you’re the type that finds scrubbing to be relaxing, read the instructions to seek out rugs that are resistant to stains, and can be hosed off or spot-cleaned easily.

Pro tip: The lower the pile height, the lower the required maintenance. Explains Shea, “Rugs with a low pile or flat weave construction are easier to clean compared to rugs with a high pile or shaggy texture.”

Style and design

Pattern and color possibilities are endless, so a good place to start, advises Shea, is to consider if you’re looking for your flooring to complement your existing décor or make a bold statement.

When in doubt, “go neutral, or pick a rug with two colors max for ultimate flexibility,” says Brooklyn-based interior designer Lexi Brandfon. “Also, keep the surroundings in mind to minimize maintenance. If your deck is dark, a dark rug won't distract the eye if it has an imperfection. If you have a lighter color area with lots of grass around or falling leaves, pulling in colors from the area will help keep the look cohesive and won't make it look messy when the elements inevitably make their way to the rug.”

Our top outdoor rugs picks

Best versatile choice: Stark Studio Custom Reid Performance Rug

Stark Studio Custom Reid Performance Rug

Two neutral shades, a classic tone-on-tone Greek key pattern, and the ability to choose both your preferred length and width (ranging from 2-foot x 3-foot up to 23-foot x 13-foot) makes this choice pretty much custom to your outdoor seating needs. And since it’s made from fade- and water-resistant, yarn-dyed polypropylene, imported from Belgium, it’s a durable showpiece, made to withstand the wear and tear of your most high-traffic spaces.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies, $390 for a 5-foot x 7-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, twenty-four length options and 11 width options
  • Shape: Rectangle 
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Pile height: Low
  • Care: Spot clean
  • Colors: Two options

Pros:

  • Option to create your preferred, custom size
  • Timeless design that will coordinate with any décor

Cons:

  • Brand recommends avoiding direct, continuous exposure to sunlight, making this a better pick for a covered area
Stark Studio Custom Reid Performance Rug

Stark Studio Custom Reid Performance Rug

Best patterned outdoor rug: Chilewich Tambour Rug

Chilewich Tambour Rug

Multiple weaves in various shades come together to create a cheerful, bold pattern. “I love the tone on this one,” says Brandfon of the piece, available in a saturated green and a beige with pops of color.

And it’s not just a pretty face. Made with phthalate-free terrastrand yarns, the carpet is sturdy, easy to clean and resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Specifications:

  • Price: Starting at $150 for a 1 foot 11 inch x 3 foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, four size options (ranging from a 1 foot 11 inches x 3 foot outdoor rug up to a 6 foot x 8 foot 10 inches outdoor rug)
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Material: Terrastrand yarns with 25% renewable vegetable content
  • Pile height: 0.15 inches
  • Care: Clean with soap and water
  • Colors: Two options

Pros:

  • Unique, fun pattern
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Pattern could be too busy for minimalist types
Chilewich Tambour Floormat in Red/Gray/Black, Size Large: 3' 10" x 6'

Chilewich Tambour Floormat in Red/Gray/Black, Size Large: 3' 10" x 6'

Best indoor/outdoor option: Annie Selke Two-Tone Rope Rug

Annie Selke Two-Tone Rope Rug

Handcrafted with ultra-durable polypropylene and UV treated to be fade-resistant, this indoor/outdoor pick gets high marks from Brandfon. A high pile and classic weave make for an elegant looking choice, but it’s designed to handle high traffic areas and the wear and tear that comes with kids and pets.

Standard vacuuming and the occasional shake out is all that’s required to keep it looking nice, but for any of life’s messier moments, the rug can be hosed down, scrubbed or even bleached.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $918 for a 5-foot x 8-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, nine size options
  • Shape: Rectangle and runner
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Pile height: 1 inch
  • Care: Washable, scrubbable, and bleachable
  • Colors: Five options

Pros:

  • Can be power washed and even bleached
  • Durable enough for high-traffic areas
  • Classic design

Cons:

  • Only available in more neutral shades
  • A pricier pick
Annie Selke Two-Tone Rope Rug

Annie Selke Two-Tone Rope Rug

Best statement-making outdoor rug: Rifle Paper Veranda Terracotta Cream Outdoor Rug

Rifle Paper Veranda Terracotta Cream Outdoor Rug

When contemplating style, Shea suggests considering “whether or not you want the rug to blend in or be a focal point.” This blooming design is definitely the latter. Power-loomed in Turkey as part of the brand’s Rifle Paper Co. x Loloi collaboration, this 100% polyester pick pulls focus in all the best ways. 

Since it’s specially treated to be UV- and mildew-resistant, it’s sure to stay vibrant for years to come. Plus, a 0.13-inch pile puts it on the lower end of the maintenance requirements, while a polypropylene backing helps keep everything in place.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $360 for a 5-foot x 7-foot, 6-inch outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, six size options
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Material: Polyester with polypropylene backing
  • Pile height: 0.13 inches
  • Care: Spot treat
  • Colors: One option

Pros:

  • Beautiful, statement-making design
  • Mildew- and UV-resistant
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Only one color option, but there are other design choices
  • Larger sizes do get pricey
Rifle Paper Veranda Terracotta Cream Outdoor Rug

Rifle Paper Veranda Terracotta Cream Outdoor Rug

Best easy to clean outdoor rug: Chilewich Mosaic Rugs

Chilewich Mosaic Rugs

It’s not hard to place what Brandfon appreciates about the New York- and Georgia-based brand. The terrastrand yarns (made with a blend of vinyl and polyester) in their outdoor rugs are the same material they use for their wipe-clean placemats, she says, “if that gives you any indication how easily they can be cleaned!”

Soap, water, and a soft sponge or cloth is enough to keep this bacteria-, mold- and mildew-resistant pick looking fresh. And in a classic geometric weave, this option has a goes-with-anything appeal.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $410 for a 3-foot 10 inches x 6-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, seven size options
  • Shape: Rectangle and runner
  • Material: Terrastrand yarns with 25% renewable vegetable content
  • Pile height: 0.14 inches
  • Care: Clean with soap and water
  • Colors: Four options

Pros:

  • Classic design with wide appeal
  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Slip resistant backing

Cons:

  • On the thin side, though that’s to be expected with outdoor rugs
Chilewich Mosaic Rugs

Chilewich Mosaic Rugs

Best outdoor rug for concrete patios: Pottery Barn Monterey Outdoor Rug

Pottery Barn Monterey Outdoor Rug

Warm up your patio with this plush pick. At half an inch, the polyester weave has a higher pile than most, which will add a bit of softness underfoot. The timeless, woven design is available in a stylish blue coordinates-with-everything hue that will elevate any outdoor furnishings.

Though it gives a natural fibers vibe, this pick is fully synthetic, i.e. durable enough to withstand the high traffic of your backyard space. (It’s also made from polyester created from recycled plastic bottles.) However, the brand does recommend keeping it away from excessive moisture and springing for professional cleaning as needed.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $399 for a 5-foot x 8-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, five size options
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Material: 100% recycled polyester sourced from plastic bottles
  • Pile height: 0.5 inches
  • Care: Professional cleaning as needed
  • Colors: Four options

Pros:

  • Elegant, classic design
  • High pile offers a more plush feel
  • Versatile enough to coordinate with most décor

Cons:

  • Brand recommends professional cleaning
Pottery Barn Monterey Outdoor Rug

Pottery Barn Monterey Outdoor Rug

Best washable outdoor rug: Ruggable Outdoor Tropical Green Rug

Ruggable Outdoor Tropical Green Rug

Bring a touch of paradise to your patio space with this statement-making monstera and palm leaf design. One of the brand’s best sellers, buyers rave about the comfort and overall look of this lush pick.

The most beloved feature, though, is that the floor covering—made from polyester with a polyurethane barrier—is resistant to mold, mildew, and fading, and can even be tossed in the washing machine to clean larger messes.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $229 for a 5-foot x 7-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, seven size options
  • Shape: Rectangle and runner
  • Material: Polyester with a polyurethane water-resistant finish
  • Pile height: 0.25 inches
  • Care: Sweep, hose clean or machine wash
  • Colors: One option

Pros:

  • Machine washable means there’s no need to worry about messes
  • Mold- and mildew-resistant
  • Lush pattern is anything but boring

Cons:

  • Some reviewers complained about fading
Ruggable Outdoor Tropical Green Rug

Ruggable Outdoor Tropical Green Rug

Best budget choice outdoor rug: Home Decorators Collection Samba Square Patio Area Rug

Home Decorators Collection Samba Square Patio Area Rug

An attractive, textured pattern, goes-with-anything gray shade, and a stain resistant material for less than $80? It all adds up to this Home Decorators Collection pick being a real winner.

Made using a blend of polypropylene and polyester, it also delivers on durability while the longer, tufted yarns of the high-low style feel nice underfoot.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $69 for a 5-foot, 3-inch x 7-foot, 3-inch outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, two size options
  • Shape: Rectangle
  • Material: Polypropylene and polyester
  • Pile height: 0.12 inches
  • Care: Spot clean
  • Colors: One option

Pros:

  • High and low pile yarns deliver a fun, textured appearance
  • Designed to be stain-resistant
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • Only available in two sizes
Samba Square Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Indoor/Outdoor Patio Area Rug

Samba Square Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Indoor/Outdoor Patio Area Rug

Best outdoor rug with the most color and size offerings: Safavieh Hampton HTN-231 Outdoor Rug

Safavieh Hampton HTN-231 Outdoor Rug

An entire rainbow of possibilities means at least one of these power loomed beauties will coordinate with your home décor. The subtle striped design, with an attractive needlepoint effect—available in sizes and shapes ranging from a 2-foot by 9-foot runner to a 6-and-a-half-foot round—really raises the bar on your style. 

Machine made with 100 percent polypropylene, it’s a durable, weather-resistant pick that is easy to care for.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies by size, $104 for 5-foot 1-inch x 7-foot 6-inch outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, eight size options
  • Shape: Rectangle, runner, and round
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Pile height: 0.25 inches
  • Care: Vacuum
  • Colors: 15 options

Pros:

  • Endless size, shape, and color options
  • Durable and weather-resistant
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • Can take a longer time to dry
Safavieh Hampton HTN-231 Outdoor Rug

Safavieh Hampton HTN-231 Outdoor Rug

Best rug for a front porch: Serena Lily Kingsbury Rug

Serena & Lily Kingsbury Rug

When you’ve got things covered, so to speak, you can indulge in a slightly more opulent rug as it won’t be exposed to all of the elements. With an interlocking diamond pattern, a textured chunky loop weave, nicely heathered yarns, and macrame fringe, this high pile option delivers on style.

Since the handwoven piece is made using 100% polyester fibers, it will hold up to busy front porch traffic and even messy footprints. While professional cleaning is recommended for stains, it can be hosed clean and hung to dry.

Specifications:

  • Price: Varies, $668 for a 6-foot x 9-foot outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: Varies, six size options
  • Shape: Rectangle 
  • Material: Polyester
  • Pile height: 0.75 inches
  • Care: Spot clean, can be hosed
  • Colors: One option

Pros:

  • Beautiful, textured design
  • Handmade for a unique feel

Cons:

  • Needs to be taken indoors during inclement weather
  • Professional cleaning recommended for stains
Kingsbury Rug

How we tested and selected the best outdoor rugs

We researched outdoor rugs from the most popular brands and selected options based on durability, maintenance, size options, and style. We also relied on expertise from interior designers Shea and Brandfon on how to choose the right rug for your lifestyle and outdoor space, along with their recommendations for specific rugs based on usage in their own projects.

How to clean an outdoor rug

It depends on the cleaning instructions listed on the rug, as outdoor rug materials can vary greatly. However, most can be cleaned with mild soap and water, says Brandfon, though you’ll want to follow the brand’s guidance. Notes Shea, “It all comes down to the rug you select and what the manufacturer recommends.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do you keep outdoor rugs from blowing away?

The short answer: “Put your furniture on it!” suggests Brandfon. But if you’re looking for further security, “You can try rug anchors or fasteners, rug pads or rug grippers,” recommends Shea. “As with anything outside, it’s important to regularly check in on the piece and its stability, especially during more inclement weather.”

What are the most durable outdoor rugs made from?

You’ve got options. “Technology has gotten really good in this respect and some outdoor rugs are made of thinly weaved PVC, which is very durable,” says Brandfon. “Polypropylene is a synthetic that also withstands the elements well.”

Shea is partial to both polypropylene, polyester (“It’s fade-resistant, so if you’re in a really sunny spot, this is a safe choice for your home!”) and nylon, “which is known for its resilience.”

Can outdoor rugs be left out in the rain?

Yes, but you should still use your best judgment. Synthetic materials like polypropylene, polyester, and nylon “are designed to minimize water absorption, which allows the rug to dry quicker and reduce the risk of mold and mildew,” notes Shea.

But even the most durable of rugs might fall victim to a heavy downpour. “If there’s a lot of rain coming, fold up the rug and get it inside or undercover,” suggests Shea. “If that’s not an option, as soon as the storm passes, it’s good practice to remove excess water by blotting with towels or using a wet/dry vacuum. Avoid rubbing the rug, it can actually push water deeper into the fibers.”

What outdoor rugs won't trap water?

Once again, synthetics are your best bet. “Polypropylene and polyester are known to repel water rather than absorb it,” says Shea. Though there’s one small caveat: “Prolonged exposure to excessive moisture can still lead to mold and mildew, even if it’s resistant.” In other words, do your best to cover up your outdoor furnishings when heavy rains are in the forecast.

 How long should outdoor rugs last?

As with anything, this depends “on the quality of the rug you purchase, the material composition, and the level of maintenance you invest,” says Shea. Generally, if you take care of your floor covering, you’ll get a solid three to ten years out of it. Notes the pro, “Higher-quality outdoor rugs made from durable materials with flatweave compositions, such as polypropylene or polyester, tend to have a longer lifespan compared to lower-quality rugs, especially when you regularly clean it and ensure that it’s protected during inclement weather.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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