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Best outdoor rugs in 2022: Tested and rated

nuLOOM outdoor rug by poolside
(Image credit: nuLOOM)

Nothing says summer like relaxing on the patio in a lounge chair with a cup of iced tea. And whether your patio, porch, or deck is decorated with wicker furniture, a wooden picnic table, or just a hammock, one of the best outdoor rugs is a great way to pull it all together.

But, there are so many options on the market, how can you tell which will be worthy of your backyard? That’s why we’ve tested a range of designs, assessing everything from comfort and durability to grip and ease of cleaning. As a result, we can say with confidence that these are the best outdoor rugs.

What are the best outdoor rugs?

The best outdoor rug for you will depend on what exactly you’re looking for, but we chose the Ruggable Outdoor Gingham Plaid Rug as the best overall and easiest to clean because it’s stain, water, and fade-resistant and can be laundered in a standard washing machine and dryer. 

The best budget rug is the IKEA MORUM rug. It is very affordable and sturdy, making it a preferable choice for households that need something seriously heavy duty while shopping on a budget.

Read on for all of our picks for the best outdoor rugs.

The best outdoor rugs you can buy today

1. Ruggable Outdoor Gingham Plaid Rug

Best outdoor rug overall and easiest to clean

Specifications

Material: Polyester weave with a polyurethane barrier
Sizes available: 3x5, 5x7, 6x9, 8x10, 9x12
Machine washable: Yes
Double sided: No
Colors available: Multiple colors and patterns available

Reasons to buy

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Stain, mold, mildew, fade, and weather-resistant
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Can be laundered in a standard washing machine
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Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
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Huge variety of colors, patterns, and prints
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Air dries quickly

Made from stain-, mold, and mildew-resistant materials, Ruggable outdoor rugs tend to prevent a lot of stains from sticking to the fabric in the first place. When messes do stick, however, the rug’s unique, two-part system allows for the top layer to be thrown directly into the washing machine. As this is, by far, the easiest rug to clean, it’s a great choice for active households that have a lot of foot traffic or that are especially prone to spills and stains. To sweeten the pot even more, the fade-resistant fabric means colors will stay fresh and vibrant for longer, meaning this rug is especially well-suited for outdoor spaces that receive a lot of direct sunlight. 

During testing, we found that liquids like juice, coffee, and tea beaded up on the surface and were easily shaken off — whatever remained quickly came out with a gentle cleanser and a rag. Mud also came out quickly and easily with gentle spot cleaning. For daily maintenance, just sweep, shake, or vacuum the rug and for a deeper clean, throw it in the washing machine. Be sure to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, which recommend only using cool water and the low dryer heat setting.

Keep in mind that while, technically, you can order the rug cover without the pad that goes underneath it, you’ll only want to do this if you already own a Ruggable rug pad. Ruggable rug covers are designed to work in conjunction with the rug pad that goes underneath it. The thick, cushy pad is designed only for indoor use, but the classic pad can also be used outdoors. As long as you have one Ruggable pad, you could purchase multiple rug covers to swap around as you see fit. Note that while we’re featuring the gingham print rug, Ruggable offers a seemingly endless variety of colors, patterns, and prints.

2. IKEA MORUM rug

Best Budget Outdoor Rug

Specifications

Material: Polypropylene
Sizes available: 5’3”x 7’7”, 6’7”x 9’10”
Machine washable: No
Double sided: No
Colors available: beige and dark gray

Reasons to buy

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Affordable
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Sturdy
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Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid

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It may be too large for small spaces
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It only comes in two colors
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It only comes in two sizes

Don’t let the low-price fool you, the MORUM rug by IKEA is a rugged, no-nonsense rug that’s perfect for patios and outdoor spaces that get a lot of foot traffic. The woven texture isn’t exactly soft or cushy, but it’s neither rough nor abrasive so it’s comfortable to walk on with bare feet. And while the rug is light enough for one person to move it around, it’s large and sturdy enough that it won’t get whipped around on a windy day.

The firm, tight-woven fabric is a breeze to sweep dirt and debris from — just make sure that the stains are dry. Sweeping off damp messes (like wet mud) can cause the stain to dig in deeper, which then requires a bit more scrubbing. Note that while IKEA describes the rug on its website as being “water resistant”, we did not find that to be the case. Liquids like water and juice immediately soaked into the fabric, but all stains came out quite easily with some spot cleaning. Whatever dirt may have remained in the fabric wasn’t visible after hosing down the rug.

While it may not win any beauty awards, the IKEA MORUM rug is still one of the best outdoor rugs because of its quality and accessible price point. However, you should double check your patio can accommodate the sizes and colors on offer, as both are somewhat restricted. 

3. Dash and Albert Herringbone Diamond Geometric Handmade Flatweave Indoor / Outdoor Area Rug

Best handmade outdoor rug

Specifications

Material: Polypropylene
Sizes available: Rectangles (2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 6x9, 8x10, 10x14, 12x16), Runners (2.5x8, 2.5x12, 2.5x18)
Machine washable: No
Double sided: No
Colors available: 16 shades of pink, green, blue, gray, brown, and green

Reasons to buy

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Handmaid
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Stain, water, and fade-resistant
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Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
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Easy to clean
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Double-sided

Reasons to avoid

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The pile is sensitive to pulls and tugs and some customers reported issues with this
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The rug moves around while being vacuumed
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Does not air dry quickly

Handmade by artisans committed to fair labor practices, this ultra-durable and ultra-light rug received high scores across the board. It comes in a wide range of sizes and colors and it’s available both as a rectangular rug and as a runner, meaning it won’t be too difficult to find a combination that would suit your patio. While this is one of the more expensive rugs on the list, thanks in part to the fair labor practices that went into making the rug, the high quality of the weave is immediately evident and it’s easy to clean too.

Though this rug cannot be thrown in the washer or dryer, most stains come out by vacuuming or with a bit of scrubbing. Unlike some of the other rugs in our list, really tough stains can also be spot cleaned with bleach without risk to the integrity of the fabric, which is useful. In terms of everyday cleaning, as this rug is water-resistant, we found that liquids like juice and soda mostly beaded up and were effortlessly shaken off. The small amount of liquid that remained was easily spot cleaned with a gentle detergent followed by rinsing. This was also the case for mud, which was easily removed.

The reversibility of this double-sided rug means that if you wind up with a hard-to-get-rid-of stain, but don’t have the time (or interest in) having it professionally cleaned, you can always flip it over and just deal with the mess later. Additionally, while it's built strong enough to handle the outdoors, it’s soft and comfortable to walk on so it works equally well indoors. Note that the rug does squirm around a bit when it’s being vacuumed though, which is particularly the case when placed on smooth surfaces like wood and laminate floors. While this can also happen on concrete patios, it’s less of a problem. Still, considering the overall quality and ease, we can confidently say that this is one of the best outdoor rugs.

4. Nourison Aloha Indoor Outdoor Tropical Floral Area Rug

Best Outdoor Rug for Comfort

Specifications

Material: Polypropylene
Sizes available: 23 round, rectangular, and runner sizing options ranging from 2x6 runners to 12x15 rectangular and 7x10 round
Machine washable: No
Double sided: No
Colors available: 9 multiple color patterns available

Reasons to buy

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Available in many colors, sizes, and shapes
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Very soft and comfortable to walk on
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Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
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Dries quickly in the sun

Reasons to avoid

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Colors may not stand up to the sun
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Corners and edges may curl up over time

This bright and brilliant rug may be designed for the outdoors, but the soft, raised floral pattern feels similar to regular indoor carpeting — that’s why it’s one of the best outdoor rugs. It comes in an impressive number of sizes and shapes from small rectangular rugs and runners to large, circular designs, which means it will easily accommodate a wide range of spaces.

While the dazzling floral pattern is fun and colorful, note that this is not a fade-resistant rug so some users have reported bright colors fading after only a few months when kept in bright sun. If you choose a more muted color scheme or keep the rug in a less-sunny area, like a porch, it may not be a concern. Also note that it may take a few days for the rug to completely flatten out from new, particularly around the corners and edges, but this process can be sped along by placing heavy objects around the rug, which is what we did.

Though both the muted, flat-weave base and raised textured patterns look completely different from each other, both held up to all the liquids, stains, and mud we threw at it. The rug is not water-resistant and liquids consequently soaked in immediately, but any stains were easily cleaned with a gentle cleaner, followed by blotting with a clean, damp cloth. For maintenance, vacuum the rug regularly and hose it down outside when needed.

5. nuLOOM Wynn Braided Indoor / Outdoor Area Rug

Best Indoor / Outdoor Rug

Specifications

Material: Polypropylene
Sizes available: 36 rectangular, round, oval, and square rugs ranging from 2x3 rectangles and 3x5 ovals to 12x18 rectangles and 10ft square and round
Machine washable: No
Double sided: Yes
Colors available: 8 shades of gray, blue, tan, and pink

Reasons to buy

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Soft and comfortable on bare feet
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Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
+
Easy to clean
+
Stain-resistant
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Double sided design
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Huge variety of sizes and shapes

Reasons to avoid

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Slippery indoors without a rug pad
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The pile is sensitive to pulls and tugs
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Can stretch or lose shape over time
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Does not air dry quickly

If you’re looking for a great outdoor rug that could also work indoors, you’ll want something durable, fade-resistant, and easy to clean that is also stylish, soft, and comfortable to walk on. This is that rug. The nuLOOM Wynn braided indoor rug is made of polypropylene, but it looks like a traditional rag-braided rug. 

Dirt and debris are easily vacuumed or shaken off this rug while mud, which creeps into the crevices, can be removed fairly easily with a dish rag and mild detergent. Also, while we found that stains like juice and tea came out fairly easily, the texture, material, and design of the rug also did a good job of hiding any dirt that may have remained. The rug can be hosed down outside for a thorough wash, but it does take a while to dry so we recommend hanging it up in direct sunlight. Also, as this rug is double-sided, you can also flip it over to hide a stain if you don’t have time to clean it immediately.

This durable rug can withstand heavy foot traffic during warm-weather months, yet its stylish design means you could bring it indoors for the winter months as well. If you do keep the rug indoors, however, consider also getting a rug pad so it doesn’t shift around on wood or laminate flooring. We found this to be an issue during testing.

Though we did not have enough time to assess this, some users reported that their rug stretched out or changed shape over time. However, considering everything that this rug brings to the table, or patio, we can still safely say that this is one of the best outdoor rugs.

How we tested the best outdoor rugs

All of these rugs were tested both on a cement patio outside and laminate flooring inside. We walked over the rugs with shoes and bare feet to test comfort and we even let the kids ride their bikes over them to provide an additional cleaning challenge. The same stains were tested across all rugs, including soda, grape juice, and mud. When stains did not immediately roll off the fabric, they were allowed to settle in before being scrubbed out or hosed off. 

All rugs were also swept, vacuumed, and hosed down to test how easily different dry stains and debris (such as leaves, flower petals, and dirt) could be removed. We also kept an eye on the durability of the rugs, looking out for any snags and pulls after testing. The security and grip of the rugs was also taken into account. 

How an outdoor rug differs from an indoor rug

In some cases, outdoor rugs can be used in exactly the same way as indoor rugs — you choose a color and pattern that compliments your space, lie down the rug, then clean it when needed. Like indoor rugs, many outdoor rugs can be swept or vacuumed clean. Unlike indoor rugs, however, outdoor rugs tend to be a bit sturdier so they’re typically designed to get dirty and endure a power wash.

While each rug comes with its own set of cleaning instructions, most rugs, and all of the rugs featured in this article, can be swept, shaken, or vacuumed to get rid of dirt, dust, and loose debris. They can also be spot cleaned (usually with a mild detergent or soap and water) and rinsed off with a garden hose.

To make the outdoor rug last longer, you’ll want to bring it inside when it’s not in use, such as during the winter, for instance. When vacuuming, pay special attention to the care instructions, as some rugs can only handle the standard floorhead attachment, while others can stand up to the beater bar or rotating brush. And while you should be able to vacuum, sweep, and spot clean most stains, professional carpet cleaning is typically recommended when needed.

What to look for when choosing an outdoor rug

While many outdoor rugs can double up as indoor rugs, the reverse is not true. Some indoor rugs, particularly plush or shag rugs, would be a nightmare to clean if they were soiled with food, wine, or mud, so these styles are best kept indoors. 

Most outdoor rugs are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyester, or polypropylene, and they have been specifically designed to be stain- and weather-resistant. Some are also mold, mildew, and fade resistant. You’ll likely pay more for some of these features, but if you plan to have the rug for a long time, it’s worth the splurge.

Best outdoor rugs

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Also keep in mind how dirty you expect your rug to get. Kids and pets are often responsible for most spills and stains, so if you have a full house — or if you live alone, but host frequent BBQs and cocktail hours — it may be worth investing in a rug that’s especially easy to clean. Very few rugs can be washed in a standard washing machine, but if you expect to launder it frequently, a machine washable rug may be your best choice.

That said, while the ability to throw the entire rug into the washing machine may be a huge bonus, know that if you choose a rug that’s very large, it may not actually fit into the machine. It’s very possible that using the extra-large machines at your local laundromat would be faster and cheaper than seeking out a dry cleaner in these cases.