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Be it a patio, or a balcony, there is no reason to keep your outdoor space plain and boring. From furniture to appliances, there are plenty of options to make yourself as comfortable outside as you are inside—and rugs are no exception. It can’t be just any old rug you have lying around, though. Shall we dive deeper? Find everything you need to know about the best material for outdoor rugs here in our reviews below!
The Outdoors And Its Unique Challenges
Depending on where you place it, and your climate, your rug may lose its colors faster than it should, or it could accumulate moisture which will eventually lead to mold growth. These are situations your conventional living room rug is not prepared to face, which is why there is an entirely separate classification of rugs that is intended to retain its hue and structural integrity while it remains outside. This comes, almost exclusively, to the material; below, we will be covering what sort of fabrics you can find for outdoor rugs, and what locations and conditions they are good for.
Sometimes, what we have in mind for our living space requires a type of look or feeling only a natural fabric can provide. These are not the most resilient of materials, but they can still be placed outside—as long as it is a suitable area and they are cared for properly. Rugs made out of a natural material can often be dyed, though the palette may be somewhat limited; as they are vulnerable to water in varying degrees, natural fiber rugs are better for covered areas, such as your deck. If this is the way you want to go, the options are as follows:
While it may come as a surprise, this material does feature a unique combination of resilience and comfort, to say nothing of its plush looks, that makes it a good candidate for an appropriate outside area. As its texture is such that it helps it endure a certain degree of impact—for example, footfalls—without flattening, it is quite well suited for areas of heavy traffic. It boasts remarkable insulation properties, which help it keep the surrounding area warm in winter and cooler during the summer. It is naturally flame retardant, and it can also withstand some exposure to water, as long as it is not too much.
Wool is better suited for places with minimal moisture in the air; sunlight can make it fade, as well.
You might like: Safavieh Heritage Collection Wool Area Rug. Hand-tufted with cotton backing, it is available in several sizes and shapes, including round. Its patterns are intended to resemble traditional oriental designs.
- It is normal for wool rugs to shed in the first few months after they have been placed; be prepared to pick up the resulting stray fibers and tumbleweeds.
- Vacuum about twice a month, unless the area the rug sits in sees a lot of foot traffic (in which case you can bump it to 3 or 4 times a month). Do not use a beater bar! Doing so will damage the rug, and also cause it to shed more.
- An alternative to vacuuming is the old- fashioned beating method. Hang the rug from a strong enough clothesline, and thwack it as hard as you can with a rug beater like this one.
- Do not let spills or stains sit there for long—address them as soon as you can, or they might become permanent. How to clean it will vary depending on the type of stain (marker, coffee, pet-related spills), but most often what you will need is dish soap, water and a towel or rag.
- It is often advised to get professional help once a year, as this will provide the most thorough cleaning while preserving the rug to the maximum degree possible.
They are not exactly the same, but they overlap in a few ways: they are both plant-derived fibers known for their decent longevity, and their looks are also somewhat similar. However, there are still some differences: derived from the agave plant, sisal is known for being remarkably strong and durable, which makes it a good choice for higher traffic areas. Jute, on the other hand, is harvested from a plant with the same name native to India and Bangladesh; it is softer than sisal, which puts a damper on its durability but makes for a more welcoming, comfortable texture.
For your consideration:
Fernish Décor Handwoven Jute Area Rug. 11 sizes total, 6 rectangular and 5 round. No color variations available, but weaving pattern can vary between one size and another.
Safavieh Palm Beach Collection Sisal Area Rug. Aside from sisal being an inherently hardy fiber, the raised pattern makes this rug less comfortable to sit or lie on, but it gives it a look that is rarely seen among similar rugs. The style variations offered do not change pattern, but they come in different colors and sizes. No round option available.
Maintenance is similar to wool rugs: shake it or beat it to remove dirt, vacuum it periodically without using the beater bar, and take care of stains as soon as possible. Jute will shed to a certain degree as well; since these particles will often end up on the floor underneath, it is advised to pay attention to that area as part of the cleaning routine.
An increasingly popular option, synthetic-made rugs are, overall, quite long-lasting, and require very little in terms of maintenance: usually all it takes is hosing them down, and they will be good as new; they are also resistant to stains, although this may vary depending on the rug’s material and the type of stain. Color is not a problem, as synthetic rugs boast a wider selection of colors and patterns, which also won’t fade easily. They are also more affordable on average. A common drawback is that they tend to be fairly thin, which means they require some form of weight to keep them in place; many will also become hot under direct sunlight.
A commonly favored option, rugs made with this material will often feature a more comfortable feeling without sacrificing durability. Although they will be just fine if exposed to the sun, they are highly flammable, which means they should be situated as far away as possible from grills, fire pits and other such sources of heat.
You may like: Gertmenian Freedom Collection Bordered Theme Patio Carpet.
Rugs in this material are not so common, but they can be found if desired. Although it won’t fade easily, a rug of this sort might be better off kept out of the sunlight, as it could get too hot for bare feet otherwise.
Worth a look: Garland Essence Nylon Washable Rug. It comes in 3 sizes and 7 colors, and it is even offered by set (including a 3-one for furnishing your bathroom, should you so desire), but the pattern won’t change regardless of the choice selected. Machine washable.
Well known for its durability and texture, a particular drawback of this material is its vulnerability to oil stains; for this reason, rugs made with polyester should be kept away from kitchens and similar environments.
For your perusal: Nourison Maxell Contemporary Polyester Area Rug. The color selection is somewhat limited, but it may be a good fit for spaces seeking a more modern look. Palette stays within the cold color range—ivory, grey, teal—with unconventional patterns that are likely to prove quite eye-catching.
The One We Believe In: Polypropylene
It might just be the most common material when it comes to rugs, and it is not hard to understand why, as it is uniquely suited for both sun and moisture; it provides a nice texture while remaining quite affordable, and its variety in patterns and colors is hard to match. It is also possible to find options that work with polypropylene derived from recycled materials, which is likely to be a plus for many people.