Tips for Choosing the Best Outdoor Rug

Just as they can enhance the look and feel of the rooms within your home, rugs can work to great effect in outside areas as well. When you want to define a space in your patio or bring more character to it, there is no better item to use than an outdoor area rug.

However, unlike typical indoor floor coverings, your outdoor rugs must have properties that ensure that their conditions do not decline as they come into contact with changing weather and heavy foot traffic. Without the walls and roof of a house to protect them, outdoor rugs must rely on their own built-in features to keep their charming appearance for a long time. It can be a tricky balancing act trying to find a rug that is sufficiently hardy and also visually fitting for your patio.

Due to this, our tips for choosing the best outdoor rug can come in handy for you when you’re more acquainted with interior decorating.

Consider the Outdoor Rug’s Material

Since it is the characteristic that holds by far the most import for durability, material is the first thing you should consider as you look for an outdoor rug. Inside the home, you may prioritize downy and delicately luxurious textures, but outside, it’s usually better to go for more physically enduring materials. These are some of the options you may see.


Polypropylene is a type of plastic that is popular for outdoor rugs because it combines relative softness with high resilience. It is not damaged at all by water, which also means that mold and mildew do not grow on it, and is often treated to resist fading from UV rays. Furthermore, the plastic does not readily stain either. To clean a polypropylene outdoor rug, you can simply hose it off, making it perfect for the backyard.

If you live in a region where rain is a normal occurrence and the air is humid, this material will serve you well. Just make sure that you don’t place the rug near a source of heat such as a fire pit or grill, as polypropylene is flammable.


Nylon is another synthetic plastic fiber that you might find in outdoor rugs. It is a tough material that won’t show signs of wear or matting even when you walk over it frequently. Similar to polypropylene, it doesn’t stain easily and is also easy to clean, though you may want to scrub and spot clean it rather than spraying it with a hose.

You can treat a nylon rug quite roughly from day to day, but you shouldn’t put it in areas that experience direct sun exposure because it can become painfully hot. However, a nylon outdoor rug will work well in a patio with a roof or pergola.


The main benefit of polyester is that it defies fading even longer than comparable synthetic materials, including nylon. You can rest assured that a polyester rug will maintain its appearance for a while when you leave it outside.

On the other hand, polyester cannot handle as much abrasion and will pill and become matted when you continually walk on it. Also, oils will stain it, so you should not put a polyester outdoor rug in an area where you plan to eat food.

Natural Fibers

There are a variety of natural fibers that you may consider for an outdoor rug, including jute, sisal, and bamboo. While these materials do have their differences, you generally handle natural fiber rugs in the same way, so we’ve grouped them together here. The primary attraction to natural fibers is that they can give your outdoor space a bright, organic aesthetic that meshes effectively with the plants that surround it. Weigh how much this means to you, as you must exchange all the durability that synthetics provide.

Natural fiber rugs can rot in the presence of moisture and are susceptible to wear. They may be more practical if you have a covered patio.

Think About the Outdoor Rug’s Color

The colors that an outdoor rug has determine how effectively it interplays with its environment and other outdoor furnishings, as well as how you perceive the space overall. Thus, a tip for choosing the best outdoor rug for your home is to think about the rug’s color. Reflect in your rug the color scheme of the pieces you already have or plan to have in the yard, just as you would while decorating any indoor room. Don’t just stop at the colors themselves, but note the method that the manufacturers used to give a rug its distinct hues.

You probably desire a rug that won’t become washed out in the sun, so you should take this into account. Keep an eye out for any synthetic outdoor rug that is solution-dyed. Such a description tells you that the rug makers put the colors into the plastics while making them instead of adding the rug colors afterward as an outer coating. As a result, solution-dyed rugs ward off fading even in the face of the outside elements.

Techniques for coloring rugs that rug makers perform after their materials are complete will not be as enduring. This might sometimes be unavoidable, though, as is the case for natural fibers that people do not chemically concoct from scratch.

Size the Outdoor Rug for Its Purpose

Proper sizing is also critical in making certain that an outdoor rug is favorably suited to your patio. You can follow a couple of pointers regarding sizing to ensure that your rug helps your open-air décor arrangements to reach their fullest potential.

To start with, you should know to utilize rugs that completely encompass the area of tables that you set them beneath. For example, if you have a table that is nine feet in its length and width, the rug you use should exceed this by one or two feet on every side. The rug will appear pleasingly proportional to the table and you won’t feel unstable when you take a seat there, since the chairs won’t sit halfway off of the rug when you pull them out.

In instances where you want the rug to sit in the center of a sofa and some chairs, it should have dimensions that allow the front two legs of each of those seats to overlap with it. This will tie together the individual components of the space.

To find rugs for less that you can use in your home’s outdoor area, contact Boutique Rugs or go to our website to view the products that we offer. You can browse by material, color, and size to make picking a rug easy.