The Best Washable Rugs You Can Buy Right Now

The Best Washable Rugs You Can Buy Right Now

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Rugs can be one of the biggest home decor investments we make, and they also take the brunt of our messes. Whether they’re in a high-traffic hallway or the dining room or the kitchen, rugs get messy. And while it’s totally your prerogative if you want to keep your treasured rug daintily displayed in that one sitting room no one ever actually sits in, we want to talk about the rugs we really use. Those that take beatings from shoe tracks, spaghetti sauce spills, pet accidents, and everything else. While spot cleaning is the quickest method for tidying up a rug after a spill, there’s quite a bit that a washing machine can take care of that a rag and some cleaning solutions can’t. Machine washability is also helpful for bigger messes, seasonal changes, and kids.

But what makes a rug washable? Spot cleaners and carpet shampooers aside, we’re paying close attention to rugs that can be gathered into a washing machine, possibly even machine-dried afterward, and unrolled like new in a matter of hours. While some listings describe rugs as “washable,” it’s important to understand the materials rugs are made from to know which ones can be washed once a year and which ones can withstand a wash every month. For example, cotton rugs, while soft and natural, can shrink or distort when machine washed on high heat or too often. Polypropylene-based or polyester rugs are designed to withstand moisture as well as the rigors of a washing machine, but they’re often less soft and typically used outdoors. A washable rug is one that combines the durability of an outdoor rug with the attractiveness and comfort of an indoor rug.

To make shopping for the right washable rug easy, we went ahead and tested over 25 different types and brands so you don’t have to.

What to Consider When Buying a Washable Rug

Break out the measuring tape! Types of rugs are first classified by size and shape: runners, area rugs, doormats, etc. When it comes to runner rugs for hallways or kitchens, 2.5′ x 7′ is the most conventional size. With area rugs, 5’x 8′ through 9′ x 12′ is standard, though the former can more easily fit into compact washers and dryers. First, decide where you want your washable rug to go, then narrow down your material options.

It’s important to keep in mind that the larger your rug’s size — even if it’s an ultra-thin Ruggable topper — the more space it’ll take up in your washing machine. Take stock of your machine’s size to make sure using your washable rug to its fullest potential is feasible. If your rug is 6′ x 9′ or larger, you may need to utilize a 60-pound washing machine, like the ones found at laundromats or wash-and-folds. Home washing machines usually handle around 20 to 25 pounds.

Sometimes, a rug that’s crafted from a single material source — 100 percent long-staple cotton, for example — can be measured in GSM, or grams per square meter. This measurement is used to determine the fabric’s weight, and a higher GSM means a fluffier, thicker, and higher pile fabric. A rug’s KPSI, or knots per square inch, can determine its value as a hand-knotted textile. The more knots per square inch, the longer a rug takes to make, and the more expensive it will be. If you’re able to take a good, up-close look at a rug, you can see just how much time and effort went into it by examining a single square inch of its surface.

The style of your rug can determine its thickness and density, which in turn, effects its ability to clean and dry well, especially in a washing machine.

Tip: You can tell a rug is machine made if its fringe is sewn or glued on, the edges have visible surging, or the back of the rug is completely uniform. Handmade rugs are usually crafted in one piece and their backstitching isn’t completely perfect.

When it comes to washable rugs, the weave and materials are particularly important. We’ve broken down the more prevalent materials used to make washable rugs lighter in weight and easily washable. Keep in mind that shopping for a washable rug will present you with materials you may not recognize or have been told to run away from (hi, polyester!). These rugs are built for wear and tear, so their materials will reflect what they’re designed to do. That said, you’re not sacrificing feel or look for functionality with any of our winners.

Ensuring that your rug is non-toxic, especially if you have pets or kids, is a non-negotiable. We looked for washable rugs and brands with as many certifications as possible, be they environmentally or socially conscious (or both). Here are the ones most worth noting when it comes to rug shopping in general, a few of which you’ll see in our list.

What We Look for in a Washable Rug

We tested more than 25 washable rugs across a range of materials, sizes, and brands to determine our winners. Our picks span a variety of sizes and colors, so keep in mind that if we tested a runner in red, you’ll likely find it available as a 5′ x 7′ area rug in other hues and patterns as well. Our criteria is as follows:

Vintage rug purveyor Revival Rugs recently launched its Recess collection of washable rugs, which quickly made it to the top of our list as the best washable rug on the market. As is expected from Revival, these washable rugs are luxurious and design-forward without costing an arm and a leg. This particular design, Holding in Taupe, blew commerce managing editor Ivy away. She calls it “very neutral-chic” and says that it would go great in any room. “This is a high-quality brand and the rug stood up great to stains,” Ivy recalls after putting it in her husband’s office (aka “the ultimate test!”). Its flat weave design keeps this rug low to the ground, allowing it to seamlessly contribute to your decor. This weave also means it’s lightweight enough to carry to and from the washing machine. Since it’s made of 100 percent organic cotton, it develops a subtle lived-in, almost vintage look after a few washes, which we love, but if you prefer to preserve the rug’s original color payoff, opt for dry-cleaning. Says Ivy, “If you want a chic washable rug for a good price, this is it!”

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to sacrifice design or quality for easy machine-washability; those who prefer natural fiber rugs.

Honorable Mention: West Elm’s Herringbone Washable Rug impressed our social media manager Rachel with how easy it is to wash (and get into the washer), even after keeping it in a high-traffic area. She also calls it “super soft — so soft, that my two puppies quickly confiscated it for lounging.”

The DII Recycled Fabric Handmade Rag Rug from Overstock wins as our best budget-friendly washable rug for its size and color variety, recycled material, and versatility. It’s soft to the touch and hand woven, giving it more value over other budget-friendly washable rugs made of brand-new synthetics. It’s even reversible, so you can get more life out of it before needing to wash it. And according to senior commerce editor Jasmine, this rag rug is “perhaps the easiest to wash” of the lot we tested. “For the rug to be so slim,” Jasmine says, “it has quite a comfortable underfoot feel. It’s also a versatile rug, which I’ve used as a bath mat, entryway mat, and as a decorative rug in front of my bed.” Easy to clean, versatile, and totally cute, this is the budget-friendly washable rug of our dreams.

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to spend more than $25 on a small washable rug; those who prefer colorful rugs.

Good to Know: Since it’s reversible, this rag rug benefits from a non-skid pad underneath it to prevent slipping or movement.

Stylish and minimalist, this Hand-Knit Rug by Parachute is deceptively easy to clean and the ideal surface to step on fresh out of the shower. Bathroom rugs are some of the most used indoor rugs, exposed to dirt and grime as well as water. The best part about this rug is that once washed, it can be used in a different spot every week, like the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and entryway. “I washed this rug on the gentle cycle and by itself,” Jasmine says. “It washed well and held up after many uses. I used it as a bathroom rug and found it to hold up well to the excess water that came from me stepping out of the shower. No snagging or unraveling… and it really gave my bathroom a serene feel.” Jasmine goes on to call this Parachute rug “soft yet really tightly woven, durable, and light,” noting that it’s never cumbersome to give it a wash.

Who It’s Best For: Those looking for a small, neutral, washable rug that’s versatile for multiple spaces; those looking for a luxury bath mat; those who want a plush underfoot feel.

Good to Know: This rug has some heft to it, coming in at 2,885 grams per square meter, so it’s thick, fluffy, and soft underfoot.

Shag rugs are back and (mostly) better than ever. Our winner of the best washable shag rug had to do what shag rugs historically aren’t meant to: get washed in a machine, stay colorfast, and be consistently cozy. This Frates Shag Area Rug from Wayfair does it all and includes a soft, pillowy middle cushion layer that all but invites you to lay on it. It’s set with an anti-skid back made from soft suede that’s safe on delicate hardwood floors. This rug is a great example of the benefits of machine-made rugs. “This shag rug is very soft,” says our assistant shopping editor Britt. “There wasn’t any shedding, not even after walking back and forth over the rug in my home office. It’s extremely easy to move around, fold over itself, roll up, etc. If it needed to be moved for any reason, I could pick it up without much effort.” Britt notes that the 5′ x 8′ area rug isn’t as thick as it looks or feels, which means it’s “surprisingly easy to fold and fit into the washing machine. Let it air dry, and it’s as good as new!” She keeps her Frates shag rug in an open area “because I want to have the room to lounge around on it at my leisure. It’s as soft as a cloud. Everyone who visited couldn’t help but run their hands over it. It’s become a new statement piece in my home, for sure!”

Who It’s Best For: Kids and teenagers; those looking for a colorful statement rug; those who prefer to sit on the floor; those who want an ultra-soft, fluffy rug.

Good to Know: You can get Wayfair’s 5-year warranty to ensure this washable, stain-resistant rug sticks around for as long as you need it to.

A rug that works both indoors and outdoors is pretty specific. Add machine washability, and your options suddenly run slim. Thank goodness for Ruggable. A best selling and well trusted brand for washable rugs, Ruggable’s synthetic flat weave two-piece rugs are ideal for indoor and outdoor use. The top, washable layer is thin, features the design of your choice, and easily peels off from the bottom layer, which adds cushion and traction. You can even choose between two rug pad thicknesses for customized underfoot comfort. The Ruggable Flatwoven Re-Jute rug is our winner as the best washable rug for indoor and outdoor use. Our home assistant editor Savannah was “surprised by how soft this rug is.” She goes on to say, “I wear slippers but do enjoy walking around barefoot from time to time, and I was happy when I stepped foot on this rug.” Crafted from the brand’s patented “re-jute” material, this rug is non-toxic and recyclable as well as made from over 180 recycled plastic bottles. Savannah tested its durability as an indoor and outdoor rug by placing it in a high-traffic area. “I stopped going barefoot on it,” she says, “but coming in and wiping my shoes on the rug is really smooth and gets lots of the dirt off, which I appreciate.” According to Savannah, the Ruggable Re-Jute rug “was functional AND comfortable, so this is great for indoor and outdoor use.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer to wash their rugs often; those with indoor/outdoor hybrid spaces; those with households prone to messes.

Good to Know: Ruggable rugs are made to order, which actually doesn’t result in a super long wait time, but it does cut down on the waste that often comes with textile production.

The Svena Washable Colorful Geometric Rug from Crate & Barrel has two equally beautiful sides, is made from recycled textiles, and is soft to the touch, making it our number-one pick among reversible, washable rugs. While it’s lightweight enough, even at its largest size, to transport to a washing machine, our commerce coordinator Emily said, “It never really stained! I dropped sauce on it, wiped it down real quick, and it was very easy to clean off. Due to the fabric being very rope-like, when I spill something neutral, you can’t even see which area is wet.” When it came to washing the rug in a machine, Emily said, “It felt easier to wash than my throws.” She washed it on the cold cycle with mild detergent and didn’t see any fraying — even the tassels stayed in good shape. “I’m extremely impressed with the quality,” she says. “It repurposes selvage fabric remnants from bedsheets, curtains, and pillows, so I thought it’d be a lot rougher, but it was really soft.” Easy to roll up and carry with just one hand, the rug is “incredibly light,” says Emily, “which was also great in terms of manually washing it without breaking a sweat. None of the colors lost vibrancy and, when I put it right back where it was, I did not see a difference from when I first bought it.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer thin rugs; those who like colorful rugs; those who want to layer rugs; those who want a washable rug made from natural material.

Good to Know: Crate & Barrel offers rug swatches, which ship and return free, so you can get the most accurate sense of how the rug will look in your space.

For a cruelty-free, machine-washable take on hide rugs, this fluffy, faux cowhide pick from Bed Bath & Beyond is our winner. “The 100 percent Luxe Faux Fur Rug added the perfect touch to my space,” Jasmine says after testing it. “It was undeniably soft to the touch and was a lot bigger than I expected. It’s a very high pile and plush rug, great for somewhere you’d want to add a touch of cozy.” It has a skid-resistant backing, so it can go on the floor or any other surface without budging or causing any damage. “The true test came during its first wash,” Jasmine recalls. “Pleased to say I was shocked at how little of its fur pieces were left in the machine. Its cream color wasn’t hard to keep clean and there wasn’t any shedding while being walked on. It also looks expensive, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for the perfect touch to add luxury to a space.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a luxe, expensive-looking washable rug; those who prefer a high-pile, super-fluffy rug; those who want a washable hide rug.

Good to Know: Bed, Bath & Beyond has a large selection of washable rugs, from bath mats to area rugs, so you can find the one that works for your space — but we’re loving this faux fur one.

The Nevermove area rug by GelPro on Wayfair eliminates the need for a rug pad, making it optimal for high-traffic areas. Thanks to its anti-skid underside and gripping corner reinforcements, it’s resistant to slipping, tripping, and movement in general (hence the name). “It’s a flat polyester that is the slightest bit plush if you really step down on it,” says AT managing editor Terri. “Thanks to the gel corners,” she continues, “it stays put really well, which I love. It’s extremely lightweight and easy to move around if you want it to. As a doormat-style rug, it’s great. It’d also be good in any high-traffic areas, like a kitchen or as a hallway runner.” Nevermove recommends washing this rug on a cold cycle with mild detergent, preferably on its own. Once air dried, Terri said, “It was like new! The process was super easy, and it felt exactly the same pre-and post-wash.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who have a large household or host gatherings; those who want a low-maintenance washable rug; those who don’t want to purchase a rug pad.

Good to Know: This rug is both washable and stain resistant, but you can also get Wayfair’s 5-year warranty, just to be safe.

Washable wool rugs are some of the hardest to find, especially ones that are affordable, attractive, and won’t take a week to dry. The Ivory Mona Pinstriped Sunset rug by RugsUSA hits all those marks and is made from sustainably sourced, premium hand-made wool as well. It’s spill and stain resistant, despite the seemingly vulnerable ivory design. It’s also thin and lightweight, but because it is real wool, keep in mind the size of your washing machine — especially if you opt for the 6′ x 9′ size. Home projects editor Megan suggests getting this rug in its largest size only if you have a top-loading washer or access to a laundromat. “However,” she says, “it’s super soft and has a plush look to it.” Upon receiving it, Megan was surprised that it was “super easy to roll out with just one person, since it’s so lightweight.” She tested this rug in a low-traffic area, “where it doesn’t get a lot of human foot traffic but DOES get a lot of dog traffic. Both dogs love lying on this rug, which I think is a testament to its cushiness.” Apparently, Megan herself couldn’t resist. “I also laid on it just to see what they were so crazy about, and it did significantly cozy up the hard tile floor beneath.”

Who It’s Best For: Those who prefer natural fiber rugs; those who want something plush with a high pile; those with large or top-loading washing machines.

Good to Know: Because this wool rug is so surprisingly lightweight, it benefits from the use of a rug pad.

We Tried One of Ruggable’s Washable Rugs—And It’s a Total Game Changer (and 15% Off Right Now!)

We Tried One of Ruggable’s Washable Rugs—And It’s a Total Game Changer (and 15% Off Right Now!)

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

As someone who hears about a lot of new brands and innovative products on a daily basis, I treat every new “thing” with a healthy dose of skepticism. My motto is that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So you can imagine my suspicion when I first heard about Ruggable, the brand that sells washable rugs. Aren’t all rugs technically “washable?”, you ask. Well, yes, pretty much all modern rugs can be steam cleaned or at the very least spot cleaned. But none of them can be safely put through a washer and dryer—until Ruggable came along.

So how does it work? Ruggable’s rugs come in two parts: a rug pad and a rug cover. The pad keeps it from sliding, while the cover is made of a lightweight, low-pile material that can be thrown into the washer. Once you have a Ruggable pad, you can buy any rug cover you want—and the company sells a ton, ranging across pretty much every style. I got to test out a Ruggable rug for myself, and let me say, it was a journey.

First off, I had to pick a style, which was a bit of a challenge considering just how many options there are. (There are even shag rugs, which just launched.) I was specifically searching for a runner for my kitchen, an area that I thought would most benefit from a washable rug (hello, food stains). I eventually went with this trendy boho option in the 2.5′ x 7’—although you’ll notice there are five other sizes to choose from depending on your needs.

When my new rug arrived, I found that the assembly was easy enough. The rug pad and cover are attached by four corner tabs, which have a little velcro part that keeps them together. But take care to choose the correct bottom side—at first I had the wrong side facing down and the rug was slipping and sliding everywhere. Once I realized my error, I flipped it over and was honestly surprised at how good the pad is at sticking to the hardwood. (And if you want to be sure you’re getting it right, you can watch this helpful YouTube video.)

Next came time for some real testing. After several days of cooking in the kitchen, the rug wasn’t exactly dirty but definitely not as clean or fresh-looking as it originally was. With no major spills, it had your average dirt buildup from shoes and dust—but I wanted to give it more of a test. So, I purposely sprinkled hot sauce on my brand new rug, which was positively wild. Reader, I’ve never felt so alive!

Then I rolled the rug right up to take to the laundromat. An aside: I was very skeptical about how the rug would fit into a washer, but it turns out that the cover folds up nice and small, making it super easy to both transport to the washer (especially if you have to travel, like me) and throw it in. I used a mild detergent, put it on cold, and came back 24 minutes later.

When I pulled it out, I broke into a cold sweat. The stains were still there. I immediately scolded myself for being so naive and not even pre-treating it, then threw it in the dryer and hoped it would go away, like the independent adult that I am. And here’s the thing: The stains actually DID fade significantly, with no pre-treating. They’re still there, vaguely, but not noticeable at all unless you’re really looking up close and actually trying to find them. Otherwise, the rug came out of the dryer looking and feeling exactly as it did when I first got it, with no signs of it falling apart or shrinking. Color me deeply impressed.

So my final verdict? Ruggable is totally worth it, and I heartily recommend especially if you have pets, small children, or just tend to spill things. If you do have a major spill, just pre-treat it like you would with anything else that goes in the washer, and it’ll be good as new in no time.

If you want to try out a Ruggable rug for yourself, now’s the perfect time. From now through September 7, you can save 15% off some of Ruggable’s most popular styles with code LABORDAY15.

Nicole Lund

Commerce Editor

Nicole writes about shopping and products for Apartment Therapy, but her specialities are candles, bedding, bath, and pretty much anything homebody-friendly. She has been writing for AT for three years.

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Ruggable’s Labor Day Sale Is Happening Now & These Are the Best Styles to Shop

Ruggable’s Labor Day Sale Is Happening Now & These Are the Best Styles to Shop

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Despite moving almost a year ago, my apartment still feels far from finished. I’ve been of the “take your sweet, sweet time” styling mantra, especially since it’s expensive as heck to fully furnish a new home. Although I’m a firm believer that it’s worth the wait to find and invest in pieces you absolutely love, some of my most beloved home staples have actually come from spontaneously shopping holiday sales (looking at you, Black Friday sectional score). That’s why I’m keeping an eye out for any Labor Day home discounts this year, because there’s one purchasing priority I’m absolutely ready to take the plunge on: rugs.

Jonathan Adler and Ruggable Just Collaborated on a Washable Rug Collection That’s Dripping with Style

Jonathan Adler and Ruggable Just Collaborated on a Washable Rug Collection That’s Dripping with Style

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Here at Apartment Therapy, we’re huge fans of Ruggable. In case you’re unfamiliar, Ruggable is renowned for its innovative machine-washable, two-piece design, which is available in everything from doormats and runners to statement-making area rugs. What sets Ruggable apart is that their rugs feature a pad and a cover that attaches with Velcro tabs. Once you have the pad, you can swap out the covers whenever you want to change your look — which you’re probably going to want to do ASAP, because the popular brand just released its sure-to-sell-out collaboration with the one and only decorator and designer Jonathan Adler. And, unlike many Jonathan Adler pieces, the rugs in the collection are actually pretty affordable.

Maximalists: Step to the front! If you’re looking to upgrade your home with unmatched style and innovation, it’s time to peruse the Jonathan Adler x Ruggable collection. To help you do so, we’ve outlined the bold and stunning styles (all of which are sold in 10 sizes ranging from runners to round rugs) below.

This Best-Selling Pillow Just Got a Major Upgrade (Hint: It’s Even Cooler)

This Best-Selling Pillow Just Got a Major Upgrade (Hint: It’s Even Cooler)

Sarah M. Vazquez

Commerce Writer

Sarah writes about all things shopping for Apartment Therapy. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Elle Decor, and PureWow, among others. In her free time, you can find her strumming away at her guitar, on the perpetual hunt for the coziest duvet, and enjoying Sundays in the park with Marty—that’s her pup.

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