Above even color or style, the most important thing you need to consider when choosing a rug for your home is the material. There are so many different fibers used to make area rugs today, each with its own advantages. Here’s how to determine what type of rug you want.
From left to right: Mohawk Home Villetta Accent Rug in Butter Red; Home Decorators Collection Pueblo Design Area Rug in Cocoa and Natural; Artistic Weavers Sofia Beige Wool Area Rug; Safavieh Barbados Natural Jute Area Rug
First of all, you should think about how much traffic your space receives — high traffic areas get considerably more dirt and spills than low traffic areas. This is why you want a rug that either doesn’t show flecks of dirt and dust or cleans up easily. Also, consider how fast the rug will wear out–constant traffic means that the rug fibers may break down more quickly, meaning you’ll need to replace it sooner.
While the word ‘synthetic’ may not give you the warm fuzzies, rugs spun from man-made fibers are usually the most durable and comfortable rugs out there. They are made to mimic the softness of an authentic wool or silk rug, while offering an even more durable, stain-resistant construction. These rugs are great for families with kids and pets or to be placed in a high traffic area, like an entryway. You won’t have to worry about muddy shoes or liquid spills on this rug, so you can rest easy. Browse more than 6,000 synthetic rugs.
The Villetta Area Rug (pictured above, far left) is one of our top sellers, boasting 6 sizes and 4 colors. Good looks aside, this rug will look fantastic for years to come.
Because outdoor rugs are made from plastic, they stand up incredibly well to moisture, stains, and high traffic. While they aren’t the plushest rugs available, they will clean up easily. In the last couple of years, more and more outdoor rugs have been popping up on the market with styles more akin to indoor rugs — stripes, greek keys, and soft patterns have all made their way into this underdog rug category. There are any number of ways to clean an outdoor rug — sweep, vacuum, spot treat, or take it outside and hose it down. These rugs work perfectly for kitchens, and muddy, messy spaces, like an entryway or mudroom. Browse more than 800 outdoor rugs.
The Home Decorators Collection Pueblo Design Area Rug (pictured above, second from the left) may be an outdoor rug, but it will fit right in with the furniture in your living room, entryway, or mudroom. With 5 stars and over 46 reviews, this area rug is the best of the best!
Wool & Silk Blends
These are the most luxurious feeling rugs on the market, made from thick, plush wool and silk. Wool holds pigment well, which means that there’s an endless variety when it comes to color and pattern in wool and silk rugs. They can be wonderfully soft to the touch, but wool and silk rugs need to be vacuumed frequently, and spills will need to be cleaned up immediately. Though they hold up well to high traffic, their vulnerability to stains make them risky for areas prone to spills and tracked in dirt and mud.
The subtle pattern of the Artistic Weavers Sofia Wool Rug (pictured above, second from the right) will suit both contemporary and traditional rooms alike, and the soft beige color will complement any decor. Browse more than 4,000 wool and silk rugs.
Natural rugs are made from mostly plant material, and some of the most popular are jute, sisal, and seagrass. All three of these rugs come in varying shades of brown and tan and have fantastic woven texture. They bring a casual sophistication to any room, plus they’re environmentally friendly. While these rugs often hide dirt and pet hair very well, they can be very absorbent, which isn’t good news if you’re concerned about liquid stains. Be sure to soak up stains immediately and consult the care instructions. There is a lot of variety when it comes to the feel, maintenance and lifespan of jute, sisal, and seagrass as the weave, thickness, and backing can play a large role in how they will resist wear and tear. If you’re looking for a rug to last for decades, a natural rug might not be your best option, but these are the best options for price and environmental footprint.
The Safavieh Barbados Natural Jute Rug (pictured above, far right) has a thick weave and a latex backing which makes it much more durable than most jute varieties. Browse more than 500 natural fiber rugs, including jute, sisal, bamboo, and cotton.
For more information on area rugs, materials, and care instructions, read our Buying Guide for Area Rugs or browse our selection of more than 10,000 area rugs.