Updated May 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best washable rugs

Keeping area rugs clean can be challenging. In addition to a thorough vacuuming, the multistep process includes using a steam cleaner or a bucket, sponge, and detergent. The results aren’t always the greatest, especially when stubborn stains persist. For anyone who doesn’t want to deal with these hassles, a washable rug is the answer. 

Cleaning a washable rug is simple, as it can be tossed in the washing machine just like other types of laundry. While some washable rugs should be allowed to air dry, others can be placed in the dryer on the air-only cycle. 

The key difference with any washable rug is its material, which is made to withstand machine-washing. Otherwise, they’re similar to traditional area rugs when it comes to shapes, sizes, styles, and color patterns available.

While there are several considerations to think about when selecting a washable rug, the tips and information in our buying guide can help. Additionally, our recommendations simplify choosing the best washable rug for your needs. 

Washable rug for busy lifestyle
A washable rug is a good choice for anyone with a busy lifestyle who likes the convenience of using the washing machine to keep it looking its best.

How to buy the best washable rug

How will I know if a rug is washable? 

Because they’re so easy to care for, washable rugs are more popular than ever. Manufacturers and retailers typically make the care instructions of a rug clear in the product descriptions, and most washable rugs are labeled as such. Additionally, the majority of washable rugs include tags or labels with instructions on how to launder them. 

Durability

Rugs that are designed to be cleaned in the washing machine are crafted with materials that keep this in mind. A quality rug falls on the higher end of the price spectrum but should last for years or decades with proper care. On the other hand, frequent washing does take its toll on fabrics and may cause colors to fade. These issues are typically more noticeable on inexpensive rugs. 

Are washable rugs stylish?

Adding an area rug or a smaller throw rug to a room is a good way to give its decor a style boost. Depending on the design and color, a rug can contrast or complement other decorative items in a room for an instant update. Washable rugs are no different than other types of rugs in this regard, as they’re similar in appearance. The main difference is their easy care requirements. 

Versatility 

Washable rugs are as versatile as they are stylish. Not only can they be used in any room of a home, but some models can also be placed on a patio or porch. Washable rugs can also be used for practical purposes, such as on cold hardwood bedroom floors, or for decorative purposes such as to complete the decor of a family room. 

St1-Washable rug on hard flooring
Staff Tip
Just like standard area rugs, washable rugs can be used on all types of flooring. When placed on hard floors with smooth surfaces, it’s a good idea to pair them with a rug pad or rug grippers to reduce the likelihood of slippage. 
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What are the features of washable rugs?

Materials 

When it comes to washable rugs, most are made of synthetic materials which do a good job withstanding the rigors of different wash cycles. The most commonly used materials are synthetic and include polyester, nylon, and olefin. Washable cotton and wool rugs are popular among consumers who prefer natural materials. The downside of these rugs is that they may wear out quicker than synthetic washable rugs, and those that are made of cotton may shrink a bit in the wash. 

It’s worth noting that the materials used to make washable rugs tend to be thinner and more flexible than those of many rugs that aren’t washable. Additionally, the pile is usually on the low side. These characteristics make it easier to maneuver this type of rug and stash it in a washing machine. 

Sizes

Washable rugs come in a variety of sizes for different areas of a home, which makes them suitable for small and large rooms. A few of the most popular dimensions are 3 by 5, 4 by 6, and 5 by 8 feet, but small and larger options are also available. Washable runner rugs that range in size from eight to 12 feet in length and about three feet in width are suitable for hallways. 

Colors and patterns

Just like other area rugs, washable rugs come in a choice of solid colors and patterns such as floral designs, vintage themes, geometric patterns, and color-blocked styles. The best choice for your home depends on the colors in your decor and your personal decorative preferences. 

Shapes

Washable rugs are no different than rugs that aren’t washable when it comes to shapes. As you shop, you’ll find square, rectangle, round, and oval rugs. Occasional specialty shapes are also available. 

Backing

Some washable rugs have a backing that provides stability by preventing slippage. The most reliable backings on rugs that can be placed in a washing machine are made without PVC or plastic-based materials that may deteriorate with frequent exposure to warm water and aren’t dryer-safe. Keep in mind that not all washable rugs include a backing. 

Some companies offer washable rugs with the same pattern and color scheme in several shapes and sizes. Purchasing a few for use in different areas of a room and hallway creates a stylish, uniform look. 

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How to accessorize a washable rug

Rug pad

A rug pad basically serves as a barrier between a rug and the floor beneath. It has several purposes, including adding a layer of cushioning, protecting the floor, and preventing the rug from slipping. Rug pads are available in various sizes or can be trimmed for a customizable fit. 

Rug grippers

Rug grippers come in handy when you want to keep your rug in place but don’t want a full-size rug pad. Grippers adhere to the bottom of a rug — mainly in the corners — to make it slip-resistant. 

Laundry detergent

Because you’ll be washing your new washable rug from time to time, you’ll need a quality laundry detergent. Opt for one by a trusted brand to protect your investment. 

St2-Washable rugs-high foot traffic
Staff Tip
Washable rugs are a smart choice for areas with high foot traffic, as they can easily be washed when they become soiled from frequent use. 
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How much do washable rugs cost?

Inexpensive

Washable rugs costing between $15 and $100 can be found. Small rugs are also more affordable than larger models. Inexpensive washable rugs may show wear after several washings but are worth considering for shoppers who are watching their budgets. 

Mid-range

Mid-priced washable rugs work well for most consumers. Ranging in price from $100 to $300, these rugs hold up well to laundering and come in a range of size options. 

Expensive

High-end washable rugs range from $300 to $1,000 or more. Wool and cotton rugs fall into this price range, as well as top brands and extra-large rugs. While the cost is high, these rugs outlast cheaper rugs, so they’re worth the investment.

Tips

  • Match your decor. The large selection of washable rugs in various colors makes it easy to choose one that fits your home’s color scheme.
  • Measure the area where you plan to place your new rug. This ensures that the rug you choose is just right, and not too small or too large for your space. 
  • Replace your old rugs. Chances are you’ll be impressed with the easy maintenance of your new washable rugs. 
  • Make it your favorite accent piece. A washable rug with bold patterns or vivid colors can grab attention and become the focal point of a room.
  • Assess your washing machine size. Despite the convenience of a washable rug, the point is irrelevant if it won’t fit in your machine. 
  • Follow the care instructions. Most quality washable rugs have care labels where you’ll find specific laundering recommendations. 
  • Maintain your rug’s shape. If you choose a rug that must be air-dried, place it on a flat surface or hang it over a rack to prevent creases and wrinkles from developing while it dries. 
Washable rug-child's room
Because you can wash it with ease, a washable rug is suitable for a child’s playroom or bedroom. 

FAQ

Q. Should I vacuum a washable rug?

A. Yes. When it comes to vacuuming, a washable rug is no different than any other type of rug and requires occasional vacuuming to keep it looking its best. What’s more, running a vacuum over a washable rug will keep it free of dirt and debris in between laundering. 

Q. How often should I wash a washable rug?

A. Although washable rugs are durable, washing them too frequently can cause the fibers to fray or unravel. For the best results, run a washable rug through the washing machine between two and five times per year. However, if more frequent washings are necessary, using the gentle cycle helps prevent the rug from wearing out prematurely. 

Q. What should I do if my washable rug won’t fit in my washing machine?

A. The material of most washable rugs is flexible to make the task simple, but some larger models still won’t fit in most home washing machines. In such cases, your rug will need to be cleaned by a commercial laundering or rug-cleaning service. 

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