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Top-rated washable rugs for upgrading your home this year

We consulted cleaning and health experts on how washable rugs work and how to find the best one for you.
Woman sitting on the floor with her dog, on their blue rug. The best washable rugs of 2021 shared by experts include area rugs, runner rugs, cotton rugs and more for the kitchen, bathroom and other home spaces.
“These rugs are trending now because we are concerned about tracking ‘germs’ into our homes, there’s a heightened awareness and concern,” said Teresa Hunsaker, family and consumer science educator at Utah State University.Getty Images

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Rugs can tie rooms together, but they are typically expensive and time-consuming to clean. I personally stay far away from the pricey rug in my living room anytime I’m holding a cup of coffee or glass of wine. But what about washable rugs? They’ve been growing in popularity, and it’s easy to understand their appeal. Most are machine-washable by definition, which means you won’t have to shell out for a professional cleaner or take the time to deep clean your rug with a carpet cleaner.

Indoor allergies are a concern for many Americans as they spend more time inside their homes during the winter months. Washing your rugs regularly can reduce dust and allergens and control asthma and allergy symptoms, said Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The more often you clean furniture, the cleaner your space will be — and washable rugs can make it easy to keep your space clean, safe and even stress-free.

SKIP AHEAD Top-rated washable rugs

As many continue to work from home with the rise of the Delta variant, cleanliness of work and personal space remains paramount for some, too. “These rugs are trending now because we are concerned about tracking ‘germs’ into our homes, there’s a heightened awareness and concern,” said Teresa Hunsaker, who writes a column offering cleaning tips during Covid-19. “People also like the option of not having to pay to clean a rug as often, because they can wash it themselves once it gets dirty,” she added.

Though people are spending more time at home now than ever before, they are already overwhelmed with the stressors of the pandemic and are looking for ways to simplify the cleaning process. “Covid-19 was already a great amount of stress for everyone and some of our customers let us know how difficult it was to keep up with the cleaning while working from home and having their kids learning from home,” said Zeynep Mehmetoglu, who owns Washington, D.C.-based cleaning service Maid Bright and runs it with her husband Yusef. Whether you have kids or pets or just want to cut down on cleaning time, here’s what to know about washable rugs, plus some top-rated options based on expert guidance.

Washable rugs: Benefits and limitations

All rugs are inherently washable — however, rugs that brand themselves as “washable” can typically be machine-washed, which isn’t necessarily common for all rugs. They’re also designed to be much easier (and cheaper) to clean, said Mehmetoglu.

“While having Persian, silk or brand name carpets is appealing, they are not always easy to take care of in high traffic areas in your home, especially with pets or children,” she added.

But the benefits of washable rugs do come with some drawbacks. Washable rugs are often thinner and therefore may not last as long as traditional rugs, explained Mehmetoglu. For example, their corners may start to turn up over time. Hunsaker highlighted that the quality of washable rugs has increased over the years — and shoppers can now choose from more designs and price points than they previously could.

Top-rated washable rugs this year

To give you an idea of the washable rugs on the market, we put together some highly rated options across price points and use cases based on the expert advice we received.

Top-rated affordable washable rug: DII

DII Contemporary Reversible Indoor Area Rag Rug

This affordable rug is highly rated on Amazon, and its numerous patterns and sizes makes it adaptable for any space in your home. It comes in 13 colors and patterns as well as different sizes. These handmade rugs can be machine washed and air dried or spot cleaned. Rugs are made from polyester and have grips at the bottom to keep rug in place.

Top-rated washable shag rug: Gorilla Grip

Gorilla Grip Original Faux-Chinchilla Area Rug

The words ‘fur’ and ‘machine-washable’ typically don’t go hand in hand, but this faux-fur rug makes it possible. The rug is topped with a layer of soft, warm shag and includes durable grip dots on the bottom to hold it in place. You can choose from 21 solid colors and eight sizes, anywhere from 2 feet by 4 feet up to 7.5 feet by 10 feet. The rug can be machine washed on cold and tumbled dry on low.

Top-rated large washable rug: HEBE

HEBE Cotton Area Rug Machine Washable

This area rug comes in two sizes and seven sizes, and sports a simple, neutral geometric pattern. It’s made of recycled cotton, is stain resistant and can be machine washed on cold in a mesh bag and air dried on the ground. Users can also vacuum and spot clean their rug for day-to-day upkeep. This rug can also be rolled up for easy storage.

Top-rated patterned washable rug: RealLife

RealLife Machine Washable Rug

If you’re looking for a patterned rug, this washable rug comes in 15 designs, including mosaic tile and tribal stripe. It’s made of recycled synthetic materials and comes in six sizes (up to 7.6 feet by 9.6 feet). The underside has non-slip backing to keep the rug in place. RealLife rugs can be machine washed on cold and air dried on your floor.

Top-rated versatile washable rug: Ruggable

Ruggable Machine Washable Area Rug, Distressed Geometric Natural

Hunsaker recommends Ruggable, which is known for its washable rugs. All of their rugs come with two pieces: a lightweight rug cover and a non-slip rug pad, which can vary in thickness. The rug cover goes over the pad and ‘clings’ to it — the pad underside is made from similar material as yoga mats which helps keep the rug in place. Users can vacuum or brush their rug, or wash with mild detergent and dry on low heat or air dry. This rug has a simple, geometric pattern and comes in three sizes.

Top-rated designed washable rug: Ruggable

Ruggable Delphina Delft Blue Rug

Inspired by the Greek city of Delphi, this colorful rug is designed to be a statement piece of your dining room, bedroom or hallway. Like other Ruggable rugs, this rug is machine washable and comes with a rug cover and non-slip rug pad. This rug can be customized to fit almost any space — it can come as an area rug, runner or circle rug, and varies in size, depending on your room specifications.

How to buy a washable rug

Before you shop for any rug, make sure it actually fits in your space — literally. And consider your current interior design, too: You’ll want a rug that seamlessly blends with your existing furniture and decor. Mehmetoglu highlighted other features to keep in mind while considering options — as well as some maintenance tips to keep your new washable rug in good shape.

  • Not only does your rug have to fit in your room, it has to fit in your washing machine. If it’s too big, you’ll have to get it commercially laundered, which will cost much more.
  • Most washable rugs are made with synthetic materials like polyester, which can more easily stand up to the abrasiveness of washing machines. There are some washable rugs made from natural materials like cotton and wool, but they tend to be more expensive (and may not last as long).
  • While washable rugs are meant to be washed, you shouldn’t wash them every day (or even every week). In order to make them last as long as possible and avoid wear and tear, consumers should really only wash their rugs when they’re actually dirty or stained. Like any other rug, washable rugs can be vacuumed or spot cleaned.
  • Some rugs will call themselves “washable” but actually need to be cleaned professionally. Make sure the rug can actually be machine washed.

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