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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Best Outdoor Rug For Your Space

Do you need help choosing a durable outdoor rug for patios, porches, decks, and front doors? A simple rug can transform an open space into a cozy conversation or dining space. Whether you choose an outdoor rug for a patio, an outdoor rug for porches, or a front door rug, this guide will help you make the best choice. Plus, you’ll see tips to make your existing rugs last longer.

Here are a few things to consider before purchasing a new rug. In addition to the color and design, it’s essential to consider the size, materials, purpose, style, and designated location.

Y’all know I love entertaining and spending time outdoors?

More and more people are creating cozy outdoor living spaces to provide a safe environment for friends and family to gather. I love using rugs to define outdoor spaces; these tips will help you choose the best rug for your space.

Porch outdoor rug ideas with blues and whites for front porch seating area.  Porch swing.

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How Do You Choose The Design And Rug Style?

This is the first thing most people think about when choosing a rug because it’s the fun part. You will want to consider your overall color choices and fabric patterns when making this decision.

A neutral rug will allow for any combination of materials in cushions, pillows, and tableware – so it’s always a safe choice.

However, there are so many fun rug choices out there, and if you are good at mixing patterns, go for it.

Create a outdoor seating area with porch rug.  Add colorful rug and pillows.  Iron coffee table.

Unfortunately, this rug is sold out, but I found some unique rugs and linked them under resources.

Budget-Friendly Painted Rug

Did you know you can paint your own rugs? This custom rug is painted on the back of simple and inexpensive linoleum vinyl flooring. See DIY Painted Rug Tutorial for instructions to create your unique one-of-a-kind rug.

DIY-Painted-Rug-on-linoleum- porch swing.

Now, let’s talk about the serious decisions when choosing an outdoor rug.

What Are The Best And Most Durable Outdoor Rug Materials?

There are so many beautiful options for durable outdoor rugs. However, it would be best to consider the environment your rug will be exposed to before purchasing.

Almost all quality outdoor rugs are made from water-resistant materials and resistant to mold, mildew, and fading.

They can withstand exposure to elements such as sun, rain, snow, etc.

Outdoor Rug For Patio, Pool, Deck

If the rug is not covered by any form of protection, such as a roof, screens, canopy, or overhang, certain factors need to be considered.

If you purchase an outdoor rug for Patio, Pool, or Deck areas, consider a lightweight, little-to-no-pile rug made from 100% synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers, such as Polypropylene (Olefin), Polyester, and Nylon, will not absorb water as quickly and, therefore, last longer in an exposed area.

Insider Tip

To prolong the life of your rugs, consider rotating them to new areas.

Last year’s rug will be perfect around the pool this summer. Rotating rugs to new areas will allow you to prolong the usefulness of your rug and make the purchase worthwhile.

Outdoor Rug for pool area with blue rug and blue seat cushions under umbrella.

If you plan to purchase a front door rug or an outdoor rug for covered porches, you will still want to choose a durable outdoor rug. These areas are still exposed to moisture, sun, and mold issues.

However, you can safely choose a softer, hand-hooked, medium-pile rug since it will not be exposed to direct rainwater.

What Size Outdoor Rug Do I Need?

Outdoor rugs are available in a multitude of sizes and shapes. In order to choose the right size rug, here are a few rules of thumb.

Create A Seating Area With An Outdoor Rug For Porches, Patios, and Decks

If you are purchasing a rug to create a seating area, you should consider the furniture arrangement.

First, measure out the space for all the seating and tables.

Insider Tip

A good rule of thumb is the size should allow the front legs of each chair or sofa to rest on the rug, at a minimum. If the rug is in a confined space, such as a porch rug, allow 12-24 inches between the wall and the rug.

Materials for outdoor rugs with Adirondack chairs and fun pillows

The Best Outdoor Rug For Dining Area

A round rug works best when choosing an outdoor rug for a round table. A round rug should be approximately 30-48 inches larger than the tabletop.

However, a square rug will also look nice, depending on the space. Oval and rectangle tables will show best on a rectangle-shaped rug.

Outdoor Rug on Pier with dining table and Adirondack chair, picnic basket. The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best Outdoor Rug For Your Space

Regardless of the rug shape, you want to allow chairs to be pulled away from the table comfortably without falling off the rug. When in doubt, allow 24 inches from the edge of the tabletop in all directions to be safe.

Insider Tip

Since outdoor tables and chairs vary, if you already own them, pull a chair away from the table to allow for a comfortable exit and measure the distance.

If you are purchasing new, carefully note the chair and table sizes before choosing a new outdoor rug for patio, decks, or other dining areas.

How To Choose The Best Front Door Rug

First, you need a durable outdoor rug for high-traffic areas.

Next, consider the size that you need.

A typical outdoor rug for a front door is 18×30 and is appropriate for a standard door. To make a bolder statement, choose a larger size, 24 by 36 or so, to fill the doorway.

Because I have a deep porch with French doors, I chose a porch rug that is 43″ by 67″.

Insider Tip

For optimal size, the rug should span the doorway’s width, extending at least up to the door frame.

This front door rug is neutral in color and is a low pile durable outdoor rug option for porches. This pattern is available in multiple colors that you can view here.

Spring Porch with outdoor rug ideas at front door with baskets of pink flowers at french doors

Seasonally changing the rugs is a budget-friendly way to update your spaces without spending a fortune.

The pink rug is a lovely fresh option for an outdoor porch rug. It’s durable but stylish and up-to-date.

Pink spring rug at front door entry. Faux galvanized planters by front door with flowers.

Wipe Your Feet

Another consideration at the entry doors is whether you need a decorative or functional rug. A practical rug will be made from materials designed to trap the dirt and prevent it from entering your home. Most rug descriptions will determine the effectiveness of the rug for trapping dirt.

Insider Tip

You can also consider layering a small decorative rug over a larger rug. A smaller rug is less expensive and can still give you the decorative touch you are looking for without the added expense.

You may also consider adding a cute puppy to your rug, and no one will even notice the rug. LOL

Can You Use Indoor Rugs – Outdoors?

What if you want to use an indoor rug temporarily outdoors?

I have used this inexpensive rug shown below in many places, inside and out. It’s lightweight and easy to move around, however, it’s not a durable outdoor rug.

I used it on my porch for Valentine’s Day, and it was outside for only a couple of weeks.

In order to protect the rug, spray it with Rust-oleum NeverWet. I use this product on pillows, rugs, table runners, etc. Any fabric item that is not recommended for outdoor use can be protected with this spray.

Valentines Outdoor Porch Rug with black stripes and red wooden hearts beside front french doors.

Do Outdoor Rug Last?

That’s the million-dollar question. The answer is completed because it all depends on the quality of the rug and how you use and protect it.

As an outdoor entertaining enthusiast, I have several outdoor rugs that I have used for several years. Although outdoor rugs are more durable, I still care for them by storing them in the off-season.

Can You Leave Outdoor Rugs for Patios and Decks Outside?

You can leave most outdoor rugs for patios in place with success, however, I have a few suggestions.

Insider Tip

If you know you are expecting heavy rain, I suggest pulling the rug under cover until the patio or deck has dried.

Should the rug be exposed to heavy rain, hang it to dry. Doing so will definitely prolong the life of your rug, which allows you to use the rug in different outdoor areas.

Rotating your rugs and using them in different outdoor spaces will make the purchase worthwhile for several seasons.

Click For Additional Durable Rug Resources

Durable outdoor rugs can add a touch of style and sophistication to your outdoor space. If you follow the ultimate guide to choosing the best outdoor rugs, you will save money and have rugs that last for years.

Get more inspiration from these porch and outdoor decorating ideas.

More Porches & Outdoor Decorating Ideas & Tours

Pin it to Remember it

How To choose the perfect outdoor rug with tips and ideas.  Grapevine wreath.
Outdoor Rugs for pool area with Adirondack chair and umbrella
Outdoor Rug on Pierwith outdoor stripped rug and dining table with vintage dishes.
Patriotic Porch Rug - How to choose the perfect outdoor rug.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Great tips! I definitely need a new outdoor rug.


Thursday 29th of June 2023

Renae, I'm glad you found this helpful.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Thanks for sharing these tips. I love outdoor rugs bringing a space together. Love all of your pics and ideas. Where did you find that adorable pillow on the rocker outside your front door with the birdhouse on it? I am always looking for cute little bird pillows.


Thursday 29th of June 2023

@Rachel, Thank you that would be wonderful.


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

Candy, I've had the pillow for several years but if I can find a source, I'll let you know. Thank you for stopping by.


Friday 3rd of June 2022

Great choices Rachel. I tend to purchase cheap rugs and regret it every dang year. Most of the time I forget to roll the one up on the front porch at the farmhouse when we leave. So when we get back there it's either in one of the pastures ruined or ruined from the rain, wind and nasty bugs. I'm going your route next time! Thanks for the tips.

va in nc

Wednesday 5th of April 2023


I really love your porch and the rugs are great additions. Think I will add a rug at my front entry. All your choices are great.


Friday 3rd of June 2022

Thanks Cindy, I think you will be happy.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Saturday 19th of June 2021

I never realized how many rugs you have had in your outdoor spaces Rachel. They are all beautiful. I just love your style.

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Saturday 19th of June 2021

Kim, Thanks so much!


Tuesday 15th of June 2021

What great tips, Rachel! I love how outdoor rugs make those spaces look like "rooms"!

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Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Chloe, I agree. Thanks for stopping by today.