Your Guide to Shopping for Outdoor Rugs

May 26, 2020

Leather chair sitting on rug
One of the easiest ways to refresh your exterior seating or dining areas is by laying an outdoor rug under the furniture.  Read on to find out exactly what you need to be looking for and see some of the best neutral options I've found to go with anyone's style. 

DESIGN + STYLE   |   Published May 26, 2020

Lina Indoor/Outdoor Rug

As the warmer days finally arrive, it is important to find ways to make your outdoor spaces as cozy and pulled together as your interior rooms. This is more true than ever this year as we all will likely be enjoying our time at home more than normal.

One of the easiest places to start adding the feeling of home outside is by grounding your sitting or dining areas with an exterior rug.  Just like in the living room, a rug creates a distinct zone while also adding texture, color, and pattern.  With the right choice of rug, mismatched or outdated patio furniture can even look fresh and intentional!  They are also useful for covering up a damaged paver or concrete patio. 

Add a few coordinating outdoor throw pillows and you are well on your way to creating a stylish place to enjoy spending the summer for years to come.

Here is what you need to know about adding an outdoor rug to your porch or patio, along with some must-have neutral choices from my favorite retailers.


Outdoor rugs are constructed of materials that are better able to withstand the elements.  Jute, sisal, cotton, and man-made materials like polyester are durable and most are able to get wet without hurting your rug.  Many are UV resistant, too, meaning they won't be damaged by the sun.  Indoor decorative rugs should never be brought outside.


While they are relatively low maintenance, outdoor rugs do require some care to make them last in good condition.

  • Sweep your rug often with a vacuum, shop vac, or even just a broom to remove dirt and debris that accumulates on the surface.
  • For stubborn stains, use a mixture of dish soap and water and scrub rug with a brush.
  • Although the rug can typically get wet, it is best to hang it in the sun to dry out after a rainstorm or wet-cleaning, allowing both sides to dry completely.  This prevents mildew from forming on your rug.
  • Thoroughly clean and store your rugs at the end of the season.  Roll it up for easy storage.

Roden Outdoor Sofa


The same basic rules for interior rug sizes apply when shopping for exterior rugs.

  • The shape of your rug is determined by what you are placing on top of it.  A seating area is best on a rectangular rug so that you have space to spread out your furniture.  A rectangular table is best on a rectangular or oval rug.  And a round table should be placed on a round rug.

  • Rugs under a table should measure at least 24 inches larger than the table itself to allow room for chairs to sit completely on the rug when pulled out and not catch on the rug edge when being pushed in or pulled out.

  • When deciding on a rug to ground a seating area, the rug needs to be large enough for all the furniture to sit completely on the rug with a small boarder extending past the furniture OR it should be large enough for just the front legs of all the furniture to sit completely on the rug.  The second option is great for a smaller patio where you don't want to cover the entire space with a rug or if you have a limited budget to spend.


Here are a some of my favorite options for exterior rugs that I've found online.  Click on the images below to see more information and the different rug size options available.


Best Neutral outdoor rugs
Neutral outdoor rugs

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