Why We Use Outdoor Rugs Inside + A Round Up of Favorites

Outdoor rugs are not only for the outdoors! We’re sharing why we use outdoor rugs inside, what materials to look for, how we clean them + sharing a round-up of our favorites.

A mother and her young daughter relax at a dining table in a calm white room // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug | light | table | chairs | high chair | gate

Over the weekend, we took our dining room rug outside. After spritzing it with dish soap, Scott pressure washed it (using the gentle nozzle!), and we allowed it to dry overnight before laying it back into place. All the while, my inbox exploded with questions!

Q: How are you pressure washing that rug? How long does it take to dry? How, what, why!

A: It’s this outdoor rug which is made to be cleaned with water! It dries within a few hours under the warmth of the sun, or overnight if you bring it indoors. Which brings me to the point of this very post…

We Use Outdoor Rugs Inside.

Guys, we don’t mess around with rugs in our house! At one point, we had 4 pets + a baby (RIP Maddie, Libby and Jack), and although CC holds down our fort solo, she’s still… well, she’s a dog. A sometimes slobbery, always messy love bug. Between her in-home elder accidents (truth) and Lucy’s game of Feed the CC, there’s always something on our floors. If it wasn’t for all of the outdoor rugs inside our home, I don’t know what we’d do!

A bright, open studio space with lush greenery and a two-sided work table // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug (similar) | sectional | office chairs | wall planter | kids table

Aren’t They Scratchy?

Sometimes, so it’s really important to read reviews, or request samples if that’s an option! But here’s the good news: An outdoor rug is meant to live outdoors (obvs), so chances are, it’s made from materials that will last. They’ve been made to stand up to wind, rain and snow, and because of this, they’re a good choice for an area in your home that sees a lot of traffic. To clean, you can quite literally take your rug outside and hose it down!

The view of an open studio space into a small craft room with workstation and wood barstool // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug | Lucy’s craft room

See that rug in our craft room, above? That one is made from 100% PET, and it’s incredibly soft. Every now and then, we throw it right into our washing machine on the delicate cycle, and it comes out looking brand new!

Where to Use Them

Anywhere and everywhere (you make the rules!), but ideally in high traffic areas, such as dining rooms, mudrooms or kitchens. Oh, and outside, too – ha!

A brown pitbull dog sleeps comfortably on a chair in front of a fireplace on a red brick patio // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug (similar) | fireplace | lounge chairs | pillows

Due to the flat weave of the materials used, we also love them in our office for chair roll-ability, and in craft, laundry or play rooms. And if you’re looking for a durable stair runner, consider an outdoor runner. The world is your oyster!

A brown pitbull dog snoozes at the top of a black and white staircase with a tan sisal runner // via yellow brick home
A woman and a brown pitbull dog walk quickly up the first stairs in a Chicago home's foyer // via yellow brick home
stair runner | light fixture | vase

Materials to Look For

Most outdoor rugs will be made from 100% polypropylene, which is resistant to mold, mildew and fading. Awesome, right? But with synthetic materials comes the risk of off-gassing, so you may want to unroll your new purchase and allow it to breathe outdoors before bringing it in (if that’s your end goal). Another option is to see if the rug is made from PET (recycled plastic), which is more environmentally friendly.

An evening scene of a mother, father and young daughter enjoying pizza at the dining room table // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug | ceiling light | floor lamp | table | chairs | high chair

How We Keep Them Clean

We use a spritz of dish soap mixed with water for spot cleaning, but once a year (or couple of years, let’s be honest), we’ll bring them outside for a low-pressure washing. In most cases, a hose should work just fine! But if you want to see your rug change colors – it’s fascinating, really! – try the low-pressure nozzle on your pressure washer. Allow the rug(s) to dry thoroughly before laying them back down. Tip: Always read the care instructions for your rug, which may include other recommendations.

A built-in bench seat with wood paneling in combination mudroom/laundry room // via yellow brick home
outdoor rug | light

A Round-Up of Outdoor Favorites

I’ve rounded up a big batch of attractive outdoor rugs for use throughout your home! Gone are the days of plastic-y looking outdoor options. It’s hard to believe that these are outdoor rugs at all! So go forth, lay down outdoor rugs inside (and outside while you’re at it), and when your toddler grounds their avocado into the fibers or your puppy pees again, take it outside for a good washing with no fear.

A grid of many outdoor rug options // via yellow brick home

1. safavieh natural | 2. augustine plaid | 3. sultan slate blue | 4. gridiron | 5. soho staggered stripe | 6. diamond flatweave | 7. burgos reversible | 8. chilewich basketweave | 9. reflected diamonds | 10. estrada dhurrie | 11. geometric reversible | 12. safavieh courtyard | 13. santorini | 14. framed arrows

A grid of many outdoor rug options // via yellow brick home

15. solid flatweave | 16. nautical black border | 17. orla | 18. silver | 19. allison flatweave | 20. lefebvre | 21. adara| 22. yana navy | 23. novogratz villa | 24. samson | 25. botanical | 26. cable stripe

PS: Here’s our guide to choosing rug materials, and why you should be using a rug pad. And if you’re wondering where something in our home is from, here’s a source list!

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  • Jackie5.13.20 - 7:15 AM

    Thank you!  That is a a lot of research/work! Going to sit down tonight and look through these options.  ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.13.20 - 12:15 PM

      I could shop for rugs all day long, haha. If only I had more places to put them!ReplyCancel

  • Sue5.13.20 - 10:48 AM

    Thanks for linking all the possibilities. We’ve been “rug-less” because of the dog destruction of other rugs. #3 does not specifically say indoor/outdoor, but can I assume if it is washable by hose, etc if it is 100% polypropylene? Again, thanks for always providing so much information on your posts. Your home is just beautiful and TwoFlat is going to be a masterpiece!

    • Kim5.13.20 - 12:14 PM

      Chances are, yes. I saw this rug on a few different sites and fell in love! In one place it was listed as outdoor, but with no mention of that on the other. That said, I still wanted to include it on this list because polypropylene is resistant to mold and mildew and generally easier to keep clean. I would feel comfortable hosing this rug off and allowing it to dry! For small stuff, a mix of dish soap and water gets out almost ANY stain!ReplyCancel

  • Katy5.13.20 - 12:47 PM

    We have two kids and have had a machine-washable Ruggable for a couple of years. It’s holding up pretty well considering the abuse it gets, a bit of fraying at the edges, but overall very happy to be able to put the whole dang rug in a nice hot-water cycle in the washing machine. I often will soak it overnight in the laundry tub, too.ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.13.20 - 7:19 PM

      I’ve been curious about Ruggable! There are so many cute options as well.ReplyCancel

      • Liliana10.8.20 - 1:31 PM

        A lot of people see to love Ruggable.  I have a couple of them, and I am not a fan.  For one, I like to be able to vacuum them regularly, and this can only be done with the attachment.  We have a Roomba, but we don’t run it every day.  I don’t find them bendable, so I don’t feel as they get as clean in a regular size washing machine, especially in a house with very active dogs.  Since the first wash, the edges don’t lay completely flat.  And maybe its just me, but I am not ever able to put the rug on the pad on my own, I always end up needing my husband’s help :/ I’ve had other rugs that are more similar to bathroom mats, and I prefer those.  I’ll definitely be checking out the indoor/outdoor rugs.ReplyCancel

  • meredith5.13.20 - 7:05 PM

    Fun fact – my mom was on to using indoor/outdoor rugs inside back when I was in college and I had one in an apartment back in 2006. We got it from Lowe’s and it was definitely a step up from the typical college/dorm rug situation. Just ordered a seagrass look-a-like for our bedroom after our last rug was ruined by a pet accident! Perfectly timed post after I had been dragging my feet and considering more expensive options.ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.13.20 - 7:20 PM

      You must have had a fancy dorm room! And here I was with my inflatable sofa… ????ReplyCancel

      • meredith5.14.20 - 9:15 AM

        Hahahaha that’s awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Haley5.13.20 - 8:36 PM

    So many great suggestions! We went with an outdoor rug in our dining room and love it. I do have issues with it not laying flat, the sides ripple a bit. Do you have any suggestions for that? Thanks for all the effort you put I to sharing. ReplyCancel

    • Scott5.14.20 - 9:23 AM

      Hi Haley! We use rug pads under some of our outdoor rugs, but find that some are perfectly fine without. Maybe try something like this from our pals at Rug Pad USA? Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Hisui5.14.20 - 3:14 PM

    Just to clarify, PET is a certain kind of polyester. It is not necessarily recycled:

  • Kelly5.16.20 - 8:45 AM

    I love all of your outdoor rugs.  We have 2 pups who are in their senior years and have accidents, too.  We’ve fallen in love with Ruggable though.  We just toss them in the washing machine after each accident and wipe down the mat under it with some bleach and we’re good to go.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia Hursley6.25.20 - 9:49 AM

    We’ve actually used both indoor and outdoor rugs in the past. All of your information is so true! Outdoor rugs are definitely where it’s at, especially with animals and kids. As far as maintenance goes with the actual indoor ones, we used <a href=”“>John’s Chem-Dry of Whatcom County</a> for an annual professional cleaning. They did a good job at not ruining the dyes, and treating the rugs properly. They are pretty fairly priced as well, but if you do have an untrained or elderly pet then it is certainly cheaper to go with an outdoor rug that you can clean all on your own. Thanks for sharing all of your awesome research.ReplyCancel


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