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Best outdoor rugs to jazz up your patio, tried and tested

Give your garden, patio or balcony an instant makeover

Zoe Phillimore
Monday 10 June 2024 17:52 BST
We wanted rugs that would see us through summer and beyond
We wanted rugs that would see us through summer and beyond (The Independent)
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Outdoor rugs are a great way to quickly give your garden a facelift. If you’ve got some unsightly paving slabs or slightly grim decking, sticking an outdoor waterproof rug over the top is a labour-free way to give the area a boost.

Many of us are starting to spruce up our outdoor spaces by investing in garden furniture, such as sofas and bistro sets, along with patio heaters and outdoor lighting, and garden rugs can help add the final touch to your al fresco setup.

While there are some very luxurious options out there, it’s worth noting outdoor rugs don’t have to cost the earth (although, some cheaper options can feel a little plastic-y). Keep in mind that some will require a little more TLC than others – you may need to chuck them in the shed throughout the winter, too. We recommend a good jet wash at the start and end of the summer – our garden rugs last and last by doing this.

Having said that, many garden rugs are UV resistant and waterproof, so they don’t fade, shrink or become matted or mouldy, which is a bonus when the British weather can be so unpredictable during the summer months.

Whether you’re planning a garden party or a barbecue, or just want to jazz up your patio, decking or balcony, we’ve rounded up the best outdoor rugs that will add a little extra style to your outside space.

How we tested the best outdoor rugs

A selection of the outdoor rugs we tested for this review
A selection of the outdoor rugs we tested for this review (The Independent)

During testing, we unfurled our outdoor rugs to see how they would cope with the elements and daily family life. We were after quality rugs that felt as though they would last and were comfortable underfoot. Of course, mostly, rugs are there to pretty up a space, so, aesthetics were taken into account, too – although, of course, beauty is subjective. Lastly, as the price of outdoor rugs does vary, we looked at value for money.

The best outdoor rugs for 2024 are:

  • Best outdoor rug overall – The Rugs ecology outdoor rug: £29.90, Rugs.com
  • Best budget outdoor rug – B&Q GoodHome Malaita floral woven-effect rug: £26, Diy.com
  • Best colourful outdoor rug – Ruggable Monica Ahanonu outdoor mango multicolour rug: £429, Ruggable.co.uk
  • Best premium outdoor rug – Designers’ Guild Muara colbalt outdoor rug: £170, Designersguild.com

The Rugs ecology outdoor rug

best outdoor rugs indybest review The Rugs ecology outdoor rug black 2024
  • Best: Outdoor rug overall
  • Dimensions: 80cm x 150cm, 120cm x 170cm, 140cm x 200cm, 160cm x 230cm, 200cm x 290cm
  • Colourways: Black, blue, grey, beige, aqua, orange
  • Why we love it
    • UV resistant
    • Not too plastic-y
    • Weatherproof
    • Wipe clean
    • Good range of sizes

We were so impressed by the finish of this rug, we thought it would cost triple its actual price. The modern, monochrome graphic print made a dazzling difference to our garden – yet, despite the white, it didn’t seem to attract too many muddy footprints. It certainly doesn’t have the spring of some of the other rugs we tested, but it does look about as close to an indoor rug as you could hope. In other words, it’s not plastic-y at all, yet it’s made from 100 per cent polypropylene and is totally weatherproof and UV-protected. We also found it dried quickly after downpours, meaning we could pad outside in our socks without getting them wet. If black and white isn’t your jam, there are other colourways available, too.

  1. £29 from The-rugs.com
Prices may vary
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B&Q GoodHome Malaita floral woven-effect reversible large outdoor rug

best outdoor rugs indybest review B&Q GoodHome Malaita floral woven-effect reversible large outdoor rug
  • Best: Budget outdoor rug
  • Dimensions : 240cm x 180cm
  • Colourways: Beige and green reversible floral design
  • Why we love it
    • Stain-resistant
    • Dries quickly
    • Easy to store
    • Reversible design
  • Take note
    • Feels a bit plastic-y

Lightweight and durable, this rug is great for busy garden areas. It’s also pleasingly inexpensive, meaning the stakes are fairly low – and the coverage is huge for the price. We found that this rug was easy to keep clean, as it’s made from polypropylene, which simply wipes clean. Our kids split ice cream all over it, and we were able to hose it down – it’s stain-resistant, too.

Because it’s plastic, it doesn’t suck up water, so, it was dry straight away after the inevitable downpours. We found that this rug fell down on comfort, though – it’s quite sticky under hot bare feet. However, it rolls up neatly and is lightweight enough to chuck under our garden sofa when not in use.

  1. £26 from Diy.com
Prices may vary
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Argos homemaker jute natural circular outdoor rug

best outdoor rug indybest review Argos homemaker jute natural circular outdoor rug
  • Best: Circular outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: 133cm
  • Colourways: Jute
  • Why we love it
    • Great for small gardens
    • Subtle design
    • Durable

This modest-sized rug is fantastic if you want to keep a natural look in your outdoor space. It’s designed to look like jute but is actually 100 per cent synthetic. This means it can weather a storm or two. The feel underfoot is fine – it feels slightly rough without being scratchy, and our kids happily sat on it to play. It’s the perfect rug for placing under a low table, or in a small courtyard space. It won’t dominate your space, but it will add some texture. It rolls up very small, so you can stick in the shed easily over winter.

  1. £65 from Argos.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Ruggable Monica Ahanonu outdoor mango multicolour rug

best outdoor rug indybest review Ruggable Monica Ahanonu outdoor mango multicolour rug
  • Best: Colourful outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: 90cm x 150cm , 150cm x 215cm, 185cm x 275cm , 245cm x 305cm , 275cm x 365cm , 75cm x 215cm, 75cm x 306cm
  • Colourways: Mango multicolour, mango desert sage, mango sunny pink, pineapple
  • Why we love it
    • Comes in loads of sizes
    • Comfortable underfoot
    • High impact
    • Durable
    • Non-slip
    • Machine washable
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Wow – we loved the bright, tropical colours of this run, which didn’t fade. Mould-resistant, the rug has also been designed to be machine washed but it’s big, so you’ll need to be sure of your washing machine’s capacity.

This rug also comes with a rug pad, which makes it incredibly comfortable (almost bouncy) and non-slip. It’s made with the same material as many yoga mats, and that’s the kind of feel it has. We found it stayed put very well, even with kids running over it and playing on it constantly. There’s no denying this rug is pricey, but we were impressed with the quality and how easy it is to care for.

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Next monochrome rust brown vinyl traditional tile indoor-outdoor rug

best outdoor rug indybest review Next monochrome rust brown vinyl traditional tile indoor outdoor rug
  • Best: Modern-look outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: 80cm x 140cm , 120cm x 170cm, 140cm x 200cm, 160cm x 220cm, 200cm x 290cm
  • Colourways: Rust brown
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to clean
    • Stylish
    • Non-slip
    • Can be used indoors and outdoors
    • Loads of sizes available

A classic design that is meant to look like traditional tiles, this rug actually made our outdoor space feel very modern. It’s made from vinyl, so it is very hard-wearing and wipes clean. We were able to wipe off any mud with ease, so it’s going to look great for many seasons to come. You won’t want to power wash this rug, though – it’s sponge-clean only. It felt really comfy underfoot – it’s pleasingly quite spongy itself.

Next has designed this rug to be used indoors and outdoors – it has a non-slip underside if you’re using it on paving slabs, tiles or hardwood floors.

  1. £65 from Next.co.uk
Prices may vary
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Designers’ Guild Muara colbalt outdoor rug

best outdoor rugs indybest review Designers’ Guild Muara colbalt outdoor rug.
  • Best: Premium outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: 75cm x 250cm, 120cm x 180cm, 160cm x 260cm
  • Colourways: Cobalt
  • Why we love it
    • Premium finish
    • Made from recycled plastic
    • Durable
    • Soft under foot

While it’s made from 875 recycled bottles, this outdoor rug feels anything but plastic-y. Visitors noted how soft (and even strokable) it was – they couldn’t believe it was an outdoor rug. We were delighted with how it transformed a slightly dull courtyard into a smart, modern oasis, and our children sat and played on it all afternoon without complaint.

Although it’s PET polyester, Designers Guild advises the rug should be dried out if it gets soaked, and taken inside during extreme weather. We found it took quite a long time to dry after a spell of wet weather. It’s big and heavy (we tested the 160cm x 260cm size), so make sure you’ve got enough storage for it when summer is over.

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Dunelm riveria lobster recycled indoor-outdoor rug

best outdoor rugs indybest review Dunelm riveria lobster recycled indoor outdoor rug
  • Best: Fun outdoor rug
  • Dimensions: 120cm x 170cm, 170cm x 230cm, 200cm x 290cm
  • Colourways: Lobster design
  • Why we love it
    • Fun design
    • Made from recycled materials
    • UV resistant
    • Soft under foot
  • Take note
    • Takes a while to dry

For a transformative injection of fun, this Dunelm lobster rug hits just the right note. We loved the strong coral pop of colour, and the white background bounced light around our garden well. This rug is made out of recycled materials but feels really soft underfoot. We were impressed with the quality, and the price of the rug was definitely more than fair. One slight drawback is it absorbs water, so it took a while to dry in the sunshine. The rug is UV resistant, so it should stay bright all summer long, although, bringing it in for winter is advised.

  1. £35 from Dunelm.com
Prices may vary
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The verdict: Outdoor rugs

We loved The Rugs rug (it’s fun to say, too). It ticks so many boxes: relatively inexpensive, comfortable underfoot, high impact and durable. It also comes in a good range of sizes, and a few colour combinations. It’s difficult to pick a fault with it, so we won’t. If you want to add a little more colour to your garden, the Ruggable Monica Ahanonu mango multicolour rug and the Designers Guild Muara rugs are both great, high-quality options.

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