Guide to Washable Rugs

Are you in the market for a new rug that will hold up to real life? Have you been seeing a log of ads for machine-washable area rugs? I feel like every time I get on my computer or phone some app is showing me a machine washable rug. Ruggable must have a very large advertising budget. But are they that great? My experience says no.

washable rugs

If you are considering buying a washable rug, take a minute to read these honest (unsponsored) reviews and details about what these rugs are like. I’ve bought four machine-washable rugs from different manufacturers and before you break out your credit card be sure this is what you really want.

I’m going to show you my washable rugs and explain the pros and cons of washable rugs. I’ll also share the brands that I like best.

Is Ruggable The Only Washable Rug?

You might think this if you use Instagram, but NO Ruggable is not the only washable rug. In fact, washable rugs have existed for as long as rugs have existed. COTTON RAG RUGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN WASHABLE. Also, there are MANY other established, top brands that have washable rug collections, like Nuloom, Realife Rugs and Boutique Rugs.

Unlike ruggable’s rugs, these other brands don’t come with their own mat. The Ruggable mat is almost like a large piece of velcro that holds your rug in place. The reason you need a mat like this is because the rug is so thin that without a mat it will wrinkle up or bunch up. The rug doesn’t have enough weight to lay flat on its own.

What are The Best Washable Rugs?

I have tried Nuloom Washable rugs, BoutiqueRugs and Ruggable rugs. These are all quality brands. It depends more on whether you like the look and feel of the rugs. They are all low pile rugs and don’t feel very soft and squishy or have a plush look, but they have a place.

Ruggable – You can see a great video review of Ruggables here. Unfortunately, the Ruggable rug I bought went back. I didn’t like the feel of it for a living room. It was too thin. Be sure to read the company’s return policy if you plan to send yours back. There is a restocking fee of $25 and you shouldn’t leave the rug down long enough to get ANYTHING on it. That seems fair, but just know that.

Nuloom – I kept the Nuloom washable rug I purchased for the bathroom. It doesn’t feel like a rug, it feels more like a mat, which works in a bathroom. I don’t have to worry about it moving because the space doesn’t allow it. Update 6 months in: I threw this one out. It was washable, but it didn’t look CLEAN.

Boutique Rug – I purchased a washable Neyland runner from Boutique Rugs for our hallway. In this case, a thin rug is the perfect rug because doors have to open over the rug and a thick rug doesn’t work. The Boutique Rug is the only washable rug I would buy again.

Are Washable Rugs Worth it?

I choose every product I review. I may earn an affiliate commission if you buy from one of the product links, at no extra cost to you. This income supports this site. See the full disclosure.

In my opinion, no, washable rugs are not worth it. I have two exceptions to this. Washable rugs are a good option for pet owners that have frequent pet stains or this with small children. They can be worth it BUT they still aren’t that easy to wash unless they are a smaller size. One of the best places to use them is high-traffic areas like an entry or hallway. They are also a great option for someplace like a bathroom or in front of the kitchen sink. In these places washing them is easy because they are small.

Have you tried machine washing a king sized blanket? An 8×10 washable rug is still very large and washing them isn’t something you will want to do every week, especially if you have a small washing machine. I think indoor outdoor rugs are a good choice, they are much better at handling dirt. You can hose them off outside do spot cleaning with carpet cleaner inside if necessary. I’ve cleaned many pet vomit stains off my wool and indoor/outdoor rugs with the use of a steam vacuum.

I don’t think these rugs look as good in person as they do in photos. I would describe them as more of a mat than a rug. With a patterned rug the pattern doesn’t look like it is woven in, like a typical rug. It looks like it’s more printed on top. They are VERY THIN or low pile (less than 1/8 inch). Here’s an example from my home.

This rug is a Nuloom washable rug (similar) in a 3 foot x 5 foot size. In this case, no special mat is needed because it doesn’t have room to move around. These kinds of rugs work well in confined spaces. Update: I don’t recommend getting a washable rug that has a white or light background. They can be washed, but the white doesn’t stay white even after being washed.

Pros and Cons of Washable Rugs

Pros of Washable Rugs

  • Washable rugs are washable, but it’s a pain to wash a large washable rug because you might have to move furniture. IF you have a top loading machine, you will definitely need to make sure you carefully place the rug in evenly or it can get very out of balance.
  • They work well in small spaces like bathrooms, entry ways and in front of the sink.

Cons of Washable Rugs

  • They are very thin and don’t provide the cushion that other rugs offer. I wouldn’t use one in the living room or bedroom.
  • They move around more because they are so thin. Ruggable’s rugs moves less than others because of the special pad.
  • They curl at the edges, probably because they get washed.

Have you tried a washable rug? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

Before you go, if you liked this you might be interested in reading about the Best DoorMats for Pets.

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  1. Thank you so much for this Andrea! I’ve been considering a washable rug for a while, and your review really helped cement my decision. Hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, and an easy recovery from the eBike adventure! 🙂

  2. Interesting. Yes, I have been seeing all of these ads particularly for Ruggable. I was actually thinking about these because of the upcoming addition of the puppy, but from your review I am thinking I would not be happy with a rug that doesn’t lie flat all the way to the corners. It is good to hear a “real” review from someone I know!

    1. I just purchased a NuLoom rug in an 8×10 size for under my dining room table. In theory, I wouldn’t think it will move around much because the weight of the table should hold it in place. I wanted something washable, kid & cat friendly, in addition to something somewhat thin so our chairs can slide easily. The rug is very pretty and soft, if it doesn’t hold up well I will toss it and buy new for the $200 I spent. I really wanted a Ruggable but can’t justify spending the extra money on it.

  3. I was so close to buying one, your review helped me so much. I agree they are more of a mat than a rug. Thank you for saving me, I would have been upset when I got them and would have had to pay to ship back and the stocking fee. Honest opinions like yours are so much appreciated.

    1. Linda,

      Thank you so much. This is my favorite kind of comment, because it makes me feel like I helped someone.


  4. Thank you for this review. I have been researching with them for a couple of weeks, and based on your analysis, it would not work for me. You just saved me a whole lot of hassle – and money. With thanks, Linda

  5. Have you tried to stick the rug down with rug tape? I wonder if that would help the corners pulling up problem. Haven’t tried a washable rug but am greatly tempted.

    1. I haven’t tried using tape, but to me that’s not how a rug should work. If I have to tape it down, it’s not a rug I want to have.

  6. Hi there!
    I purchased a Ruggable 8 x 10 rug for my living room. I have had it about 1.5 years now. Yes, it is more mat-like than a plush rug, but I also have 2 dogs, a Lab and Yorkie. The Lab is a high shedder and a low pile rug makes pet hair removal way easier. Because I had read about the rug edge curling, when I wash my rug, I do not dry it in the dryer. I lay it out flat (outside, in my bonus room, or over a railing). It dries really quickly and I have not had any curling. Yes, they are on the pricy side, but that is better than hiring a carpet cleaner to come clean 1 rug!

    1. Thanks for your feedback about how to prevent the curl. I guess I just don’t like the thinness of the ruggable. I’ve had better luck using wool rugs and a small handheld steam cleaner to clean up accidents. I don’t have to move furniture and I found the rugs don’t get that clean in the washer, but could be just me.

  7. I was about to push the buy button for a ruggable so I appreciate your feedback. That being said, what rug do you suggest for a high traffic entry way approximately 5′ by 7′. I do have 2 dogs! I have thrown out so many rugs in the past because they get so dingy. This rug would go over hard wood so I don’t want it to slip, Thank you!

    1. Mandy,

      I have many pets and I really love wool or indoor outdoor rugs for high traffic areas. Wool actually repels dirt. Make sure the rug has a pattern, which hides hair and dirt. AND I own a handheld water cleaner like the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser, it works great. For the slipping issue I use a felted rug pad. Makes the rugs feel more comfortable too.

      I hope this helps.


  8. I have bought 2 Ruggable 8×10 rugs and would absolutely recommend. They stay in place, neverr move, they vacuum well, and yes I’ve washed one and it was like folding a fitted sheet -not easy, but doable. We got one for my MIL who uses a walker. She loves that it is low pile so her walker runs right over it and the pad is cushioned enough to make it nice to walk on. Our star wars theme rug is a centerpiece to our basement family room. Couldn’t love it more. About to purchase another, but am thinking of trying boutique rugs instead.

    1. Thanks for the input. To me it just didn’t feel like a rug. I think you will like the boutique rugs. I have a few of those.

  9. I’m still trying to decide. There’s a beautiful washable boutique rug but I’m having a hard time deciding. Out of all the rug patterns that the one I love and it just happens to be washable. I guess I just need some to say yes I would get it or I should keep looking. How well does a vacuum work on them? Do I need to get the pad for underneath? Thank you in advance.

    1. Karen,

      I have a washable Boutique rug that I vacuum and it has held up beautifully. The one I have is thicker than the Ruggable rugs. Whether or not you need a pad depends on how much cushion you want underfoot AND whether you need to prevent the rug from slipping. I have pads underneath mine to prevent slipping. I hope this helps.


  10. Gail Welter says:

    I have 2 Ruggable rugs–I bought 2 small ones to test them out before buying more as I am moving to a new house with no carpet and I have problem pets. For one of the rugs, I chose their cushioned pad instead of the regular pad–big difference! The one with the regular pad is in a bathroom and truly is just a mat. I would not buy it again. The other is quite comfy to stand on (I have it in front of my kitchen sink) and I would buy it again. The rugs themselves are lovely though–I love the patterns which look nicer than some of the wool rugs I own.

    I will give Boutique a try now, too! Thanks for the reviews.

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