I am becoming an expert on all types of rugs. Not by choice but because my house has hardwood floors and is so cold that I really want a rug in every room. I don’t seem to be able to stop myself from buying rugs. I love how they can transform a room.
I was looking for a rug for my kitchen. In my last house, I had a rubber mat-type runner in front of the sink. I liked it because it was washable and I didn’t have to worry if it got dirty.
In my new house, I was looking for the same benefits, but I wanted an area rug. Being a research junkie I started looking for advice on the best type of rug to put in front of a kitchen sink. That’s a messy area with lots of liquid spills. I ended up with a cotton rug. Cotton rugs work great in certain rooms and damp areas and not as great in others.
Cotton Rug Pros
Some rug materials work better than others depending on where you put them. You need to think about how much moisture there is in the space and how many things are likely to spill or get tracked across a rug. Cotton rugs can be a great addition, especially in casual spaces. They provide a soft feel underfoot and are a good option if you are on a budget.
1. Cotton Rugs Are Inexpensive
This is a big advantage. Cotton rugs are really inexpensive, for the most part, so they might be the best choice if you are on a budget. This isn’t the case for Annie Selkie. Her cotton rugs are drool-worthy, but they aren’t cheap. Most cotton rugs are less than $100. The low price point means that you can buy a cotton rug in a more trendy color or pattern and not worry if it’s out of style in a year or two.
2. Cotton Rugs Are Washable
Cotton rugs are washable which makes them a popular choice for people with small children who anticipate lots of spills. They are also a great option for high traffic areas. Some cotton rugs may be less durable than synthetic rugs, but the fact that they can be washed is a huge plus in my book. They can shrink, so I don’t recommend washing them in hot water. I wash my kitchen rug almost every week. Depending on the colors, you can spot-treat them. They are easy to wash and they fold up pretty small, so they easily fit in a washing machine. I love oriental rugs, jute rugs, sisal rugs, seagrass rugs, and machine-loomed wool rugs and while these can be spot treated they cannot be washed. Most require professional cleaning.
3. Cotton rugs are reversible
Cotton rugs are reversible. If your rug gets heavy use this is definitely an advantage. I shouldn’t admit to this, but when my rug is dirty I often turn it over until the other side looks dirty too. If you have a spill that doesn’t wash out you can also take advantage of the flip factor.
Cotton Rug Cons
Now that you know the reasons that cotton rugs can be a great choice, here are some of the reasons that you may not choose to buy one.
1. Cotton Rugs Can Stain
They stain easily. If you can see into the future that there is a high likelihood that you will drop red wine or tomatoes, this might not be the right rug for you.
2. Cotton Rugs Slide
They are very flat with a low pile and for that reason, they tend to slide around easily especially small ones. I’ve found that a very thick rug pad is a must for cotton rugs. I like these from Overstock. They can be almost as much as the rug, but they are worth it.
3. Cotton Rugs Don’t Lie Flat
Because they are such lightweight rugs they often don’t lie completely flat. If you put a heavy-duty rug pad under your cotton rug this tends to prevent that and helps to hold them flatter.
Where to Buy Cotton Rugs
My favorite place to buy a cotton rug if I had an unlimited budget would be Annie Selke, without question. The rugs on this site are amazing. Prices range depending on size but for example, an 8×10 rug that I love is $482.00. This price isn’t horrible, but for me, it’s enough to agonize over potential spills.
When I have to factor in a budget, which is always for me, I like Overstock. I looked for a rug like the one I love on Annie Selke (navy Chevron) and the price for a nuLOOM cotton rug. This is a price point that I’m more comfortable with for a new rug given the possibility that I might ruin it.
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I like the nuLOOM brand. They are an excellent choice because they are eco-friendly and come in so many styles and vibrant colors.
I bought this cotton rug from Overstock for my kitchen. Here it is in my kitchen.
I love the way this rug looks BUT I feel it almost always looks dirty even right after I wash it. Bottom line, I’m going to replace it as soon as I can find a replacement I like better.
Rules For Buying Cotton Rugs.
Based on my experience with cotton rugs I recommend ALWAYS buying one with a lot of pattern. Don’t buy one with large white stripes! Pattern hides many sins, in any rug.
Be prepared to wash it frequently if the rug is placed in high-traffic areas.
Don’t buy light-colored rugs. The pale blue or blush rugs are so pretty looking when you first buy them, but they show dirt quickly. I stick with darker colors, even denim blue vs light blue makes a big difference.