Outdoor rugs to pep up your patio

Add an instant dash of easy colour and comfort with some of the best outdoor rugs.

Outdoor rugs

by Jill Morgan |

Bringing living room comforts outside has been a huge trend over the past few years and this season’s outdoor rugs are sensational! Outdoor rugs are nothing new but thanks to huge improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques, they now last longer and stay smarter with far less effort from you. The range of colours, designs, shapes, and sizes is growing by the day so you'll be sure to find your ideal one.

No longer poor imitations of their indoor counterparts, the quality, and intricacy of the latest outdoor rugs make them a worthy focal point of any seating area.

Perfect for pulling together low-slung sofas, armchairs and side tables, these style-setters will smarten up any outside space in seconds. Handy for disguising less-than-lovely decks or paving, they’re also useful to set up an impromptu seating area on the lawn.

Increasingly affordable and easy enough to store, many people are buying a few so they can switch up their garden style in seconds.

So if you haven’t indulged already, now’s a great time to treat your patio or decking to a dash of colour and pattern. We've scoured the market for the cream of the crop, and have rounded up the best outdoor rugs available:

Shop our pick of the best outdoor rugs

Miami Leaf Print Indoor Outdoor Rug

Miami Leaf Print Indoor Outdoor Rug

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With this beautiful foliage design, you'll be sure to make your patio green and leafy. Made from polypropylene, it feels smooth underfoot and is simple to keep clean.

Padua Circle Geometric Indoor Outdoor Rug

Padua Circle Geometric Indoor Outdoor Rug

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Want to make a small space feel bigger? Opt for a circular rug. This bold geometric design in chic anthracite and stone is made from easy-care polypropylene.

Fab Hab Sydney Outdoor Rug in Gold & Cream

Fab Hab Sydney Outdoor Rug in Gold & Cream

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Boost both your style and eco-credentials with this gorgeous rug made from recycled plastic bottles. With a reversible design, you can flip it over for a fresh new look. Itu2019s also wipe-clean and mould-proof.

Asiatic Rugs Patio Deco Rug

Asiatic Rugs Patio Deco Rug

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This smooth flatweave rug with Deco-inspired lines features a clean design that will give your patio an instant boost. Itu2019s made from polypropylene which makes it weatherproof and wipe-clean so itu2019ll stay looking this good for years.

Nuevo Outdoor Rug Blush

Nuevo Outdoor Rug Blush

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Itu2019s hard to resist the uber-chic charms and contemporary colours of this abstract polypropylene beauty. Mustard, blush and rust are this yearu2019s hottest shades and the neat loop construction gives this a luxury edge.

Akar Indoor/Outdoor Flat Woven Rug

Akar Indoor/Outdoor Flat Woven Rug

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A simple way to create an outdoor lounge look is to combine two very different patterns in the same shade. Both these rugs can be used indoors as well as out and, made from robust polypropylene, can withstand spills, dirt, sun, rain and even snow.

John Lewis & Partners Jute Round Rug

John Lewis & Partners Jute Round Rug

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As jute rugs need to be kept dry and are best used in a covered area or summerhouse, better-quality indoor products will do the job just as well and are often cheaper than their outdoor counterparts. Dia180cm.

Boho Spice Outdoor Rug

Boho Spice Outdoor Rug

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Inspired by the traditional woven carpets of India, this stylish, vibrant rug will add a pop of colour to your patio. Fully waterproof and made of 100% polypropylene, it'll be able to withstand a spot of rain, or whatever else life throws at it. Measures 120 x 180cm.

DHATU Reversible Rug

Reversible rug

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This Oeko-Texu00ae reversible rug made prominently of polypropylene will bring a sunny atmosphere to your garden. With a fun, authentic print, this rug measures 75 x 140cm but larger versions are available.

Habitat Terracotta Modern Flatweave Washable Weather Resistant Rug

Habitat Terracotta Rug
Amazon

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Available in a range of sizes to suit your outdoor space, this indoor/outdoor rug is patterned with a gorgeous, rich terracotta geometric design and is specially made from polypropylene so as not to retain water.

What material is best for an outdoor rug?

Man-made materials

With the UK's climate switching from sunshine to showers in seconds, your first decision should be whether you want to leave your rug out in all weathers. If you do, synthetic fibres are the best fuss-free option. Water repellent, pliable and resistant to dust, mould and mildew, they can happily stay outside for most of the year without deteriorating.

These man-made materials are designed to be dyed so come in bright colours that won’t fade and are easy to work with, making complex patterns possible. Just be aware that you need to keep these away from fire, sparks and intense heat as the fibres can melt.

Polypropylene

This is the best material to choose if you want a fuss-free rug that’ll look good for ages. This is the most popular synthetic option and the tightly twisted material is also known as olefin, synthetic sisal and artificial wool. Exceptionally hard-wearing, stain-, water- and fade-resistant, it’s used to create many flatwoven and looped rugs. The smooth antistatic fibres don’t shed or harbour dust or mildew, making them a great choice for allergy suffers.

Rug on garden patio
©Getty Images

Acrylic

These rugs tend to be fine, well-cushioned and silky to the touch so if the feel of a rug under bare feet is important to you then this option will suit you. Cellulose-based, these fibres have a similar feel to natural fibres but cost far, far less. Acrylic dyes well too, which makes these rugs pretty fade- and stain-resistant. The compromise comes in the longevity – this isn’t the most hard-wearing of synthetic materials but, given the budget price tag, that may be an acceptable trade-off for its toe-happy texture.

Polyester

These rugs are similarly suited to the changeable weather but can look and feel more artificial than acrylic. Made from a petrochemical-based fibre, they can flatten and shed when used in high-traffic areas and oily and greasy substances can leave unsightly stains. However, many manufacturers are using polyethene terephthalate (PET) or 100% polyester that is made from recycled PET bottles. They're also eco-friendly!

Natural fibres

Many rugs on the market are made from natural materials. Fast-growing, sustainable and biodegradable, these beautiful fibres bring wonderful texture and winning good looks. But there is a price to pay – and not just in their heftier price tags. Although some natural-fibre rugs are treated to provide some protection, they will gradually fade in the sun. It’s also vital not to leave them out

How long will your outdoor rug last?

Although designed to be used and left outside, outdoor rugs are constantly exposed to the sun’s UV rays which can degrade the material and fade the colour. Natural fibres tend to fade and bleach gradually under strong sunlight, with different materials changing at varying rates and deeper tones losing their natural richness and lustre.

Ultimately natural materials are biodegradable so if they’re left to sit in wet conditions, they will start to rot. They’re also far more likely to stain and more difficult to clean so you may decide it’s past its best before the fibres start to break down.

Man-made yarns are a more stable option as they absorb far less water, and chemicals are used to fix and protect the colour pigments from paling. So these will last for much longer without too much faffing from you.

A more durable but costly option is to look for products that are labelled as ‘solution-dyed’. These have the dye added while the fibres are formed, ensuring the colour penetrates the complete depth of the yarn.

Keep it clean

Avoid getting natural fibres wet at all costs. Soak up any spills straight away using absorbent kitchen towel and blot until dry.

✽ Wipe up any spills on synthetic rugs and for stubborn stains use a mild detergent such as Bissell SpotClean Emergency Carpet Stain Remover (£12.99/1L, lakeland.co.uk). Scrub gently with a soft brush and rinse with water.

✽ Vacuum flatwoven rugs regularly to remove dirt.

✽ When your synthetic rug needs a good wash, simply hose it down, lightly scrub if needed and then hang up to dry.

✽ Rotate natural rugs and turn over regularly to even out wear and fading.

✽ Snip off any protruding strands rather than pulling.

✽ To store, roll rugs up and stash somewhere dry and well ventilated to prevent mildew.

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