Washable rugs…

I don’t know about your house, but in our house, we go through rugs like crazy! Between the kids, our dog & bird, we regularly purchase area rugs, runners, doormats, etc. For the living room, it’s about 3 a year. And as our dog gets older, I hate that we’re going through them so fast–not only is it expensive replacing them frequently, but, I can imagine how terrible throwing out all these rugs is for the environment. We’ve bought wool, polyester–they’re all impossible to keep clean. Because of this, I have been looking at washable rugs for years. Yet, they always made me nervous! You hear the stories about them falling apart, only to be out $500 in less than a year. However, since Ruggable has grown in popularity, a lot of other brands have started making washable rugs.

Over the past year, we purchased multiple washable rugs from 3 brands. All of the opinions in this article are all my own–I purchased every rug without any discounts.

For my first foray into washable rugs, I started with probably the most popular, well known brand–Ruggable. I purchased a small 2×3 rug in Sunburst Teal for the mudroom/laundry room. At the time, the rug was $89. It was the perfect place to see how it would hold up to traffic. I’ve liked the idea of Ruggable rugs for a while, but I wanted try them without spending so much at first. I’ve read about their not-so-great return policy, so a small rug seemed like the best place to start. I regularly change out the mudroom rug, so it wouldn’t be a huge deal if I didn’t like the print. The print is cute–it’s obvious that it’s a screen print, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m not trying to fool people. I will sacrifice the feel/look of a rug for functionality. After a few months and several washes, I can say I like Ruggable, but I’m not sure I would like Ruggable for a large area. The ends do not stay down at all and with kids, that’s a hassle. With regular rugs, I would just use rug tape on the corners, but because of the backing being fabric, rug tape is not ideal. I know, because I’ve tried! Some suggest opting out of getting the rug pad, but without any sort of functional backing, spills and pet accidents would go right through to the floor. However, for small rugs & kitchen runners, I would definitely purchase more from Ruggable in the future.

For the kitchen, I went with runners by My Magic Carpet in Black & White Stripe–one 2.5×7 and a 3×5. They are $80 and $100, but you can regularly get them on sale. My Magic Carpet is very similar to Ruggable when it comes to prints and the chenille fabric. They even have a few designs that look nearly identical. However, My Magic Carpet has fewer designs overall and only comes in 4 sizes. It also is only the rug–no pad is included. It has a non-slip backing, think like felt with rubber grips. This alone isn’t a dealbreaker because the Ruggable pad is so thin, but that means the rug has definitely more of a thin, mat-like feel. Again, this doesn’t bother us–our rugs are used more to protect the floor in the kitchen, rather than provide support. Like Ruggable, the Magic Carpet rug washes really well. If the kids spill something on them, I just spray OxiClean and put them in the washer. Like Ruggable, they handle the dryer really well too. They look like new every time and that’s pretty impressive given they’re mostly white. The sides, on the other hand, curl a bit and I have to use rug tape. Without rug tape, these rugs definitely move a lot when the kids are running around. These rugs aren’t my go-to for the kitchen–I have a beautiful wool set from Safavieh that I use for most of the year; but, in the summer, when the kids and dog are running in and out, washable rugs are a must in this house!

For the family room, I went with nuLOOM’s 8×10 washable rug in the Moroccan Blythe print. I paid $160 on Amazon. nuLOOM’s rug is thin like the others, however, the backing is all rubber. I haven’t had to put an carpet tape down yet–the corners are staying put and the rug isn’t shifting with the kids running all over it. This rug is heavy! nuLOOM notes their backings are designed to eliminate the hassle of gripped backing and rug pads, however, they do recommend a rug pad if more cushion is desired. Their washable rugs are also meant to be stain-resistant, making them perfect for pets and kids. Our dog decided to take watermelon over to the rug the second week in, so we had to wash it. It was a mess & spot cleaning didn’t work. To be honest, I was nervous about washing this rug! It’s heavy and large. We have a Samsung front-load washer, and while the rug was crammed in there, it surprisingly came out looking brand new! If you don’t have a front-load, I’d recommend not purchasing a washable rug bigger than 6×9. To dry, they recommend line dry or tumble dry with no heat; so, we spread it out over our kitchen island to dry overnight and by morning it was ready to put back on the floor. Needless to say, we were impressed by how well it washed.

All 3 brands have very similar styles. The differences all come down to the backings and in Ruggable’s case, the rug pad system. After using all 3 of these brands for months, I’m not convinced the rug pad system Ruggable uses is really worth the cost. When choosing a washable rug, you have to know from the start that you will have a much thinner rug. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a fact. And they will move when vacuumed–all 3 brands do with our cordless Dyson & LG; our iRobot has no issues and cleans them well. But if you’re using a standard upright, you will need carpet tape and a lot of it to keep these rugs down when vacuuming. Like the rugs being thin, the vacuuming issue isn’t a dealbreaker, just a nuisance. In our house, we need rugs to help our dog get around and keep the floors warm in the winter. My kids are past the age where they’re rolling around and playing on the rug all the time. So, if these things are important to you, don’t choose a washable rug. You will be disappointed, regardless of whether or not the rug has a rug pad.

I can’t say any of these brands are bad. So far, I’m extremely happy with our nuLOOM rug in the living room. And I would be open to more rugs from Ruggable & My Magic Carpet for smaller areas. Hope my reviews are helpful!

–Lissa

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