A garden rug is the finishing touch that every stylish outdoor space needs. With the right rug, you can completely transform a patio or add a dash of colour and charm to a seating area.
Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor versions are designed to be weather-resistant, or, at the very least, shower-proof. This means you can enjoy the rug in your garden, and bring some indoor comfort and style outdoors.
How to choose an outdoor rug
What are outdoor rugs made of?
To keep them weather-resistant, most outdoor rugs are made of polypropylene. This material is also UV-resistant, so won’t fade, as well as stain-resistant, so spills aren’t a problem, either. Because polypropylene rugs are easy to mass-produce, they tend to be cheaper than ones made from other materials.
That said, polypropylene isn’t as environmentally-friendly as natural materials like jute and sisal. However, the drawback with these woven natural fibres is they aren’t always as comfortable as synthetic fibres, and can be a little more expensive.
Which size rug do I need?
It depends on what you’d like to achieve. To cover a whole seating area, you’ll need to go big – at least 180 x 290cm. For a little rug at the foot of a garden sofa, 120 x 180cm should cover it. If you need to brighten up a path or alleyway, perhaps along the side of a conservatory, a runner is just the thing. These thin rugs usually measure 60x180cm.
All of these factors together will help you pick your rug. For an eco-friendly, rugged look, plump for jute. For budget-friendly, soft and colourful carpets, take a look at the polypropylene options. When you’ve found the material and design to suit your needs, measure your space to ensure that the rug is a good fit.
Can you leave an outdoor rug out during winter?
If they're weatherproof, yes, but we wouldn't recommend it. Being left out in the rain will eventually make your rug mouldy. If you’re placing it on decking, this damp can also rot the wood underneath and become a haven for insects. Even the greatest wildlife-lover won’t want spiders and woodlice crawling over their feet when they come to use the rug in summer. Think of an outdoor rug like a barbecue or a garden table - it’s fine if it's caught in a few showers, but you don’t want to let it spoil over time.
Can outdoor rugs stain flooring?
Yes, if you leave them outside in the wet. Rain and morning dew can cause the dye in a carpet to run, and this can stain paving slabs or decking.
For more help transforming your outdoor space into a stylish sanctuary, check out our guides to the best garden furniture, garden hammocks, garden sofas, and deck chairs. For decoration ideas, check out our expert guides to garden cushions and our tests of solar lights. If you'll be entertaining, check out our tests of the best gas BBQs, the best charcoal BBQs, and our guides to barbecue accessories.
Nine of the best garden rugs
Browse our selection of stylish outdoor rugs below:
Melksham Flat-weave Red Outdoor Rug
This polypropylene rug is purposely faded, for a bohemian feel. Modelled on traditional Persian rugs, this flat-weave rug offers remarkably good value.
Buy the Melksham Flatweave Red Indoor/Outdoor Rug from Wayfair
Moretti Circle Indoor Outdoor Rug
This simple rug is incredibly effective. Thanks to a 160cm diameter it can cover big areas, and it comes at a surprisingly low price. Available in black, blue, and anthracite, this flat-woven rug has also been UV-treated to prevent fading.
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Dimensions: 160cm diameter
Buy the Moretti Circle Indoor Outdoor Rug from Dunelm
Fab Hab Reversible Outdoor Rug
This clever outdoor rug by Fab Hab is reversible, providing two patterns for the price of one, and is made from 100-per-cent recycled materials. Tightly woven from reclaimed plastic, this rug is hard-wearing and will stand up to the elements as well as being resistant to mould, mildew and UV rays.
Dimensions: 90 x 150 cm
Buy Fab Hab Reversible Outdoor Rug at Amazon
Ibiza Weather Resistant Floor Mat/Rug
Another eco-friendly outdoor rug, this model features a neat, striped pattern which can be reversed for a slightly different design. Resistant to the sun as well as mould, the multi-functional rug should stand up to outdoor conditions and can even be hosed down for easy cleaning. There’s a one year guarantee included and a choice of four sizes.
Dimensions: 150 x 240cm
Buy Ibiza Weather Resistant Floor Mat at Amazon
Oro Geometric Outdoor Rug
Inspired by the beautiful geometry of Islamic art, this rug is great for adding a burst of blue to outdoor spaces. We particularly like the mix of weaves. A high pile on the pattern is combined with a flat-weave base, mixing indulgence with outdoorsy ruggedness.
Buy the Oro Geometric Outdoor Rug from Dunelm
Garden Mile Large Al Fresco Area Rug
Inject a flash of colour into your green space with this vibrant turquoise rug. It is suitable for indoor use as well as outdoor spaces as it is water resistant, so you can furnish your patio, veranda or terrace. The rug is flat woven and made from robust polypropylene.
Dimensions: 120 x 170cm
Buy Garden Mile Large Al Fresco Area Rug at Amazon
Kamina Indoor/Outdoor Flatweave Rug
This classic diamond patterned rug is another hard-wearing polyproprene option and will add a contemporary twist to any outdoor seating area. The surface of the rug can be washed for straight-forward cleaning and the four understated colours – black, grey, ivory and blue – will add a restrained pop of colour to a seating area.
Dimensions: 80 x 150cm, 120 x 170cm, 160 x 230cm
Price: from £19
Buy Kamina Indoor/Outdoor Flatweave Rug at Very
Weaver Green Provence Recycled Plastic Indoor & Outdoor Rug
Designed to look and feel like wool, this understated garden rug is actually made from recycled plastic bottles. Loomed by hand, the rug can even be thrown in the washing machine and is showerproof, so it can be used outside as well in indoors.
Dimensions: 110 x 160cm, 180 x 120cm
Price: from £40
Buy Weaver Green Provence Recycled Plastic Indoor & Outdoor Rug at John Lewis
Cozumel Stripe Indoor Outdoor Rug
This cleverly designed outdoor rug is woven with lines of looped polypropylene pile to create a geometric design. This construction makes it hard-wearing as well as resistant to fading in the sun. There’s a choice of either charcoal or light grey and it comes in three size options
Dimensions: 122 x 183cm, 160 x 221cm, 239 x 300cm
Price: from £56
Buy Cozumel Stripe Indoor Outdoor Rug at Dunelm
This review was last updated in May 2022. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.