Maybe we’re a little biased, but we like to think of rugs as the MVPs of the home. They’re the foundational layer that makes the rest of your room pop. They bring that soft and cozy feeling to your feet. And they put up with a lot: food and drink spills, shenanigans from pets and kids, being stepped on all day long. The wear and tear from being in busy spaces can take a toll on a rug, so it’s important to invest in long-lasting styles that will stand up to whatever life throws their way. (And we also don’t want you tiptoeing—literally!—around your home.) Below, we answer some common questions on durable rugs for high-traffic spaces and how to make them last.
What areas of my home are high-traffic spaces?
You know your home best, so think about what spaces you spend the most time in and the spaces you’re constantly walking through. It’s different for everyone! We tend to see the most foot traffic in entryways, hallways, living and family rooms, kids rooms and playrooms, and in the kitchen if you like to cook and entertain.
Which rugs are the most durable?
So glad you asked. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:
In terms of combining durability with softness and comfort, wool is one of the most durable rugs for high-traffic spaces. It has an extremely soft feel (hello, happy feet!), a plush pile that bounces back after being stepped on, and is water- and stain- repellent thanks to the natural occurrence of lanolin oil. Note that wool rugs are often pricier than other styles, but if taken care of properly (you can read more about that here), they can also last longer, too.
Polypropylene, Nylon, and Other Synthetic Rugs
Rugs made of synthetic materials like polypropylene, nylon, and polyester check just about all our boxes. They’re a great value for how durable they are, have a soft pile that feels comfy underfoot, maintain their color over time, and are super easy to clean.
Jute and Sisal Rugs
Jute, sisal, and other natural-fiber rugs are woven from plant fibers to create styles that are durable, affordable, eco-friendly, and perfect for both layering and living on their own. Because they’re made from plants, they’re not quite as soft to the touch as wool and synthetics, and they also tend to be more difficult to clean and remove stains from.
Cotton and Flatweave Rugs
Cotton is often woven together with other natural fibers, lending its softness to materials like sisal and jute to create flatweave rugs that are perfect for high-traffic spaces, eco-friendly, and comfy under feet.
Yes, outdoor rugs can work indoors, too! And technology has come a long way in helping outdoor styles feel and look nearly as soft and luxurious as their indoor counterparts. We love using them indoors because they’re easy to clean (just hose off and hang to dry!), durable, affordable, and they resist mildew and fading.
What about light-colored rugs? Am I just asking for trouble?
It all depends on where you put them. A cream-colored rug in an entryway or mudroom that sees a lot of dirty shoes may not be a recipe for success. But elsewhere, absolutely—and especially in spaces you’ll be barefoot. If you’re worried about stains but still want to use a lighter rug in a high-traffic space, we recommend choosing one that has a subtle pattern, which will help camouflage dirt and other spots.
Do I need a rug pad?
Yes! Lots of foot traffic means lots of opportunity for rug slippage—so while we always recommend using a rug pad, it’s extra-important here. We want you to get the most out of your rug and protect your floors, and a rug pad will add cushion and work as a shock absorber to protect your rug on both the top and the bottom.
Are there any rug materials I should avoid?
While we love them, silk and shag rugs aren’t the most durable rugs for high-traffic spaces and can experience a little more wear and tear in busier areas. Shag styles and rugs with plush embellishments tend to become matted down over time, shags made of wool can shed, and silk’s delicate nature means it wears out faster than other materials. Low-traffic areas like a bedroom or living room can be better suited for these styles, but if you want to use them in a space that gets more action, we say go for it! Just be aware that they might wear out faster, and be extra careful when cleaning (you can read more about that in our care guide here).