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As The Big Lebowski's The Dude would say, a rug can "really tie a room together." But what about a patio or a balcony? If you've got one of the best outdoor rugs that is fade-and stain-resistant, it will not only add a pop of color and texture to your space, it will help keep your tootsies from getting dirty—and consequently, your floors once you head inside—all season long. The best part? These rugs are multifunctional, so they'll look just as stunning indoors once the summer is over. We tracked down 11 of the most gorgeous (and affordable!) outdoor rug options—and one that's worth splurging on.

What to Look for in an Outdoor Rug

Do you want to prevent surface area damage or avoid slips? Then you'll want to look for a flat, low-pile rug with a rubber backing. If you're simply looking to add some style to your outdoor space, on the other hand, you can focus largely on aesthetics. Below, you'll find some other factors to consider when choosing your dream rug.

  • Size: To start, you'll want to look for something with dimensions that will fit your outdoor space. While that means you may need to measure it out first, this extra step could save you from a whole lot of heartbreak: After all, there's nothing worse than falling in love with the perfect rug, only to find out it's hanging off the edge of your deck in an unsightly manner (talk about a rollercoaster of emotions). Set your search filters to the size you want to help narrow things down.

  • Durability: The durability of your outdoor rug may be the most important factor to consider. Outdoor rugs need to be tough enough to last through the season (torrential downpours included), and that means withstanding harsh weather and foot traffic. For this reason, it's a good idea to look for fade- and stain-resistant materials, like plastic, that can take a real beating.

  • Design: The majority of outdoor rugs come in either a flatweave or a tufted design. True to their name, flatweave rugs are thin and lightweight and will lay flatter to the ground than their tufted counterparts. Since they're thinner, less debris gets trapped in the fibers, making them easier to clean than tufted rugs.

    Tufted rugs, on the other hand, are the more luxurious option. They're thicker, so they'll provide more insulation, and they're typically softer on the feet, too. On the flip side, their thickness means debris will be harder to shake out. These rugs are also the less portable option, so they'll be harder to drag around the porch.

  • Pile: In layman's terms, a rug's pile refers to its overall thickness. High-pile rugs have longer fibers that make for a shaggier feel, while low-pile rugs have tighter fibers and lay flatter on the ground. Low-pile rugs are easier to clean than high-pile rugs and tend to pose a lower risk for tripping.

  • Breathability: This is important to consider if you're particularly sensitive to dust or have allergies. You should look for a rug with materials that allow for airflow to prevent mildew and mold. Plastics have unmatched moisture-wicking capabilities, making them more breathable than most other materials (more on that below).

  • Material: You definitely don't want a rug that looks, feels or smells musty, so the material may be the most essential factor to consider when looking for the perfect rug for your outdoor space.

What Is the Best Material for an Outdoor Rug?

The lion's share of outdoor rugs are made from either polyester or polypropylene plastic. We've outlined these and other popular materials below.

  • Polypropylene plastic: This type of plastic is stain- and water-resistant, which can help to keep mold and mildew from developing. Its resistance to the elements is largely due to the breathability that it offers.
  • Polyester: Polyester is slightly less durable than polypropylene, but it's the more fade-resistant option of the two and is better at keeping its texture than polypropylene. It's also considered a reliable moisture-wicking fabric.

  • Recycled plastic/PET fibers: Rugs that are made from recycled plastic repurpose single-use plastics, such as water bottles, straws and shopping bags. This prevents new plastics from being extracted from the earth while simultaneously preventing single-use plastics from ending up in the landfills. It's a win-win! And, we already know that plastic outdoor rugs are stain- and weather-resistant, so it's really a no-brainer: This is the best and most eco-conscious material to look for in your new outdoor rug, in our humble opinion.

How to Clean Outdoor Rugs

  • Sweep regularly: Set yourself up for success by regularly sweeping dirt from your rug with a broom. No broom? No problem. You can also shake it off to remove debris.

  • Remove stains: If you notice a stain, fix up a concoction of mild detergent and water, then use a soft-bristled brush to spot-clean it with the mixture. Baking soda and good-old-fashioned club soda also make for powerful stain removers.

  • Remove mildew: If you notice mold or mildew building on your rug, act fast, but don't panic: There's a simple solution. Grab some white vinegar, pour it directly on your rug and let it sit for an hour. Then, use a mixture of one cup vinegar in a bucket of warm water to scrub the rug clean. Lastly, rinse your rug with a garden hose to get rid of that vinegar smell. Voila! Your outdoor rug should be good as new.

  • Dry it out: It's important to dry your rug in the sun after washing it (or if it was just heavily rained on). Hang it up and flip it often so that it can dry from both sides. Make sure it stays in the sun and not in the shade for a good, clean dry that will also help to kill any lingering bacteria.

The Best Outdoor Rugs at a Glance

RELATED: How Much Would You Spend on a Rug, Handbag or Bottle of Wine? We Asked 8 Women and Their Responses Shocked Us

Wayfair

1. Beachcrest Home Bellino Outdoor Rug

Best Coastal Outdoor Rug

Our top pick allows you to transform your al fresco space into a coastal getaway, which features light distressing and a soft, blue hue that evokes a seaside shanty. It's got low-pile fibers that dad won't get caught up in when he's bringing in the steaks from the grill, and it's power-loomed in Turkey for a high-quality weave. Wayfair recommends using this one with a rug pad so it won't slip and slide.

Buy It (From $58)

Ruggable

2. Ruggable Filifera Outdoor Rug

Most Resilient Outdoor Rug

We're big fans of Ruggable here at PureWow. It lived up to the hype in our tests with its core tenets of “spills happen,” “kids will be kids” and “pets are messy.” That's because Ruggable has devised a genius two-part system (one-part rug pad, one-part rug cover) to make life easier. The thin top layer, which is made of a shockingly attractive polyester, can be removed and thrown in the washer for easy cleanup (and after trying it, ours came out good as new). Even better, it's available at a relatively affordable price point, so you can even invest in this bigger 8-foot by 10-foot model without breaking the bank.

Buy It (From $169)

Urban Outfitters

3. Urban Outfitters Tillie Outdoor Rug

Best Indoor/Outdoor Rug

The thing we love about this rug is that not only is it good for indoor and outdoor use, it’s also reversible, meaning you can switch up your style at a moment's notice. From an eco-conscious standpoint, it’s made from durable recycled plastic, and it's resistant to mildew, mold and UV rays.

Buy It (From $89)

Rugs USA

4. Rugs USA Iris Totem Outdoor Rug

Best Outdoor Runner Rug

We chose this one with a tropical flair because it's made from a premium stain-resistant polypropylene for a longstanding, low maintenance pick. It's a flatweave rug, but customers say it's got a soft texture underneath bare feet—or puppy bodies.

Buy It ($118; From $47)

Amazon

5. FH Home Outdoor Rug

Best Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rug

This eco-friendly rug made our list because it's entirely woven from recycled plastic tubes, making it a sustainable choice that you can feel good about. It's waterproof and stain- and UV-resistant, too, so you're not likely to be replacing it in six months. Perhaps best of all? It's reversible and low fuss—at just under 2.5 pounds in the smallest size, so you can easily clean hang it to hose it off and let it dry before your next picnic.

From $39 at Amazon

Wayfair

6. Kelly Clarkson Home Barksdale Outdoor Rug

Most Versatile Outdoor Rug

Can you say versatile? We love that this neutral woven rug will effortlessly blend into any outdoor aesthetic, whether your patio is Cabo-themed or you’re going for more of a “summer house in Nantucket” vibe. Its low-pile polypropylene material is good for high-traffic areas, and its stain-resistance means you won't have to cringe quite so hard if your sister spills her vino on it.

Buy It ($59; From $31)

Amazon

7. Unique Loom Trellis Outdoor Rug

Best Stain-Resistant Outdoor Rug

Made in Turkey with a stain-resistant polypropylene, this area rug, which features an eye-catching trellis pattern, is beyond durable, say shoppers. You can choose from multiple color schemes to best complement your décor, and its low-pile fibers ensure it won't shed all over your porch.

From $30 at Amazon

Amazon

8. SAFAVIEH Courtyard Collection Outdoor Rug

Best Outdoor Jute-Like Rug

While jute rugs may look outdoorsy, it's not the best material for an outdoor rug. Jute is made from woven, natural plant-based fibers, which are more likely to harbor fungi and bacteria, and as a result, make the rug more prone to mildew—not to mention funky odors. We found this one that looks just as pretty as jute but will far more durable, thanks to its enhanced synthetic fibers, and it won't shed. In addition, this Amazon favorite is more than $100 off right now in select sizes, so if you're looking for a versatile option to enhance your outdoor space, now is the time to strike.

From $33 at Amazon

Amazon

9. SAND MINE Reversible Outdoor Rug

Best Cheap Outdoor Rug

Not that you'd want to flip its stunning geometric pattern over, but this SAND MINE rug is reversible, so the option's there should you need it. That means you'll have a fully-functioning piece at all times, regardless of when it last got cleaned. We like that it's also heat-treated to prevent fraying and increase its durability. And once the season's over, it packs away into a compact square to fit inside its included carrying case. Bravo!

From $30 at Amazon

Amazon

10. Nicole Miller Danica Outdoor Rug

Best Large Outdoor Rug

If you ask us, this rug will make your backyard feel less like an outdoor space and more like a stylish extension of your home's interior. It goes up to 9-feet 2-inches to by 12-feet 5-inches, so its decently sized to command the attention of your summer house guests. It also checks all the boxes in the functionality department with its fade and weather-resistance and relatively light weight, both of which will make it easier to maintain. Plus, it's up to 34 percent off right now in select sizes, and well, we all love a good deal.

From $28 at Amazon

Amazon

11. Fab Habitat Outdoor Rug

Best Waterproof Rug

It was hard to choose just one superlative to describe this pick, because it comes with countless great features. It's made from 100 percent recycled plastic tubes, for one, and it is the only outdoor rug that is GoodWeave certified. This certification means that Fab Habitat's rugs are chiid-labor free, so all-in-all, it's an ethical consumer choice. This rug is also fully waterproof, so it won't absorb any moisture (or mold), and it's stain-resistant, too: Just hose it down and hang it up at the end of the season to keep it looking spiffy.

From $43 at Amazon

Serena & Lily

12. Serena & Lily St. Martin Perennials Rug

Best Reversible Outdoor Rug

Sure, this one's on the pricier side, but if you're looking to invest, we think this is the rug to do it with. This airy and reversible design not only has an easy-to-walk-over flatweave, it's been treated with a liquid acrylic technique that the company claims make it super soft and extra easy to wash (something that will be great news if your puppy has an accident outside). You can bring this piece inside for use in your breezeway once the sunny season has ended, too—just note that Serena & Lily recommends using it with a rug pad to help keep it firmly in place.

Buy It (From $1,198; $958)

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