The Verdict Is In: These Are the Best Kinds of Rugs for Your Kitchen

Rugs in the kitchen? That’s one loaded subject. On the one hand, what an easy way to bring comfort and beauty into your cooking space. On the other hand, won’t it become, erm, a big, gross sponge for crumbs and spills? The trouble is, both sides of the argument ring true.

So what’s a gal to do? We went ahead and researched the practicalities for you. (Yes, yes, you’re welcome.) Below, the three best options to consider if you’re dying for kitchen style…but afraid of maintenance.

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annie selke indoor rug
Courtesy of Annie Selke


One especially easy-clean option? Indoor/outdoor rugs, which have gotten really, really good-looking in recent years (just look at this classic striped number by Annie Selke). These rugs are made of a material called propylene—which is basically a soft, woven plastic designed to repel stains and liquids.

rug ideas for kitchen 1
Courtesy of Ruggable


Another utility-friendly idea? An innovative machine-washable rug. Companies like Ruggable, Hook & Loom and Lorena Canals all offer floor coverings that are designed to be popped in the machine as needed. Marinara spill? No problemo.

indoor rug courtney bishop
Design: Cortney Bishop Design ; Photo by Katie Charlotte; Courtesy of Merida

Flat Weave

General rule of thumb? The higher the rug pile, the harder it is to clean. Translation: Though an oriental runner would look amazing, upkeep will likely be a headache. But if you’re really after luxe style here, consider a beautiful flat weave, like wool dhurrie (psst: wool is naturally a stain-resistant fiber) or hard-wearing sisal. (We’re particularly obsessed with Merida's flat-weave rugs.) These tightly woven textiles are easy to shake out and vacuum (suction only, please)—and they can be spot cleaned, often with just water and a clean towel. A word to the wise: Make sure to read up on the rug's care instructions before purchasing—and make sure the chic factor is worth the effort to you.

rug ideas for kitchen 4
Design: Alexander Design; Photo: Martin Lof

& One More Thing

Remember rug pads, people! The last thing you want is a kitchen rug behaving like a skateboard. If it doesn’t have non-slip backing built in, do yourself a favor and layer your textile over a cushy, non-slip rug pad. P.S. For the kitchen, we say the thicker, the better. (All the more comfy on your joints while cooking and cleaning.)

Grace Beuley Hunt

Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.
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