Buying Guide for Runner Rugs
Why buy a runner rug?
Runner rugs are ideal for minimizing dirt and wear on your floors in high-traffic areas. Consider, for example, an entryway. Mud, dust, and other debris from the streets and sidewalks can get tracked through your home if you walk straight into your home. But a runner rug can serve as a space to wipe your feet, to keep dirt to a minimum on the rest of your home’s floors. Other common areas for runner rugs are hallways, walkways, and kitchens to help preserve your flooring in high-traffic areas.
What should you look for when shopping for a runner rug?
- Location: Where do you plan on placing your rug? The answer to this question will impact the length, type of material, and even the pattern you select. An entryway rug should probably be made of more durable and darker material than a runner that sits in an upstairs hallway.
- Length: This is a factor you can only confirm after determining where the rug will be placed. You might prefer a longer runner in an entryway and one about the length of your kitchen sink or primary food prep space for the kitchen.
- Materials: Again, depending on your goals, you’ll want to look at different materials when shopping for a runner rug. You might want an easy-to-clean, durable runner for an entryway and one with built-in anti-fatigue padding for a kitchen if you stand for long periods when cooking. Similarly, you may find that a nonwoven material is better for the kitchen, as it’ll stand up against spilled foods and liquids better.
- Maintenance: Most woven rugs usually aren’t machine washable. But these days, if you’re willing to search for it or spend a bit more, you can find some. Meanwhile, nonwoven rugs can often be quickly mopped and vacuumed, making them ideal for kitchens. Still, always consider the care instructions listed for your rug and ensure that it works for you.
- Style: This feature comes down to preference, and there’s no right or wrong answer. While you can opt for solid hues with a runner rug, you can also find more stylized options to fit the space you’re putting it in.
What’s the best runner rug for a kitchen?
In theory, you can easily use any runner rug for your kitchen. But you’ll want to think about how much time you plan on spending in the kitchen and what you’ll be doing. Considering that the kitchen is where you’re most likely to be found cooking food or cleaning dishes, you will want something durable and washable. A good runner can work to prevent slips and trips caused by water or other liquids dropping on the floor. Meanwhile, if you struggle with back, leg, or foot pain, you may find that investing in a version with anti-fatigue padding is a smart upgrade.
Our Picks for the Best Runner Rugs
Maples Rugs Reggie Floral Runner Rug
This durable rug can be easily cleaned and brings a modern touch with its eye-catching bold pattern.
Pros: Whether you want to keep this rug in the entryway or in your kitchen, it’s machine washable for your convenience. This serious upgrade means upkeep just got significantly easier. Along with its pretty floral design, this rug comes in eight sizes and four patterns. Plus, it’s nonslip.
Cons: Common complaints about this rug centered around the construction quality. In particular, many shoppers noted that the rug was thin and, in some cases, had a tendency to bunch up, which could lead to trips and falls.
Bottom Line: Those seeking an affordable and easy-to-maintain runner rug will appreciate this pick from Maple Rugs. Along with being machine washable, it offers a range of designs and comes in eight sizes.
Ottomanson Solid Black Washable Runner Rug
Although low pile in profile, this simple runner rug adds dimension to most rooms.
Pros: When you’re ready to bring a little visual interest to your home or are just tired of walking on cold hard floors, runner rugs are essential. This is a great option from Ottomanson that comes in 41 colors, including solids, prints, and sayings. It comes with nonslip rubber backing to ensure less trips or falls. Likewise, we like that there are a wide array of dimensions that are available—five to be exact. Each rug measures 0.2 inches in thickness and can be easily vacuumed.
Cons: Note that these rugs are not machine washable. You’ll need to spot-clean them if there’s a mess.
Bottom Line: No matter where in your home you need a rug, this runner rug is a great choice that comes in a ridiculously large number of colors and dimensions. Its nonslip rubber backing allows you the freedom to use it in high-traffic areas as well.
iCustomRug Zara Synthetic Sisal Runner Rug
If you need a runner that's ideal for hardwood stairs, this synthetic option is a great option.
Pros: Those with hardwood stairs know they can get slippery, especially if you walk in socks. This natural fiber-inspired synthetic runner from iCustomRug is a great way to make sure that your stairs are safe for everyone to traverse. This pick comes in seven colors and 34 sizes, making it ideal for various staircases. And it has a latex backing so that the runner stays in place.
Cons: If you prefer authentic natural fibers, this isn’t the rug for you. While it’s made to look like sisal, it’s synthetic polypropylene. Over time, it could unravel a bit and snag on shoes.
Bottom Line: If you’re specifically looking for a runner solution for stairs, this one is great, thanks to the wide range of sizes. It’s soft, durable, and adds some visual interest to a main area that many will cross.
nuLoom Moroccan Blythe Runner Rug
Switch it up with one of these runner rugs that comes in an intricate and unique Moroccan design.
Pros: Traditionalists can appreciate the appeal of a Moroccan rug like this one from nuLoom. And thanks to polypropylene fibers, it’s incredibly durable and affordable, making it more accessible for a wider range of households. You can choose between 11 different designs and 49 sizes.
Cons: Some shoppers noted that this rug was very thin, which might not be ideal for high-traffic areas.
Bottom Line: If you like the look of a Moroccan rug but not the sticker shock that comes with it, this polypropylene version is a solid choice that’s designed to be durable and stain-resistant.
SAFAVIEH Monaco Collection Runner Rug
This classically inspired Persian rug is perfect for boho home decor schemes.
Pros: Savafieh is a fan favorite within the home decor niche thanks to its luxe designs that can cater to a wide array of tastes. You’ll like that there are 12 different color ways ranging from pastel to jewel tones. Likewise, there are a variety of dimensions, including square and round. The pile measures 0.3 inches, and this pick can be vacuumed.
Cons: If you have an accident, be prepared to spot clean.
Bottom Line: Create a classy environment and enhance your space with a Savafieh runner rug. The chic medallion design and durable stain-resistant fibers make it a unique but reliable choice.
nuLOOM Jute Area Rug
This gorgeous handwoven rug is made from all-natural jute for a natural rustic effect.
Pros: If the idea of polypropylene-derived rugs is a turn-off, you’ll appreciate this all-natural jute area rug that’s handwoven. While we’re highlighting the natural finish, you have more color options and a wide array of sizes too. The pile is 0.35 inches and won’t obstruct doorways. This rug can be vacuumed as well.
Cons: It can be challenging to clean without the ends fraying or shedding.
Bottom Line: Jute is a natural yet soft fiber alternative to synthetic-based rugs. With a wide array of colors and sizes available, there’s no reason not to incorporate one in your home.
Whether you prefer natural fibers, traditional runner designs, or something with anti-fatigue padding, runner rugs are a smart addition to have in your home. The various designs, from Moroccon, medallion, or just simple black, allow you to express your taste and add dimension to your living area.