The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Rugs

Rugs have been a staple in home design ever since humans learned how to weave fabric. Pretty, warm, and possessing the ability to round up any room ever, it’s no wonder we’re always looking for that perfect rug to put those final touches to the rooms in our houses.

Originating from ancient Persia, the first rugs are believed to have been made around the year 500 BC, and were handwoven, of course. Ever since, as time passed, new materials and technology have developed and now we have rugs of all shapes and sizes to add to our interior and make it just a bit fancier and warmer.

But, what about the outside? Like on your patio, for example? If you have one, we’re sure you’re spending a lot of time enjoying the outdoors on it. You probably have the right type of outdoor furniture set up to make sure the experience is completely comfortable, but have you ever considered adding a rug to the ensemble?

If you have, you might have thought of placing an old, indoor rug there to spice things up. This, however, is not such a good idea. Indoor and outdoor rugs are very different in many aspects and that’s what prevents you from using an indoor rug outside.

Here are a few of them.


indoor outdoor rugs

Just like those used indoor outdoor rugs can be bought at the same store, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same. You can also buy outdoor furniture at the same place you can buy indoor furniture, but you wouldn’t really opt for a sofa and wooden coffee table for the patio, right?

The main difference between indoor and outdoor rugs is that the materials used in making both are extremely different. Indoor rugs, like the very popular Persian ones for example, are usually made out of materials like cotton, wool, silk, camel hair, and some synthetic options. These allow the rugs softness and a sleek, shiny look, but they’re not that great at protecting from dirt and dust. In fact, they collect quite a lot of it, but since they’re placed indoors, that’s not that big of a deal.

However, when it comes to outdoor rugs, the story is completely different. Inside you control the circumstances, but once outdoors, that’s totally out of your hands. That’s why a rug that’s easy to get dirty, isn’t waterproof, is made of a soft material that won’t be able to withstand the weather changes that might occur is not your best bet.

Outdoor rugs are usually woven by hand or a machine, but that weave is tight. They also don’t use materials that will get damaged or collect dirt. Instead, manufacturers prefer things like polypropylene or berclon to make the rug as durable as possible and easy to clean.


design indoor outdoor rugs

When talking about design, we’re not only talking about colour and patterns. We’re talking about the whole make of the rug, aside from the material used. While we’re on the subject of colour and patterns, though, it’s important to note that it’s a common misconception that outdoor carpets are plain and simple and can only be available in limited, undetailed designs.

Sure, they won’t be as intricate as some of the indoor rugs, but outdoor rugs actually do come in a great variety of designs and colours you can match up with your exterior and furniture to get the best look. You just need a well-stocked retailer!

Moving on, another design difference between indoor and outdoor rugs is the fact that outdoor rugs usually have a special kind of bottom that prevents them to move around and cause someone to slip or trip. Manufacturers take into account all the possible weather changes your rug might go through and they prepare it accordingly.

For example, the special materials we talked about before and treated and made mould and mildew resistant, moth resistant, water repellant (but not waterproof!), antibacterial and soil repellant. The reason why waterproofing is off the table is that you’ll need water to clean these rugs! Water-repelling and waterproofing are two different sides of two different coins!

Furthermore, outdoor rugs usually have tightly woven edges that make the rug sturdier and safer, unlike indoor rugs that can have all kinds of soft, fluffy edges to add to the design.


Finally, unlike rugs used indoor outdoor rugs can actually go both ways! This means that if you like the characteristics and look of an outdoor rug you can easily incorporate it inside. That which does not work for indoor rugs is actually a piece of cake for their outdoor counterparts.

Outdoor rugs can be used in places where there is a lot of moisture involved, like bathrooms or laundry rooms, because of their special treatment against mould, mildew, moths, and so on.

Since many bathrooms and laundry rooms have tile flooring, these rugs will not slip around and you can safely step out of the shower or carry a heavy load of laundry without worrying about falling down.

To Conclude

The main differences between indoor and outdoor rugs are in the material, the design, and the versatility in usage.

You can find outdoor rugs online where you can review all models and specifics of the pieces you like and also choose the exact measurements that will fit your needs.

By getting an outdoor rug you’re making sure you, your family, and your guests are safe and protected while spending time outside, you’re adding character and flair to your outdoor sitting area, and you’re guaranteeing yourself easy cleaning and maintenance.