The best affordable pet friendly machine washable rugs to use in a playroom, mud room, kitchen, dining room, living room, or anywhere that gets messy.
Washable rugs were definitely a must-have in our playroom’s facelift.
I mean it’s like a frat house up in this joint except, instead of college boys, there’s usually a 3 year-old passed out around here somewhere with her apple juice spilled all over the floor and magic marker scribbled on her face… really not that big of a difference now, is there?
So the washable rug? Yeah, it’s the greatest invention to ever grace the playroom. Or any room that has toddlers, pets, and messy people (hi, it’s me, I’m the problem too).
What is considered a washable rug?
Washable rugs are designed to be thin enough to fit inside of a standard sized residential washing machine and come out looking new after a cycle, without shrinking or warping.
These rugs come in a wide range of sizes from doormats to 9×12 area rugs. They are usually on the thin, low-pile side of the spectrum (with the exception of a very select few plush styles beginning to emerge) and are usually made of cotton or synthetic materials.
Make sure to follow the care instructions because every rug is different.
UPDATE: See my full real-life test and brutally honest, unbiased review of Ruggable here if you want info about that brand specifically. Keep reading for more washable rug recommendations below.
Is there an alternative to washable rugs?
If you don’t like the idea of throwing a rug in the washing machine, try out an indoor / outdoor rug instead. They are water resistant and so easy to clean that you can literally just hose them off. (I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do that inside, but still, that means they are super scrubbable.)
Outdoor rugs are usually more rigid than indoor washable rugs, and don’t bunch up quite as easily, so I often use them under dining tables to easily scoot chairs under tables. Because they’re meant to withstand harsh weather, they can handle wear and tear of heavy foot traffic indoors.
Choosing the Best Washable Rug
Before calling our playroom refresh officially finished, we tried out 3 washable area rugs to see which looked best.
You can throw these flat woven rugs into a machine wash on cold, dry flat, and they come out good as new.
Which one is your favorite?
I like how the geometric pattern of this Mia area rug contrasts against the ornate tapestry in here.
The blush tones in this Kamron area rug make the playroom adds some warmth and feels extra feminine, which is great for our girls.
This Cadarn area rug compliments the light blue paint color of the cabinets perfectly and the rust detail around the edges works beautifully with the pop of rusty red in the tapestry art!
What’s your vote? Robert’s favorite is the #3 blue patterned rug, which might be the ultimate winner since it does work so well against the tapestry art.
Washable Rug Durability
Update: It’s been 16 months since we got our washable rug for the playroom (the Cadarn rug), and it has held up beautifully! We’ve only ever had to wash it once because it spot cleans with mild detergent so easily and stains come right up. I do think it helps to have a rug pad underneath to keep it from sliding around and give it some cushion as it is very thin without one.
After owning our older Ruggable rugs for over a year and dealing with the edges curling up on us, I was worried we would have the same problem, but the Cadarn rug still lies flat at all edges and corners.
The material feels much more like a cotton flat weave, which I prefer, is eco friendly, and is stain resistant. All three of these rugs also don’t require a velcro pad with a rug cover like the other Ruggable washable rug we have, but I do think they need some grip to prevent them from being a slipping hazard.
I pulled together 20 of my favorite machine washable area rugs that are available in a variety of sizes, if you have a messy room in the house or high traffic area with kids and pets where they could come in handy.
20 Affordable Washable Rugs
Ruggable Rugs vs Other Machine Washable Rug Brands
You can see my full brutally honest, unbiased review of Ruggable rugs here.
But essentially, the biggest difference between Ruggable and other washable rugs is its two-piece design made of a rug cover and an attachable non-slip rug pad.
You only have to wash the cover, not the pad itself, and if you want to change the look, you can purchase a cover on its own without needing to buy an entirely new Ruggable set.
Choosing the Right Rug Size and Design
For more help choosing the right rug size and shape for design, plus tips on picking rugs to complement each other in an open floor plan, see my Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Perfect Rug.
Olivia said, “Mommy, it feels like a girl lounge in here!” And that’s exactly what it feels like.
The girls have already sprawled toys everywhere, pushed chairs together to make a big day bed for movies, and made all kinds of art on the activity table.
And I don’t bat an eye because the washable rug can be majorly used and abused through all of that and still be easy to clean.
I still have big plans for this playroom, but it’s leaps and bounds more functional than before, and that’s what matters. Progress matters more than perfection.
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