Why You Need a Pad for All of Your Area Rugs

This essential preserves your carpet's beauty and prevents slipping, say our experts.

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young couple laying on area lug living room
Photo: Chris Ferenzi Photography

There's nothing quite like a new rug to add color, design, and dimension to your space. That is, until you realize that this decorative covering consistently slips around on your floor. This is a common issue, especially in high-traffic areas, but there's an easy solution: A rug pad can make all the difference and keep your carpet safe and in place. Here, our experts explain why rug pads are must-haves for every area carpet you own.

Rug pads protect your floors accidents.

We've all been there: It's so easy to drop a glass of red wine or something heavy, like a bulky vacuum, on your rug. Kirsty Williams, the chief design officer for Serena & Lily, notes that placing a pad underneath your area rugs will ultimately protect your floors from any knocks, dents, or stains (red wine, for example, could seep through a carpet and impact the color of your hardwood without you knowing). Another perk?"We've found padding especially useful for the stability of Kilim rugs and flat weaves; they sit with less shifting and a more ideal amount of friction," Josh Nazmiyal, the founder and president of Rug & Kilim, explains. In this case, the rug pad keeps the above layer in place, even as children and pets run along the carpet or as you vacuum, adds Williams.

They add comfort.

"Padding offers a key lift in the body of a piece that, even subtly, lets it breathe and sit more comfortably," Nazmiyal shares. Not to mention, your carpet will simply be much nicer to walk on. "A pad will improve the feel and comfort of your rug, providing extra cushioning underfoot," notes Williams.

They boost your carpet's lifespan.

Williams explains that "a good quality rug pad will extend the life of your rug" by combatting a number of issues; it "complements a rug's posture, mitigates dust accumulation, minimizes wear, and preserves the condition of the piece," says Nazmiyal. This is especially important if your covering is an heirloom, she adds.

Be sure to choose the correct rug pad material.

When it is time to choose a rug pad type, Nazmiyal suggests a 40-ounce durable option. Consider Koeckritz's Organic Jute and Felt Pad ($54, amazon.com). Williams adds that for indoor use, "we like to use a superior eco-friendly rug pad that is made with recycled synthetic fibers on one side and renewable natural rubber on the reverse. This will provide you with both comfort and a non-slip experience." A polyester weave with non-skid rubber coating is her preference for outside rugs; try this one from Gorilla Grip ($15.99, amazon.com). Keep in mind that the more breathable the rug pad the better for outdoor carpets; an open weave will prevent mold and mildew.

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