The 7 Best Rug Pads for All Flooring Types
A rug pad is an essential household item that is designed to protect your floors and extend the life of your rug overall. Some rug pads are designed to prevent the slipping and bunching of your rugs, while others are there to simply provide cushioning for a more comfortable experience. Some rugs even do both. When shopping for a rug pad, you should take into account the materials of the rug pad, the type of rug you have, your floor type, and the size options available.
Our top choice is the Wayfair Basics Premium Dual Surface Rug Pad for its compatibility with multiple floor types and the fact that it has more than 50 sizes available. Plus, its combination of latex and felt gives it the ability to stay in place and add cushioning to your rug, which is not a function that all rug pads can perform.
Here, the best rug pads you can buy today.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Rug Pad: Wayfair Basics Premium Dual Surface Rug Pad
- Best Budget Rug Pad: Veken Non-Slip Rug Pad Gripper
- Best Felt Rug Pad: Mohawk Home Comfort Cushion Felt Rug Pad
- Best Memory Foam Rug Pad: RugPadUSA Cloud Comfort Memory Foam Rug Pad
- Best Rubber Rug Pad: RugPadUSA Super Lock Natural Rubber Rug Pad
- Best Rug Pad Strips: Gorilla Grip Rug Corner Grippers
- Best Waterproof Rug Pad: Pottery Barn Spill-Proof Pet-Friendly Rug Pad
Best Overall Rug Pad: Wayfair Basics Premium Dual Surface Rug Pad
Best Budget Rug Pad: Veken Non-Slip Rug Pad Gripper
Best Felt Rug Pad: Mohawk Home Comfort Cushion Felt Rug Pad
Best Memory Foam Rug Pad: RugPadUSA Cloud Comfort Memory Foam Rug Pad
Best Rubber Rug Pad: RugPadUSA Super Lock Natural Rubber Rug Pad
Best Rug Pad Strips: Gorilla Grip Rug Corner Grippers
Best Waterproof Rug Pad: Pottery Barn Spill-Proof Pet-Friendly Rug Pad
Overall, we recommend the Wayfair Basics Premium Dual Surface Rug Pad for its combination of latex, which is a great anti-slipping material, and felt, which provides a comfortable cushion under your rug. It is compatible with multiple floor types and comes in over 50 sizes, including options for runners, round, and square rugs.
How to Shop for Rug Pads
Common rug pad materials include rubber, latex, felt, felt/rubber combo, memory foam, and PVC. Which material you choose should be dependent on your needs. If you are buying a rug pad purely to prevent slipping, go with rubber, latex, or PVC. All of these materials grip quite well and are water-resistant, so they make great options for places that get excess moisture, such as the bathroom or kitchen. A rubber pad is the most eco-friendly option, as long as you make sure to get something that is 100 percent rubber, as rubber blends often include additional materials that, when faced with friction, create excess debris. PVC, a cheap plastic, could potentially damage floors, so this is a better option for someone on a budget or a renter.
Felt and memory foam, on the other hand, aren't great at gripping. Felt and memory foam pads are great for someone who is looking for extra cushioning or insulation under their rug. These are best for large, heavier rugs that are already anchored by furniture. Felt/rubber combos are the perfect solution for people who are looking for both cushioning and gripping, and are particularly helpful for thin area rugs.
It's very important to choose a rug pad that is 1-2 inches smaller than your rug on each side. Sizing your rug pad this way ensures that you won't actually see your rug pad while looking at your rug. This is especially important for felt or memory foam rug pads, which are a lot thicker than rubber or PVC rugs. If you end up getting a rug pad that is still a little too big, you can always cut it down to your preferred size with scissors.
Like size, taking into account thickness is important so that your rug pad remains unseen under your rug. Since rubber and PVC rugs are so thin, thickness is more of a factor to consider if you are getting a felt or memory foam rug pad. The rule of thumb in the rug pad world is to not exceed a thickness that is more than half an inch. To determine how much thickness you need below that measurement, look at the thickness of your rug. Thin rugs should have thin rug pads and vice versa. While you may want to add a thick, cushioned rug pad to a thin rug, you may run the risk of your thin rug looking like it's laying on top of your rug pad.
Questions You Might Ask
Do you need to clean a rug pad?
It's a good practice to do every few months but it's not as necessary as vacuuming your rugs frequently. Before you clean it, make sure to read your rug pad's instruction manual to see if the brand has any recommended cleaning methods. For rubber or PVC rug pads, give them a good shake to get off any debris it might be holding, then vacuum and mop the floor under it. Don't put the rug pad back on until the floor is completely dry. If you have a felt or memory foam rug pad, do the same thing as you would with a rubber or PVC, then vacuum them.
Could a rug pad damage my floors?
Yes. PVC rug pads are usually the main culprits when it comes to floor damage from rug pads. PVC is a cheap plastic that can affect the finish of your floors over time, often because of material or chemicals rubbing off and sticking to your floors. Hardwood floors should avoid PVC for this reason, as they are the most susceptible. Felt and memory foam won't do this, and since rubber is a natural material, it is far less likely to cause this kind of damage.
When will I need to replace my rug pad?
It depends. Some rug pads can last up to 15 years; others for just a few years. Read your brand's instructional manual, as it may list the lifespan of the rug pad. Otherwise, plan to replace it when you notice the performance isn't what it once was when you bought it. For example, if a grip rug pad may not be gripping as well as it used to, or a felt or memory foam has dips in it, or doesn't have the support it once used to, then it's time to replace your rug pad.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. She spent hours researching all the components that make the best rug pads, ultimately choosing the products in this list based on material, size options, and thickness.