When some people hear “kitchen rug,” they may react like I would if I heard any mention of wall-to-wall bathroom carpet. But while bathroom carpet is undeniably horrendous, kitchen rugs don’t deserve this treatment. In fact, they’re actually pretty practical when you think about it. They can hide drab-looking tile or laminate, help safeguard wood floors from moisture damage, provide a slip-resistant surface to tread on, and more than anything, make the heart of your home look a little more vibrant.
Not just any rug is a good candidate for the kitchen. Our social media editor Andrew Spena has espoused the virtues of the kitchen rug before and provided some guidance for choosing a good one. First and foremost, it should be a low-pile or flat-weave rug—I probably don’t need to say why a plushy shag or lambskin pelt might be a gross choice for the room where you regularly spill things. I just have one criteria to add to Andrew’s list: Get a washable rug you can toss in the machine when it gets a little ruddy from red sauce or paw prints.
Machine-washable rugs aren’t the easiest to find; most rug manufacturers suggest professional cleaning or spot care, which would be cost prohibitive and extra annoying when it comes to the spill-prone kitchen rug. I went on a search to gather a list of high-quality options. Find them below:
Not all of Pottery Barns rugs are machine washable, but the few that are make great kitchen rugs. All of them have a nonslip backing, eliminating the need for a grip mat beneath the carpet. They also come in relatively small rectangular sizes, perfect if you have a narrow space between a kitchen island and your countertops.
You may recognize Ruggable from its advertising campaign where a woman blithely dumps a whole glass of red wine on her rug and boasts about how unbothered she is by it. That’s right, every Ruggable rug can be tossed in the washing machine, ergo Ruggable rugs are ideal for the kitchen. Keep an eye out for low-pile options. Washable or not, I draw the line at shag rugs in the kitchen.
The Swedish everything store has always had a quality area rug collection, and a few of them are low-maintenance enough to toss in the wash.
Beja Flor Vinyl Mats
Okay, so these aren’t technically rugs. Still, these vinyl mats will make the ugly laminate tile in your rental kitchen look like a simulacrum of a tiled Italian villa kitchen. They’re a bit cushy, making for a comfortable place to stand while you cook, and they wipe down with a wet rag, so a trip through the washing machine is unnecessary.