Your outdoor living space likely has all the furnishings to make it as comfortable and inviting as your indoor rooms – outdoor sofas, chairs, tables, and of course, rugs. A quality outdoor rug can really pull your patio, deck, or sitting area together, providing a soft surface underfoot while also protecting your feet from hot, cold, or rough flooring.
However, while indoor rugs only need a basic rug pad underneath, outdoor rugs require special weatherproof pads designed to stand up to the elements. Without the right pad, your outdoor rug will quickly become damaged by moisture, mold, and mildew. The pad helps keep the rug securely in place rather than shifting around, and provides important cushioning when you walk across it.
With so many outdoor rug pad options on the market, it can be tricky to determine which one is best for your specific needs. The ideal pad needs to be completely waterproof on the underside, resistant to mold and mildew, durable enough to withstand outdoor conditions, provide a good non-slip grip, and offer cushioning for comfort. In this article, we’ll cover the top 5 best weatherproof outdoor rug pads available, and provide tips on how to select the perfect one for your outdoor space.
The 5 Highest-Rated Weatherproof Outdoor Rug Pads
When evaluating outdoor rug pads, there are a few key factors that determine quality:
- Waterproofing – The underside of the pad should be coated to completely block moisture from seeping through to your deck or patio.
- Mold/Mildew Resistance – Pads for humid environments need antimicrobial treatments to prevent mold.
- Durability – Outdoor pads take more abuse than indoor ones so should withstand heavy foot traffic.
- Grip – The surface texture should hold your rug securely in place, even on inclined surfaces.
- Cushioning – Thicker pads provide more foot comfort, though thin pads still offer slip resistance.
Keeping these criteria in mind, here are the top 5 weatherproof outdoor rug pads recommended by reviewers:
1. Gorilla Grip Original Outdoor Rug Pad
- 100% waterproof backing
- Mold/mildew resistant
- Textured grip surface
- 1/4″ thickness
Pros: Excellent slip resistance and waterproofing at a budget price point. The ribbed texture on top ensures rugs stay firmly in place. Provides basic cushioning.
Cons: May not be durable enough for rugs in extremely high traffic areas. Only comes in smaller sizes.
2. Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad
- Waterproof vinyl backing
- Treated to resist mold and mildew
- Smooth side down grips floor, textured side up grips rug
- 1/4″ thick
Pros: Unique dual-sided design provides non-slip properties both on top and bottom. Made of durable, long-lasting materials. Available in large sizes.
Cons: More expensive than basic pads. Smoother surface less grip than very textured pads.
3. RugpadUSA Outdoor Porch and Patio Rug Pad
- 100% rubber waterproof backing
- Microban antimicrobial product protection
- Light textured surface
- 1/4″ thick
Pros: Rubber construction is extremely waterproof and durable for outdoor use. Treated to resist mold and mildew. Large size range.
Cons: Rubber has slight odor initially. Not as thick or cushioned as some pads.
4. Pillow Perfect Outdoor Rug Pad
- 100% waterproof vinyl backing
- Mold/mildew resistant treatment
- Textured Herringbone pattern top
- 1/2″ thickness
Pros: Very thick pad provides excellent cushioning for decks, patios, and high foot traffic areas. Durable vinyl backing and weatherproof construction.
Cons: More expensive due to extra thickness. Only available in smaller sizes.
5. Rug Doctor Outdoor Rug Pad
- Rubber waterproof backing
- Microban antimicrobial product protection
- Super grippy textured surface
- 1/4″ thickness
Pros: Extremely grippy surface keeps rugs super secure. Rubber backing is durable for outdoor use. Available in larger sizes.
Cons: Has a strong rubber odor initially. Not as cushioned as some thicker pads.
Outdoor Rug Pad Comparison Chart
This covers the key characteristics and pros and cons of the top-rated weatherproof outdoor rug pads. As you can see, they provide different benefits depending on your specific needs. Next, we’ll go over the factors to consider when selecting the ideal pad for your outdoor rug.
Choosing the Best Weatherproof Outdoor Rug Pad for You
Picking out an outdoor rug pad may seem simple, but there are a few important things to keep in mind depending on your specific situation.
Be sure to measure your outdoor rug’s dimensions so you can get a pad that’s slightly smaller than the rug’s size. The pad should not stick out from underneath or be visible around the edges of the rug. Too large of a pad can cause the rug to catch and buckle. Allow a 2-3 inch smaller width and length than the rug.
Determine Thickness Based on Use
Thicker pads around 1/2″ provide more cushioning for heavily trafficked areas where you’ll be standing frequently. Thinner 1/4″ pads don’t offer as much foot comfort, but still grip well while allowing water to drain through. Consider your main goal – comfort underfoot or basic water resistance/grip.
Material Affects Performance
Natural rubber pads withstand weather extremely well but have a strong odor initially. Synthetic rubber or vinyl alternatives have less odor and last longer before needing replacement. Natural rubber tends to grip better immediately while synthetics take a few days to reach max grip strength.
Get the Right Texture
Make sure your pad’s surface texture matches the underside of the rug:
- Smooth pads work best on loop/flatweave rugs
- Textured/ribbed pads better grip patterned and woven rugs
Matching the textures prevents rug buckling and shifting.
Prioritize Waterproofing in Wet Areas
If your rugs will get rained on frequently, ensure the pad is made of fully waterproof vinyl or rubber. Take note of drainage so pooling water doesn’t get trapped between the pad and floor. PVC pads drain better than rubber.
Seek Mold/Mildew Resistance in Humidity
In damp climates, choose pads treated with antimicrobial products like Microban to prevent mold and mildew growth. This protects both your rug and pad from deterioration.
Durability Depends on Location
For high traffic areas like entries, poolsides, or patios, opt for extremely durable pads that can take abuse without wearing or compressing too quickly. Check durability ratings and material quality.
Grip Strength Secures Rugs on Hills
Heavy grip pads work best on uneven ground or surfaces with an incline. The grippier surface keeps rugs stable on grass, hills, ramps, and even boats.
Get Fire Retardant Pads Near Fire Features
If placing your rug near a fire pit, chiminea, or other outdoor heat source, use a fire retardant pad. Some natural rubber pads meet fire codes, as do some synthetic vinyls.
Factor in Rug Thickness
Measure your rug’s thickness and get a pad around 1/3 the thickness so it provides cushioning without being too packed down or puffy. Flat rugs do fine with 1/4″ pads.
Seek Non-Toxic Eco-Friendly Materials
Many pads today are made without toxic chemicals and have eco-friendly certifications. Natural rubber is more environmentally friendly than PVC blends.
Set a Budget
Outdoor rug pad prices range widely from $20 to $150 based on size, materials, and features. Determine how much cushioning, grip, mold resistance, etc. you really need vs. want.
Doing a little homework by assessing your specific needs will ensure you get the ideal outdoor rug pad. It doesn’t need to be complicated if you focus on the factors above that are most important for your situation. With the proper weatherproof pad underneath, your outdoor rug will stay put, maintain cushioning, and last many seasons before needing replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Rug Pads
How often do outdoor rug pads need to be replaced?
Outdoor rug pads generally last 2-4 years before needing replacement. Frequent exposure to moisture, sun, and foot traffic deteriorates pads more quickly. Check pads yearly and replace when grip lessens or backing appears damaged.
Should I put my outdoor rug pad on a hard surface or directly on grass/dirt?
For best results, place pads on a flat hard surface like concrete, wood, or pavers. Pads placed directly on softer or uneven grass/dirt shift more and don’t extend the life of rugs as well.
How do I clean an outdoor rug pad?
Sweep pads regularly to remove dirt, leaves, and debris which can break down materials over time. Spraying pads down seasonally with gentle soap and water keeps them fresh. Allow to air dry completely before placing rugs back.
What’s the best outdoor rug pad thickness?
1/4″ pads are fine for flat rugs and providing grip with light cushioning. Choose thicker 1/2″ pads for softer feel underfoot – ideal for heavily used spaces. Measure rug pile thickness and don’t exceed it.
Do outdoor rug pads work on uneven surfaces?
Yes, textured grip pads can work on slightly uneven ground. Opt for super grippy rubber pads for the best stability on uneven grass, hills, gravel, or gaps between pavers.
Should I get a pad bigger or smaller than my rug?
Always get pads slightly smaller than rug dimensions – around 2-3 inches less width/length. Too large of a pad causes rugs to catch and buckle. Too small provides insufficient traction.
Are outdoor rug pads safe for pets?
Yes, quality outdoor pads are non-toxic and safe for pets. Avoid very thick cushioned pads, as claws can get caught. Smooth-topped pads are best for paws.
How do I prevent outdoor rug pad from shifting?
Ensure pad and rug textures match up for maximum grip. Choose thicker, heavier pads that are less likely to slide. Stick to hard surfaces rather than direct on grass/dirt if possible.
What’s the difference between indoor and outdoor rug pads?
Outdoor pads have waterproof latex or rubber backing to resist moisture. Indoor pads focus more on cushioning and have more porous backing. Outdoor pads also have treatments to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Do outdoor rug pads work with rugs on balconies and rooftop decks?
Yes, outdoor pads are perfect for balconies and rooftop applications. The waterproof backing protects underlying surfaces from getting wet even in exposed upper areas.
Give Your Outdoor Rugs the Protection They Need
Adding an outdoor area rug truly completes your patio, porch, or deck, pulling the space together stylishly while offering a soft surface to walk across. But the key to keeping outdoor rugs looking their best is using a weatherproof, non-slip rug pad underneath.
The right pad prevents your rug from buckling, sliding, or bunching up. It cushions footsteps and insulates you from cold hard ground. Most importantly, it seals out moisture that would otherwise lead to moldy, stained, and ruined rugs.
While every outdoor space is different, this guide covered the top-rated weatherproof rug pads available and the key factors to consider when choosing one. Whether you need serious grip strength, extra thick cushioning, mold resistance, or just basic waterproof backing, there is a pad that fits your needs and budget.
Investing in the proper outdoor rug pad means your rug will last longer, feel more comfortable, and avoid becoming a wet, dirty mess anytime it rains or dews. Take a few minutes to find the right pad and it will reward you with a functional and stylish outdoor living space you can enjoy for years to come!