The 8 Best Rug Pads of 2021

Protect your floors for years to come

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Almost any room with hard floors calls for some sort of area rug, and after picking one out you'll most likely need a rug pad to go with it. Sized roughly an inch smaller on each side than a rug, it goes underneath and acts as a buffer between the rug and floor, preventing you from slipping and your floor from any liquid damage.

"Rug pads are vital to extending the life of your rug," says Decorist designer Ashley Mecham. "A rug pad will also add additional comfort and softness to make your space a cozy place to gather and relax."

There are tons of rug pad options, from foam pads, designs with moisture barriers, and thinner options made of rubber, latex, or grippy PVC (polyvinyl chloride). While you shop, be sure to check the material, thickness, and size to ensure it's the best match for your rug.

Here, the best rug pads for your home.

Our Top Picks
The design is made with felt that's said to reduce any long-term damage and discoloration from the back of your rug.
Read Review
The rug pad is offered in a variety of sizes, each of which features a dual-sided grip.
Read Review
The rug pad features a Spillguard moisture barrier that prevents spills and other accidents from getting through the cushion.
Read Review
This durable rug pad will protect your floors and it's dual sided design is slip-resistant.
Read Review
The rug pad is suitable for all types of hard floors and won't discolor the material.
Read Review
In addition to extra cushioning, you can count on sound absorption, insulation, and resistance to bunching.
Read Review
The textured rubber effortlessly grips any hard surface and safeguards your floors, so you won't have to worry about any damage.
Read Review
The 0.4-inch thick pieces are made of ultra-dense carpet fibers and rubber.
Read Review

Best Overall: Mohawk Ultra Premium Rug Pad

Mohawk Ultra Premium Rug Pad

Material: Felt | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • Offered in multiple sizes

  • Offered in multiple thicknesses

  • All-surface design

What We Don't Like
  • Designed for rugs that are anchored down by furniture

  • Not machine washable

When it comes to rug pads, Mohawk is a great place to start. The flooring company offers a variety of options, like the Ultra Premium All Surface model that's ideal for all surfaces.

The design is made with felt that's said to reduce any long-term damage and discoloration from the back of your rug. Though the rug pad is offered in a variety of thicknesses and standard sizes, it can be easily cut and customized for your rug.

It's worth noting that the pad is not designed to prevent the rug from slipping. When placing it in your home, be sure to anchor it under heavy furniture and decor.

Best Budget: Gorilla Grip Original Extra Strong Rug Pad Gripper

Gorilla Grip Original Extra Strong Rug Pad Gripper

Material: Not listed | Thickness: Not listed | Weight: 0.619 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • Dual-sided grip

  • Offered in a variety of sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Will break down over time

Rug pads don't have to be as big of an investment as the rug. Take Gorilla Grip's Original Gripper, for example, which offers a strong hold at a budget-friendly price point.

The rug pad is offered in a variety of sizes, each of which features a dual-sided grip that will help prevent your rug from bunching up and sliding around. Plus, it's designed with an open-grid system that allows air to circulate and prevents a build up of dust and debris.

Best Memory Foam: Carpenter Visco-Elastic Memory Foam Rug Pad with Spillguard DuPont Barrier

Carpenter Visco-Elastic Memory Foam Rug Pad with Spillguard DuPont Barrier

Material: Memory foam | Thickness: 0.5 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • Spill-proof barrier

  • Offered in multiple sizes

  • Offered in multiple thicknesses

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Doesn't have a non-slip backing

If you're looking for a rug pad that'll increase comfort in your home, consider a memory foam option like Carpenters' Spillguard DuPont Barrier Rug Pad. Available in multiple sizes and thicknesses, it's sure to add a sense of softness to your rug setup.

The rug pad features a Spillguard moisture barrier that prevents spills and other accidents from getting through the cushion. Instead, they can be blotted off of the rug with ease.

Best for Hardwood Floors: Wayfair Basics Premium Non-Slip Dual Surface Rug Pad

Wayfair Basics Premium Non-Slip Dual Surface Rug Pad

Material: Felt, latex | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Weight: 15.75 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • 0.25 inches of cushioning

  • Offered in multiple sizes

  • Made from recycled materials

What We Don't Like
  • Indoor use only

If you have hardwoods at home, the Wayfair Basics Premium Rug Pad is a great option to consider. Made from felt and latex, the pad has non-slip and non-bunching properties that'll keep your rug in place with ease.

The rug pad features both a latex side and a felt one, so you can use the latex side for hard surfaces and the other for softer floors. Regardless, it'll help protect floors from damage.

The pad is offered in a variety of standard sizes and shapes, so it's easy to find one that'll suit your rug. If you need a more specific design, however, it's easy to trim the pad so it'll be the perfect fit.

Best for Laminate Floors: Symple Stuff Downes Comfort Non-Bunching Cushioning Rug Pad

Symple Stuff Downes Comfort Non-Bunching Cushioning Rug Pad

Material: Felt, polypropylene, rubber | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Weight: 20 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • 0.25 inches of cushioning

  • Offered in multiple sizes

What We Don't Like
  • Offered in one shape

If you have laminate floors your best bet is the Symple Stuff Downes Rug Pad. Measuring 0.25 inches thick, it's crafted from soft felt, rubber, and polypropylene to offer plushness, insulation, and sound absorption.

The rug pad is suitable for all types of hard floors and won't discolor the material. Though it's offered in nine different sizes, it's easy to cut with scissors if the dimensions aren't exactly right.

Best for Tile Floors: Rug Pad USA Eco Plush Non-Bunching Rug Pad

Eco Plush Non-Bunching Rug Pad

Material: Synthetic fiber | Thickness: 0.5 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • 0.5 inches of cushioning

  • Resists bunching

  • Offered in a variety of sizes and shapes

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Natural stone and ceramic tile are notably hard and cold compared to other flooring materials, so it's understandable if you want to make them a bit more comfortable. Thanks to RugPadUSA's Eco Plush option, you can add an extra-thick pad under your rug for a warm, comfy feel.

Made of 100 percent heat-pressed felt, it's 0.5 inches thick. In addition to extra cushioning, you can count on sound absorption, insulation, and resistance to bunching.

Best for Thin Rugs: Durahold Plus Non-Skid Rug Pad

Durahold Plus Non-Skid Rug Pad

Material: Synthetic | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Weight: 23 pounds | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: All

What We Like
  • Offered in a variety of sizes

  • Low profile

  • Slip-resistant

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Low-profile pads are usually ideal for thin rugs, as they'll be less conspicuous underneath the material. Options like the Durahold Plus are great as the felt design has a 0.25-inch height, which is less than most rug pads on the market.

With the Durahold Plus, you'll still get a little bit of cushioning but not enough that it'll create an obvious border around the rug. The textured rubber effortlessly grips any hard surface and safeguards your floors, so you won't have to worry about any damage.

Best for Soundproofing: Sonic Acoustics Non Slip Soundproof Rug Pad

Sonic Acoustics Non Slip Soundproof Rug Pad

Material: Fiber, PVC | Thickness: 0.4 inches | Weight: 3.49 pounds | Color: Multiple colors | Intended Use: Indoor | Floor Compatibility: Varies

What We Like
  • 0.4 inches of cushioning

  • Budget-friendly

  • Soundproof design

What We Don't Like
  • Offered in one size

Whether you're an apartment dweller or just want to create a quieter space, a soundproof design never hurts. Take the Sonic Acoustics Non Slip Rug Pad, for example, which comes with 12 connectable squares.

The 0.4-inch thick pieces are made of ultra-dense carpet fibers and rubber, both sustainably sourced and eco-friendly. Thanks to the double-layer design, you'll get a grippy backing that sticks on all hard surfaces, as well as insulation and advanced sound absorption.

Final Verdict

The best rug pad overall is definitely the Mohawk Home Ultra Premium Rug Pad (view at Amazon), on account of its soft felt cushioning, non-slip latex backing, and all-surface design. The Gorilla Grip Original Gripper (view at Amazon) is an excellent choice for those on a budget thanks to a dual-sided grip and assortment of sizes.

What to Look For in a Rug Pad

Material

The material of your rug pad matters, especially since different materials are better suited to specific types of flooring. Common rug pad materials include PVC, an affordable option, rubber, which grips the rug and holds it in place while providing extra cushioning, and/or felt, which is better for carpeting or rugs anchored by furniture because it doesn't provide much grip.

Thickness

If you're looking for a rug pad that provides extra cushioning, thickness definitely matters. A good rule of thumb is to choose a rug pad that's between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch thick, with a thinner pad better for high traffic areas and a thicker pad better for larger, heavier rugs. A lot of this decision will depend on personal preference though, so feel free to go bigger or smaller. Overall, it's best not go over 1/2 inch thick.

Size

You'll want a rug pad that's smaller than your rug by 1-2 inches on all sides. Sticking with these dimensions will ensure your pad stays hidden, plus keeps the edges flat against the floor to prevent tripping. Be sure to double check the sizes of both your rug and the rug pad of your choosing before making any purchases.

FAQ
  • Why do you need a rug pad?

    There are many reasons to get a rug pad. "It helps protect your floors from any wear and tear by adding in an extra layer of cushion," says Mecham. "This will help stop the rug from bunching and slipping, which can be a safety concern, especially with little ones." 

    Rug pads can also be used to soundproof a space, an especially important factor for those living in apartment buildings.

  • Will a rug pad damage your floor?

    Some chemically treated plastic rug pads have been known to discolor or damage the finish on hardwoods and other hard flooring materials. Most of the options on the market today don't have this issue, but if you want to be safe be sure ot get one with a natural rubber or latex backing.

  • Do you need a rug pad for carpet?

    According to Mecham, rug pads are a must if you have a carpet. "I think it's a common misconception that rugs don't need a rug pad if they are layered over carpet," she says. "When you place a rug under heavy furniture, like a sofa or bed, it will naturally shift with the traffic of moving around the room. Adding in a rug pad will help protect the rug from the weight of the furniture."

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement and lifestyle. For this roundup, she interviewed an interior designer and the owner of a rug store, then researched the different types and materials of rug pads. After reviewing dozens of products and poring over user reviews, she made her final selections based on material, thickness, price, and size options. Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she covers furniture and home decor.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.