If you want to protect your rugs from slipping and possible furniture dents, you should consider a rug pad a good investment. Our team spent 10 hours in The Lab testing out different types of rug pads for characteristics like durability, effectiveness, quality, and overall value.
Our favorite was the Room&Board Natural Rubber Rug Pad for its impressive quality and steadfastness against sliding. This rug pad didn’t move at all, even when our testers took a running start.
Here are all of our top picks for the best rug pads on the market.
Best Overall: Room & Board Natural Rubber Rug Pad
Natural rubber is extremely durable
Slightly more cushioning than other options
Variety of size options
Washable and mildew-resistant
Didn’t fit perfectly under rugs
Caused a little static when lifted
When you’re choosing a rug pad, the two most important criteria are resistance to slipping and protection of the rug and floor. Our best overall pick—Room & Board’s Natural Rubber Rug Pad—excels in both of these lanes. Due to the natural rubber material, this rug pad grips the floor and stays in place. Even with our testers jumping, dancing, and running across it for good measure, this rug pad stood firm with no slips or movement, earning it 5 out of 5 stars in effectiveness. This kind of grip not only ensures safety for you, but it also protects your floor from potential scratches if the rug were to move back and forth excessively.
While we noticed this rug pad didn’t fit perfectly under the test rug, it does come in a variety of sizes (from 2 x 3 feet to 10 x 14 feet) that might work for your rug needs. And, if what you order isn’t a perfect match, you can always trim the edges for slight adjustments. This rug pad isn’t advertised as being cushioned, but, after placing several Legos under the rug pad, our testers noted that it actually cushioned their steps surprisingly well. Others have compared the cushion effect of this rug pad to “walking in your favorite sneaker while barefoot.”
In terms of maintenance and longevity, the Room & Board rug pad is easy to wash, mildew-resistant, and highly durable thanks to the natural rubber material. Testing proved its durability with no flaws, tears, or other wear after vacuuming and rough treatment. It’s available for purchase at a median price point and won’t need to be replaced for a long time. For all of these reasons and more, the Room&Board Natural Rubber Rug Pad is the best overall option for safety, cost, and effectiveness.
Price at time of publish: $29
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Wayfair Basics Premium Non-Slip Dual Surface Rug Pad
Functional on hard or soft surfaces
Doesn’t easily tear or stretch
Non-slip grip to prevent shifting
Had to be trimmed to fit the same size rug
Though not our best overall, the Wayfair Basics Premium Non-Slip Dual Surface Rug Pad came awfully close, which is why we’ve given it the runner-up spot. This rug pad is a top-tier option because it keeps the rug in place even with impacts like vacuuming and jumping on it. Our testers loved how cushioned this rug pad was, and noted that it would add a lot of padding if you have a decorative but otherwise thin rug on top. The thickness also contributes to the protection of both the rug and floor. The rug pad will absorb any shocks to the rug, such as excessive furniture weight, while the grip securing it in place keeps your floor from getting scratched or nicked.
When testing, our team observed that the 3 x 5 foot rug pad did not fit under a rug of the same size, so you may need to trim the edges if this occurs. However, this rug pad comes in more than 30 size options, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. Another characteristic of this particular rug pad is that it works on both hard and soft surfaces. If using it on hardwoods or tile, simply place the latex side of the rug pad down; for carpets, the felt side. This rug pad runs slightly more expensive than others on our list, but you’re getting a high value for the price.
Price at time of publish: $34
Best Budget: Better Homes & Gardens Cushioned Non-Slip Area Rug Pad
Decent grip to prevent slips
Has to be hand-washed
Not as cushioned as other options
For a highly durable rug pad that will keep your rug in place without hurting your wallet, look to the Better Homes & Gardens Cushioned Non-Slip Area Rug Pad. In lab tests, we found that this option had phenomenal grip strength. During our tests, the rug barely shifted at all despite being kicked and vacuumed on. When it did move, the rug went with it, reducing potential tripping hazards.
The open weave design isn’t particularly thick or cushioning. However, it was able to absorb some of the shock during the Lego test, adding a barrier between the small toy and our testers’ feet. It’s available in seven sizes and can be returned within 90 days if you’re unsatisfied. Overall, this rug pad is a low-cost option that still gives you a high-quality result.
Price at time of publish: $8
Best Cushioning: Mohawk Ultra Premium Rug Pad
Durable felt material
Decent price point
Easy to spot clean
Lacking non-slip capabilities
When you’re walking around your home barefoot, it’s more comfortable when the floors are soft. Rug pads like the Mohawk Ultra Premium Rug Pad can facilitate that. Available in two different thickness options (1/4 and 3/8 inches), this felt option has enough thickness to protect your floors from discoloration and scratching. The Lego test was also applied here. Our testers could still slightly feel the toy underneath the rug, even though the sensation was dulled.
This rug pad is available in a range of sizes, but if you can’t find one that fits your needs, you can easily trim it down one to two inches. While our testers noticed the rug did slip a little, this particular rug pad is designed to cushion rugs under pieces of furniture or heavy throw rugs, so slippage is not typically an issue. The design of this rug pad is highly durable and built to last for many years. And while it’s not machine-washable, most messes can be spot cleaned with a mild detergent.
Price at time of publish: $37
Best Grip: Durahold Non-Slip Rug Pad
100% synthetic; no animal or plant fibers
Custom trimming available
Seems durable and long-lasting
Pricier than other options
Not as much cushioning
One of the biggest concerns with rugs in your home is the potential for slipping and falling. A rug pad with a strong grip like the Durahold Non-Slip Rug Pad can save you and your floors from unintentional slips and scratches. Made with a natural latex rubber material, this rug pad grips the floor and stayed in place during testing—even when we tugged, vacuumed, and jumped on it.
While this option runs a little higher in price than others on the market, you’re receiving extra perks, such as the synthetic material (with no animal or plant fibers), and custom trimming to make sure the rug pad fits your exact rug measurements. This no-slip rug pad is a particularly great option for households with pets and small children. This rug pad comes recommended by Joanna Mahserdjian, owner of Upstate Rug Supply, who says its durability makes it one of her favorite picks on the market.
Price at time of publish: N/A
Best Multi-Surface: Crate & Barrel Multi-Surface Thick Rug Pad
Thick and durable
High quality materials
Limited movement during slip test
CRI Green Label certified
Might have to trim down to fit rug
If you’re in the market for a versatile rug pad that can work on multiple surfaces, consider the Crate & Barrel Multi-Surface Thick Rug Pad. This option is completely reversible, with a polyester felt side to grip carpet and a natural and synthetic rubber blend to hold firm to hard surfaces. This material is ¼ inches thick, providing a nice cushion under the rug for added padding and protection. Our testers observed that many rug pads are known for either supreme cushioning or non-slip abilities, but this rug pad succeeds at both.
Other bonus features of the Crate & Barrel Rug Pad are its 15-year warranty and CRI Green Label Certification—meaning the material doesn’t off-gas or release potentially harmful chemicals into your home. The material is also specially designed not to stain your floors and is easy to cut through should it need trimming around the edges.
Price at time of publish: $80
Best Adhesive: Home Techpro Rug Pad Grippers
Strong and thick
Adhesive pads lock it in place
Adhesives can only be used once
If you don’t want an entire rug pad, but still want to ensure your rug stays in place, consider the Home Techpro Rug Pad Grippers. Simply peel these small squares (3.9 x 3.9 inches) and stick them on the four corners of any rug to adhere it to the floor. The adhesive technology uses air pressure to grip hard surfaces and keeps all corners firmly suctioned to the floor, preventing the edge of the rug from curling up.
Despite the suction capabilities, these rug pad grippers don’t damage the floor when removed and can be washed while still attached to the rug. They can also be peeled off easily when you’re ready to remove them—however, once removed they will not adhere back on, making them essentially single-use. Our testers noted that even when kicked and vacuumed, these rug pads didn’t move, making them a good investment to prevent slips.
Price at time of publish: $16 for 4
Best Spill-Proof: Annie Selke Solid Extra-Grip Rug Pad
Solid grip abilities
Protects flooring from spills and messes
Melted a little with heat and not good for warm climates
Shows wrinkles and folds easily
In addition to protecting your floors from scratches, rug pads can also help keep spills from seeping through your rug and ruining the floors beneath. Though somewhat more expensive than others on this list, the Annie Selke Solid Extra-Grip Rug Pad is spill-proof, grips the floor to prevent slips, and lightly cushions the rug. The material is a woven polyester scrim-coated PVC vinyl compound, which gives it a yoga mat feel that is highly durable and stands up to wear and tear over time.
It can’t, however, be used on heated floors, or have any heat applied to it. Our testers noticed the rug pad easily wrinkled, and when they tried to steam the wrinkles out, it started to melt. Due to this heat issue, it’s best to use this rug pad indoors in a controlled temperature.
Price at time of publish: $48 for 2x3 Size
Best for Pet Owners: Carpenter Visco-Elastic Memory Foam Rug Pad with Spillguard DuPont Barrier
Good for accident-prone pets
Median price range
Doesn’t grip floor to prevent slips
Not very cushiony
While pets add so much value to our lives, they can also bring messes to our homes. No matter the type of mess you’re dealing with, an extra-absorbent rug pad is always a good idea for pet owners—and the Carpenter Visco-Elastic Memory Foam Rug Pad is our standout pick in this category. The spillguard waterproof top layer uses a slick barrier to keep liquids from seeping through into the rug pad and onto the floor underneath. However, spills and accidents left unattended can still cause damage to the rug on top, so you should try to clean these up as soon as possible.
Our testers noted that while the waterproof capabilities are impressive, the price is a touch high for a rug pad that’s missing significant cushioning and non-slip gripping. That’s not to say there’s no cushioning, but when our team placed a Lego under the rug pad, they could still detect it when walking across the rug. So, if you’re in the market for a rug pad that will survive the happy chaos of a pet-filled home, this is a good option. If you want more features, you should consider other options on our list.
Price at time of publish: $210
Best for Apartments: Sonic Acoustics Non Slip Soundproof Rug Pad
Versatile for different spaces
Floor grip wasn’t strong
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment building, you know that sound travels. The Sonic Acoustics Non Slip Soundproof Rug Pad is advertised as absorbing noise, making this rug pad “soundproof.” While our testers were not able to test for this quality, reviewers confirm that these rug pads do help reduce sound in various living spaces. Since this rug pad takes the form of individual squares, this product works really well in compact apartments since you can place them in a formation that fits your exact space.
We noticed that these squares are highly durable and somewhat cushioned, but do not grip the floor as well as others we tested. If you’re concerned about possible slips, you can always get rug tape to help better secure the rug pads to the floor. If you don’t need all 12 rug pad squares that come in the pack, the leftovers are compact and can be easily stored.
Price at time of publish: $24
Best Outdoor: Wayfair Basics Deluxe Grip Outdoor Non-Slip Rug Pad
Good grip strength, non-slip
Seems highly durable, weather-resistant
Needs to be trimmed to fit rug
Outdoor rugs have their own set of challenges in terms of needs and upkeep, and that’s where the Wayfair Basics Deluxe Grip Outdoor Non-Slip Rug Pad comes in handy. Our testers determined the materials are well-made and durable—ideal for standing up to different temperatures and weather conditions.
This rug pad is highly versatile because it comes in several sizes and can be trimmed down to fit unique rug shapes. It also has an extremely strong grip to keep the rug from sliding—making it ideal for both windy and humid climates. The polyester material is also simple to clean, so when the elements start to make it grimy, it can be washed with ease.
Price at time of publish: $49
After testing all of these rug pads and comparing materials, features, and more, the Room&Board Natural Rubber Rug Pad takes our best overall spot. It has sufficient cushioning and grip to hold your rug in place, while still being durable and easy to maintain. As a close runner-up, the Wayfair Basics Premium Non-Slip Dual Surface Rug Pad offers multi-surface usage, a non-slip surface, supportive cushioning, and can stand up to general wear and tear.
How We Tested
To determine which rug pads are the best on the market, our team spent an entire day testing 18 different options at The Lab. For each rug pad, we assessed the quality of materials, effectiveness in terms of slip prevention, cushioning, durability, and how well each option held up during our tests, and overall value considering the price in relation to what each rug pad offered.
Our tests took real-world scenarios into consideration—such as a stray object getting lost under a rug (cushion test), and the possibility of pets and children running across the rug (slip test)—to determine which rug pads would hold up the best in your home. After comparing each rug pad in the categories of quality, effectiveness, durability, and overall value, we narrowed down our options to bring you this list.
What to Look for in a Rug Pad
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. “I like a rubber-backed felt pad,” says Mahserdjian. “It holds the rug in place, keeping it from shifting (goodbye tripping hazard!).” She suggests selecting a thin felt size, “nothing too thick and bulky!”
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 to go over 1/2-inch thick.
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 choice before making any purchases.
Why do you need a rug pad?
There are many reasons to get a rug pad. “A good rug pad will extend the life of your rug. Functionally, it can provide some extra cushion so that your rug feels even better underfoot,” says Mahserdjian. “Finally, a rug pad smooths out the rug, boosting its visual appeal.” 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 to get one with a natural rubber or latex backing.
Do you need a rug pad for carpet?
A rug pad can be beneficial on carpet when heavy furniture is sitting on top of the rug. Furniture tends to shift when a room is frequently used, and the rug pad can save your rug and the floor from unintentional damage.
What are the best ways to care for and maintain rug pads?
Rug pads are generally low maintenance when it comes to care, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure their longevity. “Before installing your rug pad, make sure your floor surface is clean,” says Mahserdjian.
You can do this by either vacuuming and using a wet mop or Swiffer to clean the floor. As far as cleaning the actual rug pad, Mahserdijan suggests periodically vacuuming your rug pad—no more than every few months, as necessary.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Madison Yauger is an Assistant Commerce Editor covering all things bed, bath, and design for The Spruce. For this article, she reached out to a design expert and owner of a rug store, researched the different types of rug pads, and reviewed testing insights from our team to glean a full picture of these products. Madison has been writing in the lifestyle space for five years, with over 120 bylines at Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, People, and more.