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No room with a rug is complete unless you’ve found the right rug pad. While it’s often an afterthought, a rug pad is an important part of protecting your flooring and preserving your rug—not to mention minimizing the chances of a slip-and-fall from a loose area rug. A properly padded rug will feel softer on the feet, look better to the eye, and last longer than a rug with no padding underneath.
Rug pads typically are made of rubber or felt, and some combine both materials into a dual-sided rug pad suitable for use on most floor types. You may run across cheap rug pads made of PVC, but proceed with caution since the chemicals used to make these products may have an adverse effect on laminate, vinyl plank, and hardwood floors. It’s wise to always check any manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific flooring before purchasing a rug pad.
Here, our list of the best rug pads on the market today:
A versatile rug pad with softness and grip, the Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad is a popular option available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. This 0.25-inch thick rug pad features a felted surface on one side and a latex rubber surface on the other side. If you have smooth, solid floors, the natural grip of the rubberized side will keep your carpet pad in place. If you’re using the rug pad on top of a carpeted surface, then the felt side should be used.
This rug pad offers a big boost to the softness of area rugs. It should be noted that while some recycled felt rug pads are crumbly or tear easily, this pick is well-made and sturdy enough to stand up to use without pulling apart or tearing. The dual surfaces and high-quality make it a top option you can use in whatever circumstance.
Protect hardwood floors and cushion your rug with a natural rubber rug pad like the Durahold Plus. While there are plenty of dual-sided rug pads for hardwood floors on the market, what sets apart this version is the tread-like rubber backing that provides grip. In addition, the felted upper surface has ridges running in alternating directions that assist in preventing lateral motion of the rug. As a result, this rug pad for hardwood floors offers superior traction.
If you’re worried about a rug pad leaving marks on your hardwood floors, rest assured that this rug pad leaves no permanent damage even after months or years of usage.
Despite the durability that laminate floors are known for, you have to be cautious when choosing a rug pad, since rubber, latex, bio-based fillers, and other materials can react with the surface of your flooring. Manufacturers typically provide guidance on what to look for when choosing a rug pad for laminate floors but felt rug pads are often a soft and safe bet.
This 100 percent felt rug pad from Rug Pad USA is made without any rubber, latex, PVC, or glue and is considered safe for both hardwood and laminate floors. The rug pad is available in various sizes and thickness ranging from 0.25 to 0.5 inches. Keep in mind that there isn’t a lot of grip offered by this type of rug pad, so it’s best for rugs that are anchored by furniture.
For a rug pad on tile floors, opt for a cushy version like this Cloud Comfort Memory Foam pad. Made with visco-elastic foam that springs back into shape with every step you take, this rug pad is credited with transforming even thin rugs into a comfortable spot to walk or stand, regardless of whether you have hard tile floors or laminate underneath.
People with kids and pets especially find a plush rug pad for tile floors to be a big benefit. With nearly a half-inch of memory foam, it provides ample cushion for floor time, play time, nap time, or any other activity. Choose from rectangle, square, or round rug pads in various sizes to match your area rug needs.
A thick rug pad is a great option if you’re looking to add some insulation against cold floors. During cold or damp weather, the subfloor may make hard surface flooring (like tile) feel especially cool to the touch. The Eco Plush Non-Bunching Rug Pad is a half-inch of plush, heat-pressed felt that will keep your rug—and your room—warmer.
It’s available in various shapes and sizes and can be easily cut to your exact specifications with a pair of scissors, so you don't have to worry if your rug is an unusual size or shape.
A thin rug is often used in high traffic areas or in places where a low-profile rug is necessary for door clearance. The Gorilla Grip Original Gripper Rug Pad is a slim and smooth option for adding some floor protection and grip for your thin rug without creating a tripping hazard or door interference. This rug pad measures only .25 inches thick and features one side of felted material and a flipside with 100 percent natural rubber.
Despite being thin, this rug pad stands up to the demands of active kids and pets, exercise equipment and wheels, and other forces that threaten to pull the thin rug out from under your feet. The textured rubber surface does an admirable job of keeping thin rugs in place.
If you live in an apartment or have hard flooring in the upper floors of your home, you may need to dampen the sound of footsteps with a rug pad for soundproofing. While many factors contribute to the transmission of sound, a rug pad like the Mohawk Ultra Premium can go a long way in dampening the acoustics of footsteps or other noise.
Measuring .25 inches thick, these rug pads can easily be cut to your exact needs. This version is made of 100 percent felt and is safe for use on a variety of flooring types, including hardwood, tile, and laminate floors. Keep in mind that it doesn’t feature any type of textured surface for slip protection, so it best used under rugs that are held in place by furniture.
Add plushness and protection for your floors without a big expense by picking a budget rug pad. The American Slide Stop All Surface Non-Slip Rug Pad is available at a range of size options at competitive price points. One side features a felted surface for use on carpet, while the other side has a non-skid rubber backing to use on hard floors.
This affordable option is made of 90 percent recycled materials and is easy to cut to the perfect size. However, cutting easily means that it can also tear easily, so be gentle when pushing or pulling this rug pad.
For the best rug pad on the market, we recommend the Mohawk Home Dual Surface Rug Pad (available at Home Depot), which can be used on carpets or hard floors to keep your rug in place. If you prefer thinner pads, the Gorilla Grip Original Gripper Area Rug Pad (available at Amazon) does a great job of keeping things in place with no additional cushioning.