As the weather warms up, and after a year’s worth of pandemic precautions, many people have realized just how valuable any extra stretch of outdoor square footage can be. If you’re looking to up the ante on your alfresco setup, there’s a handful of additions that can refresh the area, but few bring a space together quite like an outdoor rug.
Your typical array of outdoor furniture and decor like sofas, coffee tables, and patio umbrellas can last for many years, but rugs are a different story, and that’s why it’s important to choose wisely. Their useful life can be particularly short—around three to seven years, says Lisa Wagner, a National Institute of Rug Cleaners (NIRC) certified rug specialist and creator of RugChick.com. For people who live in humid or subtropical climates where mold and mildew tend to wreak more havoc, their outdoor rug's life would more likely be on the shorter end of that range.
To help you with your search, we turned to the pros to find out what makes a quality outdoor rug and how to maintain one. (Spoiler alert, you might want to skip the jute.)