Our Guide To Choosing The Best Kitchen Rugs

A kitchen isn’t often the first room people first associate rugs with. Ultimately, kitchens need to be practical, but that’s not to say rugs can’t be fitted around that! There are many ways a style can be both practical and work wonders for your kitchen space decor.

You may be thinking about your busy kitchen, full of spills and people, wondering how will it ever successfully host a rug? Surprisingly, if you choose carefully for your specific needs, a kitchen rug can be an easy and long-wearing feature in your interior.

Have a read of our guide to help you pick the perfect rug certain to stand the test of time through its practical and style fit for your home interior.


How To Choose A Kitchen Rug

The best fibres for your kitchen rug

We know what you’re thinking, how can there possibly be any materials for a rug that would be suitable for a kitchen? But you’d be surprised!

Here’s our rundown of the key fibres in rugs. To help you choose the best kitchen rug for your space – ones that will help provide some colour and warmth.

Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic material and is ideal for a kitchen. It’s very strong and therefore durable to a high amount of footfall as well as being easy to clean. It also resists staining, making for the best kitchen rug fibre for a busy space!

Polyester: Polyester is very resistant to fading and is also very easy and quick to dry. It is resistant to water-based stains as it has a low level of absorbency, but oil-based stains are very difficult to remove from polyester. It is man-made and usually blended with another fibre, but is the closest to wool in appearance and feel.

Polypropylene: This is a man-made fibre, but because of that is the most resistant to staining and wear. It’s very tough, and can even be cleaned with a part-bleach solution (but check with your retailer first!).


Seagrass: Seagrass is a wonderful natural fibre that is suitable for a kitchen rug. Unlike sisal or jute, it’s particularly hard-wearing and resistant to staining. It’s not the softest material, but for a small decorative rug or runner, it’s perfect.

Bamboo: Bamboo rugs are another durable natural fibre to take advantage of. It’s extremely hard wearing and durable and gives a beautiful sheen. These rugs are harvested responsibly and give a lovely finished product.

What are you trying to do with the rug?

As with any other room, you have to take into account what your room is like and how you want your rug to add to that space. You should always consider the dimensions of your kitchen first in order to fully optimise the floor space in the most efficient way.

For a kitchen rug covering the entire floor, there should always be space around the borders. You should leave between 6 inches to two feet of space around the edge of the room uncovered, or you can make a room look cramped.

Kitchen Runner

A kitchen runner should also follow similar rules. It should have equal amounts of space on either side. There are no rules as to where the runner should start or end, but centrally placing it so the borders are equal helps the décor remain balanced and gives off a stylish and sophisticated feel. You should always measure the space you have to ensure it fits in and looks right.

Underneath Furniture

Another way to utilise a kitchen rug may be to anchor a piece of furniture. The best kitchen rugs are often placed underneath a table, which unifies and warms the room while not having huge amounts of footfall on it. You should ensure that the rug is large enough to fit under the table, whilst still leaving room around the edge so the chairs can easily be pulled out. Therefore, it is important you use a rug shape that complements the corresponding table shape. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that the rug extends around 24 inches around the table. This helps to make room for the chairs to fit and move around easily whilst also making the room balanced – but not overly cramped.

a wooden dining room table of the best kitchen rugs in sisal with a brown border on a dark tiled floor

For Comfort

A kitchen rug can be used to provide comfort. A lot of our time is spent in the kitchen preparing, cooking and dishwashing – so, it’s important this experience can be enjoyed with comfort and style! 

A padded rug is a very practical way to provide relief for your feet. Placing a rug by the sink or in an area you prepare food can often serve as an aid to your feet when you’re standing for a long period. This method with a kitchen rug is best if you have a lot of footfall in your kitchen and don’t want to place a larger rug down. It’s a smaller feature that can add some interest to your kitchen while still being practical.

A kitchen rug can even be used in a space with a kitchen island. If you decide on having smaller rugs, placing them on either side of an island can help to balance the room and create a sleek effect using symmetry. You can even opt for a runner alongside one side of the island. By placing it around another singular feature, such as the main window of the room, it can complement the opposing feature.

What’s your household like?

When it comes to finding the best kitchen rugs, practicalities are very important to keep in mind. You need to take into consideration what the space is used for,  who uses it, and if the rug is going to remain a permanent fixture.

Kitchens are often rooms that have a heavy amount of footfall, so you need a hard-wearing and robust rug to ensure that they can withstand serious levels of wear. While searching for a durable style, you also need to take into account how easy it is to clean as in a kitchen, no matter how hard you try, the likelihood of a spill at some point is quite high.

For example, if you choose to place your rug near the sink – like the one below – synthetic materials are better suited, as wool and cotton do not respond well to moisture and could end up shrinking or warping as a result of this.

best kitchen rugs sisal rug with bright borders in front of multi-coloured bar stools in front of kitchen surface

It’s better to opt for flatweave rugs in the kitchen, as with having less of a pile, it has less room to disguise dropped food and hoard bacteria. Also, flatweave is easier and more durable when it comes to cleaning than a thicker pile rug.

If you’re still worried about spillages ruining your rug, opt for one with a busy vintage pattern in a darker shade. This way, it can be a lot more forgiving when it comes to spills.

For the best kitchen rugs, it is essential to use a non-slip pad underneath to keep your health and safety in mind. Rugs can potentially prove a tripping or slipping hazard in the kitchen, where hot and boiling food is constantly handled. Always opt to use non-slip padding to keep the rug in place and remove the risk of slipping when you’re rushing across the room with dinner!

However, if you do have a hardwood floor, be careful when applying rug pads as rubber and latex pads can discolour vinyl flooring.

What’s the space like?

A kitchen rug is can also add a touch of interest to a room through the use of colour. It can brighten up a space that can often be quite clinical, with wipe down surfaces and block colours. 

They can also bring warmth to a room as well as added style. If you’ve opted for hard flooring, a rug can help to add insulation for the colder months and to add padding for the feet.

If you have a narrow or small kitchen, adding a runner can help to widen the room. It helps to elongate a room, and with the border around the runner, it gives the idea of more space.

You can even place a runner down on one side of a central island which can add interest to a kitchen with a rug when you have centralised furniture. Place it next to a breakfast bar to add a bit of colour and keep the flow of the room.

If you have an open plan kitchen and living room, kitchen rugs can be best used to help divide the spaces and create clear differentiation. Having a rug in the main floor space of the kitchen can provide an area of distinction. If you don’t want that much floor space covered, having a small rug placed between the kitchen area and the dining or living area will allow for a decorative ‘border’ between the spaces.

What’s your style?

When choosing the best rug for your kitchen, it’s important to pin down your current interior design style. If you have a rustic style kitchen, it would be better to opt for a kilim or vintage rug. But if you have a clean and crisp kitchen something more modern would work.

This interior is embracing the rustic style of the room with the kitchen rug and it works beautifully. Use your kitchen rug similarly to create separate spaces within the kitchen and to help complement your style.

A kitchen rug is one of the easiest ways to become creative in your interior. Kitchens are usually designed in reasonably simple colours and textures, so a rug can add an interesting level of depth. Opt for different textures and colours to give a pop of colour to your kitchen.

If you have a narrow or small kitchen, you can allow for designs that can cleverly change the feel of a space. Using geometric prints or stripes draw the eye along the length of your kitchen, therefore creating the illusion of a longer kitchen.

Making the rug the feature of your kitchen is another way to create a stunning focal point in your space. If your kitchen has a lot of plain coloured work surfaces, a rug can help to introduce accent colours in your overall interior. If you decide upon an ornate and decorative rug, you can add vases or bread bins that complement the primary and secondary colours from the rug.

If you have more of an ornate kitchen, it may be better to opt for a simple block colour rug, or even a natural fibre rug in jute or bamboo in plainer colours.



Kitchens can really be transformed by the simple introduction of a rug to warm up the space.

Some people consider kitchens to be too busy for a rug. But the best kitchen rugs take into account how you live in the space and accommodate that.

By choosing the right material and purpose of your kitchen rug, you can update your kitchen from clinical and practical to warm and inviting in one simple step!

So have you changed your mind on the humble kitchen rug and fancy taking the plunge for your interior?