Stylish and functional, in my opinion, no kitchen is truly complete without a rug. In today’s post, I have rounded up the best kitchen rugs and mats of 2023. I am also sharing tips for how to choose the best rug for your unique needs.
Whether your kitchen floors are hardwood, tile, concrete or LVP, if you are aiming for a high-end look, you need to put a rug on it, my friend.
And while selecting the perfect rug for any room can feel like a daunting task (especially for commitment-phobes like myself), with all the demands we put on this utilitarian space, there are even more criteria to consider before making your purchase for the kitchen.
So…before I share my shoppable round-up with you, I wanted to first give you a few tips to consider when selecting your kitchen rug or mat.
(To shop the round-up, keep scrolling down!)
How to Choose a Kitchen Rug:
As a general rule of thumb, for high-traffic areas like the kitchen, you should go with a low pile rug. While low-pile materials can include, jute, sisal, indoor/outdoor synthetics, and even vintage kilim wool rugs, you want to be sure the selection you choose is easy to clean and bonus points if it is machine washable.
Although natural fiber materials like jute and sisal may hold potential for rotting if the area gets too much water exposure, I have never personally had any trouble with this kind of material. In fact, throughout the various kitchens I have owned, I have used both synthetic materials and natural materials and never had any issue with water damage.
If your kitchen has an island, from a sheer design perspective, I prefer the look of a runner rug which runs along the island/galley. If you do not have an island in your kitchen, placing a mat in front of the sink will be the most practical choice.
If your kitchen also includes an eat-in area, a rug both in the cooking area of your kitchen (along the island or in front of the sink) AND under the breakfast table work beautifully for not only defining the two, unique zones, but it also warms up all of the hard surface area of tile or wood flooring that can begin to feel cold in large spaces.
Now that you know where you will be placing the rug, you can more easily filter out your search by narrowing down on the size requirement. If you are going to be choosing a runner rug for your kitchen island, first measure the length of your island.
Then, measure the width between the island and the perimeter of your kitchen cabinets. To determine the length of your rug, you will want to deduct about 4-8 inches from the total length of your island. Also, be sure that the width of your rug has plenty of space to fit between your island and kitchen perimeter. When width is concerned, you want at least 3-4 inches of blank space on either side of the rug so that your kitchen doesn’t look cluttered (wall to wall carpet is totally NOT the vibe here).
If your rug will be placed in front of your sink, a small rug or kitchen mat will be your best bet. Typically, mats come in 2’x3′ and 3’x5′ sizes, but nowadays there are plenty of online retailers who provide a wide variety of sizes. .
If your existing kitchen walls and cabinetry are relatively subdued and neutral, a rug can be the perfect way to add interest to the space with a pop of color or even a bold print. If your color scheme is already dramatic, a more neutral selection like chunky sisal may be best for grounding and warming the space. Is your kitchen needing color or is it needing texture?
A rug is the perfect way to provide either of these elements. Either way, I would recommend going with a design that doesn’t stain easily (or at the very least..is forgiving of spills and dirt). Even if it doesn’t explicitly state that the material is stain proof, in my experience, there’s nothing a handy bottle of Oxy-Clean can’t take care of.
Between pets and young children, safety is definitely something I have had to contend with when choosing a rug. While a non-slip bottom backing is nice to have, every rug I have ever put in my busy a$$ kitchen (non-slip or not), I have always either had to use double-sided rug tape or a sticky rug pad to hold the rug in place.
So while I wouldn’t take huge stock in “non-slip” claims unless it is a true anti-fatigue mat, I would select a rug that is at least .13” in pile height to prevent excessive bunching and potential trips and falls. Regardless of the material you use, I would invest in some rug tape or a quality rug pad to ensure that your rug securely stays in place.
Now that you have some basic parameters for finding your kitchen rug, I have included a shoppable round up of my favorite area rugs below.
For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As a Reward Style and Amazon affiliate, I earn commission on sales at no extra cost to you.
Shop the Best Kitchen Rugs of 2023:
For those wanting to replicate the looks in the photos I have included in this post, the boho runner rug I used over the hardwood floors in my latest kitchen, labeled “a”. Believe it or not, this rug is not a true antique kilim, but a more durable and affordable synthetic option (its was under $60). I have even put it in my washing machine (on gentle cycle with cold water- air dry only) after my son spilt an entire Turkey Brine bag on it the night before Thanksgiving.
Not only are the darker colors super forgiving of stains and dirt, I love how the distressed effect of the design makes it look authentic.
I used a modern, graphic variety, option “b”, in my old kitchen. While the white on the graphic print was not as forgiving of dirt (with time it did become dingy), it was still an impressively durable rug. And if you are truly worried about a white rug getting dingy, you may not even notice the discoloration unless you compare it to a true white, which was my case with this particular black-and-white rug. Most all of the options I have included come in many different sizes.
Now..for those of you who do not have a kitchen island and need a true kitchen mat, I haven’t forgotten about you! Below, I have included some stylish options. Many of these selections are fabricated with an anti-fatigue mat for maximum comfort for your joints and lower back if you must stand for long periods of time cooking or doing dishes.
Shop the Most Stylish Kitchen Mats of 2023:
While I must admit that I have never been a fan of the anti-fatigue mats from a cosmetic perspective, they have come a long way in recent years. Not only are they now being offered in more neutral, tasteful patterns, they even now have more modern options so that you don’t have to trade style for comfort or functionality.
Which come to think of it, Granny Chic is actually trending right now. Sorry for my poor attempt at humor.
What to look for When Buying a Kitchen Rug:
If you browsed through my selections and read my personal reviews, you may have noticed that most all of the rugs I selected and have purchased are super budget-friendly.
While I do realize that true, natural fiber vintage rugs are all the rage in kitchen decor right now (most all of the popular interior designers use handmade oriental rugs), I personally just cannot justify spending hundreds (or even thousands of dollars) on a vintage, wool rug that will inevitably encounter spills, stains and high foot traffic.
At the end of the day, I prefer a rug that is somewhat neutral (to stand the test of time), forgiving of messes and fits my organic modern aesthetic.
In summary, I suggest choosing a kitchen rug that is the proper dimension, low-pile but not so thin that it bunches (steer clear of Chindi cotton) or causes a safety hazard, fits the color scheme/style of your kitchen, and one that isn’t too precious for everyday use. In a household of pets and children, for me personally, messes are simply a way of life!
While machine washable options that come with a nonslip backing are certainly an added bonus, in my experience, the lack of these two features are not a deal breaker.
If you find a rug you adore for its aesthetic, buy it sister! Life is too short, and there is nothing some quality rug tape and carpet cleaner can’t take care of!
And if for some reason your rug were to be destroyed upon repair, at least you didn’t spend and arm and a leg on it (that’s my reasoning anyhow).
Now if you are a high-roller and do decide to opt for a handmade Turkish kilim, darker colors are a safe bet for camouflaging dirt and messes. From personal experience, I can actually attest to this as I did invest in a darker, handmade kilim in my dining room.
Whatever you do, don’t completely forgo a kitchen rug altogether.
With all of the reasonably priced options out there, there’s no excuse to skip out on this design opportunity! You would truly be amazed just how much thoughtfully selected textiles can transform a space.
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Now get out there and design some good vibes along with a fabulous life!