Easy Outdoor Rug Size Guide With Infographics

Written by: Nicole Cullum

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Time to read 12 min

Why Is It Important To Choose The Right Outdoor Rug?


When it comes to transforming your outdoor space into a place of relaxation, entertainment, and memorable gatherings, few elements can rival the impact of a well-designed outdoor rug. 


Outdoor rugs play a pivotal role in exterior decor, serving as both functional and aesthetic elements, while also adding a layer of style and warmth to your outdoor spaces. Your outdoor rug is the foundation for your seating or dining arrangements, and a color and style guide to build upon for a cohesive look for your outdoor space.


In our "Easy Outdoor Rug Size Guide," we'll walk you through the process of finding the perfect rug dimensions to transform your outdoor oasis into a harmonious and inviting environment. If you are looking for the perfect rug, our post on “35 Best Outdoor Rug Ideas of 2023” compiles out top picks of beautiful rugs in a range of styles from traditional to modern.
 

Once you've selected your outdoor rug , then comes the fun part of decorating your lounge space! Check out our amazing list of the"75 Best Outdoor Fall Decor Ideas" for designer-style decor that will finish the look and make your outdoor areas shine!

Easy Outdoor Rug Size Guide with Infographics by Color Caravan
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How to Choose the Right Outdoor Rug

Understanding Your Outdoor Space

Understanding your outdoor space is the first step to making the right choice when it comes to outdoor rugs. Are you styling a small patio or balcony, or working with a large covered patio or spacious deck? Are you creating seating for intimate gatherings, or accommodating large groups for meals with family and friends? 


Choosing the right shape and size rug is crucial to making sure your lounge areas have enough space for movement, and your dining areas accommodate your table and chairs correctly. An outdoor rug that is too small or the wrong shape can trip your guests when trying to move around furniture, and feel tight and cramped. A rug that is too big will overwhelm your space and make your seating look odd or disconnected.
 

Your rug defines the boundaries of your outdoor area, making it essential to select dimensions that complement your space's layout and purpose. Each outdoor zone has its unique characteristics and demands. Once you've identified the primary purpose, consider the various factors that influence rug placement. Factors such as the furniture layout, traffic flow, and exposure to the elements should all play a role in your decision. By taking these elements into account and recognizing the distinct zones within your outdoor space, you'll be well-equipped to choose the perfect rug size and shape that not only enhances the aesthetics but also enhances the functionality of your outdoor area. 

Choosing the Right Rug Shape and Size

What Are The Standard Sizes For Outdoor Rugs?

We'll dive into the best rug shapes and sizes determined by your outdoor space from small decks and balconies to large and spacious patios and garden areas.  Each space has different options to accommodate your lounge or dining needs to give you versatile options and flexibility. 

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for 8
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Best Outdoor Rug Shape and Size for an 8' x 8' Space

An 8' x 8' outdoor space can fit a 6' round or square rug with a table for four, or a small seating arrangement. You can also place a 3' x 5' or 4' x 6' area rug in front of your seating to frame out a coffee table.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for 10
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Best Outdoor Rug Shape and Size for an 10' x 10' Space

A 10' x 10' space allows for a larger seating arrangement with the front legs of the furniture sitting along the edge of the rug. You can also fit a round table that seats 4-6 people with an 8' round or square rug.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for 16
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Best Outdoor Rug Shape and Size for an 16' x 16' Space

A 16' x 16' space gives more options for larger tables and seating to entertain more guests and family. With a 10' or 12' round or square rug you can fit a 60 - 72 inch round table that can seat 8  10 people.  An 8' x 10' rug can offer more generous seating arrangements with the front legs of the furniture sitting along the rug's edge.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for 16
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Best Outdoor Rug Shape and Size for an 16' x 20' Space

If you have a large outdoor space you can sit most of your furniture fully on the rug and have more options for seating arrangements. You can also add outdoor sectionals to accommodate bigger groups.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for Dining Areas
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Rug Size Tips for Outdoor Dining Areas

Outdoor dining areas can be a wonderful place for gatherings with family and friends to share meals and make memories together. There is something magical about dining al fresco under the stars or open sky. With dining spaces, your table will generally define what shape and size rug you will need.  


Your outdoor area and the number of guests you want to provide seating for will determine your dining table size and shape. Generally, seating for 2-4 people can fit a bistro or square dining table. A round rug is an aesthetically pleasing fit for square tables that leaves plenty of room for table and chairs.


If you are seating more than four people, your dining table will most likely be rectangular or oval. Rectangular rugs are a perfect pairing to larger dining tables and fit nicely in these spaces. 


Because you and your guests will need to get in and out of your chairs, your outdoor rug needs an extra 2 ft. allowance to accommodate sliding the chair in and out from the table. There is nothing more distracting than having your dining chair get caught on the edge of the rug and having to battle it to get the chair back in place. This two foot allowance will leave enough room to easily get up from the table with ease.

Rug Size Tips for Outdoor Lounge Areas

When working with lounge or seating areas, there are several spacial factors, and also design styles to consider.  The first element to consider is your floor space. If you are styling an outdoor deck, or covered patio, you generally want your rug to “float” within the defined space, and not be so big that is goes wall to wall, or covers the entire deck. Leaving some bare floor will give a layered look, and a lovely defined seating area. On the other hand, you don't want the rug to be too small that it doesn't accommodate your seating, or look tiny within the space.


Begin by measuring your outdoor area's length and width. If possible, leave at least 18 -24 inches of bare floor. This new measurement will be your guide on the correct size rug you will need, and also what kind of seating you can fit. If you have multiple zones, like an outdoor dining area and a lounge area, try to leave a minimum of 3 feet between your zones for a defined, organized look.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for Small Lounge Areas
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Best Outdoor Rug Size for Small Lounge Areas

If you have a small deck, balcony, or patio, 4' x 6', or 5' x 7' rugs will work best for your space. A rug this size will aesthetically frame your coffee table, and your seating arrangement will be placed on the bare floor instead of on the rug. If you have a small balcony, a 3' x 5' outdoor rug will add a nice layer of texture to the space.


When styling a compact area, a smaller rug is best so that your furniture slides easily on the bare floor, rather than trying to move chairs over the edge of the rug if you or your guests need additional space when getting in or out of the seating area.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for Small Lounge Areas
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Best Outdoor Rug Size for Medium Lounge Areas

One of the most widely available outdoor rug sizes is  8' x 10' rectangular rug. This rug is a versatile option for most spaces and will fit several seating options from lounge chairs, benches, and a sofa nicely. This rug size will allow you to frame out your coffee table, but leave enough space to place the front feet of your furniture along the rug's edge.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for Medium Lounge Areas
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Best Outdoor Rug Size for Large Lounge Areas

Larger outdoor spaces or covered patios can accommodate more seating and allow for larger area rugs for a lovely, spacious setting. With a 9' x 12' rug, your furniture can be float within the rug space and all furniture legs are fully grounded on the rug.  with this rug size you can add accent furniture like side tables, ottomans, and more.

Outdoor Rug Size Guide for Medium Lounge Areas
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Best Outdoor Rug Size for Extra Large Lounge Areas

If you have a larger outdoor space you can create multiple seating  zones that can accommodate larger groups of guests for entertaining. Think about setting a pair of swivel lounge chairs with a small accent table on one side, and then a larger group seating on the other for parties. If you have a larger family, consider a sectional for group seating.

What Are The Different Types of Outdoor Rugs?

There are typically five main materials specially rated for use in outdoor rugs and textiles that can withstand the elements. Each material has different strengths and usages to best suite your climate, foot traffic, and design. We'll dive into the pros and cons of each material so you can make an informed decision when choosing your outdoor rug.

Best Overall Outdoor Rug Material: Polypropylene

One of the most popular materials used in outdoor rugs is polypropylene. This synthetic material can stand up to heavy UV rays without fading, is easy to clean, and extremely stain-resistant. It can handle humid climates with high moisture and withstand heavy foot traffic. Polypropylene has the same feel as a natural fiber and is comfortable under foot. It is durable and strong, but highly flammable so be sure to keep it away from fire pits, grills, or candles.

Outdoor Rugs Materials Polypropylene
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Best Outdoor Rug Material For Dry Climates: Polyester

An alternative to polypropylene is polyester, which is another extremely popular outdoor rug material. Polyester shines in dry climate areas and is excellent at maintaining color-fastness and resisting fading from sun exposure. Polyester is referred to as “ignition resistant” which means it is not considered highly flammable, but once ignited, it will melt and can cause localized burns if touched. Polyester is great at handling most stains and easy to clean. Oil-based stains can be tough to get out so they are not recommended for kitchen or dining areas with heavy use.

Outdoor Rugs Materials Polyester
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Best Outdoor Rug Material For High Traffic: Nylon

Outdoor rugs made of nylon are a wonderful option for high-traffic areas. Although fade-resistant, nylon should not be placed in direct sunlight as the fibers can absorb heat and become hot to the touch. Nylon outdoors are easy to clean, stain-resistant, and best for covered areas like balconies, or covered decks and patios.

Outdoor Rugs Materials Nylon
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Best Outdoor Rug Material For Wet Areas: Acrylic

Acrylic rugs are excellent options for wet areas around pools or jacuzzis, and  humid climates. They are mildew and mold resistant, and release moisture faster than polyester to dry quickly. Acrylic rugs are generally considered water-repellant and are great around pool or wet areas.  Due to their tight weave and low pile, acrylic rugs are “ignition resistant” like polyester and nylon rugs.

Outdoor Rugs Materials Acrylic
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Best Outdoor Rug Material For Covered Patios: Jute & Sisal

Last, natural fiber rugs like jute and sisal are a trendy, stylish option that feel wonderful underfoot. Due to their organic fibers, jute and sisal can be challenging to clean, are susceptible to mold and mildew if exposed to moisture, and can fade if under heavy direct sunlight. These natural fibers are best under covered patios and balconies, or dryer climates.

Outdoor Rugs Materials Jute and Sisal
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Maintenance and Care for Outdoor Rugs

Each type of rug has its own specific cleaning instructions. Be sure to check the manufacture label on your rug for exact instructions. 


Basic maintenance includes shaking your rug out periodically to remove dirt and debris from trees or birds that can stain your rug over time. You can toss your rug over a railing or fence and strike it with a rug beater or broom handle to clear it of dust.  A quick vacuum or sweep can help keep your outdoor rug looking fresh too. If you have a leaf blower you'll be amazed at what it can do for your outdoor rug! 


If you happen to have a food or drink spill, a simple spot clean with a mix of mild detergent, warm water and a sponge can resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Use a dry cloth first to blot the area to absorb any liquids.


If you have a sticky or greasy stain, a mixture of water, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda blended into a paste is an excellent spot treatment. Blotting with club soda can help with wine or acidic stains.


If you have a dried stain, use a sponge or wet cloth with a mixture of water and mild detergent to blot the area until the stain is gone. After the stain is gone, blot the area again with water only to remove the detergent.


You can wash your rug with a hose if it needs more than just a simple spot clean. Grab a bucket with a water and mild detergent mix and soft scrub brush. A good mixture guideline is ¼ cup mild detergent per 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Wet the rug with the hose, then scrub the rug with the mixture and let sit for about 10 minutes. After the soap and water mixture has been allowed to sit, hose the rug off completely and lay flat to air dry in the sun. 


If you have a power washer you can get a very good clean for your rug, but don't get the spray too close to your rug as you can damage the fibers. Once sprayed, lay flat and air dry in a sunny spot.


If your rug has mold or mildew, try a bleach or professional rug cleaning product before tossing it.  First make sure your rug is bleach safe. Check your label instructions and do a small spot test on an inconspicuous area and wait about 15 - 30 minutes to see if any fading occurs. Be aware that bleach will affect the flooring underneath as well. If you can move your rug to a concrete surface like a driveway, it will protect the finish on any wood or tile surfaces. 


A DIY cleaner of vinegar and baking soda can remove mold and mildew while also acting as a natural deodorizer. Sprinkle baking soda over your rug then fill a spray bottle with a mixture of one part white vinegar diluted with three parts water. The vinegar mixture interacts with the baking soda to fight mildew and mold growth while neutralizing odors. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and allow to dry in the sun.

Conclusion

We’ve explored in detail the many options for outdoor rug sizes for lounge and dining areas, outdoor rug materials, and maintenance and care. Selecting the right rug is more than just a decorative choice; it's an investment in your outdoor living experience. Whether you're creating a cozy lounge or an alfresco dining experience for family and friends, the size and placement of your outdoor rug can make or break the overall atmosphere.


Understanding the various materials available ensures that your rug withstands the elements and stays vibrant. Proper maintenance and care can extend the life of your outdoor rug, ensuring it continues to elevate your outdoor space for seasons to come. The right rug, coupled with regular care, is the foundation for turning your outdoor area into a stylish, comfortable, and enduring retreat.