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are outdoor rugs waterproof?

A green recycled plastic rug with a funky geometric design, laid on a wooden deck surface.

is heavy rain too much to handle, or just like water off a rug’s back? Let’s find out how much moisture your outdoor rug can manage.

While just how durable they are is often the centre of debate, one can’t deny that outdoor rugs are well and truly having their moment. Gloriously blending boundaries between the indoors and out, while bringing buckets of energy, colour and texture wherever they’re unrolled – it’s not hard to see why so many people are succumbing to the outdoor rug bug.

The love affair’s only getting started, but how much do we really know about these rising stars of garden styling? Are outdoor rugs waterproof? If so, how much water exposure can they handle before taking damage? And perhaps most importantly, what can you do to keep your outdoor rug in the best shape possible, for as long as possible? Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen – we’re laying out the facts on all-things waterproof outdoor rugs.

choosing an outdoor rug.

There are lots of factors that go into making a good garden rug, so deciding which one is right for you can be a tricky task.

A polyester outdoor rug with an exotic bird and floral design, laid on a wooden deck surface in an outdoor seating area.


The most important thing to look for when choosing an outdoor rug is durability. As they spend much of their lives out in the elements, choosing a hard-wearing design that won’t fall apart at the first sign of rain is essential.

Outdoor waterproof rugs fare best in handling the peaks and troughs of British weather. They’re designed to withstand everything from spills and splashes to heavy bouts of rain, without absorbing water or becoming damaged in the process. Weather-resistant rugs are also ideal options, designed with impressive resistance to splashes, showers and the sun’s UV rays.

A closeup shot of a recycled plastic outdoor rug with a teal and blue tropical floral design.
Marula 100% Recycled Rug in Yellow/Teal


When choosing a garden rug, it’s important to pay close attention to the materials they’re made from. The most durable designs tend to be woven from synthetic fibres – mostly polypropylene or polyester – due to their excellent resistance to stains, fading and water damage.

Polypropylene is one of the best and most popular outdoor rug materials, due to its general durability and excellence in withstanding stains, moisture and the sun’s UV rays. Our polypropylene outdoor rugs are made using 100% recycled plastic bottles, serving style and sustainability all in one.

A polyester outdoor rug with an abstract floral design, laid on a stone patio surface in a garden seating area.

size + shape.

Once you’ve picked out a stylish patio rug that’s adequately durable and made using water-resistant materials, it’s time to start thinking about size and shape. While it might not sound like a massive deal, choosing an outdoor rug that’s too small or large can leave your space feeling annoyingly off-kilter. So, let’s break out that measuring tape. 

If you’re after an outdoor rug for your open-air dining or seating area, you’ll need to make sure it’s big enough to not get drowned out by your furniture. If you want your garden furniture to sit on top of your rug, ensure that all the legs will have room to fit. Round rugs look great under circular dining tables, while rectangular shapes are ideal for zoning seating areas.

are outdoor rugs waterproof?

To find out if outdoor rugs are waterproof or not, the best place to start is with a definition. ‘Waterproof’ – as per the Cambridge Dictionary – refers to the quality of “not allowing water to go through”. A simple definition, this essentially means that a rug must be completely impervious to water to be considered waterproof.

A polyester outdoor rug with a Hawaii-inspired design of tropical leaves, laid on a grass surface next to a woven bench.

Very few outdoor rugs can truly be called 100% waterproof. No matter how durable and well-designed an outdoor waterproof rug is, it will eventually become damaged if exposed to heavy and prolonged streams of water.

This isn’t exactly a negative, however. An outdoor rug would need to be specially treated and sealed to become fully waterproof, which would have a detrimental effect on the comfort and breathability of the fabric.

A polyester outdoor rug with a psychedelic exotic floral design, laid on a wooden deck surface in a pink garden setting.

The vast majority of waterproof outdoor rugs are closer to water-resistant – offering excellent protection against spills, splashes and showers, while remaining soft and breathable enough to be a comfortable addition to your space.

They’re still highly durable, so as long as you bring them back inside during extended heavy rainfall and allow them to dry occasionally, your garden rug won’t suffer any water-related damage.

are indoor/outdoor rugs waterproof?

While they’re made from different materials, both our indoor/outdoor rugs and waterproof outdoor rugs can be used indoors and outdoors.

Our indoor/outdoor designs are made using durable polyester flatweave, providing excellent comfort along with immense durability, stain-resistance, and moisture-resistance. They won’t get damaged from spills, splashes or showers, and are even machine washable to 30°C if they happen to pick up a blemish or two.

A polyester garden rug with a tribal design of Tibetan tigers, laid on a wooden deck surface in a decorated outdoor scene. A closeup image of a polyester outdoor rug weave with a vibrant yellow design of tropical birds and foliage.
Tibetan Tiger Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Coral | Leopard Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Ochre

While both are great options, our outdoor waterproof rugs just about prevail when it comes to water resistance. They’re made using 100% recycled polypropylene – repurposed from plastic bottles – which is naturally more water-resistant than the polyester weave used in our indoor/outdoor designs. The difference is marginal, so take it with a pinch of salt. Indoor/outdoor polyester rugs are still water-resistant, they just might need more frequent drying than polypropylene designs.

Whether you go with a polyester or polypropylene waterproof outdoor rug, a solid cleaning and maintenance routine is essential to keep your rug in the best shape possible. We recommend weekly surface cleaning (with a brush or vacuum); regular washing (either in a machine or with your garden hose); rotating your rug once a month to offset wear and tear, and stowing it away during the winter months.

in summary...

While some bubbles might have been burst in the process, you should now realise that most waterproof outdoor rugs are not fully impervious to water. However, you should also understand that this is not a drawback. If garden rugs were 100% waterproof, they’d be a lot less comfortable, breathable and might end up damaging your precious outdoor surfaces.

Now that you’re armed with all the water-related wisdom you need, why not check out our stunning selection of rugs? Choose from weather-resistant outdoor rugs, indoor designs that bring the plushness, and waterproof outdoor rugs woven from 100% recycled plastic. Or, get to know the collection a little better with our introduction to outdoor rugs blog post.