How to Choose Outdoor Rug Sizes

Outdoor Rug Size Ideas for Porches, Decks & Patios

The optimal outdoor area rug for your patio depends on factors like the size of your deck or porch, the furniture you plan to use and your design goals. We’ve put together this outdoor rug size guide to help you choose the perfect patio rugs for a variety of outdoor spaces.

What Size Should my Outdoor Rug Be?

When considering different outdoor rug sizes, you’ll first want to measure how much space you have available for both your furniture and your rug. The way you want to style your layout, the purpose of your space and your budget all play a part in choosing an outdoor patio rug with the right dimensions to suit your needs. The chart below includes the most common ways to arrange layouts for patio rugs:

patio rug layout graphic

Outdoor Area Rugs for Seating Sets

If you want an indoor/outdoor mat to complement your patio sofa or sectional, you can choose an 8×10 outdoor rug and arrange all of your furniture neatly within its boundaries. However, large outdoor rugs can be pricey. If you’re on a budget, opt for an outdoor 5×7 rug and position your chairs and sofa with the front legs on the rugs’ borders to get a similar effect without breaking the bank.

Outdoor 8x10 rug
Use an 8×10 rug if you want to position your sofa and chairs neatly within its borders.

Outdoor Deck Rugs for Dining Areas

The guidelines concerning rugs for outdoor dining sets are a little different. Essentially, you’ll want a large outdoor rug that allows an extra two feet beyond the tabletop. If you use a small outdoor rug without this allowance, your stackable dining chairs’ legs may get bound up by the fabric, making shifting your seat back or pulling forward more difficult than it should be.

5x7 outdoor rugs
Choose larger rugs under dining sets so guests can move chairs easily.

Porch Rugs

The porch rug size you’ll need depends on your square footage and furniture. If your porch only has room for a glider, bench or a pair of patio recliner chairs, then a 3×5 or 5×7 outdoor rug is your best bet. To coordinate your look, add a 2×3 rug as a welcome mat in similar colors or patterns. Use rug pads to keep mats in place, especially those in front of doors or positioned under swings or gliders.

What Size Outdoor Rug Should I Get for a Balcony?

If you’re decorating a balcony or terrace that’s smaller or slimmer than a full patio, you may need to arrange furniture on your rug carefully to keep pathways open. On a narrow balcony, consider indoor/outdoor runner rugs that let you position chairs, benches or tables to fit your smaller space while ensuring guests won’t trip over the rug’s edges or corners.

A 3′ or 4′ round outdoor rug underneath a porch swing or rocker on the balcony is a lovely accent that helps protect flooring from shoe scuffs and scrapes. Rectangular outdoor rugs big enough to extend on either side of a foldable hammock frame serve the same purpose. Use outdoor carpet tape or a rug pad beneath these mats, so you have soft, secure footing once you’ve finished lounging.

catalina egg chair
Pair an egg or swing chair with a round rug for a coordinated look.

How Do You Use Outdoor Rugs

Many consider patio rugs a must-have accessory for porches and balconies because outdoor mats serve both practical and decorative purposes. Whether you want a patio carpet to protect your wood deck or enhance your aesthetic, there are many reasons to use rugs under your patio furniture.

Practical Uses for Outdoor Rugs

  • Divide patio space: Rugs pull your furnishings together into a cohesive group, making carpets a smart way to designate different outdoor areas. Arrange a rug under your sectional as a boundary for your garden patio, or use indoor/outdoor runners as pathways so you can walk barefoot from your modern sectional to your coordinating dining set.
  • Prevent Damage: Adding a rug to your porch or patio goes a long way toward preventing marks and scuffs on stained wood decks and painted pavers, keeping them looking brand new. Synthetic carpets are best when keeping damage at bay, as most of these rugs dry quickly without trapping water underneath.
  • Reduce Tracked-in Dirt: If your kitchen or living room opens out to your deck or porch, patio rugs help prevent dirt and debris from being tracked inside. Bringing in 2×3 area rugs as welcome mats or arranging a large rug beneath your chic wicker bistro set reduces the amount of twigs, leaves and footprints guests may leave on your tile or carpeting.
  • Protection: Placing an outdoor area rug by the pool or positioning one under a pair of poolside chaise lounges protects feet from uncomfortably hot concrete that’s been baking under the sun all day. On wood decks, patio rugs also prevent bare feet from accidentally picking up splinters.
Octagon outdoor umbrella
Outdoor rugs protect bare feet from hot poolside surfaces.

Outdoor Rug Ideas: Decor & Design

  • Boost your Color Palette: Adding an outdoor rug to your patio furniture setup is an inexpensive way to refresh your color scheme. If you have a neutral conversation set, consider bringing in a bold red, teal, orange or sunny yellow outdoor carpet to liven things up. Or, set the foundation of your monochrome dining area with a black or white patio rug.
  • Embellish your Layout: Patterned rugs also give decor themes a little extra oomph. Nautical designs are the perfect complement for coastal dining sets, while striped and tropical rugs give modern conversation sets a chic resort vibe. If your patio decor leans more traditional, amp up the charm with a colorful floral rug.
  • Set the Mood: If you’re unhappy with the current setting of your outdoor spaces, a patio rug can make all the difference. Want to evoke an earthy vibe on your deck? A green patio rug with a leafy pattern elevates a simple patio dining set, connecting it to the plants and flowers in your landscaping.
  • Show off Your Decorating Skills: Outdoor rugs offer plenty of opportunities to let your design savvy shine. Look for modern patio rugs with geometric patterns that complement your furniture’s sleek silhouettes for a cohesive approach, or break up your layout with abstract print rugs that contrast against the clean lines and angular design of your tables and chairs.
blue and white outdoor rug
Refresh the look of your patio furniture with outdoor rugs that coordinate with your throw pillows.

What Should I Look For in an Outdoor Rug?

When it comes to outdoor rug materials, natural fiber and synthetic textiles are your two main options, and some mats feature a blend of both. Cotton, hemp, jute, sisal and seagrass are durable, sustainable, stylish and low maintenance. However, many natural carpets are prone to moisture and mildew damage, so these rugs work best in covered areas like gazebos or porches.

If you’re looking for a more waterproof rug for the patio, synthetics are a smart choice. Sunbrella outdoor rugs and polypropylene carpets offer colorfast hues and patterns, and they resist stains as well as mold and mildew. These rugs are usually lightweight and easy to spot clean with mild soap and water. In fact, some synthetic and performance fabric carpets are even machine washable.