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We tested 8 rug pads–here’s our favorite!

August 11, 2022

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I learned many years ago, when we purchased our very first wall-to-wall carpet in our first home in Utah, that the comfort level you experience is not solely in the carpet you buy. It’s actually more dependent on the carpet pad underneath. One time we splurged on a 10 pound memory foam pad to go under our carpet, and that carpet was so comfortable even though it was a low pile. The weight of residential carpet padding most typically falls between 5 to 10 pounds for everyday use. Pound density is the amount the pad would weigh if you took a 1’x1’x1′ cube section of pad.  So for a 6lb pad, a 1′ cubed section would weigh 6 pounds.  The higher the pound density, the better support you will have under your carpet, helping it last longer. 

The effects of a quality rug pad applies to Area rugs, too. Rugs are already beautiful, but you can add so much comfort and durability to the area rug (and your floor!) with a good rug pad.

Rug | Sconce | Chandelier | Study Sources

Since rug pads can make such a difference and no two are the same, we decided to test the top-rated rug pads and share our findings with you all. But before we get started, I want to go over the general rule of rug pads. A rug pad should be 1 inch smaller than the rug on all sides. If the sizing is a little off, don’t worry, most rug pads can easily be cut with scissors to whatever size you need.

Lagoon Brick Rug | Loafers

Types of Rug Pads

First of all, I love rubber grip rug pads because, honestly, they are great for indoor or outdoor use. They are so versatile, and in my opinion, they are the best at adding grip without the higher profile.

Then there are also felt rug pads, which are great for living spaces where you want to add extra cushion and help mute sound.

There’s also rug tape which will not budge and is especially great for runners. However, rug tape is not supposed to be used on carpet – I have heard one too many horror stories of people ruining their carpet with rug tape because of the sticky residue. 😱 However, rug tape works beautifully on wood floors. And as an alternative to rug tape, I found rug pad grippers (pictured below) which are a simpler alternative to rug tape–and, honestly, incredible.

Want to know my secret? I actually prefer a felt + rubber grip combo with at least 1/4 inch thickness for my rug pads. Below you’ll see 8 rug pads we tested and which ones outperformed the others!

The Contenders

Mohawk Felt + Rubber – This one was very grippy on both sides, however the rug moved a little bit, revealing the rug pad on one edge. The rug pad did stay in place though the rug didn’t completely. It is also on the thicker side, so you may have a gap on the edges between the rug and the floor if your area rug is especially stiff.

Gorilla Grip Felt + Rubber – Did not move! And I never saw the rug pad slip out. It is so grippy, and really great. Absolutely no complaints.

Gorilla Grip Rubber – I have a few of these and while it keeps the rug in place, it doesn’t really add any sort of cushioning or comfort. If you are just wanting to keep the rug in place, then this is a great option.

Rug Pad USA Felt + Rubber – Now, this one was also pretty good! I don’t have any complaints other than the overall quality and grip of the gorilla rug pad was in my opinion a bit better. But it’s still a fine option!

Techpro Grippers – Okay, these are incredible! Put one on each corner of a rug and they suction to the ground. No sticky residue at all. And no worrying about buying the right size or having to cut a rug pad. The only downside when using these is there won’t be any extra cushion under the rug.

Enjoy Holiday 1981 Felt + Rubber – To be completely transparent, this rug pad was not as good as the others. We put it under one of our runners and it almost immediately started slipping. It’s just not very grippy.

Gorilla Grip for Carpet – This is the rug pad to use between area rugs and wall-to-wall carpet. It’s really great for rugs that bunch on top of carpet.

Overall Winner: Gorilla Grip Felt
This one didn’t move at all, the rug and pad stayed in place, plus it adds just a touch of cushion underneath which I love.

Did your favorite rug pad make the list?

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What do you think?

  1. Lilanie Grace says:

    Hi, I know I’m a few years behind on this post but I’m a new homeowner and feel like I’m learning so much everyday. We just got a rug from Rug Collective but don’t have a pad. I was thinking of just using the corner Techpro grips, but don’t want to mess up the beautiful hardwood floors we have. Any recommendations?

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      We love the combo of a rug pad plus the grippers—just choose a rug pad made for hardwood floors (as most are!)

  2. pam says:

    I just bought your 8 X 10 Natural Ocean Oriental area rug for the bedroom and love it. I was wondering if I have to use a rug pad (on the wood floor), the rug backing seems very soft, but I do not know. I was going to use just the Techpro corners and call it good. Please advise and thank you!

    • Missy Dorius says:

      I think it would be great with just the techpro corners! If you want to make it more substantial and give it some cushion, I would add a pad.

  3. Julie says:

    We’ve been very happy with Rug Pads USA, but it’s good to know about Gorilla grip too!

  4. Karen L. says:

    One thing I would add is that it matters what flooring one has as to which rug pad to use. If it’s going to be used under a plastic-based rug (the new kind with polyurethane that are so popular) and put on a plastic-based flooring (Luxury Vinyl flooring), then one CAN NOT use anything with rubber in it. It will most definitely discolor, ruin or otherwise destroy a vinyl floor. Even some coatings on a great wood floor can be affected by the rug pads. Just a heads-up to thoroughly check the materials in all rugs and rug pads, especially ones from foreign countries that are not required to list all the materials. Like, it may say, “all wool” but the backing can contain plastic adhesives or backing with rubber in it. (It’s a chemical reaction between the two petroleum-based products that happens.)

  5. Kensley says:

    The timing of this couldn’t have been more perfect! My Polly rug came yesterday for my entry (and I love it!!). I didn’t think I’d really need a rug pad, I don’t know why, I know better! It’s sliding a little bit on the tile so I ordered the gorilla rubber to calm my OCD heart. Great timing!

  6. alana says:

    Thanks for this! So would the Gorilla grips work for say, a kitchen runner that you don’t want to slip, but ALSO want to be able to remove daily when cleaning/sweeping the floors?

    • Jennifer says:

      We have the Gorilla grip rubber pad (the mesh looking one – no wool) on our kitchen floor under a woven rug and we usually sweep around it because crumbs don’t really get underneath. But when we do pull up the rug once or twice a month to do a deeper clean, the pad comes up just fine, and is really easy to put back in place.

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