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What Customers Look for in the Perfect Outdoor Rug

Different patio outdoor rug arrangement

Rugs or carpets are often used to define rooms inside a home, and they can do the same with outdoor living spaces too, adding a touch of class to a bare patio or deck.

However, since rugs for the patio will likely be subject to harsh weather conditions, just any carpet won’t work. Instead, customers will look for varieties that are durable, comfortable, weather-resistant, affordable, and easy to clean.

Here we’ll dig into what makes the perfect patio rug, helping store owners better understand which outdoor rugs to stock so as to attract more sales.

Table of Contents
The global rug market size
What customers consider before buying an outdoor rug

The global rug market size

The bar chart showing the global rug market size

Retailers selling outdoor area rugs can expect increased demand for these products, with the global rug market forecast to grow from USD 82.15 billion in 2022 to 126.21 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 5.51%, according to Facts & Factors.

Significant growth factors

Several factors are propelling growth opportunities in this industry, including:

  • Demand for sustainable and eco-friendly products: A growing desire to protect the environment is seeing buyers shift to rugs made from natural fibers like jute, wool, recycled materials, or cotton
  • Growing demand for customized rugs: Customers are increasingly seeking customized rugs to add a personal touch to their outdoor living spaces
  • Buying convenience: With the growth of e-commerce, customers can search for and order outdoor patio rugs with just a click of a button from the comfort of their homes, boosting demand and production 
  • Rising disposable incomes: Rising incomes mean people have more money to spend on their homes and décor contributing to an increased demand for rugs

What customers consider before buying an outdoor rug

In this section, we’ll highlight a few experts’ takes on what buyers will likely consider before buying an outdoor mat.


synthetic and natural waterproof outdoor rug

Customers prefer water-resistant or waterproof rugs for outdoor use as they’ll have to weather various conditions. Michala Parziale of The Real Estate Staging Studio in New Jersey says that a patio rug or any outdoor living space should be weather-resistant.

While rugs are made from different materials, two are most commonly used in outdoor settings: natural and synthetic. 

Some customers prefer synthetic outdoor rugs like polypropylene because they are mold and stain-resistant, don’t fade in the blazing sun, and are easy to clean. Synthetic rugs can also handle heavy use and high moisture.

Nevertheless, they are highly flammable; thus, it’s best to keep them away from fire or hot grills.

The New York designer Malka Helft of Think Chic Interiors loves to work with natural outdoor rugs like those made of seagrass, hemp, and sisal because they are durable, sustainable, and clean. These plant fiber rugs are available in muted tones and natural shades that can give an outdoor area a unique look.

However, because natural materials can quickly accumulate mildew and mold, it’s advisable to place a rug pad underneath to prevent staining and help with air circulation, boosting a rug’s longevity.


Multi-colored outdoor rug for patio

Rugs are sometimes considered the most lowly (literally) home furnishing, and frequent use means that they’re often the first to get dirty. That is why Terry Lin of Outer, an outdoor furnishing company in California, suggests stocking dithered or tonal rugs.

Dithered-style rugs (those with many colors) help hide the appearance of dirt, extending the frequency with which they need to be cleaned for easier maintenance.

Size and shape

Petite rugs with only the front portions of the furniture anchored

A patio is an extension of the indoor living space, and just likely inside, some customers prefer larger rugs so that the entire floor is covered and their furniture has somewhere to sit. Others will prefer smaller rugs so that select pieces of furniture are off the floor. The type you stock will depend on your target audience.

Care and maintenance

Machine washable  black and white outdoor rug for easy maintenance

It’s an inevitability that outdoor rugs will eventually get dirty, and will need cleaning to bring them back to life and extend their lifespan. Since consumers are busy doing more exciting things, however, it’s likely they’ll look for a rug that is easy to clean and maintain.

As a retailer, you’ll therefore want to stock rugs that buyers can either scrub with a thick bristled broom or wash with a hose or diluted dish soap, or varieties that a machine washable.

Style, design, and aesthetics

Colorful and plain outdoor rugs suits different designs

Patios or balconies are a place to relax after work or laze on during the weekends with family and friends. Rugs are therefore an integral part of this aesthetic, and the overall design and color should complement the outdoor space.

Some buyers will prefer bold patterns, while others opt for neutral tones to create a cohesive look. They’ll also weigh up softness and texture. While outdoor rugs tend to be less plush than indoor varieties, customers will still consider how comfortable they are underfoot.

Stocking a variety of rugs in different colors, styles, designs, and textures helps retailers to meet the needs of their potential buyers.

Price and value

Customers have varying budgets but the vast majority will seek rugs that offer good value for money. They will likely weigh factors such as material quality, durability, and brand reputation when deciding how much to spend on an outdoor area rug. Retailers should also consider these factors when buying stock from suppliers.


The global rug market is growing and is set to reach USD 294.98 million by 2032. As a retailer, you stand to maximize sales via customer satisfaction if you understand the trends as well as what different consumers want in different regions.

Diversifying your stock and providing a range of colors, sizes, styles, designs, and textures is a wise course of action, helping you to better meet the diverse needs of potential buyers and ensuring a competitive edge in the industry.

For all of your rug needs, outdoor or otherwise, browse the thousands of options on Alibaba.com.

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