April 1, 2024 1:15 PM   Subscribe

A meeting of the dogs, the living room floor, and perseverence of good taste.

I'm finally updating my living room and am thinking about getting a few Ruggables instead of one big rug, as I've done in the past. We have two very obstinate French Bulldogs (who will no longer be permitted in said living room unsupervised), and the idea of being able to throw the rugs in a washing machine is just amazing.

I like that they have new ones that are a little thicker than canvas, and I plan to get three rugs kind of coordinating patterns in smaller sizes since the room is much longer than it is wide. What's holding me back is that you can't seem to see them in person, and they want $18 per 18" x 18" sample. I'm looking at at least 6-12 different rug options, so that's insane. I'd be more on board if they would put the cost of the sample toward the cost of the rug, but that doesn't seem the case.

So, pros/cons? Experiences? Other companies with similar products are either much more expensive, don't have the traditional patterns I'm looking for, or have the super thin, flat canvas. The only other site where I saw something kind of interesting was

Thank you for any thoughts or input!

Frenchie tax
posted by dancinglamb to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
They offer one free exchange per item. Is it possible you could narrow your choices to six? That way you could use the exchange program as basically your sample program, without having to pay for samples.
posted by HotToddy at 1:49 PM on April 1

Best answer: 2 dogs and 3 cats here, thought Ruggables would be the answer for me but I honestly do not like them, especially for high traffic areas.

I'm not sure if the new ones are any better, but this is my experience with ones I purchased about 4 years ago. The thinness of them combined with printed-on patterns looks cheap, and the edges of my largest one (under the dining room table) are all curled up from vacuuming and just walking/sliding chairs/etc. And then of course once it starts curling you keep tripping on it and it catches on things more and gets worse and worse. It's infuriatingly difficult to align the rug part on the black backing part perfectly without it being askew or having bumps or wrinkles, though I suppose it is less difficult for the smaller sizes. I don't feel like even the smaller ones get all that clean in a washing machine and spot cleaning doesn't work very well so for me, until the big one gets gross enough to lug to a laundromat with an industrial sized machine it just stays looking dirty and stained.

(I also had a runner where the black velcro part disintegrated into tiny little pieces that got everywhere if I tried to separate the rug from the backing, but that only happened for 1 of 3 Ruggables that I had so I suppose that may have been a defect. I think they would have replaced it for me but there were enough other things I didn't like about it that I just replaced it with a cheap runner from Target.)

Now that I have a carpet shampooer I don't think I'd buy a Ruggable again, I'll just stick to regular rugs and spot treating and the occasional shampoo.
posted by misskaz at 1:52 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

I don't have Ruggables but I do have multiple smaller rugs in the main room (10x14, 5x7 and 4x6) and two small dogs. They have those gorilla grip rug pads. When the dogs are running around, they often catch the corners/edges and flip them up. I have also tripped on a corner once or twice. No damage to rugs/dogs/people, just more info to consider.
posted by Glinn at 1:55 PM on April 1

Best answer: Ive never seen them look good, or heard anyone really actually rave about them, more like well we have it so we kept it

I would go for some vintage all wool (important) rugs over ruggables. They are much more sturdy and while you cant throw them in the wash they are easy to clean, and spending an additional $80 ish dollars can get you a little green cleaner to really clean things up. Can get the actual traditional patterns you like. Also if you are really in trouble and need professional cleaning, our drycleaner will take them. They can also be found at really reasonable prices.

(work in interior design)
posted by zara at 2:02 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]

I have several Ruggables and they look fine, and it's great to be able to throw them in the wash, but the rug pads are not washable .
posted by gregr at 2:21 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]

Like misskaz I've found the separate black backing and "topper" a real pain in the neck with Ruggables. And the black backing part really collects pet hair, which seems to defeat the whole purpose of having a washable rug.

I've been happier with some of the washable options on They are one-piece are fairly inexpensive. No, they don't look like a "nice" rug, but with cat, dog, and messy humans, washability is key.
posted by pantarei70 at 2:21 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who has two Ruggables in low traffic areas. I like the pattern and think they look okay, but they are thin and don't feel particularly nice to touch. He's not impressed and thinks they feel sort of cheap. Colors seem true to the site (at least on my computer).

However, having lived with an elderly dog who in her final years became too impatient/nonchalant about going outside, I would not care about the drawbacks if I could throw the rug in the wash. As it was we ended up putting a plastic drop cloth between our FLOR tiles and the wood floor, and buying a steam cleaner to regularly clean the carpet. Months later we finally are not having phantom spots show up within a week of cleaning. FWIW, FLOR carpet tiles hold an extraordinary amount of dirt trapped in their fibers, are very hard to deep clean, and require all new sticky dots to reattach if you try pulling up a tile or two to clean them individually. (The only pro WRT incontinent animals or spills is that they come with waterproof backing.) Rugs that would fit in our washer would have been a godsend. We did have a nice thick IKEA cotton throw rug by the back door, and several others in the same vein that were usefully washable, but the favorite whiz spot unfortunately turned out to be in the dining room.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:23 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

I have a ruggable in my son's room and I like it just fine. the edges haven't curled up, though I've heard that's an issue some people have. Supposedly at some point they redesigned them to fix that problem. I bought mine two years ago for reference. Anyway, because of the furniture situation, I've actually never taken it out to wash it because lifting the relevant furniture off is essentially impossible. So I wash it with the spotbot if necessary. But it's fine. I mean I wouldn't say "I love it" because I just don't see myself loving a rug. But I don't wish we had some other rug in there and my son likes the rocket ships etc. and if I ever want to replace it I can just get the top part, so yay. I have browsed many times for a ruggable for my living room (i.e. I like it enough that I would get another), but I just haven't seen any patterns that grab me enough to make me take out my wallet.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:23 PM on April 1

Oh, also, I would ask anyone who has one and has thrown it in the wash...It looks from the instructions like you're supposed to hang them to dry before putting them back on the that right? If so, A) I have nowhere to hang a rug and B) that sounds like a giant PITA so I think even if it were not for the furniture situation, I wouldn't actually wash it if I couldn't just either put it in the dryer or throw it back on the floor when it's done washing.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 2:26 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

We had a really large Ruggable in our high-traffic living room, and used to have a runner in our mud room/disaster zone. We have two large, extremely hairy dogs, a cat, and a mess-spewing toddler.

I found that the larger rug needed to be run through at least twice in our regular-sized washing machine to get noticeably clean(ish). I had to be very mindful to make sure that it was shoved in there with different areas exposed the second time through as it was just too big for the washer to adequately tumble/spin/agitate/whatever-it-is-that-washers-do and access all parts of the rug. Like, I would pull it out after the first cycle and there would be parts of the rug that had been so folded in on themselves that they were still bone dry. Often this was solved after a second cycle, but sometimes even that wasn't enough. It would eventually come out clean, but if you don't have a jumbo washing machine, I'd definitely stick to the smaller sized rugs.
I threw mine in the dryer on low, and never hung to dry, and that seemed fine. We did have some issues with edges curling, but solved that by using a carpet steamer to de-curl....but that was a bit of a pain in the ass, and kind of defeats the purpose of "low maintenance". Also, as other commenters have noted, getting the big ones back onto the velcro-y underlayer in a way that didn't trigger my obsessiveness about bumps and lumps and symmetry was.....a battle, to say the least.

They definitely look like cheap, thin, printed rugs. No one will be fooled for an instant that you have a lovely collection of hand tufted, age-weathered, beautiful textiles. They look like exactly what they are. I was willing to compromise on aesthetics for washability and ease of care, but see above for how that turned out. To my recollection, we got free samples (maybe up to 5??) of various patterns we were interested in, so the charging for samples may be a new (and very dumb) thing. Having gone through the process, I do not think I would purchase one without seeing the sample in my space first. There were some big differences in colour, sheen, etc. between how they looked on screen and how they acted in my space.

All in all, I honestly don't hate my Ruggables, and appreciated the washability factor enough in our very hairy household that I went through the whole rigamarole of laundering them about once every 6 weeks or so (probably could have stood to do it more often, but moving couches is a bore) for a few years. But (and I think this is extremely telling), we've recently moved to a new house, and while the rest of the house has been unpacked for weeks, the Ruggables are still rolled up in our garage exactly where the movers left them. Maybe in a few months I'll miss the washability and will swap out the rugs we inherited from the previous owner for our old Ruggables....but I haven't wanted to yet. And that speaks volumes, I think.
posted by Dorinda at 2:45 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

We got a big - 10' x 10', I think? - generic ruggable from Amazon about a year and a half ago to accommodate an elderly dog and a toddler in an overcrowded house. I put my good wool rugs in the attic for the time being and I have missed them. The fake rug is currently on the curb with a free sign if that gives you an idea of how it went. It was too big to throw in our normal house sized washing machine and somehow we never got it to the laundromat, so it just got dirtier and dirtier. It was regularly vacuumed but it started looking fairly awful after about 6 months in a way that real rugs don't usually get to for years, if ever. Overall, it was. . .okay. It looked okay, not great, and it did not feel nice to bare feet. I don't think the dog ever peed on it - she had better taste and passed away not long after we got it anyway. But it cost about $80 and covered the floor and I feel like I basically got my money's worth over 18 months. I probably won't ever buy one again, though.
posted by mygothlaundry at 3:39 PM on April 1

We got a Ruggable runner for our kitchen for a spot that is VERY high traffic, specifically to protect the hardwood floors underneath, and it has done that. We've had it for about two and a half years now and honestly have not washed it yet, so I can't speak to that.

We haven't had any troubles with edges curling or it getting lumpy between the rug and the backing, but again, we haven't needed to pull it all the way off the backing (yet). The backing does gradually lose its stick-to-the-floor-ness over time, but it's still miles better than having a rug with no backing that slips and slides.

It's definitely thin, and obviously synthetic, and isn't, you know, trendy or luxurious and does nothing to "pull the space together" or whatever. But it's easy to vacuum (our Roomba does the trick) and is doing an excellent job of protecting the floor, so, you know, we're pretty happy with it for what it is.
posted by spamloaf at 4:24 PM on April 1

Your Frenchie tax is acceptable.

Have no other comments on these rugs
posted by Windopaene at 5:17 PM on April 1

I didn’t like the separate rug pad thing so I bought a “My Magic Carpet” instead. It’s pretty great! Downside is definitely that it does move around a bit and if I were to have an adult with mobility concerns in my home I’d want to find some kind of rug tape or other way of making them more stable without losing the washability. But they have a lot of patterns I prefer and the prints, while not being anywhere close to as gorgeous as a real rug, are good for what they are. I’ve got two and am thinking of buying a few more, because they are just so good at camouflaging the general mess of my house, and they can go in the dryer after the washer on the comforter/bulky setting and actually get dry.
posted by Mizu at 5:31 PM on April 1

I'm happy with my Ruggables in low-traffic areas, even though they are thin. I found the velcro thing a pain and stopped using them, so the rugs do move around a bit. Still, mine go easily in the washer and dryer, and that's been worth everything in making my elderly dog's senior life as stress-free (for both of us) as possible.
posted by rpfields at 5:43 PM on April 1

I was furnishing my new house, with one questionably potty trained pup and 2 senior pukey cats. I splurged on one ruggable, but cheaped out with other supposedly“washable” rugs elsewhere. After the first ruggable, i was kinda weirded out by the velco-ish way it works, with the pad under the rug. Plus, they're pricey.

Two weeks ago one of the senior cats had an incident i shall only refer to as Poopapalooza ‘24.

It was on the ruggable rug, and I am so so so glad. It was so easy to rinse off, throw in the washer and dry outside. I cant even tell now of the trauma its seen.

From that incident alone, as long as I have pets and I can remotely afford it, Ill be buying ruggables.
posted by cgg at 8:05 PM on April 1

We put our Ruggables in the dryer. I let it go on high for 10 or 15 minutes to get the thing warm, then set it on low for an hour, and after a about half hour I take the rug out and put it back in in a different orientation, so that it dries evenly. Haven't experienced any issues doing that. protip tho, you cannot dry a jute rug in the dryer :|
posted by gregr at 6:04 AM on April 2

We have two large Ruggables, and I'm also on the "don't hate it, wouldn't buy another." When the cleaners run the vacuum over it, it gets all weird and lumpy until we peel it back up and stick it back on. It's not plush with the standard pad, but I suppose the upgraded pad might feel nicer.
posted by advicepig at 6:29 AM on April 2

I LOVE our ruggables (we have 4) but I haven't washed them in the washer yet. Spot cleaning has sufficed in our household of barfing children and barfing cats.
posted by lydhre at 10:40 AM on April 2

Also weighing in as having had a ruggable, and not been overly impressed. Plus, be sure your washer can handle it without constantly erroring out for a heavy unbalanced load.

Had all the issues, edges curling up, black part collecting pet hair, trying to line the rug top with the bottom velcro. Just, eh. A good cushioned mattress pad with a rug on top is really more convenient for us. 3 dogs and a cat, plus kids.
posted by rich at 10:51 AM on April 2

+1 to all the problems with Ruggables. They're 50-100 percent more than other rugs that are basically equivalent quality. Just go to Target or IKEA or whatever and see what you like in person.
posted by slidell at 6:59 PM on April 2

I too have an irregular shaped room (a former galley kitchen now our den) that would have required either a custom carpet size or three 5x7 rugs. We got three identical Ruggables. We have two dogs and these rugs are in a very high-traffic area leading up to our back door where the dogs exit and enter in all types of weather. One of our dogs is a huge shedder; both are hounds and occasionally pee in the house.

I'm in the camp of don't hate them, and would buy again. Reasons:

We have biweekly cleaners who deal with the wrinkles that result from vacuuming. We put them in the wash whenever there's a dog pee situation. We dry them fully in the dryer. My husband agrees to be the one to do the task of lining them back up on their pads, which I find too annoying. (He also graciously puts the duvet cover on the duvet every time.) We chose a simple Jonathan Adler pattern and like how it fits into our decor.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:04 PM on April 3 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all of your replies! I'm REALLY glad that I asked this question before blindly buying anything from Ruggables. I bypassed them and just went with a couple of regular rugs and a new Bissel Pet Pro cleaner. The dogs will also be banned from the living room when not supervised. Fingers crossed!
posted by dancinglamb at 11:16 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]

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