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There's nothing comfier underfoot than a soft, cosy rug, and few things can transform a room quite so quickly. In a child's room, a rug can make playtime even more fun, while providing a comfy spot for fidgety bums to sit on.
In terms of design, the right kids' rug should inject plenty of personality but it should also be practical. There's no getting around the fact that kids are messy, so it will be subject to all sorts of spills. Consider the washability of the fabric and whether it features a non-slip backing.
We've trawled the Mumsnet forums to find the most practical and affordable options, whether you’re looking to provide hours of playtime joy, add texture to a space, a burst of colour, or simply create somewhere (semi-contained) to let out all the toys.
Here are the best kids' rugs that children can kick back and relax on in 2022.
1. Best overall kids' rug: Space Explorer Rug, Large
Price: £185 | Buy now from Great Little Trading Co
A plush, thick rug can complete a child's bedroom in an instant. This rug captures the fascination of space with its large, planet-themed design, as well as providing a sizeable floor covering for any child. This rug is 100% wool, and the rich, dark colours will provide a nice addition to a room. The dark colours will conveniently hide daily spillages, and online reviews state that it looks as good as new after vacuuming and feels super comfy underfoot.
Size: 180 x 120 cm
2. Best budget kids' rug: Storabo Rug, Green
Price: £9 - £16 | Buy now from IKEA
Mumsnetters are happy to recommend Ikea rugs across the board for price, durability, and practicality. This non-slip play mat comes with traffic signs, trains, and an airfield, so you can grab that box of toy cars and aeroplanes and let your little one practice parking and zooming to their hearts' content. They'll love lining up their favourites along the runway! Its thick, dense pile is warm and its stain-resistant synthetic material makes it pretty robust and easy to maintain, plus it's machine washable at 40 °C. This budget pick isn't the softest on our list, but it fits all the criteria for a rug you can just throw down and forget about for a few years.
Material: Nylon and polypropylene
Size: 133 x 75 cm
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3. Best soft kids' rug: HEQUN Non-Slip Faux Fur Rug, Fluffy Rug
Price: £21 | Buy now from Amazon
"Absolutely not what you were looking for but after I struggled with the same problem, I ended up buying a fake sheepskin rug. I had one as a child and loved how cosy it was" - recommended by Mumsnetter user, CheshireSplat
This lovely faux fur rug is getting plenty of praise online for being the next best thing to a real fur rug for anyone dressing a nursery. It’s super-soft and fluffy, non-shedding and will look exceptionally cute next to a cot. It can also double up as a throw for the nursing chair and can provide plenty of cloud-like comfort during tummy time. Three sizes and three neutral shades (white, grey and pink) are available to suit any room style. This cosy rug is simple to clean with a damp cloth when the milk spills over, and once the nursery stage is over, you'll be able to move it to your office or another room to extend its use.
Material: Faux wool
Size: 75 x 120 cm
4. Best hardwearing kids' rug: Jute Bear Circle Rug
Price: £59 | Buy now from Dunlem
The big smiley bear face on this mat brings instant joy. This jute rug is surprisingly comforting. It's durable, so it's ideal for high-traffic play spots. Plus, it features neutral tones so won't clash with the room's decor. It provides a steady base for fidgety bums (although there’s no backing) and will help hide daily dirt. With a 133 cm diameter, there's plenty of room to play, and it hoovers well too. You can cut any loose fibres to prevent any complaints about the prickly bits. All that’s left to do is name it.
Size: Diameter 133 cm
5. Best washable kids' rug: Woolable Pie Chart Rug by Lorena Canals
Price: £146 | Buy now from Jane Clayton
“Lorena Canals rugs are beautiful and washable” - recommended by Mumsnet user, BriocheBriocheBrioche
“Brilliant, thanks all - I've just picked one of the Lorena canals ones - they're lovely and just what I need” - agrees Mumsnetter, Goosegettingfat
When researching kids' rugs on the Mumsnet forums, we found that having one that washes well is a key feature for many of us. And Lorena Canal rugs get plenty of praise, as all rugs are machine washable and get top reviews online. Fun and colourful, this rug is a great centerpiece for a child's bedroom or playroom, and kids will love its wool base and cotton top for a comfy feel under the toes. Granted, it is on the pricier side, but if you’re looking to spend wisely, this is going to last the distance during those messy years and maintain its quality in a very busy space.
Material: Wool and cotton
Size: Diameter 120 cm
6. Best kids' play rug: OYOY Adventure Rug
Price: £39 | Buy now on Amazon
We absolutely adore this cool black and white adventure rug from Danish brand, OYOY, complete with mountains, streets and a long winding road through its middle. It's ideal for whizzing the cars down! Its striking monochrome design offers something a bit different to your average playmat and the black illustrations are completely captivating. It's made from 100% cotton so will feel soft and comforting and is a great all-rounder at a very reasonable price. It will also roll up easily should you wish to store it away between play sessions. It's wipe-clean only but if you're quick off the mark to clean up after the odd spillage, it will tidy-up nicely and maintain its good looks.
Size: 180 x 70 cm
7. Best statement kids' rug: John Lewis Star Children's Rug
Price: £84 | Buy now from John Lewis
Nothing will bring the sunshine to a kids' bedroom like a bright yellow rug with a giant star on it. If the room is on the darker side, it will be instantly lifted. It also comes in a more grown-up navy blue. It's made from 100% wool so feels glorious under foot and the deep pile will keep the space feeling toasty. Some reviews do report that it will take a few hoovers before settling in so there will be a little moulting, but this is short-term. We like the fact that the star design will work nicely through the ages.
Size: 170 x 110 cm
8. Best large kids' rug: Animal Jungle Safari Children’s Bedroom Playroom Nursery Large Rug
Price: £48 | Buy now from Amazon
This jungle-themed, Moroccan-style rug will make a cheerful addition to any child's space and its lovely, muted colours are certain to add a feeling of calm. Its generous sizing offers plenty of room for playing, reading and general relaxation, and its friendly characters will make your little one feel comforted. The yellow lion and blue elephant are adorable. We love the delicate and playful colour scheme of ivory, cream, yellow, blue and grey, and the fact that you can also buy it in two smaller sizes if your room calls for something a bit more compact.
Size: 160 x 220 cm
Read next: The best dolls for toddlers and children
9. Best colourful kids' rug: Ayla Looped/Hooked Green/Pink/Yellow Rug
Price: from £263 | Buy now from Wayfair
This bold, shag pile rug has the ability to brighten up any room in a flash. There are no characters or themes; instead you get fun, bright coloured diamonds and a choice of sizes. Its thickness will provide comfort under busy knees and toes and will demand the attention of any room. Further down the line, you could easily move it around the house. In terms of keeping things in tip-top shape, spot cleaning is recommended.
Material: Polypropylene, jute, poly and cotton
Size: 90 x 150 cm
How to choose a kids' rug
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a kids' rug:
Size: It's important to select the right size to neatly fit in a bedroom or playroom, so be sure to measure up. If it's too small for the space it may feel underwhelming and if it's too big, it can overshadow a room’s features. This handy sizing guide offers some helpful tips
Material: If you're dressing a nursery, plush, soft, natural materials like cotton will work best. If you’re looking for something hardwearing for the playroom, jute, wool and polyester are reliable choices. You may also want something with a non-slip backing for little ones finding their footing
Style: As we all know, kids have strong opinions on everything and an older child will want to be involved in any room furnishing decisions. Choosing a style that will grow with them is a great way to get the most out of your choice, although for young children, rugs that have a play element are going to win hands down every time
Durability: A rug in a kids' room is likely to be subjected to more than your average spills and stains. And, when this happens, you want something you're going to be able to clean quickly. You'll also want a rug that's able to cope well in a busy environment without looking tired so choosing a hardwearing but gentle rug is a must
Are rugs safe for babies?
When choosing a rug for a nursery, you'll want to pick a high-quality, non-toxic piece. Nylon rugs are very baby-friendly, easy to maintain, soft and comfortable. Wool rugs are also a great choice for crawling babies. And, sheepskin will provide a super soft and safe crawling environment. Synthetic fibres such as polypropylene can release toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air and should be avoided. It's also important to avoid any rugs that may contain a toxic dye as this can potentially cause allergic and respiratory reactions. Think natural, natural, natural.
Are rugs washable?
Being able to wash a kids' rug is a big bonus for many parents. As a general rule of thumb, rugs made from cotton are safe for machine use. Rugs made from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester can also wash up well. When washing a rug, always put it in the drum on its own on a gentle, 30 C cycle before air-drying. Remember to check manufacturers guidelines on this. Molly Maid has some top tips on maintaining floor standards with the kids around.
What's the best kids' rug to buy?
The Space Explorer Rug from Great Little Trading Co is our star buy. It's practical and generously sized. It's made from 100% wool so is gentle on skin. Its dark colours will tastefully disguise spillages and everyday wear and tear. It's super-comfy and is space-themed. What child (or adult) isn't completely fascinated by all things astronomical and we're certain this one will provide hours of joy.
How we chose our recommendations
We spent several hours sifting through Mumsnet's forums for recommendations from our users on kids' rugs they rated most highly. We were also on the lookout for poor reviews of products to avoid.
We also consulted recommendations from experts, consumer websites and print media and made sure we included brands that regularly appeared in top 10 lists.
We then looked at reviews for each of our longlisted kids' rugs to check that previous customers were satisfied with their purchases. By doing this, we whittled our longlist down and chose a top list that we think offers something for everybody.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.