The 7 Best Rug Pads For Hardwood Floors

Keep your rugs from slipping and sliding.

by Lisa Fogarty
Originally Published: 
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Hardwood floors are a beautiful classic — and generally an expensive investment. With so many rug pad options on the market, you might think that all rug pads are the same, but they actually vary in terms of density and even material. The best rug pads for hardwood floors are constructed with felt and foam to provide a safe barrier between your rug and your hardwood. They’re available in a wide range of sizes, so you can find a perfect fit, and some can even be trimmed down to suit your rug perfectly.

What To Look For In Rug Pads For Hardwood Floors

A quality rug pad helps your area rug lie completely flat over hardwood floors and keeps people and pets from slipping as they walk or run throughout the house. They also make it so much easier to vacuum (without vacuuming up your rug) and can even offer soundproofing features that'll make your neighbors happy.

It's important to choose pads that don't use wood-damaging glues and that are dense and protective enough to handle the added pressure of furniture (without putting dents in your hardwood). For reference, the average pad's density is between 0.25 inches and 0.5 inches in thickness, so keep that range in mind when shopping.

Shop The Best Rug Pads For Hardwood Floors

In a hurry? These are the best rug pads for hardwood floors:

1. The Overall Best Rug Pad: RUGPADUSA Felt + Rubber Rug Pad

2. The Runner-Up: Mohawk Home Dual-Surface Nonslip Rug Pad

3. A Popular Rug Pad With Gorilla Grip Technology: Gorilla Grip Original Area Rug Gripper Pad

4. An Affordable, Simple Rug Gripper: Veken Nonslip Rug Pad Gripper

5. An Eco-Friendly Rug Pad Made With Recycled Fibers: nuLOOM Eco-Friendly Nonslip Felt Rug Pad

6. This Dense Foam Pad By A Green-Rated Brand: Durahold Plus Rug Pad

7. A Thicker Pad Worth The Splurge: Carpenter Visco-Elastic Memory Foam Rug Pad

Also Great: Corner Rug Grippers That Are Safe On Hardwood

Here are seven of the best rug pads for hardwood flooring guaranteed to protect your beautiful investment and keep your rugs in place.

1. The Overall Best Rug Pad

Offering 0.25 inches of padding, this rug pad has outstanding reviews from customers who love its thickness and how it helps rugs stay completely flat underfoot. Another plus: Unlike cheaper foam rug pads, this one actually makes your rug feel more comfortable, thanks to its felt construction.

This reversible pad has a fiber side that grips your rug and a rubber side to safely adhere to floors, and it’s gentle on all kinds of surfaces, including laminate wood floors. Best yet, it comes in dozens of sizes in round, square, and rectangular shapes, and you can trim it to fit.

One reviewer wrote: "This was EXACTLY what I was looking for. [...] It was super easy to unroll and it laid flat immediately. The grip works super well! I was worried it would be too thin but it is just right! My new rug is super cushy with this rug pad underneath. The price was fantastic too."

Sizes: 71 | Thickness: 0.25 inches (featured), 0.125 inches | Material: Felt and rubber

2. The Runner-Up

Like the first pick, this dual-sided rug pad offers tons of grip — and it boasts a 4.6-star overall rating after 29,000 reviews. It has soft felt on one side and a nonslip latex backing on the other that’s easy on hardwood floors. This is a slightly more expensive option, but it’s also a multitasker — if you need to use it on soft floors, flip it over and place the felt side on the floor. This pad measures 0.25 inches thick and is designed with cushioning. Available in plenty of sizes and shapes, it can be trimmed to fit.

One reviewer wrote: “Great price! Quality is great and it helps my new area rug feel plush and much more comfortable. It keeps the rug in place and does not slip at all.”

Sizes: 38 | Thickness: 0.5 inches, 0.25 inches (featured), 0.375 inches | Materials: Felt and rubber

3. A Popular Rug Pad With Gorilla Grip Technology

Boasting over 27,000 five-star ratings, this popular area rug pad is made for hardwood and other hard-surface floors and comes in many sizes, making it one of the most versatile options. There's nothing fancy about this pad: It's a flat, non-adhesive option that stays put and keeps your area rug in place without causing any unwanted floor damage.

This pad is easy to use, even easier to clean (it's washable), and reviewers report that these pads keep pets from slipping on rugs, too. Needless to say, if it can pass the puppy test, it's as good as gold — and the fact that it has an impressive following is the cherry on top.

One reviewer wrote: "It does an amazing job holding it in place. I even have a 98 lb german shepherd that skids to the front door for his security checks. It does an amazing job keeping the rug in place!”

Sizes: 21 | Thickness: Approximately 0.0625 inches, according to reviewers | Material: PVC

4. An Affordable, Simple Rug Gripper

There’s nothing fancy about this nonslip rug pad gripper, but when you’d rather spend your money on a rug — and not the rug pad — this is the one reviewers snag. The perforated pad is similar in structure to the Gorilla Grip pick, though keep in mind it doesn’t feature the same stay-put technology, and reviewers have reported that it’s about the thickness of kitchen cabinet liners, so not the best option if you’re looking for cushioning. That being said, it’s a budget-friendly option that earned a respectable 4.5-star rating after 38,000 reviews.

One reviewer wrote: "I purchased this for a rug going on hardwood floors and it added the perfect amount of plushness and protectiveness to the area. The rug stays in place and I’m not worried about the furniture on top damaging the floors under the rug. It’s definitely the best price I’ve seen for a large rug pad so I’ll continue to buy this product for all rugs!”

Sizes: 17 | Thickness: Approximately 0.0625 inches, according to reviewers | Material: PVC

5. An Eco-Friendly Rug Pad Made With Recycled Fibers

Save your hardwood floors and the planet at the same time with the help of this eco-friendly felt rug pad made with recycled synthetic fibers. The sturdy but soft pad measures 0.125 inches in thickness and can be cut to size for a close fit. It stays in place without adhesive and features just a little bit of cushion for support. One reviewer confirmed it passes the ultimate pet test: Her large dog no longer slips and slides on the rug with this in place. Choose from four shapes: rectangular, round, square, and oval.

One reviewer wrote: "I needed something to protect my brand new hardwood floors under my rug at my entrance and this is it! It adds just a little more cushion to the rug itself as well which is nice. Makes my rug stay in place and no more slipping and sliding on my new floors!”

Sizes: 24 | Thickness: 0.125 inches | Material: Recylced felt

6. This Dense Foam Pad By A Green-Rated Brand

This is a dense felt rug pad with textured natural rubber on the back to keep rugs firmly in place without creating a sticky mess on hardwood floors. It has 0.25-inch thick cushioned padding that feels plush underfoot, and it can be cut to size. Also, the Durahold brand stands out for achieving Green label status by The Carpet and Rug Institute, which means its products pass a higher standard for indoor air quality. It comes in 11 sizes and shapes, like round and square, and has a really impressive 4.6-star overall rating.

One reviewer wrote: “Great product, rug stays put and doesn’t budge. Also gives a nice cushy feel under your feet and no messy adhesion or stickers to deal with. I have tried two other mats for underneath the rug on a wood floor that were advertised as nonslip and I was constantly readjusting our rug. Got this and problem solved.”

Sizes: 11 | Thickness: 0.25 inches | Material: Felt and rubber

7. A Thicker Pad Worth The Splurge

An alternative to traditional PVC and felt rug pads, this splurge-worthy plush foam rug pad is 0.5 inches thick, making it one of the densest pads you’ll find on the market — and it feels like a supportive marshmallow underfoot. One of the benefits of choosing a higher-density pad is that it elevates your area rug slightly and makes it feel softer and more cushioned. (Be aware, though that, if you use this with a thinner area rug, your rug will sit higher on the floor, which may look a bit awkward.) Want even more benefits? The thick construction provides some soundproofing, and this particular pad is also waterproof — perfect if you live with pets or plan to place your rug in the kitchen or dining room.

One reviewer wrote: "I’ve had this carpet pad for 2 years in our main living space and it’s amazing. It’s completely spill proof from two dogs and two toddlers. It’s so soft, literally everyone that comes into our house and steps on it comments how soft it is. I would buy it 100 times over.”

Sizes: 13 | Thickness: 0.5 inches (featured), 0.375 inches, 0.4375 inches | Material: Memory foam

Also Great: Corner Rug Grippers That Are Safe On Hardwood

Rug grippers can be a good alternative to rug pads on hardwood floors, but it's important to ensure that the ones you choose won't damage your floors. Many grippers secure rugs in place with adhesive — which can leave a gooey mess behind — but these grippers use vacuum suction technology to help your rug stay put. They’re also ideal for keeping the corners of your rug from curling up, but keep in mind that these won’t add any cushioning underfoot.

One reviewer wrote: "These are incredible and work SO WELL. My rugs do not move at all. It is miraculous. [...] They also do not harm hardwood floors AT ALL. They somehow do not actually stick to the floors- so you can move them around in your house if you want but they will not move an inch from foot traffic."

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