The 3 Best Rug Pads For Hardwood Floors

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Your hardwood floors are gorgeous — and were probably expensive to install. Protecting floors with an area rug is a smart idea, but only if you include the best rug pads for hardwood floors as a barrier between your rug and your precious floors.

A quality rug pad helps your area rug lay completely flat over hardwood floors. It keeps people and pets from slipping as they walk or run throughout the house, makes it about a thousand times easier to vacuum (without vacuuming up your rug), and can even offer soundproofing features that'll make your neighbors happy.

With so many rug pad options on the market, it's easy to be tricked into believing all rug pads are the same, but they vary in terms of density and even material, with felt and foam proving some of the most popular safe options for hardwood. 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 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch in thickness, and this is the range you'll want to look for when shopping.

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

1The Best Overall, All Things Considered

This standard ¼-inch thick rug pad has outstanding reviews from customers who rave about its thickness and how it helps rugs lay completely flat underfoot. 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 — don't worry, there’s absolutely no glue or other harmful materials. Even laminate wood floors will remain spotless with this pad! It has also been certified Green Label Plus, which means you can feel confident that it is an eco-friendly choice.

Best yet, it comes in 18 sizes. Just choose the one closest to your rugs' size, then cut away any excess material.

2The Best Splurge

An alternative to traditional foam and felt rug pads, this splurge-worthy memory foam rug pad is made with ½-inch thick memory foam, which makes it one of the densest pads you’ll find on the market. (You can also score it in ¼-inch thickness if you're after a lower density.)

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. Its thick construction provides some soundproofing, and this particular pad is also waterproof.

3The Most Affordable

This affordable area rug pad is made for hardwood and hard floors and comes in 22 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's cheaper than its counterparts is the cherry on top.

Also, Great: Corner Rug Grippers That Are Safe On Hardwood

You have to be careful when using rug grippers as an alternative to rug pads on hardwood floors. A gripper that holds rugs down with gluey tape can mess with floors, but these rely on reusable gel instead, which makes them safe for hardwood (as well as laminate, tile ceramic, and carpets). Adhere the grippers to the corners of area rugs, and they'll keep corners and edges from curling.

They come in four sizes and are only 1/8-inch thick, making them a great option if you'd rather not add height to your rug. You can even wipe them down with a wet cloth and reuse them again and again.

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