ruggable review lead
CNN  — 

There’s nothing like finding the perfect rug that matches your furniture and ties your whole room together. But there’s nothing worse than spilling a glass of red wine or a cup of coffee or even some hot sauce on that beautiful rug and ruining it. If you’ve ever been down on your knees, scrubbing stain remover as hard as you can into your favorite rug, you know how hard it can be to keep it clean and looking good.

One solution? You might want to consider machine-washable rugs from Ruggable and make frantic scrubbing and expensive professional cleaners will be a thing of the past. According to the company, you can just throw your Ruggable into the washing machine whenever there’s a spill and it’ll come out looking as good as new. So to see if it really stood up to the hype, we tested a few ourselves.

What is a Ruggable?

Domo Sage Ruggable

Ruggable is a two-piece rug system that consists of a nonslip mat and a rug cover. The separate pieces easily come apart, which means you can take off the lightweight top layer to wash or swap out with a different design in just a few minutes.

The bottom rug pad is made from 95% recycled polyester and has a grippy bottom similar to a yoga mat so it doesn’t slip and slide around. It has a low profile at just 1/8-inch thick, and the top has a Velcro-like material to keep the upper rug cover in place.

The rug covers are made from polyester with a polyurethane barrier, which makes them stain- and water-resistant. The cover is also 1/8-inch thick and comes in hundreds of designs from floral and geometric to Persian, Moroccan and even “Star Wars”-themed. You can sort the rugs on the Ruggable site by size, color, style and more, or just check out the bestsellers to get a feel for the designs.

Ruggable rugs come in nine different sizes ranging from runners for your hallway to 9-foot-by-12-foot centerpieces and even round rugs. Prices start at $109 for the smallest 3-foot-by-5-foot options and run up to $629 for the largest themed rugs like this “Star Wars” option. The first time you buy a rug you’ll have to purchase both the rug pad and the rug cover, but if you want to buy more designs of the same size you only have to buy the rug cover, since any rug will fit on the pad as long as they’re the same size. Skipping the rug pad will save you anywhere from $30 to $210, depending on the dimensions of the rug.

Since the rug covers are interchangeable, Ruggable makes it easy to swap your interior decor as your tastes change, or even give your home some extra flair when the holidays roll around with themed options like these Halloween rugs. In addition to Ruggable’s standard material, it also has plush, shag and outdoor rug options perfect for any area of the home.

While switching designs can refresh your home, the primary reason you’ll want a Ruggable is, of course, its washability. Spills happen, and when they do, it’s extremely easy just to tear the rug cover off its pad and throw it in the wash. You’ll never have to toss away another rug just because of a stubborn stain.

We liked the sound of a machine-washable rug, so we got three (OK, we loved the sound of a machine-washable rug). With a Domo Sage rug, a Damali Black and White rug and a Polar White Shag rug, we set out to see how they look, feel and, most importantly, wash in real life.

Unboxing our Ruggable

Ruggable's rug cover and rug pad

Each Ruggable came to us in one big wrapped package, and the setup was pretty straightforward. All we had to do was unroll the rug, separate the two pieces and lay them back down. Lining up the top cover onto the bottom pad takes some patience, as you’ll want to make sure it’s aligned with the pad and flat to avoid air bubbles and wrinkles. We could set it up quite easily by getting down on our knees and slowly unrolling while smoothing it out with our hands, but if you need some tips, Ruggable has an instructional video to help you out.

Once you get it nice and smooth, it looks just like a normal rug. The designs really pop, and the colors haven’t faded after a few months and a handful of washes (more on that later). The only place we’ve seen the look of the rug deteriorate is right underneath a two-piece couch. The sections of the couch aren’t held together, so they naturally slide around, which has caused some wear on the rug where the legs move around.

The fabric of the rug feels a little rough, and since both layers combined are only 1/4-inch thick, Ruggables aren’t the comfiest or coziest rugs on the market. The plush options might offer more in that department, but we didn’t test them ourselves. But we do know they look great — and with so many designs and styles, there’s a rug for everyone.

Cleaning our Ruggable

Ruggables are machine-washable

We’re what you could call spill-prone people, so the Ruggables we tested have endured more than their fair share of cleaning. These are definitely the easiest rugs to clean we’ve ever found, whether you need to deal with spills, pet hair or any other kind of stain or dirt.

Washing a Ruggable is incredibly easy, since all you have to do is separate the cover from the pad, throw it in the washer with a mild, nonbleach detergent and run it on delicate with cold water. And since the covers are so lightweight, even the largest rug can fit in most standard washers (although, our 5-foot-by-7-foot rug made a pretty full load and didn’t move around as much as the smaller 3-foot-by-5-foot one). If you want some extra tips, Ruggable has a helpful video and guide to help you wash your rug. And if you opt for a shag, plush or outdoor rug, make sure to follow the cleaning guidance for those specific kinds.

Most stains came right out on the first wash, especially on the smaller runner we tested. However, when we splattered some Thai curry onto the 5-foot-by-7-foot rug, it took about six washes and some intervention from a stain remover to fully get it out. It seems like Ruggable’s stain-resistant fabric helps with most spills but is by no means stainproof. But when the worst happens and you have a greasy, stubborn stain, you’ll be happy you can simply throw it in the wash — even if you do have to wash it more than once — rather than spend tons of money or time cleaning it.

The shag rug is a little more troublesome to wash, since you can’t put it in the dryer. And after washing it a couple times, the shag started to clump together and wasn’t as long and plush as when we first got it. The shag also shed a lot onto our feet and socks, so we’d definitely go for the standard over the shag in the future.

Vacuuming the rug was also quite easy, as the harder rug surface made it easy for our vacuum to suck up any and all crumbs and pet hair. However, if your vacuum has too much suction, the cover might lift up off the pad and you won’t be able to move the vacuum. Even on lower suction levels, the cover got pulled up a little bit and wrinkled our rug. But we didn’t find it a deal-breaker, since they’re easy to smooth out once the rug is all clean. Ruggable also has a guide to help you out when vacuuming — just note you shouldn’t use a robot vacuum because they can damage the edges and corners of the rug.

The bottom line

Damali Black and White Ruggable

With hundreds of beautiful designs, a variety of sizes and the game-changing ability to be machine-washed, Ruggable rugs are one of the best home buys we’ve ever made. While stains are still stains, and some are more stubborn than others, you’ll have a much better chance at erasing the evidence of even the worst spills.

For high-traffic areas and places where you don’t need a fluffy rug to lie on, no other rug can beat its washability. It’s a convenient and beautiful solution to the traditional rug that we’re going to keep in our home for years to come.