Deciphering the Bath Rug

Today’s bath rugs and mats present a whole world of options. With so many to consider, understanding which type will best fit your needs can be confusing.  Here are a few tips for you to better clarify what rug will best work for your home.


These are high end rugs made individually (usually overseas now, as they require lots of labor to produce).  You can tell these beautiful, long-lasting rugs by looking at the rug’s BACK, where you can see the stitches clearly.  The samples on the top are LOOM WOVEN (see rolled-under hem on the end).  Loom woven rugs are traditionally shown in simple blocks or rich textures.

Another type of handmade rug is sewn on a TABLETOP machine (like a sewing machine with multiple needles).  Tabletop rugs (pictured above, 2nd row) can either be one sided (left) or reversible (right), which has tufts on BOTH sides.   Also, because these rugs start with a heavy weight backing and usually use a better quality yarn, they will last a LONG time – hence the higher price point they usually hit.


Intricate patterns require machine made rugs, which take woven or tufted capabilities and mechanize the production.  These machines sometimes produce rugs with a rubberized backing that masks the tufting.  There are numerous types of machines – rugs produced on these are often slightly cheaper, but they can also be beefed up to make some gorgeous high-end options.  Luxurious solid color bath rugs are made exclusively in the U.S.A., and are always the top sellers at retail.  Imported machine-made rugs offer high-design complements to these basic “workhorse” rugs.


This recent phenomenon has taken the rug world by storm.  Sparked by a desire for comfort in our rushed lives, these rugs utilize a variety of face fabrics that are laminated onto layers of  a cushy foam.  While somewhat stiff and needing extended drying time, these rugs have been embraced as the new hot item at retail.  Surface fabrics can be textured, printed, carved, or tufted….but ALL feel fabulous.  Some retailers are beginning to offer thinner foam, so squeeze and compare – remember, the thicker the  foam, the greater the comfort in-use.   Non-skid backings a firm grip on these rugs, making them fabulous options for homes with small children or the elderly.

Hope you found these tips helpful. Happy rug shopping!

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