Ultimate Jute Rug Guide: Answers to all your Burning Questions

image of bare feet on a jute rug

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Are you curious about jute rugs? Maybe you’re looking to add a jute rug to your home but you’re still on the fence.  Well, you’ve come to the right place because I’m breaking it all down in this jute rug guide.  

When I was considering these rugs, I scoured various websites looking for answers and an experienced point of view.  When I couldn’t really find what I was looking for, I decided to create my own.  In this jute rug guide, I’m including a bunch of jute rug questions and answers (like – what is a jute rug?) as well as my own personal experience with these rugs.  If you want the 411 on everything jute rugs – keep on reading!   

Showing the natural braided jute area rug - in post, jute rug FAQ guide -  answers to your jute rug questions!
Image credit: RugsUSA

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FAQ Jute Rug Guide

What is a jute rug?

Jute rugs are rugs made from the fibers of the jute plant, native to Asia. These dried plant fibers are woven together to create rugs that are texturally beautiful and organic. Jute production has a long history, originating in Bengali exports and spreading to Scotland. Currently, Pakistan and India are the leading producers of jute.

Why Choose a Jute Rug?

This is the Maui Jute Rug from Rugs USA in a beautiful living room - in post - what is a jute rug and other answers to your jute rug questions!

There are so many reasons to love these rugs.  Jute rugs are sustainable, eco-friendly and affordable.  You can find them in every shape, size and style to fit your spaces.  These rugs are great for high traffic areas and they can be layered with softer rugs on top for more dimension and comfort.  And contrary to what many people think – they are not rough on your feet!  They are surprisingly soft and have a chunky, but comfortable feel underfoot.  These rugs have a natural, earthy charm that adds warmth and texture to any room.  They are also fairly easy to clean and maintain.  

Are Jute Rugs Still Popular?  

Heck yes!  Jute rugs are still sold everywhere at major home retailers – and you know they wouldn’t still be selling them if they weren’t popular.  In my opinion, jute rugs are timeless.  They will always be in style and fit in with a variety of decor styles.  

Are Jute Rugs Soft? 

Yes, jute rugs are indeed soft.  Despite their natural toughness and durability, jute rugs offer a pleasantly soft and comfortable texture underfoot. I will say that not everyone enjoys walking on jute rugs, especially if they are accustomed to thick wool rugs which are the softest.  However, the fibers of jute rugs are woven in a way that provides a gentle cushioning effect, making them suitable for barefoot walking and lounging. I have owned several jute rugs and you definitely get used to the feeling of them.  Because they are chunky – ie not thin rugs – you have that added cushioning when you walk.  I’ve also owned a wool + jute rug from Pottery Barn – and that might have been the softest rug I’ve ever walked on!

Are Jute Rugs Suitable for High Traffic Areas? 

Jute rugs are affordable and durable, making them fantastic choices for high traffic areas in your home.  Jute fibers are also naturally stain resistant and they hide a lot of dirt.  I wouldn’t use them in a bathroom environment (or outdoors or in a damp space like a basement) because consistent humidity and water can damage your jute rugs.  But for living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, dining rooms, kitchens and home offices – they are fantastic!

Are Jute Rugs good for Pets? 

I think overall – jute is great for pets.  They are affordable rugs that hide dirt well.  However, if you have a puppy or a dog that has frequent accidents – you might want to consider other options.  Jute can trap a lot of hair and water is not good for jute rugs and can ruin the fibers over time. Chewers and high energy dogs can wreak havoc on the jute fibers with their teeth and nails.  What would be better choices?  You can opt for an indoor/outdoor jute rug look-alike, like this rug from Wayfair, or you can go with the Rejute line of washable rugs from Ruggable.  Both great options for getting the jute look without the worry of ruining the rug.  With all that being said – I’ve owned jute rugs successfully with a pet and lots of other folks have too.  If you really want the look, you will find a way to make it work. 

Can jute rugs be used outdoors?

Unfortunately, no.  Water is not good for jute.  That’s because jute is very absorbent and when it absorbs a ton of water, it will swell and break down the fibers.  You are better off with a rug rated for outdoor living – and there are some good look-alikes out there these days!

Do Jute Rugs come in different sizes and shapes?  

Jute rugs are some of the most versatile rugs you can buy.  You can find them in a variety of different styles, shapes and sizes.  You can find them as runners, large rug sizes and even in round rug shapes!  If you are considering a jute rug, finding the right size area rug for your space shouldn’t be an issue.  You can get them with tassels or without and with different jute patterns on them.  You can also find them in various shades of neutral – some darker and some lighter depending on your personal preference.  

How do you clean a jute rug?

Cleaning a jute rug is fairly simple. It’s more about what NOT to do, than what you have to do.  Regular vacuuming without a beater brush helps prevent dirt buildup. You should also remember to vacuum UNDER the jute rug as these rugs tend to shed.  Blot liquid stains up as soon as possible – don’t let them sit on the rug for too long (and I’m sure you would do this with any rug).  You can use some cornstarch on a grease or oil stain to help soak it up.  Otherwise, dab at the stain with a damp rag and some mild detergent.  And don’t pull at loose jute fibers – clip them as close to the rug as possible and they pretty much disappear.  

What makes jute rugs eco-friendly?  

Jute Runner in Kitchen by Sink Area

Buying a jute rug is a sustainable choice.  Jute is a natural material and unlike rugs made of man made materials, jute is biodegradable and recyclable.  That means it will break down and decompose naturally without toxic off-gassing and this makes them incredibly eco-friendly.  I’ve even heard of some folks cutting up their old jute rugs and using them in their garden!   

Will I need a rug pad with a jute rug? 

While not completely necessary for all situations, ideally you want a rug pad under jute rugs.  Rug pads help protect the floor underneath and provide added cushioning and stability (so the rug doesn’t slide all over the place).  We don’t want any tripping hazards here!  You wouldn’t need a rug pad if you are layering a jute rug over carpet, such as in a bedroom.  Also – some folks just prefer no rug pad!  

What are the disadvantages of jute rugs?  

Even though jute rugs sound like a dream – they are not for everyone.  Jute rugs shed (the shedding does decrease over time) and if you can’t stand the thought of lifting up your rug and seeing tons of jute fibers on the floor underneath – these are not the rugs for you.  
Some people don’t love the fact that you can’t really (and I mean really) clean them.  You are surface cleaning them most of the time.  Jute rugs are not like machine washable rugs – you have to blot up stains and vacuum regularly but you can’t take a carpet cleaner to them or hose them down outside.  
Jute rugs are not suitable for high humidity environments, like bathrooms, basements and outdoors.  While they are fantastic for high traffic areas – these jute rugs don’t last forever and the fibers will eventually break down, or become loose.  
Finally, some folks just don’t like the feeling of jute under their feet. 

What are some of the most popular jute rugs to buy?  

black jute living room rug with white walls

The following rugs have fantastic reviews and are popular with designers, home bloggers and home decorators alike.  You’ll want to check out the Braided Jute Rug, the Chunky Jute Tasseled Rug (also called the Maui Chunky Jute Rug) and the chunky wool/jute rug from Pottery Barn.  

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