The best rug pads for hardwood floors come down to two things:

  1. what materials it is made from
  2. what problem you’re trying to solve (nonslip pads versus felt rug pads, for example)

I’ll go through all of that in this post. I’ve worked in the industry for a few years and have become extremely familiar with the ins and outs of what makes the ✨perfect✨ rug pad.

So I’m passing all of this info onto you so you can understand exactly what you’re getting into before you accidentally damage your floors.

Why You Need a Rug Pad for Your Hardwood Floors

In short, a rug pad is a small investment that brings big benefits. It protects your floor, extends the life of your rug, and makes your home safer and more comfortable.

Here are some of the biggest reasons homeowners and hardwood floor enthusiasts love using a rug pad with hardwood floors:

  1. Floor Protection: Hardwood floors and scratches? Not a good mix. A rug pad acts like a buffer, preventing your floor from getting scratched up.
  2. Rug Durability: Your rug sees a lot of action. Foot traffic can wear it down over time. A rug pad gives it a supportive base, helping it handle the daily hustle and bustle.
  3. No More Slips: A slipping rug can be a real hazard. Rug pads are like the grip on your favorite pair of running shoes. They keep your rug firmly in place, so you can go about your day without any unexpected slips or slides.
  4. Comfort and Noise Reduction: A rug pad adds a layer of cushioning that feels great underfoot. It’s like a little extra padding for your feet. Plus, it absorbs sound, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet.
  5. Easier Cleaning: A rug that stays put makes vacuuming a breeze. Plus, a rug pad improves air circulation, preventing mold and mildew. It’s like having a personal assistant for your rug.

What Type of Rug Pad is Best for Hardwood Floors?

When it comes to protecting your hardwood floors, not just any rug pad will do. The type of rug pad materials you choose can make a significant difference in the longevity and condition of your hardwood floors.

Here’s a quick guide on what to look for and what to avoid:

✅ Look for:

  • ✅ Safe for Hardwood Floors: Always choose a rug pad labeled as safe for hardwood floors. Memory foam rug pads made from 100% viscoelastic memory foam, for example, are safe for all floor types.
  • ✅ Felt Material: Felt provides excellent cushioning and insulation, making your rug feel plush and comfortable.
  • ✅ Natural Rubber: Excellent for grip, natural rubber keeps your rug firmly in place, preventing slips and trips.
  • ✅ Felt and Natural Rubber Combo: A rug pad that combines both felt and natural rubber offers the best of both worlds – cushioning and grip.

🚫 Avoid:

  • 🚫 PVC Material: PVC can stick to your hardwood floors over time, causing discoloration and damage. It can also off-gas harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds). PVC rug pads are most known for causing rug pad damage.
  • 🚫 Sticky, Adhesive-like Surface: These can leave residue on your floors that’s difficult to remove and cause your rug to stick to the floor.

The 5 Best Rug Pads for Hardwood Floors

The best rug pads don’t damage your hardwood floors and they provide cushion and grip. That’s exactly what this short list is guaranteed to do for you. Here are the best rug pads that are best suited for hardwood floors:

Natural Rubber Rug Pads

Natural rubber rug pads are a fantastic choice for hardwood floors. They offer a strong grip to keep your rugs in place, preventing slips and trips. The best part about a natural rubber rug pad is that it won’t damage your floors, unlike synthetic rubber pads.

Super-Lock Natural

This rubber rug pad, made with over a pound of natural rubber per square yard, offers the best grip yet, ensuring not only stability but also superior floor protection. It’s a perfect match for hardwood floors, thanks to its waffle design that promotes airflow between the rug and the floor, preventing any potential damage. Despite its strong grip, it’s thin enough to keep your rugs flat and in place.

Best Non-Slip
9/10 Our Score

Super-Lock Natural

The thin profile makes it great for under thin rugs placed at doorways or high traffic areas.


RugPro is a top-tier choice for those seeking a non-slip rug pad. It’s made with natural rubber and felt, which makes it our strongest gripping rug pad. This means your rugs will stay exactly where you want them, no matter how much traffic they endure. Not only does it provide excellent grip, but it also offers a subtle level of cushioning, making your rugs feel more comfortable underfoot.

High Traffic


 RugPro Ultra Low Profile Rug Pad – the perfect solution to keep your rugs in place and protect your floors. Made of durable natural rubber, this rug pad can withstand heavy foot traffic and keeps your rugs firmly in place without sticking or staining your floors.

Felt and Rubber Rug Pads

Felt and rubber rug pads combine the best of both worlds. They offer the cushioning of felt with the non-slip grip of rubber. This makes them perfect for larger rugs that don’t require a non-slip pad but could benefit from some extra cushioning. The Contour-Lock is a great example of this type, offering subtle cushioning and reliable gripping power.

Superior-Lock 1/4″

The Superior-Lock 1/4″ rug pad is all about providing a high level of cushioning without sacrificing grip. This pad combines a cushioned felt layer with a reinforced natural rubber backing. The result is a rug pad that keeps your rugs firmly in place while also making them feel plush and comfortable. It’s an excellent choice for larger rugs or areas where you want a bit more cushioning.

Best Natural Rubber Backing
10/10 Our Score

Superior Lock

This felt + rubber combo provides a non slip grip with added padding, is eco friendly, and won’t damage floors.

100% Felt Rug Pads

100% felt rug pads are ideal for larger rugs that don’t need a non-slip pad. These thick rug pads offer dense cushioning that can help reduce noise and add comfort. The Eco-Plush is a dense felt pad that offers moderate cushioning and is perfect for larger area rugs.

Eco-Plush 1/4″

The Eco-Plush 1/4″ felt rug pad is designed for those who want a dense felt pad with moderate cushioning. It’s especially suitable for larger rugs that don’t require a non-slip pad. This pad adds a layer of plush comfort underfoot, making your rugs feel even more luxurious. Plus, it’s an eco-friendly choice, so you can feel good about your purchase.

Best For Luxury
8/10 Our Score


This 100% felt rug pad is safe for all flooring surfaces and is cozy underfoot.

100% Viscoelastic Memory Foam

Viscoelastic memory foam, often known as memory foam, is a type of foam that molds to the shape of the object applying pressure and slowly returns to its original form when the pressure is removed. It’s the same material used in high-quality mattresses, providing an unparalleled level of cushioning. This unique feature provides excellent cushioning and shock absorption, making it a great material for rug pads.

However, it’s important to note that not all memory foam pads are created equal. Some memory foams may contain additives or fillers that could potentially harm hardwood floors. When shopping for rug pads, look for products that specify they are safe for hardwood floors and do not contain any harmful substances.

Cloud Comfort 7/16″

The 100% viscoelastic memory foam used in the Cloud Comfort 7/16″ rug pad is safe for hardwood floors because it doesn’t contain any abrasive substances that could scratch or damage the floor’s finish. The Cloud Comfort memory foam rug pad an excellent choice for larger area rugs that don’t require non-slip attributes.

Best Cushioning
9/10 Our Score

Cloud Comfort Memory Foam

This waterproof ultra-comfort memory foam rug pad comes in multiple thicknesses for your personal comfort.

While these are all safe for hardwood floors, the best rug pad for your hardwood floors will depend on your specific needs and the type of rug you have. Consider factors like the size and weight of your rug, the amount of foot traffic the area receives, and your personal comfort preferences when choosing a rug pad.

Should a Rug Pad Be the Same Size as the Rug?

When it comes to rug pads, size does matter. But here’s the twist: the perfect rug pad isn’t necessarily the exact size as your rug. Surprised? Let’s break it down.

In fact, your rug pad should be slightly smaller than your rug. We’re talking about an inch less on all sides. This means if you have an 8×10 rug, you should be eyeing a 7’10″x9’10” rug pad.

for thin area rugs and low profile rug pads

Why the size difference, you ask? It’s all about the aesthetics and functionality. Having a slightly smaller rug pad prevents it from peeking out from under your rug, which can be a bit of an eyesore. Plus, it allows the edges of the rug to taper down to the floor, reducing the risk of tripping.

thick area rugs rug pad sizing

But here’s where it gets a bit tricky. If you have a larger area rug, you might want to opt for a rug pad that is two inches shorter on all sides. This is because larger rugs tend to work well with thicker rug pads and so need a little extra material to drape over the edges.

So, in a nutshell, the ideal rug pad size depends on the size of your rug:

  • For larger rugs, go for a rug pad that’s about an inch smaller on all sides.
  • For smaller rugs or runners, a same-size rug pad might be your best bet.

How to Choose the Right Rug Pad for Hardwood Floors

Choosing the right rug pad for your hardwood floors is not just about enhancing the comfort and longevity of your rug, but it’s also about protecting your precious flooring. Here are some key factors you should consider to make the best choice:

1. Material: The material of the rug pad is crucial. You want to avoid anything with PVC or vinyl, as these can potentially damage your hardwood floors over time. Instead, opt for natural rubber or felt. These materials provide excellent grip, cushioning, and won’t harm your your wood floors either.

2. Thickness: The thickness of the rug pad depends on your personal preference and where the rug will be placed. If you’re looking for a plush feel underfoot, a thicker rug pad underneath you might be the way to go. However, for areas with high foot traffic or where doors need to clear the rug, a thinner pad would be more suitable.

3. Size: The rug pad should be slightly smaller than your rug. This allows the edges of the rug to taper to the floor, preventing tripping hazards. As a rule of thumb, the pad should be about one inch less than your rug on all sides.

4. Non-Slip Feature: If your rug is placed in a high-traffic area or on a slick surface, a non-slip feature is a must. Look for rug pads with a grippy rubber backing to keep your rug securely in place.

5. Breathability: A breathable rug pad is essential for hardwood floors. It allows air to circulate between the rug and the floor, preventing moisture buildup that could damage your hardwood floors.

6. Eco-Friendliness: If sustainability is a concern for you, look for rug pads that are made from natural or recycled materials and are free from harmful chemicals.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Easy Is It To Clean And Maintain These Rug Pads?

Cleaning and maintaining these rug pads is a breeze. Most of them can be spot cleaned with a mild detergent and water. For deeper cleaning, you can take them outside and hose them down. They are designed to be durable and long-lasting, so regular maintenance is minimal.

How Long Do These Rug Pads Typically Last?

The lifespan of these rug pads can vary depending on usage and care, but typically, you can expect them to last for many years. In fact, many of the rug pads come with a 10-15 year warranty, which is a testament to their durability and quality.

Do These Rug Pads Come In Different Sizes Or Can They Be Custom Cut To Fit My Rug?

Yes, these rug pads come in a variety of sizes to fit any rug. Additionally, they offer a custom cut service where the rug pads are cut to match your rug’s exact dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit every time.

Are These Rug Pads Safe For All Types Of Hardwood Floors?

Absolutely. These rug pads are designed to be safe for all types of hardwood floors. They provide a protective layer between your rug and the floor, preventing scratches and damage.

How Do These Rug Pads Affect The Feel Or Comfort Of My Rug?

These rug pads can actually enhance the feel and comfort of your rug. They provide a layer of cushioning that makes your rug feel softer and more comfortable underfoot. Plus, they help to keep your rug in place, preventing it from slipping or bunching up.

Are These Rug Pads Made From Eco-Friendly Materials?

Yes, many of these rug pads are made from eco-friendly materials. For instance, the Eco-Plush rug pad is made from 100% heat-pressed felt, which is a natural and sustainable material.

How Do These Rug Pads Affect The Color Or Finish Of My Hardwood Floors Over Time?

These rug pads are designed to be safe for your hardwood floors, so they should not affect the color or finish over time. They provide a protective barrier that helps to prevent scratches and damage that could potentially alter the appearance of your floors.

How Easy Is It To Install These Rug Pads?

Installing these rug pads is simple and straightforward. You just place the pad on the floor, position your rug on top, and you’re done. No special tools or skills are required.

Do These Rug Pads Help With Soundproofing?

Yes, these rug pads can help with soundproofing. They provide a layer of insulation that can help to reduce noise and echo, making your space quieter and more peaceful.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you understand which rug pad materials are the safest for your hardwood floor and what kinds of problems they solve, it’s time to choose! If you need more help, then check out my full guide on how to choose a rug pad for your home.

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