Sisal rugs are a popular choice among homeowners, and for very good reason.
As they're made of natural fibers, they lend any room an earthy, relaxed look. Plus, they're affordable, eco-friendly, and easy to clean.
But what's the best rug pad for sisal rugs? And do you really need one?
Well, that's exactly our expertise. Read on to learn everything you need to know before you buy a rug pad for your sisal rug.
Why you need a rug pad for a sisal rug
Because they're so hardwearing, a sisal rug is a great option for high-traffic areas of your home, like entrances and hallways.
But as they're made entirely from natural materials, they don't come with a latex or rubber backing that anchors them to the floor.
That means they tend to slip and bunch up if they're not placed on a non-slip pad, making them a serious tripping hazard - especially on slippery surfaces like tile or wood floors .
Because sisal isn't the softest material, a thick rug pad is the perfect way to provide cushioning to protect your floors from its earthy looks (and scratchy surface). This is particularly important in rooms you'll be relaxing in, like a living or dining room.
Plus, a high-quality rug pad will not only help your rug last longer, but also protect your floor from scratches, spills, and dye stains.
And lastly, an area rug pad will trap dirt and debris, making it a lot easier to clean under your rug – particularly if your sisal rug is going to sit on a hardwood floor that gets lots of traffic.
What is sisal, exactly?
Sisal rugs not only give a rustic vibe to any room they're placed in, but they're also eco-friendly and incredibly durable.
The reason for their durability is that sisal fibers are derived from the leaves of the agave plant, a hardy shrub that has evolved to thrive in the arid plains of North and South America.
While the agave plant – which is also where agave nectar and tequila are derived from – is native to the Americas, most sisal is farmed in East Africa.
Its leaves yield a long, creamy white, and very strong fiber. This is harvested by hand and left in the sun to dry before being brushed, graded, and eventually woven into attractive furnishings with a charming rustic look by expert rug makers.
Sisal was historically used to make rope and sacks, which speaks to how tough and hardwearing it is. Area rugs made from the material are therefore more hardwearing than plush and luxurious, making a cushioned rug pad the perfect choice to make it easier on bare feet.
Like any natural fibers, sisal slips on smooth surfaces like hardwood floors. This is easily solved with a rug pad with rubber backing, which will provide plenty of grip.
Because it's an organic material, sisal is highly absorbent and needs to breathe to last as long as possible. That makes a rug pad with a breathable and absorbent felt top the best option – which will also provide plenty of cushioning for added underfoot comfort.
These are the best rug pads for sisal rugs
These three felt and rubber rug pads offer the perfect combination of grip and cushioning to make a sisal rug secure, comfortable, and long-lasting.
Plus, each comes with a 10-year warranty and free delivery and returns.
Our Superior-Lock rug pad is a great choice for a sisal rug you want to give a comfort boost.
Its needle-punched felt surface is kind on natural fiber rugs like sisal while holding them firmly in place and preventing bunching, creeping, and curling at the corners. And the 12-ounce natural rubber backing – which is reinforced with an additional five ounces per square yard of heat-pressed natural rubber face coat – will anchor your rug to the slipperiest of surfaces.
Plus, you can pick up our Superior-Lock carpet pad in a 1/4” thickness, lending a luxurious feel that's ideal for living rooms and bedrooms.
After a non-slip rug pad for a sisal rug that's going to sit in a high-traffic area? Look no further than our Contour-Lock rug pad, which offers underfoot comfort without sacrificing a low profile in the way a thicker rug pad would.
Our Contour-Lock pad is made from felt that's been heat-pressed to a thickness of 1/8”, then backed with a natural, low-clay rubber blend specifically designed to last longer in high-traffic areas.
Perfect for the places in your home that get a lot of foot traffic, this rug pad will protect your floor, prevent your rug from slipping, and provide that all-important added comfort that helps make sisal rugs more homely.
The RugPro is a natural rubber pad made of a bespoke low-clay rubber blend that prevents the premature flaking you'll often get with a rug pad with a latex backing.
It's topped with a thin layer of felt, giving it a low profile and ensuring a tight grip on your sisal rug so it doesn't slip.
As one of the lowest-profile pads in our range, the RugPro is the perfect choice for areas where door clearance might be an issue, like in hallways and doorways.
Last but not least, this natural rubber rug pad has a solid design that provides more floor coverage than typical waffle-style rug pads. This helps prevent dirt from accumulating under your rug – particularly helpful in high-traffic areas and on hardwood flooring.
Other things you want to know
Weighing up which natural fiber rug is right for you? Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about area rugs made from organic materials.
Is jute soft?
Jute is incredibly soft, with a texture closer to wool than sisal. It makes some of the softest natural fiber rugs you can buy.
What’s the difference between sisal and jute rugs?
Jute area rugs are close cousins of their sisal counterparts.
Like sisal, jute is an organic fiber, which gives it a similar natural look. But because it's harvested from the tender stalks of the jute plant, jute rugs have the opposite attributes to their sisal equivalents – they're soft and delicate rather than tough and hardwearing.
If you love the look of natural fiber rugs, you might want to place sisal rugs in high-traffic areas where durability really matters and jute in areas where comfort is key, like bedrooms and living rooms.