How to Pick the Right Rug Pad Thickness For Your Rugs

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Your trusted source for Natural Area Rugs inspiration & information. ~ Nurturing your home with nature ~

You've finally found the perfect rug. It's the perfect size, style, and color for your space. But before you can enjoy your new purchase, there's one more important step: choosing the right rug pad thickness. 

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When it comes to choosing the best rug pad, thickness is one of the most important factors to consider. The right pad will protect your rug and floor from wear and tear, while the wrong pad can cause damage.

Here are a few tips (and product options) for when you find yourself asking “what thickness rug pad do I need?

Deciding Between a Thick Rug Pad vs a Thin Rug Pad

When it comes to choosing a rug pad, you have two main options: thick or thin. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Thick rug pads are great for adding extra cushioning and support to your rug. They’re also ideal for use on hard floors since they’ll provide a softer surface for your feet. However, thick rug pads can also make your rug feel stiff and less comfortable.

Thin rug pads offer a more minimalist approach, and they’re often more affordable than thick rug pads. They’re also easier to vacuum, which can be a major consideration. 

Thick Rug Pads

Common Thick Rug Pad Sizes

Thicker rug pads tend to be at least 1/4″ thick, however, they can range from 1/4″ to 1/2″ in thickness

Benefits of Thick Rug Pads

  • More Cushioning:


    If you’re looking for a little extra cushioning underfoot, thick rug pads are a great option. They provide an extra layer of padding, which can make your rug feel softer and more comfortable. A cushioned rug pad can also help extend the life of your rug by protecting it from wear and tear.

  • Extra Floor Protection

    Rug pads are great for protecting your floors from wear and tear, and they can also help extend the life of your rugs. They’re especially useful if you have high-traffic areas in your home, or if you have pets or small children who might accidently spill something on your floor. Rug pads can also help prevent your furniture from slipping and scratching your floors.

  • Soundproofing

    One of the benefits of using a thick rug pad is that it can help to soundproof your home. This is especially useful if you live in an apartment or condo and want to reduce the amount of noise that comes through your ceilings and walls. By absorbing some of the noise, a thick rug pad can make your living space much more peaceful and quiet.

  • Provides Insulation

    If you’re looking for a little extra warmth underfoot, a thick rug pad can provide some welcome insulation. This is especially useful in cold weather, or if you have hard floors that tend to be on the chilly side.

    If you’re looking to keep things toasty indoors, it’s best to use some thick felt pads on your heated floors or in hot areas. Felt rug pads have a high thermal resistance that’ll block out the heat and keep things comfy.

Common Thick Rug Pad Material

  • Felt

    Felt rug pads are a great option because they are thick and provide a lot of cushioning, which can help extend the life of your rug. It’s also relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great option if you’re on a budget.
Best Felt Rug Pad
Rug Pad USA: Eco-Plush 1/2"
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

Eco-Plush pads are made of tightly woven 100% recycled felt, made from new unused carpet fibers and yarn. They're great for cushioning and protecting your floors, and they also help soundproof and insulate your home.

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • 3 Thickness Options (1/4", 3/8", 1/2")
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • 100% Heat-Pressed Felt
  • Soundproof
  • Thick Cushion
  • Safe For All Floors and Finishes
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Memory Foam

    Memory foam is a great choice for a rug pad because it’s thick and cushiony, providing a soft surface to walk on. Plus, it’s effective at gripping the floor so your rug doesn’t slip and slide around.
Best Memory Foam Rug Pad
Rug Pad USA: Cloud Comfort 7/16"
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

Looking for a little extra cushioning for your floor and rug? Cloud Comfort has got you covered! Made with 100% viscoelastic memory foam, it's designed to provide a supportive layer of protection for larger area rugs. Plus, it's super comfortable – just like a mattress!

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • Soundproof
  • Waterproof
  • Thick Cushioning
  • Safe For All Floors and Finishes
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Felt + Rubber Combo


    If you’re looking for a rug pad that will provide both cushioning and grip, a felt rubber combo is a great option. This type of material is thick and durable, making it ideal for high traffic areas. It’s also great for use on hardwood floors, as it will help to protect the floor from scratches and scuffs.

Best Felt + Rubber Combo Rug Pad
Rug Pad USA: Superior-Lock 1/4"
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

Superior-Lock's plush cushioning and high-performing checkered natural rubber backing provide a unique anchor for your rug while preserving its beauty and extending its life.


This felt rug pad is great for keeping your area rug in place and preventing bunching, creeping, and curling. The rich, dense felt core also helps soften the rug and prevent floor damage. The grooved natural rubber backing also helps keep the rug from moving around.

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • 2 Thickness Options (1/4", 7/16")
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • Strong Grip
  • Needle-punched Felt Layer
  • Soundproof
  • Safe For All Floors and Finishes
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Thick Rug Pads Are Best For:

  • You might want to consider a rug pad or memory foam if your furniture is heavy and could potentially damage your floors.

  • Thick, high pile rugs. If you’ve got a big, thick area rug, such as a Persian or Oriental rug, you’re going to want a equally hefty rug pad. Something like a 100% felt rug pad will do the trick and won’t damage your rug.

  • If you have children.

  • If you’re looking for a soundproofing option. Soundproofing pads can help absorb impact noise and improve your room’s ability to deflect sound.

Thin Rug Pads

Benefits of Thin Rug Pads

Some benefits of having a thin rug pad include:

  • They are less expensive than thicker pads
  • Low profile. They don’t add much height, so your doors won’t catch on them
  • They’re easy to trim to fit any size rug
  • Strong grip

Common Thin Rug Pad Material

  • Natural Rubber

    One of the most common materials used for rug pads is natural rubber. This material is very durable and provides a great grip, which helps keep your rug in place. It’s also a relatively affordable option, making it a great choice for many people.
Best Natural Rubber Rug Pad
Rug Pad USA: Super-Lock Natural
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

If your rugs keep slipping and sliding in high-traffic areas, Super-Lock Natural is the best rug pad for you. It has a waffle design that allows air to flow between the rug and flooring, and also provides a comfortable level of cushioning.


This mat is made in the USA with over a pound of natural rubber per square yard. It's denser and heavier than comparable latex and PVC pads, so it won't scratch your floor, strip the finish, or stain.

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • Strong Grip
  • Easy to Clean
  • Eco Friendly
  • Safe for All Floors and Finishes
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • PVC (we recommend products without use of harmful chemicals such as Phthalates)

    PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a common material used in
    rug pads. It’s often chosen for its durability and affordability. PVC rug pads can last for years, making them a good investment for your home.
Best PVC Rug Pad
Rug Pad USA: Anchor Grip
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

This low-profile rug pad is the perfect partner for high-end, high-maintenance rugs. Its solid construction (as opposed to open-weave) means more padding is in contact with your floors, providing maximum grip, floor protection and a comfortable level of cushioning.

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • Strong grip
  • Waterproof
  • Low Profile
  • Easy to Clean
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Felt + Rubber Combo

    Felt and
    rubber are two of the most common. Felt is a great material for a rug pad because it’s thick and cushioned, which will help protect your floor from scratches and wear. Rubber is also a popular choice for rug pads because it’s durable and provides a firm grip, which will keep your rug from sliding around.
Best Thin Felt + Rubber Rug Pad Combo
Rug Pad USA: RugPro
5.0
$ Custom Sizing

This low-profile, high-performance rug pad has some serious gripping power, making it perfect for high-traffic areas where you don't want your rug slipping around. RugPro combines a thin layer of felt with a solid natural rubber backing to keep your rug in place.


A good rubber backing will keep your rug from sliding around and offer more coverage than a traditional waffle-style rug pad. RugPro uses a natural rubber backing that contains more real rubber and less clay fillers, so it won't flake and degrade over time.

Pros:
  • Free Shipping
  • Custom Cut
  • 6 Shape Options (square, rectangle, oval, runner, round, octogon)
  • Made in USA
  • 10 Year Guaranteed Warranty
  • Strong grip
  • Low Profile
  • Needle Punched Felt
  • Thermo-bonded For Long Life
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Thin Rug Pads Are Best For: 

  • If your rug is a flat weave or smaller, you might want a thinner rug pad with a natural grip instead of a thicker one. In this case, a non-slip rug pad with a rubber backing could grip floors, keep your rug in place, and prevent slips.

  • A thinner rug pad is a better option when you’re using medium-size or larger area rugs in high-traffic areas. For example, you need a slim but durable rug where the door is opened frequently.

The Pile Height of The Rug Can Help Determine the Size Rug Pad You Will Need

When choosing a rug pad, the pile height of your rug can be helpful in determining the size rug pad you will need.

An area rug with a higher pile height will require a thicker rug pad to prevent the rug from slipping and to protect the floors beneath.

Conversely, a rug with a lower pile height can usually get away with a thinner rug pad. Ultimately, it is important to choose a rug pad that will provide the right amount of cushioning and support for your particular rug.

Area Rugs With 1/4" or Lower Pile Height (Flat Weave Rugs/Runners)

If you’ve got a thin or flatweave rug, you’ll want to use a ⅛ or ¼-inch rug pad to keep it from slipping, bunching up, or curling at the ends. A felt and rubber combo works best with flatweave rugs, giving it a natural grip and preventing sliding, bunching, and wrinkling.

Area Rugs 1/4" to 1/2" Pile Height

The right size rug pad will give you the perfect amount of cushioning for comfort, and also help to protect your floor. A medium pile height area rug will usually match best with a ¼ or ⅜-inch rug pad.

Area Rugs Above 1/2" Pile Height

If your rug size is ½-inch or more, matching it with a thick pad can result in tripping hazards. Too much padding can cause overly high levels and make movement uncomfortable. In this case, it might be best to choose a thinner pad, or even no pad at all (depending on the type of rug). Depending on the situation and rug, we recommend a pad that is ¼ inch thick.

Rug Pad Sizing FAQs

Add Your Heading Text Here

The area rug needs to be a little bigger to cover your rug pad completely. Add an extra inch or so at the corners. This will give you the full coverage you need and prevent any bunching or wrinkling. 

Does the rubber side of a rug pad go up or down?

This really comes down to the type of rug pad in use. Rug Pad USA has a great article outlining which way to install your rub pad depending on the type of pad being used. 

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