The product: Ruggable
Price: $49.99 for 3’ x 5’ rug; $99.99 for 5’ x 7’ rug; $199.99 for 8’ x 10’ rug; $59.99 for 2.5’ x 7’ runner
The lowdown: Hardwood floors and ceramic tile may look beautiful, but let's face it: Rugs make them easier on our feet. They're warmer in winter, too. And, ever mindful of the neighbors below, we prefer soft surfaces underfoot. But cleaning them is a pain, and expensive.
While shopping for the right option, I found unattractive foam kitchen mats to soothe tired legs while washing dishes, and area rugs of thin fabric that would bunch and slide underfoot. Bathroom floor coverings came in an overwhelming assortment, though nothing was quite right. Some floor mats made of a synthetic fiber called Olefin have a rubbery backing. Yet though their label claims it’s washable, every laundromat in the neighborhood has a prominent “no rugs” sign.
Enter Ruggable, a two-part washable rug. The bottom layer grips the floor and anchors the top layer, which is a sort of upholstery fabric that comes in assorted colors and patterns. When the rug gets dirty, the top peels off and goes in the wash. How brilliant is that! The story goes that the company founder bought a pricey area rug, which proved difficult and expensive to clean. Dismayed, she invented — and patented — the Ruggable, a non-obvious solution. I was dismayed, too, at the lack of suitable rugs. I couldn’t wait to try a Ruggable.
The experience: The rolled-up Ruggable in the 3’ x 5’ size —full disclosure: provided at no cost to us by the company—arrived in a tube. Fortunately, the packaging indicated which end was up: the Velcro-like rough side. I spread the bottom layer on the bathroom floor. The fabric sheet for the top was easy to smooth out, with no wrinkles or bunching.
It was the perfect size for our apartment bathroom, covering the entire floor (except to the sides of the toilet) and keeping our bare feet cozy. Next, I test-drove it to the kitchen, which I now know has a floor area of 3’ x 6’—just a foot too long. Within days, my husband had spilled soda, cat food, and tomato sauce on our Ruggable. No problem: Into the laundry it went, and out it came, fresh and clean. The bottom rug pad is also washable, though by hand. Ours hasn’t yet gotten dirty, so I didn’t try.
The bottom line: What Ruggable isn't: It’s not wall-to-wall carpeting that covers every inch of floor, or a thick, plush, cushiony padded rug that guarantees the downstairs neighbor will never complain. But when it comes to texture, aesthetics, size, and washability, Ruggable is perfect for a kitchen, bathroom, hallway or other place that would otherwise be bare — or for a household with messy pets or butter-fingered occupants prone to spillage.
The gushing hasn't stopped since we got our Ruggable. I am grateful every time I drop a spoon. We sometimes eat on our laps at the coffee table, and I can envision a Ruggable there, too, catching the drips. Best of all, the laundromat's “no rugs” sign doesn’t apply.
Number of stars (out of 5): * * * * *