Rugs made of natural fibers like sisal and jute can be a great way to give any space a “tropical, or beachy” feel, according to Porter Hovey of Hovey Design. But they’re not just attractive because of their ability to make any room Hamptons-esque — Hovey also notes that rugs like this are also more environmentally friendly, too. “With growing numbers of people fully embracing plant-based lifestyles, they’re really the best option year-round.” As far as choosing between area rugs made from sisal, jute, and other natural fibers like abaca, the experts we spoke with say to consider the space you’ll use them in — for aesthetics, of course, but also because certain fibers may be better in certain locations. “Generally speaking, sisal rugs are a bit more durable than jute rugs, so they’re good for high-traffic areas of the home,” according to prop stylist Cat Dash. Rugs made from jute (which comes from the stem of the jute plant) or abaca fibers (which comes from the abaca plant), on the other hand, are usually softer to the touch, making them “more comfortable for bare feet, so there’s a trade off,” Dash says.
No matter the fiber you choose, many of our experts say that, because they are more neutral-colored, these rugs are also great pieces for layering beneath other, more colorful ones to add even more dimension and texture to a space. To find the best sisal, jute, and other natural fiber rugs, we asked Dash, Hovey, and 12 other décor experts and interior designers for their favorites. Read on for their picks, as well as for their advice on how best to incorporate the rugs into your décor scheme.
Best sisal rugs
While rugs made of sisal, jute, and other natural fibers can look very similar, sisal rugs, as Dash explained, are made with a harder weave and are thus more durable than other natural fiber rugs, making them great for places like hallways and living areas. Three of our experts suggest turning to Pottery Barn for sisal rugs, with two specifically naming this — in the color “linen” — as a solid choice. Alessandra Wood, vice president of style at virtual interior design service Modsy, says the neutral shade makes it “the perfect rug for layering” beneath a more colorful rug. She also likes its affordable price and thin profile. Interior designer Becky Shea agrees: “I’ve used this sisal rug a number of times and it’s never done me wrong,” she says. “It looks beautiful on its own or layered in a space. It’s also surprisingly soft.” Shea says that it’s a great option for those looking for “that laid back, California-cool vibe in your space, even on the east coast.”
This sisal rug from Crate and Barrel also comes recommended by two of our experts. Modsy’s lead stylist Tara Smith likes that it’s more textured boucle weave “elevates this rug a step above your standard sisal.” Available in several neutral shades, she adds that it’s also durable “yet sophisticated enough to go in any high-traffic area of your home.” Shea particularly likes it for layering, saying that it’s “a great rug to have as a foundation in a living or family room, [and] can be layered with a kilim or vintage turkish rug to injecting a little color into a space.”
If you’re looking for a sisal rug for a bedroom, interior designer Jamie Drake of Manhattan-based firm Drake/Anderson suggests going for a finer, flatter sisal weave, like this one from Restoration Hardware. He adds that, generally, natural-fiber rugs “bring understated elegance to a variety of rooms,” including in “a casual country house solarium,” for example. They can also act as a counterbalance to a room that is decorated with formal antiques, he says.
Best customizable sisal rugs
Jessie Schuster, principal of Jessica Shuster Design, also recommended Pottery Barn as a source for sisal rugs, saying this one is a great option if you’re looking for a rug you can customize for any space. It’s pure sisal, available in toffee, mocha, and sand colorways, and a great option “if you’re on a budget,” she says. “They are a nice quality, and you can customize the size and border within a short lead time.”
For another customizable option, Smith suggests this one from West Elm. She particularly likes that the “chunky weave and natural fiber adds the perfect amount of organic texture to a space.” It’s available in a classic warm tone, or more modern-looking chrome and muslin colorways.
Williams Sonoma also makes a customizable sisal rug that came recommended by Seyie Putsure of Los Angele-based Seyie Design. She likes this one’s “cool, slightly grey undertone,” saying that it would work well in a contemporary home. As for binding, she prefers linen or smooth leather to give it a more tailored look. “I would use it in a den or a study,” she says.
Best blended sisal rugs
Blending sisal and other materials can add texture and more softness, according to our experts. Two of our designers recommend this wool-and-sisal blended rug with a linen border. Shea particularly likes this one because “it gives a tailored feel to a more laid-back rug.” She suggests using it in a dining room or master bedroom. Jess Blumberg of Dale Blumberg Interiors agrees, adding that she likes to use this thicker woven sisal for more rustic spaces: “The lightness of this specific rug keeps the space looking fresh but definitely gives a more farmhouse vibe.” Plus, “it’s super affordable,” she says.
Four of our experts turn to Dash and Albert (a designer favorite) for its sisal rugs, including Woodlands, Texas–based interior designer Nancy Charbonneau, who says that it’s her “go-to source for ready-made sisal rugs,” because its “selection and durability is by far the best, and the textures and colors are fresh and on trend.” Interior designer Karen B. Wolf agrees, recommending this checked rug that is 80 percent sisal and 20 percent wool. “For sisal rugs, I usually prefer not only a natural look, but a soft feel underfoot,” says Wolf. “Adding wool to sisal gives you that extra plush feel, and today’s technology has ensured that the wool blend upholds the integrity of the product to obtain a natural look and feel,” she adds.
Wood recommends this patterned rug from Dash and Albert that’s woven with wool and sisal, which she says lends “an amazing texture and a bit of a softer feel.” She adds that the subtle checkered pattern would look great in “modern farmhouse spaces.”
Here’s another sisal-and-jute rug from Dash and Albert that comes recommended by Blumberg, who says that she uses as her “go-to layering sisal rug.” “It’s affordable, and adds texture and depth to any living area,” she adds.
Best jute rugs
Aside from their softer feel, which makes them a bit more pliable than sisal, jute rugs are generally less expensive — but also less durable and harder to clean, which makes them better for low-trafficked rooms like bedrooms as opposed to hallways and living areas. Three of our experts — Schuster, Putsure, and Dash — recommend Serena & Lily (another designer favorite) as a place to find jute rugs, along with others made of natural fibers. For something with a little more personality, Dash recommends this rug with an inner border that she says “feels almost preppy,” but is counterbalanced by its natural weave, which “keeps it from veering towards stuffy.” She adds that it would lend a “pulled together yet unfussy vibe” to any room.
Here’s another Serena and Lily recommendation for a pure jute rug, this time courtesy of Putsure, who likes its “casual chic look,” which “would work great in both a beach house and a contemporary minimalist home.
This all-jute rug from Ikea came recommend by two of our experts — Tammy Price of Los Angeles-based Fragments Identity and Dash — for its affordability. It’s Dash’s go-to, as “it’s super versatile and works all over the house,” she says. “I generally use this one as a layering piece and put a smaller rug with an interesting pattern over it. I actually have it in my living room with a vintage Persian rug layered on top.”
Drake told us he prefers the minimalism of “the most natural and basic jute rugs,” suggesting this chunky, fringed style as another affordable option — which Strategist Editor Alexis Swerdloff uses to decorate her own home. It looks more expensive than it is, thanks to its handwoven design and the varied tones of the undyed, natural fibers.
For something a little heftier, Dash recommends this chunky braided jute rug from World Market, saying that the “braided weave makes it feel more elevated and unique” than your average natural fiber rug. “This one can stand on its own and brings an earthy, textual element to the room where you’re using it.” She adds that it would complement other natural materials like wood and linen.
Architect and interior designer Maria Augusta Louro of New York- and Brazil-based firm Guta Louro told us she likes to incorporate natural fiber rugs in her projects because of their durability. While she generally likes natural fiber rugs for their “earthly tones and rustic characteristics,” she told us she particularly loves that this jute rug with an interwoven trellis design because it resembles pricer wool or silk options, but at a more affordable price point.
Natural-fiber rugs can often come dyed, and if you’re looking for one with color, Louro recommends this patterned, hand-knotted jute rug for its soothing blue-green hues, which, along with its ikat-inspired pattern, makes it a surprising, unexpected choice. She adds that “the way that this rug is knotted reminds me of hemp rugs, but since it is jute, it is softer and more inviting to walk on barefoot,” making it ideal for use in a beach house. And don’t worry about putting it in a bright room, because she says fading from sunlight will only enhance this rug’s charm over time.
Best blended jute rugs
Like with blended sisal rugs, ones that blend jute and other fibers offer an even softer feel underfoot. Schuster says this blended jute rug from expert-favorite Serena & Lily has the “perfect blend of jute, cotton, and wool.” She thinks it has a “beachy” vibe, and says the subtle, white-striped pattern adds texture and warmth. Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner Rothblum of Massucco Warner Miller also recommend this particular rug.
For a darker toned option, Schuster likes this rug from Ralph Lauren, which is mostly jute but incorporates just a touch of cotton. According to her, the bold stripes would “give a room a more masculine feel.”
Jess Cooney of New England-based Jess Cooney Interiors recommended this Dash and Albert style, which has a similar look to that of the ikat-patterned all-jute rug from One Kings Lane, but is made with a jute-and-cotton blend that makes it softer on bare feet. Cooney says the tribal-inspired pattern makes it a little more interesting than a basic jute rug, but that it’s still versatile enough to work in many spaces.
Best abaca rugs
Designer favorite Serena and Lily also came up among two experts as a source for abaca rugs, which are another popular option for those looking for natural fiber rugs. Abaca fiber is thicker, resulting in rugs chunkier than sisal, that often have a sheen to them. Similarly to jute rugs, they feel soft underfoot and are not as durable as sisal, working better in medium- to low-traffic areas of the home. Charbonneau recommends this one from Serena and Lily if you’re looking for a basic classic.
Here’s another abaca rug from Serena and Lily that the Hovey sisters and Massucco and Rothblum recommend. Hand-braided and handwoven, they like that it’s “just dripping with gorgeous Wabi Sabi imperfection.”
Designer Aerin Lauder turns to natural fiber rugs to “instantly provide a neutral look that is practical and elevated,” saying that mixing textures “makes a room come alive,” and that “a rug is the perfect place to start.” Her favorite is this abaca rug from Williams Sonoma (for which, full disclosure, she designed the AERIN Collection by Williams Sonoma, but this rug is not from that line). “I think that the tones and texture are perfect in any space. The rug provides a natural, yet comfortable and effortless feel throughout the home.”