Why Wool Rugs Need Pads

A wool rug can be a beautiful addition to your home, but it needs proper protection and care to look its very best. To keep your rug looking great, you will need a wool rug pad to protect it and keep it in place. 

Why Use A Rug Pad?

A properly placed wool rug pad will  buffer your rug from wear and tear by acting as a shock absorber keep your rug from sliding around insulate your rug, keeping your space cozy and warm


A wool felt rug pad will give your rug some flexibility by protecting it from wear underneath. One of the many benefits of a wool rug is their durability. The fibers are long and strong, so a rug pad with some cushion will protect those fibers from being damaged during simple wear caused by walking or playing on the rug. 

Those long, strong fibers are knotted in the backing of the rug; that is, the part of the rug that rests on the floor. If your rug spends a lot of time rubbing against a hard surface, those knots may be damaged and begin to tear apart over time, causing your rug to come apart in the cleaning process. By adding a cushion to protect the knots, you extend the life of the rug.


This cushioning will also protect against the chill you may find under the rug. Your wool rug should be a cozy place to hang out! With the right wool rug protector, your rug will be an oasis for chilly feet. 

A proper cushion will also give your rug protection against the wear described above. Depending on the needs of your family, you may not want an especially squishy carpet pad as it may cause uneven or uncomfortable footing, particularly at the edge of the rug. However, putting your wool rug down over bare floor will cause it to wear much earlier than if you added a quality pad. 


Depending on your main floor surface, your wool rug may slide across the flooring material. This is hard on the rug and on anyone walking across your rug. Invest in a rug pad that will stay put for safety. 

In addition, your non-slip rug pad will add a bit of bulk so the edges of your rug can drape down slightly, reducing the risk of tripping. Again, unless you want a very squishy feel to your rug underfoot, this pad doesn't have to be thick. 

Engineered Protection For Your Natural Rug

While a wool rug is a great addition to your space, avoid putting a wool carpet pad underneath it. Felt rug pads and man-made materials will do a better job of protecting your rug from the bottom up. 

Dark spaces become wonderful homes for moths. Once settled into the dark under your carpet, moths will happily chew away at the underside of your lovely rug until the day you go to vacuum it and find the fibers have come loose. 

Avoid leaving any portion of your wool rug in darkness. If furniture must sit on any portion of the rug, be sure to rotate the rug occasionally, walk on it and vacuum all of it to keep all the fibers healthy, to keep the moths away and to avoid crushing damage caused by furniture legs. 

Fully Pad Your Wool Rug

You can find rug pads in a variety of shapes, materials, and thicknesses. Be certain to pad your rug as close to the outer edge as possible to avoid ridges in the rug that will cause early wear and to reduce tripping hazards. 

Remember, you can select padding to any thickness you prefer, so if you need a great deal of cushion, your rug will be easier to clean if you are not working around bumps or ridges in the padding. 

Other Care Considerations

Owners of old wool rugs passed down through the generations, offer some great old school ideas to keep your rug in great shape for those who will come after you. Vacuum your rug to keep the dirt out of it, but be aware that beater bars and excess vacuuming can actually damage the rug. 

Pet hair should be brushed away, not vacuumed. If possible, keep pets off the rug, particularly during house training. Spot clean as necessary, but be sure to hire a professional to clean your rug if it needs it. Avoid getting the entire rug wet in your DIY cleaning. 

Finally, if you have access to a cold, snowy yard, you can clean and sterilize the rug with snow. Place the rug outside for half an hour to let it cool, then lay it flat and pile it with snow. Drive the snow across the rug for 15-30 minutes, then flip it and do the other side. This process freezes the bacteria and breaking up the snow crystals across the rug carries away dirt and dust. 

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