Rugs made from natural fibers are increasingly becoming a go-to in many households. They’re naturally eco-friendly flooring options that often add a more relaxed vibe to a room. Since these rugs are woven from plant fibers that are often undyed, it can be easy to think they’re all the same. In reality, these rugs have very different characteristics depending on the specific type of natural material they’re made from.

Today, we’re exploring the differences between two popular types of rugs: coir and jute.

What is a coir rug?

Coir rugs are woven from the husks of unripe coconuts. These husks are separated from the inner fruit we normally see. After separation, the husks are placed in machines that crush, soften, and extract the fibers that are then made into rugs.

Compared to other natural fiber rugs, coir is a highly durable material that tends to be quite rough. That’s why you’ll typically see coir rugs sold as doormats. The scratchy material is perfect for placing on the front porch since it traps dirt at the door. Just be sure to wipe your shoes at the door before going inside!

Coir doormats come in a variety of fun patterns to brighten your front door. Featured: Waverly WGT25 welcome mat.

What is a jute rug?

Jute rugs are woven from the stem of the jute plant, which is primarily gown in India and Bangladesh. The entire process of harvesting and yarn spinning is typically done by hand. Harvesters bundle jute stems together and soften them with running water. They then scrape away any unusable parts of the plant in order to extract the fibers that are spun into yarn.

Although jute is somewhat rough, it’s much softer to the touch than coir. Jute rugs are also more versatile. Unlike coir, these rugs are often used in other areas around the house including the living room and kitchen.

Round jute rugs, like this one from our Natural Jute Collection, add visual interest with an earthy vibe.

One drawback to jute is that as a natural plant fiber, it is highly water absorbent. It’s best to avoid using these rugs in spaces that see heavy moisture to keep them looking their best.

Which is better: coir or jute?

Between jute and coir rugs, the best choice depends on where you plan to use them. If you have a busy household, having a coir rug outside the door or just inside your entryway is the perfect choice.

Since jute is a more delicate fiber, it’s not ideal for outdoor use unless in a covered porch away from direct rain. Regardless of what you pick, you’ll be giving your space a distinctive look thanks to the unique color variations that only natural fibers can provide.