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How to Re-Fluff a Rug

Rugs naturally tend to flatten after facing heavy foot traffic or years of sitting still. That is why it’s necessary to re-fluff a rug to bring life back into its fibers and restore its comfort. Not only that, but fluffing the rug can dramatically change the rug’s appearance and create the impression of a new rug.

Learn More About Re-Fluffing Rugs

  1. Understanding Rug Flattening
  2. Methods to Re-Fluff a Rug
  3. Tips for Preventing Rug Flattening

Understanding Rug Flattening

The most common reason rugs flatten is because of heavy foot traffic or resting beneath heavy furniture. If the rug constantly faces these pressures and traffic, then the fibers will naturally be more compressed on these areas and lose their comfortable texture. Rotating the rug is one way to ensure that traffic is distributed over multiple areas of the rug instead of just one, but even with regular rotation, it is important to treat these flattened areas with regular fluffing.

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Queen Size Runner Rug

Methods to Re-Fluff a Rug

Fortunately, fluffing a rug is a simple, straightforward task that is easy to tackle several times a year. These methods are applicable to most rug types, although you must take care in fluffing rugs with delicate fibers or older rugs. With that in mind, here are some easy ways to re-fluff a rug. 

Vacuuming: Most rugs are able to be vacuumed, and aside from removing dirt, your vacuum will also lift the fibers and restore the rug’s fullness. Beater bar attachments and brushes are the recommended attachments for cleaning the rugs and fluffing them. Keep in mind that high pile or shag rugs are typically cleaned with the vacuum hose instead of the beater bar, since the rug’s threads can be tangled with that attachment. There is also the potential to vacuum your rug too frequently and damage the rug’s fibers, so take care to vacuum your rug according to its specific care instructions.

Brushing or Raking: Rug brushes and carpet rakes are two affordable tools that can help restore even the most matted rugs. Soft-bristled rug brushes and rakes can be used to rake the rug fibers in the direction of the pile to rejuvenate those flattened threads. With these tools, a gentle touch is needed to ensure that you do not accidentally pull at the rug’s threads or damage any delicate fibers. 

Methods to Re-Fluff a Rug (continued)

Steam Treatment: Steam can also do wonders in restoring a flattened rug. The steam can loosen the rug’s fibers from their flattened state and make it easier for them to stand up again. Some rug materials are not approved to be treated with steam, since even the slightest moisture can damage the rug. Even in cases where the rug is approved to be cleaned with a handheld steamer or iron, it is vital to keep a distance between the rug and steam to prevent damage and keep from saturating the rug. 

Beating or Shaking: Beating or shaking your rug outdoors can also encourage the rug fibers to stand up and be fluffier. This method will help shake out or loosen any dirt and debris trapped in the rug and help the rug’s fibers loosen again.

Round rug for queen size bed

Tips for Preventing Rug Flattening

The best way to treat flattened rugs is to prevent flattening from ever happening. With that in mind, there are some standard ways of preventing rugs from flattening and keeping your rug fluffy and comfortable. 

Regular Rotation: The first method is regularly rotating your rug. This is especially important in rooms with high traffic. When you regularly rotate your rug, you distribute the foot traffic and weight of the furniture more equally across the entire rug and ensure that no singular part of the rug is taking the brunt of the weight/foot traffic. 

Use of Rug Pads: Rug pads are a practical addition to any rug. Not only do they provide extra grip strength to keep the rug in place, but their padding often helps distribute weight and traffic over a wider area. This cushioning prevents excessive compression of the rug and helps keep the fibers softer, fluffier, and less matted. 

Gentle Cleaning: Regular cleaning is another way to prevent rug flattening. Many rugs do not take kindly to excessive moisture, so when spills and stains are treated immediately, you prevent that moisture from damaging the rug’s fibers. Vacuuming and light brushing will also keep your rug cleaner and naturally fluff the rug’s threads before they become too matted or uncomfortable.


Even though you may be discouraged to see your rug losing its natural fluffiness and texture, you don’t need to think about immediately replacing the rug. Instead, treat matted area rugs with intentional vacuuming, brushing, and general cleaning. Take preemptive steps to care for your rug with this regular cleaning and a rug pad to keep your rug attractive and comfortable. With even the simplest care, you can easily extend your rug’s life and comfort.

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