Top 7 Best Rubber Mulch Reviews (2021 Updated)

best rubber mulch reviews

A mulched ground cover brings a fresh, brilliant look to your outdoor spaces. Rubber mulch is a more sturdy, long-lasting solution than wooden mulch. It offers bold coloring, durability, low maintenance effort, and more to be mentioned in this best rubber mulch review.

We have asked the experts and have collected all the answers in this single article.

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Top 7 Best Rubber Mulch on the Market 2021

Product ImageProduct NameOur RatingPrice
Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets4.9See latest Price
Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border4.8See latest Price
Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch4.8See latest Price
NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget4.8See latest Price
International NuScape Rubber Mulch Nugget4.7See latest Price
BlondWood GroundSmart Cedar Red Rubber Mulch4.7See latest Price
Plow & Hearth 51522 Permanent Mulch Pathway4.7See latest Price

In-depth 7 Top Rated Rubber Mulch Reviews

1. Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets – Best Rubber Mulch for Playgrounds

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This rubber mulch from Playsafer is durable, versatile, and is claimed to be the best rubber mulch for playgrounds. This soft, thick layer of rubber mulch provides a clean and safe environment for all outdoor activities. This best rubber mulch comes in various color and size choices.

This best rubber mulch composes of recycled vehicle tires and is 99% metal-free. Besides, its material has received many well-known certificates like IPEMA, SPSC, ASTM, ADA, etc. Hence, your kids can play on this bed without worrying about any health issues.

Another reason that makes this Playsafer mulch an ideal choice for playgrounds is that it can dry quickly and can’t freeze even in cold weather conditions. In other words, this first-class material inhibits the growth of moss and fungi to keep your kids safe while running and playing on it.

Additionally, this mulch is easy to spread thanks to its portable 40lb bag packaging. Since rubber much will not decompose or compress, you don’t need to reapply it regularly. As claimed by the manufacturer, the color can last for 12 years under continuous usage.

Pros Cons
  • Meets the standards of IPEMA, SPSC, ASTM, ADA
  • 99% metal-free
  • Long-lasting color
  • Quick-dry; no freeze in cold weather
  • Various colors and sizes
  • Annoying rubber smell in first uses

2. Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border – Best Roll-out Rubber Mulch

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Zyppio roll-out rubber mulch is a multi-purpose item for every family with outdoor spaces. You can use this mulch item for better breathability and water penetration for your flower beds, make a clean outdoor playground for your children, or serve a garden filler.

With a natural, stylish look, Zyppio mulch is a great add-on to your outdoor space without breaking the landscape’s beauty.

This rubber mulch comes in the rolling style with the dimensions of 120 x 45 inches per roll. Still, you can cut to customize its shape to fit with any of your corners. However, several customers said that it was hard to trim this mulch. But I haven’t found any problem with the installation step.

Each mulch role comes with 15 sturdy plastic anchors to keep the mulches in place from windy or any intense weather conditions.

Pros Cons
  • Natural design
  • Temperature-resistant
  • Easy cut-to-fit
  • Packed with 15 heavy-duty plastic anchors
  • Hard to trim

3. Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch – An Acceptable Runner-up

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This Rubberific model is not the best rubber mulch in this review article, it is still an acceptable runner-up.

Made of finely shredded vehicle tires, this Rubberific item offers a soft, lightweight cover for your flower beds and garden. This product comes with a natural look and a 12-year color guarantee. Because of that, you can maintain a vibrant look for your outdoor landscape with no worry.

Unlike the above rolling mulch, cleaning this shredded rubber mulch is a mess. That says you will have to hand-pick every piece of mulch, rinse it down to maintain the cleanliness of the yard. Therefore, this mulch is not suitable for making your kid’s playground, since kids need an outdoor space with high sanity to prevent them from illness and injuries.

Another drawback of this rubber mulch is that the small pieces of mulch can easily be blown away on windy days or storms.

Pros Cons
  • Soft, thin, and lightweight
  • Natural look with a 12-year color guarantee; various color choices
  • Non-toxic material with IPEMA certified
  • Hard to clean occasionally
  • Small pieces are easy to be blown away

4. NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget – Best Rubber Mulch for Landscaping

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NuPlay mulch nugget is highly recommended as the best rubber mulch for landscaping. This rubber mulch comes in various color choices that bring a natural yet modern look to your space.

The recommended depth for landscaping with this mulch is 2-3 inches. If you have a big outdoor space, you can save half the budget by getting the ‘10 packs’ option instead of a single or 4 packs.

Likewise, the colors are guaranteed to remain their original shade for 12 years with no fade, no compress, no original form loss. In this way, you don’t have to replace them with new mulch every year.

Made of 100% recycled rubber, so you don’t worry about leaving many footprints on our Earth. This material also meets ASTM F3012 standard for loose-fill rubber for use as a playground. That is, it is safe for children, pets, and other animals.

Besides, it acts as a weed barrier and doesn’t attract insects and rodents like wooden mulch.

Pros Cons
  • Color lasting guarantee
  • 99,9% wire-free recycled rubber
  • ASTM F3012 tested
  • Save more when purchasing in 10 packs
  • Not the cheapest item

5. International NuScape Rubber Mulch Nugget – Cheapest Rubber Mulch

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This artificial mulch from NuScape is the cheapest option on this list. It has received many high ratings and positive reviews on forums worldwide for its wholesome quality and durability. However, if you are looking for black rubber mulch, check out our #4 choice Nuplay.

The International NuScape ground cover is made of 100% recycled rubber, allowing you to create a pliable outdoor space with ease with an average size of 0.5 to 1 inch.

Some of my friends are using this product item and they don’t have any issues with this rubber mulch. The colors look brilliant with a 5-year color loss warranty. Furthermore, it doesn’t keep water and prevents annoying bugs, weeds, moss, and fungi from growing.

Although the manufacturer said that this mulch is rated as “The Safest Groundcover in the Market”, I don’t think that it’s harmless as a playground.

Some people complained that they found little metal pieces in the nuggets. These metal pieces can hurt puppies as pups are often attracted by the smell of this rubber mulch.

Besides, they might cause injuries for anyone else who steps on them. Another drawback of this NuSpace mulch is that it is too overpriced. You can find better alternatives in this review article.

Pros Cons
  • 100% recycled rubber
  • Color loss warranty
  • 5-year warranty
  • Overpriced
  • Contain metal pieces

6. BlondWood GroundSmart Cedar Red Rubber Mulch

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Are you looking for a red rubber mulch option for your playground? This BlondWood is the right one to go. With a natural cedar wood color, this ground cover ensures to bring a biological look to any space in your house.

First, this best rubber mulch is an ideal choice for your kid’s playground. It goes with many certifications like the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) accessibility standards or the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association.

Therefore, you can use this mulch to cover your playground to avoid injuries caused by falling. This GroundSmart mulch is best used for elevated activities, rope courses, or combat training exercises.

Second, GroundSmart rubber mulch can also be a good flower bed groundcover. It is safe for all plants and small pets and doesn’t contain metal pieces. Deter weed and maintain a stable moisture percentage for the soil. Therefore, you don’t have to spend too much time on weed cleaning, or routine landscaping chores.

Last but not least, this mulch is nugget-shaped, so it cannot be blown away on windy days like shredded mulch.

Pros Cons
  • Natural color shape
  • Stays in place even in strong winds
  • Meets ADA standards
  • Certified by International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association
  • 12-year brilliant color warranty
  • Pretty expensive

7. Plow & Hearth 51522 Permanent Mulch Pathway

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This permanent mulch pathway provides a four-season beauty to your garden space. It is a practical solution for many garden and yard problems. Roll it down anywhere you like, then you will have a nice groundcover with no maintenance required. You can also cut it to fit any space of yours.

Unlike real soil, this rubber mulch doesn’t slip in winter. Therefore, you can use it as a pathway into your home.

Furthermore, it always looks tidy so you don’t have to spend much time cleaning it. This mulch is scatter-proof so it will always stay in place even in a fall leaf clean-up.

Pros Cons
  • Cut-to-fit design
  • Always look tidy
  • No-slip in winter
  • Scatter-proof
  • Only 6 ft., not as 8 ft. as its competitors

FAQs about Rubber Mulch

1. Is shredded or nugget rubber mulch better?

As each type has its pros and cons, it’s hard to determine which one is better. It is “better” when it suits your individual needs.

Rubber mulch can insulate the soil from heat, which is also good for soil moisture. If this is your bare purpose when buying rubber mulch, either shredded or nugget style works its wonder.

But, if you care for the landscape appearance, opt for the shredded mulch.

2. What are the disadvantages of rubber mulch?

  • Rubber mulch has a higher initial cost than other products. It can cost up to $15 for one cube foot.
  • Rubber material makes it easier to catch fire.
  • You must do weeding manually to avoid the mulch getting into the soil because rubber has no nutritional value.
  • It is challenging to remove the rubber mulch from the ground. In many cases, you will have to till the top layer of soil to obliterate it.
  • The color of this mulch might fade over time.
  • Some rubber mulch can poison certain plants and animals. It can even release VOCs that are harmful to humans.

3. What do you put under rubber mulch?

First, you need to prepare the ground by leveling it and removing all weeds. Then, prepare a primer before applying rubber mulch.

Landscaping fabric will act as a weed barrier, helping to keep the mulch layer cleaner. At the same time, it is also permeable to make the flow more favorable to seep into the soil.

4. Does rubber mulch stink?

Many people find the smell of rubber mulch unpleasant, especially on hot days.

When the rubber is finely ground under hot temperaturer, the contact area of the rubber with the air increases significantly, causing it to emit a high concentration of odors.

Under hot temperatures, rubber also releases toxic substances such as VOCs or PAHs.

Therefore, avoid spreading rubber mulch in enclosed spaces, especially indoors.

5. Does rubber mulch attract mosquitoes?

The great thing about rubber mulch is that it doesn’t attract mosquitoes and other insects. Rubber isn’t an ideal material for insects to build nests. Also, there’s no mold, fungi, or snail accompanying the mulch.

6. Does rubber mulch attract snakes?

Snakes don’t like rubber mulch. This dangerous animal often prefers habitats with softer surfaces, such as soft grass, straw, leaves, and bushes.

Snakes like to live in places where their food are abundant. As rubber mulch is not a habitat for insects, rats, reptiles, and more, it isn’t a home for snakes.

7. Does rubber mulch get hot in the sun?

The truth is that rubber mulch will heat up significantly under high UV sunlight. Some studies show they can heat up to 154 degrees Fahrenheit in hot weather. This

For this reason, be careful when letting children play on grounds covered with rubber mulch on hot days. Although it doesn’t cause burns, it will be uncomfortable for your child.

That said, thanks to the rubber’s insulation, the lower surface will not be heated so that the trees will be well protected.

8. Can you walk barefoot on rubber mulch?

Yes, you can walk barefoot on rubber mulch if you want. But we don’t recommend doing so.

This type of mulch has a quite hard and bouncy finish. Not to mention, the rubber will heat up significantly in the sun and give off a lot of harmful chemicals. This makes walking barefoot on it quite painful and uncomfortable.

My top pick

Overall, compared to wooden mulch, rubber is a more convenient way to make your yards and playgrounds look brilliant all year long.

If you are wondering which is the best rubber mulch to purchase in this list, the Playsafer Rubber Mulch is the top #1 option for every purpose of yours. With this rubber mulch option, you can make a one-time purchase and setup, then forget about yearly mulch replacement and yard chores.

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