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5 Best Rubber Mulch Brands in 2023 — Reviews and Top Picks

Rubber mulch closeup

Rubber mulch closeup

We all love the look of our gardens after laying fresh mulch. Even the plants appear to perk up and flaunt themselves amidst the clean ground cover. The benefits it provides, such as protecting roots, maintaining moisture, and controlling weeds, are other reasons that prompt us to spend time and money replacing it year after year. However, there may be an easier way to mulch your garden!

Rubber mulch is an excellent way to get all these benefits without the cost and tedium of replacing it every year. It is also ideal for homes with children. Rubber mulch in play areas can reduce the impact of falls and lessen the severity of cuts and bruises.

We did a review of the rubber mulch options on the market, and here are our top five favorites.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets
  • 99% metal-free
  • Various colors available
  • Quick drying
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch
  • 99% metal-free
  • Budget-friendly
  • Choice of colors
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget
  • Variety of colors
  • Quality of product
  • 99% metal-free
  • Best for Playgrounds
    International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch
  • 100% recycled rubber
  • Non-toxic
  • IPEMA certified
  • Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border for Landscaping Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border for Landscaping
  • Easy to use
  • Cut-to-size
  • Eco-friendly
  • The 5 Best Rubber Mulch Brands

    1. Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets – Best Overall

    Playsafer Rubber Mulch Nuggets

    Color Retention: 5/5
    Durability: 5/5
    Safety: 5/5
    Affordability: 4/5

    Our best overall choice for rubber mulch is Playsafer Rubber Mulch because the product is 99% metal-free and made from recycled tires. The rubber mulch is made from long-lasting materials that dry quickly and resist freezing. Since it is not susceptible to retaining moisture, the risk of health issues from moss and fungi is reduced.

    The rubber mulch meets the safety standards of IPEMA, ASTM, and ADA. The safety standards, along with quality and durability, ensure a healthy environment for children and makes it an excellent choice for covering playgrounds.

    In addition to providing a clean and safe environment for children, Playsafer Rubber Mulch is available in colors like blue, black, and green, so it provides an aesthetically pleasing environment in commercial and residential landscapes.

    The Playsafer Rubber Mulch has several purchasing options available. If you plan to cover larger areas, you can order the product in quantities of 400, 1,000, and 2,000 pounds. They also offer convenient 40-pound bags for smaller coverage areas.

    While most customers are happy with the product, many are unhappy with the price.

    Pros
    • 99% metal-free
    • Various colors available
    • Quick drying
    • Meets safety standards of IPEMA
    Cons
    • A bit more costly than some other rubber mulches

    2. Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch — Best Value

    Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch

    Color Retention: 5/5
    Durability: 5/5
    Safety: 5/5
    Affordability: 4/5

    In our review, we chose Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch for the best value for the money. The 99% metal-free mulch is a budget-friendly option for those of you that are looking to replace traditional mulch with rubber for your garden or flower bed. Unfortunately, the finely shredded pieces of rubber mulch require a bit more effort than nuggets to maintain cleanliness. The Rubberific Premium Shredded Mulch is non-toxic and IPEMA certified, however. So, the mulch can be used in play areas that require higher standards of cleanliness, but rubber nuggets may be a better option.

    The mulch is made of shredded rubber from recycled vehicle tires. The natural look and vibrant colors of the mulch will save you time and money. Installing Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch on your property will allow you to enjoy the beauty and ease of a low-maintenance landscape design.

    Customers are pleased with the look of the product, but some say it is easily blown away on windy days and when using a leaf blower.

    Pros
    • 99% metal-free
    • Budget-friendly
    • Choice of colors
    Cons
    • Not best for play areas
    • Not as clean as nuggets
    • Easily blows out of beds

    3. NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget – Premium Choice

    NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget

    Color Retention: 5/5
    Durability: 5/5
    Safety: 5/5
    Affordability: 3/5

    Our review found NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget the best rubber mulch as a low-maintenance and attractive option for your flower beds and gardens. The nuggets have enough weight to prevent them from blowing out of landscaping beds when using a leaf blower or during high winds. The product comes in a variety of colors and is guaranteed not to fade for 12 years.

    Installing NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nuggets will require an initial investment but will not need to be replaced for years to come. Unlike traditional mulch, it eliminates the need to refresh your beds year after year.

    NuPlay Rubber Mulch is an eco-friendly product that is safe for pets, animals, and children. It does not attract termites, rodents, or other pests. The nuggets make an excellent weed barrier and are not prone to developing slime or fungus from excess moisture.

    Although recycled rubber is our premium choice for landscaping, it is ASTM F3012 tested and 99% metal-free so it can be used in play areas also.

    Customer reviews for the product were mostly positive, although some complained of inconsistency in the color and a high price tag.

    Pros
    • Variety of colors
    • Quality of product
    • 99% metal-free
    • Reduces landscape maintenance
    Cons
    • Costly
    • Inconsistency in color

    4. International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch – Best for Playgrounds

    International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch

    Color Retention: 5/5
    Durability: 5/5
    Safety: 5/5
    Affordability: 3/5

    In our review for the best rubber mulch for playgrounds, we chose International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch. The rubber nuggets are an excellent ground cover for the play area in your yard. The nuggets are 99% metal-free with a rating of twice the fall height of traditional wood mulch. The product is 100% recycled rubber, made in the USA, and will maintain its color for 12 years.

    Installing this product will help to reduce those cuts and bruises on the knees and elbows of your precious children. It is IPEMA certified so you can have peace of mind knowingit is safe for your children and your pets.

    The NuScape rubber mulch can also be used to help reduce weed growth in your landscaping and it does not attract insects like carpenter ants and termites.

    The customer reviews were positive. Customers found it easy to install and were pleased with the appearance. The negative reviews were mostly about the rubber smell, cost, and inconsistent color.

    Pros
    • 100% recycled rubber
    • Non-toxic
    • IPEMA certified
    Cons
    • Price is a bit high
    • Smell of rubber
    • Inconsistency with color

    5. Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border for Landscaping

    Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border for Landscaping

    Color Retention: 5/5
    Durability: 4/5
    Safety: 4/5
    Affordability: 3.5/5

    Our review found Zyppio Black Rubber Mulch Border our top pick for the best rollout rubber border for landscaping. The rubber border is ideal for commercial and residential properties with gardens and flower beds. You can place it along the edge of a garden bed or around a tree. Creating a rounded corner may be a bit difficult, however. The rollout mulch will help to prevent weed growth, and keep the edge of the area clean and trim.

    The rollout border is made from recycled rubber that can be cut-to-size so you can get a perfect fit in any space in your yard. The product is eco-friendly and supports your plants all year round.

    The rollout rubber mulch comes with plastic anchors to ensure a secure installation and it can be cut to fit any space. The rolls are easy to install and measure 120 x 45 inches.

    Reviewers are very satisfied with this product and recommend putting it under your fence to prevent weeds from growing and make mowing the lawn much easier. There were complaints of inferior quality of the anchors, however.

    Pros
    • Easy to use
    • Cut-to-size
    • Eco-friendly
    Cons
    • Inferior anchors
    • Cutting corners can be difficult

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Rubber Mulch Brands

    Whether you are considering rubber mulch for a play area or garden, you want to be sure to purchase one that will retain its color and form. More importantly, you will want the product to be safe for your family, your pets, and the environment.

    Size

    Shredded mulch may have a more natural appearance and be a better choice for beds and gardens. The nuggets are sturdier and do have a bit more weight, so they are less likely to blow away. Nuggets are also easier to clean than the smaller shreds, which you may find to be a better option for play areas.

    Firmness

    The longevity and durability of the mulch will depend on wear and tear. The stiffness of the rubber may vary from gardens to playgrounds.

    Color

    Be sure to pick a color that compliments your landscape design. Installing rubber mulch is a costly investment, especially if you are covering a large area. If you end up not liking the way it looks, you may have to look at it for a long time or spend a considerable sum of money to replace it.

    Other than the appeal of low maintenance, one of the main selling points of rubber mulch is the vibrance and longevity of the color. Be sure the product you purchase is resistant to fading.

    Safety

    If you are installing rubber mulch in a play area, be sure it is IPEMA certified. This information is easy to find on the bags.

    Professional Advice

    Before you invest a significant amount of money in rubber mulch, it may be a good idea to seek the advice of a professional to ensure that you purchase the best rubber mulch for your project.

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    Conclusion

    In our review for the best rubber mulch in 2022, we chose Playsafer for the best overall rubber mulch for all your landscaping and pay area needs. The rubber nuggets are durable, long lasting, and ideal for multi-use. When it comes to the best value, we chose Rubberific Premium Shredded Rubber Mulch for the best value for the money. Our top pick for the best rubber mulch for landscaping, we chose NuPlay Rubber Mulch Nugget. When it comes down to the best rubber mulch for playgrounds, we picked International Mulch NuScape Rubber Mulch. Happy gardening!


    Featured Image Credit: Kayla Blundell, Shutterstock

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