How to Choose the Right Rug for Your Room

Online rug shopping can be overwhelming. How do you choose between thousands of styles that vary in size, color, design, and pile height? This guide will help you choose the perfect rug for your home.

What to look for when buying a rug

The decision on what rug to choose ultimately depends on your preferences. There are still a few things you need to know and some guidelines that you can follow in order to make an informed decision.


There are some standard sizes for machine-made rugs. Rugs come in many shapes and sizes. We cover the majority of them in Our complete rug size guide. But if you want to know the highlights, the most common sizes for area rugs are 5′ x 8′, 8′ x 10, and 9′ 12′. When planning your decor, these are good starting points. You should, as a general rule, buy the largest rug you can fit into your room. However, leave about 18 inches of floor bare around the perimeter. A room measuring 10′ x 12′ would have an 8′ by 10′ rug at its center. A larger rug can make a room look bigger.


Rugs can be made of a wide range of materials, including natural and synthetic. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Your budget will largely determine the material you select. There are also a few other factors to consider. Wool is generally considered the best material for a carpet and comes with a high price. Although synthetic materials such as polypropylene are cheaper, they won’t last as long as premium wool rugs. Sisal is a popular natural plant fiber for indoor and outdoor rugs. Jute should not be used outside. Jute is an absorbent natural fiber, but it is susceptible to mold and dry rot when used outside.

Height of pile

They are also called “piles” because the soft fibers are raised off the backing. While they tend to be quieter and have an interesting texture, high-pile carpets are more prone than others to show wear from furniture and indentations. Also, they are more difficult to clean. Choose a low-pile rug for high-traffic areas such as a hallway or dining room. Save high-pile rugs for bedrooms, where comfort is the priority.

Color and Design

There are no rules for choosing the color or design of your rug. Cooler colors, such as blues, greys, and greens, can create a sophisticated and soothing atmosphere, while brighter colors can add a splash of color to the room. Instagram and Pinterest can be great resources to get ideas and discover your style. Do not be afraid to venture off the beaten track. For example, using traditional patterns in modern homes can create a very exciting contrast.

The right rug for every room

The size, traffic, and personal style of each room will determine the rug that you select. Consider the furniture in each room.

Living room rugs

A larger rug can make a room appear bigger. This is perfect for a room like a living. Keep those 18 inches off the floor exposed! Consider the size of your rug and where you will place it when choosing.

It is recommended that you place your furniture so that the two front legs of each piece are on the rug.

If you have an open floor plan or a large room, the “floating” layout with the legs of all your furniture resting on the rug will create a frame to define the seating area clearly.

The living room is one of the most used rooms in your house. It can be a place that gets the most traffic. Choose a rug with a low to medium pile to save on cleaning costs, or replace the carpet once it wears out.

Dining room rugs

The dining room rug size should be the same as the living room rug, with particular attention to the table and the chairs. Even when the legs of chairs are pulled out to allow people to sit, they should fit comfortably on the rug. It’s a safety issue as well as an aesthetic one. If the back legs of the chairs come off the carpet, your guests could fall over!

It’s best to choose a rug with a low pile because there is often a lot going on in the dining room. People are constantly moving, standing up, and chatting. It is safer and easier to clean if there are any spills after a long night entertaining guests.

Bedroom Rugs

Three basic approaches are available to size a rug in a bedroom. No matter which approach you choose, make sure to follow these guidelines: the bed should be your focal point, and the rug should extend out 18-24 inches from it. You can put all the furniture legs, including nightstands and benches, on a large area rug if your budget and space allow.

Most often, the rug is placed perpendicularly to the bed, with 1/3 of the rug on and 2/3 off. For a queen-size bed, you will need a rug that measures 8′ by 10′, and for a king-size bed, a 9′ x12′.

The last option is to put runners along each side of your bed. To make this look good, the runners should not extend beyond the end of your bed and be slightly wider than the nightstands.

Comfort is the key to a bedroom. You can choose a shag or high-pile rug since it’s a quiet area. Make it cozy!

Outdoor and patio rugs

Patios are often referred to as outdoor living spaces. Get the biggest rug that your budget and space will allow, and arrange furniture similarly to how you would do it inside.

The main differences between outdoor rugs are the materials and construction. Outdoor rugs are usually flatweave rugs, which means they do not have piles. They are also easier to clean and will last longer when exposed to the weather. Jute is not a good choice for outdoor rugs. Sisal, on the other hand, is popular. Jute absorbs water, becomes discolored, and can even develop mold or dry rot.

Dorm room rugs

dorm rugs should be chosen with care because they are used for multiple purposes, including living, sleeping, and dining.

Students should consider easy cleaning and low cost due to the high traffic and temporary nature of living in a dorm. It is best to buy a machine-made low-pile rug. A quality felt rug pad can easily make up for any lack of softness.

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