How to Choose the Right Area Rug for Your Home

Mar 17, 2022

powder room
CoCreative Interiors Site Icone

Written By cocreativeinteriors

A perfect area rug can be the key to completing a room. You can add color and texture without the commitment and expense of wall-to-wall carpeting, and you can even change out your rugs based on the season. When deciding on an area rug for your home, a critical detail that is often overlooked is the size. For your rug to work well with the rest of your design elements, you need to have the correct size, or it will look more like an afterthought than an intentional design element. 

Today we want to share our tips for choosing the perfect area rug. From sizing to how to keep your area rug in fantastic shape for years to come, we have you covered! 

Finding the Perfect Area Rug Size

When deciding on the right area rug for your space, there are a few things to keep in your mind to come home with something you love! 

  • Leave about four feet of space between the edge of the rug and the wall so that it does not look crowded. 
  • You don’t have to have only one rug! For a layered and design-y look, add a natural fiber rug – like jute – underneath a softer material. 
  • When deciding on the size, use the same visualization method with furniture. Use painter’s tape to measure out the perimeter of the area rug to see precisely where it will lay on the floor. 
  • Make sure your rug is not so large it covers your floor vents. 
  • Consider adding a rug pad underneath your area rug. A rug pad will help hold it in place so it is not slipping around. A pad can also protect your hardwood floors and muffle the sound of footsteps. 
area rug sizes

Living Room

An area rug is a great way to define a living room space. This is especially important in homes with open concept floor plans when the main living space includes the kitchen and dining room. Consider the following tips and sizing suggestions when deciding on the area rug size for your living space. 

  • When choosing a rug size, a good rule of thumb is that you should be able to place at least the front two legs of all the furniture in the grouping on the area rug. 
  • An area rug should be large enough so that the living room furniture is grouped around it, not so small that it is lost in the space. 
  • Don’t get too matchy-matchy with your upholstery or window treatments; the area rug should complement the elements of your room, not match. 

When deciding on the size of the area rug, use these measurements to compare the size of your furniture to the appropriate size of rug. 

Furniture SizeRug Size
Sofa83″ -89″ Wx38″ D8’x10’9’x12′
Loveseat63″ -73″ Wx39″ D8’x10’9’x12′
living room area rug groupings

Dining Room

In your dining room, your area rug should be large enough so that the chairs slide in and out while being entirely on the area rug. If they have to slide over the edges, they can snag and be cumbersome to the person sitting in the chair, and over time your rug will become damaged. 

A good rule of thumb to remember is to add 24-30 inches to each side of the table when choosing a rug size for your dining room. 

Table SizeRug Size
42″ Round8′ Round
48″ Round8′ Round
60″ Round9′ Square
42″ x 60″ Oval8′ x 10′
49″ x 97″ Oval9′ x 12′
36″ x 70″8″ x 10″
32″ x 76″8″ x 10″
36″ x 84″9′ x 12′
39″ x 90″9′ x 12′
41″ x 108″10′ x 14′
30″ x 120″10′ x 14′
dining room area rug groupings


An area rug in the bedroom works well on carpet or hardwood floors. You can create a cozy and layered look when adding a rug to a carpeted bedroom and draw focus to the furniture grouping around the bed. If you have hardwood floors, an area rug warms up the room, and you don’t have to put your feet down on a cold floor in the mornings. When choosing a rug size, add a minimum of 30 inches on each side of your bed. You can go larger if you want to see less of your surrounding floors. 

Bed SizeRug Size
Twin Bed 39″ x 75″5′ x 8′
8′ x10′
Queen Bed 60″ x 80″8′ x10′
9′ x12′
King 76″ x 80″8′ x10′
9′ x12′
bedroom area rug groupings

Choosing Area Rug Material

Much like drapery and upholstery, rugs come in a variety of materials. When purchasing an area rug for your home, there are many options to choose from, from natural to manufactured! When deciding on materials, think about how your rug feels under bare feet and how much maintenance you want to deal with. 

Here are some of the most common materials and textures you will see when shopping for area rugs. 

  • Synthetics such as nylon and polyester are very similar in performance and durability. Nylon has slightly more durability and comes in various colors and patterns. They are easy to clean and don’t fade quickly over time. 
  • Viscose is a synthetic fiber that is also known as rayon. It can be manufactured to look like wool or silk, so you get the look for a lower cost. Be aware that while you can get the look you want, this material is not as durable or stain-resistant and may not hold up as well in a heavily trafficked area. 
  • Wool is a natural fiber that creates warmth and a soft, comfortable feeling in a space. Wool area rugs are durable and resistant to stains but can be more pricey and need professional cleaning. 
  • Cotton is the standard material in flat-woven rugs. Cotton has a light and relaxed feeling making them perfect for warmer climates or swapping out in warmer months. Depending on the size, they may be able to fit into your home washer for easy cleaning. 
  • Sisal and jute are natural materials that are made from plant fibers. They are cool to the touch, and even though they are made from plant fibers can be smooth. Usually, these materials come in natural colors, but sometimes you can find rugs that have been died to more brilliant colors. 
  • Hides such as genuine cowhides make a statement in any room. Hides are very durable and resist mold and dust, and aside from spot cleaning do not need much maintenance. 
  • Acrylic is typically used in faux fur and synthetic hide rugs. It is washable but may need handwashing. Since it is so affordable, you can often achieve a higher-end look without breaking your budget. 

Keeping Your Area Rug Clean

Have you seen those TikTok videos of area rugs cleaning businesses? They are sprayed and squeegeed, and ALL the filth comes streaming out. It is shocking! These videos are extreme, and with proper care, there is no reason your area rugs need to get to this level of dirty. Here are some typical cleaning methods to keep your rug in excellent condition year after year. 


Depending on the material and construction of your area rug, different vacuuming methods clean without damaging the material.

  • Vacuums without beater bars are the best type of vacuum for area rugs. 
  • If your vacuums beater bar cannot be removed, set it to the highest position possible. 
  • A brisk sweep with a clean broom is a gentle way to clean your area rug.
  • Try not to run the vacuum over the edge of the rug; instead, use the handheld attachment to clean the edges. 
  • If you have a reversible area rug, clean both sides. 

Spot Cleaning Spills

Spills happen, and there are quick and easy ways to clean on the spot, so your area rug looks terrific year after year. 

  • First and most important, don’t let a spill sit. Clean it as soon as possible! 
  • Use a dull instrument to scrape off debris before you start cleaning. 
  • Blot with a clean and dry cloth or paper towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. 
  • Never rub a stain as it will push it deeper into the area rug, making it harder to clean. 
  • Work for the outer edges of the spills to the center to prevent the spill from spreading farther. 
  • Use a damp cloth to remove any lingering stains.
  • Make sure that the material in your rug is ok to clean with water or a liquid. Some materials such as Viscose and Tencel should not be cleaned with liquid. 

Professional Cleaning

You may want to have your area rug professionally cleaned from time to time. Some people do this annually as a part of their spring clean. The nice thing about area rugs is that you can roll them up and have them thoroughly cleaned outside your home. Here are a few tips when working with professional cleaners. 

  • Handmade rugs need to be cleaned with a particular process. Make sure you work with a reputable cleaner who understands how to work with different materials. 
  • Inspect the rug with the cleaner and note any damage before the cleaning. 
  • Get a receipt and outline of the work before leaving your area rug. 
  • Inspect the rug after cleaning to ensure there is no damage. 

Area rugs are a great way to try out a bold color or pattern without making a permanent commitment. If you want to chat about how to choose an area rug for your space, book your complimentary discovery call today! We love helping our Charlotte, NC clients find the exact pieces that will make their homes shine!


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