Area rugs bring beauty to your home with their colors, designs, and textures. They can draw on the colors of a room to bring a sense of coordination and can help create boundaries in larger rooms.
They provide an instant update to the decor of your living areas, dining areas, hallways, or bedrooms. Rugs are also practical as they protect your floors and can help to keep heat in or out.
The rugs guard against slipping on slick surfaces and minimize the noise of walking about.
If you have no idea what sort of area rug you are after, you are in for a roller coaster ride through the limitless choices out there.
Getting your color, shape, size, and price right are your key considerations when buying an area rug.
Last update on 2021-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Area rugs Reviews
1. Lucienne Geometric Gray Rug
2. nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Runner Rug, 2′ 8″ x 8′
3. Spiral Medallion Cool Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Tones Area Rug
4. Hosking Oriental Rug
5. LOCHAS Ultra Soft Indoor Modern Area Rugs Fluffy Living Room Carpets
6. Safavieh Madison Avery Boho Chic Distressed Rug
7. Hillsby Area Rug
8. Youati Oriental Area Rug
9. Andecor Soft Fluffy Bedroom Rugs – 4 x 6 Feet Indoor Shaggy Plush Area Rug
10. Safavieh Handmade Natural Fiber Jerneja Solid Chunky Jute Rug
11. Handmade Flatweave Jute/Sisal Tan Area Rug
12. Lilah Power Loom Taupe Rug
13. Orben Oriental Tufted Ancient Area Rug
14. Safavieh California Shag Izat 2-inch Thick Rug
15. Bromsgrove Handmade Braided Tan Area Rug
16. Safavieh Florida Shag Shahin Scroll Rug
17. Orin Geometric Area Rug
18. Ottomanson Siesta Collection Runner Rug, 22″ x 53′
19. Edie Bohemian Geometric Area Rug
20. Toomsboro Geometric Burgundy Area Rug
21. Ultra Soft Modern Shaggy Fur Area Rug for Bedroom Livingroom Decorative Warm Floor Carpet
22. Unique Loom Sofia Traditional Area Rug, 2′ 0 x 6′ 7, Gray
23. Bazaar Piper Gray 8 ft. x 10 ft. Solid Polyester Area Rug
24. Ultimate Shag Contemporary Moroccan Trellis Design Grey 8 ft. x 10 ft. Area Rug
25. Ashler Soft Faux Sheepskin Fur Rug Chair Couch Cover Area Rug
How to Choose the Right Area Rug for Every Room in Your Home | Size, Texture, & Color
Shape & Size
The shape and size of an area rug will determine the amount of floor that it will cover. As such by working backward you need to know the area of your room and where precisely you are hoping it will lay before you can start your rug search.
These are the most popular for two reasons – this shape is more appealing than a square and also because most rooms where rugs are to be laid are rectangular. Because these shaped rugs are the most popular, they are sometimes also called ‘regular’ rugs.
Being regular also means that these rugs come in standard sizes although variations can also be found. Small area rugs vary from 2’ x 3’ to 5’ x 8’. Medium area rugs vary from 6’ x 9’ to 10’ x 13’. Large area rugs vary from 10’ x 14’ to 14’ x 21’. 9×12 area rugs and 5×8 area rugs are particularly popular.
When buying an area rug for the center of your room, make sure it will reach the furniture or it will appear to be lost in the middle. For rugs that do not have furniture between them and the wall, leave an 18-36″ border.
Other popular rug shapes are as follows:
Area rugs runners
these are long and narrow rugs ideal for hallways, stairs, and other narrow spaces. Widths are normally between 2-3’and lengths start at 6’ and range up to 20’.
Round area rugs
Round area rugs are growing in popularity but most furniture does not look right either around or on top of a round rug, other than round tables. As such they tend to be used more for decoration to create interest in a room.
Square area rugs
these are only really any good in a square room or under a square table.
Oval area rugs
these are a compromise between the rectangular and round rugs. They are appealing due to their soft corners, which gives them a less formal look but can be used wherever a rectangular rug would be suitable. Popular rooms to use them include bedrooms, porches, and informal entrance halls and dining rooms. Oval rugs also work well under oval and rectangular tables.
Odd shaped rugs
rugs really do come in every shape and size imaginable. Some online retailers stock over 60,000 variations. The more unusual shapes include triangles, hexagons, and octagons as well as half oval rugs to use up against a fireplace.
The color is probably the most important factor for buyers of area rugs. The color will need to sit right with the decor and furniture already existing in the room. Some people even buy rugs for their artistic qualities that have been designed and weaved by top rug makers.
Rugs can combine colors in unique and appealing designs or can have no design and just solid color areas. Both are useful in different situations. Also on offer in the color stakes are rugs that have a background or dominant color and then the border in a different color.
Rugs are available in any color you can think. Burgundy is singled out in traditional rugs such as Oriental and Persian varieties. The color of the border is usually a tint or combination of tints of the main color and if you use this as part of your wall color scheme, you can co-ordinate your room very well.
The pattern on a rug is usually very difficult to describe so rugs need to be seen before purchase. Although designs vary immensely they can be grouped by the shapes that are generated by the lines and curves in the design. The standard categories are: geometric, curvilinear, and pictorial.
Geometric patterns are made by straight lines, so you will find squares, triangles, and diagonal lines in the design. Navaho and Southwestern area rugs often use this pattern.
Curvilinear patterns are made by smooth curved lines and are found in all rugs from traditional to contemporary.
Pictorial rugs depict images of something, whether that is people, flowers, animals or anything else that is popular. They are not as common as the patterned rugs as often they do not fit with surrounding decor. They used to be seen more as a work of art to be hung on a wall.
When searching for a style of rug you need to consider the style of your home or the room where the rug will be placed. A traditional house will dictate traditional rugs. A child’s room will attract a novelty rug. The main styles of the rug are as follows:
Traditional area rugs
The majority of rugs are traditional. Any pattern that depicts the timeless designs used in ancient times is classed as traditional. They typically have borders and even inner borders that are filled with intricate designs. Antique or original handcrafted rugs fall into this category. They are expensive as they are works of art.
Other rugs defined by typical style elements associated with their country of origin are also classed as traditional. Persian area rugs have a unique border that ensures the main rug pattern is emphasized. They often feature intricate designs. Oriental rugs are long-lasting rugs that are made of natural fibers. The design on Chinese rugs is rarely a pattern; it is generally a message or meaning and can be more colorful than other oriental rugs.
Contemporary area rugs
more modern area rugs feature patterns with bright colors and unusual shapes. Some feature geometric shapes, blocks, stripes, squiggles, and waves. Anything goes in terms of pattern and color and there is bound to be a rug to suit your decor.
These rugs are more basic in design with more subdued colors and no pattern. They are often simply backgrounded colors with plain borders and are typically made of natural materials.
Transitional area rugs
These rugs are somewhere between contemporary and traditional rugs. They may feature the ancient colors of browns and burgundies whilst incorporating a geometric pattern or bold colors with Persian styling. The rugs can help homeowners who have more traditional style homes add a more modern design element. They are versatile and an ideal option to mix and match the varying styles found in many houses.
Flokati area rugs
These rugs are made purely of sheep’s wool and look like the shag area rugs popularised in the 70s. Originally they were only available in their natural color but are now dyed to suit many settings. They are popular as they are easy to wash in your washing machine.
Braided area rugs
Braided rugs became popular as they were easy to make and lasted well when covering rough and hard wooden floors. They are usually oval-shaped and are reversible.
Southwestern area rugs
Associated with the weaving of the Navajo Indians, these rugs are often striped or include simple geometric patterns. They are quite unique and rugged looking and make great wall hangings.
kids area rugs often have a novelty factor to their design, whether that is through images of animals or other characters that appeal to children or by them being unusual shapes such as hearts and stars. Other novelty rugs include those associated with sports, the countryside, or the kitchen.
Outdoor area rugs
These rugs can be styled in any of the ways detailed above, but they are made of materials that allow them to withstand the weather and the insects. They allow you to expand your living space onto your patio by defining seating areas and by adding color and design to the garden.
Knot density is a key way to classify area rugs and to compare rugs you look for the number of knots each has in a square inch. The higher number does not automatically mean that that is the best rug or that it will last the longest.
It just relates to how sophisticated the design of the rug is. For handmade rugs, it will indicate how long the rug took to weave and hence how much it is going to cost. Some expensive silk rugs can have knot densities of up to 1000 knots per square inch. When you realize that you can understand why they cost so much.
Pile is the material or fiber that is used to weave an area rug. The pile can be natural or scientifically developed synthetically.
When purchasing natural area rugs you will come across those made from the following materials that are either plant or animal-based:
- Bamboo – is very eco-friendly and durable although it is not very soft to walk on and is difficult to dye.
- Coir – is part of the coconut and makes very strong rugs that are waterproof.
- Cotton – is used with other natural fibers to make rugs stronger and softer.
- Hemp – another eco-friendly material that is mixed with other fibers to make strong rugs.
- Jute – is heat and fire-resistant and makes rugs that won’t stretch or shrink.
- Sisal – is strong, water-resistant, and is easy to dye. Sisal area rugs are popular for their appearance, texture, and durability.
- Leather – unexpectedly leather can be cut into strips and incorporated into leather area rugs that are flexible, water-resistant, and give off a nice aroma. Leather borders are also used to accent wool area rugs. Suede leather is softer and weaker but can be combined with normal leather in an area rug.
- Silk – is expensive but makes beautiful and high-quality area rugs. It is a strong fiber but does not take well to getting wet. It can be damaged by stretching, the sunlight, and insects. The feel and sheen of a silk rug are like no other which is why the disadvantages of the material are put up with.
- Wool – now and in ancient times, wool has been the most common material used in area rugs. Being soft, strong, easy to dye, and quite cheap makes it so popular as well as the fact that it is completely renewable and so eco friendly.
Synthetic piles are those manmade fibers that are used in rug making. They are chosen for their ability to make beautiful and durable area rugs. The synthetic fibers used today are:
- Acrylic – is light, soft, and feels like wool. The fibers dye well and don’t lose their color or shape. Their disadvantages are that they can fuzz easily.
- Polypropylene – is effectively synthetic wool. It is long-lasting, ideal to use with many different cleaners, and recyclable – perfect for homes with pets and children.
- Nylon – can be thought of as synthetic silk. Insects, mold, and abrasions do not bother it and it is strong and lightweight.
- Polyester – makes a durable but stiff rug. It is normally blended with natural fiber to soften it slightly.
- Rayon (also known as viscose) – makes a soft and smooth rug with a nice sheen. It is not as hard-wearing as other manmade fibers so you should not get it wet and try not to stretch it.
As if there are not already enough shapes, styles, and materials to choose from when buying an area rug, you can also shop by brand. Top manufacturers include Shaw area rugs, Mohawk, Oriental Weavers, Couristan, Capel, Surya, Nourisan, Radici, and many more.
There are thousands of area rugs that cost under $100 and similar numbers for every hundred dollars the price increases thereafter. Due to the vast array of area rugs on sale, you are sure to find one within your budget. Different Uses of Area Rugs
Why use area rugs
There are many ways to use area rugs. It’s a flexible tool to use when decorating your space. They come in a wide selection of shapes, sizes, different materials, colors, and designs. Aside from being decorative, Area rugs are also functional.
Adding color to the room
In designing your room or space, you can have many options for what you can do. Some suggest the easy way to change a room is by painting your wall. Or you can use area rugs. It’s a lot less messy; all you need to do is choose an area rug that has a splash of colors and interesting design.
Use area rugs as wall décor
If you have a wide span of a wall and you don’t know what to do with it, you can use area rugs to decorate the wall. You can either frame the area rug, and it will look like a piece of artwork. Or you can hang it loose like a tapestry or for a safari-inspired room; you can choose animal prints to hang on the wall.
Defining the space
Dividing a room or a space for different functions is easier by using area rugs. You can put collective furniture on top or around the area rug and that will define that area.
Tie the design together
Having several key pieces of furnishings and adding area rugs that match the motif and complementary of the furnishing will tie the room décor together.
Breaking the large expanse of the floor
Instead of installing a carpet, you might want to consider using area rugs especially if you have a hardwood floor, you can just accent and break the monotony of the floor with a beautiful area rug. Area rugs will also add a different texture.
Keeping your feet warm
During long winter nights or just going out of your bed, you can protect and keep your feet warm by strategically putting area rugs around your room and at least 3 feet on either side of your bed.
Muffling the sound of footsteps
Living in an old house or if your floor creaks when you walk on, use area rugs to muffle the sound of the foot traffic.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Area rugs
When choosing between area rugs and carpets, one must know what are the differences between them, to know what will be the advantages and disadvantages of each piece.
Generally, if the size of an item is smaller than 40 square feet, then it is called area rugs. But the main difference between area rugs and carpets is that area rugs either large or small pieces are not fixed to the floor while carpets use either carpet nail or tack or glued to fasten it on the floor.
When choosing for floor covering, it is wise to know the advantages and disadvantages before buying.
Advantages of area rugs over carpet
Area rugs are flexible
Since it is not nailed on the floor, you can move area rugs from place to place. So you can change your décor and interchange your area rugs from your other rooms.
It takes less time to install
In fact, area rugs require no installation; you just roll down where you want the area rugs to be put.
It provides style and color
Area rugs have a multitude of colors and designs to choose from so that it will match or build around the interior decoration of your room.
It has different sizes and shapes
Area rugs come in different sizes, so no matter how large the room or how small the area you want to decorate there is an area rug for your space. With a shape like a circle, square, rectangle, and oblong, you can mix the geometric design in your home.
It can be used other than floor covering.
When we think of area rugs, we think of floor covering. With different sizes and interesting designs, you can use area rugs as wall décor.
It uses different materials
With so many types of material that area rugs are made of, you can choose which the best is for you. Whether its the very sturdy and cozy wool or easy to clean cotton or less expensive nylon or synthetic material or opulent silk or you want eco-friendly fiber like bamboo, sisal, or jute; definitely you can find what you want.
It can be cleaned easily
Some area rugs can be machine wash depending on the material and size. You can just roll it up and pop it inside the washing machine or you can send it to the special area rug cleaners.
It can be an heirloom
You can purchase good quality silk Persia rugs or any beautifully designed and sturdy area rugs and it can be handed down from generation to generation. In fact, one antique silk Persian rug dated 16th or 17th century was reported sold in Christie’s in New York for $4.45 million.
Disadvantages of area rugs over carpet
It can cause accidents by slipping or tripping over the wrinkles
Since it is not fastened or nail down the floor, without area pad or slip guard you can slip when you step on the area rug while you can trip over the wrinkle if the area rug bunch up.
Normally, carpets are sturdier than area rugs
Some material being used for area rugs can wear out faster than carpets.
Generally more expensive than carpet per square foot
With different designs and materials, some area rugs are more expensive than carpet especially if area rugs are made from silk or wool and hand-knotted or handwoven.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of buying area rugs, you can better decide what you want and need.
Shopping by the brand can be one way to limiting your choices while ensuring quality and price. Warranty may be one thing to consider when shopping by brand. Some of the best manufacturers are Mohawk, Oriental Weavers, Capel, Couristan, Radici, Shaw, Surya, and many others.
Cost is always a factor that is individual as the person who is purchasing the item. There are many thousands of rugs available that under $100 in price and just as many that are over $1000.
A silk rug from the 16th century was the most expensive ever sold. Its price was over $4 million when it sold at auction at Christie’s, New York. Most people are not planning to spend that much on a rug on their floor.
However, setting up a budget is another good way to limit the choices of rugs. Knowing what you can afford is important when choosing a rug. With all of the information you now have, making a good selection for your home should be fairly easy.