How to Choose the Right Rug

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/27/19 3:31 PM

Topics: Home Buying

A good rug makes a decorative statement, it warms up a space and protects the floor underneath. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one to choose? We’ve got you (and your floors) covered with some general guidelines to help narrow your options!

Material: Wool, animal skin, jute, synthetics, cotton… the list goes on! Rugs are available in a large variety of materials, and they’re all good for different reasons.

  • Wool: Warms up a room, withstands daily wear well. Can shed, and not great for areas with lots of moisture. Great for living rooms and bedrooms! Wool rugs are available at a wide variety of retailers, but Target’s selections are beautiful and very affordable.
  • Animal skin: Trendy and a definite design statement. Great for layering over/under other rugs, but don’t offer much warmth or cushion in themselves. Use in a bedroom or office, or in a cozy nook! We like the affordability and selection available at Ikea!
  • Jute: Beautiful and neutral—jute rugs are great for any room in the house and will blend seamlessly with existing décor. Depending on the weave and pile, they can be difficult to clean/vacuum, but would be great in living rooms or bedrooms! Rugs USA has a large selection!
  • Synthetics: These rugs are made of fibers that mimic natural materials. Great for sunny spaces as they won’t fade. Easy to clean and perfect for outdoor spaces or high traffic spaces like hallways and mudrooms. Check out’s affordable selection here.
  • Cotton: Generally an inexpensive option. Cotton rugs can be picked up easily and shaken out if they become embedded with dirt/sand, or thrown in the washing machine. These rugs don’t always wear well and would be best in low traffic areas like children’s bedrooms or playrooms. Amazon is a great place to search for affordable cotton rugs!

Size: There are so many factors to consider when choosing the right size for a rug! For some visual examples of different scenarios, check out this comprehensive post ( by One King’s Lane. A general rule of thumb, as suggested by designers, is to buy a rug large enough to allow the room’s furniture to sit all the way on the rug, or small enough so that the furniture is off the rug altogether. This is particularly important in areas like dining rooms where the chairs move frequently.

Pile: The rug’s pile refers to the density of its fibers. It’s also directly related to how thick or thin a rug is. Rugs with a high pile are typically best for high traffic areas as they can withstand daily traffic best. Also consider doors! Make sure all doors will swing open without being hindered by the height of the rug. Remember that a high pile isn’t always more expensive or higher quality, either! High pile rugs can be very affordable, and some thinner rugs are definite investment pieces. It depends on what you need and prefer for your space!

Rug shopping doesn’t have to be overwhelming! We hope this simplifies the process for you!

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