Looking for a detailed yet easy guide to area rugs? Today I’m sharing the ultimate rug size guide to help you measure your room and pick the right rug for your space and style. Whether you need a rug for your living room, bedroom, kitchen, or entryway, this guide will help you make a decision so you can stop stressing about rug sizes and get back to enjoying your home. I’m all about attaining a designer look on a budget, so I’ll also be sharing the best affordable rugs for every room. Ready? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about area rugs!
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Easy Rug Size Guide: The Basics
Let’s get started with area rug basics! Here are some FAQs about rugs.
What Are Standard Rug Sizes?
When shopping for a rug, you will notice that there are common rug sizes available at most stores. Standard rug sizes are 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, 6×9, 8×10, 9×12, and 10×14. In this post we will go over which rug sizes are best for each room in your home.
How To Measure for a Rug?
Measuring for a rug can seem overwhelming but it is actually very simple. We will get into details for living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms below, but here are some general rules of thumb:
- Leave 12″ of floor space between the rug and the wall as a border.
- Be sure that at least the front legs of couches and chairs are on top of the rug.
- Leave space around doors that open inwards, or the door may be difficult to open.
With these guidelines in mind, use a measuring tape and painters tape (or string) to “test out” rug sizes in your space. This allows you to visualize the space with an area rug and choose the correct size!
What Is the Best Rug Material?
There are many rug materials to choose from, from natural fiber rugs such as jute, sisal, wool, and cotton to synthetic fiber rugs such as polyester and nylon. Polypropylene is a common material used for outdoor rugs. Each rug material has pros and cons.
Natural Fiber Rugs
Wool rugs are durable, soft, and great for high traffic areas. Wool is a traditional rug material that has been used for thousands of years to create patterned rugs. Keep in mind that wool rugs are an investment and can sometimes shed, but they are cozy, easy to clean, and heirloom quality.
Jute, sisal, and seagrass rugs are made of renewable resources and work for high traffic areas. Keep in mind that jute, sisal, and seagrass rugs are not very soft and can shed, but they are great for layering and adding a natural, earthy vibe.
Cotton rugs are affordable, usually flat weave, and can be machine washable. In my experience, cotton rugs do not lay flat at the corners and are best used where furniture can anchor them down.
Synthetic rugs made of materials such as polyester and nylon are budget friendly and can be used in high traffic areas. They are not as durable as wool rugs, but can achieve a similar look to a traditional patterned rug on a budget. Many of the rugs in our home are made of synthetic materials!
Polypropylene rugs are designed for outdoor use and can withstand the elements. They are not soft or luxurious, but they are perfect for indoor/outdoor dining areas and low maintenance.
What Are the Best Rugs for High Traffic Areas?
Wool, jute, sisal, seagrass, and synthetic rugs are the best for high traffic areas. Avoid plush, high pile rugs that are difficult to clean. Personally, I also avoid cottons rugs because they tend to shift around.
Do I Need a Rug Pad?
When you decide to invest in an area rug, it is common to wonder: “Do I really need a rug pad?” It is another investment, but well worth it. Here are the benefits of rug pads:
- Keep rugs in place by providing grip
- Add cushion to create a comfortable space
- Protect both the floor and rug from wear and tear
- Prevent accidents caused by rugs slipping
So in my opinion, the answer is yes, you need a rug pad in almost every case! The only time I would omit a rug pad is when placing a rug on top of wall to wall carpet underneath a bed. The bed and carpet will keep the rug in place in this instance.
Living Room Rug Size Guide
Now, let’s dive into rug size guides for every room in your home, starting with the living room!
What Size Rug for a Living Room?
The most common rug sizes used for a living room are 8×10, 9×12, and 10×14. I would not go smaller unless you have a very narrow living room. Choosing a living room rug that is too small is a very common design mistake. Here are some infographics and ideas for how to pick a rug for your home!
Rug Under a Sofa and Chairs
One of the most common layouts for a living room is a couch facing a fireplace or tv with accent chairs on the sides. When choosing a rug, one of the main goals is to define the space, especially in an open concept home. It is very important that at least the front legs of all furniture are on top of the rug.
Here is an example from our living room with a 9×12 rug under a couch and accent chairs. You can see that the sofa is about halfway on top of the rug, and the chairs are on the rug. A slightly smaller rug would also work here, as long as the front legs of the couch and chairs remain on top of the rug. Generally, a bigger rug is better if your space can accommodate it!
Related: Organic Modern Living Room Progress
Rug Under a Sectional
Another common living room layout is with an L shaped sectional and chair(s). Follow the same guidelines as a couch: at least the front legs of all furniture should be on top of the rug.
Before we replaced our living room furniture, we had a sectional. Here is a photo with a 9×12 rug!
Best Living Room Rugs
There are so many living room rugs to choose from! I especially love the printed rugs by Loloi which you will see all around our home. They are synthetic fiber rugs that are affordable and great for high traffic areas. Here are some of my favorites:
Related: Best Loloi Rugs Review
Bedroom Rug Size Guide
Next up, rug sizes for a bedroom!
What Size Rug for a Bedroom?
When choosing a rug size for a bedroom, the main consideration will be the size of your bed. A full or queen bed typically needs an 8×10 rug, while a king bed typically needs a 9×12 rug.
Rug Under a Full or Queen Bed
Here is an example of an 8×10 rug under a queen bed in our guest room. You can see that the rug is placed about 12″ from the nightstands, and it extends past the sides and foot of the bed enough to ground the space and show off the pretty pattern.
Related: California Casual Bedroom
Rug Under a King Bed
Secondly, here is an example of a 9×12 rug under a king bed in our primary bedroom. In this case I placed the rug a little closer to the nightstands because it is what worked best for the shape of the room. If you compare it to the queen bed above, you can see that the spaces look very similar with their respective rug sizes.
Best Bedroom Rugs
For our bedrooms, I have used Loloi’s printed rugs, as well as Loloi’s CloudPile rugs that feel soft and cozy underfoot. Here are some favorites!
Dining Room Rug Size Guide
Need to choose a rug for your dining room? This is the guide for you!
What Size Rug for a Dining Room?
Dining rooms can seem tricky, but we will follow many of the same guidelines outlined so far. Most importantly, dining chairs should remain on top of the rug even when pulled out. The most common rug sizes for a dining room are 6×9, 8×10, or 9×12.
Rug Under a Rectangular Dining Table
Many people have a rectangular dining table. Finding the best rug size for your space is easy enough! Simply pull out all of the chairs (as you would when you sit down) and measure what size you need in order for all of the chairs to remain on top of the rug.
In our dining room, I used an 8×10 wool rug under our extendable dining table. It allows space on all sides for the chairs to be moved in and out.
Rug Under a Round Dining Table
You may be wondering what to do if you have a round dining table. In this case, you can use either a round or rectangular rug, following the same guidelines. Simply make sure that the chair legs remain on the rug when the chair is pulled out.
Tap to see examples:
Best Dining Room Rugs
Here are some great options if you are looking for a rug!
Kitchen Rug Size Guide
Next up, let’s look at kitchen rug sizes!
What Size Rug for a Kitchen?
Kitchens are a bit different than the other rooms in your home. Often you will want to use a runner, which is a long, narrow rug. Standard runner sizes are 2.5 ft width by either 8, 10, or 12 ft length. Alternatively, you may want to use a rectangular rug for an open kitchen without an island.
Runner Between Island and Cabinets
In the infographic above, you can see that it is best to choose a runner that fills the length of space between your island and counters. This is because a small rug or mat just makes the space look smaller.
Here is an example of a runner rug in our kitchen! We do not have a permanent island, but I added a kitchen cart / small island in the center. I then placed a washable runner between the sink and island. It made such a difference and the space feels much more defined and cozy now!
Rug in the Center of a Kitchen (No Island)
If you do not have an island, you can still add a rug to your kitchen! Use size 3×5, 5×7, or a runner to help ground the space and add coziness.
Best Kitchen Rugs
Personally, I always choose a washable rug for a kitchen. It is so nice to be able to throw it in the washing machine! Here are some of my favorites:
Entryway Rug Size Guide
Here are some ideas for choosing an entryway rug!
What Size Rug for an Entryway?
Entryways come in all shapes and sizes so it can seem hard to know what to do about a rug. Typically you will use a runner, small to medium rectangular rug, or doormat. The goal of an entryway rug is to create a cozy, designated space for guests to feel welcomed!
Entryway Runner, Rug, or Doormat
Here are three ideas for an entryway rug, based on your layout.
- For a narrow entryway, use a runner.
- For a large entryway, use a round or rectangular rug to ground the space.
- For a small or awkwardly shaped entryway, use a doormat or small rug.
Best Entryway Rugs
Here are some beautiful options for an entryway rug.
Front Porch Rug Size Guide
Finally, here are some guidelines for choosing a front porch rug!
What Size Rug for a Front Porch?
When space allows, use a 3×5 or 5×7 rug on your front porch. This will fill out the space, create a cozy look, and make a statement! You can always layer a smaller rug or doormat on top. If you have windows on the side of your front door, make sure that the rug spans the full width.
Layer a Front Porch Rug and Doormat
Layering rugs on a front porch is a great way to add interest and functionality to your space. Here I used a coir doormat for guests to wipe their shoes, with a geometric outdoor rug layered underneath to fill out the space.
Related: Fall Porch with Cinderella Pumpkins
Best Outdoor Rugs and Doormats
Here are some more options for outdoor rugs and doormats.
Leave Your Questions Below!
If I didn’t cover your situation, please leave your questions about rug sizes below so I can address as many specific situations as I can! I hope you found this post helpful if you are looking for an area rug for your home.