How to Choose the Right Rug Size

The perfect rug can pull any room together. But how can you ensure you’re choosing the correct size for your space? I have all you need to know about how to choose the right size rug for seamless integration into any room. 

Rugs hold major power in your space; they help integrate color, add character, and can transform a room from sterile to warm. To get the best use of your rugs, however, you need to ensure you’re choosing the right size rug for your space. 

When it comes to rugs, size matters! The wrong-size rug can end up looking awkward and out of place. 

By being intentional with your rug sizes, you can create intimate gathering spaces or open-concept designs, all while adding a bit of extra comfort under your feet. 

Add a seamless element of personality into your home with my tips on how to choose the right rug size. 

Looking for the perfect rug for your home? I have an entire post on the best places to purchase rugs for any budget and style preference!

Standard rug sizes

When shopping, it may be helpful to understand standard rug sizes to help you visualize them in your space. 

The most common rectangular rug sizes include:

  • 9’ x 12’
  • 8’ x 10’
  • 6’ x 9’
  • 5’ x 8’ 
  • 4’ x 6’ 
  • 3’ x 5’

Round and square rugs come in similar varieties, with the most common sizes being 10, 8, or 6 square feet. 

How to choose the right rug size

Here are a few steps to guide your shopping to ensure you purchase the right rug size on your first try!

1. Take your measurements

measuring tape

When you’re shopping for rugs, either online or in-store, it’s incredibly useful to have your measurement ready to go for quick reference. 

Measure the dimensions of your intended room, as well as any furniture that will be “interacting” with the rug. For example, couches, armchairs, coffee tables, desks, beds, and more. 

While not all of these measurements will be necessary when you’re shopping, it’s best to have them ahead of time, just in case!

2. Determine placement 

Interior View Of Beautiful Lounge With Sofas And Log Burner In Family House

Before you buy, determine where you want to place your rug. Ask yourself a few guiding questions to help you on the path to the right rug size:

  • Will I place this rug vertically or horizontally?
  • What furniture will be on this rug? Is there ample room for all of my intended pieces (with extra!)? 
  • What is my intended placement within the room? How much of the floor do I want to cover? 
  • How will the placement of this rug affect the mood of my space? Where would it make a room look more inviting? Where may it close off a room?

3. Visualize the effect of rug size

As you’re following all of these guiding principles, you’ll want to visualize the overall effect of the rug in your space. 

While design rules are helpful, sometimes your intuition is the best tool. Use these ideas as guides rather than hard and fast rules. 

4. Follow room rules

Finally, there are some “room rules” that you can use to guide your purchases. 

These rules are particularly helpful when shopping online for the right rug size, where it can be more difficult to visualize the rug in your space. 

General rules 

Stylish room interior with modern furniture and wicker runner rug

Choose the bigger option – If you’re between two rug sizes, opt for the larger area rug. A rug that is too small will quickly make a room look awkward. 

Use runners – runners can open up a space and add a bit of warmth in hallways, kitchens, and more. 

Be specific in placement – With great power comes great responsibility! Make sure your rugs interact with your furniture to avoid an awkward effect.

Living room rules 

Living room with rug in front of couch

When designing a gathering area, there are a few ways to integrate an area rug.

Large area rug – If your space is large and open-concept, choose an area rug that will match. Make sure that all of the legs in your furniture set are firmly planted on the rug, with at least 6” of remaining space on all sides. 

Medium area rug – For a smaller space where some furniture is against a wall, opt for a medium-sized area rug where only the front legs of your furniture rest on the rug. 

Small area rug – When your space is small or narrow, try an area rug where only the center coffee table covers a small area rug (make sure there are still a couple of inches of rug around the table!). 

Bedroom rules 

Dry flowers in glass vase in elegant bedroom interior with natural accents

There are two main rug layouts in bedrooms. When choosing the right size rug for your sleeping quarters, consider these options. 

The complete bedroom set – For this option, your bed, nightstands, and any furniture at the foot of your bed should all be on the rug. You should also have ample rug space beyond this placement, with at least 18” of rug on either side of your bed. 

⅔ of your bed rule – This option is similar to the previous one, except the rug is pulled down so that your nightstands and the top ⅓ of your bed don’t rest on the rug. I find this option the most visually appealing as it can open up your room. 

Dining room rules 

When choosing the right size rug for your dining room, there are only a couple of important rules.

All legs should be on the rug – This includes all chairs and table legs. 

Leave room for sliding – The rug should be large enough so that if you slide your chair out from the table, all legs should remain on the rug. 

Final thoughts: How to choose the right rug size

I hope you’ve found these tips on how to choose the right size rug for your space helpful in your home decor planning.

And remember, your instinct is always the best resource; use these tips to guide your shopping but when in doubt, trust your eyeballs. 

Looking for more home decor content? Check out these related posts:

Photo of Tania Griffis, owner of Run to Radiance
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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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