When it comes to finding the perfect area rug, many focus on the style and rug material. But finding the right size is just as crucial to the interior design of your space. And there are a few key aspects at play.
Room size, furniture arrangement, and desired overall look all influence the size of the rug you select.
Today, we’re giving you a room by room breakdown to take all the guesswork out of choosing the correct rug size. We’ll cover standard area rug sizes and address the best placements for each.
Choosing the Best Rug Sizes
When considering the different common area rugs sizes and which ones would look best in your home, keep the size and shape of the room in mind.
A small rug is likely to get lost in a large room with a lot of open floor space, while a large rug won't be very effective in dividing up a small room. Think carefully about the role you want the rug to play in your home and how willing you are to go outside of "traditional" room arrangements.
Living Room Rugs
What size area rug is best for a living room? To ground a living room and create harmony among furniture pieces, consider a large rug size. Instead of acting as a minor decor detail, a living room rug should act as the foundation of the sitting area.
Traditionally, there are a few standard arrangements, depending on the room size, the rug size, and the furniture. Here are the standard rug sizes that work in a living room.
All Furniture Legs On the Rug
The standard "best" living room layout is to have a very large rug—often 9' x 12' or 12' x 15'—with all of the seating area furniture placed completely on the rug. Visually, this creates a clearly defined space and pulls all of the furniture together. If you have a sectional sofa, in particular, this arrangement works well.
Front Furniture Legs on the Rug
Often considered second best, use an 8' x 10' rug size and allow only the front legs of seating furniture to rest on the rug. Alternatively, chairs might sit completely on the rug, while only the front legs of the sofa do. This layout is often recommended for rooms in which the sofa is against a wall. For a smaller room, or one with less furniture, a 6' x 9' rug might be large enough.
All Furniture Legs off the Rug (Coffee table placement)
Now for the controversial option: A small rug that only the coffee table sits on.
In a large living room, a standard 6' x 9' rug would fall into this category. This layout is typically discouraged because it can look awkward and out of proportion in a larger room. That said, small area rugs can work in smaller rooms, so the proportions look natural.
If you do pursue a small rug size in your living room, be sure to center it so that it appears balanced and intentional. You might also consider using several small matching rugs to tie the space together visually.
Bedroom Rug Sizes
When shopping for bedroom rugs, choose a rug size that balances the room and the bed. Let your furniture placement and layout guide your rug size decision.
For example, do you want your bedside tables on the rug or just the bed? Would you prefer that the rug is not covered by the bed at all?
Here are some layout options, along with the standard rug sizes that suit them.
Rug Under the Bed
If you'll be placing the rug under the bed, make sure that the rug extends out on both sides (and the foot) so that you can comfortably walk on it. Ideally, you want the entire bed and any nightstands to rest completely on the rug, which would likely mean a rug size of at least 8' x 10' for a queen bed. Alternatively, a 9’ x 12’ is an appropriate size area rug for a king size bed.
You can use slightly smaller area rug sizes, turning the longer side parallel to the head of the bed and keeping the headboard and nightstands off the rug.
Rug Flanking the Bed
If you'd prefer not to hide most of the rug under the bed, consider placing smaller rugs or runners along the sides. This will echo the look of a larger rug and give you plenty of comfortable softness to walk on first thing in the morning. You can place 2’ x 5’ rugs on both sides of the bed to frame it.
Rug at the Foot of the Bed
You can also place a small 3’ x 5’ rug at the foot of the bed for a small touch of softness, color, or texture. If you want a slightly more powerful effect, place a 5’ x 8’ rug at the foot of the bed. You can place a bench on top to complete the area. Runners are also a great solution for rooms that contain two twin beds, although you can also decorate with a single rug, sized large enough to lay completely under both beds and any side tables.
Dining Room Rugs
When it comes to what size area rug to use under the dining room table, the ideal rug is 5' x 8' or larger. Table size is an important factor to consider when deciding between different standard area rug sizes for your dining room.
Rectangular or Oval Table
The dining room rug size depends on the size and shape of the table, as well as the number of chairs. The key is that the rug size should be large enough to allow all of the chairs to rest completely on the rug, even when pulled out so that people can sit down. If your dining table is rectangular or oval-shaped, a rectangular rug typically matches well. Consider an 8’ x 10’ rug.
Round or Square Table
Square rugs suit square tables by highlighting the silhouette of a room. A standard 8’ x 8’ rug size is a great starting point. For a round table, it's often best to choose a round or octagonal rug to sit underneath. If you have a smaller square table, you can place it on a round or octagonal rug, as long as all of the chairs fit appropriately.
Choosing the Right Dining Room Rug Size
A good rule of thumb for standard dining room rugs is to make sure that the rug is not too small for the chairs to sit on. Rugs that are too small not only tend to look out of proportion with the table, but they also make it difficult for diners to push their chairs in or out without catching on the edge of the rug.
Common Rug Sizes
Rectangular and oval rug sizes
Here are some common rug sizes and typical rooms they work in. However, keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list of uses for these rugs.
- 2' x 3'- can serve as an accent rug, or placed in front of a door
- 3' x 5'- can be placed between two empty spaces to bring together such as two hallways
- 4' x 6'- can work next to a bed, in a child’s room
- 5' x 8'- place at the foot of a bed or on sides, accent rug around home
- 6' x 9' - can work in small living rooms, bedrooms
- 8' x 10' - Place in living rooms or dining rooms
- 9' x 12'- Ideal in living room or large bedroom
- 12' x 15'- Ideal for large living rooms or large master bedrooms
- 2'6" x 8' (runners) - Great for sides of the bed or placing in hallways
Other standard area rug sizes
- Round: 2' to 10' or larger
- Octagonal: 5' to 8'
Uncommon Area Rug Sizes
While all of the dimensions listed above are common area rugs sizes, there are many situations in which the "standard" isn't what you need. Consider the size, shape, and proportions of your room when shopping for rugs, and don't be afraid to look for custom rug sizes. In a large living room with a sectional sofa, for example, a big square area rug might better define the conversation space than a standard-size rectangular rug.
Is a Large Area Rug or Small Area Rug Better?
In most cases, it's better to choose a larger rug rather than a smaller one when deciding what's going to look right in your room. Large area rug sizes often do a better job of tying together all of the furniture in your room, helping it to feel connected as part of one unified and useful space.
Find the Ideal Rug Size for Your Space
Still not sure about which rug size you need? Natural Area Rugs experienced team has the knowledge and expertise needed to assist you. We are committed to providing high quality, eco-friendly rugs that fit the rooms, preferences, and lifestyles of our customers.
The experienced team at Natural Area Rugs is here to help! Call us at 1-800-661-7847 or use our online contact form.