Buying rugs for your home should be simple, right? You find a fiber and pattern or color that you like, you buy a rug, you put it on the floor. While it's certainly possible to buy a rug this way, you'll quickly realize that there are a lot of different rug sizes available, and it isn't always easy to know which size will look best in your home. Area rugs are very effective at defining spaces within a room, so think about the look you're trying to achieve, the size of the room, and the arrangement of your furniture when considering which area rug sizes will look best.
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
- Large rug sizes are common in most living rooms, as they typically 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 in the room.
- 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.
- 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; alternately, 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.
- Now for the controversial option: A small rug that only the coffee table sits on. This layout is typically discouraged because it usually looks awkward and out of proportion in a larger room. That said, small area rugs can work in rooms that are also smaller, so the proportions look natural. 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. 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', and probably larger. 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.
If you'd prefer not to hide most of the rug under 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 also place a small rug at the foot of the bed. Runners are 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
The best standard area rug sizes for the dining room are 5' x 8' or larger, depending on the size of the table and 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. Rugs that are too small not only tend to look out of proportion with the table, they make it difficult for diners to push their chairs in or out without catching on the edge of the rug.
For this same reason, it's often best to choose a round or octagonal rug to go under a round table and a rectangular rug for a rectangular table. 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.
Common Rug Sizes
Rectangular and oval rug sizes:
- 2' x 3'
- 3' x 5'
- 4' x 6'
- 5' x 8'
- 6' x 9'
- 8' x 10'
- 9' x 12'
- 12' x 15'
- 2'6" x 8' (runners)
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 consider 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.
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 at tying together all of the furniture in your room, helping it to feel connected as part of one unified and useful space.
Still not sure about which rug size you need? The experienced team at Natural Area Rugs is here to help! Call us at 1-800-661-7847 or use our online contact form.