The Ultimate Area Rug Size Guide

The right size rug is essential to creating a room that looks well thought out and well decorated. Our complete guide to area rug sizing will help you determine the right rug for your space.

Whether it's the focal point of the room or a neutral base to highlight your decor, choosing the right area rug will bring harmony to your interior design. A properly sized area rug can breathe life into a room and unify your furniture and decor. Before you start shopping for rugs, take a moment to assess the size of your room. This will help ensure that the rug is neither too big nor too small for your intended space. Plan ahead and take measurements to help you narrow down your choices before you start sifting through styles and colors.

4 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Rug

1. Style Goals

The first step in determining your style goals is to decide what the focal point of the room will be. For example, you may be styling a sitting area, or maybe you're looking for the right rug to fit a small kitchen. Once you choose the focal point, consider the colors, patterns, and style of furniture you have in the designated space to help you coordinate your rug selection. If the room is large, you may want to layer rugs with different patterns and sizes to help create contrast. Ultimately, a rug is there to unify your furniture.

2. The "Bare Floor" Rule

An important rule when using a large rug is to maintain a border space of bare floor all the way around it. Take your room borders into consideration when measuring a large rug for a room. Traditionally, it's recommended that you leave at least an 18-inch border of space from rug to wall on each side of the rug to keep the look symmetrical, or 8 inches of space if the room is smaller.

3. Shape & Material

Consider foot traffic and location when choosing a rug material. For high-traffic areas, look for materials that are easy to clean and will stand up to stains and general wear, like bamboo or wool. Next, think about your furniture to determine the right rug shape and style. The shape of the room and style of your furniture will help you narrow down your rug choices.

4. Placement

To help visualize how a rug will look in your space, use masking tape to create a border on the floor where the rug will lie. When measuring your room, give yourself a 2-inch margin of error to avoid picking a rug that is too big or too small for the intended space. Once you have the tape placed exactly where you want the rug to go, you can then measure the length and width of the area. Use those dimensions to help you choose a rug size that is closest to your desired measurements.

Chart on standard area rug sizes
Room Size Recommended Rug Size
5' x 7' 3' x 5' Shop Now
7' x 10' 5' x 8' Shop Now
10' x 12' 8' x 10' Shop Now
11' x 14' 9' x 12' Shop Now
14' x 17' 12' x 15' Shop Now

Living Room Rug Size Tips

Mid-century modern living room featuring a gray and white area rug
Infographic of living room furniture on rug

All Furniture Legs on Rugs

Create a unified look in your living room with an area rug large enough to accommodate all of your furniture. The key to styling your seating area on top of a large rug is to maintain at least a few inches of rug space beyond where your furniture sits. This helps organize the seating area and create distinction in the room.

Infographic of living room furniture legs on rug

Front Legs on Rug

You can still create a cohesive look without the cost of a room-size area rug. If your furniture configuration doesn't allow for all of your furniture to be placed on the rug, tuck the rug just under the front legs of your furniture to keep your seating area unified.

Infographic of all furniture off the rug

All Furniture Legs off Rug

While not usually recommended, sometimes a smaller rug can be a budget-friendly option and still add style and comfort to your living room. If you're working with a small living space, consider a smaller rug that floats in the center of your seating area. So long as the rug is properly centered among your furniture, it will look intentional and well-styled.

Infographic of round rug in living room

Rule Breaker: Round Rug

For an unconventional option, choose a large round rug to distinguish your sitting area. Opt for a rug that is large enough to accommodate all of your furniture with a few inches to spare, or at least large enough to accommodate your furniture's front legs.

Dining Room Rug Size Tips

Mid-century modern dining room featuring white a blue area rug
Infographic of a rectangular dining table on rug

Rectangular Table

Rectangular dining tables look best over rectangular rugs. If there is a generous amount of space between the rug and your other dining room furniture, like a buffet or bar cart, then consider sizing up to get the most floor coverage possible under your dining chairs.

Infographic of square dining table on rug

Square Table

Square dining tables are commonly paired with square or rectangular rugs to reinforce the overall silhouette of the table and room. However, if you're looking for a more playful design, you can pair a square table with an oversized round rug for a bold look.

Infographic of round dining table on rug

Round Dining Table

Similar to square tables, round dining tables can be complemented by both round and square area rugs. A round rug works with the shape of your dining table to create a cohesive visual statement. If you want to create a look that's unexpected, opt for a square rug.

Infographic of dining table on rug

Rule Breaker: Room Shape

The shape of your dining room can help determine the shape of your rug. If you're working with a square dining room for instance, then a square rug will emphasize the shape of the room and enhance the look of your space, regardless of the shape of your dining table.

Bedroom Rug Size Tips

Glam bedroom with metallic and navy accents featuring a white and navy rug
Infographic showing an entire rug under all the bedroom furniture

All Furniture on the Rug

If you're working with a large master bedroom, consider an area rug large enough to fit your bed and both nightstands. For a larger room, an 8' x 10' area rug is the perfect size to accommodate a queen-size bed and end tables.

Infographic showing a rug under a bed

Just the Bed on the Rug

If you have attractive flooring but want to add more comfort to your bedroom, then tuck a 6' x 9' foot rug under the bed just up to the nightstands to provide soft cushioning where it matters most. Smaller rugs are more cost effective and won't completely hide your beautiful flooring.

Infographic showing two rugs on the side of a bed

Rugs Flanking the Bed

One great budget-friendly way to achieve the comfort of a bedroom rug is to place runner rugs on either side of the bed. Runners and 2' x 3' rugs will give you the soft underfoot feel when getting in and out of bed for a fraction of the cost of a full-size area rug.

Infographic showing a rug at the foot of a bed

Rule Breaker: Rug at Foot of Bed

If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, then you probably aren't looking for a rug to provide comfort – but you can still get the style and panache of an area rug by placing it just under the foot of the bed. This technique can give you space in front of the bed to create a seating arrangement with accent chairs or a bench, adding more functionality to your bedroom. Look for a 5' x 8' rug to achieve this contemporary look.

Hallway & Entryway Rug Size Tips

Beautiful front entry way of home featuring layered area rugs
Infographic showing placement of a runner rug in entryway

Runner Rug

Runner rugs in hallways help guide the eye and create a clear path from one room to the next. Use runners to keep your style flowing throughout your home by placing them in high traffic areas. Not only will runner rugs look beautiful, but they'll also protect your floors from excessive wear and tear.

Infographic showing placement of a round run in entryway

Round Rug

Round rugs are great for smaller spaces where foot traffic is high. Use round rugs in smaller entryways to add warmth to the space, or place one in your kitchen to add style and comfort underfoot during daily routines.