Tips on Buying Runner Rugs for Hallways

Tips on Buying Runner Rugs for Hallways

Hallway runners are long, rectangular rugs that you can place in areas of your home that have a lot of traffic. Not only do hall runners protect your flooring from wear and tear, but they can also make a huge design impact on a narrow space. To find a welcoming, dirt-resistant rug that can handle life in the fast lane, keep these tips on hallway runner rugs in mind.

What Size Should Runner Rugs for Hallways Be?

measure your hallway to determine what size hallway rug you need

Runners should always be matched to the shape of your hallway, but they come in a variety of lengths and widths. Measure your space as a first step to picking hallway runners.

The standard hallway rug is between 2 and 3 feet wide, and can range from 6 to 14 feet long. Ideally, you should have 4 to 5 inches of flooring visible on all sides of your carpet runner, like hedging. You want a defined path, not a rug curling up against your walls like a rug taco.

The runner should be flush with doorways so that you can step onto it.

If you have an extremely long hallway, you might have more visible floor space on either end of the rug, which is okay as long as the rug is centered properly. If you have a short hallway, you can get by with an accent rug instead. It doesn’t have to stretch the whole distance of the hallway, but it still shouldn’t be left half-way between entries or partially jutting out in front of them.

A runner’s purpose is different than your typical area rug — the priority is more coverage and walkability and less about style.

There are rugs that are designed specifically to protect your carpet or flooring from getting road rash. But you’ll still want visual symmetry to keeps things looking intentional. For more on common sizes for hallway runner rugs, read Rug Sizes: The Ultimate Area Rug Size & Placement Guide.

What Styles do Hallway Runner Rugs Come In?

an oriental hall runner, perfect for a traditionally styled home

Hallway Runners come in all the same varieties as area rugs. Determine what style will accentuate the architecture, flooring, or surrounding decor of your space. 

For example, consider a country-style runner rug to casually shepherd guests through your cozy cottage. If your hallway has chic tile work, lead with a contemporary rug. If it’s anchored with hardwood floors, complement the rich warmth with a traditional-style hall runner.

Know your style goals before you start shopping.

Few people would choose “the hallway” as their favorite space, but stylish runner rugs for hallways can change that. With the right rug, your guests will feel like they’re walking the red carpet whenever they venture down the corridor. Need help choosing a look? Learn the tenets of style in Types of Rug Styles You Should Know.

Should I choose a Patterned Hall Runner?

a diamond patterned hallway rug in a light-colored entryway

Your hallway doesn’t have to be a drab junction to more interesting spaces. Choosing a patterned hall runner adds visual interest to an otherwise plain space.

Your runner sets things in motion, so once you’ve determined the rug style, you need to think about patterns. For a grand entrance, a striped runner can visually extend your hallway. Rugs with geometric patterns work well for stark modernism or a lived-in mid-mod look. Hallway runners that feature floral patterns can blend seamlessly with bohemian or vintage style homes. Oriental rugs are also available in a variety of floral patterns, and they work well with traditional decor.

Since runner rugs for hallways are smaller rugs, it’s important to consider pattern scale.

Determine the size of your rug pattern so the room’s design looks balanced, not busy. A runner sets the precedent for the rest of your home so if you want to keep things simple, look for a solid-colored rug. Read about Popular Area Rug Patterns to find a runner pattern you can enjoy.

What Colors are Best for Hallway Runner Rugs?

A solid navy blue runner rug for hallway

When choosing the right color (or colors) for your hallway runner rugs, consider what you’re working with or against.

If your hallway walls are painted a neutral, like white, beige, or gray, choosing a vibrant hall runner is a great way to bring some personality into an otherwise-enclosed space. Enliven the entry to your home with light, bright hues. If you want a hallway rug that’s soft and subtle, purchase a runner in a color that closely matches the tones in your flooring — it’ll meld right in. If your hallway ends in an open doorway that gives a peek into the next room, you don’t have to match rug colors. Just coordinate your palettes.

It’s important to choose hallway runners in a color that can hide the wear your rug will inevitably experience.

This is a rug you’ll use every day, whether you’re bringing in logs for the fire, washing up after gardening, or rounding up kids for dinner. Dirt and debris will find their way into your home and your hallway runners are usually the first line of defense. So unless you’re planning on cleaning your rug weekly, read more in How to Choose the Perfect Area Rug Color for Your Space.

How do I choose a Material for Hallway Runners?

a light-blue cotton hall runner in a mudroom

When you’re choosing a hallway rug material, you have to take all of life’s happy little accidents into consideration.

Between grocery bags splitting and excited pets peeing in your entryway, there are plenty of dangers on either side of the threshold. Your hallway runner rugs’ material should be able to face them head on. Whether you’re heading out the door or toddling off to bed, your hallway rug is a part of your daily transitions. Read our Guide to the Best Types of Rug Materials to make sure you find a rug that feels like home.

Synthetic fibers are best for a hallway rug.

Natural fibers don’t hold up against moisture, so rain and slush cancel it out as a long-lasting runner for entryways. Synthetic fibers work best, especially if someone in your household is allergic to sustainable textiles. If you have dogs or cats, opt for a hallway rug made from polypropylene, which is easy to clean, resists moisture, and won’t snag. Cotton and nylon are more durable materials for especially high-trafficked hallway runner rugs.

High-Pile or Low-Pile for Hall Runners?

a shag runner rug for hallway

When deciding on a pile height for your hallway runner rugs, aim for one that’s both comfortable underfoot and durable.

Hallway runners get you through thick and thin. As for their own density, you’re usually going to want a plusher pile that can withstand high traffic. For example, a shag hall runner is a shoo-in when you want a cozy underfoot feel to return to every day.

A high pile will also reduce thunderous steps and echoed “hellos” as well as prevent furniture dents should you have a console table or coat rack in the hallway. A shorter rug pile, like you’d find in a flatweave, also makes for a heavy-duty hall runner.

Without a cushioned rug, your hallway might not just look cold, but feel cold too.

To plump up your rug and give it some grip, put a rug pad underneath it. Check out Why You Need a Rug Pad for a full list or rug pad benefits.

The best thing about runner rugs for hallways? They can work in any room, whether as a bathroom accent or a beside landing. Start shopping runner rugs for every room on to get free shipping* on all orders, no price minimum required. For even more rug buying tips, read our Complete Rug Buying Guide.

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