Best Area Rugs

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
402 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best area rugs

Last Updated July 2020

If you have wood, tile, or stone flooring in your home, area rugs are a great way to warm up the room while still showcasing your floor. An area rug also anchors the furniture in the room so it doesn’t feel like it’s floating in a sea of hard flooring. An area rug visually pulls a room together through its color and design as well.

Area rugs come in a wide range of colors, patterns, designs, and sizes. Area rugs can be placed in any room of the house, from bedrooms to living rooms to kitchens to bathrooms. There are indoor-only area rugs and indoor/outdoor area rugs that can withstand harsh exterior conditions.

In our buying guide, we’ll help you answer some key questions about choosing an area rug, such as what size is best for your room. We also have plenty of care tips, including how to handle an area rug that’s shedding or bearding. For our picks for the five best area rugs, see the matrix above.

Consider the thickness of an area rug. You’ll want to make sure any nearby door will clear the rug so that it can effortlessly open without dragging over the pile.

Key considerations

Are you furnishing a room from scratch?

If you’re furnishing a room from scratch, consider starting with the area rug. It’ll become a source of inspiration for the room’s color, style, and layout. For example, an area rug is instrumental in defining the seating area in a living room. For a combination living room and dining room, consider using two area rugs to define the living and dining spaces.

Are you buying an area rug for an already furnished room?

If you have an existing room that needs sprucing up, an area rug can come to the rescue. Your existing furniture and wall color will inspire your choice. Furniture with busy patterns works best with an area rug with a subtle or tone-on-tone design. A boldly colored or patterned area rug, on the other hand, can add life to a space filled with neutral furniture.

EXPERT TIP

Robot vacuums tend to have difficulty transitioning from bare floors to edged and high-pile area rugs. The removal of area rugs is recommended in rooms where a robot vacuum is in use.


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Features

Material

Area rugs are made from natural or synthetic materials. There are pros and cons to each.

Cotton, wool, jute, and sisal are all strong, durable natural fibers. The downside is that natural area rugs can become damaged, fade, or darken if exposed to moisture, heat, or direct sunlight.

Acrylic, nylon, and polypropylene/olefin are strong, durable synthetic fibers. Synthetic area rugs are less costly and tend to be better at resisting stains and fading. Synthetics are manufactured to look much like their natural counterparts.

Pile height

Area rugs come in various pile heights just like carpeting. A low-pile area rug works best in a room with high traffic because you won’t see footprints as clearly. High-pile area rugs are ideal for bedrooms and living areas where you want to feel something warm and soft underfoot.

Color

Since area rugs come in so many different colors, it may feel overwhelming trying to select the right one. If you’re coordinating an area rug with existing furniture, your choice should complement or subtly contrast with the color of your walls and largest pieces of furniture. A rug that’s too close in color to your upholstered furniture, for example, might overwhelm the room.

Backing

Some area rugs have a mesh latex and jute backing, which may cause the rug to slide around a bit. Indoor/outdoor rugs typically have rubber backings with better grip but could potentially leave marks on wood, tile, and even high-end vinyl floors.

Edging

Area rugs have finished edges to prevent fraying. An area rug will likely have binding, serging, or a fringed edge. A binding finish is usually seen on lower pile natural material area rugs. The binding may either blend in or accent one of the rug’s colors. A standard serging finish is a heavy-duty yarn stitched smoothly around the edges to blend in with the carpet. A fringed edge is a traditional style of edging for area rugs. Fringe may be added to the shorter ends of the area rug or all around the edges.

Coordinating designs

Many area rugs come in collections. You can find various sizes of area rugs in the same design to coordinate throughout your home. For example, you’ll often see coordinating entryway area rugs and hallway runners. You can also buy coordinating throw pillows in the same design as some area rugs.

DID YOU KNOW?

Indoor/outdoor area rugs are usually synthetic and typically have fast-drying low piles and non-slip backing.

Accessories

Carpet tape: XFasten Double-Sided Carpet Tape
Flatten your area rug’s curling corners with carpet tape. A sticky strip on each corner also prevents the rug from moving around. This XFasten carpet tape won’t harm the flooring beneath the rug.

Gripper rug pads: Gorilla Grip Original Area Rug Gripper Pad
A slip-resistant gripper pad holds your area rug in place. Rug pads made of soft grippy material in an open-grid construction let your rug breathe. Look for pads that can be trimmed to fit under your rug, like this one from Gorilla Grip.

Felt rug pads: Mohawk Home Dual-Surface Felt and Latex Non-Slip Rug Pad
A felt rug pad adds about a quarter-inch of thickness under the rug. It also adds a softer, plush feeling underfoot. This Mohawk Home felt rug pad is gentle enough for hardwood floors.

EXPERT TIP

Clean a high-pile shag area rug by shaking it out rather than vacuuming. That way you’ll avoid the possibility of snagging any of the yarns.


Staff  | BestReviews

Area rug prices

Small area rugs made from synthetic materials, natural cotton, or sisal/jute are typically inexpensive. You can find area rugs measuring 2 feet x 3 feet and 3 feet x 5 feet as well as 2 feet x 8 feet runners in the $19 to $40 range.

You’ll find synthetic, natural cotton, or sisal/jute mid-size area rugs measuring 4 feet x 6 feet, 5 feet x 7 feet, 5 feet x 8 feet, 6 feet x 9 feet, and 7 feet x 10 feet in the $40 to $150 range. You’ll also find large round rugs that are 7 feet in diameter in this range.

As the size of an area rug increases, so does the cost. An area rug that measures 9 feet x 12 feet or 10 feet x 14 feet can cost between $200 and $450. An 8 feet x 10 feet wool rug can cost around $300, while a synthetic rug of the same size may cost half that. Larger wool rugs measuring 11 feet x 16 feet can cost well over $600. Handwoven area rugs regularly top $1,000.

Tips

  • Coax the ends of a new area rug to lay down flat by vacuuming them. Put heavy objects like cans or weights on the corners. Double-sided carpet tape can also efficiently train corners to lay flat.
  • When choosing an area rug for your dining area, leave a minimum of two feet of space between the edge of your dining table and the edge of your area rug. Leave at least 18 inches of bare floor between the edge of your area rug and the wall.
  • The color of an area rug can change depending on how it’s situated in a room. Place it in one direction, then swing it in the opposite direction to see which shade you prefer. The shade changes because the nap, or pile, of the rug catches and reflects light differently from various angles.
A round area rug tends to make a small room appear larger. That’s because it takes your focus away from the walls.

FAQ

Q. How do I know what size area rug I need?
A.
The right size area rug can pull a space together, make a statement, or even make a room feel larger. For example, an area rug that’s 5 feet x 8 feet works well under a small dining table with four chairs. The same size rug makes a small living room look more spacious and uncluttered if the furniture is placed at the very edge of the rug with no legs on the carpet. That same area rug is the right fit under a twin or full bed as well. A large area rug measuring 9 feet x 12 feet or 10 feet x 14 feet works well under a dining room table of six to eight chairs. This size also looks best in a large living room, with all the furniture legs on the rug, to automatically define a distinctive yet cozy gathering space. It fits beautifully under a queen or king bed, too.
 

Q. How can I eliminate the creases and ripples in my area rug?
A.
Area rugs are often delivered tightly rolled up, and sometimes a crease accidentally develops deep within. To eliminate a crease, turn the rug over. If it has a woven backing, use a T-shirt or slightly damp towel as a barrier, then iron it on a steam setting to soften the crease. For waves and ripples, let the carpet lay flat for a day or two so the fibers can loosen up and relax on their own.
 

Q. Why is my area rug shedding?
A.
Area rugs shed as fibers loosen up and work their way to the top of the pile. It’s annoying but completely normal. Vacuuming should reduce the shedding of loose fibers. When you find fibers sticking up, but not releasing from the pile or the yarn, you may have a rug manufacturing defect called fuzzing or bearding, which is different from shedding.

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    Editor
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