Guide to Choosing a Rug Size

Rug size guide

Choosing a rug size for a bedroom

You can give your room an instant makeover with the quick switch of a rug. Everything about a rug, from the texture of its construction to its color scheme and the overall design, can heavily influence — and therefore change — the design statement in the room. Another important detail that shouldn’t be overlooked is rug size. Admittedly, figuring out the best rug size for any room can be a difficult task. Follow these expert tips and diagrams to help you choose the best rug size for your space.


There’s nothing better than hitting the warm, soft surface of a rug when you roll out of bed in the mornings.  To create a cozy border, allow an additional 30″ on each side of the bed. From there, the size of the rug can vary depending on how much or little flooring you’d like to see.

Choosing a rug size for the dining room

Dining Room

For chairs to slide in and out comfortably, you should add 24″-30″ to each side of the table for the perfect rug size. If your table has extensions or leaves, take measurements with them in place, so you’ll have a large enough rug regardless of the size of your dinner party.

Choosing a rug size for the living room

Living Room

In a living room, the rug helps define the space. To create an inviting, inclusive feel, choose a rug large enough to extend past all of your seating. To highlight a particular area, layer your foundation rug with a smaller rug that makes a big statement. If your living room space is very large, consider dividing it into separate seating areas, each with its own rug.

Still not sure if the size is right for your room? Use painter’s tape to outline the area you’d like to cover, measure the perimeter and pick the nearest size in your favorite rug.

Find more rug inspiration here, or browse our Pinterest boards for ideas.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    robinette lynch

    October 15, 2018

    I appreciate your advice on rug dimensions; however, there does not seem to be any such thing as an 8 x 12 rug (which is exactly what we need) so why recommend something that doesn’t exist?

    • Reply

      Heather Daly

      October 17, 2018

      Hi Robinette,
      While it’s true, 8×12 is a more uncommon size for rugs, we do over a handful of rugs in this size. Simply search rugs on our website and choose the filter “size”. There is an option for 8×12 rugs within this filter. Hopefully you find one that works for your space!

  2. Reply


    May 8, 2017


    I am looking for a natural fiber rug for my den/office. It is a long narrow room, 21′ long. I can only do about 6′ wide due to vents and a hearth. Do you have an rugs that fit these dimensions? I was wondering how odd it look to have 2 or 3 rugs. Two would likely mean breaking the room in half, which I don’t love since a sofa sits in the middle. I’d welcome any advice.


    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 5, 2017

      We would love to help you pick out a rug for your den/office! We offer a free design service where our interior designers help you pick out furniture, fabric, and accessories! Just send in your question along with a picture of the room here, and a designer will reach out to you with a design plan!

  3. Reply


    April 24, 2017

    We have recently purchased a new round table and I am very hesitant to use a rug because we have 15 month old twins. I’m so worried it will get destroyed with food and drinks. Is their a kid friendly material I should be looking for? I’ve heard using an indoor/outdoor rug is a good choice. Help!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      April 24, 2017

      Indoor outdoor rugs have come a long way in recent years! Because they’re often made from polypropylene, you could literally hose them down outside and they’ll be good as new. Some do have a thicker weave than others though which give them the feel of a wool rug. While these certainly feel more plush and are extra resistant to stains, their plush texture means they don’t dry as quickly as a flatter pile. Overall, I think an indoor outdoor rug would work fantastically for your application! I’m certain they’ll be able to stain up to whatever stains your twins can throw at them 🙂
      Best of luck!

  4. Reply


    March 4, 2017

    Hi! I’m in need of two rugs for my kitchen/hearth area. A round for under the kitchen table and a rectangle for under 2 chairs in front of a fireplace. Would you recommend the same pattern in both areas or different? Would sisal be a good option or would a patterned rug be best? The areas are about 20 feet from each other. Thanks for your input!

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 5, 2017

      We would love to help you pick out rugs! We offer a free service in which our interior designers help pick out furniture, fabric, and accessories! Just send in your question and a picture of the room here, and a designer will contact you with a design plan!

  5. Reply


    February 23, 2017

    Hi! We have just moved to a new house with traditionally stained oak floors, from dark hardwoods, and our rugs look terrible! Thinking of purchasing the Best of Ballard’s Braided Jute in driftwood. Will this color work on our honey hued floors? And is it over kill to use same style rug in family, dinning, and master? Thank you for your time and suggestions!

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      February 24, 2017

      It’s definitely not overkill to use the same rug throughout your main rooms. In fact, it’s a great way to link them all together. Sounds like this rug would work great with your honey colored floors too.
      Happy Decorating!

  6. Reply


    September 15, 2016

    How about an office. I’m having trouble figuring out how the desk chair can be comfortable half on and half off. The rug Should the rug go to the wall under the desk?

    • Reply

      How to Decorate

      September 16, 2016

      You’re right, it’ll be difficult to move around a chair (if it’s on casters) if the rug is half on and half off. It would be best to have it either all on the rug or all off. As far as the rug running under the desk to be closer to the wall, we think that’s the best way to go.
      Best of luck!

  7. Reply


    September 11, 2016


    We have an odd shaped small front living room. There are Windows on one wall and a corner fireplace taking up two walls. The remaining wall is only half a wall as its our stairs and room entrance.

    Currently we have two Chairs angled in front of the windows and looking towards the fireplace. And we have a round rug in front. I feel like we may need a square rug but will that conflict with the angle of the fireplace.

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 15, 2016

      A round rug seems like a good solution, but if you aren’t happy with it, we’d suggest having a custom rug cut. You can do this at nearly any carpet store. A seagrass or natural fiber would be great. Usually they’ll come to your house, measure your room and cut the rug to size. This will solve the problem of your angled fireplace!

  8. Reply


    August 22, 2016

    Hello I am looking at your sisal rugs for my living room and dining room which back up to each other. I was told they don’t need to match but should coordinate. I think I need a 9 x 12 for the living room and 8 by 10 or possibly larger if they should both be the same size . I really like your diamond sisal but max size is 8 by 10 what would you recommend to coordinate with this or other coordinating options? Thanks

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 23, 2016


      Rug sizes can be tricky so we totally understand your confusion! We suggest going with the bigger size for two reasons, first, as long as the 9×12 will still leave a few inches of space at the wall, we tend to prefer a larger rug size in a room. When in doubt, go a little two big rather than a little two small. Second, it’ll flow nicely if it’s in eyesight with your living room, and even better if they come up right against each other.

      Since you like the Diamond Sisal Rug but it doesn’t come in the 9×12 size, we suggest the Trellis Sisal Rug which has a very similar pattern to the Diamond Sisal, as well as a similar weave!

      Best of luck!

  9. Reply


    August 3, 2016

    How to choose a size for your foyer?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 4, 2016

      Great question! In general, we suggest leaving a minimum of 4 inches between the edge of your rug and the wall. We’re also partial to rooms where rugs are generous — typically either a runner size or 5×8 rug works best in a foyer.
      Do you mind giving us more information about your foyer? What are the measurements? Is it a long hallway or just a small entrance/landing?

  10. Reply


    July 29, 2016

    Is Jute or Sisal a soft product on bare feet? Is one more comfortable than the other

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 1, 2016

      That really depends not so much on the material as it does on the weave. A tighter weave on a traditional sisal rug is not as soft, for example, as the looser weave of our Braided Jute Rug.
      Does that help!?

  11. Reply

    S. G.

    June 21, 2016

    I am looking to update my front entry with a rug. It is a very neutral space. What type and material rug should i look for?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 22, 2016

      We have lots of indoor/outdoor rugs that would be great in an entryway. Since they’re so durable, they’ll stand up to lots of traffic, and they’re easier to clean! If your space is mostly neutral, we suggest maybe keeping with the neutral palette, but instead going for pattern. Our Saylor Indoor/Outdoor Rug would be a great choice!
      Best of luck!

  12. Reply


    May 4, 2016

    Hi! I have a sisal rug in my living room but my family doesn’t like the texture on their feet. Do you have any suggestions for a sisal look but soft rug?

  13. Reply

    Mary Mroz

    October 22, 2015

    I am looking for an indoor/outdoor rug that is about 9×12. When I look at that size in your catalog, I notice that the word threshold with a price in parenthese. Just what does that mean?

    • Reply

      Caroline McDonald

      November 15, 2016

      Threshold refers to a the shipping fee required to deliver such a large rug.

  14. Reply

    Ann mccord

    October 17, 2015

    I want to buy a carpet for my family room. I have a patterned chair and ottoman so am having a hard time choosing a carpet. The carpet will be approx 10×12.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      November 5, 2015

      Hi Ann,
      We suggest either pulling a color from your chair or ottoman to coordinate with your existing pieces or else choosing either a light grey or beige that will be neutral enough to work with any existing or future choices!!
      Best of luck.

  15. Reply


    February 10, 2015

    Can your team give me advice as to what print & color of rug to purchase for a foyer?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 13, 2015

      Hi Kathy,
      We sure can! We actually offer a free service where our Design Solutions team will help you come up with a plan for your home. Simply complete this form, and we’ll reach out to you.
      We look forward to hearing from you!
      The How to Decorate Team

  16. Reply


    February 10, 2015

    I am in the process of searching for a rug to put over a larger rug. I want to put it at an angle but I’m not sure of the correct size. My bottom rug is 6×9. What do you suggest?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 13, 2015

      Hi Cathie,
      We would love to offer you some rug suggestions. Simply complete this form, and we’ll reach out to you.
      We look forward to hearing from you!
      The How to Decorate Team

  17. Reply


    February 7, 2015

    I am in the process of redecorating my living room. It is a very large room and I have two seating areas and a fireplace at one end of the room. The floors are oak and I currently have two wool patterned rugs down. I need to make the room cozier and I am not sure if I should get 8 x 10 rugs or 9 x 12. It will be creme and blues. I ordered the irvory burlap drapes and have recieved them. I have 3 single window and 2 double windows. It is a beautiful room and I want to do it justice.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      February 9, 2015

      Hi Jeanne,
      We would love to help you give your room a cozier feel! It’s hard to offer suggestions without seeing your space, but if you would send us photos, our Design Solutions team can come up with a plan for you. Simply complete this form, and we’ll reach out to you.
      We look forward to hearing from you!
      The How to Decorate Team