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Area Rug Size Guide to Help You Select the RIGHT Size Area Rug!

In this Post: Have you ever wondered what size area rug you need for your space? Use this handy area rug size guide to help you decide!


A well-chosen area rug can add warmth and personality to a room. It can also serve to visually anchor your furniture layout and absorb noise in high traffic rooms. But more often than not people make the wrong choice for the size of their rugs. Here’s a handy area rug size guide to help you select the right size area rug for your space!

area rug size guide

Area rugs can be layered over wood floors, tile, broadloom (wall-to-wall carpet) and even other area rugs.

But the key is to find the right area rug in the RIGHT SIZEBecause an area rug that is the wrong size has the opposite effect that you want – it actually takes style away from the room.

More often than not, usually due to either a misjudgment of scale or just because a smaller rug costs less, people choose a rug that is too small for a space.

But this area rug size guide aims to fix that problem by giving you the guidance you need to choose the right size area rug for your room!

area rug size guide

In the Living Room

ALL FURNITURE ON THE RUG

The most classic area rug sizing in the living room is to have all of the furniture entirely on the rug. You will need a rather large area rug, but the exact size will depend on the size of your furniture and the size of your room. This option is perfect for uniting a room that may not quite be entirely coordinated. A typical area rug size for this look in a living room is an 8′ x 10′ rug or larger.

Area Rug Size Guide - living room all the furniture on the rug

ONLY FRONT LEGS ON THE RUG

Another very acceptable option in the living room is to have a rug just large enough for the front legs of all of the furniture to rest upon. This works well in a slightly smaller living room or a if you are on a tighter budget. A 5′ x 7′ area rug could work in this type of situation, but again measure to be sure all of the front legs will rest on the rug.

Area Rug Size Guide - living room front legs on the rug

Pro-decorator tip: Do not choose an area rug that falls short of going under at least the front feet of the furniture arrangement. Your area rug should not just float in the middle of the room, or sit alone under a coffee table!

In the Dining Room

In the dining room there are two common choices for area rugs.

RECTANGULAR RUG

The first is a rectangular area rug. This will of course work best if you have a rectangular or oblong dining table. The most common rectangular dining room rug is an 8′ x 10′ rug. Anything smaller and you run the risk of the chairs not being on the rug. If you have an unusually smaller or larger table you may of course need a different size rug.

Area Rug Size Guide - dining room all the furniture on the rug

ROUND RUG

The second area rug option is a round rug to go with a round table. If you have a typical four-seater table, an 8′ x 8′ round rug is likely the best size for your room.

Area Rug Size Guide - dining room all the furniture on the round rug

correct area rug sizes

In the Bedroom

Area rugs in the bedroom add so much coziness and comfort – without having all the dust and allergens usually inherent to wall-to-wall broadloom. And they’re just so cozy to roll out of bed and wiggle your toes on in the morning!

ALL FURNITURE ON THE RUG

With this version of area rugs in the bedroom, you need a rug that is about 8″ – 18″ smaller than the length and width of the room. All of the furniture sits on the area rug leaving only a border of bare floor showing around the edges of the room.

Area Rug Size Guide - bedroom all the furniture on the rug

PARTIALLY UNDER THE BED

With this area rug choice, the rug will peek out from under the bed, more so at the foot of the bed. Also the rug won’t extend all the way to the head of the bed and the nightstands will not sit on the rug at all. Typically an 8′ by 10′ rug will be perfect in this situation, but turned so that the longer side is parallel to the head and foot of the bed.

Area Rug Size Guide - bedroom just the bed on the rug

BESIDE THE BED

If you’d like to keep the bedroom area rug budget to a minimum, this option is perfect. You can choose rug size based on the size of your bedroom, perhaps a 3′ x 5′ runner or even longer on each side of the bed.

Area Rug Size Guide - rugs beside the bed

Bigger is Better

As I mentioned, quite often budget is the deciding factor when choosing an area rug for your space. But I dare say that if you choose well, and choose the larger option you will be much happier with your choice than if you go with a rug that is too small!

If you found this post helpful, you will love 8 Design Mistakes You’re Probably Making and How to Fix Them!

area rug size guide

Download the Area Rug Size Guide below!

Want to learn to decorate your whole home from start to finish? Check out this blog post all about our decorating course, Decorating Uncomplicated!

So, how do your area rugs measure up?

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I'd love to chat with you in the comments!

Comments

  1. Meg | Hello Farmhouse says

    This is so handy! I must have misjudged the rug size for our bedroom because it doesn’t quite fit the width of our bed+night stands. I might try rotating it like you suggested. Definitely pinning these graphics because they’re super helpful!

    • Shannon says

      It’s so easy to make that mistake – I’ve done it before too! Thank you so very much for pinning and sharing. I appreciate it!

  2. Rebecca says

    I’m really struggling with what size of rug to use in my kiddos bedrooms and how to place them. One has a twin bed, one with a full; both have a nightstand and the beds are up against the wall. Should I get a smaller rug and put beside the bed or a larger rug and put against the wall completely under the bed? All of the diagrams I’ve come across address the bed being more in the center of the wall vs. against the wall. Please help.

  3. Nancy says

    I put engineered hardwood in all the “public” spaces about 5 years ago I have a rug under my dining table but have yet to find a rug for my living room. My problem is the size of my living room! It’s 15′ wide x 18′ long so I need a big rug. The fireplace is 9′ long and extends about 24 inches into the room so if I want all the front legs of the furniture to be on the rug, the edge will only be an inch or two from the hearth. That’s OK since I don’t use the fireplace but I’m not sure I’m going to like the look! The other consideration r is the cost of a good quality 9 x 12 rug. I want attractive, durable and a moderate price. I keep my eye out for sales but so far I haven’t found anything that I can’t live without.

    • Shannon Acheson says

      Yes, that makes sense. Here, because of the length of the room and the placement of the furniture, the front feet of our sectional are on the rug, but the two angled chairs next to the fireplace are not. But they’re technically part of a separate seating or conversation area. Maybe play with it by taping out (with painter’s tape) different rug sizes to help you visualize? Dean and I did that when we put up walls at our wee bungalow! Lol. It sounds silly, but it really helped!

  4. Diane says

    Oh my! I thought I knew all there was to know about rug placement and sizing… but I never in a thousand years ever thought about placing runners next to the bed to save money… that is pure genius Shannon!!! Thank you!!

  5. Nancy says

    I am enjoying many of your printouts but I am currently a subscriber. Your print outs always require a subscribe button to print them…….just wanted to let you know why I am continuing to push the subscribe button.

  6. Joan says

    How about size for a rug but a patio sliding door? If no other rug in room, would a runner be what is best for that spot?

    • Shannon Acheson says

      Hi Joan,
      Probably a runner…depending on the space and what else is nearby. We have a little bath mat sized rug near our patio doors…but that’s because my desk is right nearby and we only need the mat for function (so people don’t slip on the tile if they come in from the pool with wet feet!). But a runner that’s the length of the patio door width could work too! 🙂 I hope that helps explain a bit?
      Shannon

  7. Tegan Leonard says

    Hi! I love the rug in the pictures above. Can you tell me where I can get something like that? Thanks!

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