When decorating a home, a rug is a statement piece that can pull all of the elements together...or make a room feel strangely not-quite-right. A well-positioned rug can help define a living area and add depth and warmth to a space. But an overly large rug can envelop a room and a too-small runner can make an otherwise lovely hallway feel oddly cramped... basically, finding the right size rug for your space can be a challenge.
To simplify the rug buying process, we spoke with Mary Emmerling, notable interior designer and author, and Andra DelMonico, interior design expert for Next Luxury, for their professional advice. With their tips, you’ll be able to find the ideal rug size for every room in your home.
The Best Area Rug Sizes For Your Space
“Area rugs define the space,” Mary Emmerling says. Unlike accent rugs or runners (which we’ll get into later), an area rug is meant to be a centerpiece that helps delineate the different sections of a room. In open plan homes, this is especially important: without walls to section off the different spaces, a rug can clearly delineate the “living room” from the “dining room.” Rugs keep the open flow of the room, but let each space have its own personality.
One way to choose a rug size is to figure out the space you’re trying to create. If you want a cozy TV area with a loveseat and two small chairs, a smaller rug—perhaps 5' x 7'—will keep the space intimate. If you want to accentuate the open space of a large living room, a rug of at least 8’ x 10’ will do the trick. See our rug sizes chart to understand all these numbers at a glance.
Since area rugs are such an important feature in a room, it’s better to go big than small. “Rugs that are too small make a room feel smaller,” Andra DelMonico says. “A small rug feels disjointed and awkwardly breaks the space up.” A too-small rug will feel out of place and distract from the rest of the decor, while a rug that takes up a significant amount of floorspace is surprisingly flattering to a room. It may seem counterintuitive, but a large rug that covers almost the entire floor makes the room feel larger, she explains.
Emmerling has a wonderfully easy way of measuring area rug sizes to ensure they won't drown your space: “Stay two feet away from the wall.” By keeping a two-foot barrier around the rug, you open up the space, she explains. Even if you don't want to abide completely by Emmerling's two-foot rule, remember that while going big is usually the best choice for rugs, be sure that the rugs don’t actually touch or roll up against the walls. This makes the room look generally untidy—not to mention a tad claustrophobic.
To use the two-foot rule for your space, measure your room and (unsurprisingly) subtract two feet from each side! If this doesn’t line up with standard rug sizes, pick the size that’s closest. If you’d like to show off more of your hardwood flooring, take the smaller size. If you’d like to open up the space a bit, go larger.
Standard Rug Sizes To Know
“One size fits all” does not exist in the rug world. There’s an exceptional range of rug sizes out there—and that doesn’t even count custom flooring (which we’ll cover a bit later). But there are a few standard sizes you’ll see as you shop online for rugs. For a quicker look at sizes, refer to our rug sizes chart.
3’ x 5’
Unless you have a very small room, a 3’ x 5’ foot rug will likely be used as an accent rug. In the same way that a loveseat is a slightly smaller version of a sofa, a 3’ x 5’ rug is the cozy cousin of the larger area rug.
5’ x 7’
A standard photo (remember photos?) is 5 x 7 inches, which might help you have an idea of the shape of a 5 x 7 foot rug. For scale, an average couch is 84 inches long, aka seven feet. So you can imagine a 5’ x 7’ rug as being as long as a couch, and a little bit wider.
6’ x 9’
For apartments or small living rooms, a 6’ x 9’ rug might be ideal. Usually, a couch and two chairs can comfortably anchor the rug with their front two legs. That leaves enough room for a small coffee table—or for a six-foot-tall person to nap on the floor with ease.
8’ x 10’
When a space is big enough that your furniture doesn’t touch the wall, an 8’ x 10’ foot rug will give you room to fit all four legs of your couch, a coffee table, and the front two legs of your accent chairs.
9’ x 12’
A 9’ x 12’ foot rug will happily fit your couch, coffee table, and two chairs with about a foot of space on the edge. This is best for large rooms, lofts, or open plan spaces.
You may also find rugs in sizes like 4’ x 6’, 5’ x 8’, and 6’ x 9’. The scale of those rugs will feel similar to the standard sizes listed above. But you may prefer these slightly more square rugs if that mirrors the shape of your room.
Runners are typically between two and three feet wide and anywhere from four to 15 feet long. In addition, there are accent and more eccentric area rugs that cover a huge range of shapes and sizes. Still, most rugs fall into (or close to) these standard sizes, and the standard sizes fit a wide variety of rooms.
How Big Should A Rug Feel?
Numbers are great and all, but sometimes you need a little more detail to help you imagine a certain rug in your space, so here, we'll dive into how standard rug sizes might really feel inside your home.
So, how big is a 5’ x 7’ rug? It would fit best in very small living rooms. Imagine a small city apartment where some of the furniture butts up against the walls and there’s not a lot of visible floor space. In that scenario, a 5’ x 7’ rug might work very well.
On the other side of the scale, a 9’ x 12’ foot rug would look ideal in a room with large French doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a baby grand sitting in the corner. An 8’ x 10’ rug might be appropriate in a large family room with lots of seating and a 55-inch screen TV, while a 6’ x 9’ rug might be at home in a modestly sized living room with a couch and accent chairs.
Now that you can really picture these sizes, take a look at our rug sizes chart for quick guidelines.
What Size Rug For the Living Room?
The living room rug gets the most attention. Be sure to pick a rug that suits the size and needs of the room, Emmerling says. For instance, if you’re decorating a beachside cottage, you don’t want to pick a heavy rug that you can’t get sand out of. But if you're in a mountain cabin, a circular or unusually-shaped bearskin rug can add texture and coziness to the home.
Since the living room rug also gets the most wear, you'll want to pick a rug that’s not too thin or fragile. A rug that’s constantly rolling up at the edges or buckling in the middle won’t look great, and will add an unnecessary annoyance to your life.
To pick a size, you can use Emmerling’s two-foot rule (keep the rug two feet away from the walls or edge of the space). But if you don’t want to get out the measuring tape, here's a good rule of thumb: a rug should be anchored by the front two feet of your couch and chairs.
So, your coffee table should have all four feet on the rug, then the couch and chairs will have their front two feet anchoring the sides. According to DelMonico, if the furniture fits on the rug comfortably in this configuration, your rug is the right size and won’t risk overwhelming (or underwhelming) the room.
Typically, an 8’ x 10’ rug works for most living rooms. For living rooms smaller than 11’ x 13’, try a 6’ x 9’ rug. Unless your living room is very small, avoid a 5’ x 7’ rug for the space. It often ends up simply floating beneath the coffee table, which ends up making the space look smaller. For a quick look at all these numbers, check out our rug sizes chart.
What’s the Best Size Rug for the Bedroom?
Another component Emmerling takes into consideration when finding the best rug size is this: Where would you be barefoot the most? Rugs add style to a room, but they also add comfort, which might be the most important thing when it comes to the bedroom.
For bedrooms, you’re very often barefoot around the sides and end of your bed, so that’s the exact space your rug should cover. That way, when you wake up on a cold January morning, your feet say hello to a warm, cozy rug, not the cold hardwood.
Generally, the size of the bed helps determine the size of the rug. If your bedroom is extremely large or an unusual shape, you can opt for the 2-foot rule, the “where am I going to be barefoot” guideline, or our rug sizes guide.
Rug Size for King Bed
The rug should cover at least 2 feet around the bed and extend out to the ends of your nightstands. Ideally, the rug will reach to the far end of the nightstands, but if it stops at around the halfway point of your bedside tables, that will also look fine. Usually, a 9’ x 12’ rug works great for a king bed.
Rug Size for Queen Bed
For a queen bed, it’s still best for the rug to reach from under the bed all the way to the near edge (the edge closer to the bed) of your nightstands. The rug should also extend out from the foot of the bed by 2-3 feet. An 8’ x 10’ rug would give great coverage for a queen bed, though you could get away with using a 6’ x 9’ if you don’t mind a little more exposed flooring.
Rug Size for Full Size Bed
A room with a full size bed has two great options.
- Use a 6’ x 9’ rug under the bed that extends to the nightstands.
- Use two accent rugs on either side of the bed. If you choose number 2, the rugs won’t go under the bed, but they’ll fully cover both sides of the bed. These smaller (likely 3’ x 5’ or a runner) rugs would line up with the nightstands. Another option: place a runner or 3’ x 5’ rug at the foot of the bed, and leave the sides of the bed rug-free.
What the Best Rug Size for the Dining Room?
Just as the bedroom rug size is dictated by the size of the bed, the dining room rug is determined by the size of the table. “Have the rug out far enough out that the chairs move easily,” said Emmerling. If a dining room rug is too small, the chair will catch the edge of the rug, which causes damage to the rug, and might literally trip you and your guests as you try to sit down or stand up from the table. Emmerling suggests having the rug extend 2-3 feet from under the table, enough space for the chairs to move in and out without any problems.
An 8’ x 10’ rug works well for most dining rooms. If you have a very large room and dining table with eight or more chairs, a 9’ x 12’ might be more appropriate. Or if you have a four-seater and a cozier space, a 6’ x 9’ might do nicely.
What the Best Rug Size for a Hallway?
Runners are the long, narrow rugs typically found in hallways. DelMonico recommends letting the runner match the shape of the hallway, but it doesn’t need to match the length as exactly. However, here's a case where shorter is definitely better than longer: be sure that the rug doesn’t extend into the entryway, where it would make the room feel uneven. For width, DelMonico suggests leaving 4-5 inches of floor space on each side of the rug. However, with narrower hallways, you can leave just 2-3 inches of hardwood floor showing without making your hallway feel cramped. Here's the number one rule: be sure the runner is centered.
Although hallways are the most popular place for runners, you could use a runner rug on either side of your bed (if you’d like an alternative for a large bedroom rug). Small runners can also be used in the kitchen or the bathroom, typically under sinks.
Runners also get a lot of wear, so pick something reasonably sturdy that won’t slip or slide around on your floor. Runners are also great in noisy households as they can dampen sound in hallways, and give smaller areas a bit of extra personality. An often more-affordable rug, runners are an excellent way to show off a vintage find, or protect your hardwood flooring from a high-traffic area.
Do I Need A Custom Size Rug?
Custom size rugs allow you to fit the space to your exact specifications. However, custom rugs can be pricey (although at Loomy, we don't increase our prices for specific sizes—and custom hallway runners are a specialty of ours).
Emmerling warns that most rugs over about 6’ x 10’ can’t be taken to the regular cleaners—they need to be taken care of by specific rug cleaning professionals. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s certainly more expensive than your typical cleaning bill, and it may be hard to find a professional in your area.
For most homes, custom size rugs aren’t necessary. There’s such a huge variety already available, the need for a completely unique rug for your space could be a bit of a hassle. Still, if you have a very large or unusual home, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a bespoke piece. Just be sure to have your carpet cleaner’s number saved in your phone.
Reach out to LOOMY about our custom rug options and custom rug sizes from our collections.
Rug Sizes Chart
Under 10’ x 12’ (very small) - 5’ x 7’ Rug
Under 11’ x 13’ (modest) - 6’ x 9’ Rug
Over 11’ x 13’ (medium) - 8’ x 10’ Rug
12’ x 18’ and over - 9’ x 12’ Rug
King Size - 9’ x 12’
Queen Size - 8’ x 10’
Full Size - 6’ x 9’ or two 3’ x 5’ rugs on each side of the bed
Table with 8 seats or more - 9’ x 12’
Table with 6 seats - 8’ x 10’
Table with 4 seats - 6’ x 9’
Leave 4-5 inches of floor space on either side of the rug.
Can be 4-15 feet long, should roughly match the length of hallway