Rug Size Guide: You Will Need to Know

  • 2 months ago


Choosing the right rug size is just as important as choosing the right rug design for your room. The rug often serves as the centerpiece in décor and there’s no way you can get this one wrong. While the design is something that will totally depend on both your and the room’s personality, the area rug size depends on a number of technical and practical factors. We have broken down all of it as per every room in your house so that you know how to measure the space as well as the rug size guide that is apt for it. But first, let’s run through some golden rules of choosing the right rug size

1. When in doubt, opt for a bigger rug

If you’re choosing between sizes, i.e., the rug you want doesn’t come in the exact measurements as your room, we suggest opting for the bigger size. It is way better than a smaller rug which makes the room look small and disjointed. 

2. Follow the Orientation of the room

It is common sense that larger rooms will have bigger rugs. Similarly, long rooms will need rugs of the same orientation. Basically, understanding proportions is key to getting the right rug size. 

3. Final Check

Before you hit ‘buy’ on that rug, try and visualize how it will look in the space in terms of size. An easy way to visualize this is by placing a painters’ tape to mock the measurement. It should look right from every vantage point. 

While measuring your room, make sure you leave at least 18 inches of space all the way around the frame. This is to create pathways. If the room is smaller, 8” should be good. You should also give yourself a 2” margin of error. When measuring the space of an outdoor rug, make sure you take its borders into consideration. 

Following is a room-wise breakdown of the only rug size guide you will need:

Living Room

For living rooms, it is all the more important to have the best rug size guide so that your rug doesn’t look displaced or of the wrong proportion. Your area rug size should be about the size of the seating area of your living room. When you place your rug as per the seating space, it is very easy to ground the space where guests are entertained and conversations take place. If you have larger furniture pieces that aren’t placed against the wall, you can orient the rug as per the shape of the room. This will avoid any visual anomalies along with helping to create the illusion of a larger room than the actual. 

For the living room, there are three layouts you can work with: all furniture legs on the rug, only front legs on the rug, or only coffee table on the rug (and no furniture legs). If you have a sofa on the rug, make sure you select such a rug size so as to allow at least 6” of the rug on each side of the sofa to prevent it from looking awkward. 


Here’s a more detailed breakdown of each layout and the rug size guide for each:

1. All Legs on the Rug

You will need a large area rug size for this layout. It works especially well for open-concept spaces or for floating seating arrangements, meaning that none of the furniture pieces is against a wall. 

2. Front Legs on the Rug

Perfect for when you have furniture set against a wall, this is a more economical option. It is versatile and makes the seating space look more planned and calculated.

3. Only Coffee Table on the Rug

Save yourself the extra pocket pinch and go for this style that has no furniture legs on the rug. It is perfect for narrower and smaller living rooms. When measuring the rug size, take the negative space of the interior of the seating area into consideration as opposed to just the coffee table.



Your bedroom is the space you return to after a long day of work. The rug placement with the right rug size guide can make it all the more visually pleasing and comforting. You can follow either of the three layouts for your bedroom when it comes to rug size: all legs on the rug, 2/3rd of the bed on the rug, only runners on the side. Let’s see each in a further breakdown:


1. All Legs on the Rug

Like the living room, the area rug size for this layout will be the largest. This will require you to place the bed, any side tables, or a bench at the foot of the bed on the rug. Note that you don’t want your rug to end just at the edge of the bed but extend up to 18”-24” on each side.

2. 2/3rd of the Bed on the Rug

This popular layout option is more economical as it will need a smaller rug than the previous one. This will frame your bed but not include any other accompanying furniture. For an asymmetrical and balanced look, an 8x10 rug for queen beds and a 9x12 rug for the king is ideal.

3. Only Runners on the Side

The most economical option of this lot, this layout is the perfect rug size guide for smaller rooms. The runners should extend along the sides of the bed and not extend beyond it. As for the width, it should be wider than the nightstand. 


Dining Room

While the ‘all legs on the rug’ layout work best for the dining room, the most essential rug size guide you will need for it is to follow the shape of the dining table, depending on whether it is round or rectangular. Don’t forget to take into account the 24”-36” extension beyond the chair legs to make the dining space look cohesive.

If you think that you can just take a rough visual guess of your room and the right rug size for it, you might want to rethink that decision. The right area rug size will not only make the space look anchored but also help you narrow down your choices. 


With this comprehensive rug size guide and a breakdown of rug sizes for each major room in your home, you won’t need to call an expert for measurements. Remember that no matter how striking the design, your area rug size will dictate how it ends up looking in the space. So, the next time you place an order on a rug, measure it to the T and keep the above-mentioned tips and tricks in mind to take you through the process effortlessly. 



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