Style Files

June 20, 2022

Rug Size Guide: How to Choose a Rug for Your Space

How to pick the perfect rug size!

Just as furniture acts as a statement piece in your home, so does a rug. Rugs are essential design furnishings that have the power to pull all furniture and decor in a particular space together to create a cohesive look. Given this, we are happy to announce rugs available on Tandem Arbor.

So, how do you choose the perfect rug to compliment your space? Bottom line: the right style and look is just as important as picking the right size. If the size isn’t right, the impact of a rug could quickly go sideways and result in a room feeling and looking not-quite-right. For example, a right-sized, well-positioned rug can define a living space and add depth and warmth, but an overly large rug can envelope a room and make it appear smaller. All-in-all, deciding on the right rug size can be a challenge. To simplify the selection process, we’ve pooled our furniture stylists’ favorite tips for choosing the ideal rug size for every room in your home.

Standard Rug Sizes

The term “one size fits all” doesn’t exist in the rug world. There is a wide range of rug sizes out there, but there are a few standard sizes you’ll see as you shop online for rugs.

3’ x 5’
A 3’ x 5’ rug is often used as an accent rug, unless you are designing an unusually small room. Just as a loveseat is a slightly smaller version of a sofa, a 3’ by 5’ rug is cozy, smaller version of larger area rugs. They are best shown in kitchens and bathrooms with a luxe feel and functional benefits. Or use it to Add a pop of color to the entryway.

5’ x 7’
The best way to describe a 5’ by 7’ sized rug is by comparing it to a sofa. An average sofa is about 84 inches long, or 7 feet. So, you can imagine a 5’ by 7’ rug as being as long as a sofa and a little bit wider.

6' x 9'
For apartments or small living rooms, a 6’ by 9’ rug could be ideal as an area rug. Usually, with a rug of this size, a sofa and two chairs can comfortably anchor it with their two front legs. Even better, this leaves enough room for a coffee table table ottoman.

8' x 10'
When a space is big enough that your furniture doesn’t have to touch the wall, this is a good indicator that an 8’ by 10’ rug could be the best size. A rug of this size will give you room to fit all four legs of your sofa, a coffee table, and the front two legs of your accent chairs.

9' x 12'
A 9’ x 12’ rug will easily - and happily - fit your sofa, coffee table, and two accent chairs with space around the edges of each. This size is often best for large rooms, lofts, or open floor plan spaces.

As mentioned above, there is a wide range of rug sizes available. That being said, you may also find rugs in sizes such as 4’ x 6’, 5’ x 8’, and 6’ x 9’. The scale of these rugs will feel similar to the standard sizes above, but you may prefer these slightly more square rugs if they mirror the shape and size of your room.
There are also rugs called “runners” that work great for hallways, in between your kitchen island and cabinets, and bathrooms. Runners typically range from between two and three feet wide and anywhere from 4’ to 15’ feet long.

Best Size Rug for Your Living Room

Because your living room gets the most attention, so will your living room rug. It is essential that you pick a rug that suits the size and needs of the room. For example, if you’re decorating an oceanside cottage, you don’t want to choose a heavy rug that you can’t easily get sand out of. On the flip side, if you’re designing a mountain cabin, a circular or irregular shaped bearskin rug can add texture and coziness. As the living room gets the most wear, you’ll want to also pick a rug that’s not too thin or fragile - after all, you want the rug to last.

To pick a size, you’ll want to use the standard two-foot rule of making sure the rug has “room to breathe” - in other words, choose a rug size that can be kept two feet away from the walls or edge of space. If you don’t want to get the measuring tape out, here’s a rule of thumb to follow: a rug should be anchored by the front two feet of your sofa and chairs. To sum it up, your coffee table should have all four feet on the rug, then the sofa and chairs will have their front two feet anchoring the sides. If your furniture fits on the rug comfortably in this type of configuration, your rug is likely the right size and doesn’t run the risk of overwhelming (or underwhelming) the room.

To talk numbers, in most cases, an 8’ x 10’ rug works for living rooms. However, if your living room is smaller than 11’ x 13’, try a 6’ x 9’ rug. If your living room is very small, avoid a 5’ x 7’ rug for the space as it often ends up just floating beneath the coffee table making the space appear smaller.

Best Rug Size for Your Bedroom

Another component to consider when choosing the right rug size is: where will I be barefoot the most? Not only do rugs add style to a room, they also add comfort. For the bedroom in particular, this might be the most important thing to consider. In your bedroom, you’re often barefoot around the sides and end of your bed, so your rug should cover this space.

In addition to where you’ll be barefoot, the size of your bed generally helps in determining the best size for your rug. If your bedroom is extremely large or an unusual shape, you can follow the 2-foot rule or the “where am I going to be barefoot” guide.

For a King Size Bed
If you have a 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 happens to stop at the halfway point of your bedside tables, that will be okay too. A 9’ x 12’ rug typically works great for a king bed.

For a Queen Size Bed
The rule for queen size beds is similar to the rule for king size beds. It’s still best for the rug to reach from under the bed all the way to the near edge of your nightstands. The rug should also extend out from the foot of the bed by 2 to 3 feet. An 8’ x 10’ rug would give great coverage for a queen bed, but you could get away with using a 6’ x 9’ rug if you’re okay with a little more exposed flooring.

For a Full Size Bed
A room that houses a full size bed has three options:

  1. Use a 6’ x 9’ rug under the bed that extends to the nightstands.
  2. Use two accent rugs on either side of the bed. If you choose this option, the rugs won’t go under the bed, but they’ll fully cover both sides of the bed. These smaller - 3’ x 5’ or a runner) rugs would line up with the nightstands.
  3. Place a runner or 3’ x 5’ rug at the foot of the bed and leave the sides and underneath the bed rug-free.

Best Rug Size for Your Dining Room

Just as your bedroom’s rug size is dictated by the size of your bed, the dining room rug is determined by the size of your table. A rule of thumb is to choose a rug size that allows enough room for the chairs to move easily - one that extends 2 to 3 feet from under the table. If the rug is too small, your dining room chairs could catch the edge of rug which could cause damage or trip you and your guests.

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 cozier space with four chairs, a 6’ x 9’ would do nicely.

Now that you have the tools necessary to ensure your rug is high impact and does the job of tying your space together, are you ready to shop for the perfect fit? Our first-ever rug collection ranges in style from traditional to modern to contemporary, and everything in between, so we are happy to offer an option to match any space. Check out our new collection of rugs!

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