An Interior Designers Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Rug Size

Choosing the right rug size is important, and it's something many people struggle with. Even if you have a tape measure and determine that the rug will actually fit in your room, there are some cardinal rules of rug and furniture placement that you should follow to make sure your home will look the best. 

If you choose a rug that's too small, your furniture will look out of place and Alice-in-Wonderland-esque in your place (or in the case of your dining chairs, you'll be tripping every time you get up). If your rug is too large, it might not fit in the room. 

Here's our illustrated guide to choosing the right rug size for every room in your home. 



How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Your Dining Room 

There's one cardinal rule for dining room rugs: your rug should be large enough that when you pull out your chair to get up, the chair should stay on the rug. 

For a standard rectangular 72" table that seats 6 (the most common size dining table), this means that a rug should be no smaller than an 8x10'. 

This is the biggest dining room rug mistake people make - they'll measure and think that because a 6x9' rug looks like it'll just fit the table and chairs, they can save some money and opt for that size. But when the chairs are pulled out slightly, the back legs will be hanging off the rug - a major design no-no. Not only is this a design faux pas, it's unsafe and can be a tripping hazard. 


 © Bonnie Bryant Creative for Lavender & Co.

Dining room spaces in most houses can easily fit an 8x10' rug, so you should be able to fit one in your dining room - but make sure to measure first. 
If your dining room is large and you want to get a table that seats 8, or you have a smaller table, remember the cardinal rule - make sure that there's plenty of space around the chairs. 
For dining rooms, we love the warmth and elegance of wool rugs. If you want a more casual, beachy look, opt for a sisal (but it'll be harder to clean up spills). If you have messy little ones (or especially raucous dinner parties), try a hardy indoor/outdoor rug for exceptional cleanability. We also now offer custom Stark rugs!  

How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Your Living Room 

There's also one simple rule for living room rugs: your furniture should either be completely on the rug, or the front legs of your seating should be on top of it. You should not have a teensy little rug floating in the center of your seating arrangement, with nothing but the coffee table balanced on top of it. 
© Bonnie Bryant Creative for Lavender & Co.
If you have a smaller living room and fewer furniture pieces, you'll likely be able to purchase a 5x8' rug. Some spaces could get away with a 4x6' rug, like a small NYC apartment with a petite sofa, but make sure to measure first (and when in doubt, size up as long as it'll fit in the room). 
If you like the look of your furniture fitting completely on the rug, 8x10' is a good starting point. 
Living rooms are versatile when it comes to rug styles and materials - check out our guide for more

How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Your Bedroom

Because bedrooms and beds themselves come in so many sizes, we broke our guide down by bed size. Bedrooms can be the hardest room to find a rug size for, because there are so many bed sizes and looks can be deceiving when you're measuring. 

© Bonnie Bryant Creative for Lavender & Co.


Let's start at the smallest rug size for a bedroom and work our way up. 

 For rugs in bedrooms, there are two ways to place your furniture: 

Completely on the rug (may only work for 9x12' rugs and larger, depending on the other furniture in your room)

  • Just below the nightstands (see our illustration above). For 8x10' and smaller, this gives a balanced look - if you try to fit all the furniture on these rugs, it'll look quite squished, if not be falling off. 


5x3' Rugs: These work for a bedroom if you'd prefer two smaller rugs on either side of the bed. The benefit of doing it this way is that this works for any bed size, from twin all the way up to king. 

5x8' Rugs: This is a great size for guest bedrooms or kids' rooms, when a full or queen size (queen size is pictured in our illustration) is pushed to the wall. If you try to fit a queen in the center, there will be very little room for nightstands on either end (you don't want the edges of your nightstands to extend further than the edges of the rug). If you have a twin, it would fit in the center.

6x9' Rugs: These rugs would fit a full, queen, or twin in the center, as long as the nightstands aren't exceptionally wide. You could also put two twins, with about 28" or so in the middle for a shared nightstand. 

8x10' Rugs: This works for any bed, but it's the smallest rug size if you want your rug to extend all the way under your king size bed. Our illustration has a bench at the foot of the bed, so this rug wouldn't work in that space - without the bench, you may be able to push the rug under the nightstands without it looking too squished. For a king size bed, you'd need nightstands that are around 20" or narrower for this rug (any wider, and you'll want to go up a rug size).

9x12' Rugs: This is a comfortable fit for a king size bed, especially if you like large nightstands or have a big bed frame. It allows for 34" of space on either side of the bed. You could also very easily fit two twins, or even two fulls with a nice-sized nightstand in the middle. 

10x14" Rugs: This is for a very large room! With this size rug and room, make sure you fill the space with well-proportioned accent furniture so your bed and nightstands aren't just "floating" on the large rug. 

For bedrooms, our designer favorite rug section is a great place to start. 
Need help choosing a rug? Want us to design your space for you? Get in touch for our virtual design services!

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