The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Living Room Rug

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Buying a new rug for your living room can be overwhelming, but the journey is totally worth it. Rugs are a great way to infuse color, pattern, and texture into a home. They also help set the overall tone of a space and play an instrumental role in a room's layout and style. And with a living room typically being the largest space in the house, we're here to help with the ultimate living room rug shopping guide. From our top picks to what to consider, here's everything you need to know to find the perfect rug for your living room.

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The Best Rugs for Living Rooms

If you love the feel of a plush, shag rug, try this pick from Wayfair. Between the modern design and high pile, it's perfect for creating a chic and cozy living room.

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Made from durable, synthetic fibers, this medium pile rug is stain resistant, non-shedding, and perfect for homes with kids and pets. With its distressed medallion design (available in 11 different colors), it works well for not just living rooms, but also bedrooms, dining rooms, home offices, and nurseries.

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Handwoven from natural fibers wool and jute, this West Elm rug is made from durable and natural materials in a Fair Trade Certified facility. We're also loving this chic version of the trendy checkerboard pattern.

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When it comes to rugs that are easy to clean, shop Ruggable's many collections. From modern and abstract to vintage- and Moroccan-inspired designs, there are plenty of options that are machine washable and design-forward.

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Elevate your living room even on a budget with this jute rug from Walmart. With a neutral hue, it can blend in with any space and add some texture to make your living room more aesthetic.

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Tap into your inner coastal grandmother with this striped, flatweave rug. Not only is it stylish, but it's also made from a blend of linen, wool, and jute, making it both lightweight and durable.

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Add a touch of elegance to your living space with this Persian-inspired rug. Made by skilled artisans with a traditional hand-knotting technique, it has vibrant burgundy, red, blue, and green hues that will make your family room pop.

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Make your living room extra inviting with this black and white, Moroccan-inspired shag rug. Placed on top of hardwood floors, this plush rug will make your space cozy and comfortable, even with bare feet.

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Go boho chic with this plush shag rug. Made from polypropylene, the trellis pattern rug can hold up against high-traffic areas, like living rooms.

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If contemporary and colorful designs are up your alley, check out the Southfields Area Rug from Boutique Rugs. Made from polypropylene, it's durable and will add visual interest to your living room.

Crafted from recycled polyester in Turkey, this washable rug has a neutral, smokey color palette that will soften up your living room.

How to Choose a Living Room Rug

When shopping for a living room rug, consider the size of your living room, rug backing, pile, material, and style.

Size

An area rug can completely transform your living room, making a space feel larger or smaller, depending on the size. To find the right rug size, measure your living room before you start bookmarking potential living room rugs.

Then, take into consideration the shape of your living room. A good rule of thumb is to pair like with like, so a rectangular rug will look most natural in a rectangular room. Rugs come in standard sizes — 3 by 5, 5 by 7, 8 by 11, and so forth — that are ideal for rectangular-shaped spaces. If you're working with a smaller or square-shaped living room, square and round rugs infuse a unique sense of personality.

Other rug rules to consider are to leave at least 12 inches of flooring space for added contrast and to get a rug large enough to fit all (if not, at least the front) of the furniture legs on it. If you get a rug that's too small, it can throw off a space and make it feel cramped. However, you can easily fix it by layering the rug with a larger size underneath.

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You also want to leave enough room in between your furniture not only for a pathway to walk, but also to create enough negative space for light and air to circulate. Use painter's tape to outline potential rug purchases on your floor — this is a great way to visualize how it will look as you plan your furniture layout.

Rug Backing

Rug backings are essential to the perfect living room rug. Not only do they keep rugs from slipping and help prevent buckling so you don't trip, but they also protect floors from dye transfers and scratches, and prevent the growth of mildew. However, not all rugs come with a rug backing. If that's the case, make sure you buy a separate rug pad.

Pile

If you've been doing rug research, you've probably seen reference to something called 'pile.' In a nutshell, pile refers to the density of fibers in a rug and is often used as a descriptor in conjunction with a rug's thickness.

Pile heights vary and can be broken down into three categories:

  • Low pile:​ Less than 1/4 inch
  • Medium pile:​ Between 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch
  • High pile:​ Between 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch

If your living room gets a lot of foot traffic, consider more low pile rugs, since they tend to last longer than medium or high pile options. They also tend to be easier to maintain, as they're easier to vacuum, especially compared to a shag rug.

However, don't think we don't love a good medium or high pile rug. They can add dimension to rooms and feel luxurious underfoot, but they're prone to indentations by furniture and will most likely require more frequent (and careful) cleanings.

Material

For living rooms, opt for more durable materials, including both natural and synthetic options, like wool, jute, sisal, nylon, and polypropylene.

  • Wool:​ Wool rugs offer both durability and comfort, as they are naturally stain resistant and typically last for years.
  • Jute or sisal:​ Jute and sisal are natural fibers that add warmth and texture to your space.
  • Nylon or polypropylene:​ Typically more budget-friendly synthetics like nylon and polypropylene are easy to clean and stain resistant.

Style

Rugs are a great way to introduce personal style and trends into a home in a relatively low-commitment form. Yes, they can be pricey, but they're still easier (and generally more affordable) to replace than large pieces of furniture. You can use a rug to blend in with your living room color scheme or use it as a chance to add a statement piece to your space.

Where to Buy Living Room Rugs

Ready to buy the rug of your dreams? Check out the best places to buy living room rugs below.

With over 450,000 area rugs in stock, you can scroll through Wayfair for days to find the right rug for you. But with specific search features, including shape, pile height, technique, and even holiday or occasion, it'll make shopping a breeze.

2. Amazon

Find all sorts of area rugs on amazon that will suit your living room regardless of your interior design style. Plus, you can take advantage of the quick Prime Day shipping and have your new living room rug unboxed and ready to go in a matter of days.

West Elm has a selection of natural, performance, washable, and wool rugs, all in a range of styles from modern to vintage style.

If you're living room gets a lot of use, opt for one of the many washable rugs that Ruggable has to offer.

Walmart is another spot to buy affordable rugs. In fact, it's the perfect place to buy multiple if you want to try a layering effect in your living room.

Serena & Lily sells timeless rugs in classic, neutral colorways, perfect for the coastal grandmother aesthetic.

From vintage-inspired rugs to modern designs made with high-performance fabric, Pottery Barn is the perfect place to shop for mid- to high-price rugs.

Rugs USA has an endless amount of options to choose from, whether you're looking for round or square rugs to oversized designs.

Shop tons of affordable home decor, including indoor and outdoor rugs at any price point. If you're on a budget, Overstock has plenty of affordable rug options under $200.

Find some of the best area rugs by size, color, and style with ease at Boutique Rugs. Plus, you can find quality rugs on a budget with plenty of sales throughout the year.

11. Revival

Take your pick between new rugs, vintage rugs, outdoor rugs, washable rugs, and so much more at Revival.

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