How to Choose the Right Size Rug Room by Room

How to Choose the Right Size Rug Room by Room

There are no hard rules when it comes to choosing the right size rugs for the different rooms and areas of your house, but there are various shape, size, and placement considerations to keep in mind. 


No matter where you’re looking to put your next rug or what you want it to accomplish, we’ve got you covered. Here are Sisal Rug’s best guidelines for how to choose the right size rug, room by room.

Measure the room

To decide on rug size, the first thing you should do is measure the room it’s going in. As you measure the room, you should also consider how much space you want your rug to take up. 

If you want a large rug to cover most of the room, measure the total perimeter of the room space and then subtract about five inches from each size. If you have a wood floor in the room you’re measuring, try to leave at least 18 to 24 inches of flooring uncovered around the perimeter of the room. This will help the wood flooring stand out and complement the rug you choose. 

If you want a smaller rug, then consider measuring just the space you want to cover (see below). This will help you choose the right size. You should also measure the space you want to cover if you want the rug to be a shape other than the standard. 

Measure the space

Measure the space that you wish to cover with a tape measure. When you’re confident in your measurements, choose a standard-size rug that comes closest to these measurements. As a general rule, you may also want to leave a small margin of error for the edge of the rug, in case the space or rug ends up slightly bigger or smaller than you thought. Some of the most standard rug sizes include:

  • 3 x 5’
  • 4 x 6’
  • 5 x 7’
  • 6 x 9’
  • 7 x 9’
  • 8 x 10’
  • 9 x 12’
  • 10 x 13’
  • 12 x 15’

Even if the space you want to cover doesn’t conform to one of these standard sizes, you still have good options. Sisal Rugs Direct specializes in creating custom-size rugs that are affordable and don’t take months to make. To see your custom options, find a style of rug you like on any of our product pages and type in the width and length you need to get started. 

Living Room/Family Room

When you choose a rug for your living room, your most important considerations will probably include what you want it to accomplish, how you want it to complement or accent the rest of the decor in the room, and how big you want the rug to be overall. 

Arrange your furniture before determining the size of a new area rug. It might make your living room look more pulled together for all of the legs of the furniture to be resting on a room-sized area rug, for example. Alternatively, if you want a smaller area rug, you may want all of the legs of the furniture to be off of the rug. 

It’s best to be consistent with the furniture placement; either all the legs should rest on the rug or none should. You do not want to have your sofa half on and half off the rug, for example, but accenting a coffee table with a rug just large enough to support it could look very nice. 

Some of the most popular sizes for living room rugs include:

  • 10 x 14’ - This large rug could be a great size for an open concept living room.
  • 9 x 12’ - This size is also good for an open concept living room. Even if it doesn’t fill up most of the room, you could use it to accent the main seating area.
  • 8 x 10’ - This rug size is ideal for a slightly smaller seating area or to support a large coffee table.
  • 6 x 9’ - A smaller rug like this one could accent a smaller seating area nicely, or look great in front of a mantle.

When it comes to color and texture, you could either try to blend your rug in with the existing decor in your living room or use it as inspiration to try a new look. If your rug is too small to cover all of the flooring in your living room, then taking the opportunity to accent that flooring can be a nice idea. You should also keep in mind the color of your furniture and walls. Consider taking a picture of your living room to consult while you pursue your rug options.          

Dining Room/Kitchen

Under the Dining Room table, or any table that has a rug under it, the rug should be large enough that the chairs can be easily pulled in and out from the table without catching on the edge of the rug. You could also match your dining room rug to the shape of your dining room table: for example, circular rugs look very good beneath circular dining room tables. 

Before you measure for a dining room rug, arrange your furniture the way you want it. You should also measure the distance the chairs generally slide out from the table and add that measurement to your sizing consideration. There should be at least 24” of rug from the edge of the table out on all sides. This will allow the back legs of the chairs to be on the rug, even when the chair is pulled out slightly while someone is sitting down. Do not have your chairs half on and half off the rug. It will be difficult to move the chairs and will have a disheveled look.

For most dining rooms, an 8 x 10’ or 9 x 12’ rug will be close to the ideal size. Rugs that are 5 x 8’ or smaller will likely not work very well in practice. After making your measurements, consider using tape or string to create an outline of your future rug around your dining table. This will help you see what the rug will look like and plan around how you’re going to position and move your chairs.

The best rugs for dining rooms tend to be stain-resistant or jute rugs, polypropylene rugs, and seagrass rugs with Stain Guards applied. These rugs are durable enough to stand up to constant chair maneuvering and you won’t have to worry about permanent stains if someone at the table spills. 


For an area rug to look balanced under a bed, it  should be large enough to extend beyond the side or foot of the bed at least 18” for a King or Queen, or 12” for a Full or Twin. If you have a larger bedroom you can extend the rug more around the bed, but you shouldn’t go smaller. 

Good bedroom rug sizes include:

King size bed:

  • 9 x 12’ - This will leave room for two nightstands on either side of the bed.
  • 8 x 10’ - This will extend out from the king size bed but will not leave much room for nightstands (small nightstands may still work).
  • 3 x 5’ or custom runner - You could also place smaller rugs on either side of the bed. Adding another runner to the foot of the bed would complete the look.

Queen size bed:

  • 9 x 12’ - This will leave 42” on either side of the bed, along with room at the foot of the bed.
  • 8 x 10’ - This is the designer-recommended size for a queen bed.
  • 6 x 9’ - This is the minimum rug size that leaves 2’ on either side of the bed.

Twin size bed:

  • 8 x 10’ - This size is long enough to cover the area under two twin size beds with a nightstand between them.
  • 3 x 5’ - A single 3 x 5’ rug can be placed between two twin size beds.

Wool rugs are a popular choice for bedrooms, because they are very warm and soft underfoot. Wool rugs do best in temperature-controlled rooms that don’t get direct sunlight for too long, too, which makes them naturally well-suited for bedrooms.

High Traffic Areas

In high-traffic areas of your space, you want to avoid creating uneven walking surfaces with your rugs. Try to cover as much surface area with any rugs you choose for high-traffic areas, and make sure that the rug you choose won’t slip around on the flooring. You should also choose a rug that’s very visible against the flooring or walls you choose, so people can always see where they’re going. 

Finally, you should be sure to choose a rug material that’s easy to clean, particularly if this rug is going to come into contact with muddy boots or dirty shoes.

No matter what size or style you’re looking for, Sisal Rug’s experts can help you customize your dream rug. Just get in touch or look through our full custom rug product page to get started. 


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