How to Choose the Right Rug Size For Every Room in Your Home

by Bai-Xu

Let me share with you the ultimate guide to how to choose rug sizes for every single space in your home so you never have to waste your money again. Rugs can completely change how a space looks, add interest to a boring floor, brighten up a dark room, absorb noises around you, and create cozy corners for you to curl up in. However, they can also be expensive. Here's how to choose the perfect rug for your space.

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Determine the size of the living room

1. Determine the size of the living room

Spending money on the wrong size rug can be a sad day for your room and a sadder day for your wallet. When looking for a rug in your living room, let your seating determine the size. Look at the longest piece of seating furniture you have. The rug should not be shorter than a sofa.

2. Choose the placement

To place a rug, you have two options. Either place all the legs of your furniture pieces on the rug or only the front legs and use the rule of thirds. Either the sofa should be a third on the rug or two-thirds on the rug. This guideline applies to all seating arrangements, whether a pair of armchairs, a sectional sofa, an armchair, a sectional sofa, a sofa and armchair, or multiple sofas.

3. Living room rug shape

The shape of the rug should correlate with the shape of your furniture. You should opt for a rectangular rug if you have a rectangular setup. If your seating arrangement is a little bit more organic or round, you should go for a round rug.

Rugs in other rooms

Dining room rugs
Bedroom rugs

Dining room rugs

To harmonize with the curves of the dining room, try to match the shape of the rug to your dining table. So if you have a square table, opt for a square rug. If you have a round table, choose a round rug. If you have a rectangular or an oval table, go for a rectangular rug. Ensure that your furniture sits right in the middle of the rug.

The size of your dining table should determine the size of your rug. Your rug should be large enough for all dining chairs to sit entirely on it, even when pulled out. Choosing a rug that's too small can make the space feel cramped and leave your floors vulnerable to damage from chairs being pushed back.

Aim for a rug approximately 2 to 2 1/2 feet larger than the tabletop. To be extra sure, test that all four legs of your chairs will still rest on the rug when pulled out.

Bedroom rugs

For the bedroom, use the size of your bed as a guide for placing the rug and the size. So the most common approach is to place a large area rug under the bed, making it the room's focal point. Now, when it comes to freestanding beds, you have three options:

  • Put all the furniture on the rug.
  • Put only the bed on a rug.
  • Have rugs on either side of the bed.

For beds placed in the corner, you can have a rug under all the furniture. You can have a runner rug on one side, and if you have a bedroom with two twin beds, you can put a runner rug between these beds. Regarding size, you should go for a rug that extends at least 2 feet larger than the bed, and generally, rectangular-shaped rugs work well for the bedroom.

Kitchen rugs

Kitchen rugs

The most functional placement for kitchen rugs is in the area in front of the sink. Alternatively, you can place a rug in the middle of the space so more of the floor surface is softened. The size of your kitchen rug depends on your preference and the amount of floor space between the cabinets. As a general guide, leave a gap of around a 1/2 inch between the edge of your rug and the edge of your walls or cabinets.

Consider the layout and size of your kitchen when choosing a rug shape. For kitchens with narrow spaces, long runners are ideal for filling in that gap. If you have a larger kitchen with more small space, you can opt for a large rectangular or square rug. Or you can use a teeny tiny rectangular rug just in front of the sink area.

Hallway rugs


If you prefer your floor to be free from fabric for the hallway, place a rug in the middle to create a visually balanced space. When it comes to rug size, the runner rug should cover around 75% of the length of your hallway. You should also be able to see your flooring on either side of the rug. I recommend leaving a 2 to 4-inch gap on either side of the runner.

Regarding your hallway and entrance, you should pick a shape that correlates with the space. So for a long, narrow hallway, opt for a long, narrow rug. A square-shaped rug will work better if you have a more square-shaped entryway.

Office rugs

Office rugs

If you want to make a statement, you can also go for a big round rug in the office. You want to ensure the area rug is large enough to contain your entire desk and chair. You don't want your chair to snag on the edge of the rug when rolling about the space because it'll be annoying and might damage your floor. The rug should be placed directly underneath all your furniture, so all of the legs of the chair and tables are on it.

Regarding rug shape, go for a rectangular or square rug because round rugs generally are not large enough to cover all the space underneath your furniture.

Is your rug the wrong size?

What if you already have a rug you love, but it's the wrong size? Do you have to throw it away? Of course not. You can do things if your current rug is too small; you can layer it with other, smaller rugs to create the illusion of a larger rug. Alternatively, you can place a larger, simpler rug underneath the existing smaller one to provide a frame and make it appear more substantial.

How to choose rug size

Do you decorate your home with rugs? What tips do you have for maximizing a rug's impact in a room? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Join the conversation
  • Nfi22498539 Nfi22498539 on Aug 16, 2023
    Any suggestions for keeping rugs in place when kids and kitties run over them?
    • Renee Renee on Oct 26, 2023
      Double sided rug tape keeps my rugs in place and keeps them from bunching up.