A Complete Guide to Rug Sizing

A Complete Guide to Rug Sizing

Finding the right rug for your room can be a challenge, especially if you’re ordering online. There are many different shapes and sizes to choose from and getting the exact fit might even require customization if your space is unusual. The most important measurement when choosing a rug size is the area you want your rug to cover, but you’ll also need to pay attention to the furniture in your room. Choosing rugs that are too large can constrict space and make your room feel cluttered, while rugs that are too small can make a room feel empty and cold.

To help you find your dream rug, we’ve compiled this in-depth guide to rug sizing, complete with pictures that will make choosing the perfect size super easy.

Tips to Keep in Mind
  1. Choose a rug that is proportional in size and shape to the furniture and layout of your room. For example, if you have a large rectangular room, then look for a large rectangular rug.

  2. We use a program to scale everything, but those at home can easily measure out the size of your rug on the floor with painter’s tape before purchasing so that you know you are getting the right size.

  3. If there is a rug that you really want to use, but it looks too small in your space, you can layer it on top of another rug that has a neutral appearance.

Family Room

Most Common Rug Sizes: 5×7, 6×9, 8×10, 9×12, 10×14

Front Legs Only

The most popular way to use a rug in a family room is to have the rug centered within your seating area, but not extending beyond it. The inside legs of your furniture (sofa, chairs) will be on the rug, while the outside legs will not. In this way, every piece of furniture is connected via the rug, while still holding their own individual presence. To get this look, measure to the inside legs of your furniture and add around 6” on all sides. Ideally, you should aim for your rug to extend 8” past the sides of your sofa. Your coffee table will be completely on the rug.

EH Design | Red Oak Project

Full Room

If, instead, you’re looking for a large area rug to fill most of the room, look for a size that will cover around ⅔ of the space. This will make sure your family room is comfortable for everyone without overwhelming the space. Make sure the rug extends at least 8” past the edge of your furniture and leave 10-15” of space from the edge of the rug to the wall.

Coffee Table Float

The trickiest of these three styles to get right is using a rug only beneath the coffee table and not your sofa and chairs. However, when done right, this arrangement can open up your room and make it feel larger. To achieve this, consider the smaller rug sizes listed above – 5×7 and 6×9.

Dining Room

Most Common Rug Sizes: 6×9, 8×10, 9×12

Considering adding a rug beneath your dining table? Many people use a rug in their dining room as a way of creating a more cozy ambiance to relax with family and friends. As the focal point of a dining room is the table and chairs, this is what you should focus your rug measurements on. Start by extending your table to its maximum size by adding any leaves that you might use. Push out the chairs to the point that you would need to be able to get up out of them, then measure around their periphery. Add at least 5” on all sides of this measurement. The most important thing is that chairs stay on top of the rug at all times because you don’t want them to go off the edge of the rug for safety’s sake.

With that measurement in mind, try to keep at least one foot of floor space between the wall and the edge of the rug.

EH Design | King Rail Project


Most Common Rug Sizes: 5×7 (Twin), 6×9 (Full), 8×10 (Queen), 9×12 (King)

No one likes to step out of bed in the morning onto cold floors. A rug not only brings visual interest to your bedroom, but it creates a more comfortable living space and softens noise. Depending on what size bed you have, you will need to tailor the size of your rug so that it fits perfectly. Keep in mind these sizes are suggestions for an easy guide. Other factors like the actual room shape and size come into play as well.

⅔ of Bed Only

The most common rug arrangement in a bedroom is where the rug is placed beneath ⅔ of your bed. It will extend out into the walkway, but does not go beneath your nightstand nor your dresser. However, if you have a chair across from your bed, the front legs may be on the rug, tying the room together.

All Legs On

If you prefer the look of a larger rug, this option covers the ground beneath all the furniture in the room except for your dresser. The rug should cover the entire bedroom space, leaving 10-18” of floor on every side of the room except the wall where your bed is.


Most Common Rug/Runner Sizes: 2×3, 2.5×8, 2.5×12

If you’re thinking about adding a rug to your kitchen, it’s likely that you’ll need a long, slender runner to go on the walkway in between your sink and island. As there is no furniture in this area, choosing a rug size is fairly straightforward – you just want to leave a little space on all sides for the rug to breathe. A long runner can actually make your kitchen appear larger, so don’t be afraid of letting it extend beyond your island.

EH Design | Shavers Project


Do I need a rug pad?

Yes! A rug pad keeps your rug from moving around the floor when you are walking on it. To get the right fit, leave at least 1 inch of rug overhang so that the pad doesn’t show.

What can I do if none of the rugs seem to fit in my space?

If you’re having trouble finding a rug that fits, you can either have one custom-fit to your room, or use runners. Runners are a great way to add warmth, texture, and color to your walkways without needing to change anything in the room.

Should I take the thickness of the rug pile into consideration?

Yes, for any rugs that are going to have furniture on them, it’s important to consider the height of the pile, or density of fibers on the rug. A rug with a very thick, tall pile can be a nuisance when you are moving around chairs.

The right rug can make or break a room, which is why it’s important to find one that fits your space and complements your lifestyle. When you’re ready to find your dream rug to pull all the elements of your room together, shop around and do some research online to get a sense of what style and colors you prefer. You’ll only truly know how a rug is going to look in your room when you have it on the floor, so don’t be afraid to experiment by trying a few different options in your space (as long as they can be returned). Be creative – you can even use a rug on top of carpeting in the right setting.

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