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How to Choose Area Rug Size

Choosing a rug is a little bit like the story of the three bears. You’re looking for not too small, not too big but just right. But, with so many lay out options & variables, that can be a tricky thing to figure out! Here, I’m answering some of your common questions and including my area rug size guide for all the common area rug sizes! 

family room with area rug
allisa jacobs home styling | family room with area rug

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using painter's tape to lay out rug size in living room

Steps to Choose a Rug Size

  • Measure actual room from wall to wall
  • Lay out the room furniture in the optimal layout (considering flow, spacing, etc.)
  • Use the rug size guide below to choose the common rug sizes for the room & layout
  • Use painter’s tape to create a rough “sketch” of how the rug will look in the space.
  • Since not all rugs have exact standard sizing, be open to ones that are close (for example, 8′ x 10′ is a common size, however, you might also see a 8’4″ x 11’6″ which might still work)

How to Determine What Area Rug Size I Need?

Before looking at rugs, you’ll want to measure and assess the layout. It’s so easy to get lost in the world of rug choice but by determining these things first, you can filter it out.

Rugs add so much dimension to a room. They anchor the furniture so it feels grounded. They also add texture and pattern (two of the Interior Design Elements).


common area rug size guide for different rooms
living room with correct area rug size and furniture

What is the best size living room rug?

Living room rugs can be the trickiest to choose area rug sizing because there are so many variables. From small, cozy rooms to larger grand living rooms, there is a lot to consider.

Plus, each living room has unique layout needs.

It’s crucial to make sure the main furniture legs are on the rug. Otherwise you end up with a rug island! In general, living rooms work well with rugs 6’x 9′, 8′ x 10′ and 9′ x 12.’

Rug Size Dos & Don’ts

  • DO anchor rug with the front legs of the main furniture items
  • DO leave at least 8″ -10″ of bare floor around edge of rug
  • DON’T put a rug floating in the middle of floor without furniture items anchoring it
  • DON’T use a wall to wall rug
bedroom with bed and large area rug
queen bed, with a rug slightly larger than 6′ x9′

What is the right size rug for a queen or kind bed?

Generally speaking, for bedrooms, you want the rug under the bed and to extend on both sides. There should also be 1′-2′ of the rug at the foot of the bed.

This really anchors the room and also allows for a cozy element getting in and out of the bed. Looking for rug ideas? Check out my 9 Geometric Area Rugs that are all neutral & affordable.

Room or SpaceArea Rug Size
Kitchen, Small Entryways, Bathrooms2′ x 3′
Foyer4′ x 6′ or 5′ x 7′
Small Dining Room6′ x 9′
Large Dining Room8′ x 10′ or 9′ x 12′
Bedroom with Twin5′ x 7′
Bedroom with Full 6′ x9′
Bedroom with Queen or King6′ x 9′ or 8′ 10′

dining room with area rug under table

Should a Dining Room Have a Rug?

Maybe! I’m in the camp that says this is one room that does not need to have a rug. Some dining rooms are just too cozy or have an interesting walk through. And you know what? That’s ok!

However, area rugs can be both functional and lovely in a dining room. You’ll want to choose one that is large enough to accommodate all the chair legs when they are pushed in.

Can I put a round rug under a table?

Yes! This is often a great solution in the dining room. Again, just make sure it’s large enough to accommodate all the chairs.

Additional Area Rug Details

This guide covers only area rug size details but of course there other aspects to choosing a rug. You’ll want to think about different types of rugs and the material.

Also, durability and whether cleaning the rug is something you’ll likely need to tackle routinely is an important factor.

Looking for inspiration? I rounded up my Favorite Neutral Rugs for Each Space.

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

guide to choosing area rug size