Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Type, Size, And Material You Need To Know

This rug guide will help you find the perfect fit.

Let's face it: Rugs are essential pieces that every person needs in their home. Just imagine walking into a space without any textiles on the floor. It's going to automatically feel a bit bare and off-putting. Whether your apartment has beautiful herringbone wood or cold concrete floors, laying down a high quality rug can instantly bring the room warmth and personality. Rugs are a necessary ingredient to guide any interior to tie in its palette and aesthetic. Adding in this one decor item can literally can ground your entire design. But for some reason, many people still can't figure out how to choose the right style rug for their homes. With a variety of weaves, piles, materials, and shapes, it's hard to distinguish what kinds of rugs you actually should be searching for when shopping for your home. Well thanks to the many creative processes to make these, it can be a bit difficult to navigate.

You may have heard phrases like kilim, flat-weave, or sisal before, but have you ever taken the time to look up what those terms actually mean? Do you know how often certain rug styles need to be cleaned? How big does that rug actually need to be? And more importantly, how can you avoid buying a rug that doesn't actually work in your home?

To make your life a little easier, we created the ultimate rug guide to help you become an expert before hitting your local furniture store or flea market. We'll break down everything from the process of weaving rugs to what kind of material works in different spaces. Whether you're decorating a new home or just want to get yourself a little bit more familiar with how to properly design a space, this guide will hopefully give you some direction. Read ahead to become a rug expert and find the perfect piece for your home.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Type, Size, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Erin Williamson.

Rug Types


Flatweave Rugs

These rugs are very thinly woven on a loom and have no pile. The most popular textiles that use this technique are kilim or dhurrie rugs, which can produce beautiful patterns. Since they don’t have a backing, these rugs are easily reversible if one side gets too dirty.

Tufted Rugs

Tufted designs are created when fibers loop though a rug’s backing. Afterwards, the loops are cut to create a smooth pile feel. Unlike many kinds, they don’t use knots in their construction, which make these easier to make. Be warned that they shed more often than most rugs.

Hand-Knotted Rugs

These artisan-crafted designs involves weavers knotting the fiber of the rug together. After each knot is created, it is then cut. Many Persian rugs often are created with this style.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Stephen Busken.

Hooked Rugs

Hooked rugs go through a similar process as tufted rugs, yet they are not sheared. This gives the design a more embroidered, lifted look. Many of these rugs are made by hand and can come in higher prices.

Braided Rugs

As you might assume by the name, weavers use a braiding technique to create these rugs. They are often found in more oval shapes to fit the organic pattern.

Shag Rugs

Shag rugs can be made from a variety of methods but are most well known for their high-pile designs. They are known for being notoriously hard to clean but are often the comfiest rugs to have in your home. The style was very popular back in the '70s, but has come back in style as of late. Beni Ourain rugs from Morocco use a hand-knotting style are a fun and cozy variation of this style.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Ana Kamin.

Rug Sizes


Narrow Spaces

Runners are great rugs are great for adding warmth and color to your hallways or along the kitchen floor if you have a center island or galley. You can find a variety of sizes but the width will usually not exceed three feet.

Dining Rooms

In a dining room, you want your rug to extend about 24 inches past your table. That way you can have any chairs still on the textile when they are pushed back. If a chair legs aren't steadied on a rug, you can be left with a wobbly situation.

Large Living Rooms

Have a large living room that you want completely covered? Look for rug sizes like 9’ x 12’ or 11’ x 14’. Just be sure to measure your space first to see if it will fit.

Seating Areas

For a smaller seating area with a rug just centered underneath your coffee table, we recommend finding a rug that’s 4’ x 6’ or 5’ x 7’. This is a great way to pull together a space on a budget. Often times, smaller rugs come at a cheaper price point so you can pick out a design you love.

Medium Living Rooms

If you have a room arrangement where you plan to only have the rug touching the front legs of your furniture, look for sizes in 6’ x 9’ or 8’ x 10’. This style can create cohesion and allows you to show off any beautiful hardwood floors you might have. Just be wary if your rug is very thick or high pile. That can leave your seats feeling unbalanced.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Amy Bartlam.

Bathrooms

In your bathroom, you can choose a smaller bathmat-size rug to lay in front of a shower or sink to help absorb any extra moisture and amp up the space's personality. Additionally, you can have a runner span the length of the room. Just be sure to find a rug that is equipped to deal with damp spaces. While we love the look of a Persian rug in a bathroom, they often aren't the wisest material to have in that space.

Bedrooms

In a bedroom, it's a good idea to find a rug that extends entirely around your frame. These can range from 8' x 10' for a queen or 9' x 12' for a king. You want to Additionally, you can also bookend both sides of your bed with runners. This is a fun option for a more eclectic look.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Delbarr Moradi.

Rug Materials


Wool

Wool is one of the most common materials you’ll find rugs in. Not only are these textiles durable, but they also are quite soft and can help insulate a space. Plus, they are pretty easy to get stains out of, depending on the hue. They can absorb humidity fairly easily so be wary before placing on in your bathroom. They also can fade over time, but that can give them a cool vintage feel. Otherwise, this material is great for high-traffic spaces like living rooms and dining rooms.

Silk

Silk rugs are great if you love a softer material to cozy up with. With its subtle sheen and thin thread, these designs can have fine detailing and a very luxe look. Yet this high-quality comes with a price tag. These rugs require professional cleaning and can easily get damaged. We recommend placing your silk textiles in bedrooms or other areas that won’t get frequently stepped on by shoes.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Claudia Uribe.

Cotton

Cotton is an often used material for flat-weave rugs and can be found in kitchens, kids rooms, or other high traffic areas. While they are usually more affordable and easy to throw in the wash, they don’t last for very long. We recommend giving yourself a few years with these rugs before you have to replace them with a fresh find.

Jute

Rugs from all-natural fibers like sisal, jute, and seagrass all are extremely strong materials that can look great in your home. We love to use them for a neutral tone in a room or even as a grounding layer for other rug designs. While they can be great in high traffic areas, just be wary that some can be more course and require a high-powered vacuum to clean.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Sabrina Bot.

Synthetic

If you’re looking for a rug that can go practically anywhere (including the outdoors), then synthetics rugs are for you. With a mix of fibers like nylon, viscose, and polypropylene, these durable creations are great buys if you're looking for a long-term purchase.

Animal Hides

Animal hides, whether faux or real, can be beautiful additions to a home. We love the personality they can add to a space as well as their soft textures. It helps that they are also pretty durable as long as they are not placed in damp areas. Additionally, you can also buy yourself a real or fake sheepskin rugs. While these pieces are great to throw anywhere to add a little coziness, be advised that they are hard to clean and can often catch dirt easily.

Lonny's Rug Guide: Every Size, Color, And Material You Need To Know
Photographed by Caroline Sharpnack.

I am Lonny's Senior Associate Editor. You can find me writing about interior tips, scouting out the coolest new spots, and rallying behind amazing female entrepreneurs. You can reach me at shelby.wax@livingly.com or on Instagram @shelbywax.
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