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Hit the floor running

How to choose a bedroom rug

February 12, 2020
The bed may be the star of your bedroom, but it’s the rug that sets the stage. The right rug provides a strong foundation for a room and works as a unifying force that brings all the visual elements together. Rugs add color, pattern, and style to your space and give it a personal feel. But a rug does more than just look good. It insulates your room against noise, helps stabilize the temperature, and protects your floors from wear and tear. It’s also an easy, relatively inexpensive way to hit refresh on a room that’s looking a little stale. Choosing the right one is not a straightforward task. Here we lay out some of the things you’ll need to think about before you make an investment.

Start at the bottom

Before you choose your new rug, consider the surface it will lie on. You can get away with a thinner rug on a wood floor that’s warm and yielding, but you’ll want something thick and plush on a cold, hard floor made of tile or concrete. If you’re designing your bedroom from scratch, choose your rug first and then pick out linens and other elements for the room. It’s easier to match accessories to the rug than the other way around.

Claim your space

If you live in a studio apartment or your bedroom does double duty as a home office or craft nook, use rugs to help define the separate areas of your room. Look for rugs that complement each other in terms of color and style, but still, bring an element of contrast and separation to the different areas of the room.

Power positions

There are three main ways to position a bedroom rug: with the bed fully on the rug, the bed partially on the rug, or with runners at the side of the bed. Which one you go with depends on the size of your room and your budget.

Take a test drive with painter’s tape

Experiment with different sizes and placements by outlining the dimensions of the rug in its ideal location using painter’s tape. When you find a configuration you like, measure the perimeter, and use that as your starting point.

A matter of size

If your bedroom is large, choose a rug that’s big enough to fit under the bed and nightstands with a little extra width on either side. For rooms on the smaller size, look for a rug that will cover roughly one-third of the bed’s base, or go with small area rugs on either side and maybe one at the foot of the bed, if there’s room.

No cold feet

One way to wake up fast is to put your feet on a cold floor as you get out of bed. We prefer a gentler start to the day. Position rugs so that your feet get a warm welcome to the world when you step out of bed.

Colorful considerations

When choosing the color and pattern of your rug, consider the mood you want to set in your bedroom. A slight contrast in color between the rug and your furniture will give your bedroom a sleek, contemporary look. If your nightstands and dressers are white or light-colored furniture, a darker area rug can add a little more drama to the room and make it feel cozy and grounded. For a more relaxed and airy vibe, go with a light-colored one.

Go a little luxe

If you want to invest in a great rug, make it a bedroom rug. Bedrooms typically have a little less traffic than other parts of the house so rugs there get less wear and tear. Wool rugs feel great on bare feet and are not usually too expensive. Sumptuous silk rugs are pricier but extremely soft and luxurious, and a good choice for anyone allergic to wool. Just be sure to leave your shoes at the door. Silk rugs can show footprints and require professional cleaning once they get soiled.

Let stripes be the star

A striped rug can make a small room look a little bigger. Choosing colors that correspond with the overall scheme of the room can give it a modern look.

Mind the gap

Don’t let your rugs push up against the edge of your dresser or nightstand. Either choose a rug that’s large enough to slip comfortably underneath the furniture in your bedroom or get one that’s small enough to leave at least two or three inches of floor space between the edge of the rug and the dresser or nightstands.