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Hardwood, laminate and vinyl floors are all the rage, but even the most beautiful floors could use a little sprucing up in the old home décor department. Area rugs are the perfect way to pull any area together: they help to define a room in an open-concept space, they add instant warmth and décor and they can help you to change a space’s style on a basic budget.
In other words, if you haven’t invested in a few by now, what are you waiting for? Luckily, some of the best area rugs are only a couple of clicks away, and available to purchase on Amazon. That means you can shop from the comfort of your own home, envisioning your final space as you go. But first, you may want to ask yourself a few basic questions.
Which Rooms Should You Put Area Rugs In?
Area rugs work in almost all rooms of the house, from your front entrance to your office, your living room space or your bedroom. But you can also put them under a kitchen or dining room table, or even in your bathroom for a little extra warmth under your toes in the colder months. Essentially, any high-traffic area in your home is a great spot for an area rug, since they help to protect your beautiful (and probably expensive) floors.
However, you’ll probably also want to consider what kind of potential damage can happen to your rug, depending on which room you’re putting it in. A dining room rug will need to stand up to all kinds of tough spills and stains, while an area rug in a bathroom should be easily washed to avoid mold or mildew build-up.
How Do You Measure For An Area Rug?
Always (always, always) measure your space before you actually purchase an area rug. And if it helps you can even put painter’s tape or a bedsheet on the floor to help you envision how it will actually fit in your space before you buy it. A good rule of thumb is to have at least eight inches of floor exposed around the entire perimeter of the rug, but not more than 24 inches, or the rug may look too small.
Try to center the rug in the middle of the room and ensure that the exposed floor is equal in all directions for the most polished look. There are other guidelines you can follow too though, depending on the room. In a living room, you ideally want all of the furniture to at least partially fit on the rug (put the front legs on top and leave the back legs off if you can’t fit the entire piece), while in the dining room you want all of the chairs and the table itself to nestle easily on top.
What Is Pile Height?
Because you’re probably purchasing an area rug for a high-traffic area in your home, you’ll want to take the pile height into consideration. Pile heights typically range from 1/4 -inch to 1/2-inch or more depending on the material. Opt for sturdier, denser rugs where people will walk more frequently or where heavy furniture like tables and couches may make an indent.
What Kinds of Fibers Should You Look For?
This is a personal preference more than anything, but most area rugs come in one of several materials: polyester, cotton, nylon, polypropylene and wool. While polypropylene is less expensive, repels water and is more stain-resistant than many other fibers, polyester tends to be non-allergenic. Cotton is more natural and soft and typically is easy to throw into the wash, while nylon is super durable and good for areas with heavy foot traffic. As for wool? It’s also easy to clean and durable, but it may not stand up to the wear and tear of foot traffic or even sunlight as well as some of the other fibers out there.
How to Match Area Rugs To Your Room?
Now for the fun part: choosing your patterns. There’s no rule when it comes to how busy an area rug can be, but there are definite guidelines you can follow. If you’re looking to open up a room or keep it bright and airy, opt for lighter colors. If you have a large space that you want to make a little cozier, then the opposite is true and you should look for an area rug with dark colors.
Now, what about the actual colors of your area rug? They definitely don’t have to sync up perfectly to your space (in fact they may be more interesting from a design perspective if they don’t), but you should try and match at least one color in the pattern to the colors in your room in order to pull everything together. You’ll also want to consider any wallpaper or other patterns in the room of choice, and make sure that they jive with your area rug too.
Last but not least, you’ll also want to ask yourself if your area rug is going to be the focal point of the room, or if you have something else that draws the eye, like a fireplace. If it’s the latter situation then look for a soft, uniform pattern, but if it’s attention you seek, look for an area rug that has a strong design element in the middle that tapers out (like a Mandala).
The Best Area Rugs on Amazon in 2021
1. Artistic Weavers Desta Vintage Oriental Area Rug
This polypropylene rug has soft tribal motifs that add a warm but soft look to any room. It’s designed to hold up in a variety of spaces and works in high-traffic areas, and in worse-case stain scenarios, it can be thrown into the wash on a delicate setting and hung to dry.
2. Moroccan Hype Boho Vintage Diamond Area Rug
This bohemian design comes in an array of colors depending on the room in question, making it great for a whimsical living room, a fun playroom, or even an artistic-inspired bedroom or office. It’s made from polypropylene which means it will stand up to kids, pets and everything in between, plus it’s machine-woven so that those potentially pesky rug fibers will stay put.
3. nuLOOM Contemporary Misty Shades Large Area Rug
This resilient polypropylene offering comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from runners to squares or circles, so that you can perfectly complete any room in the house. Its power-loomed construction means that it can easily stand up to high-traffic areas, while its neutral design feels contemporary and complementary in most rooms.
4. Unique Loom Sofia Collection Traditional Vintage Gray Area Rug
This 1/3-inch thick polypropylene area rug features a beautiful vintage design that holds up well in many farmhouse-inspired spaces. The repetitive pattern makes it perfect for a room with another central focal point, like a fireplace, but it comes in many different rectangular and runner sizes to perfectly suit whatever space you have in mind for it.
Unique Loom Sofia Collection Traditional Vintage Gray Area Rug
5. Home Dynamix Vega Modern Area Rug
BEST MID-CENTURY MODERN
If you’re looking to add an area rug that packs a big, bold statement in a mid-century modern space, this piece is loaded with personality. It comes in earth tones to ground your room, and features solid lines to help draw the eyes from those other mid-century modern pieces you probably also have on display. It’s made from polypropylene material to withstand lots of wear and tear and is on the thinner side to keep any potential tripping hazards to a minimum.
6. nuLOOM Paisley Verona Vintage Persian Area Rug
Get your paisley on in any room with this intricately designed area rug, which comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The polypropylene material features a sleek, 0.37-inch pile height to minimize tripping hazards, but it also adds an instant pop of beautiful color to any room in need of a pick-me-up.
7. Artistic Weavers Odelia Denim Area Rug
This thick but sturdy polypropylene rug is just over two inches thick, making it a cushy addition to your space. Consider putting it somewhere where your bare feet can enjoy that plushness in all its glory, like the bedroom or a basement rec room, perhaps. Be warned that if you have kids, they’ll probably also love cozying on up to this plush area rug on your next movie night.
8. SAFAVIEH Hudson Shag Collection
When you think of shag rugs, visions of dusty orange carpets may come to mind. But there’s a modern way to shag too, as this pretty and plush offering proves. The pile is two inches to put a little extra cushion under those feet, making it a fun but cozy addition to any family rooms or playrooms out there.
9. Unique Loom Trellis Frieze Collection Lattice Moroccan Geometric Modern Area Rug
If it’s a bolder, more modern statement you’re going for, this geometric area rug offers up lots of personality for smaller budgets. It’s made from polypropylene and has a 1/3-inch pile, which means it can hold up to heavier pieces of furniture in the living or dining room, not to mention wear-and-tear from pets or kids.
Unique Loom Trellis Frieze Collection Lattice Moroccan Geometric Modern Area Rug
10. Artistic Weavers Odelia Updated Traditional Rug
Durable, stain-resistant and all-around swanky, this traditional area rug features lots of intricate details that add a bold look to any room in the house. Grab one to add an instant focal point to foyers or living rooms, or beef up your dining room china with this area rug like you’re in Downton Abbey or something.