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bedroom area rugs

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Bedroom Area Rug

The essential role of a bedroom rug is to give you a wonderfully soft surface to step onto when you get out of bed. A cold hardwood or tile floor is the last thing you want to step on first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night. And in place of that, a wool and silk rug is something that fits in super cool!

Checkout some of our Wool and Silk Rugs

An area rug immediately makes a room cozier – and that’s exactly the feel you need in a bedroom. Area rugs absorb sound – nobody wants an echoey bedroom; and add a warm, welcoming texture. Area rugs also prevent slips and falls if you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

And of course, area rugs look wonderful! Oriental rugs can add an accent of color or complement existing decor in your bedroom. They unify your bed and nightstands together, creating the ultimate sleeping zone. Oriental rugs are also the perfect opportunity to add a touch of your personality to the most intimate room in your home.

Before you choose a bedroom area rug, take a step back and consider a few things. Think about what you like, what you need, and what’s possible in the space you have. Which rug do you want to wake up to every morning?

What size bedroom area rug do I need?

When it comes to bedroom furnishings, the bed is undoubtedly the star. Any other style decision you make, including what sort of area rug to buy, depends on what type of bed you have and where in the room it’s located. For example, a bedroom with a central, king size bed requires a very different approach than a kid's room with two twin beds. 

When your feet (sadly) leave the warmth of your bed, they want to step onto a luxurious rug, not a cold floor. To make sure you have happy feet, the rug needs to extend about 24” from your bed. Take this measurement into account when you’re choosing your bedroom rug – and we’ll give you some size suggestions!

Don’t feel restricted if you’re buying an area rug for a small bedroom - Houzz has plenty of options. Don't hold back with design ideas simply because your room is smaller!

Another thing to think about is whether or not you want to rug to go under your nightstands - this is simply a matter of personal preference. Again, we’ll give you some suggestions for both options.

How big is my bed?

The main thing you need to keep in mind when choosing a bedroom rug is the size of your bed.

The standard mattress sizes in the US are as follows:

  • King size, 76” x 80”
  • California King, 72” x 84”
  • Queen size, 60” x 80”
  • Full bed (sometimes called a “double bed”), 54” x 75”
  • Twin bed, 39” x 75”
  • Twin XL - designed for taller sleepers, this bed measures 80” long

This will save you measuring your bed, but take into account that large-framed beds will be a bit bigger than the mattress measurements.

After you know the size of your bed, you should add an extra 24" to both sides. We suggest actually drawing a plan of your bedroom and its furnishings to make sure you can accommodate your chosen rug.

Looking at one bed at a time, here are our recommendations for bedroom rug layouts and sizes!

King Size Bed

The smallest rug suggested for a king size bed is a 7’ x 10’ style, which gives you a nice warm edge to step onto and goes up to (but not under) the nightstands. If you have a California King, you’re going to need a bigger rug! The minimum size recommendation for these mighty beds is a 9’ x 12’ style.

Choose a rug with a stand-out border, as this will be the main detail on display. For me, I would love to go on with a Bokhara rug since it comes with a very elegant yet attractive border work. We love the multiple borders on this Peshawar Ziegler rug. If you would rather not have a border across your bed’s footprint, which you will have if the rug doesn’t go underneath the nightstands, try something like this luxurious wool and silk rug.

Checkout some of our Peshawar Ziegler Rugs

If you decide to take the rug under the nightstands, your rug needs to increase by another couple of feet. This takes you up to a 9’ x 12’ area rug. This pale Peshawar Ziegler rug would look perfect in a light, serene bedroom. For a Cal King, you probably want to aim for 12 x 15 rug to keep it looking proportionate and spectacular – or you may decide to lose some of the extra footage at the base.

Another way to present a 9’ x 12’ area rug is to stop it before the nightstands and have extra rug on display at the foot of the bed. This look is especially effective if you have a blanket chest or couch at the bottom of your bed. A totally different approach is to opt for a pair of rugs and place one at either side of the bed. 4’ x 6’, if you have the space, or 3’ x 5’ if you're working with less!

A quick summary of these sizes:

  • To go up to the nightstands, 7’ x 10’
  • To go under the nightstands, 9’ x 12’
  • For a Cal King, 9’ x 12’
  • For a Cal King, to go under the nightstands, 12’ x 15’
  • If you want a pair of rugs, 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’ each

Queen Size Bed 

If your room is big enough, and you want that extra touch of luxury, you can keep to the same sizes that we’ve suggested for the king size bed. After all, if it’s good for the king, it’s good for the queen!

And besides all this, It will add a flair of exquisiteness to your interior design as well!

If you’d prefer to have a slightly smaller rug, the ideal size for a bedroom with a queen bed is 6’ x 9’. This size will take the rug up to the nightstands and give you an essential, comfy border for your feet. A patchwork rug would look incredible in a contemporary-style room, especially against pale-colored baseboards!

Checkout some of our Patchwork Rugs

To take the rug under nightstands, go bigger! Choose an 8’ x 10’ rug. This rich red Bokhara rug has a gorgeous border and would add a real touch of luxury to your bedroom. Again, a pair of rugs is an option, either 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’.

A quick summary of these sizes:

  • To go up to the nightstands, 6’ x 9’
  • To go under the nightstands, 8’ x 10’
  • If you want a pair of rugs, 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’ each

Full Size Bed

 rug size for queen bed

A full size bed, sometimes called double beds, are usually used for a single occupant. With this style bed, the rug you’ll need depends on how the bed is placed in the room. If it’s pushed up against one wall, you may choose to have a smaller rug next to it, rather than underneath it.

If you want the rug to go under the bed, go for the same size you would for a queen bed, 6’ x 9’. We love the stunning shade of this modern Ikat rug, which would give you plenty of rug space around the bed. To go under the nightstands, again, copy the Queen with an 8’ x 10’ rug. This will take up a lot of the floor space of a smaller bedroom, so think about your room border and the positioning of your other furniture as well.

A quick summary of these sizes:

  • To go up to the nightstands, 6’ x 9’
  • To go under the nightstands, 8’ x 10’
  • A single rug next to the bed, 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’ each

Twin Bed

rug size for king bed

The type of area rug you choose for a twin bed (called a “single bed” in the UK) depends on the dimensions of the bedroom just as much as the size of the bed.

If it’s a small bedroom a, 5’ x 8’ area rug in the portrait position looks great and maximizes your space. A striped design, like this Kilim rug, will help to make the area look a bit bigger. Or, if you want to see more rug, flip it around into the landscape position (so the bed and the rug form a cross shape), and you’ll have plenty of rug room to step onto. If the bed is against the wall, again, a neat 4’ x 6’or 3’ x 5’ positioned next to it will look good!

In a larger bedroom, a 7’ x 10’ rug like this lovely gold Ziegler rug, gives you a beautiful result. Try it either landscape or portrait, depending on the shape and size of your space.

Checkout some of our Kilim Rugs

A quick summary of these sizes:

  • For a small bedroom, 5’ x 8’
  • For a larger room, 7’ x 10’
  • A single rug next to the bed, 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’

Twin Beds in One Room

There are several ways you can lay a rug in a room with two twin beds. The obvious option is to put your rug between the beds, and this is especially good in a smaller room. Try a 3’ x 5’ rug, or if your space is more generous, try a 4’ x 6’ rug. These modern designs look wonderful in children’s or young persons’ rooms. If your two sleepers get territorial about their rugs (and you have the space), you may want buy a pair of rugs! If space between the beds is tighter, go narrower by a foot.

Another option is to have both beds on one larger rug (pictured above), which has the effect of drawing the furniture together. If the sleepers are happy with a soft rug on just one side of their beds, an 8’ x 10’ will be perfect. If you want a more opulent look and feel, go for a 9’ x 12’ style, allowing for a border of rug on both sides of the beds and more room at the feet. This funky, retro Ziegler rug would make a really lively and unusual floor covering for a modern bedroom, or try something more calm and natural such as this Peshawar Ziegler rug.

A quick summary of these sizes:

  • A rug between the beds, 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 5’
  • A rug to go under the beds (with no side border), 8’ x 10’
  • A rug to go under the beds (with a side border), 9’ x 12’

Making Sure Your Area Rug is Just Right for You

1. Mock up the area rug.

It always helps to mock up an area rug before you commit to buying one, even after you’ve worked out the size and proportions. This can help you decide whether you want a more generous border for example, or help solve the age-old dilemma of on or off the nightstands. It may be that you want to relocate some furniture before you add a rug.

As we’ve suggested before, laying out a bed sheet on the floor can give you a great idea of the area of your potential new rug. This isn’t so easy in a bedroom, as a bed is a heavy piece of furniture to move and you don’t want to shift it until the actual rug arrives! Instead, mark out areas with tape to give you an idea of where the rug will sit. Practice getting out of bed to make sure your feet automatically land in the cozy area! If they don’t, it’s time to rethink the rug size.

2. What style do you like?

One of the biggest choices you’ll make is whether to go for a traditional or modern style rug. Look around your bedroom. Is it a clean, contemporary style room, or more charmingly cozy? For modern rooms, bold colors and geometric patterns are excellent choices! In older-style homes, highly patterned Oriental rugs look just right.

Color is often the biggest influencer when it comes to choosing the design of an area rug. Most of us select our rug’s color based on our existing decor. You can choose a rug by either matching the base color or its accent colors. If you are going for a decorative Oriental rug, you’ll have a lot of lovely, vivid shades to play with. Look at this wonderful Ziegler rugs – you could either work with its warm natural tones, or pick out those scarlet splashes.

You can also use color to add drama. If you want the rug to be center stage, a stunning piece like this overdyed rug is perfect. However, if you want your bed or perhaps a painting to be the focal point, go for a more subtly beautiful area rug such as this delicate beauty.

Checkout some of our Overdyed Rugs

You may be in the position of styling the whole bedroom from scratch. If this is the case, simply go with the rug you fall in love with, and let the rest of the design fall into place!

Durability and Care

The area rug in your bedroom does not get walked on as much as its counterpart in the living room. A bedroom does not get as much footfall as a living room or hallway, and you’re more likely to be barefoot or in soft-soled slippers than in outdoor shoes. However, yes, the rug still needs to be durable for a several key reasons.

The first one is walking routes. Our passage around our bedrooms is predictable. We probably all follow the same path every single day: between the door and the bed, in and out of bed, the quickest route from the bed to the closet. As you can imagine, it would be easy to wear a track in your rug. Your bedroom area rug will need to be good quality to deal with your daily walking patterns.

Second, and especially in a bedroom, you want your bedroom carpet to be comfortable. A thin rug that instantly flattens is not welcoming for bare feet first thing in the morning. A robust rug won’t go bald on you.

Finally, you want your rug to last. It’s always false economy to buy a cheap product that wears out quickly and a real hassle to regularly replace your floor covering. As we alluded to earlier, a large bed is an unwieldy piece of furniture to move. When the rug’s down, it’s staying down!

Choose a hand-knotted rug

If you want a top-quality area rug that will last, go for a hand-knotted one. These are made by expert artisans, who often come from families of highly-skilled rug makers. These rugs are made on specialized looms, and each knot is tied by hand. There can be as many as 200 knots per square inch in a high-end area rug (look out for the term KPSI to find out how many knots a particular rug has). This painstaking process produces tough, durable rugs which last for years. Much as rug-making skills have been passed down through the generations, so will your rug!

Some people feel that because it’s “just a bedroom” with limited footfall that a machine-made rug will do. To some extent, it will. However, the first time you walk across a machine-made rug in bare feet and realize that the springiness has all been squashed away, you’ll start to appreciate that you get what you pay for...

Caring for your bedroom area rug

A bedroom area rug is less likely to suffer at the hands of kids and the paws of pets, and spillages are infrequent in a room that doesn’t see much food and drink. However, you’ll still need to take some simple preventative measures to look after it.

The main enemy of the bedroom area rug is UV light which can fade its colors over time. You may have windows that have low-e glass or have been coated in UV protection, which really help preserve your rug’s vivid colors. If you haven’t, think about closing the blinds when strong sunlight is streaming in. Rotating the rug is another solution, We appreciate that this won’t be an easy task if your furniture is standing on the rug, however it’ll be worth the effort to avoid patchy fading!

If there’s a quality area rug in the kids’ bedrooms, it will no doubt need some extra cleaning to deal with spillages and general mess. Of course, it’s not just the children that may occasionally spill things on the rug – watch out for the cup of coffee on your nightstand! See our Rug Care article for advice on dealing with spills and stains.

Budgeting for a Bedroom Area Rug

Given the incredible care that goes into its manufacture, it’s not a surprise that a hand-knotted area rug costs more than its machine-made equivalent. It’s up to you to decide whether you are happy to regularly replace your rug as it wears out, or if you’d prefer to pay for a top-quality item that will last for years.

Long-term, a quality hand-knotted rug is an investment rather than an expense. Once you've bought it, you won’t need to think about buying a new rug for ages - possibly ever, as hand-knotted rugs are often handed down to children and grandchildren. A machine-made rug may be an initial bargain – but if it’s not up to the job and soon needs replacing, it’s been a false economy. And of course, as well as cost, there’s the hassle of choosing a new rug, recycling the worn-out one, shifting all your furniture – again. So, when you’re budgeting for a rug, there’s more to think about than the initial outlay.

If you have a tight budget, but still want to invest in a quality hand-knotted rug, you can always go for a smaller size. The bedroom is a more forgiving room for this than the living room. A small rug in a large room simply doesn’t look right; however, in the bedroom, a pair of small rugs either side of the bed may cost less than a single large one, and will still give a marvelous effect. Of course, you can look out for one of our sales, and choose your perfect rug at a fantastic price!

Let’s summarize the main points...

Before you choose a bedroom area rug, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What size is my bed, and do I want to position the rug under it or next to it?
  • Do I want the rug to under the nightstands? Do I want an extra rug at the foot of the bed?
  • Do I want a modern or traditional design?
  • What color or colors do I want?
  • What could possibly damage my rug, and how can I mitigate this?
  • Do I need a rug that will last?
  • What is my budget?

And when you have a shortlist of rugs that meet these criteria, ask yourself the most important question of all – which one do I love the most?

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