Whether you’re a home design junkie or not, the benefits of an area rug are endless.
From a practical perspective, they provide cushion and underfoot warmth to tile, wood and concrete flooring; they muffle sound and reduce echoes (two musts for those of us living in apartments); and they can cover up ugly floors or old wall-to-wall carpeting.
From a design perspective, an area rug can make or break a room. In fact, some home décor pros recommend starting with your area rug and choosing wall... colors, upholstered furniture and other home décor items (like throw pillows) based on its design.
In addition to its practical purposes, the right area rug can anchor a room, define separate spaces in an open-concept layout and add decorative value to a space. Just be sure to follow this one simple rule: Your rug should be a at least six inches, but no more than two feet away, from a room’s walls.
With thousands upon thousands of options available online, it can be hard to find the right pattern, texture, shape and size area rug for your home. We’ve made it easier by rounding up the best area rugs you can buy in 2018, in a range of sizes and styles.
This flatwoven pick from Safavieh’s Montauk Collection is hand-woven with premium cotton, so it’s just as comfortable as it is durable. Available in a variety of sizes—from 2’3” x 3’9” to 9' x 12'—and four neutral colors, it can fit in any space and match any style of home décor. Plus, its diamond-shaped pattern is a subtle way to add a little bit of texture to a room.
Flatweave rugs—or tightly woven rugs with no pile—are an affordable, durable way to cover a large or highly trafficked space in your home. Because they have no pile, they won’t absorb stains or dirt as readily as a fluffier rug, and can be easily cleaned with a vacuum, damp cloth or, depending on the materials, even your washing machine. Their durability and easy cleaning makes them perfect for the kitchen, hallways or entryways. If you want to use a flatweave rug in your living room, family room or bedroom, invest in a thicker rug pad.
Because this area rug doesn’t have backing, reviewers recommend investing in non-skid padding. And, as the name implies, flatweave rugs are totally flat, so if you’re looking for a cushier feel underfoot, pair this one with a heavy-duty rug pad.
If flatweave area rugs just don’t have enough cushion and shag rugs make you think of your parent’s wood-paneled basement (in a bad way), try this happy medium: A low pile area rug. Unlike a flatweave, a low pile will add some extra comfort and warmth to your home’s flooring—but it won’t absorb dirt and dust like a shag rug.
We love Rugs USA’s Moroccan trellis area rug because it pairs low pile’s practicality with a pattern that’s been booming in the home décor world for years. Made with 100% polypropylene, it’s highly stain-resistant (except for pesky oil stains) and much more affordable than wool or nylon. Polypropylene looks very similar to wool, so it’s often used in more budget-friendly area rugs.
Reviewers love this area rug for its beautiful, classic design, excellent quality and ease of cleaning. Plus, it comes in two color options and nine different sizes, so you can find the perfect shade and shape for your space.
If you love a comfortable, warm feel underfoot—and don’t mind a bit of extra vacuuming each week—consider investing in a super soft, fluffy shag rug. Even though shag rugs are more prone to catching dirt and dust, they’ll provide the most cushion to your flooring.
With nearly 4,000 positive reviews, it’s clear that customers love Safavieh’s California shag; they cite its comfort, fantastic quality, low price tag and classic design. This area rug is power-loomed with polypropylene fibers, which makes it super durable and, essentially, non-shedding, and its two-inch pile height provides a lux, sink-in feeling. Plus, it’s available in a whopping 20 color options and 21 shapes and sizes, so you can match it to any style of home décor in any room.
Kilim rugs are flatwoven, tapestry-style carpets that are usually made with 100% wool. Originally used as prayer rugs and home decoration, kilim rugs have become synonymous with cool, bohemian-style home décor. And they don’t just look beautiful; because kilim rugs are so tightly woven, they’re incredibly long-lasting, resilient and resistant to stains, dirt and everyday wear and tear.
Generally, kilim rugs have a higher price tag because they’re made from wool, but this pick from DwellStudio ranges between $70 for a 2’ x 3’ rug to just under $800 for an 8’ x 11’ rug. Its manufacturing (it’s hand woven), materials (100% wool), durability and stylish, neutral design make it a wise investment. Real-life reviewers love that it’s hand-made, reversible and easy to clean.
Like flatweave rugs, kilim rugs are completely flat, so you’ll need to pair this rug with a non-slip pad or thick rug pad for cushion.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
Jute rugs are an easy, affordable and, generally, eco-friendly way to add some organic texture to your space. Natural fibers can resemble woven wool at a fraction of the cost, but they’re not quite as durable. Place a jute area rug in a lower trafficked area, like your den, home office, dining room or under the coffee table.
This jute area rug from Safavieh comes with nine color options and a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can choose the perfect rug for your space. The different color options are what make this area rug so versatile—choose the light grey option for a nautical vibe, purple for a bohemian-style space or a neutral color that will blend seamlessly into any style of home décor.
Customers love this rug for its quality, beautiful design and affordability, but recommend using a rug pad with it—it’ll slide on your flooring otherwise. Other customers warn that the rug sheds its natural fibers initially, but that issue can be resolved with regular vacuuming.
This Persian-style, floral motif area rug from Charlton Home has a completely classic vibe, but its fun colors bring it to 2017. Pair it with more modern pieces of furniture, like a clear acrylic coffee table, to give your space shabby chic or eclectic style.
Machine woven with polypropylene (so it’s stain resistant and won’t shed!), this rug’s ¼-inch pile provides comfort underfoot, but won’t capture dirt and dust. Want a little extra cushion? The manufacturer recommends using it with a rug pad.
This rug comes highly recommended—with almost 4,500 reviews!—for its design, affordability and quality. Real-life customers really love that the rug’s colors are accurately represented online—which can be a huge pitfall when ordering home décor and furniture sight unseen.
Indoor-outdoor rugs are incredibly versatile because, as the name suggests, they can be used both inside and outside. This handmade area rug from Dash and Albert is produced with polypropylene, so it’s durable, long-lasting and will hold up well in high trafficked areas. Plus, if you get a serious stain, you can scrub and bleach it without damaging the fibers. If you want to use this rug outdoors, it’s fade- and mildew-resistant; if you want to use it indoors, the manufacturer recommends a non-slip pad.
Indoors, this area rug’s subtle, geometric pattern can add texture to a space, but its neutral color makes it blend into any room. Because its tightly woven, this rug will work in highly trafficked areas, like your living room, kitchen, bedroom, foyer or hallways, and pet nails won’t pull fibers loose.
Although this rug has a higher price tag, consider it an investment piece. Its durability and classic design ensure you’ll have it in your home for a long time.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best indoor outdoor rugs article.
At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.