What Size Rug Is Best for Your Living Room Sectional?

Living room sectional with boho rug

hikesterson / Getty Images

A well-chosen and well-placed area rug can completely transform a space. It adds warmth, both visually and literally, as it keeps your feet off the cold floor and cushioned by soft fabric. Rugs can help create individual spaces and add a welcoming element of comfort. 

Living rooms are a perfect place to include a rug, especially in front of a sectional sofa. It keeps feet cushioned and warm and marks that floor space as a place of comfort and relaxation. However, sectionals come in a large array of sizes and shapes. How do you pick a rug that fits with your unique sectional? Although there are seemingly endless sectional types and sizes, there are some key things to keep in mind when choosing a rug for a living room sectional that will ensure it fits the space and feels just right. 

Comparing Sectional Size to Rug Size

As a rule of thumb, pair large sectionals with large rugs, and smaller sectionals with smaller rugs. When in doubt, choose a larger rug. A rug that is too small for the space will feel out of place and make the space feel disjointed. 

Very large sectionals, such as a 9’ x 11’ or 10’ x 10’, pair well with large rug sizes; 10’ x 14’ rugs or larger is best. Large sectionals, around 7’ x 8’ or so, pair well with 8’ x 10’ rugs. Smaller sectionals that are 6’ pair well with 6’ x 9’ rugs. As you can see, when choosing the right size rug for a living room sectional, the sectional size is generally slightly smaller than the rug size, ensuring that the rug covers adequate floor space and keeps the space flowing harmoniously. 

This isn’t always the case, however, and will depend on the way you are fitting the rug into the space. Let’s look at the different options for fitting a rug near a sectional. 


While it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, consider a rug with a width that matches or slightly exceeds the length of the smaller portion of your sectional. 

Where to Place a Rug in a Living Room with a Sectional

As mentioned above, the rug should generally be larger than the sectional. This is perfect for some of the most popular rug and sofa configurations. 

Place the sectional completely on the rug. This option places all the feet of the sectional on the rug, ensuring a grounded, harmonious feel. If the rug is large enough, neighboring furniture pieces, such as a coffee table or small armchair, can also be placed on the rug. 

Place the sectional partially on the rug. This option has only the front feet of the sofa on the rug, effectively creating a flow from the sectional to the floor. This is great for areas where the sectional is backed up to a wall, or in rooms where exposed rug edges may crowd the space.

Sometimes, you may wish to choose a smaller rug than the sectional. This is one strategy for achieving a different look. 

Place a rug in the center of a coffee table without placing the sectional on the rug at all. This is great for small spaces and helps emphasize the floor space used for the designated gathering area. When doing this, it is important to leave several inches of open floor in front of the sectional and other chairs to ensure that the gap looks intentional.  

When thinking of area rugs, images of large rectangular rugs often come to mind. However, area rugs can also be round. Round rugs can be used in front of sectionals for a unique effect by simply making sure the rug fits underneath the front feet, or by keeping it in the middle of the floor, such as under a coffee table. Round rugs in particular pair very well with rounded corner sectionals.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect Rug

Besides the above-mentioned tips for sizing and placement, the type of rug you choose is also extremely important to consider when creating your desired space. In particular, be sure to give attention to the style and color of the rug you select. Although you may love that brightly patterned area rug, does it match the color palette of your room? Does it complement your sectional or clash with it? Be sure to select a rug that flows with your style. 

Another aspect of area rugs to consider is the pile length and the texture. Thick, shaggy carpets will add an extra layer of cushion and invite guests to use floor cushions for seating. However, these shaggy rugs can be hard to clean. On the other hand, a jute material will not be as inviting for floor lounging but offers an easy-to-clean, casual style.  

By keeping these tips and sizing suggestions in mind, you can find the perfect rug for your sectional.