Runner rugs aren’t just a quick way to cover your floors. They’re also a great way to transform your space, either by adding texture and visual interest or transitioning from one area to another.
“I use runner rugs to create a sense of movement and to extend the space in a room visually,” says Kate Diaz, an interior designer, real estate expert, and co-founder of Swanky Den. “They can also be used to transition between different flooring styles or colors, as well as add texture and interest to a long hallway or entryway.” But if you want to add a runner to your space, you'll need to consider size, style, and durability before settling on just the right one.
We researched dozens of runner rugs, evaluating all of those important attributes, as well as overall value. Our top overall pick, the Article BOVI runner rug, is an affordable wool blend runner that not only looks great in any space, but is also substantial enough to hold up to heavy foot traffic.
Article BOVI Runner Rug
Understated style that goes with anything
Sturdy, durable weave
Soft under foot
Sheds for the first 3 to 6 months
Article is known for quality, but budget-friendly furniture and home decor—and their BOVI Runner Rug is no exception. The wool-blend rug has an understated geometric pattern in your choice of three muted hues–light blue, rose, or gray. All three patterns will seamlessly blend in with any style of decor.
The cotton and wool construction ensures the whole thing is both soft and sturdy. The weave is thick and hardy enough to stand up to foot traffic in frequently used rooms. Still, it won’t feel all scratchy under bare feet. And because of the natural wool, each rug has slight variations in color, size, and texture—you’ll feel like you’re getting a one-of-a-kind piece for an affordable price.
If there’s any downside, it’s that the fibers will shed a bit, especially at first. The good news: This will subside with regular vacuuming in about 3 to 6 months.
Price at time of publish: $99
Dimensions: 2.5 x 8 feet | Material: Cotton, wool | Colors: Silver gray, ash rose, pearl blue
World Market Izmir Coral And Blue Persian Style Floor Runner
Doesn’t need a rug pad
Soft under foot
Pile is slightly higher than a real Persian
This World Market rug looks so much more expensive than it is. It has a gently distressed Persian-style design in coral and light blue that really pops against hardwood floors. But families with young kids and pets will love that it’s so much more durable than the vintage styles you’ll find at more sophisticated markets and retailers.
This particular runner rug is actually made out of an affordable easy-care polyester and blanket-stitched border that holds up to just about anything. It won’t shed and spills easily mop up from the stain-resistant material. Plus, the whole thing has a non-skid backing, so you can put the rug in high-traffic areas prone to spills like bathrooms, kitchens, and mudrooms.
The rug is nice and soft, too. It’s worth noting, however, that the pile is a little bit higher than what you might expect from a true Persian rug. So while its style is definitely a dupe, you’ll realize it’s not a true Persian upon close inspection.
Price at time of publish: $50
Dimensions: 2 x 6 feet | Material: Polyester | Colors: Coral and blue
Pottery Barn Nicolette Hand-Knotted Wool Rug
Available in multiple sizes
Muted, sophisticated pattern
Requires much more TLC than other options
When you shop Pottery Barn’s rug section, you’ll find a host of worthy options—especially if your budget allows you to spend just a bit more. The Nicolette Hand-Knotted Wool Rug is a great example of what the retailer offers and is one of our favorites, because of its muted yet sophisticated pattern.
The hand-knotted rug is made entirely of wool in India. It’s also made with yarn-dyed fiber that gives it a very rich color that retains its vibrancy over time. While this whole process ensures the rug has a beautiful sheen and softness, it does mean you have to be a bit more careful with the rug. You’ll want to vacuum and shake it regularly, plus avoid excess moisture and have the rug professionally cleaned occasionally.
Overall, this rug is perfect for hallways in low-traffic homes or in rooms like bedrooms since they don’t tend to see as many spills.
Price at time of publish: $499
Dimensions: 2.5 x 9 feet | Material: Wool | Colors: Cool Multi, Ivory Multi, Steel Blue Multi, Terracotta Multi, Warm Multi
Best for Kitchens
Birch Lane Bronner Casual Braided Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Low profile clears doorways and furniture
Highly resistant to moisture and stains
Can be used indoors and outdoors
May unravel over time
Whether you need a runner indoors or out, this braided version by Sand & Stable is a great choice. Because it’s made from durable synthetic fibers, it’s highly resistant to moisture, dirt, and other debris—great for areas prone to spills, like the kitchen, mudroom, or even patio. It’s exceptionally kid- and pet-friendly for busy households, too. If you do need to clean it, simply vacuum without a beater bar or spot clean with a mild detergent.
Despite its braided appearance, the rug has no trouble clearing obstacles like doorways, either. It’s manufactured with a .3-inch thickness that clears entryways, doorways, and low furniture. And while it’s relatively soft, some reviewers complain that it begins to unravel over time. If longevity is a concern, you may want to relegate the rug to lower-traffic areas.
Price at time of publish: $110
Dimensions: 2.6 x 6 feet | Material: Polypropylene | Colors: Gray/white, charcoal, tan, pink, blue, ivory
Best for Hallways
Burrow Empire Rug
Free shipping and returns
Easy to vacuum, but still soft
Style suits a range of decor types
Color isn’t as vibrant as it appears online
If you want a rug that’s easy to vacuum, but still feels soft underfoot, try Burrow’s Empire Runner Rug. Though it has a lower profile that’s easy to vacuum, it’s still nice and soft under your feet—the perfect happy medium for a space like a hallway. This is all thanks to a 100 percent recycled polyester construction with an alternating cut and loop pile.
The rug is attractive, too. It features interlocking diamonds that strike just the right balance between modern and classic, so it suits a wide range of decor styles. Plus, the rug comes in a variety of sizes, so you can get compatible options for the rest of your space. Just note: The color isn’t quite as vibrant as it appears online.
Like everything else from Burrow, the rug ship for free. And, on the off-chance you don’t like it, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
Price at time of publish: $295
Dimensions: 2.6 x 9 feet | Material: Recycled polyester | Colors: Navy blue
Revival Stripe Washable Rug
Made of recycled materials
Soft pile, but still easy to wash
Lightweight and foldable
Line dry recommended
Most machine-washable rugs may be printed with patterns that look like rugs, but in construction, they’re much more similar to thin mats. Not the Revival Stripe Washable Rug. This runner is constructed just like any other you might choose for your space. It’s made of recycled materials that have the same soft and comfortable pile as other rugs. Still, if it gets soiled, you can just pick up the lightweight and foldable rug and send it for a spin in the washing machine.
There’s an enviable eco-friendly aspect to the Revival rug, too. It’s made with recycled polyester that’s left over from production companies that would otherwise send the material to a landfill. Then, Revival transforms that recycled poly into highly-durable OEKO-TEX-certified goods that are safe, mildew-resistant, and—yes—machine-washable. Unfortunately, the company does recommend line drying, which can take quite some time.
The runner, which comes in your choice of six attractive solids, has a tone-on-tone look that’s muted, yet visually interesting. It creates the perfect accent piece for any space. And, since it’s available in multiple sizes, you can buy more than one, too.
Price at time of publish: $199
Dimensions: 2.7 x 9 feet | Material: Recycled polyester | Colors: Bone beige, evergreen, taupe, camel, dove gray, charcoal
Rugs USA Gray Moroccan Trellis Area Rug
Comes in multiple sizes
Needs a rug pad and possibly rug tape
Rugs USA has a seemingly endless supply of rugs, so it’s no surprise you can get all different sizes on the site—even a runner that extends a whopping 20 feet.
The Gray Moroccan Trellis Runner is a fantastic choice for long hallways or kitchens with an expansive island. The pattern is cool but subtle enough to suit a lot of decor styles. The pile is low enough to vacuum without much effort, yet soft enough to feel good underfoot. And the power-loomed synthetic material is highly durable, so you’ll have your rug for years on end—despite the budget-friendly price tag. (Note: Rugs USA has frequent sales and promotions, so you’re bound to get a good deal, whenever you shop.)
If there’s any downside, it’s that the rug definitely needs a rug pad—and may even need some tape. It tends to curl at the edges and can be very slippery if not secured properly.
Price at time of publish: $362
Dimensions: 2.8 x 20 feet | Material: Polypropylene | Colors: 11 colors
Ruggishco Lola Play Runner
Half-inch anti-fatigue mat
Two sides—one for decor, one for play
Can be damaged by pet nails, sharp objects, and vacuums
It may look like your standard runner, but the Lola Play Runner from Ruggalo has some very unique properties that make it an exceptionally good choice for families with young kids. For starters, the runner is two-sided. One side features a muted gray and white striped design—perfect for any playroom, bedroom, or even the kitchen. When you flip it over, the underside is printed with a race track to delight your little one. It’s the perfect play for them to play while you get something else done—like cooking dinner or folding the laundry.
The runner isn’t crafted out of fabric the same way most other rugs are. Instead, it’s a half-inch anti-fatigue mat that just happens to look like a runner. This is great because it won’t slip under your foot—even without a pad underneath. Plus, you can stand on it while you wash dishes without the balls of your feet aching.
The whole thing is totally safe for your little ones to crawl all over, too. It’s free of BPA, phthalate, lead, latex, formaldehyde, and EVA, plus tested to US and European toy standards. You can even use it as a yoga mat for your workouts. But do note: This runner isn’t pet-proof. Sharp objects, pet nails, and rotating vacuums can cause damage.
Price at time of publish: $129
Dimensions: 71 x 26 inches | Material: Not listed | Colors: Gray/white
Best for Dogs
ReaLife Distressed Boho Machine Washable Rug
Comes in a wide range of sizes
Doesn’t need a rug pad
Edges tend to curl after prolonged washes
Anyone with dogs knows they’re not just cute companions—they can be pretty messy, too. Between muddy paws, dander, shedding hair, and occasional household accidents, pet owners need highly durable rugs. Bonus points if you can find a machine-washable runner like this one by ReaLife.
The ReaLife Machine Washable Rug comes in a wide variety of sizes—including runners—and colors. And it has a classic Persian style that’s intentionally distressed. The rug also has a non-slip backing—no need to buy a rug pad—that won’t slip out from under you, even if your dog is coming at the rug at a full-on sprint.
Washing is as easy as you’d hope, too. The recycled synthetic runner can be machine washed in cold water and air-dried without heat. It’s worth noting, however, the edges tend to curl after consistent washes. The good news: The price is so fair, you won’t feel the sting of buying a new one every few years.
Price at time of publish: $63
Dimensions: 2.6 x 6 feet | Material: Recycled material | Colors: 17 colors
Best for High Traffic Areas
Floyd The Flow Rug
Easy to clean
Soft under foot
Need to use a special vacuum technique
Just because it’s thoughtfully designed with responsibly sourced New Zealand wool and Indian cotton, doesn’t mean this rug won’t go the distance. It’s an exceptionally durable rug that’s great for high-traffic areas in your home.
As long as you put the right rug pad underneath, Floyd's The Flow Rug won’t budge. And the tight weave means it’s easy to care for. Still, the company is focused on making a low-pile rug that’s as comfy as can be. So despite the utility, this rug is soft enough to walk on without socks. It’s even soft enough for babies to crawl on without scuffing their knees.
Cleaning the rug is easy, too—as long as you know the proper technique. Blot any spills immediately. And, rather than the traditional back-and-forth motion with your vacuum, be sure to use a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar and vacuum the full length of the rug, turn, and repeat to the next area.
Price at time of publish: $295
Dimensions: 2 x 8 feet | Material: Wool, cotton | Colors: Anthracite, green blend, green/tangelo, deep blue, natural heather
Ruggable Kamran Coral Rug
Rug covers are interchangeable
Stain- and water-resistant
Edges curl over time
Ruggable’s rugs are known for being machine-washable and stain- and water-resistant—and the Kamran Coral Rug is one of the company’s top-selling patterns. It has a Persian-inspired design that’s inspired by traditional Heriz rugs. It has a bold geometric pattern with a large medallion and ornate border—all with just the right amount of distressing. .
Ruggable rugs, including this popular runner, consist of two pieces: a non-skid rug pad that serves as a base, as well as a very thin ⅛-inch rug cover that’s made from polyester and has a polyurethane water-resistant barrier. Any time the runner gets soiled, you simply remove it from the pad and wash it in any standard-sized washing machine. Once it’s clean, all you have to do is reattach it to the pad. Just be sure to take your time—if you don’t properly affix the rug to the pad, you’ll notice a lot of curling over time.
Price at time of publish: $169
Dimensions: 2.5 x 7 feet | Material: Not listed | Colors: 9 colors
Best for Bathrooms
Quiet Town The Ojai Storm
Comes in five colors
Lay flat to dry
Because it’s hand-woven in India out of 100 percent cotton, this runner is perfect for the bathroom. It’s highly absorbent and dries quickly, so when you step out of the shower, it’ll keep puddles at bay. Just a few minutes later, you’ll be able to walk over the mat without getting your socks wet. The muted stripes are nice and serene, too, lending your bathroom a spa-like vibe.
When your bathroom runner needs a refresh, the company recommends handwashing for improved longevity. But if you want to save some time, you can simply pop it in the washing machine and then lay flat to dry.
Price at time of publish: $78
Dimensions: 56 x 22 inches | Material: Cotton | Colors: Natural and gray
MontVoo Non-Skid Runner
Highly non-slip backing
Highly absorbent and stain-resistant
Comes in two colors
Can only be washed a handful of times
You never want a rug to go flying out from you—especially in an area like the kitchen where you might be carrying something sharp. But it’s not always convenient to have a rug pad. Sometimes they don’t fit properly; other times, they simply aren’t grippy enough. Not to mention, it’s an added expense.
This non-slip runner is a great alternative for often slippery areas like the kitchen, mudroom, or even a bathroom. That’s because it has an incredibly tacky non-slip rubber backing that keeps the rug firmly in place and your family safe.
It’s also highly durable and made for high-traffic spaces. The runner is highly absorbent, plus has stain-resistant properties, so you won’t see spots from tough substances like oil, sauces, and other food particles. And even if you do? Just send the mat for a spin in the washing machine. It’ll hold up to multiple washes, but don’t expect it to stay in pristine shape if you’re washing it all the time—the company says it’s really only suitable for “multiple washes.”
Price at time of publish: $
Dimensions: 1.6 x 8 feet | Material: Polypropylene | Colors: Beige, gray
The Article BOVI runner rug is our top pick, because it’s a budget-friendly cotton and wool runner that looks and feels much more expensive than it is. But it doesn’t just look good—it’s durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic. If you’re on the hunt for something even more affordable, though, you’ll love the elevated look of the Izmir Coral And Blue Persian Style Floor Runner from World Market. It looks like an expensive vintage rug, but is a fraction of the price and is made of easy-care polyester for seamless maintenance.
What to Look For
A standard runner rug is between 2 and 3 feet wide and 6 to 14 feet long—some may even be upwards of 20 feet. Make sure to measure your room before shopping. Ideally, you should have 4 to 5 inches of flooring on all sides of your runner. A rug that’s too small will seem out of proportion with the room and won’t suit its purpose; a rug that’s too large might not fit.
Runner rugs are often found in hallways and help define the path, but these rugs are also commonly found on staircases, in bedrooms on either side of the bed, in the kitchen and in the bathroom in front of the sink, and in the entryway or mudroom of a house. No matter where you’re placing a runner in your own home, consider how much traffic it will get. A runner in a mudroom, for example, should be much more durable than a runner in an infrequently-used guest room. Also think about any potential blockages—like door clearance. If the runner is in the path of a door, make sure it will pass seamlessly over it.
Style and Design
Like other rugs, runners come in all different styles. Though most runners are rectangular, some have details like fringe, while others do not. And, you can find both low- and high-pile options in just about any color and pattern you could dream up, from more traditional oriental styles to bold geometric designs.
Care and Maintenance
Runner rugs with a low pile (like flat woven or jute rugs) are typically easier to care for, since it’s harder for dirt, debris, and pet hair to settle between fibers. Medium or high pile runners, on the other hand, offer a cushier, more luxurious feeling. In high traffic areas, you may want to opt for a low pile rug. Some low (or no) pile rugs, like Ruggable rugs, can even be washed in the washing machine—great for kitchens and mudrooms, in particular.
What is the purpose of a runner rug?
A runner serves multiple purposes. These rugs not only add style to a room, but they can also help add traction to an otherwise slippery surface like a hardwood floor. What’s more, a runner can actually help protect your wood floors from damage, especially in high traffic areas.
What is the difference between a runner rug and an area rug?
Runner rugs are essentially a type of area rug. Rather than cover expansive areas in a room, they are typically smaller rectangular—typically long and skinny. These narrow rugs are better suited for hallways, staircases, and small areas like between the kitchen island and cabinets.
How can you tell if a rug is high quality?
To help determine the quality of a rug, look for something called line count, or the number of knots or stitches per square inch. Rugs with high line counts—200 to 400 (or more) knots per square inch—are generally considered quality rugs.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer with nearly 15 years of experience writing about consumer products, including home decor like runner rugs. To curate this list, Earley scoured the most popular retailers to find the best, most highly-rated options. Then, she vetted each, reading all of the specs and hundreds of reviews. To make her top picks, she consulted experts like Kate Diaz, an interior designer, real estate expert, and co-founder of Swanky Den, and then used that guidance as she analyzed the size, style, design, and overall value of each product.