3 Tips to Pick the Perfect Rug for Your Nursery

The Spruce Home Rug Collection in a nursery

The Spruce / Ajai Guyot

Choosing the right rug for your new nursery is important. After all, the perfect floor covering will soften your footsteps so you don't awaken baby when you're checking in. Size, design, and material are significant factors that you will want to focus on when selecting your rug.

Size It Up

The size you’ll need for your nursery will depend on the type of rug you’re interested in. A nursery area rug should either be big enough to anchor your major furniture pieces or small enough to sit independently of them. If you’re working with hardwood floors, it’s always best to choose a larger rug, ensuring that the front legs of your crib and other large furniture pieces overlap the carpet’s edge by at least a few inches. Dressing an existing carpet? Choose a rug that fills the empty space in your little one’s room, leaving a few inches between the edges of the rug and the furniture.

You can also use a smaller rug to highlight a specific item or area, such as the crib or a cozy reading corner. As a rule, a small accent rug should be more than big enough to set the entire accent piece or collection of pieces on, but actual placement will depend on the item. If you’re trying to draw focus to a single, large item, like the crib, center your rug on the piece, allowing the front half to overlap the rug. If you’re trying to set off a specific area, group the necessary pieces directly on the rug. 

Balance the Room's Design Elements

Before choosing a rug for your nursery, step back and ask yourself what’s missing from your design. Have you used enough colored and/or patterned elements? Can you point to a variety of texture? Once you’ve identified what’s lacking, try to fill in the gaps. If you’re working with a largely neutral palette, opt for something with some color. Seeing a lot of solids? Try breaking them up with a bold pattern.

When considering texture, focus on creating contrast. If you have Berber or a basic low-pile carpet, go for a luxuriously shaggy rug. If you’re already sporting ruffled bedding in rich satin, choose something simple for the floor. The more you mix and layer texture, the richer and more complex your nursery space will be.

Choose the Right Rug Material

Cotton or wool? Synthetic or organic? With dozens of options to choose from, it’s difficult to know what rug material is best for your baby’s bedroom. Need help narrowing your material options? Consider your priorities. If durability is high on your list, opt for a strong, washable synthetic. Choose an organic fiber like cotton or sisal if you prefer natural materials. If you can’t decide, a wool rug is always a good bet. Organic wool is hardy and easy to clean. It’s also naturally flame and water-resistant. It even has antibacterial/microbial properties, making it a great choice for those suffering from asthma or allergies.

Fabric density is a good indicator of quality and durability. Before you buy, try this quick test: Dig into the rug with your fingertips. The harder it is to reach the bottom of the mat, the better the quality of the rug.