When shopping for an area rug, you'll quickly learn that these floor coverings can cost hundreds, if not a couple thousand, dollars. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable rugs on the market that provide the same style, comfort, and quality as their pricier counterparts.
The key is to look at the material. As Todd Saunders, CEO of FlooringStores, tells The Spruce, “Synthetic rugs are much more affordable and often much more durable [than natural materials]." Unless materials or origin are extremely important to you, it’s easy to find a rug that’s the size and style you really want.
We researched affordable rugs, evaluating them on material, size options, color choices, and cleanability. Our top pick, the Jonathan Adler Inkdrop Rug, is a stain- and water-resistant piece with a geometric pattern that livens up a room.
Read on for the best affordable rugs to spruce up any room.
Best Overall: Jonathan Adler Inkdrop Black & Ivory Rug
Stain- and water-resistant
Available in various sizes
Subtle design and colors
Not ideal for cat-owners
When it comes to style, material, and overall quality, the Jonathan Adler Inkdrop Rug is on par with more expensive options. Available in four colors, the rug’s geometric pattern will add subtle whimsy to any room. You can choose from eight different sizes and two shapes, along with two runner options.
This top-rated rug is crafted from chenille, a woven fabric that manages to be both sturdy and soft. Like all Ruggable options, this rug is stain- and water-resistant, making it ideal for high-traffic areas in your home. Plus, it's machine-washable: to clean, simply remove the rug from the patented rug pad and throw it in the washing machine. Just note that this fabric isn't ideal for cat owners, as felines like to paw and pull at the looped pile.
Best High-Traffic: The Spruce Summer Adele Area Rug
Stain- and fade-resistant
Easy to clean
Limited color and shape options
If you have a busy household or frequently entertain guests, you’ll need a rug that’s durable enough to withstand more than your average wear and tear. This can often be harder to do at a lower price point, especially if you’re looking for something with a bit of style.
Part of The Spruce Rug Collection, the Summer Adele Area Rug checks all the boxes. Made with cozy yet lightweight polyester fibers, the rug is both stain- and fade-resistant. Available in two sizes and color palettes, the rug’s classic medallion motif is versatile enough to pair with your existing decor, particularly if it falls into the modern traditional or shabby chic styles. To clean, simply shake it out, vacuum, or spot treat.
Best Outdoor: Fab Habitat Reversible Rug
Easy to clean
Available in various sizes and colors
Colors may differ slightly from images
The Fab Habitat Reversible Rug earned an impressive 4.8 out of 5 overall score from our tester, and it’s easy to see why. Available in seven sizes and 13 colors, you’ll have no trouble finding an option that works with your space. Sourced from 100 percent recycled plastic, this UV-resistant polyester rug is eco-friendly and easy to transport, thanks to the included carrying bag.
But most importantly, the Fab Habitat is “a dream to clean,” which is crucial with outdoor rugs that are exposed to dirt and debris regularly. All you need is a damp cloth or a hose, and your rug will be spotless. According to our tester, Sarah Vanbuskirk, “after multiple washes due to muddy feet, dropped cups of juice, and snack crumbs, the rug retained its vivid color and new look.”
Best Indoor-Outdoor: Nourison Positano Charcoal 6' x 9' Area Rug
Soft, smooth feel
Easy to clean
High-quality construction for the price
On the thinner side
Rug pad recommended
For an affordable option that you can use both indoors and out, check out the Nourison Positano Area Rug. Made from 100 percent polypropylene, this indoor-outdoor pick earned high marks from our testers for its soft feel and high-quality design—particularly impressive given the low price.
Thanks to its flatweave construction, this rug is on the thinner side: this makes it more lightweight (and therefore easier to transport) but also means that you'll be able to detect rocks, gravel, and other sharp objects through the material. However, it's still a solid option that's easy to clean and holds up well to wear. Plus, it comes in more than a dozen sizes for indoor and outdoor spaces of all sizes.
Best Runner: Ruggable Prisma Monochrome Rug
Stain- and water-resistant
Available in various sizes
Limited color options
Rugs can make any space feel cozier—even your hallway. The honeycomb pattern of Ruggable's Prisma Monochrome Rug gives the rug visual appeal, while the sand and gray accents make it a versatile piece. If you want your rug to stand out, you can also choose from a more bold colorway that features light blue, teal, and cream hexagons.
Crafted from chenille fabric, this runner is both stain- and water-resistant and has a low pile that makes it easy to maintain. It's available in two lengths, both of which are 2.5 feet wide, to accommodate most standard-sized hallways. If you’re a fan of this style, you can also order this pattern in several rectangular and round area rug sizes.
Best Round: Unique Loom Del Mar Maria Round Rug
Modern, versatile design
Available in 11 colors
Requires regular vacuuming due to higher pile
Though they may be limited in use, round rungs are ideal for placing under circular tables or in small sitting areas. The Unique Loom Del Mar Maria Rug has a contrasting two-color striped design that gives your space a modern, youthful look. The high-pile piece comes in 11 colors, so you can go as bold or neutral as you see fit.
The Unique Loom Rug is available in two round sizes—6 feet and 8 feet—along with many rectangular sizes. It’s made from durable, stain-resistant polypropylene but still feels soft beneath your feet.
Best for Pets: Waverly Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Water- and stain-resistant
Difficult for dirt and debris to get trapped
Takes a few days to dry after heavy wash
Between the dirty paws and slobbery mouths, pets can make a mess of your home without much effort. Not to mention their desire to claw and scratch can do damage to fabrics and furniture. Luckily, the Waverly Sea Glass rug can withstand any mayhem that your furry friends muster.
The rug’s polypropylene polyester material makes it resistant to stains and water. Meanwhile, the low pile height makes it more difficult for dirt and debris to get trapped in the fibers and, therefore, easier to clean. Our home tester, Sarah Vanbuskirk, says the rug can be spot cleaned with water and mild detergent or hosed off for larger issues. Just note that it will take a few days to dry if you do a heavier water wash.
Best for Kids: Crate & Kids Multi Scattered Checks Washable Wool Shag Rug
Limited size and color options
Whether it’s for a child’s bedroom or a family room, the ideal rug for kids is soft, easy to clean, and colorful. Enter the Crate & Kids’ Multi Scattered Checks Shag Rug. Made of wool, the shag rug will give your kids a fun and comfortable place to play. When it comes to inevitable spills and stains, you have two choices: Spot treat small issues or toss the whole rug into the washing machine.
Although the color options are limited to multicolor or neutral, both are versatile enough to work in any space. The size selections are also limited but should work with most children’s spaces.
Best Sheepskin: Windward Sheepskin Rug
Must be professionally cleaned
Made of fine lambskin sourced in Australia and New Zealand, the Windward Sheepskin Rug is a luxurious find at an affordable cost. And it’s eco-friendly, as Windward uses innovative eco-tanning technology and environmentally friendly chemicals in the production process to comply with REACH.
Available in two sizes (24 x 41 inches and 43 x 70 inches), you can choose from three color options: natural off-white, two-tone gray, and two-tone brown. Despite the warmth it gives off, Windward’s sheepskin rugs are surprisingly cool in the summer.
Maintaining the rug can be a bit of a chore, as it must be cleaned with a soft bristle brush and shaken regularly. For a deep clean, you’ll want to bring it to the dry cleaner.
Best Jute: Revival Hart Jute Rug
Not ideal for high-traffic areas
Natural fibers are processed with fewer chemicals than their synthetic counterparts, which makes them more expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a rug that’s eco-friendly and affordable. Just take the Revival Hart Jute Rug, made with jute grown in the tropics.
This flatweave rug looks great on its own but can easily be layered with another rug to elevate its look. You can choose from 12 size options or request custom measurements to fit your room’s needs.
One note: Because jute is such an absorbent fabric, it easily traps odors and debris, so you’ll want to place this rug in low-traffic areas. To clean, wipe gently with a combination of warm water and mild detergent and let air dry.
Best Tiles: YWSHUF Self Adhesive Carpet Tile
Easy to install and replace
If you can’t find an area rug that matches your measurements, carpet tiles are a great, more affordable alternative. Not to mention if part of the carpet becomes damaged, you can just install a new carpet tile instead of buying a new rug.
Each box of YWSHUF’s Self-Adhesive Carpet Tiles includes a dozen 12-by-12-inch tiles, which are available in blue, black, gray, and gray-white. Though color options are limited, you can mix and match to make an intricate design or a classic checkered pattern. To install, just peel the tile from its backing and stick it to a flat and dry surface.
The Jonathan Adler Inkdrop Rug is a soft, sturdy, and versatile option that looks more expensive than it is. Available in eight sizes, four colors, and two shapes, you’re sure to find a combination that suits your needs and aesthetic. If you're looking for an outdoor option, we love the Fab Habitat Reversible Rug, which is durable and easy to clean.
What to Look for When Buying an Affordable Rug
Your location and the location of the rug are key factors when considering a rug’s material. “If you live in a naturally humid climate or intend to use a rug in a room with a lot of moisture, like a bathroom, a cotton rug like a dhurrie is a great option,” Georgia Hoyler, owner of rug company Passerine, tells The Spruce. “If seeking a rug for an outdoor lounge area, jute or sisal are great natural indoor-outdoor options.”
Saunders adds that these “natural fiber rugs are going to be more comfortable and gentler on your underlying floor, but also harder to clean and less durable.” So in the case of high-traffic areas, like a living room or hallway, synthetic material is the way to go.
Keep in mind, however, that the material of choice may impact the cost. Rugs made of synthetic materials, such as polyester, are generally cheaper and easier to maintain than those made of natural materials. But rugs made from more natural, eco-friendly materials will have a low environmental cost.
As a general rule, the larger the rug, the higher the price tag, so think about how small a rug you can get away with using. Saunders tells The Spruce that “a rug should leave a minimum of 3 feet on each side between the edge of the rug and the wall.”
You should also consider the floor coverage you are after in a given room. You can use smaller rugs in a living room, for example, if you float the rug and arrange your furniture around rather than on top of it.
Pile refers to how tall or short the fibers are on a particular rug. Generally, a higher pile rug will be softer but also more difficult to maintain. Prone to flattening from foot traffic and furniture, plush pile rugs are also magnets for dust, dirt, stray hair, and food particles, and tend to shed, meaning they require constant vacuuming and aren’t terribly pet- or child-friendly.
“We tend to go for higher pile rugs in living rooms for a plusher feel," says Julia Miller, creative director of Yond Interiors. "Lower pile rugs [are great] for busier spaces, as they are often easier to clean and maintain."
In addition to the feeling and maintenance, the pile also impacts how tall the rug is. Because of this, Miller says paying attention to the pile height ensures you get the right rug in the right space. “If, for example, you have a tight opening between your floor and the bottom of the door, make sure to measure it,” she says.
How do you clean an area rug?
In general, rugs made of synthetic materials are easier to clean and maintain than those made with natural fibers. But every area rug needs regular maintenance to keep it clean and free of dust and dirt. Keep your rug clean with a no-shoes policy in the house. Next, be sure to regularly vacuum your rug. Once a month or quarterly, take it outside and give it a good shake. Spills can be spot cleaned with a damp sponge immediately after the stain occurs. Otherwise, you can try sprinkling the area with baking soda or non-aerosol dry shampoo and vacuuming it. Some rugs may be machine-washable, but be sure to check the care instructions. Rugs that have been stained or are very dirty can be professionally cleaned, but keep in mind that this process may fade the rug or alter its texture. Learn more by reading our guide to cleaning an area rug.
Do I need a rug pad?
It may seem like an unnecessary fixture, but Hoyler, Miller, and Saunders all agree that a rug pad is a good investment. To start, Sunders says rug pads can make a rug more comfortable, something that is especially beneficial for thin, synthetic rugs. He also notes that a rug pad will keep your rug in place, avoiding any potential slips.
But the most important perk of a rug pad is that it makes the rug last longer.
“Without a rug pad, the dirt and silica that settles deep into the rug fibers can rub against hard surfaces and wear down the rug's foundation,” Hoyler tells The Spruce.
What size rug should you get for a living room?
It depends on the size of your living room, how you place your living room rug, and how much of the bare living room floor you want to cover up. For a small space living room or to anchor a sitting area in a larger living room where you wish to keep as much flooring as possible visible, a medium-sized 5x7-foot rug might do the trick. In a larger living room, you might want an 8x12-foot rug or larger, depending on the room’s dimensions and the length of your sofa and other furniture.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Leah Rocketto, a lifestyle writer and editor for The Spruce. To select the best picks for your consideration, she sorted through dozens of customer and third-party website reviews, along with insights from The Spruce's expert product testers.
For tips on what to look for when shopping for an affordable area rug, Rocketto also consulted with Todd Saunders of FlooringStores, Passerine owner Georgia Hoyler, and Julia Miller, creative director of Yond Interiors.