What Size Rug Should Go Under a King Bed?

How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Under a King Bed

The Spruce / Paige McLaughlin

Area rugs offer a slew of benefits stylistically and functionally. They provide an extra layer of comfort, texture, and color. They define areas of a room and make elements feel more cohesive. Plus, rugs are much easier to clean than wall to wall carpeting. In the bedroom, they are particularly covetable — no one likes cold floors right of bed, and area rugs provide a warm, soft landing for your feet.

If you have a king-size bed, though, it can be tricky to find the perfect fit. The key is a rug that is well-proportioned and complements your existing aesthetic. One that’s too big can make a room feel crowded, whereas one that’s too small can look out of place. Here are tips for how to choose the best sized rug for your king bed.

What Should Go on the Area Rug?

The first step in sizing is to decide what you’re actually going to put on your rug. Key items to keep in mind are the bed frame, nightstands, and bench that might sit at the foot of your bed. It’s often said that all key furniture pieces in a room should fit under the area rug. But, since king-size beds are so large, there are some exceptions when it comes to this rule. There are several options for what to include on an area rug in a king bedroom:

  • Only the bed frame goes on the area rug.
  • The bed frame, nightstand, and bench all fully sit on the rug.
  • The lower two-thirds of the bed and the bench sit on the rug. This leaves the head of the bed and the nightstands on bare floor.
  • The lower third of the bed and the bench go on the rug. This option is great for longer rooms and shows off more of the rug’s design.

Essentially, you’ll want at least the foot of the bed to be under the rug. But, with nightstands and benches, it’s all or nothing — you don’t want any legs floating off as it will look imbalanced. The rug should also be out of the way of doors; as doors open, you’ll want to leave clearance so the rug doesn’t get caught underneath. Additionally, the rug shouldn’t touch outer furniture like dressers. It’s helpful to leave at least two to three inches between these outskirt items and the area rug.

King Size Rug

Forbes + Masters

How to Choose the Right Size

To choose the right size rug, consider the dimensions of your room along with furniture placement. Here are some points of reference to keep in mind:

  • King-size beds generally measure out to be 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
  • California king-size beds are slightly longer, at 72 inches wide by 84 inches long.
  • A rule of thumb is that the rug should extend 18 to 24 inches beyond the sides of a king-size bed.
  • Keep 10 to 20 inches of bare floor between the sides of the rug and the walls.


To test out the size of a rug in your room before buying, mark out the dimensions on your floor using painter’s tape. This helps to visualize if the rug size will work well and look balanced in your space.

When all calculations are said and done, this means that the ideal area rug for a king bed should be around 10 feet wide and eight feet long at a minimum. However, there are sizes outside of this mold that work, too. Here are some options to choose from based on your preferences:

  • An 8-foot by 10-foot rug works best for small to medium size rooms. The bed frame can sit fully on it, but the nightstands have to stay off or be slim to fit on the rug. This size can also go under the bottom two-thirds of the bed frame for a longer look, leaving the head of the bed and nightstands on bare floor.
  • A 9-foot by 12-foot rug works best for larger rooms. The bed frame and nightstands can completely sit on the rug. You can situate a bench at the foot, as well. It makes a room feel more spacious and vast.
  • A 12-foot by 15-foot rug works best for a California king-size bed. The bed frame, nightstands, and bench can all fit on top while still looking balanced.
  • A 5-foot by 8-foot or 6-foot by 9-foot rug works best for the end of the bed. Place it lengthwise with two inches underneath the footboard to show off the rug design.
King Size Rug

D Burns Interiors

Tips for Non-Standard Rooms & Layouts

Of course, every room is different. It’s not always the case that one has hardwood floors or a centered bed. Here’s what to do if you have a unique layout or non-standard circumstance:

  • If one side of your bed is against a wall: Opt for a 5-foot by 8-foot rug and tuck about two inches of it lengthwise under the open side of the bed. It gives the illusion of a bigger room while allowing you plenty of plush comfort on the floor to enjoy.
  • If your room already has carpeted floors: Layer a 5-foot by 8-foot or 6-foot by 9-foot rug under the end of the bed lengthwise. Place two inches underneath the footboard, allowing most of the rug’s design to pop out and add flair to your space. You’ll have a soft landing for your feet in the morning regardless, since the floor is already carpeted.
  • If you just want just some rug under your feet: Keep two 8-foot long runners on either side of the bed, maintaining two inches of bare floor between the sides and the bed. Use a rug pad or tape to avoid slippage.