What to Look for When Buying a Rug

Hudson Area Rug in a living room setting

Nothing completes a space like a rug. Whether neutral or multicolor, rugs are a fun way to add warmth and texture to your living space. They can be purely decorative or they can fulfill unique needs in your home. For example, if you have worn down areas along your carpet or floor from high traffic, an area rug can help to cover them up effortlessly. Rugs can also give us a cozy place to step out of bed or the tub. 

No matter what you need, we’ve put together a complete guide to help you find the right area rug for your home, from materials and rug assembly to styles and placement.

What Are Rugs Made of?

Rugs can be made of a wide variety of materials including natural fibers and synthetic materials. Rugs made from natural fiber such as wool tend to be higher quality and longer lasting. Synthetic fiber rugs are more affordable and come in more options. 

How Are High-Quality Rugs Made?

Rugs can be made in three different ways: handmade, flat-weave or machine-made. The skills of the rug maker, the rug-making process and length of time contribute to the quality of the rug. Less skill is needed to hand-tuft a rug compared to hand-knitting or weaving a rug. Machine-made rugs take even less time and offer a more uniform look.  

The quality of your rug is also affected by materials used and the number of knots per square inch. Superior rugs contain up to 290 knots per square inch, allowing for cleaner lines in artistic designs. Fewer knots per square inch end up being much coarser with less intricate designs. 

Rug Materials 


Extra durable and comfortable with soft wool fibers that spring back when compressed


Typically flat woven and fairly durable, a good alternative to wool 


Textured natural fiber rugs that are firm and affordable but require careful cleaning 


Beautiful and delicate but hard to maintain and more expensive  


Soft, durable and easy to clean but tend to fade over time 


Less expensive alternative to wool, durable and easy to clean 


Soft and vibrant rugs that hold up well and are easy to clean but highly flammable


Similar to polypropylene rugs but less expensive and less durable


A man-made version of silk, they are attractive and affordable but shed easily and are very fragile 

Rug Styles

In addition to different materials and production processes, there are also a wide variety of rug styles available. The rug you pick for your space will largely depend on your preferred theme and style. Don’t be afraid to mix and match! You can contrast colors, shapes and patterns to create a more interesting look. Be mindful not to mix too many different patterns and colors, which can make the room feel busy and cluttered. For example, pairing an animal print rug with a vibrant couch and geometric throw pillows is an outgoing mix, but may feel overwhelming in smaller spaces.

Shop Area Rugs to find your style.

5 Key Factors to Consider

Whether it’s for your bedroom, hallway or main living space, understanding the placement of the piece will also determine the type of rug you’ll need. How does the room function? Is it a high traffic area? What is the shape of the room? How much of the floor do you want to cover with a rug? Honing in on these key points will help you find a rug that is just as functional as it is stylish. 

1. Room Function

How often will this room be used? If the room is not used frequently, you may not need to spend on a high quality rug, but rather one that simply complements your space. Also, consider the amount of windows or direct sunlight in the room as this might require a more fade-resistant piece to ensure longer wear. 

2. Room Traffic

High-traffic area rugs tend to get dirty quicker and need to be cleaned more often. For high-traffic areas such as walkways, front & back door areas and living rooms, consider selecting a machine washable rug

3. Rug Shape

Rectangle rugs are probably the most popular for homes and businesses. They tend to be  easier to style and work well in living rooms with rectangle couches and square tables. Meanwhile, round rugs can help to create a “cozy corner” section of a room and blend in  with round tables or other curved furniture pieces.

Tex 5' x 8' Area Rug
Tex 5′ x 8′ Area Rug (comes in two sizes)

4. Rug Size

In general, it’s better to have a rug that’s too large vs a rug that’s too small. For living rooms, the rug should be wider than the couch to help tie the entire room together. Leaving floor space (12-18 inches) around the perimeter of the rug will avoid making the room appear smaller than it really is. 

Hudson 5' x 8' Area Rug
Hudson 5′ x 8′ Area Rug (comes in two sizes)
Blushing 8' x 10' Area Rug
Blushing 8′ x 10′ Area Rug (comes in two sizes)

5. Rug Placement 

The rule of thumb is that your rug should accommodate all furniture pieces intended in the same space. For example, in your living room, your couch and coffee or end tables should all fit comfortably within the rug space or at the very least, the front legs of the couch. Same goes for your dining room; your table and chairs should sit nicely on top of your chosen rug. 

El Dorado Furniture’s area rugs come in a variety of patterns, colors and designs. Whether you’re shopping for round or rectangle styles, neutral or vibrant, we have the perfect rug for your room! 

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