What Size Area Rug For Living Room?

Rugs, rugs, rugs! There are many elements to think about when buying a rug. What color? What pattern? What shape? What material? Luckily, these are all customizable options. However, the size of an area rug is the most important characteristic to keep in mind. In fact, it can make or break a room. So, we have researched what size of area rug you should have for your living room.

For standard living room measurements, 8x10, 9x12, or 11x14 rug sizes are recommended. Bear in mind that other sizes will work depending on the layout of your furniture or if your space is smaller or larger than the average-sized living room.

An area rug can give your room that finishing touch, so choosing the right one is essential. You might wonder, how do you place a living room rug? Is it better to have a rug too big or too small? What color and materials should I choose? Continue reading for the answers to all these questions!

Bright elegant living room interior with white and lavender furniture, What Size Area Rug For Living Room?

What Size Area Rug For A Living Room?

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The three most common sizes for living room rugs are 8x10, 9x12, and 11x14. These sizes fit nicely.


This size fits well in a living room that is 11x13. This is one of the most common and versatile rug sizes bought for living rooms. Furthermore, you can put the front legs or all four legs of the furniture on the rug. It's your choice! 


This is the perfect size if you want all of your furniture to rest on the rug. It gives you more space in terms of being able to walk around the furniture. Take into consideration that you don't want your rug to completely go from wall to wall. You want to leave at least 6 inches from the wall to the rug to create the best look.


This size isn't mainstream but will still look great in a large, open room. Remember that buying an overly large area rug can overwhelm the space. Because of this, most people stick with the 8x10 and 9x12 sizes.

What About Other Sizes?

Let's see if other rug sizes are hit-or-miss for living rooms.

Stylish living room interior with beautiful house plants


This size can still work for most living rooms. It'll leave more space between the wall and the rug without looking overly small. As a result, this is a great option if you have petite furniture.


This size is for smaller living rooms. Be cognizant that too small of a rug can shrink the space and throw off the style. Save this size for a breakfast table or kid's room. 


We don't recommend a 3x5 area rug for a living room because of how tiny it is. A rug this size would barely fit a living room chair. Bathrooms or kitchens are where you would normally find this rug. 

Different Layout Options?

The size of your rug is important, but the layout can make all the difference! Here are a few popular choices:

All Legs On

horizontal frame in modern living room interior with beige wall, gray and wooden furniture and tropical plants with palm leaves

"All legs on" means that everything is on the rug, including all legs of the couch and chairs. This is a great choice if you have a room big enough to hold an 11x14 area rug. You don't want to feel squished, so make sure you have ample room to move around between each piece of furniture. 

Front Legs Only

Modern geometric living area rug texture design

This arrangement allows your furniture to be half on, half off, meaning the back legs of your furniture will be on your floor and the front legs will be on the rug. If you're confused about which layout to choose, professionals say this is the go-to option.


Real photo of a brown, fur rug lying on white floor in front of a gray couch with cushions in bright living room interior

Layering rugs can add fun and flair to your living space. Picture an 8x10 jute rug with a smaller, faux fur rug off to the side. In a nutshell, make sure each rug has a different texture and pattern, otherwise, it'll look awkward.


Black lamp standing by a sofa and a row of candles lying on the floor in front of a window shedding light on the interior of boho style living room

Normally, having your rug smack dab in the middle with no furniture touching is a no-no. However, some people like this style, and it's not unheard of. As always, be mindful that you don't want your space to feel smaller than it is. 

What About Shape?

Rugs come in all shapes and sizes. Knowing which shape to buy might sound daunting, but have no fear! Here are a few tips:


Round rug in spacious apartment interior with fireplace and grey sofa against the window

A round rug in a living room will show off beautiful hardwood floors and create an intimate feeling. Having said that, you won't normally find round rugs in living rooms. However, they are favored in other areas like dining rooms or entryways.


Scandinavian interior design living room 3d render with gray colored furniture and wooden elements

This is your everyday, standard rug that most people opt for. Normally, rectangular rugs fit the best in a living room because of how the space is used. It gives your furniture the correct spacing while also giving your kids or pets plenty of room on the floor to play.


Blank black oval interior carpet in room mockup, side view

This is similar in dimension to a rectangular rug but will give your living room a unique touch. Oval-shaped rugs are long enough to fit both your furniture and your family. Likewise, if you want to position your rug diagonally, oval-shaped rugs are the way to go.

Check out this oval rug on Amazon.


Traditional ornamental floral paisley bandanna. You can use this pattern in the design of carpet, shawl, pillow, cushion.

Simply put, square rugs are best in square rooms. That being said, most rooms aren't perfectly square, and if used incorrectly, it could make your room feel boxy and short. Because of this, you might find it hard to nail down a square-shaped rug. 

What About Material?

Deciding which material to use for your rug might seem like no big deal. But this can determine how long your rug lasts, especially in high-traffic areas. Here are some sought-after selections:


This is an extremely popular option because of its stain resistance and soft, cozy feel. The downside to wool is that it can easily shed, so regular vacuuming is needed. Wool is a great choice for living rooms and dining rooms where the rug gets a lot of use. 


Cotton rugs are well-liked because of their affordable prices. As a consequence, they don't always wear well over time, so you might have to frequently professionally clean your rug or end up replacing it. Cotton rugs are great in kitchens and children's rooms where spills can happen without too much stress. 


Jute is a strong material that can withstand high-traffic areas. However, it can be difficult to clean because of its natural fibers. These rugs are admired for the down-to-earth, natural feel they can give a room. 

Too Small Or Too Large?

Many people ask this question—is it better to have a rug too small or too large? If you can help it, neither! But if you had to pick one, go with a rug that's too big. It's preferable to a room seeming smaller than it is. More is better in this instance. 

What Size Rug For Other Rooms?

We've covered living room area rugs in depth. Now you might be curious about what size of rug should go in other rooms of the house. Let's take a look at dining rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. 

Dining Room

For dining room area rugs, make sure to leave room when the chairs are pulled out. That's normally about 4 feet longer and wider than your dining room table. For most dining rooms, area rugs that are 8x10 or 9x12 are common. 

If your table is round, consider a round rug to complement the shape, making the style look cohesive and put together. 


Traditionally, bedroom rugs are underneath the bed and are centered. In this case, a 9x12 rug fits nicely. However, there are some additional sizes that will work. Smaller rugs, like 4x6 or 5x8, can be placed on the side of the bed or just underneath the bottom feet of the bed.

On the other hand, you don't want your dresser or other furniture (besides the nightstands) to be underneath the rug. If this is the case, then pick out a smaller rug. 


Rugs in the kitchen can be tricky. Pick something that is easily cleaned from food and spills, like weave rugs. Runner rugs underneath the sink are about 2x3, but it's always best to double-check by measuring first. Also, consider investing in an anti-slip mat to avoid unnecessary falls. 

Wrapping It Up

Choosing the right rug is serious business. We have covered the whole nine yards on what size of rug you should select for your living room and other caveats to consider. 8x10, 9x12, or 11x14 rugs are your best bet for living spaces.

Made it to the end? Check out these other helpful articles about rugs:

Can You Run An Extension Cord Under A Rug?

How To Clean An Area Rug Without A Carpet Cleaner

11 Bedroom Rug Placement Ideas To Inspire You

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