Area Rug Size Guide for Living Rooms

October 31, 2019 3 min read

Living room with two women in ballerina outfits. One is laying on the white couch and one is laying on the floor on top of an area rug. The area rug is green, blue and grey floral print.

There really isn’t a room in your home that won’t benefit from an area rug. Area rugs are a great tool to use to really bring the design of a room together. You can use them to tie a color scheme together, add a pop of color to your space, or to partition a large space. A living room is one of the most common places to introduce an area rug. However, with so many size possibilities for a living room, you may be wondering where to start. With our simple guide, you will be able to choose the perfect size area rug for your living room in no time!

Measuring and Placing Your Area Rug

American living rooms tend to range from 200-600 square feet, with the average living room landing at around 400 square feet. The most common mistake we see is area rugs that are too small for rooms. More often than not, the "designer look" is to make sure at the very least, the front legs of all furniture are on the rug. This helps anchor all of the furniture, leaving the space with a more cohesive look. If space permits, the best route is to choose the largest area rug your room can accommodate. 

  1. The first thing you want to do to figure out what area rug size is best is to measure your room. When you measure, it is important to consider any immobile furniture. Things like built-in bookcases, fireplaces, or any excessively heavy furniture that you would not want to move. These objects often stick out of the walls, so it is important that they are taken into consideration when you measure and eliminate which size area rug will not fit.
  2. After you measure, it's important to eliminate which standard rug sizes will be too big for your room. Standard living room rug sizes are 5x8, 6x9, 7x9, 8x10, 9x12, 10x13 and 11x15. Once you have your maximum square footage, work your way down from the biggest standard area rug size (11x15) to the smallest, (5x8) determining which of the biggest size will fit. 
  3. When you have determined the largest and best size for your room, double-check to make sure that you have at least 12 inches of hardwood, tile, or carpeting exposed all around the rug. You do not want your area rug closer than 12 inches to your walls. Area rugs can come as close as 1 inch away from furniture around the perimeter of the room or fireplace hearths, but if your doors open inwards, make sure you have enough door clearance to open the door above the rug. Pile heights for area rugs can be found in the product descriptions. 
  4. Unless you are interested in purchasing a custom-sized rug, it is very important to keep in mind that area rug sizing is standardized. When you are measuring, remember that area rugs only come in a select amount of sizes, so while you will be able to customize your furniture configuration around your rug, you can only customize your rug size to the extent at which they are available.
  5. The final step before you make your purchase is to mark your final rug size corners with painter's tape to help you visualize how the rug will look. If you really want to mimic how a certain size area rug will look, open newspapers in the shape and size of the rug you have decided on and place them in your living room. This will help you visualize what the rug will look like in proportion to your room. 

Here are two illustrations to help you visualize how the rug placement can be:

An illustration of a living room with a couch, table, and two sofa chairs with a green and pink area rug underneath the foot of all three.      An illustration of a living room with a sofa and table, a green and pink area on the floor surrounds the furniture entirely.

Now that you have a better idea of the best area rug size for your living room, here are a few of our recommendations:

5’x8’ Area Rugs

Monaco MOC-2300 Bright Blue

Adria AD08 Charcoal

6’x9’ Area Rugs

Karastan Euphoria Cashel Abyss Blue

Adria AD12 Aqua 

7’x9’ Area Rugs

Anastasia AF-04 Ant Ivory/Rust

Anastasia AF-06 Blue/Ivory

8’x10’ Area Rugs

Adria AD18 Rust

Aspen AS05 Demin

9’x12’ Area Rugs

Alder AL07 Medium Gray

Adele AD03 Terracotta

10’x13’ Area Rugs

Madcap Cottage Palm Beach Pink

Madcap Cottage Palm Beach Green 


11’x15’ Area Rugs

Safavieh Evoke 220 Grey/Gold

Safavieh Evoke 226 Ivory/Grey