Your Guide to Choosing the Right Rug for Your Bed Size

From pointers on taking measurements to placement tips, designers share their advice.

area rug under bed
Photo: CreativaStudio / Getty Images

Rugs can make any area feel cozy and inviting, which is why the perfect bedroom rug can really make or break the ambience of your entire space. It's not just the look you have to worry about—size and placement play a huge role in how a rug looks in any room. "A poorly scaled area rug is one of the first things I notice in a space," says interior designer Emma Beryl. "In a bedroom, the bed should always be the focal point, so making sure that the rug is the proper size for the bed is the first step in making the room feel pulled together."

Rugs also occupy a lot of valuable floor space, which is why Beryl says it's crucial to choose one that's both correctly sized and comfortable. "The right bedroom rug needs to set the tone for your entire space, so it's always one of the first pieces I start with when sourcing furniture," she explains. "A rug is the first thing you feel when stepping out of bed in the morning so you want to make sure it's an experience that you enjoy."

Our experts help ensure you're selecting the right size rug for your area and explain the best bedroom rug placements for designing your most inviting space yet.

Take the right measurements.

The first step in selecting the right size rug is to measure your bed. "Typically an eight by 10 or nine by 12 [foot] area rug works well for a queen or king bed, while a six by nine is better for a full or a twin-sized bed, however, this rule of thumb depends on how much space is in the room itself and between the bed and the surrounding furniture," Beryl explains. "You want to have around two feet of clearance on either side of the rug to walk around to get to your dresser or other bedroom furniture."

Interior designer Kristen Nix says you should also take the size of the bedroom into account when measuring for an area rug. "I typically like to have the rug come about six to 10 inches off each wall to allow all the furniture to have a place on the rug," she explains. "This will also make the room feel larger."

Go big, if necessary.

When in doubt about whether or not to size up or down when selecting a bedroom area rug, Beryl says going big is always better than buying something that's too small. "In an ideal world, all of your bed and all the legs of your nightstands (and anything at the foot of the bed) will fit entirely onto the rug," she explains. "Too big is always better than too small because an oversized rug will make your room feel cozy."

Take the function of the room into account.

When selecting the appropriate rug for a bedroom Meg Young, founder of Cailini Coastal, says you'll need to factor in more than just the size of the bed. "For example, a kid's bedroom will likely require a larger surface area covered in a plush and soft rug than an adult's bedroom," she explains. "Also factor in your existing flooring: Are you trying to hide a carpet or wood stain you don't care for with the rug? If so, then you should choose a size that covers more surface area."

Find the best bedroom rug placement.

When placing an area rug in your bedroom, Beryl says it should sit perpendicularly under the bed so that you'll have some rug to walk on. "It should feel like it frames your bedroom furniture, so make sure you aren't covering the entirety of it with your bed," she advises. "In an apartment or smaller space, it's more common to pull the rug out so that it starts right in front of the nightstands and extends past the foot of the bed which works well too."

Make adjustments for hardwood floors.

If you have beautiful hardwood floors in your bedroom, Young says you may just want a rug that's sized to cozy up the room and offer something soft underfoot when you get in and out of bed. "If this is the case, you could opt for two runners on either side of the bed, or pull the rug under the bed right before it hits the nightstand, so just the bottom legs of the bed are on the rug," she explains.

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