Best floor rugs for your living room, kitchen or dining room

·11-min read
 (Graham & Green)
(Graham & Green)

A well-chosen rug is the perfect way to breathe new life into your home.

Whether you’re a renter or mortgage-payer, rugs can effortlessly transform the feel of a room. They add colour, texture and personality, offering the same transformative effect as a framed print or paint on the wall.

Even if you’ve already got carpet covering your floors, there’s something undeniably chic about layering a rug on top. Choose wisely, and it can even make your space appear bigger.

As well as switching up your aesthetics, a rug can protect flooring from furniture and add a sense of cosiness that’s particularly welcome on a chilly morning.

If you’ve never shopped for a rug before, the choice can be staggering. Here’s a quick run through on some of the most popular styles on offer.

Popular rug styles

Shaggy rugs

Get your mind out of the gutter, it's not what you think. In rug terms, a shag refers to a covering with a thick plush pile. Soft and snuggly, they look luxe but they can be a nightmare to clean depending on the length of the pile. Typically made from wool, leather or acrylic fibres, they’re ideal for bedrooms and living rooms.​

Synthetic and patterned rugs

If you're a homewares hound, you've probably got a Pinterest board full of this style of rug. They're cheap, easy to clean and come in more patterns and styles than you could possibly imagine.

Synthetic rugs are also made to last and perfect for high footfall areas like corridors and landings - they'll withstand fading and look great for ages. Perfect for indoors as well as in the garden or patio, they’re also a lot less expensive than other types of rug, making them a great option for anyone on a budget.

Wool rugs

Durable, naturally stain-resistant and sustainable, wool rugs have always been popular. The textile collects dirt and debris in small pockets within the weave, making it easier to clean than their synthetic counterparts and the oils and moisture locked into the fibres give them a natural flame-resistance. They also feel lovely underfoot. One of our favourite versions at the moment is the Scandi-looking Fes Tufted 100% Wool Rug, £425 from MADE.

 (MADE)
(MADE)

Sheepskin and cowhide skin rugs

As well as leather, this category includes sheepskin and cowhide. They offer a distinctive look but in the current climate they’re not for everyone. If you’ve got your heart set on one, look out for ethically made styles, or better yet fake it with a synthetic or faux fur version​.

Antique and traditional rugs

The diamond standard, this covers Turkish, Indian and Persian rugs. Prices can soar into the millions; in fact, the most expensive rug ever sold is the Sotheby's '17th Century Antique Persian Carpet' which went for a cool $33m. Genuine rugs tend to be heirloom treasures, passed down through the generations. If you like the lavish patterns and an antique look, there are some incredible imitations out there for a snip of the price.​ Prime example? The Havana Rug, £489 from iRugs.co.uk

Over dyed rugs and faded rugs

A new trend has emerged in interiors recently; the over-dyed and faded rug. It's a way of upcycling an old rug (typically a traditional style rug) by cleaning it and applying a strong dye over the top so that it's heavily saturated with colour. The final result is a like a block colour filter over a patterned rug.

View over dyed rugs from Etsy

Shop faded rugs at Wayfair

Different rug making techniques

Aside from style, there’s the construction of a rug to think about. How it’s made will determine how it looks, feels and lasts.

  • Hand-tufted: made without knots, loops of yarn are instead pulled through the rug's backing by hand or with a special tool.

  • Hooked rugs: a close cousin of tufting but this time the loops remain intact. They don't get sheared off and are left as they are to create a homely embroidered effect.

  • Flat-weaves: woven together on a loom, these come without a pile. There's no backing, which means they are reversible.

  • Hand-knotted: crafted by skilled artisans, hand-knotted rugs take the longest to make. Each yarn gets tied individually and the knots make up the surface of the rug. They're expensive and best suited for low-traffic formal spaces.

Aside from style and method, the other things you should bear in mind when rug-shopping is where it will go and your budget. Thanks to the wealth of rugs available, there are designs to suit all rooms, tastes and budgets.

The best part is, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of home to find your perfect rug. There are dozens of rug sellers and big retailers who all sell the floor coverings online, and many of them deliver for free too.

See our favourites below

Dunelm

Price level: ££

Ranging from just £8 up to £1,349, Dunelm stocks a huge range of mainly synthetic and wool rugs to suit the home. There are rugs of every description, including a special collection with patterns from the V&A (pictured).

Buy now, Dunelm

Wayfair

Price level: ££

Wayfair stocks an impressively huge array of rugs at prices that are impossible to be argue with, such is the case with Latitude Vive Loughlam Pink Rug (from £98.99).

Another innovative example is the Gel-Back Washable Orange/Beige Rug (£9.78) which bears more than a passing resemblance to the paper version of a London Underground travel card.

On the other end of the scale, arty types will adore the Beahm Hand Tufted Wool Blue Rug (£167.99); the washed antique hues look straight out of an art gallery.

If you’re looking for inspiration on your rug-buying journey, Wayfair’s offering is a superb place to start.

Buy now, Wayfair

Graham & Green

Price level: ££

Offering a boutique-approach to the world of rugs, Graham & Green’s small-ish collection spans hides as well as runners, bath and door mats alongside traditional rugs. Prices range from the top-end £1,495 to an extremely reasonable £21. If it’s a laid back boho aesthetic you’re chasing, check for your dream rug here first.

Buy now, Graham & Green

Heal’s

Price level: ££

Whether you’re after a runner for your hallway, a plush pile by your bed, or even something to warm to protect you from the cold kitchen tiles, you’ll find something that fits at Heal’s.

While there’s a great selection of plain, neutral-hued rugs to slide seamlessly into your décor, we’re suckers for a splash of pattern. Check out the thick and soft Berber rugs which offer elegant patterns on monochromatic colourways.

Buy now, Heal’s

MADE

Price level: ££

You’ll find statement rugs big and small at MADE, the online homewares store on a mission to help you put a stamp on your home. The offerings, like this Supermundane geometric rug, err more to the colourful side, making them ideal for brightening up those all-magnolia spaces that landlords seem to love so much - renters take note. ​

Buy now, MADE

Habitat

Price level: ££

Offering the final piece of your home decor jigsaw, Habitat has a wide range of rugs, and at the moment many of them are in the sale, making it prime time to scoop up a bargain. From wool rugs to cotton runners, minimal carpets and statement coverings, Habitat has you - and your floors - covered. Our pick of the bunch is this Colorado-style Berber rug, £40. No raw-hides here.

Buy now, Habitat

Woven

Price level: £££

Did you know that Calvin Klein did rugs? You can find CK and other design labels - think Designers Guild, Orla Kiely, Wedgewood and Ted Baker - at Woven, an online rug specialist.

There are some quirky finds to stumble upon, like this red Japan rug by GAN (£2,080), handmade in India. So, make a fresh cuppa, settle down and get ready for deep dive browsing.

Buy now, Woven

Floor_Story

Price level: £££

Think of Floor_Story as Dover Street Market for rugs. There are dozens of high end designers to peruse – with high end prices to match. If you’re looking for something unique and you’re prepared to invest, you’ll find a rug you’ll love on this website.

Our favourite? Named Giovanni by John Booth, this handsome fella is hand-knotted in Nepal and takes 12 weeks for delivery. Guaranteed to command the attention of any room.

Want something truly unique? Check out Floor Story’s Custom service, the place to bring your wildest rug ideas to life.

Buy now, Floor_Story

The Rug Seller

Price level: ££

Based in Manchester, the Rug Seller not only offers free delivery on its massive stock of rugs, but they have a price guarantee on the cheapest online rugs across the UK. There’s play rugs for kids’ bedrooms, floral print mats, thick pile coverings, rugs that look like watercolour paintings and others that resemble flags. The choice is stupendous, but thankfully you can narrow down the search with category or colours sections.

Buy now, The Rug Seller

Ruggable

Price level: ££

Offering a massive choice of chic designs, Ruggable’s USP is that you can wash its designs in a standard household washing machine when the time comes for a deeper clean.

It manages this by splitting its rugs into two parts: a business end, and party end. The business end (the base) features a non-slip under so that the rug won't turn into a hazard on hard floors. Meanwhile, a velcro-finished upper keeps the second part (which bears the surface design) in place. The party portion is thin, with the thickness of a heavy blanket or throw, which means it can easily be slung into your next wash. Depending on the size you choose, it's probably best to run your washing machine with the rug on its own. Still, far easier and cost-effective than having a rug professionally cleaned. The rug's slimness also means drying time is much quicker, so you can get back to enjoying it faster.

While there are licenced designs from Marvel, Star Wars and Keith Haring on offer alongside the in-house collection, we’ve been completely swept off our feet by interior designer extraordinaire Jonathan Adler’s Ruggable designs. Instantly joy-sparking.

Buy now, Ruggable

Hide Rugs

Price level: £££

Hankering for a rugged cowboy look? Dress the floors of your ranch with an animal hide from Hide Rugs - there’s everything from cow to sheepskin and reindeer to choose from. The company is keen to stress that every rug they sell is made as a bi-product of the meat industry - no animal was killed purely for their skin. ​Products are high quality and made to last.

Buy now, Hide Rugs

London House Rugs

Price level: £££

Purveyors of classic, vintage and contemporary rugs, London House has a massive selection with rugs handwoven in far-flung destination such as Afghanistan, Iran and India; all countries with rug-making traditions that stretch back centuries.

The overdyed rugs are worth a butchers, if only for window shopping purposes alone.

Buy now, London House Rugs

Studio Knot

Price level: £££

With a commitment to making ethical rugs with sustainable materials and practices, Studio Knot is ​the place to visit for a design upgrade that will spark conversation. Their artist collabs are distinctive and quirky – you certainly won’t find anything else like this on the high street.

Buy now, Studio Knot

Cold Picnic

Price level: £££

Based in New York, USA, this rug specialist has cut itself a corner of the rug market and specialises in wool rugs, cotton quilts and blankets and bathmats with clean abstract designs.​

Rugs come in three sizes and international shipping is offered to customers across the pond and elsewhere.

Buy now, Cold Picnic

IKEA

Price level: ££

Anyone who’s taken a stroll through IKEA’s in-store marketplace will surely have passed the rug section.

Staying true to its core belief that homewares should be affordable for all, there’s a huge range of relatively inexpensive designs on sale online, including a real sheepskin one for less than £30.

They aren’t as luxe as the £60 sheepskin from Graham and Green — but still pretty decent.

Buy now, IKEA

Rug Artisan

Price level: £££

If you’ve always wanted to design your own rug, make a digital beeline for Rug Artisan. The company offers a vast selection of colours, designs, yarns and shapes to help you come up with your ideal rug - and best of all, no one else will have it. Now that’s truly unique.

Buy now, Rug Artisan

Weaver Green

Price level: ££

On a mission to transform trash to treasure, Weaver Green takes recycled plastic bottles and turns them into beautiful floor coverings for your home or office.

There are accessories too; think rugs and cushions but don’t try to match it all - an eclectic boho look is king at Weaver Green.

Buy now, Weaver Green

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