Where Should You Place an Area Rug in a Bedroom? The Complete Guide

Rug in Bedroom
Area rugs are essentially smaller portable carpets. They come in various prints, shapes, and sizes and complete a space by adding the finishing touch you might've never known that you needed.

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Where to Position an Area Rug in Your Bedroom

Under the Bed

If you have a large bedroom and want the rug to be big enough to fit the entire bed frame and the nightstands, then you should make sure to get the correct size rug. To do this with a queen-sized bed, your rug size should be 8 x 10 ft.; 9x12 ft. for a king-sized bed, considering these bed frames are larger.

Rib Wool Rug
Parachute's Rib Wool Rug

Alternatively, you can also place the rug perpendicular to the bed frame for comfort when you step out at each side, or at the foot of the bed. Interior designer Amber Lewis recommends that you, “lay the rug perpendicular to the bed and pull it halfway under the bed frame, stopping before your side tables. This maximizes the amount of usable rug space and gives you a soft surface to step onto when getting out of bed [rather than bare floor].”

A good rule of thumb for this is to get a rug at least two-thirds the size of the bed. This would mean 6x9 ft. for a queen-size bed and 8x10 ft. for a king-size bed.

In the Middle of the Room

Placing bedroom rugs in the middle of the room draws the eye to the center of the room, making it a central focal point.

When doing this, you should ensure an equal distance between the rug and each of the walls. This creates symmetry and is appealing to the eye. This rug placement is best for smaller rooms, as it draws the eye to the center, and the exposed outer floor gives the appearance of a larger bedroom.

To make sure that the bedroom rug isn't too small and doesn't look awkward, there should be a minimum space of 10-20” between the base trim of your walls and the edge of the rug. Round rugs are a great option for the middle of the room.

At the Foot of the Bed

Having your area rug at the foot end of your bed is also a great option for those with smaller bedrooms. This will make the room appear visually interesting and pull all the décor together in a sophisticated way.

If your rug has a smaller or the same width as your bed, then you should leave around 12”- 18" of space around the edge of the rug. If the width of your rug is larger than the bed, then only place the top of the rug underneath the footboard and leave the rest extending beyond it into the room.

This will help you get the maximum impact of your area rug in the room.

Place Runners on Either Side of the Bed

If you don't see the need to get a full area rug that will be mostly hidden beneath furniture, or you want a rug but have heavy furniture that is difficult to move, then you should consider choosing two runners to give the appearance of an area rug. 

"If you select two runners, have them be shorter than your bed but wider than smaller-scale furniture like nightstands."

These runners can either be placed just underneath or parallel to your bedside tables. "If you select two runners, have them be shorter than your bed but wider than smaller-scale furniture like nightstands,” advises Justin Soleimani, Co-Founder of Tumble.

This placement isn't as common as the others we've gone through, but it looks very good and gives the bedroom a unique look. It works especially well for large bedrooms. You'll also still get the luxury of feeling soft fabric beneath your feet when you step into or out of bed.

Elsewhere in the Bedroom

You aren't confined to only having one area rug per room. Get creative and divide the room into separate zones using multiple area rugs. This works best for large bedrooms, but could also work in a small space if done right.

Make use of this rug placement by separating the parts of your room into a study area with a rug under desks or chairs, placing a rug underneath the bed, or underneath your seating or mirror areas to make them feel complete and cozy.

Your rugs don't all have to be the same, but they should have a common color or pattern that ties them all together.

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The Dos and Don’ts on How to Position an Area Rug in Your Bedroom

Do Cover High-Traffic Spaces

High-traffic areas experience a lot more foot traffic than other areas of your bedroom. Consequently, the floor in those areas wears down faster over time. Any homeowner knows that flooring is not cheap. If you have high-maintenance floors such as hardwood floors, an area rug will be especially helpful.

Make sure you learn how to find the perfect bedroom rug that's made from sturdy, long-lasting materials. This will protect your floors underneath the rug, while also preventing you from constantly having to replace your rug because it's matted or run-down.

Do Leave Equal Space

Leaving an equal amount of space between the end of the rug and each of the walls in the room creates a more symmetrical look.

People are naturally drawn toward symmetrical designs as they're more appealing to the eye. So, incorporating this into your bedroom will make it visually pleasing and feel well-balanced.

Additionally, rugs typically shouldn't cover the entire floor. If you want something that does, then consider getting wall-to-wall carpeting.

Don’t Go Too Small in Size

A rug that's too small looks like it was awkwardly added in as an afterthought rather than incorporated into the design. It gets lost in the rest of the room, rather than elevating the space.

If you have to choose between getting a rug too small or a rug too big- go big or go home, baby! A larger rug will allow you the comfort of being able to fit all your furniture on it without them appearing cramped onto a small space.

Make sure to get a rug that will be perfect for its function and proportional to the rest of your bedroom's furniture.

Don’t be Afraid of Colour

Rugs can also be used as a way to inject fun and unique patterns into a room without it being too overbearing.

You could also stick to a theme and choose a rug of the same color or print as your bedding or some of the accessories and throw blankets in your bedroom. This is a creative way to pull the whole room together.

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Rug Placement and Sizing FAQs

How much space should an area rug cover in a bedroom?

Ideally, you should have a distance of around 10-20” between the base trim of your walls and the edge of the rug.

This will vary slightly depending on the size of your room and the type of rug that you have. Having your rug positioned this way with the outer exposed floor will create symmetry and make the room appear larger.

If you want to place your rug underneath the bed, the rug should be around two-thirds the size of the bed.

Does an area rug have to be centered in a room?

Of course not! You can have your rug in different places around your room, according to your personal style.

Pros:

  • Draws the eye to the middle of the room.
  • Makes the room appear larger.
  • Visually appealing symmetrical look.

Cons:

  • Easier to stain, as there's easy access.
  • More foot traffic, so it could wear down faster.

How much rug space should be on each side of the bed?

Bedroom rug placement is super important! To achieve a balanced appearance, your rug under the bed should extend by at least 12"-18" inches, depending on the bed. For a queen-sized bed, it's 12" and 18" for a king bed.

In larger rooms, your rug can be extended further out. However, it shouldn't extend less than this.

Can a rug be too big for a room?

The size of the rug can dramatically change how the bedroom looks. Too small of a rug can be uninviting. Too big can make the room look smaller.

You can play around with the size of your rug depending on the size of your bedroom and the furniture. However, in small bedrooms, rugs too big make the room feel cramped and even smaller — there's absolutley nothing wrong with opting for a smaller rug.

Final Thoughts

There's no doubt about it; the right rug adds a little bit of luxury and a homely feel to a bedroom. When considering where you should place a rug, think about the footfall, the size of both your room and bed, and the size of your rug. Then you can start the exciting process of purchasing a rug to help inject some extra character and aesthetic appeal into your room knowing that it'll be the perfect fit.

Written by
Ash Read
Ash is the founder of Living Cozy. He's been featured by publishers like MyDomaine, Realtor, Real Homes, Architectural Digest, The Spruce, Homes and Gardens, and more. As a writer his work has appeared in publications like FastCompany, TNW, and Entrepreneur.

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