How to Place a Rug Under Your Bed: Expert Advice

Rug Under Bed

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Our thoughts on area rugs in the bedroom are perfectly summed up by Jenon Bailie, who says, “bedroom rugs are just as important as key furniture pieces to home decor, not an afterthought.”

The color, design, and most importantly, texture, brought to the bedroom by an area rug has the ability to elevate your space from one you’re apathetic about to one that you’re excited to spend time in. And, as well all know, the ability to relax and unwind before bed is crucial to maintaining both mental and physical health.

However, with so much going on in the typical bedroom (think: nightstands, dressers, the bed itself), many are unsure where to place an area rug. We consulted our team of experts for advice, as well as answers to your most frequently asked questions on the topic.

Meet the experts

At Living Cozy, we produce our content alongside interior design and home decor experts. In this guide, you’ll advice from:

Under Bed Rug Layout Ideas + What Furniture Goes on a Rug

Many designers consider rug placement under furniture to be a simple way to add color and texture to the bedroom without sacrificing floor space.

Jenon Bailie is one such designer. “There are really no rules when it comes to laying a rug,” Bailie says. “Size and shape is a personal preference, but a rug can truly be a piece of art for the floor that makes the room feel warm, cozy, and chic.”

Size and shape is a personal preference, but a rug can truly be a piece of art for the floor that makes the room feel warm, cozy, and chic.”

Although, as Bailie says, there are no rules when it comes to laying a rug, our team of design experts have recommended three ideas that might spark inspiration.

All Furniture on the Rug

To create an easy divider between your sleeping space and the rest of the bedroom, choose a rug big enough to place all of your furniture on top. According to Jenon Bailie, this creates a “bigger and more dramatic statement.”

Bailie also recommends placing the front legs of your furniture onto the edge of the rug to “make the pieces feel more grounded in your space.”

Keep in mind that this look works best in large bedrooms– especially if you’re looking to create different “zones” within the room using area rugs. This layout also works especially well if you have a bench at the foot of the bed.

Rug Under Bed
The whole bed sits on this area rug (credit: Interior Designs Atelier)

Rug In Front of the Nightstands

A popular option that ensures you have something plush under your feet when you step out of bed each morning is placing a rug in front of your nightstands. This look is great for mid-sized rugs, and can even be accomplished using two smaller rugs– one of each side of the bed.

For those wanting to give this look a try, Heather Mastrangeli recommends “ensuring the rug starts slightly in front of the nightstands and extends past the end of the bed” to create a symmetrical look that centers the bed vertically.

Rug before nightstands
Start your rug just before your nightstands

Diane Meyer says that the rule of thumb for placing a rug in front of your nightstands is to ensure that the foot of your bed is on the rug, as this prevents unwanted shifting of the rug. Meyer also recommends purchasing a rug that’s wide enough that your feet land on it when getting out of bed in the morning.

Rug Under Third or Two-Thirds of the Bed

For those that like the look of placing a rug under the bed, but don’t love the feel, we have a solution for you: place the rug under one or two-thirds of the bed frame. This way, you’ll step out onto hardwood floors in the morning while reaping all the benefits an area rug adds to your space.

For designer Lindsey Graziano, placing a rug under two-thirds of the bed is about more than just comfort, but about look as well.

Rug under bottom third of the bed
A rug under the bottom third of a bed (credit: New England Loom)

“Contrary to what many believe, we actually don't recommend rugs be placed under the entire bed, as you lose so much of the rug!” says Graziano. “Instead, we recommend placing the rug only about a third to a quarter of the way under the bed, so that the rug can shine at the base of the bed while still grounding the room and adding so much color and texture.”

Read more: The Best Places To Buy Rugs Online

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Rug Under Bed FAQs

Does Bed Size Impact How You Should Style a Rug?

Yes, the size of the bed—and the size of the room—  are important factors to consider when selecting the right size rug for your space. There’s no one-size-fits-all best rug size.

Lindsey Graziano suggests choosing a rug between 5x9 and 8x11 for a queen-sized bed, and between 7x12 and 10x14 for a king-sized bed, however the right rug size depends on how you’d like to style the rug underneath your furniture. Many advise choosing 5x8 rugs for twin beds and 5x9 for full-sized beds,

While this isn’t always the case, many pair small rugs with smaller rooms and large rugs with larger rooms, as many small rugs in a large room can create a cluttered look.

To determine the size of the rug best for your space, use masking tape to outline the ideal boundaries of your new rug. Then, measure those boundaries, rounding up or down as needed.

For those struggling to choose between two sizes, Diane Meyer advises, “always choosing the larger rug, as going too small can look dinky.”

“Always choosing the larger rug, as going too small can look dinky.”

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Can You Layer Rugs Under a Bed?

When asked this question, our team of designers gave a unanimous “yes!”

Heather Mastrangeli says that although layering might seem counterintuitive, it’s “a great way to add visual interest to a bedroom while keeping costs down.”

Jenon Bailie agrees, as layering adds shape and dimension while serving as soundproofing for multi-level living. Layering is also an easy way to continue the color scheme or vibe already established within the room by pairing shades or textures together.

For a classic look, Kaitlyn Oakes suggests layering a large natural woven rug with a smaller, more traditional style.

Can You Sit a Rug Over Carpet?

Renters in particular are often relieved to hear that yes, you can certainly sit a rug over carpeting!

A bedroom area rug on top of carpeting brings a new dimension to your room design, while helping to tie the space together. Additionally, placing a rug over carpet will ensure that the furniture in the room doesn’t feel like it’s floating.

Many choose to sit area rugs over carpet to protect their carpeting as well. While area rugs are fairly easy to change in and out, replacing bulky carpeting can be both difficult and expensive.

Do I Need a Rug Pad?

Yes, we recommend a non-slip rug pad under an area rug to ensure that the rug doesn’t slip underneath you as you walk over it, or curl up at the edges. Rug pads also serve as a safeguard, to prevent the floor from needless scratches from heavy pieces of furniture on top of the rug, and adds another layer of cushion.

Written by
Sasha Weilbaker
Sasha Weilbaker is a freelance writer with bylines in Thrillist, Business Insider, and The Vegetarian Times. She's particularly interested in the intersection of sustainability and materials. In the wild, she can be found cycling around New England, scouting coffee shops, or obsessing over new podcasts.

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