8 Tips On How To Choose The Perfect Dining Room Rug

Finding a great dining room rug sounds impossible but I assure you – it’s not! Learn my tips on how to choose the perfect dining room rug and you’ll be thrilled with your new rug for years to come.

Area rugs are the foundation for making a room feel complete! The perfect rug can ground the space, create a “zone” in an open-concept home, add pattern, texture, color, and even provide a soft place to land.

We recently gave our dining room a mini room refresh with a new Stripe rug!

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

Our room has been without a rug for several years. It was a nice change. But now feeling this amazing softness under my feet every day – we may never go back to a rug-less dining room ever again!

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

How To Choose The Perfect Dining Room Rug

Finding the right rug for your dining room can sometimes feel overwhelming —there are so many styles to choose from, not to mention the range of sizes and shapes. So I wanted to share with you a few tips that will help you buy the perfect dining room rug every time!

This post also may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

The Right Size Rug

The most important step when shopping for a rug is to make sure you get the right size.  Select a rug that’s too large and the room can feel way smaller than it actually is; too small and the rug may snag when you try to push the dining chairs in and out. 

The simplest way to state it – don’t skimp on the size of the rug! Buying a rug that is too small for the dining area is one of the most common decorating mistakes. So let me help you avoid this blunder now!

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

A good rule of thumb is to make sure the rug extends past the table at least 8” on each side. And you want at least 12-18 inches of floor around the perimeter of the rug to allow for enough space between the rug and the wall.

Typically, the best size of rug for a dining area is 6×9 or 8×10. If your room is extra big and you have enough room, go for the 9×12!

Best Rug Shape Based On Room Shape

When it comes to picking the shape of your dining room rug, you need to consider two things; the shape of the room and the shape of the table. First let’s talk about the room size.

The most common rug shape is a rectangular rug and for good reason. Most homes dining rooms are often shaped rectangular as well. So just by matching the symmetry of the room to the shape of the rug, you automatically create a striking design choice.

So staying with that idea, if you have a square room, go with a square (or possibly a round) shaped rug.

Match Rug Shape To Shape Of Your Table

Generally, it’s a good idea to pick a rug that is the same shape as your dining room table. Again, it’s all about creating beautiful symmetry in the room. So a round table looks best with a round rug but you can get away with a square rug as well.

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

A rectangular table or oval looks great when paired with rectangular shaped rugs. And square rugs tend to look best with a square table.

Choose Low Pile or Flat Weave Material

Do you love sinking your toes into plush high-pile rugs like shag or Moroccan styles? Me too – so luxurious! But this type of rug material is not best for a dining space. It’s difficult to pull chairs in and out. And keeping this type of rug clean from messes and crumbs is next to impossible.

Instead you want to choose a rug that has a low pile, a flat weave, or one made of eco-friendly materials including 100% organic cotton, recycled denim, and recycled polyester.

When shopping for our dining room rug, I had two favorites – one being this Macro Rug in pale gray. It looked great in our dining area but I felt it was just a tad too thick for our dining chairs.

bedroom with pale gray rug from revival
bedroom with pale gray rug from revival

So it made its way upstairs to our primary bedroom. I will be showing more on this mini room refresh in a few weeks!

Easy To Clean Is Always A Win

You may be hesitant about using rugs in a high-traffic area like a dining room, but it can add so much softness and dimension to the space! So put your fear aside and go with indoor / outdoor rugs made with materials which are perfect for areas where spills or messes can often occur.

Or you could also choose vintage materials for a worn-in look as durable as it is timeless.

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

The rug in our dining room is the Stripe Washable Rug by Revival. It’s made from 100% recycled polyester and it’s machine washable.

It’s a great choice for our home because of my boys and the dogs. I love them all, but they are all so messy!

Use The Rug As A Starting Point For Decor

If your new dining room rug is the first purchase for this space, you can use the rug as a tool to design and decorate the rest of the room.

Perhaps you could use the lightest color in the new rug as a color to paint your walls.

Then tap into the bolder colors in the rug as a guide for accent pieces of even artwork!

The Right Color And Pattern

So how does one choose the right rug color and pattern? Start by choosing a color that complements your overall look and is still practical enough to survive the messy life of the dining room.

Lighter rugs are great neutrals that can work in a variety of decor settings. But they don’t always clean as easily or aren’t as effective at hiding spills and stains.

If you choose a washable or indoor/outdoor rug, neutral is still a great option. I’m a huge neutral fan and that’s what I picked for our home.

dining room with upholstered arm chair wood dining chairs and gray striped rug

If your personal style is more bold or you want a gorgeous pattern, pick a color that ties together accents from the surrounding elements in the room – like the dining room furniture or even artwork. The color/pattern will add enough depth to hide any accidents that might occur during a meal time.

How To Work Rugs Together In An Open Floor Concept

Mixing multiple rugs in one space can be tricky! If your dining room is an open-concept space, you’ll likely have more than one rug in the same visual area. And it can get visually complicated quickly if the two rugs are not cohesive.

So I have a few fool-proof rug combinations to help you learn how to pick the right dining room rug / adjoining room blend every time:

Geometric and Jute Rug Combo

Stripe Rug

  • Stripes are always a win!
  • Neutral colors go with any decor
  • Fun pattern adds interest to a space

Jute Rug

  • Such a great neutralizing style!
  • Adds a ton of texture and detail
  • Won’t compete with any geometric styled rug

Minimal and Vintage Pattern Rug Combo

Minimal Rug

  • Muted neutral with unique details – perfect for a living room
  • Neutral color palette to go with any decor
  • Fun patterned rug adds interest while not competing with nearby rug

Vintage Pattern Rug

  • A great neutral focal point for an entryway
  • Adds a ton of texture and detail
  • Stylish and timeless

FAQs about Choosing A Dining Room Rug

Synthetic blends are the most difficult to clean. So instead go with pure natural fibers like cotton and wool. The exceptions are indoor-outdoor and stain-resistant rugs that are made to withstand scrubbing.

You want to look for a rug with an allover pattern, but stay away from anything with a border. A bold, sweeping pattern moves the eye around the room and distracts from the fact that the rug is off-centered.

Invest in a rug pad to prolong your rug’s lifespan and prevent slipping—this helps protect your rug, your floors, and yourself.

And I have some great news! I partnered with my friends at Revival to give you a discount code to shop for your own dining room rug. Or perhaps you need a new rug for your living room or bedroom. Revival has so many one-of-a-kind rugs, you are sure to find a fantastic rug for any room in your home! Just CLICK ON THIS LINK to activate your code automatically or use my code 10OFF-FORMOMS at checkout! Happy rug shopping!

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