How to Choose a Rug for Homes With Kids and Pets

When you have kids and/or pets in your home, it impacts certain decor decisions. Are those cushion covers washable? Can that table handle spills? How easy is it to vacuum that rug? You start making decisions under the assumption of spills and accidents. One of the home decor items where this is (or should be) most highly considered is in the area rug you purchase for kids’ bedrooms and main living areas.

Since area rugs cover large portions of your floors, they see a lot of action. But it can be tough to know what rugs will hold up to the wear and tear of a house full of kids and pets! So if you’re figuring out how to choose a rug for your home, we’ve put together a guide to help you out and guide you to the best choices! Read on for tips and a roundup of the best rugs for kids and pets.

best rugs for kids and pets

What makes a rug kid and pet friendly?

There are certain factors that help qualify a rug as a kid or pet-friendly choice. Our top qualities in this department are rugs that are easy to clean, durable, and non-toxic. It’s worth noting that it can be difficult to find rugs that meet all three of these criteria—but it’s certainly not impossible! However, we recommend choosing your top two qualities that you want in a rug and narrow in on your search from there.

Easy to Clean

Like we said earlier: spills and accidents (of the human and pet variety) are inevitable when you have kiddos and four-legged friends around the house. So, we think easy-to-clean materials are a must if you want kid and pet-friendly rugs. (Check out the next section for more info on which materials are best for this!)


Kids and pets can cause a lot of wear and tear on rugs, so look out for rugs that are naturally durable. Since rugs can be an investment, it would be frustrating to have to replace them every year or two in a high-traffic area! Be conscious of this pile of rug you choose (ranging from flatweave to shag) like this, along with the material, will play a role in how durable the rug is.


When you have babies and young children, rugs are often the zone in your home where they’re laying down, learning to crawl, playing with toys, or reading books. So, it’s worth considering if you want to prioritize a non-toxic rug material without added chemicals. Many synthetic rugs contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs), which release potentially harmful chemicals into the air. They dissipate eventually, but if you don’t want those chemicals to enter your home, you’ll want to be wary of certain materials. However, some natural materials, like cotton, are treated with pesticides and chemicals as well. Look for certified organic cotton and wool if this is a concern.

best rugs for kids and pets

Kid and Pet-Friendly Rug Materials

When looking for a pet and kid-friendly rugs, you’ll want to pick a material that’s easy to clean and stain-resistant. We have a couple of different materials that are favorites, both natural and synthetic, that fit the bill.


Wool is naturally stain-resistant (and antimicrobial!), making it a great choice for homes with kids and pets. Plus, wool rugs are super durable! The easy-to-clean aspect comes from the waxy outer coating of wool fibers, which helps it repel liquid. So, in the case of a spill, you can pretty easily dab it up and get it cleaned without much fuss. Even if you don’t find the spill until later, a solution of water and dish soap can tackle most stains in a wool rug! A sheepskin rug has all the same qualities since it’s also wool—just in a more “natural” state rather than being woven into a rug design. Bonus: sheepskin rugs make really cozy floor coverings in a nursery or kids’ room!

Stain-Resistant Synthetic

Many synthetic-material rugs are manufactured in a way that makes them stain-resistant (as well as resistant to mold and mildew). PET/polyester rugs are our top pick for an easy-to-clean synthetic fiber; a little diluted bleach and elbow grease are usually all you need to remove a stain from this material! Polypropylene and nylon are two other synthetic fiber options that tend to be stain-resistant.

This is also where we’ll plug indoor/outdoor rugs. Often made of polypropylene or PET, these rugs are made to withstand the outdoor elements—which means they’re also durable enough to stand up to little humans and pets. And just because they’re made for use outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t use them inside! In fact, many of our popular indoor/outdoor rugs are perfect for living rooms (it’s even one of our insider design tips for a kid-friendly living room).

What to Avoid

If pet-friendly rugs are what you’re looking for, stay away from natural fiber rugs like jute and sisal, especially if you have cats. Like moths to a flame are natural fiber rugs to cat claws. Your cat will love to scratch at these materials—and you’ll be left feeling very frustrated, and with a sad-looking rug. These materials can also catch at dogs’ nails, pulling at the threads and causing the rug to look frayed.

best rugs for kids and pets

Other Things to Consider

Other rug qualities to consider in a home with kids and pets? A rug’s pile, colors, and pattern. And don’t forget about layering in a rug pad!

Rug Pile

For pet-friendly rugs, look for a rug that has a lower pile (versus a shag rug) with a tight, dense weave. This will save you from pet hairs becoming deeply embedded in your rug, and minimize snagged fibers.

However, the pile and weave you choose in a home with kids depends on the use case. Something with a higher pile might add extra coziness to a kids’ room, but in a high-traffic area like a living room, where drinks and snacks also tend to be present, something lower pile will be easier to clean and better withstand wear and tear.

Colors and Patterns

Since not all pet accidents or spills are immediately noticed, stains can happen to the best of us. Because of this, we prefer darker colors and busier patterns for rugs where kids and pets are present. Having dark colors, busy patterns, or a combination of the two, will help better disguise any lingering stains!

Another pet-friendly design tip when it comes to rugs? Match the color of your rug to your pet’s fur. This will help make their shedding less visible! But don’t let it build up just because you can’t see it! With kids or pets, you’ll want to prioritize vacuuming at least once a week to keep your rug looking fresh!

Rug Pads

Don’t forget about rug pads! They add cushion under area rugs, giving a softer place to curl up or play. Plus, with accidents, rug pads can help protect your floors beneath the rug. We recommend looking for a rug pad with a moisture barrier, which will help spills and smells from permeating into your rug pad. (Think of it as a mattress protector for your floor!)

And if you have a pet that tends to get the zoomies in the evening, a rug pad also provides traction so your rug isn’t sliding all over the room as they run around!

Stylist Picks

Check out our stylist picks of the best rugs for kids and pets!best rugs for kids and pets

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Arbor Light Grey Rug, Tanjore

This synthetic fiber rug has a low pile and boasts a pattern that will help mask pet hairs and small stains.

best rugs for kids and pets

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Kota Indigo Woven Wool Rug, Dash & Albert

This kid-friendly rug has all the qualities we love about wool—durable, easy-to-clean, naturally stain-resistant—and in a beautiful, darker pattern that can help hide a multitude of minor spills and stains.

best rugs for kids and pets

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Nuuk Ivory Rug, Tanjore

We love a sheepskin rug in a nursery or kid’s room. It’s the coziest spot to lay baby down for tummy time or to curl up and read books.

best rugs for kids and pets

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Wild Bloom Rug, Loloi

This wool rug features a beautiful pattern and bright colors that would look perfect in a kid’s room. (Dare we say it’s a perfect choice for masking marker stains if you have kids who tend to, ahem, color outside the lines—and off the paper—during craft time.) But aside from the pattern, it also features a soft, plush pile that makes it comfy to sprawl out on.

best rugs for kids and pets

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Emelia Rug, Tanjore

This plush, shag rug is made of natural fibers. We wouldn’t choose it for a home with pets—but it offers such a cozy floor covering in a kids’ room!

best rugs for kids and pets

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Anton Rug, Bhawan Textiles

The flatweave construction of this rug means there are no fibers that can catch on pet nails (and result in the weave unraveling). Its polyester material is easy to clean, and the busy pattern makes it very forgiving!

best rugs for kids and pets

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Sweater Wool Rug, Tanjore

The plush pile of this wool rug gives it a cozy vibe—and the combination of the colors and pattern make it an ideal rug for helping mask most pet hair between vacuuming!

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What You Need to Know About Natural Versus Synthetic Rugs

There are a lot of rug materials out there—and when you’re rug shopping, it can be difficult to know the difference between all these different materials, and what materials are best for your particular home. We know how overwhelming it can be!

Post Summary:

  • What are natural/synthetic rugs?
  • The pros and cons of natural and synthetic rugs
  • Common natural and synthetic rug materials

When it comes to choosing a rug, there are two main categories that rug materials fit into: natural and synthetic fibers. What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fiber rugs? We’re giving you a breakdown of natural vs synthetic rugs, what specific materials are included in each category and the pros and cons of each kind!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

What are natural fiber rugs?

Area rugs made of natural fibers range from wool, silk, and cotton to jute, sisal, and seagrass. All of these materials come from the natural world—whether through plants or animals—and are harvested, processed into fibers, and woven into rugs.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Pros of Natural Fiber Rugs

As a whole, natural fiber rugs tend to be more durable than their synthetic counterparts. This is a major reason why so many people love them; they have a much longer lifespan than the average synthetic rug.

And, since they’re made of natural materials, they tend to be more eco-friendly (due to their smaller carbon footprint) and most are naturally non-toxic. If you have pets or babies crawling around, this is an important consideration, as some synthetic area rugs contain chemical dyes and can off-gas potentially toxic VOCs.

Cons of Natural Fiber Rugs

Ever wondered why are rugs so expensive? More effort goes into getting these fibers ready to be woven into rugs, and that laborious process means they tend to be more expensive. Wool and silk, especially, will be on the high end of the price spectrum.

If you’re on a tight budget, this may steer you away from natural fiber rugs. However, jute, seagrass, and sisal rugs tend to sell at lower price points, more on par with synthetic rugs.

The Most-Common Types of Natural-Fiber Rug Materials

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Wool: Wool is one of our favorite rug materials! There are so many things to love about wool rugs—they’re durable, stain-resistant, naturally antimicrobial, soft, and oh-so-versatile. And as we mentioned, they’re also naturally non-toxic (as long as the wool is certified organic). On the flip side, wool is one of the most expensive rug materials on the market. But if you can stretch your budget for one of these babies, it will more than pay for itself over the years you have it, since wool area rugs are so durable and long-lasting. You’re welcome, great-grandkids.Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Cotton: Your favorite t-shirt material is also used for rugs! Cotton is soft and fluffy—making it an ultra-cozy option for your floors. Like with clothing, cotton rugs are easy to clean, which makes them great for homes with kids and pets. However, cotton isn’t as durable as other natural fibers, so these rugs aren’t great for high-traffic areas and you likely won’t be able to pass them down to your grandkids as an heirloom. Similar to wool, if you want a truly non-toxic rug, you’ll want to double-check that the cotton is certified organic.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Jute: Jute rug designs are big on texture—and jute is one of the softer options for natural fiber rugs. The way jute rugs are woven gives them a chunkier texture, which adds a lot of visual appeal to any room. Their natural color is a light brown (think: burlap), but jute can also be dyed in an array of colors. But beware: jute does shed, so skip the roller brush when vacuuming these puppies!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Sisal: Sisal rugs are seriously durable. We’re talking about a material that is used to make ropes! Translation: it can handle some major wear and tear. However, sisal rugs aren’t the softest underfoot, and they’re more absorbent than other natural fibers (hello hard-to-remove stains)—so keep those factors in mind when shopping for sisal rugs!

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Seagrass: Seagrass rugs are also very durable, and are softer underfoot than sisal—and, as an added bonus, they’re water-resistant because the fibers of seagrass are non-porous. So, these are great for dining rooms or family rooms where spills are more likely to occur! However, since they’re non-absorbent, they don’t take dyes well-meaning, they tend to be in a more limited color range of natural hues. Natural vs synthetic rugs

Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Synthetic fiber rugs are—you guessed it—made of synthetic fibers. These fibers are machine-made from various petroleum-based chemical compounds. In other words: these are not fibers that occur naturally. But that doesn’t mean they’re inherently bad! Below are some of the pros and cons of synthetic fiber rugs.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Pros of Synthetic Fiber Rugs

One of the best features of synthetic fiber area rugs is their affordability. You can get a lot of rug for not a lot of price tag. Many synthetic fiber rugs are also manufactured in a way that makes them resistant to mold and mildew, as well as stains. This makes them a bit more low-maintenance, and who couldn’t use more of that in their life?

Cons of Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Synthetic fiber rugs simply aren’t as durable as their natural fiber counterparts. So, while they’re more affordable, you might end up shelling out more money replacing your rug in the long run.

Some synthetic fiber rugs also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release potentially harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. If you opt for a polyester rug, which is the material that’s most likely to contain VOCs, consider letting it sit out, unrolled for a day or two before bringing it into your home. This will give it the opportunity to “off-gas” some of the chemicals (and the potent smell) before you welcome it into your home.

The Most-Common Types of Synthetic-Fiber Rug Materials

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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PET/Polyester: Polyethylene Terephthalate (say that 5 times fast!), or PET, is the same thing as polyester—but you may see either of these names listed when you look at the rug material.

PET is made from plastic bottles, making it a bit more eco-friendly than other synthetic fiber rugs since it helps take plastic bottles out of landfills. We like PET because it’s the easiest synthetic fiber to clean (a little diluted bleach and elbow grease usually do the trick), and it’s the material that a lot of indoor-outdoor rugs are made of. The way that PET is woven also gives it a similar appearance to wool, and it’s very soft underfoot.

In general, polyester rugs are the most likely to contain VOCs, and they also fade easily and are more difficult to clean than other synthetic fibers. That’s because they’re made of petroleum-based materials, which causes the fibers to reject water and hold onto dirt.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Polypropylene: Polypropylene rugs are one of the best synthetic dupes for wool, due to the way the fibers are woven. These rugs are soft and sturdy, as well as affordable. However, some polypropylene rugs are treated with chemicals that make them stain-resistant, which can be a concern for those wanting to cut down on chemicals in their home.

Natural vs synthetic rugs

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Nylon: Nylon is durable, stain-resistant, and affordable—all great qualities for a rug! With this material’s durability, it’s a great choice for high-traffic areas. However, some nylon rugs have a chemical smell when they first arrive, because of how they’re made, so make sure your room is well-ventilated.

Natural vs Synthetic Rugs: How Do You Choose?

The rug material you choose is all about your lifestyle and budget. So, the choice you make is based on your personal needs! Thinking through where you want to place the rug; what style, color, and pattern you’d like; how much you’d like to spend; and if you’re concerned about sustainable, eco-friendly materials. All of these factors will help guide what material to choose.

  • Want a rug that’s great for high-traffic areas? Opt for a low-pile wool rug or a durable sisal or seagrass rug.
  • Looking for bright colors and intricate patterns? Try out PET, polypropylene, or silk.
  • On a tight budget? Go for any synthetic-fiber rug. You can also find some great affordable seagrass, sisal, and jute options.
  • Want a rug that will last a lifetime? Wool is the way to go.
  • Looking for a kid or pet-friendly rug? Try wool, seagrass, or PET.

And remember—if you’re totally lost, our Modsy designers are here to help! When you start a Modsy design project, we’ll design your space in 3D, decorating it with real products you can shop on the spot. Plus, you can see how different rugs look in your space, with your other furniture and decor.

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Rug in the Dining Room? Our Guide to the Do’s and Dont’s

Rug or no rug in the dining room? It’s a hot debate in the design world! Some say it’s a non-negotiable, while others believe a rugless dining space is the only way to go. Let’s quickly consider the pros and cons.

On the one hand, adding a rug can help define and ground the room as a distinct space. It can also help “zone” your dining area if it’s part of open-concept living space. Not to mention, a dining room rug is a great way to bring a bit of personality, color, and texture to a function-focused space. In contrast, some feel that a rug in the dining space can easily get ruined from spills and lots of foot (and chair) traffic. Depending on your lifestyle and how you use your dining room, a rug might be the right choice for you.

Here, we’ve rounded up a few tips and considerations from our Modsy designers for choosing a dining room rug that works with your space and lifestyle. Read on for their foolproof advice!

Need help choosing the right rug? Check out our Buying Guide: How Much to Spend on a Rug

and our deep-dive into Why are Rugs so Expensive? Guide to Rugs. Then find all the furniture to match with our Dining Room Checklist

Dining Room Rug

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Always Start With Size

The first rule with any dining room rug is that it shouldn’t be too small. You want to make sure you can scoot chairs in and out from the dining table without the legs getting caught on the rug.

The trick is to match your rug size to that of your dining table, then add approximately a foot of clearance on all sides—aka. the rug should be at least 6” larger than the dimensions of your table all around. Just be sure your rug doesn’t look so large in you room that it dominates and overwhelms your dining space, which will throw off the balance of the room.

See more on how to choose a rug size to find the best fit for your dining space.

Dining Room Rug

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Think About Shape

Decide if you want the shape of your dining room rug to mirror your table. Rectangular tables look best paired with rectangular rugs, but if you have a round table you have plenty of options since it looks great pairs with any shape rug—rectangular, round, or even organic-shaped.

Round and organic style rugs work particularly well if your table is in an awkward location or area in the home. For instance, if you have a round table floating in an open living space or corner, a round or organic-shape rug will help anchor it without blocking the flow of your space. This is key if you’re dealing with a small dining space.

Check out our dining table size and shape guide for more easy tips from our designers.

Dining Room Rug

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Consider Colors & Patterns

If you’re going with a dining room rug, you’ll want to consider choosing colors and patterns that can help you hide any accidental stains and conceal wear and tear over time.

Try a more elaborate or visually dense pattern to start—it’s an easy way to draw attention to the rug’s design without magnifying blemishes in the long run. You also don’t want an all-white rug in the dining room—dark colors or a mix of colors are way more forgiving!

Dining Room Rug

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Materials are Key

With any dining room rug, it’s all about keeping it easy to clean. Skip rugs made with precious materials, like silk or fur, which are extremely delicate and difficult to clean. There are many ways you can go, but remember that durability is the number one factor to consider.

One option is to look for indoor outdoor rugs that are made to be weather-, stain-, and mildew-resistant. You can also try other non-fiber rugs, such as PET designs, which are made from recycled plastic but have the look and feel of wool. These rugs are also simple to clean—you can just spot clean or wipe them down with diluted bleach.

For a foolproof durable option, you can’t go wrong with a natural fiber rug. They’re generally affordable, and ones made with seagrass are naturally stain-resistant and can stand up to lots of foot traffic.

If you’re after a durable fabric rug, wool is a good choice because it’s naturally antimicrobial, easy to clean, and will last for decades if you take care of them. Just be sure to opt for a low pile option (see next tip!)

Dining Room Rug

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Opt For Low Pile

While we love high pile rugs, they’re better suited for spaces where you want to cozy up with major plush vibes. In dining rooms, high-pile rugs can instead end up hiding dirt and crumbs!

So a low pile rug (which basically means a rug that’s not very shaggy or fluffy) is a much better option for the dining room. Consider a flatweave or even a looped-weave rug. These tightly packed woven rugs are also great if your dining room is in a high-traffic area not just because they’re durable but because they’re also thinner and won’t pose as much of a tripping hazard.

Dining Room Rug

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Ask Yourself If You Need A Rug

Finally, not all dining rooms need a rug! If you’re happy with the flow of your space and the relationship between your dining table and flooring, then you might not require a rug.

One of the main things a rug does is help center and ground your dining space. However, this can also be achieved in other ways, such as centering a chandelier or surrounding your dining table with high-contrast seating.

If you don’t think a rug is right for you, that’s OK—there’s no hard and fast rule that says you absolutely need one! But if you do, you’ll want to make sure it’s always well-suited to your style and lifestyle and that it’s made to last you for years to come.

Find more rug inspo from our dining room design ideas!

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Why Are Rugs So Expensive? A Guide to Buying Your Next Rug

image of a bedroom with different rugs swapping in and out under the bed

If you’ve done any internet browsing for rugs, you might have stumbled across the fact rugs are, more often than not, really freaking expensive.

Even if we exclude handmade oriental rugs, which can easily fetch upwards of several thousands of dollars, a standard 8×10 rug from popular retailers can still cost you a month’s rent. We’ve had more than a couple customers ask us, “Why are rugs so expensive?” But then, occasionally, you’ll stumble across area rugs for under $200. So, what gives? Is a rug’s price totally arbitrary?

The short answer: No. While area rugs cost anywhere from $100 to over $2,000, there’s actually a lot that goes into the production of a rug that is reflected in the price tag. What’s it made of? Where is it made? How big is it? Are we talking machine-made rugs or hand-tufted and hand-knotted rugs? Rugs made of synthetic materials or natural fibers?

To help shed some light on the subject, we’re taking a look at all the reasons why rugs are so expensive. We’re hashing out what factors make up a rug’s price so you can decide which are important for you and ultimately figure out how to choose a rug for your space.

Need help finding the perfect rug for your space? Start a Modsy design project and see expert designs set in your exact room in stunningly realistic 3D! Our designers will show you rugs that fit your style and budget and you can see how they fit in your space.

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Factor #1: What the Rug is Made Of

What a rug is made of matters. The material a rug is made of will determine the quality of the rug and affect how long it lasts. The main difference between materials often lies in their durability and clean-ability. Materials that are more durable, as well as those that are more difficult to source, drive up the price of the rug.

Rugs are most commonly made of either natural fibers—like wool, cotton, or silk—or synthetic materials, like nylon or polyester. Since the natural fibers in these rugs involve a growth process, these rugs tend to be more expensive. Curious to learn more about different rug materials? Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each material, which can help you decide between natural versus synthetic rugs.


A sturdy natural fiber, wool rugs are generally a more expensive option. This is because wool rugs last for decades, are highly durable, and keep their color and pattern over time. (Just a few of the benefits of wool rugs!) In general, wool rugs have a softer and more plush texture than their synthetic counterparts.


Soft and fluffy, cotton makes for very soft rugs. Cotton rugs are easy to clean, but they lack the durability of wool and even some synthetic fibers. Because of this, they’re not great for high-traffic areas. But they’re a great option for homes with kids and pets! And if you want a rug made of natural fibers, these are less expensive rugs than wool or silk.

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Jute rugs tend to have chunky weaves, offering a lot of visual texture to whatever room they’re placed in. A material that’s naturally light brown, jute can also be dyed in a variety of colors. However, this material does shed quite a bit, which might bother the neat freaks. Two other materials of natural fiber rugs that are very popular are sisal and seagrass, which have the same natural woven look as jute, as well as a ton of durability.


Second to wool in their durability, silk rugs are coveted for their high-shine and luscious texture. Steering away from a super expensive rug? Skip the silk. Silk rugs tend to be extremely expensive and they require professional cleaning—so, not the best fit for homes with kids, pets, or rooms with heavy foot traffic.


A less expensive and synthetic alternative to wool or silk, nylon is known for its durability. This makes it a good choice for high-traffic areas. Conversely, the material is highly absorbent, meaning a nylon rug can be easily ruined by spills.


Another inexpensive synthetic option, polyester (or PET) is a less absorbent material, rendering it more stain-resistant. It’s also the most eco-friendly synthetic option, as PET is made of recycled plastic bottles! That said, polyester is a less durable material, and rugs made from it tend to have a shorter lifespan.


A great synthetic-fiber dupe for wool, polypropylene rugs are soft, sturdy, and affordable. And they’re also stain-resistant! However, they’re the chemicals they’re treated with to make this happen are of concern to some households.

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Factor #2: What the Rug is Dyed With

Fabric dyes are a really important factor in the price of a rug. Rugs are generally given their color with either natural dyes (usually vegetable-based) or chemical dyes.

Natural dyes tend to be more lightfast, meaning they will not fade over time. This plays into a rug’s durability—and therefore impacts the price. Rugs dyed with natural options also take more labor to produce, making them more expensive.

Chemical dyes are a much cheaper alternative and result in very vibrant colors. However, depending on the dye and method of the dying process, these options tend to fade much quicker (even after a few months of foot traffic and sun exposure).


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Factor #3: How the Rug is Made

The rug production process, or the method by which a rug is made, is also an important factor in determining its price. A rug can be completely handmade, fully machine-made, or a mixture of the two.

The more expensive options tend to be loomed by hand and can take days to months of labor to complete. Often, these are referred to as hand-knotted rugs. These rugs contain a high knot count, which results in that amazing plush texture and their rich colors. Handmade rugs are more durable and can last decades if cared for properly.

The alternative to costly handmade rugs are machine-made or power-loomed rugs. While they tend to sit at a lower price point, these options have a lower density of knots and a looser weave, causing them to be less durable in the long run.

You may also hear the term “hand-tufted rug,” which is a process of weaving a rug partly by hand and partly by a mechanized tool.

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Factor #4: The Rug’s Size

It might seem obvious, but the larger the rug, the higher the price point. That’s because rugs are priced by the square foot or square meter. The natural result? Larger rugs will be more expensive. Check out our rug size guide if you’re wondering how to choose a rug size.

Factor #5: The Rug’s Country of Origin

In the rug industry, labor costs and the skill of workers varies quite a bit. What does this mean for how much rugs cost for the consumer? Consider this: a hand-knotted rug made by a third-generation rug artisan in Morocco will cost more than an area rug that’s power-loomed in China, where a specialized skill set isn’t required and labor costs are lower.

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Other Things to Consider When Rug Shopping

The Ethics Behind Rugs

Another component behind the cost of rugs is the ethics behind their production. Rugs made in factories with child labor are able to be sold at an extremely cheap price point. Before you purchase a rug, consider doing a bit of research on its production methods.

Value Over Time

While not so much a factor in the cost of a rug, another point to consider before you make a purchase is that rugs keep their value over time.

Like investing in a piece of art, high-quality rugs, when cared for properly, will last for decades and can be passed down as a family heirloom. They can even be resold later and retain much of their original value.

But you may not be in the market for an heirloom. If you just need a quick fix or a rug that will last a couple of years, consider that in the rug (and price point) you choose.

So, why are rugs so expensive?

When it comes to the question of “why are rugs so expensive?”, the materials, the dyes, the method of production, the rug’s size, and the country of origin all impact a rug’s price. The decision to splurge or skimp on your next rug? That’s up to you.


Need help finding your perfect rug?

Modsy designers are standing by to help you find the perfect rug—or sofa, dining table, or bed frame—for your style and budget. They’ll show how different options look and fit in your exact space, so you can shop with confidence and skip the stress.

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This post was updated on July 9th, 2021


Skimp or Splurge: 4 Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Rug

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If you are in the process of designing your home, you might have discovered the dirty word that is “budget.” Furniture is expensive, and the reality of designing a home (without spending a small fortune) often means making trade-offs. One of our stylists’ favorite tricks for designing quality spaces on a limited budget is to use a mix of budget-friendly and investment pieces.

In our new “Skimp or Splurge” series, we’ll tackle different items from sofas to storage, and show you how to decide where to spend and where to save your money.

This week we’re taking on the question of rugs. Available in an impossibly wide range of prices, it can be difficult to know how to choose an option that is right for you. We asked our stylists how they decide when to splurge and when to save on rugs.

1. What do you want from your rug?

The main difference between an 8’x10’ rug that costs $300 and one that costs a month’s mortgage payment is quality. High-quality rugs have a richness of color and a plush texture, and they can last you a decade or more if you care for them properly. Low-cost rugs, on the other hand, will fade and pill quickly and need to be replaced more frequently.

If you are working with a tight budget, but don’t want to completely skimp on quality, consider a flat-woven rather than a tufted rug. Flat-woven rugs tend to be available in larger sizes at lower price-points, and their tight weave renders them more durable.

Stylist Tip: With so many options on the market today, you don’t have to sacrifice style for budget. Our stylists can recommend budget-friendly rug options that work for your space and style.

2. What’s your timeline?

As with any big ticket furniture item, how long you plan to live somewhere is an important factor to consider before making a purchase.

If your living situation is temporary, you might consider skimping and going with a cheap option. If you’re settled down or plan to live in the same place long-term, investing in a quality rug makes more sense.

Also consider that rugs, unlike other pieces of bulky furniture, are relatively easy to move. They can be rolled up making them much easier to transport and store. Unlike other items, if you get tired of seeing your rug in the living room, it can be repurposed in another room.

3. What room will the rug be in?

Where you plan to place the rug is also an important factor to think about when considering whether to invest or save your money. Ask yourself if the room where you plan to use the rug will get a lot of foot traffic.

A place like your entryway might not make the most sense for an investment rug as it is more likely to get stomped on and worn down from heavy use. Conversely, your living room or bedroom might be a great place for an investment rug.

Stylist Tip: Also consider if you are a shoes-on household. Habits like these are difficult to break (especially if you live with other people) so consider how your lifestyle might affect the lifetime of your rug when deciding if it is better to skimp or splurge.

4. Do you have kids or pets?

Often people say they don’t want to invest in a rug because their kids and pets are prone to messes. One way to confront this conundrum is to go with a lower cost rug that you won’t miss when it gets destroyed. However, this approach might cost you more in the long run, as cheap rugs tend to fall apart quicker and are often made of materials that absorb stains easily.

Rather than replacing a $200 rug every six months, consider investing in a high-quality rug that can stand up to the messes and won’t get destroyed immediately by your children or furry friends. Natural fibers can be a great option, as they are sturdy and are easy to clean.

If you have young children, also consider that cheap rugs are often made of synthetic materials, which can be potentially toxic. If you have a little one who is an avid crawler, it might be worth investing in a high-quality rug that is free of toxic protectants and fire retarding chemicals.


Want to Try a Rug in Your 3D Home?



Design Dilemma: Choosing the right Rug Size and Style

Choosing the right rug

One of the most notorious design dilemmas our customers face is choosing the right rug for their space. Rugs are an amazing warm and fluffy way to add visual intrigue to any space. They are also expensive and large, and it’s easy to imagine yourself shelling out hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars only to find you’ve purchased something that turns your room from “hot” to “not.”

A solution for this could be to go out and buy all the rugs you’ve got your eye on, bring them home, and try them out one-by-one in your living room. But if you’re like us and you don’t have endless amounts of money, a pickup truck, and all that time/muscle at your disposal, this isn’t a realistic option.

So here’s the good part. At Modsy we’ve created some amazing technology that lets you try on all the rugs you want, in your living room, without any of that hassle. Along with that, we’ve created this handy-dandy visual guide to help you learn how to pick the right rug for your space.


…The Blank Canvas

Choosing the right rug


Design Dilemma #1: Rug Style

Our eclectic minimal living room is looking a little bare without a rug underfoot. We picked three options that we love and they all seemed to match our style. Here’s what happened when we took them for a test drive:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • With a more eclectic styled living room, all that pattern from Rug #1 feels overwhelming and busy.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rug #2 didn’t have enough going on and it made the space feel sparse.
  • Rug #3 is our “Goldilocks” – that sweet spot in between that is simple enough not make the space feel overwhelming but also adds enough texture to spice up our living room.


Design Dilemma #2: Rug Size

Ok now that we know what rug we like, let’s try on some different sizes:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • A larger rug (we used a 9’x12’) bleeds out past the furniture and overwhelms the space. Having the sofa all the way on the rug, while the chairs dance on and off makes the space visually cluttered and confusing.
  • The small rug (we used a 3’x5’) gives us a tiny focal point in the middle of the room, and leaves the rest of the space feeling bare.
  • The middle size (for us, a 8’x10’) is just right. The front two legs of all the furniture are on the rug, creating an intimate “zoned” area in the middle of the room.


Of course, this guide doesn’t cover every possible rug dilemma out there. But don’t panic, Modsy is always here to help you move through your design paralysis and help you create a home you love.

Want to Try a Rug in Your 3D Home?