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coco republic living room with brown leather sofa and black floor rug

The Top 3 Standard Living Room Rug Sizes, plus Tips on How to Buy the Right One

In today’s post I want to cover off what the standard living room rug size is, and also talk you through which size floor rug would be the best one to buy for your space.

As someone who works in interior design, I see a lot of homes where the living room rug is the wrong size. Usually, it’s too small. For reasons unknown (though probably budget), people always under-size their rugs. And the result, I can assure you, aint pretty.

Hopefully by giving this post a quick read I can stop you dropping cash on a rug that’s not going to work in your living room. Read on as I delve further into the three standard living room rug sizes, so you can work out the right rug size for you.

The hero image above is via coco republic.

ikea 160 x 230 standard rug size for living room
a standard 160cm x 230cm rug from ikea

Standard Living Room Rug Size Guide

Floor and accent rugs honestly come in about every size imaginable. A lot of it depends on the supplier or retailer you’re purchasing from, and where and how the rug is made. Different stores will have their own preferred dimensions, but there are some universally-recognised sizes.

There are three standard rug sizes for living rooms:

  • Small rug: 160cm x 230cm (5.25 x 7.55 feet)
  • Medium rug: 250cm x 350cm (8.2 x 11.48 feet)
  • Large rug: 300 x 400cm (9.84 x 13.12 feet)

The above measurements represent the most common rug sizes you’ll find in stores.

Now, as mentioned, there will be sizes outside of the three above, and you can get custom sizes to suit your living room (more on that below), but use the above as a general guide.

Want to know where we source rugs from for clients? Here are our go-to rug suppliers.

loom rugs black and white pattern rug in living room with burgundy sofa
the ideal rug leaves some space between its edges and the wall. via loom rugs

How to Figure Out The Best Rug Size for Your Living Room

A good rule of thumb when trying to figure out the size of the rug you should get is to take the existing furniture pieces into consideration. And the main ones are the sofa and armchairs the rug is going to sit under.

You want the longest edge of your rug to run along the front of your sofa when it’s sitting in your living room. One of the the shorter sides of the rug may have an armchair or two sitting on it, and the other two sides of the rug are likely to be open with nothing on them.

1. First, Measure the Width of Your Sofa.

Once you have the width of your sofa worked out, the general rule is that you want the longer edge of the rug to be wider than the sofa width. Under no circumstances should your sofa be wider than your rug.

Even in small living rooms, you still want the relationship between rug and sofa to be right. We’re after a balanced look, after all, so ensure the rug extends beyond the width of the sofa.

And on a sidenote, always remember that the front legs of your sofa should sit over the edge of your rug (the image below shows you how it’s done).

king living sofas in large formal living room with dark floor rug
via king living

2. Then Measure the Width of Any Armchairs

This applies only if you’ll have an accent chair or two sitting on the shorter side of the rug, in a conversation-pit style. In this case, you want the rug to extend beyond the overall width of the armchairs when they’re sitting side by side. 

If you have two armchairs and a side table to sit between them, ensure you allocate additional breathing room between the chairs and the table when calculating the total width of this furniture arrangement.

If you have another sofa to take into account, like in the image above, measure its width and ensure it has rug extending beyond its sides too.

3. Also Measure the Perimeter of the Room

Another thing you’ll want to think about when it comes to the correct rug size is that there’s enough room between the edges of the rug and the outer walls in the space. You do want to see some bare floor around the perimeter of the room. Knowing the overall size of your room is helpful here.

Need help with buying a new rug for other rooms? Check out our guide on dining room rugs here and bedroom rugs here.

160 x 230cm standard living room rug size

Above: a 160cm x 230cm standard rug. Below: the more appropriate 250cm x 350cm size. 

250 x 350cm standard rug size for living room

Mapping it Out with Tape is Important

The size of the living room, sofa and armchairs are the three main measurements you’ll need to figure out the right size rug for your space. But before you buy the right area rug you’ll want to map it out in the room first. And for that you’ll need some painter’s tape or masking tape.

It doesn’t matter if you have hardwood floors, tiles, or carpet in your living room, I’d still do this exercise. Place your sofa and armchairs down where they’ll go in the room (or already live) and then tape our a rectangular rug shape with the longest edge running along the front of the sofa.

Run another length of tape along the front of armchairs on the shorter side, and then complete the remaining two side so you have a (almost) perfect rectangle shape. Measure the shape you’ve taped out, and voila – you’ll have a set of measurements that you can match up with the size of the area rug you need.

The measurements you just took will be closest to either a small 160cm x 230cm rug, medium 250cm x 350cm rug, or larger 300cm x 400cm rug.

modern living room with beige sofa and bayliss rug trit house
a large rug here would have made the space feel bigger

Custom Sizing and Square Rugs

Maybe the shape of your room is an odd one, or perhaps you’re working with an open concept living room where a rectangle rug just doesn’t make sense. Different spaces call for different size rugs, but they might also call for a different shape (ie, not rectangle).

In this case you might be thinking about a square rug. But most retailers don’t stock them. What you can do with many designs though, is buy a standard size rectangle rug and have someone cut it down for you.

For example, a 300 x 400cm rug can have 100cm cut off the longer side to make it a square. Ask your retailer if they can put you in contact with someone. There are professionals who do this all the time.

kmart stationery on oval marble coffee table from fantastic furniture and diamond rug from the rug collection

For Small or Extra Large Rooms

If you’re working with a larger room, of course you can get a large area rug in custom dimensions, but you may have to go outside of a standard retailer to do this, and you’d expect costs to go up here.

One other thing to touch on as a last tip is for those of you who think a small room demands a smaller rug. This is most usually not true.

In small living rooms, if you go too small with the rug, the zone just looks tinier. As long as there is some visible flooring between the edge of the rug and the outer walls in the space, a larger rug is a great way to make the area actually feel bigger – I promise!

large round floor rug under sofa in modern living room

Can you Do a Round Rug in a Living Room?

A circular design is not the perfect rug shape for a living room. Because of the clean lines in pieces like sofas and armchairs, the circle underneath can often look a bit odd.

The only time I would suggest a round rug in a living room is if it’s a really small room size with an odd shape to it, where the edges of a small standard rug are going to hit a wall or piece of furniture.

In this instance you can position a round rug under one half of a sofa, so you see more of the top of the rug (making it a focal point). Though not ideal, it’s better to have a round rug in this instance, to make the room feel cosy, than to have nothing on the floor at all.

I hope you found this rug sizing guide helpful. Now that you know the standard living room rug size, you can go out and buy with confidence. I hope this post have given you some tips on rug placement in your living room too, but drop me a comment below if you have any questions!

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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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LET’S GET DECORATING!

I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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