We don’t know about you, but after spending the whole of last year in quarantine, we’ve fallen into a bit of a home rut. We want new. We want exciting! But we also don’t want to blow our budgets on a monster home reno. To the rescue? The best area rugs. Adding these decorative pieces to your space is a sure-fire way to liven things up without needing to put forth a whole lot of effort. They also serve some practical purposes, as well. Whether you want to protect your existing floors, reduce noise or just make things cozier, a new rug can make all the difference. Here are some smart things to think about when looking for your perfect match.

Where to Buy Area Rugs

If you don't live in an area that has accessible rug shops around every corner, there are plenty of places to shop online. Sites like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, Nordstrom and Verishop have a wide selection of floor coverings to choose from.

What Makes for a Good Area Rug?

Finding the perfect area rug for you will depend on a few things.

Style: When it comes to these furnishings, it's all about personal taste. Do you like more laid-back earthy tones? Or do you live your life out loud and want an area rug that will match your personality? There’s no shortage of a variety of floral, geometric or artistic patterns out there to choose from, so think about what style and color would best suit you and the room you are decorating.

Materials: Depending on whether you're choosing a new rug for soft comfort or for floor-protecting durability, the material you pick can (and should!) influence your decision.

Area rugs can be made from synthetic materials, such as:

  • Polypropylene: This thermoplastic polymer is a machine-manufactured fabric that can have a nice, natural look and feel to it when made into a rug. It's easy to clean and stays stain-free while tending to be very affordable. However, unlike natural wool, polypropylene is not as durable and may have trouble bouncing back to its original softness once used and washed.

  • Faux Fur: This fabric material is a fantastic alternative to the real thing. Made mostly of synthetic or acrylic materials to simulate the look of real animal fur, these rugs will give you peace of mind knowing that they've been more ethically sourced. Another pro of having a faux fur rug is the wider variety of colors and patterns you'll find over the real thing. A major con, however, might be that they tend to shed a fair amount and can cause a bit of a mess—especially when new.

Some rugs, on the other hand, are made from more natural fibers.

  • Wool: Wool is usually handwoven or hand-tufted with great care. These rugs can be incredibly soft to the touch and last for many years, but that kind of quality comes at a price, and they can be far more costly than synthetic styles.

  • Bamboo and Jute: These rugs are usually woven from the natural fibers of a dried plant. The neutral style will lend a lovely earthy vibe to any indoor or outdoor space. While they can be soft, they can sometimes fray or become unwoven, so they tend to be best for low-to-medium traffic areas.

Height: How short or tall your future rug is can help determine if it's a good fit for your room. Styles with tall fibers, aka high pile rugs, are certainly plushy but also require a little more delicacy when it comes to cleaning. They're also easier to trip over, making them better choices for low-traffic areas, like your bedroom or a reading room. Low-pile rugs, on the other hand, or rugs with a height of .25-inches or less, offer more durability and are usually lined with non-slip materials, making them perfect for high-traffic areas, like your front hallway or living room.

Technique: How your floor cover was made can affect not only the comfort level of the item but also its longevity. According to One Kings, some of the most common rug-making techniques include:

  • Tufting: Tufted rugs are made without the use of knots. Instead, the material is looped through the backing and then cut to make a nice, smooth surface for popular living areas. This process can be done by machine or by hand but may be prone to shedding and require more routine vacuuming.

  • Hooking: These ones are made much like tufted rugs, only the loops are kept together instead of being cut, which helps to create a more embroidered finish.

  • Flat weaving: Rugs like these are not looped through a backing at all, as they are usually created on a loom. The process might be a little more labor-intensive but the results are ideal for high-traffic areas of the house, since there's no piling.

  • Hand-knotting: As the most detailed technique the bunch, hand-knotting is done by weavers for an incredibly unique look.

Washability: Obviously, once you've found the perfect rug, you'll want to get the most out of it—and that means knowing how to wash and care for it. Whereas all rugs, no matter the material, can benefit from regular vacuuming or shaking outdoors to get rid of dust and debris, certain materials may need a little more care.

How to Clean Area Rugs

If you're lucky, you might find the perfect rug that can be machine washed at home. Most will be more likely to require spot cleaning, however, which can be achieved by blotting with cleaner and a damp cloth. For more heavy-duty jobs, there are also professional services that can clean your wares. Since each rug is different, it's always wise to double check what the manufacturers suggest and follow those instructions closely to ensure that you keep your item looking its best for as long as possible.

Our team searched the web high and low for the best area rugs, judging them by comfort, style and durability. Read on for our top 10 picks to totally transform your space.

The Best Area Rugs at a Glance

RELATED: PSA: Machine-Washable Area Rugs Are Becoming a Thing

Amazon

1. Gorilla Grip Area Rug

Best machine-washable rug

If you have an active household, you'll want a rug that will stay firmly in place and keep from slipping under busy feet. This one is made from a wonderfully soft faux chinchilla material and stays put courtesy of its durable under layer that features little grippy dots for added traction. Better yet, it's machine washable for super easy cleaning.

$80 $70 at Amazon

Amazon

2. Home Dynamix Sakarya Area Rug

Best stain-resistant area rug

One of the major concerns about getting a new rug is whether or not it will be a magnet for dirt and stains. You can set those worries aside with this Persian-inspired floor covering, which is not only made from stain- and fade-resistant 100% polypropylene yarns, it comes in 13 color patterns and eight different shapes to best suit your needs.

$110 $86 at Amazon

Verishop

3. Addison Marlow Striped Blue Area Rug

Best high-pile area rug

Add some zing to your living space with this bold striped rug. With a high .59-inch pile, its polyester and acrylic blend fibers are bound to be comfortable to walk on. More than that, however, it's a beautiful accent piece thanks to its earthy blue tones, which pop against the off-kilter stripes.

Buy It ($1,439 $899)

AreaRugsIsfahn
Nordstrom

4. Couristan Isfahn Area Rug

Best fade-resistant area rug

This beautiful slate-colored rug can look great in any room. It has a highly detailed floral pattern set in comfortingly neutral tones, which should help to add a splash of contrast to lighter spaces or mellow out a vibrantly themed living area. It's polypropylene fabric is mold- and mildew-resistant, and it won't quickly fade, either. Nordstrom customers say it's also nice and soft underfoot.

Buy It (From $89)

Macy's

5. Jill Zarin Napa Outdoor Area Rug

Best outdoor area rug

Bring a warm sense of warm solace outside with this bright and cheerful outdoor area rug from former Real Housewives of New York star Jill Zarin's home goods line. Designed with a pleasant geometric yellow pattern, it's made of a stain-resistant polypropylene that will withstand the elements better than your average pick.

Buy It (From $159)

Amazon

6. DweIke Area Rug

Softest area rug

If you're looking for the ultimate in plushness, this sleek style will be right up your alley—it's triple-layered to bring you extra comfort. The bottom is made of a non-slip material, the middle has a sponge-like quality to cushion your steps and the top is a luxuriously soft velvety fabric. It's also a good pick if shedding is a concern.

$55 at Amazon

Macy's

7. Bayshore Home Gamle Gam Round Area Rug

Best round area rug

This sophisticated accent piece might be just the thing to add a pop of color into your smaller living space. Perfect for placing under your favorite reading chair or coffee table, it has a nice low profile, so it won't be a tripping hazard, and it comes in the pictured rose or a gorgeous blue hue.

Buy It ($399)

Amazon

8. Merelax Shaggy Rug

Best shag area rug

For an ideal way to warm up icy floors, there's this rich and thick shag rug with a non-slip backing. It has a plush, 2-inch thick pile that will treat your tootsies to soft comfort and it's made from a silky-smooth synthetic microfiber that won't easily stain. You will want to note, however, that reviewers say this is spot-clean only despite being labeled "machine washable" on the site.

$55 at Amazon

Verishop

9. Addison Plano Bohemian Crosshatch Area Rug

Best boho area rug

Looking for a rug that will accentuate your bohemian lifestyle? This Addison Plano piece brings all of the laid-back style you're looking for with its crosshatch design and mild blue tones that mingle seamlessly for an almost worn look. It's made of a cruelty-free polypropylene, and there's a jute bottom for added support.

Buy It ($399 $249)

Amazon

10. nuLOOM Farmhouse Jute Area Rug

Best Handwoven rug

This wonderfully unique area rug is handcrafted by artisans in India. Each piece is made from natural jute fibers and handwoven to form a beautiful, one-of-a-kind braided pattern that has a low piling for rooms with lots of foot traffic. Its earthy tones are versatile enough for nearly any room, and you can also use it as a peekaboo base for a smaller, more vibrant rug.

From $127 at Amazon

RELATED: 10 Faux Fur Rugs That Will Make Your Space Super Cozy

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