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How to Choose the Perfect Rug for Your Nursery

A lot of my clients ask me about how to choose a rug for the nursery. The nursery is a tricky space because it’s typically the smallest room in the house, and finding a rug that properly fits within the furniture scheme can be daunting. Plus, how do you know what size to even look for? Should it float in the middle of the floor? What if you already have carpet? All of these are legitimate questions, and I will answer all of them (and more) below!

Rug Size. Generally, you want to stay on the larger size for a rug. Small rugs are common for nurseries, like 4×6 or 5×8 sizes, but those can actually make the room look smaller and chop it up. It’s better to use a larger rug that covers more floor area to give the room a more cohesive look. It’s even okay if the rug is large enough that it needs to go underneath some of the furniture. Most rugs are rectangular, but you can also use a round rug too!

Sophisticated Boy's NurseryThis large sized rug fills up the space in this nursery by Bridget Matkovich

Wood vs. Carpet. Adding rugs on top of carpet is 100% okay to do, especially in a nursery since you are basically adding a barrier between the baby and the carpet you paid so much money for. If your carpet is thin, like a berber, you can use pretty much any rug on top of it. If it’s thick and plush, you may need a heavier rug with some body so it won’t wrinkle.  If the rug doesn’t stay down, you can purchase rug tape to use around the edges. If you have hard flooring, you’re golden. Just make sure to add a rug pad so the rug doesn’t slide around.

All-White NurseryRug on top of carpet in a nursery by Little Crown Interiors

Content. Rugs come in so many materials these days that it can be overwhelming to know what content to look for. Generally, I steer my clients away from anything like jute or sisal, as those are going to be stiff and itchy.  Cotton is a great choice since it’s soft and doesn’t contain any synthetic fibers; however it may be harder to clean.  Polyester based rugs are pretty great since they are inexpensive and easy to clean, but they do contain synthetic fibers, which may potentially off-gas. Another great choice is bamboo, which is super soft and easy to care for, but it can be a bit pricey. Wool rugs can be great as well, but if anyone in your family has allergies, you might want to be careful here. The processing of wool also varies drastically by brand—it can be very soft or very scratchy, so read those reviews.

Elegant Transitional Girl's NurseryA nursery with an angled rug by Renee Streett

Pattern. For a nursery, they sky is the limit when it comes to pattern and design. Aztec and Southwestern patterns are still very popular. The rug is like a piece of art for your floor, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping.  Having a rug with a pattern can be great in the nursery since it will help hide stains (which you will definitely get).  You can also play with pattern by placing the rug on an angle which will give the space a totally different feel.

Cleaning. As noted earlier, polyester-based rugs with a pattern will be the easiest to clean, but there is also a new trend emerging that’s pretty amazing—machine washable rugs! There are two brands that are doing this exceptionally well, and I can’t wait to see how this trend advances. Lorena Canals pretty much pioneered the industry, and their rugs are super soft and fully machine washable. Ruggable also has a huge variety of more “adult-style” rugs in larger sizes, too.

West Hollywood Mod Boho NurseryLayered rugs in this nursery by Natalie Marom Myers

Layering. Can’t decide on just one rug? You can get two! Layering rugs is a great way to add interest and multiple textures in a space. I’ve worked on a few designs where we’ll use one large rug and then layer on a smaller rug in a totally different texture and color to break things up, like a sheepskin or something similar. The options are endless!

How to Choose a Rug for the Nursery






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  2. Hi Ted! Shag rugs can be great for a nursery since they are super soft and plush. They can be a little tougher to clean though because of all the longer fibers.

  3. avatar Ted Matthews says:

    What about shag rugs, Is it the best option for nursery? I’m a little bit confused

  4. Hello! I don’t usually suggest wool because it’s a little scratchy sometimes and can be harder to clean, but it just depends on the individual rug.

  5. avatar Naina Kalra says:

    Is a woolen rug a good choice for a nursery?