Rugs are a simple yet highly effective way to bring the look of any room together, add softness and warmth to hard surfaces, and enhance your interior décor. They are also great for families with children, as they create soft landing areas for toddlers and kids during play time.

In this rug buying guide, we will explore how to choose a rug for living room, bedroom and dining room use, which colours, shapes and styles will best suit your home, and so much more. Once you’ve found your perfect styles, colours, and shapes, you can browse our collection of fine rugs at Fishpools and order quality rugs conveniently online.

How to layout your rug

The place in which you choose to place your rug can change the appearance and feel of a room considerably. Choosing the right layout for a living space can help to make the room appear more inviting and cosier, break up and divide larger spaces, and create serene interior designs.

Here is how we’d suggest positioning your rugs, according to room.

Living room

Arguably the most popular way to position a rug in a living room is to place it in front of your lounge suite, underneath your coffee table.

Most interior design experts recommend elevating this placement by investing in a large rug on which you can position your sofas and chairs on too. This placement helps to create the illusion of a larger living room and will also provide more soft areas for children to explore and play on.

Dining room

The best method for choosing a dining room rug is to pick according to the size of your dining table. Measure your table and add 25 to 30 centimetres from each of the table’s edges to find your ideal rug size.

The rug should be positioned evenly underneath your dining table and chairs to create a cosy atmosphere and protect your flooring from wear.


Rugs can be used strategically in bedrooms to anchor beds and prevent them from moving around. They can also symmetrically divide a room and create space for a work desk or play area, or create a plush walking area beside your bed or at the foot of it.

If you wish to use a rug to anchor your bed – which is a great strategy for children’s rooms in particular – place it at the end of the bed with the bed’s feet on top of it, holding it in place. You can also use your rugs to obscure old or damaged flooring in your room while creating a cosier ambience.


When choosing a rug for a hallway, your best option is a hall runner rug that is nearly the same breadth as the hallway itself. Your rug should not necessarily touch the walls framing your hallway, which can cause bunching, but should cover most of the floor area for a clean and polished look.

As for length, measure your hallway and choose a length that suits the space without being cumbersome or reaching into other rooms.

What rug size should I choose?

Fishpools has rugs in a wide range of sizes and to ensure that you find the perfect fit for your room, you can choose from standard or bespoke sizes. It’s usually recommended that you choose the size of your rugs based on your furniture configurations. Certain layouts look better when you allow for an area of floor space to be visible around the borders of your room.

Consider the placement of your furniture over the size of your room when choosing rugs for living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms, as well as the purpose of each rug. For instance, when choosing a rug for a child’s bedroom, you may wish to invest in the largest size possible to ensure that there are as many soft surfaces available as possible.

Cosy Canyon Rug for winter

What rug shape is best for my home?

Our rugs are also available in a variety of shapes to help you find your ideal match. The most popular options are:

  • Round. Round rugs can make smaller areas look more spacious and can also be used to show off your floors in entryways.
  • Rectangular. Rectangular and square rugs can help to create the illusion of space in rooms like living rooms and bedrooms. However, they are not always the best option for spaces in which there is plenty of foot traffic. These rugs are usually used in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms for even floor coverage and a traditional look.
  • Runner rugs. Runner rugs are ideal for elongated, narrow spaces like hallways, and can also be used parallel to beds in bedrooms.

What material should I choose?

Our quality rugs are made from a range of fine materials, each of which offers unique benefits.

  • Cowhide and sheepskin. These rug options are some of the most durable and long-wearing around. Cowhide and sheepskin rugs can add warmth, texture, and a luxury look to any room, are cosy and tactile and are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms. They can also be used in nurseries and children’s bedrooms to provide a soft surface for play.
  • Cotton. Classic cotton rugs provide a heavy, high-quality look and feel at prices you will love. Pure cotton rugs are also suitable for those with allergies and are simple to clean for fuss-free maintenance. As an added plus, cotton is environmentally friendly and comes in a range of vibrant designs. However, cotton rugs are not always suitable for high traffic areas as they’re not quite as durable as nylon or polypropylene.
  • Wool. Wool is a classic and natural rug material that is warm, durable, and naturally flame retardant. It is fairly simple to clean, can reduce noise, and provides great insulation. Wool is not a hypoallergenic material and should be used with caution if you or your family members suffer from allergies. It’s also prone to acid stains from wine, juice and more, meaning that it is better suited to living rooms and bedrooms than if you are choosing a rug for dining rooms and kitchens.
  • Polyester. Polyester rugs are strong, durable, and easy to clean, and offer excellent colour fastness too. They are resistant to foot traffic, making them ideal for hallways and living rooms, and come in a range of natural and eclectic colours to suit your personal tastes. These rugs are also simple to maintain and dry quickly, making them a low-maintenance and cost-effective alternative to cotton and wool. Just bear in mind that polyester rugs are not resistant to oil stains from cosmetics, culinary oils, and butter, and may not be the best choice for kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Viscose. Providing the same luxurious feel as silk, viscose is opulent and soft to the touch. This luxurious material adds a touch of elegance to any room, but it’s not suitable for high traffic areas or homes with children and pets. Its delicate fibres make it very fragile so it’s not easy to clean.

What style and colour should I choose?

When discovering how to choose the perfect rug, it’s important to consider colour and style. Your choices can have a remarkable impact on the look and feel of any room!

  • Plain. Plain rugs are available in a wide selection of colours and are excellent choices for minimalist and contemporary interior design styles.
  • Vintage. Vintage rugs provide texture and visual interest to vintage-inspired homes. They are usually adorned with delicate patterns that provide a classic look.
  • Modern. Modern rugs are available in a wide range of configurations and styles, from agate and galaxy patterns to geometric patterns, abstract designs, and more.
Rug styles

The most popular rug colours among homeowners are neutral tones like beige, brown, terracotta, charcoal and grey. Blue is another popular choice, especially when paired with neutral complementary tones.

If you’re searching for a family-friendly rug, steer away from pale colours and opt for darker hues that will not show up stains and wear as much. If you need a rug for a small room, however, pale neutral tones are your friend. They can help to create the illusion of larger spaces and bring more light and warmth into even the smallest of spaces.

Frequently asked questions

How long will I have to wait for my rug?

Check out our in-stock ready to deliver rugs to find rugs that can be delivered to your home as soon as possible.

What delivery service do Fishpools offer?

You can choose between our standard and premium delivery service. Our standard delivery is free for all rug orders over £150, and the goods are delivered and left at your door. Premier delivery is £65 and includes taking the rug to your preferred room and removing all the packaging.

What’s the best rug for families?

The best rugs for families are made from soft, hypo-allergenic materials like wool, sheepskin, or cotton, and provide plenty of room for children to play on. We’d also recommend choosing a rug that has darker colour schemes that will not show up dirt or staining as much as white or cream rugs will. You may also wish to opt for a stain-repellent rug that you can wipe clean with ease.

What’s the best rug for people with pets?

The best rugs for pet owners include those made from durable materials like polyester, nylon, and cotton. Darker colours are preferable as they will not show up dirt, stains, and wear as much as lighter options.

How do I look after my rug?

Vacuum your rug regularly – at least twice a month – using a low vacuum setting that will not pull out its fibres. Use a soft brush in between vacuuming to brush away surface dirt and avoid installing rugs in direct sunlight where they may fade over time.

How do I clean my rug?

Check the manufacturer’s instructions before laundering any rug and use gentle and colour safe detergents that are designed for your specific rug. You can also take it to a professional cleaning service to save you time and enjoy expert results. If liquid stains occur, blot them gently with a paper towel without rubbing, and then use a damp cloth to remove any remaining liquid before washing.