Rugs are an investment piece and can totally transform your room, so picking the right one can feel daunting. Size and colour are key considerations, and there are also material choices to be made – like natural versus synthetic – and the care that comes with it. So if you're not sure where to start, our rug buying guide will help you find your feet.
What type of rug should I choose?
Different rug types can be distinguished by the way they're crafted, with each production technique resulting in a different finish. But it's not all about looks. Construction affects a rug's durability, too. So it's best to consider the whole package when making your decision – don't just focus on making your Instagram feed more #housegoals.
Tufted rugs are formed from tufts of thread pushed through a pre-made backing. This is then secured with latex to give the rug its pile. Wool's most commonly used in this rug type, and the finished product can either be soft and plush (if the pile is cut) or hard-wearing and durable – great for heavy-traffic areas – if left as a loop pile. Because of the way they're produced, tufted rugs can be intricately patterned.
Flatweave rugs originate from India, and are often still woven according to traditional methods, using a shuttle loom and a mix of cotton and/or wool. This technique means they're durable and, as they're typically small, they're perfect as hallway runners or in kitchens. If you're a bit of a nomad, flatweave rugs are a great option – they're lightweight enough to be picked up and moved when you do.
Knotted rugs are created by twisting individual threads around the warp – by hand – and tightly knotting them to secure them in place. It's no mean feat, and because of the hand craftsmanship involved, they're a real investment piece. Dense and durable, these rugs lend themselves well to a cosy room.
Our machine-made rugs are crafted in Belgium, and because of the advanced technology and high-quality fibres used, they're extremely durable and easy to clean. The use of synthetic fibres makes them good for allergy sufferers, too. They're a cost-effective pick when you want to cover ample square feet.
What rug material should I choose?
When it comes to picking the right rug material, it's a matter of taste as well as tactics – balance how you want it to look with how often you're able to clean it, and how much it'll get walked over. We like natural fibres for their authentic look and feel, but there are advantages to synthetic fibres, too. So before it's crunch time, work out exactly where your rug's going to live, and what purpose it needs to serve.
Wool rugs are the most popular. And we can see why they're a hit: they’re durable, have a soft pile, and hold colour well, so they lend themselves to lots of interior styles. Most of our rugs are a blend of New Zealand wool, which creates a plush, dense pile in striking colours.
Cotton is often used in flatweave rugs due to its hard-wearing nature. And because cotton rugs are easy to clean and lightweight, they're a brilliant choice for kitchens. They're just as good in bathrooms and hallways, and have a softer look that suits laid-back spaces.
If a natural look's more your thing, a jute or sisal rug is the way to go. They're tough, lightweight and durable. And because they're less expensive than wool, they're a thrifty way to cover a large area. A budget-friendly, natural beauty.
Allergy sufferers rejoice: synthetic rugs are here for you. Typically made from polyester or polypropylene, they shed less than natural materials, and are durable and easy to clean.
What size rug should I choose?
Along with choosing the most suitable material for your rug, getting the size right is key. First, give thought to its function: is it there to make a statement, unite your room's furniture, or protect hard floors? Once that's narrowed down, you'll need to measure your space – it's a good idea to do this with any furniture roughly in-situ, so you get a more accurate idea of the space you need to cover.
Our standard rug sizes are:
Small: 60 x 90cm
Medium: 120 x 170cm
Large: 160 x 230cm
Extra-large: 200 x 300cm
Runners: 66 x 200cm
There's no right or wrong way to style your rug. But it's important to give it some thought before you click 'checkout' – how you arrange furniture on your rug will affect the size you need. Do you want your sofa to sit half on your rug, or for the rug to fill the entire space under your sofa? The same goes for beds and dining tables. Then there's shape to consider – circular or round rugs work best with dining tables and side tables, and you'll want your furniture to sit centrally.
How to clean a rug
If your rug's made from wool, it's best to call in the professionals. But check the care label first, as some styles can be spot cleaned. Here are our general day-to-day care tips for keeping your rug looking its best:
- Most new rugs, especially tufted ones, will shed for a period of time after you bring them home – regular brushing or vacuuming should keep this at bay. Use the nozzle or a brush fitting
- Keep your rug flat as much as possible, and always avoid folding. If you need to move it, roll it with the backing facing the outside to avoid damaging the pile
- If storing your rug, keep it in a dry, temperature-controlled and ventilated area to prevent fading
- Never pull loose threads – instead, cut them if you spot them
How do I stop my rug from fading?
All natural fibres can fade in sunlight, so if your rug's directly exposed, make sure you turn it regularly to ensure an even effect. You should also rotate it if it's unevenly covered by furniture, for the same reason. Need to make sure your rug is safe to use on laminate or hardwood floors? Use an anti-slip mat underneath to keep it in place.
Need some more inspiration? Find out how to choose the perfect rug for your living room.