Rugs Buying Guide | Argos

Rugs Buying guide

Rugs can be used to add style, practicality and comfort to the home.
Use our guide to find the right rug for you.

Shop all rugs

Let's lay down the terminology...

  • Pile: If you were to stroke a rug, you'd be stroking the pile. The longer the pile, the shaggier the rug.
  • Hand-made: Part of the rug is crafted by hand. It doesn't necessarily refer to the whole rug - machines may be used for some parts of the process.
  • Hand-tufted: A popular and affordable method of making a rug where yarn is stitched onto a backing and fixed in place by a layer of durable material.
  • Hand-carved: Describes a technique where the pile of the rug is cut to different levels to produce a decorative pattern.
  • Heat-set: A heating process that can be applied to the synthetic material polypropylene that creates the appearance and texture of wool.


What do you want your rug to look like?

Start by considering whether you want a plain or patterned rug - this will narrow down your choice of material and finish.

Plain rugs

Plain doesn't mean boring. A block colour lets the texture of the rug stand out, and opens up a few more material options, like shaggy and sheepskin styles, that aren't available for patterned rugs.

Shop plain rugs

Patterned rugs

Whether you go for a traditional rug pattern or a more contemporary rug design, they'll create a focal point and are a quick and easy way to transform the look of a room.

Shop patterned rugs

Different rug materials

The material you choose will effect the style, and also the durability of the rug. Here's a quick overview of the most popular types.

Synthetic rugs (polyester, acrylic, nylon and polypropylene)

  • Very durable
  • Easy to wash
  • Often cheaper than natural rugs
  • May not be as soft as natural fibres, but improvements in synthetic fibres mean quality synthetic rugs will still be soft underfoot

Synthetic rugs are available in a wide range of styles and textures, and their durability means they're a great choice for high traffic areas.

Jute rugs

  • Strong and hardwearing
  • Eco-friendly - it's made of plant fibres
  • Jute is a course fibre and not the most comfortable underfoot

Place jute rugs in high traffic areas where you are likely to wear shoes, such as the hallway.

Sheepskin rugs

  • Very soft underfoot
  • Good insulating properties
  • They can be hard to wash so professional dry-cleaning is recommended

Sheepskin rugs are best used as a decorative piece to add texture to a room, or in low-traffic areas.

Cotton rugs

  • Soft underfoot
  • Very affordable
  • Cotton is very absorbent, so stains may be difficult to remove

Few rugs are made solely of cotton - it's often blended with other durable fibres to create an affordable rug.

Wool rugs

  • Strong and hardwearing
  • Good resistance to stains and water
  • Good insulating properties
  • With wear wool rugs may shed or go fuzzy
  • Wool is very absorbent, so shouldn't be used in rooms that may get damp

Wool rugs are good for high traffic areas such as the lounge, or where spillages are a risk such as the dining room.



Rug backing

Many rugs have a non-slip backing sewn into them to prevent the rug moving on wooden flooring. Some woven rugs don't have a backing, but you can purchase a separate underlay to stop movement and wrinkling.

Shop non-slip rug underlays


In which room will you put the rug?

This will affect the size, material and construction of the rug that you choose.


Lounge rugs

The lounge is likely to be one of the busiest rooms in your house. To avoid wear, choose a durable material, such as a synthetic material, or wool.

Shop all lounge rugs

Sizing and style tips

If you want to create a carpeted effect, choose a large rug so that your lounge furniture can fit on top of the rug without feeling cramped.

If the furniture in your lounge is against the walls, look for a rug that is big enough so that the front two legs of all the furniture is on the rug.

In a small living room, define your seating area by choosing a rug that will fit in the centre of your sofas or frame your coffee table.


Hallway runners

Hallways tend to be high traffic areas where shoes may be worn, so pick a runner or rug with a shorter pile for a more durable and easy-clean option.

Shop all hallway runners

Sizing and style tips

Runners are a popular choice, fitting down the centre of a narrow hallway. Choose a width that will leave space on either side of the hall to showcase your flooring.

If you have a larger reception room, you can feature a less durable rug, such as sheepskin, in a part of the room that doesn't get a lot of traffic to add texture and style.


Bedroom rugs

You're most likely to be walking around with bare feet, so texture is important. Soft rugs with a longer pile and shaggy effect are ideal for the bedroom.

Shop all bedroom rugs

Sizing and style tips

Choose a large rug that will extend all around your bed to frame your bedstead, and give you extra comfort underfoot when you get in and out.

An alternative to a large rug, you can place smaller rugs or runners alongside your bedstead.


Dining room and kitchen rugs

In these rooms a rug will add warmth to a cold, hard flooring. They should be made of easy-to-clean or machine washable materials in-case of food spillages.

Shop all dining room and kitchen rugs

Sizing and style tips

In the kitchen place small rugs in the places where you tend to spend a lot of your time, for example by the sink, cooker or work surface.

In the dining room, choose a rug that is wider than your table so that the chairs stay on the rug when they are pulled out.

For the dining room, pick a rug with decoration around the boarder, as this is the part that will be visible.


Children's room rugs

Rugs in kids' rooms are an inexpensive way to protect your flooring from food, stray felt tip pens, dropped toys...
We have a number of fun designs and machine washable styles that are ideal.

Shop all kids' room rugs
Shop all machine washable rugs


Measuring and rug sizes

Measuring correctly for your rug makes ordering easy, and prevents taking home a rug that's unexpectedly too large or small. The dimensions of each rug we sell are shown in the product information, but generally our rugs fall into 4 size groups.

Group Average sizing (cm) Where it will fit:
Runners Length varies,
Width 60
Down the centre of a hallway,
with space either side.
Small rugs Length 150,
Width 80
Will sit under a coffee table,
with little border showing.
Medium rugs Length 170,
Width 120
Will sit under a coffee table
and extend out to show a border.
Large rugs Length 230,
Width 160
Will sit under a dining table
and extend out to show a border.

Measuring for your rug

Using a tape measure and some newspaper or masking tape, mark out the size of the rug you want to buy where you will position it.

This lets you see how rug will fit with the rest of your furniture. Clever eh?


Sizing and style tips

Most of our rugs come tightly rolled so it's easier for you to take home or have delivered. All you need to do is unroll and position in its new home.

At first wrinkles and curling are to be expected. Smooth out as best as you can and leave for a day. The fibres will relax, leaving you with a perfectly presented rug.

Corners still curling up? Fold them under for a day so that the curve is bent the opposite way. This helps the corners to settle in their place.

You recently viewed...