If a kitchen is the heart of the home, a bedroom is the cozy, get-away-from-it-all sanctuary. “Bedrooms are where your guard can come down, and comfort is key,” says Birmingham, Alabama, designer Katherine B. Melvin. When it comes to making these serene spaces feel especially welcoming, you’re likely prioritizing the bed itself, outfitting it with a just-right mattress, buttery bedding, and pretty throw pillows. But there’s another equally important decorating element that you may be tempted to overlook: The rug. Here are our tips for choosing the right bedroom rug, plus 25 ideas for bedroom rug inspiration. 

Why You Should Have A Rug In Your Bedroom 

For starters, it’s about dialing up the room’s inherent hospitality. “When designing a bedroom, we want the client to feel cozy and welcome,” says Melvin.  “The right rug provides that foundation of comfort and warmth that sets the tone for the space.” Beyond the cozy factor, a rug can also unify all the furnishing and make the area feel complete, she says. “Without one, it may feel like the room’s elements are floating, but with one, the pieces of the bedroom all feel grounded and the space can feel finished.”

How To Choose The Right Bedroom Rug 

“It’s most important to decide what ‘feel’ you’re going for—literally,” says Melvin. “How do you want it to feel on your feet when you get out of bed every morning? Is having something soft and plush important, or are you okay with something minimalistic?” 

Once you’ve settled on your desired tactile experience, it’s time to find something that matches the aesthetic of your space. “For example, if you are someone who dreams of that warm, cozy primary suite vibe, a plush wool rug is for you! So we will search through the softest wool rugs to find the best one for your space,” says the designer. On the other hand, if you’re hoping for a more streamlined room, something with a lower pile, like a flat-woven kilim rug or vintage Oushak, may suit your decorating style better. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Bedroom Rugs

One dead giveaway that a homeowner didn’t consult a designer for help? The rug is the wrong size. “Too small and it can look silly; too big and it overpowers a room,” notes Melvin. A good rule of thumb is that all the furniture fits comfortably within the perimeter of the rug. Additionally, the rug should also have some breathing room; allow for a few inches of space between the rug and the walls.

Selecting a rug made with high-quality materials is also essential, says the decorator, even if it means spending a bit more money up front. “While wool may feel like an investment, it cleans better than sisal and cotton,” she explains. “Make the right choice once, and you won’t be sad later!”

Spring for Something Vintage

Laurey W. Glenn; Stylist: Matthew Gleason


New doesn’t necessarily mean better. Designer Laura Hodges incorporated a vintage Oushak rug into the primary bedroom of the 2023 Southern Living Idea House. “It’s likely made better than a lot of the ones you’d buy new,” she says of vintage rugs. “If it’s been around for this long, you’re not going to ruin it.”

Experiment with Contrast

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREY W. GLENN; STYLING BY KENDRA SURFACE

In the predominantly blue-and-white downstairs bedroom suite of the 2022 Southern Living Idea House, designer Charlotte Lucas chose to shake things up with the floors, covering them with a nearly-wall-to-wall diamond pattern in a rusty red teased out from the upholstered bed’s piped trim. 

Weave In Different Textures

There were no original wood floors here, so Williams covered the concrete slab with wall-to-wall sisal.

Brie Williams


Color and pattern aren’t the only ways to add dimension to a space. Charlotte designer Molly Williams relied on texture to make her primary bedroom sing, layering three distinct rugs: a wall-to-wall sisal as the foundation; a fluffy, soft flokati beside the bed (extra cushy when you’re first putting your feet on the floor in the morning); and a low-pile, patterned woven rug at the end of the bed for a dose of color.

Go All-In On Pattern

Hector Manuel Sanchez


A vintage suzani blanket on the bed delivered a global feeling to designer and homeowner Catherine Branstetter’s primary. She followed its lead for the rug, positioning a richly colorful Oushak alongside the woven four-poster bed. 

Commit to a Color Scheme

JAMES RANSOM; STYLING: Veronica Olson


Artist Dorothy Shain let the colors do the talking in her Greenville, South Carolina, bungalow, where she followed the palette of a beloved piece of art (the sculptural work by Glory Day Loflin above the bed) in choosing the room’s accessories, including the deep blue-and-white striped rug underfoot.

Treat Stripes Like a Neutral

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAUREY W. GLENN; STYLING BY KENDRA SURFACE

Some spaces call for a more-is-more approach. In the twin bedroom of the 2022 Southern Living Idea House, for instance, designer Charlotte Lucas leaned into the whimsy of the garden-inspired wallpaper and selected a colorful striped rug by Annie Selke, which feels like an easygoing neutral by comparison. 

Keep Things Grounded

HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ STYLING BY: HOLLY SMITH


The walls of designer and homeowner Laura Kay’s primary bedroom are wrapped in Brunschwig & Fils’s classic Bird and Thistle pattern. She let that—and the linen-draped iron canopy bed—serve as the room’s statement makers, covering the floors in a soft, non-intrusive natural fiber rug.

Make It Graphic

Alison Gootee; Styling: Matthew Gleason

A geometric rug in neutral tones adds structure to the renovated garage bedroom of designer Meg Kelly’s 1960s Nashville ranch-style house, plus it tempers the sweetness of the blush walls (which are painted Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground, No. 202).

Put A Pattern on Repeat

Laurey W. Glenn


Designer Raili Clasen made the case for a new kind of calm in the primary bedroom of her family’s Lake Martin cottage, where she repeated the black-and-white stripe of the bedding accessories in the rug.

Try a Runner

Dane Tashima; Styling: Page Mullins

Anchor a pair of beds in a room by positioning a runner between them. It’s a no-brainer way to infuse the space with a traditional look, as seen in this Americana-themed Pass Christian, Mississippi, guesthouse, designed by Grace Kaynor.

Double Down

Erica Dunhill


This 1920s Palm Beach bungalow bedroom proves that layering a pair of rugs is always a good idea. Here, the homeowners’ longtime designer and friend Jennaea Denhart situated a hide rug atop a sisal one. The key to making the duo work? Their varying shapes and textures.

Brighten Up

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Kathleen Varner

For this Birmingham, Alabama, nursery, which was inspired by heirloom lavender-and-pink drapes, design firm Hundley Hilton was anything but bashful in its embrace of the cheery shade of pink—covering the wood floors with a sweet, strawberry-cake-hued rug.

Embrace A Little Softness

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

In an upstairs bedroom of this Southern Living Showcase Home in Nashville, designer Betsey Mosby chose a subtle, understated area rug that allows the room’s delicate elements, like the aviary wallpaper and airy light fixture, to take center stage.

Go Natural

 Larsen & Talbert


When designing their dream country house outside of Laurel, Mississippi, Erin and Ben Napier prioritized decorative elements that would lend the brick Tudor to a sense of coziness and warmth. In the primary bedroom, the natural fiber rug helps accomplish just that.

Stay Neutral

Alison Gootee; Styling: Jenny O’Connor

When you want to let a room’s hero pattern do the talking, opt for a floor covering so simple it practically disappears, as Dallas designer Kerri Goldfarb did in this girl’s bedroom. Investing in a neutral rug is also a smart choice for the long term, as it’ll also suit any future decorating changes to the room.

Add an Accent

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Kiera Coffee

The homeowners wanted to keep things simple in their Alabama lake house. In the primary bunkhouse bedroom, this meant tying in color and pattern through decorative accents, like the small accent rug that defines the room’s bitty seating area.

Find Environmental Inspiration

Annie Schlechter; Styling: Page Mullins

At this WaterColor, Florida, rental-turned-permanent-escape, designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas followed the lead of her beachy surrounds, selecting a seagrass rug for one of the bedrooms.

Aim for a Lived-In Feeling

A made-in-America throw by Pendleton delivers a saturated dose of color to the foot of the bed.

Joseph De Leo


For her home on the Cedar Creek Reservoir about an hour from Dallas, architect Christy Blumenfeld prioritized pieces that gave the place a worn-in feeling, like the vintage Moroccan rug in the primary.

Tie It All Together

Marili Forastieri; Styling: Barbara Schmidt

When decorator Jenny Keenan tackled her parents’ new home in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, she worked hard to weave common threads throughout the place. In the primary bedroom, she did so through a subtly colorful rug that pulls in shades from the abstract and figural artworks, the window treatments, and the throw pillows.

Lighten Up

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

While Alana Woerpel opted to paint white most of the walls in her family’s 1920s Virginia river cottage, she left the brown paneling untouched in the loft-like bedroom on the second floor. To keep the dark wood from veering moody, she covered the twin beds in simple white bedding and covered the floors in a light-colored striped rug.

Follow the Theme

Molly Culver

At their mid-century Austin home, designer Shannon Eddings tapped into her son’s love of national parks for inspiration, filling his room with nods to the outdoors, including a taxidermy deer head and an antelope print rug.

Indulge A Little Cheek

Laura Sumrak

For her son’s bunk room in their Lake Norman, North Carolina A-frame, designer Meredith Beregovski dialed up the playfulness, choosing an alligator-shaped accent rug that very loosely references their waterfront surroundings.

Opt In to Old-School

Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

Designer Lauren Liess went all-in on throwback elements for this space in the Southern Living 2020 Idea House, building the decor around a Reid Classics canopy bed and rooting the room in a storied stripe.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Allison Allen called on a host of harmonious patterns in the primary bedroom of her Atlanta home, relying on a combination of neutral tones to make them sing, rather than compete. The spotted floor covering adds quiet interest, while also sneakily camouflaging stains.

Spring for a Scallop

Designer Ashley Hanley set a youthful tone in her daughter’s bedroom by choosing a natural fiber rug with a whimsical scalloped edge.

Set the Tone

James Ransom; Styling: Alya Hameedi


A vintage Oushak rug led the design in Ashley Hanley’s Richmond, Virginia, primary bedroom, where a palette of soothing blues, tans, and greens yields a serene retreat.

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