Free Shipping on All Orders
Free Shipping on All Orders
Ideas & Advice > How to Shop For A Rug > Rug Types > Carpets VS Rugs

Types of Rugs

Carpets vs Rugs

Rugs and carpets are both textiles that can be used to adorn and protect your room’s floor, but the two can have hugely different impacts in terms of the room’s style and tone. In order to choose whether your room would be better suited for a rug or carpet, it is vital to know the difference between the two and what the pros and cons of each are.

Celestial - CES-02 Area Rug by Nourison

What is the Definition of a Rug?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a rug is a piece of thick, heavy cloth smaller than a carpet and is used for covering the floor or for decoration. Although rugs are typically placed on hardwood or tile floors, they can also be layered on carpet to provide a detailed pattern or a pop of color to the room’s floor.

Queen Size Rug Sizes
Samarkand - SRK-167 Area Rug by Safavieh

What is the Definition of a Carpet?

The Cambridge dictionary defines a carpet as a shaped piece of thick material used for covering floors. While this definition sounds incredibly similar to rugs, carpets are known for being more subdued with little or no incorporation of pattern and little color-blending. Neutral hues are used most prominently in modern carpets, but carpets from previous decades featured bold colors like red or orange.

Queen Size Runner Rug
Hillcrest - HIL-9036 Area Rug by Surya

Where did Rugs Originate From?

Rugs have been present in societies for longer than history has recorded. For context, the oldest surviving woven rug that is preserved today dates back to the year of 500 BC. This rug was founded in modern-day Iran, or ancient Persia as it used to be called. Hand-knotted rugs were popular in this part of the world long before they made their way to Western Europe in the 17th century through trade through Venice. Today, rugs are used all over the world thanks to modern manufacturing and diversity in designs.

Where did Carpet Originate From?

The origins of carpets can be traced back to the Middle East, and they could have been created as early as 2000 or 3000 BC. Carpets were traditionally made of wool, animal fur, or silk, but they are now crafted from synthetic fibers that are less expensive than wool. Wall to wall carpet (which we now simply refer to as carpet) was made popular in the 1930’s and is still massively popular in new and old homes.

Round rug for queen size bed
Cloudpile by Loloi II Rugs

For more tips and ideas, join our mailing list.

Join Now

Giada by Loloi Rugs

Similarities between Rugs and Carpet

Rugs and carpets are both fabrics or materials used to cover a room’s floor. Their exact purposes with style may vary, but both tend to create more comfortable floors to walk on. They are both available in a variety of styles, fabrics, and color palettes so that you can create your room’s perfect style. In order to prevent movement, both are adhered to the floor one way or another, but a big difference is that carpet is placed using carpet nails while a rug is kept in place by a rug pad.

Queen Size Rug Sizes
Quill Area Rug by Chilewich

Differences between Rugs and Carpet

The key difference between rugs and carpets is that rugs are often mobile while carpets are fixed to the floor and extend from wall-to-wall. During their rich histories, each was defined differently, with carpet actually being a word for floor, table, bed, and wall coverings in the 1400’s. However, as they became more prominent in Europe in the 1400 and 1500’s, the word “carpet” began to be more defined as the floor covering we know it to be today. Rugs too used to be more generic in meaning to be rough fabric or a floor mat in the early 19th century.

Today, both rugs and carpets serve to cover at least part of the room’s floor, but the size of the carpet and its grounding to the floor make it different from rugs. Carpets are also crafted nearly solely by machine while rugs are both hand-crafted and machine-made. Therefore, carpets are always able to be produced quickly while the time to create a rug will depend on whether it is being hand-crafted or manufactured.

Queen Size Runner Rug
Celestial by Nourison

Where to Use Rugs Versus Carpets

Carpets are most commonly used in living rooms, dining rooms, or bedrooms to provide comfort to the entire room. However, rugs can be used in any of these spaces and are often utilized to define a specific sitting area or gathering space. Rugs also provide a different aesthetic with pattern, color usage, and pile height. Since they are available in so many different shapes, sizes, and materials, rugs are also used in other rooms like kitchens, entryways, and bathrooms. They are also easier to switch around than carpets since they are not nailed to the floor.


Carpets and rugs may be similar in theory, but their use in impacting a room’s overarching design and practicality differs greatly. Both can provide comfort to key rooms like living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, but carpets are a more permanent fixture and they tend to make a more subdued statement in comparison to patterned rugs. With these differences in mind, you can now design your space with confidence and choose the floor covering that will work best with your home.

Round rug for queen size bed
Rhapsody by Nourison


Your discount code is on its way.