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Ideas & Advice > Rug Size Guide > How to Buy a Persian Rug

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How to Buy a Persian Rug

Persian rugs are a beautiful addition to any home. With their rich design history, master craftsmanship, and timeless beauty, these rugs are fitting accents for any room of the home. However, the market for Persian rugs is surprisingly vast with different styles of rugs from different peoples and traditions, so you may be wondering how to buy an authentic, well-crafted Persian rug. We’ll break it down for you and guide you through how to buy a persian rug.

Learn More About Rug Sizing

  1. What’s the Difference Between Persian Rugs: Tribal vs. City Rugs
  2. How to Identify Genuine Persian Rugs
  3. What to Consider When Choosing the Right Size and Shape
  4. What Design and Color Should you Pick
  5. How to Identify a Quality Persian Rug for the Right Price
  6. How to Maintain Your Persian Rug
  7. Remember to Buy from Reputable Dealers
Queen Size Runner Rug

What’s the Difference Between Persian Rugs: Tribal vs. City Rugs

Both city and tribal Persian rugs have their own distinct designs and weaves. Tribal rugs tend to use very vibrant, stunning colors with basic geometric patterns. They also use a looser weave than city rugs. City rugs use more knots per square inch to create tighter designs with more intricate patterns. In fact, many of their designs are sketched on paper by palace artists. Because of that, city Persian rugs are known for being highly stylized and use colors reflective of the city they were made in.

How to Identify Genuine Persian Rugs

When you’re trying to identify a genuine Persian rug, you’ll likely look for the techniques and materials used. Persian rugs are typically hand-knotted in construction and may have some minor imperfections and variations due to their hand-made nature. These imperfections should be rare and fleeting however, since authentic Persian rugs are very carefully and expertly crafted. Look at the rug’s backing to see these minute details in greater detail to check the quality of the rug. 

Speaking of quality, luxurious wool and cotton are typically used in authentic Persian rugs. If you run your hand over the wool nap of the rug, it should feel smooth and slightly oily. This shows that it is good quality wool. If the wool feels especially dry and brittle, it may have been made with improperly treated or cheaper wool.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

What to Consider When Choosing the Right Size and Shape

When choosing the ideal shape and size for your rug, consider what room it is being placed in and how it will interact with the nearby furniture. For example, if you are purchasing a Persian rug for a living room, then you have options to layer the rug far beneath the furniture, partway under it, or in front of the seats. Your desired layout will help you choose the proper rug size. Along with that, allow some breathing room between the rug and the wall to ensure the room doesn’t feel smaller than it actually is.

What Design and Color Should you Pick

Persian rugs are incredibly diverse with various patterns and color palettes depending on the tribe or city they come from. Ultimately, your rug’s color palette should complement your room’s overarching color scheme and convey a consistent tone with the rest of the room. It’s also wise to look at your existing decor for any shapes, imagery, or motifs that can subtly connect to the rug’s pattern. Similarities like these go a long way in creating a cohesive room.

Round rug for queen size bed

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Queen Size Runner Rug

How to Identify a Quality Persian Rug for the Right Price

There are many factors that impact the price of a quality Persian rug. City rugs that use tighter weaves are typically more costly than tribal rugs. Similarly, the quality of materials (and the amount of materials) used will also impact the rug’s price. Finally, there is the matter of historic value. The older the rug, the more costly it will be, since the rug will have a rich history in its composition and lifetime. As you shop for your Persian rug, study price ranges for rugs from a specific location or heritage. This base knowledge will guide you through the purchasing process and help you determine the rug’s true worth.

How to Maintain Your Persian Rug

Persian rugs should be treated with care and diligence. Regularly vacuum your rug to remove surface dirt and debris before it can damage the rug’s deepest fibers. Stains should also be treated quickly to avoid spreading further and deeper into the rug. It is also worthwhile to seek out professional rug cleaners to properly treat and clean your rug. 

Aside from cleaning, investing in a rug pad can also improve the longevity of your rug. Rug pads provide extra grip to keep the rug in place and prevent damage from sliding around. Similarly, rug pads help take some of the force of foot traffic and ease that pressure away from the rug’s fibers.

Round rug for queen size bed

Remember to Buy from Reputable Dealers

You may be tempted to purchase a Persian rug for a lower price or from a lesser-known dealer to save money. However, it is important to buy from a reputable dealer who can guarantee the quality of the rug and its authenticity. Today’s world wide web gives you greater freedom in searching for reputable dealers and checking credentials to ensure that you are buying an authentic rug. You may spend more with a reputable vendor, but you will have the assurance of buying a high quality, genuine Persian rug.


Buying a Persian rug is an exciting process. With so many options in designs, colors, craftsmanship, and heritage, you can choose a Persian rug that suits your home’s aesthetic and carries a rich history with it. There may be work in researching types of rugs and reputable vendors, but with an investment this great, you will be glad to have made an informed decision.

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