As winter rolls around, it's nice to have a soft, plush rug underfoot. We dig into the jargon to help you find the perfect rug.
Size: If a rug isn't the right scale for a room, it will probably feel like something is just a little bit off, according to Overstock.com. When a rug's in the center of a room, it should reach past the legs of the furnishings around it. In the case of runners or areas without furniture, the rug should be about 18 inches to 36 inches from the edges of the room.
Material: The material of your rug will have a big impact on how it looks, feels and wears — and on your wallet. For example, synthetic rugs are the least expensive option — plus they're durable and stain-resistant — but they don't offer the same distinctive softness of other materials. Wool and silk-blended rugs are both pricier, but they're very durable, while cotton is soft and easy to clean, but wears out quickly.
For those who want a more eco-friendly material, Health.com recommends grass fibers, such as jute and sisal, which are extremely strong and processed without harsh chemicals. Natural fibers are also typically better for those with allergies, though rug pile also plays a role, too.
Pile and weave: Rug pile describes the depth of the fabric woven into a rug; the weave describes how the rug was made. High-pile rugs, like shag and flokati, are typically "tufted," which can shed more, but are often inexpensive and machine-made (though not always). Hooked rugs are lower-pile and won't feel as soft as tufted rugs, but they're a bit tougher and don't shed. Flat-woven rugs, such as dhurries and kilims, don't have a pile at all, so they're great for those with allergies, though not as plush as other rugs.