The 7 Different Types of Rugs

Rugs make your home cozier and complete the look of a room. Before you buy a rug, learn about the pros and cons of different types.

Rolled-up rugs.

1. Cotton rugs

Grey geometric rug in an entryway.
Photo courtesy of Wayfair.

Cotton is a popular material for rugs because it looks great in kitchens and casual areas. Flat-weave rugs and dhurries are most often made with cotton.

It’s also more affordable than silk or wool rugs. However, cotton doesn’t feel as luxurious, and it’s not as durable.

If you’re planning to change your rugs based on the season or want something that you can easily replace without breaking the bank, a cotton rug is a great choice.

Buy the Geometric Handmade Flatweave Cotton Area Rug from Wayfair.

2. Wool rugs

Grey wool medallion rug.
Photo courtesy of Pottery Barn.

When it comes to comfort, quality, warmth, and style, wool is the best material for a rug. It offers a luxurious feel while being soft and thick.

It also absorbs humidity, which means it’s best to keep it in a dry area.

Wool is also a great material because it’s better than cotton at repelling water, and it’s more durable. Therefore, wool rugs are excellent for high-traffic areas.

Buy the Barret Hand Loomed Wool Rug from Pottery Barn.

3. Silk rugs

Blue and grey silk rug in a living room.
Photo courtesy of Wayfair.

For a luxurious and beautiful rug, silk is the best choice. Whether you choose a rug that’s 100% silk or a blend, it’ll have a nice sheen. They’re also delicate, thin, and soft.

Silk isn’t as durable as other materials, but they look amazing. Therefore, silk rugs are best when placed in a low-traffic area.

Silk rugs can be difficult to clean. If you get it dirty, hire a professional to clean it.

Buy the Jevon Hand Knotted Silk Slate Rug from Wayfair.

4. Jute, bamboo, sisal, and seagrass rugs

Jute rug in a living room.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Natural materials like jute, bamboo, sisal, and seagrass offer neutral colors and textures. It makes your home look more relaxing and casual by including earthy colors.

The natural grasses and fibers are durable, easy to clean, and versatile. They look best when they’re used as a statement piece instead of being under furniture.

Since it’s durable and doesn’t fade easily, it also works well as an outdoor rug.

Buy the nuLOOM Rigo Hand Woven Jute Area Rug from Amazon.

5. Animal skin rugs

Tan animal hide rug.
Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane.

Leather and hide rugs are made from the skin of animals. Sheepskin, cowhide, goat hide, zebra hide, and deer hide are the most common types that you’ll find.

What makes animal skin rugs popular is that they’re unique and beautiful. Each animal has different textures and patterns.

They look great in low-traffic areas, such as a bedroom, office, and small space. If you drop or spill something on it, they’re generally easy to clean.

However, only place them in dry areas. Like wool rugs, they absorb moisture. So, avoid humid or damp areas.

Buy the Saddlemans Natural Hide Rug from One Kings Lane.

6. Faux fur rugs

Faux fur rug on a wooden floor next to a leather couch and side table.
Photo courtesy of Amazon.

If you don’t want authentic animal fur or hide in your home, but you still like the look, faux fur rugs are the best choice. It’ll also cost less than real animal skin and fur.

Faux fur rugs are soft, comfortable, and can improve the look of any room.

The only downside is that it’s prone to shedding. You can’t stop the shedding. However, the best way to reduce it is to lightly vacuum the rug.

Buy the Ashler Soft Faux Sheepskin Fur Rug from Amazon.

7. Synthetic rugs

Black and white rug in a living room.
Photo courtesy of Ruggable.

Synthetic materials include microfiber, polyester, and polypropylene. They’re man-made materials that are designed to look like natural fibers.

Many rugs are made with synthetic materials because it’s durable, water-resistant, stain-resistant, and low-cost. They’re also easy to clean, which makes them an attractive choice.

Synthetic rugs work well in high-traffic areas because they’re able to withstand wear and tear. You can place it in the kitchen, basement, entryway, mudroom, or use it outdoors.

Buy the Hudson Stripe Black Rug from Ruggable.

Different shapes and sizes

You can find rugs in many shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. The rug that you choose depends on the purpose and location.

Choosing an incorrect size will make your home look awkward. If it’s too large, the room will feel smaller because the rug will dominate. If it’s too small, it’ll look out of place.

Before you purchase a rug, it’s important to understand the differences. The following are popular shapes and sizes, along with their definition:

  • Area rug. They’re smaller than the room, are versatile, and can be found in many different styles. The purpose is to cover a specific area and work as an accent rug.
  • Runner. The length is longer than the width. They’re most commonly used in a hallway or any narrow area.
  • Outdoor rug. Since it’ll be used outside, it’s normally made with synthetic materials. They’re placed on the patio or balcony.
  • Bath rug. They’re comfortable and soft. The main purpose is to provide a place to dry your feet and step onto something comfortable after you shower.

Aside from the type of rug, there are also many shapes. You’ll find rugs that are rectangular, square, round, geometrically-shaped, hearth, or kidney-shaped. Each shape is designed to fit different spaces.

Construction terminology

When you’re shopping for a rug, you’ll hear different words that refer to the way it was constructed. The following are the different terms and what they mean:

  • Hand-knotted. They’re not mass-produced, and each one is made with natural materials using a hand-weaving technique. It makes them durable and very strong.
  • Tufted. Created with loops of yarn through the backing, instead of knots. It’s common for tufted rugs to have latex on the back to hold the wool together.
  • Flat-weave. It uses a similar technique as hand-knotted rugs. However, the knot isn’t cut after it’s created. This allows them to be made more quickly. They’re also known as Kilim or Dhurrie rugs.
  • Hooked. They’re made by pulling loops of fabric or yarn through a firm woven backing. It’s great for creating designs and shapes.
  • Braided. It’s made by braiding strips of fabric together. Typically, they’re made of various materials. They were popular in Colonial American culture.
  • Machine-made. It’s created by a machine. Synthetic materials and blends are the most common. This allows for mass-production and lowered cost.

Frequently asked questions

What type of rug is the softest?

Wool rugs are the softest. The wool fibers are soft, luxurious, and long-lasting.

What’s the fluffy carpet called?

High pile rugs and carpets have long and tall fibers. It makes them soft and fluffy.

How do I choose a rug pad?

A rug pad should be an inch smaller that the rug on all four sides.


Rugs are practical and offer decorative benefits. They can be used to enhance the look of a room, give you a comfortable place to put your feet on, and protect your floors from spills. There are many different types and materials that you can choose from based on the purpose.

More resources:

Featured image courtesy of Canva.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola and Luna, the destination for home improvement and decor. He launched Nola and Luna to share DIY how-to’s, inspiration, reviews, shopping guides, and expert advice to help you create a beautiful home.

About Nola & Luna

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