There have never been more ways to buy a rug online. From vintage styles to contemporary low prices to “I can’t believe how expensive this rug is” heartbreak, there’s literally something for everyone. “The amount of beautiful rugs available to us at the push of a button is amazing,” says interior designer Allison Pierce. “And the fact that we can now buy them directly from resellers around the world saves all kinds of money.” Indeed, the access we have when buying rugs online compared to maintaining strictly IRL is unparalleled. And thanks to the advent of sites like eBay and Etsy, the online marketplace can also be a great place to strike a deal.
Of course, there are a few downsides to buying rugs online. The most obvious is not being able to memo (i.e. try it in your space before you commit to buying it), first. The second, semi-overwhelming condition is that most online rug suppliers do not allow returns. But, for Pierce, the rewards that come with buying rugs online far outweigh the risks. (If you take the plunge and end up with a mat that doesn’t work, she suggests reselling it on Facebook Marketplace or to a friend.)
However, there are some steps you can take to prevent this scenario from happening. Los Angeles-based interior designer Mia Dalton says a common problem she encounters is that most people opt for a rug that’s too small. “A small, colorful rug can work in a secondary space, but I prefer when a rug is offset 18″ to 24″ from the frame of a main room (but not under a side table),” she says. Another designer tip: “I always go for a natural fiber, and good texture is key,” Dalton reveals. “If you can find rich texture from a natural material, you’re in good shape.” This means getting to know the difference between commonly used materials and considering the foot traffic your potential rug would see. For example, a wool rug is much more durable than a silk rug.
Considering all the carpet retailers online, there are only a few that Dalton and Pierce turn to repeatedly. Keep scrolling through the top eleven online rug store recommendations (and other designer tips), below.
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Designed in Melbourne and made in India, Zouzou offers limited edition bamboo silk rugs inspired by modernist European designs. Given short print runs and a “here one day, gone the next” mentality, Dalton turns to the design house when looking for “something unique that doesn’t have to be vintage.”
Offering over 20,000 rugs and free shipping, RugVista is shopper’s heaven when you need the space to figure out exactly what you want. One of the more affordable options on this list (the area rugs start in the hundreds), Pierce touts them for their “great quality, solid colors, and interesting contemporary rugs.” They are also one of the few retailers that allow returns.
Tom Atton Moore
Model-turned-textile designer Tom Atton Moore uses dead yarn in lush wool to create unique hand-tufted rugs in rich color palettes that can be hung as art (his work has been shown in galleries in London and LA ) or used in the traditional sense. A Dalton favourite, if you’re looking for something truly special, Moore’s art is not to be missed.
Dalton loves Armadillo for its “natural tones and great texture,” which the brand achieves by employing artisans trained in ancient methods like hand-woven jute with virgin wool. While a good neutral rug can help tie a room together, Dalton warns that she “generally avoids solid neutrals because they can wash out a space.” Demonstrating a dedicated commitment to the environment and transparency, Armadillo is the first US and Australian carpet company to become a Certified B Corp.
From Jaipur with love
From Jaipur With Love has been supporting local Indian artisans since 2013. Each flatwoven dhurrie is handcrafted in Rajasthan using age-old techniques passed down from generation to generation. Pierce calls their work “jute with a twist” because of their interesting use of color and pattern.
Founded on the “Scandinavian tradition of functional design with a minimalist aesthetic”, Nordic Knots is hard to beat for high quality rugs at competitive prices. According to Dalton, they “offer fun designs and patterns that are quiet enough to work well in a range of spaces.”
Blue Parakeet Rug
“For extremely well-preserved antique rugs, no one does it better than Blue Parakeet,” says Pierce. Based in Los Angeles, Blue Parakeet focuses on Old World handwoven rugs, most of which are at least a century old. Although they ship worldwide, if you’re local they offer personal styling and installation service on site.
Alberto Levi Gallery
“1st Dibs are generally a great resource,” says Dalton, “but you have to commit to sorting through the vast inventory,” which can get overwhelming and quick. That’s why being exposed to a secret like Alberto Levi Gallery’s 1st Dibs curation is such a godsend. Focusing on 20th century Art Deco and Modernist rugs as well as mid-century Moroccan, Persian and Turkish tribal rugs, the Alberto Levi Gallery offers some truly stunning investment pieces.
Pierce and Dalton cite Etsy as a good option for finding unique rugs at a lower price. Like 1st Dibs, it’s a hunt, but the payoff can be huge if you’re willing to put in some work. Plus, if you ask, Pierce says you can almost always get at least a 10% discount. To make the process easier, she’s shared some of her must-visit Etsy shops below.