Layering Rugs Under Beds

By Kate Riley June 21, 2017

A question from Mary showed up as a comment on my master bedroom today. Mary asked, “Is the bed a king or a queen? And then, what size is the rug?”  I replied: “My bed is a California King which is 72″ in width x 84″ in length. It is 4 inches longer but 4 inches narrower than a king size bed. The rug is 94″ x 130″ which allows for visible border around the bed frame, 22″ on either side of the bed and about 30″ past the foot of the bed to make room for the two small benches that live there.”  The question prompted a great topic! Let’s take a closer look at layering rugs under beds.

Area rugs are a great way to add pattern and/or softness to a bedroom space. When looking to layer a rug under your full, queen, or king size bed, ideally you want one that extends a few feet beyond the bed on all sides to create a nice visible border.

There are no hard and fast rules on size and it’s okay if the rug doesn’t go all the way to the wall underneath the nightstands. Personally I think a rug looks best under a bed when it’s layered in front of the nightstands exposing the flooring underneath them and stretching in front of the length of the nightstands on either side of the bed.



emily henderson


raquel langworthy


krista waterworth


julio quiñones


 house tweaking


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my domaine


To achieve this look, use the size of your nightstands as your guide for width on each side of the bed. The border formed around your bedframe should be about the same width as your nightstands but it’s totally okay if the rug is a few inches shy on both sides. It’s hard to get it exactly the same width since most rugs come in standard sizes like 6 x 9’, 8 x 10’, or 9 x 12’ or slight variations of those sizes.

What’s most important is a significant border around the edge of the bed frame, 2-3 feet is ideal. Plan for an even larger border at the the base of the bed if you want to add a bench.

If you don’t want to spend big bucks on a large scale patterned rug consider this idea, a less expensive plain woven rug for size and a smaller vintage rug on top to add pattern.


one king’s lane


One thing you want to avoid is a rug that is too small, it will look skimpy. Here’s an example. In my opinion, this rug is too small for this bed. I get that this is a styled shot to showcase the bed frame. The rug has been pulled forward to show its texture, but it is not centered under the bed. In a real bedroom, you’d want a larger size rug centered under the bed for a balanced look.




If layering a rug next to your bed you have more flexibility with size. An accent rug on the side of a bed can vary in size but consider a rug that stretches the length of the bedframe and is at least 30” wide, like these examples below:


parachute home


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Thanks for the question Mary!



  1. That was a great topic and I don’t know that I’ve seen it covered elsewhere, good choice! Love the rooms featured for examples, beautiful!

  2. Thanks for covering this as I have always wondered myself. I currently have all carpet in my master but have been seriously thinking about ripping it out and putting in a rug.

  3. In my opinion one single big carpet is beautiful to see but not pratical….smaller carpets placed around the bed can be easier removed and let clean and wash floors from dust frequently. Maybe I think this because I hate dust !

  4. I normally keep my opinion to myself if it differs from the writer, but I disagree with you on the rug in the Anthropologie room being too small. Not everyone has gigantic bedrooms and for small rooms my opinion is that the small rug under the bottom half of the bed is beautiful and perfectly acceptable. I know there are “rules” in design but to me I think the first rule should be if you like it and it makes you happy then go for it.

  5. Placing rugs under beds is a great decorating tool. It’s also very practical because it can protect the floor from wear and tear. The goal is to find rugs that add texture to the décor of the room.

  6. Thank you for a great post! I love the California king bed! Where is it from? The texture of the poster bed in warm and sophisticated. Exactly what we are looking for. Kindly share the details.

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