The Key Differences between Rugs and Carpets

We tend to interchange carpets and rugs without realising that there are differences between the two. For starters, carpets are usually larger than rugs and extend over the full floor space of the room, but there’s more to them than the size difference. 

In interior design, knowing the actual distinctions between a rug and a carpet can make all the difference when decorating your space. A room might need additional furnishings such as a rug but not necessarily a carpet, or vice versa. 

So what is the difference between rugs and carpets? We’ll talk about this and which one might be best suited for your interior design needs. Read on below!

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Rugs VS Carpets

One of the main differences between rugs and carpets is their size.

Generally, rugs are relatively small and typically do not exceed the entire floor. On the other hand, carpets can take up the entire floor space of a room. 

Carpets are permanently attached to the floors and can’t be moved from one place to another that easily. Meanwhile, rugs are usually area specific and cover just a small area, so they can be changed out easily. 

Both rugs and carpets are usually judged on a range of features, including installation, potential hazard, and cleaning and maintenance, among others. We’ll discuss how each one differs in these areas below. 

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_High Angle View Of Young Male Worker In Overalls Rolling Carpet On Floor At Home1. Installation

The installation is another key difference between rugs and carpets. 

Since carpets are bigger and heavier, they often require professional installation and removal services, which might come at a considerable price. If you don’t have enough spare budget, you might want to think twice about getting a carpet. 

Meanwhile, replacing a rug is more cost-efficient since it’s not permanently attached to the floor. You can simply lay it down on your chosen location and you’re good to go, preferably over an anti-slip mat for added safety.

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_rug on a fancy living room2. Functionality

Carpets can be used as a second flooring. If your floor has turned dull and lost its energy, the size and pattern of carpets can breathe new life into the space. 

Carpets are a brilliant option if you’re thinking of changing the vibe and atmosphere of a room. They usually come in a variety of prints and patterns that can both pull the entire room together and change how it looks. 

Meanwhile, rugs can be used for a wide range of purposes, from covering the floor sections to creating division in a small room. You’ll usually see rugs in a studio apartment to give the illusion that you’re in another part of the room. 

Rugs can double as doormats and wall decorations as well, in case you’re currently lacking wall furnishings and pieces.

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_On the parquet floor is a bright blue foot mat with a rolled edge3. Potential hazard

Rugs may be unsuitable for houses with elderly and pets. The edges of rugs are a potential slipping or tripping hazard while most carpets are slip and trip resistant.

If an older person were to trip on the corner of the rug and lose their balance, it could cause serious injuries, so make sure to consider the people you’re living with.

Carpets tend to be the safer option because they’re fixed to the floor. There’s little to no chance of slipping and tripping with carpets, so it’s the better choice for homes with elderlies.

If your room can’t accommodate a large rug, you can always get an anti-slip mat for additional safety, but that means spending more money.

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_Close-up Of A Person Cleaning Carpet With Vacuum Cleaner4. Cleaning and maintenance

It’s quite obvious that carpets are harder to wash due to their size. Carpets can’t be simply removed for cleaning or drying, and you can’t do everything on your own. 

There’s an easier way to clean and maintain carpets, but it will require you to spend thousands of dollars on bulky carpet cleaning equipment. This explains why homeowners just hire professional carpet cleaners to save themselves from the stress of cleaning their carpets. 

That said, rugs are the easier option when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. Rugs can be easily removed from the floor, so no need to ask for help from anyone. 

Regular vacuuming is the most basic cleaning step you can take at home. If vacuuming fails to remove all the dirt and hair, you can use a stiff hair brush.

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_Rugmakers rugs5. Specifications

Rugs come in a range of shapes, patterns, and textures. You can get a tufted or furry area rug for the space under your dining table or to improve your living room’s arrangement.

An accent rug can add some drama to your bedroom, while handwoven custom-made rugs can double as throws. Meanwhile, knitted rugs are popular with homeowners who want to make their homes look classy and traditional with different local influences.

Just like rugs, carpets also come in a variety of materials, like cotton and jute wool. The pattern and prints are as wide as those with the rugs and can easily match whatever your preferred design style is.

Rugmaker_Blog-Piece-SideImages_Indoor terrace interior with hanging chair and green plants


Rugs and carpets are quite similar in function and qualities, but technically, they aren’t the same.

Both are amazing options when it comes to adding warm colours and breathing new life to your space, so knowing what makes them similar and different will help you determine which between the two your room actually needs. 

We hope our points help you choose the better of the two! If you’re looking to spruce up your home or redecorate your space with an area rug, we offer customised and bespoke rugs. We can even offer you more home decor tips along the way too!