What’s the Difference Between Rug and Carpet?

Difference Between Rug and Carpet
Photo by meubelenenmeer

Rugs and carpets are famous floor coverings used the world over. In some parts of the world, these words are used interchangeably and even considered the same.

But, they exist a marked difference between rug and carpet, and this article will explore that.

Merriam-Webster defines a rug as “a piece of thick heavy fabric that usually has a nap or pile and is used as a floor covering,” while it defines carpet as “a heavy often tufted fabric used as a floor covering.”

You would agree with me that the definition above is a bit unclear. Nevertheless, it did shed light on them and their similarities.

Rug and carpet refer to a piece of thick cloth commonly woven using organic fibers like cotton, jute, silk, wool, or synthetic materials. They are decorative pieces used to beautify homes and offices worldwide.

Notwithstanding, they are also different. Let’s succinctly examine the difference between rug and carpet without much ado.

Difference Between Rug and Carpet

The difference between rug and carpet to be examined in this article will be explored under the following headings.

1. Size

One significant difference between rug and carpet is size. Carpets are larger than rugs. Rugs tend to be smaller and cover just a specific room section, like under the table or highlight an area of the living room. But, carpet, on the other hand, can extend over the entire room.

Regarding measurement, Doris Leslie Blau ( a famous antique rug dealer) said that rugs cover a maximum of 40square feet flour area of the room. Rugs are less than 6.5 feet, while carpets are bigger than 6.5 feet.

2. Temperature Coefficient

Another difference between rugs and carpet is their ability to affect the temperature of a room. Because carpets are thicker and larger than rugs, they add a layer of warmth and insulation to the floor, whereas rugs do not.

3. Movability/ floor effect

One other difference between rug and carpet is movability. The rugs are smaller. They are more portable and can be easily rolled up. They can also be moved from one place to another.

The size of the carpets works against it here. It can’t be easily moved about. This is because carpets are usually laid from one end of the wall to another.

Carpets are affixed to the floor, unlike rugs that are not fixed and can be easily moved around the room. More so, because carpets are affixed to the floor, they can cause damage to the floor. Rugs, on the other hand, do not damage the floor.

4. Durability

As mentioned earlier, carpets are thicker than rugs. This also means that carpets are tougher. They are very durable and stain-resistant in comparison to rugs.

The edges of rugs can easily slip and trip. Notwithstanding, carpets wear out much faster than rugs. When this happens, the best option is to replace the whole carpet, unlike rugs which can be easily replaced.

5. Cleaning and maintenance

Another difference between rugs and carpet is in their cleaning and maintenance. Rugs are easier to clean and require minimal maintenance compared to carpets.

Because carpets are large and secured to the floor, they accumulate dust and pose difficulty cleaning. Professional service is often needed for the effective cleaning of carpets.

6. Components /how they are made.

How these floor coverings are made is also a difference between rug and carpet. Rugs are hand woven and created artistically, while carpets are mostly machine-made.

This makes rugs more expensive than carpets. Nevertheless, they are affordable too. Regarding materials used during manufacturing, rugs are usually made of natural products like wool, hemp, jute, and cotton.

On the other hand, carpets are sometimes made from natural materials; other times, they are made from synthetic products like polyester, nylon, etc.

7. Aesthetics and luxury

Although both rugs and carpets come in various patterns and textures, rugs are readily available in distinct patterns, designs, and textures.

Rugs combine art and glamour, making them a nice choice for individuals aiming to give their homes or office an aesthetically luxurious look. Nevertheless, because of their thickness, carpets are pleasant to walk on and give the feet a luxurious feeling.


As we have seen so far, carpets and rugs are both floor coverings that give the home a unique finishing touch.

Even though they are often used interchangeably, there is a marked difference between them. This article has successfully looked at the difference between rugs and carpets, ranging from size, temperature coefficient, movability, durability, cleaning, and maintenance.

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