Difference Between Rugs and Carpets

Difference Between Rugs and Carpets

While the terms ‘rug’ & ‘carpet’ tend to be used interchangeably, in fact, there’s quite a difference b/w two of them. Both of these describe a thick piece of cloth, generally woven from natural fibres such as wool, silk, jute, and cotton or synthetic materials used for decoration. The patterns or techniques used can differ to a very big extent, depending on the year or/and region in which the given rug or carpet was woven.

The word ‘rug’ originates from the Scandinavian, from Old Norse rogg, which means “Proto-Germanic raw” or “shaggy tuft”, which was probably related to the words “rag” & “rough”. In the English language, the word was used for the 1st time in the 15th century, much later than its equivalent, but with the same meaning. Rugs are usually referred to as being of a smaller size than that of the carpets.

Conventionally, if a cloth covers space of approx. 40 square feet, it’s considered to be a rug. Their most important feature, however, is the fact that rugs generally have a bound edge, contrary to carpets. They can be moved freely on the floor which is a great benefit for most of the people, as rugs are simpler in terms of maintenance & transportation. Generally, rugs are placed in the close proximity of furniture such as beds or sofas or in the centre of any given accommodation.

The term ‘carpet’ is originated from the Italian carpita, “thick woollen cloth”, or Old French carpite, “heavy decorated cloth”, which come from Latin “to card, to pluck”. The word itself was 1st used in the English language in the 13th century, with the meaning of “tablecloth” “coarse cloth”. It was not until the 15th century when the meaning shifted to the one we know at present– floor covering. Carpets are featured by their size, mostly defined as stretching from being fixed in a place. While carpets are generally laid on the floor, in few regions of the word, such as Russia, they’re used as the wall coverings. They are quite thick, gives a luxurious feel whenever you walk on them, paired with an exquisite design. Carpets that are woven with Hand- can be very costly, with famed Persian ones being the most sought-after & therefore, the most expensive.

While carpets made by a machine generally have less unique patterns, their lower price & precision of manufacturing compensates for this. Their maintenance can be very time-consuming & a little more costly than that of rugs, which is to be expected as of their size.

“Rugs” & “carpets” are the terms that are used interchangeably. In a few of the countries, both these words are the same & have no difference, but in a few other countries, they’re entirely two varied terms.

In America, the rugs cover only a small area or they’re area-specific & a carpet is used as a floor covering that is laid wall to wall. But in India, “rug” & “carpet” are just used to do covering over the floor.

When these two terms are compared, the carpet is larger than a rug. It can be said that any piece of floor covering that comes less than 40 sq. feet known as rugs & those larger than this are carpets.

When carpets are attached permanently to the floors & cannot be removed that simply, rugs are area-specific, cover just a little area, and can be removed with ease.

Rugs can be simply taken from a place to another. If anyone wants to have the rug placed in another room, it’s possible. But with carpet, this isn’t possible. If someone shifts a house, he can simply transport rugs but not so with carpets. Rugs can be hung on walls, used as a centrepiece, as a bed rug or foot rug. Unlike the carpets, rugs come in various patterns & styles.

As carpets are very big, it’s tough to clean them. Cleaning rugs, however, is very simple. As rugs come in varied patterns & styles, rugs are very costly than carpets. Most often, it is seen that rugs are treasured by the families & are even passed from a generation to another.

As compared to rugs, carpets are harder counterparts. They’re very durable & stain resistant. Carpets come in various colours, styles, and patterns. If we talk about thickness, carpets are thicker than rugs. As the thickness rises, the carpet is more luxurious, and there’s a great feeling when you walk on it.

Another thing with carpets is that you can wear out very much faster than rugs. If a rug wears out, it can be replaced with ease. Rugs can slide & slip with ease, but a rug pad or double-stick can be used to prevent it. If carpets get worn, the only option is to replace the entire material.

Although the word rug & carpet refer to similar kinds of product, there are distinct differences b/w the two. Knowing the subtleties b/w the terms & the pros and cons of each choice is necessary when you come to decorate your room.

 The final Comparison: Carpet vs. Rug

The major difference b/w rugs & carpets are their sizes, especially in relation to the room. Carpets will take up the whole space & tend to be attached to the flooring whereas Rugs tend to measure up to 2 metres in length. Most people aren’t aware of the specific differences b/w the two, and this can create confusion while shopping for them. Now that we have clarified the differences b/w rugs & carpet, it’s significant to understand which one is best for your space. This is dependent on some of the factors:


This element is vital for difference b/w rug & carpet. Carpet mostly needs professional removal & installation, a service which comes at a considerable range. The process of Replacing a rug is a much cheaper as it would not be fixed to the floor, easily unravel it in your selected location over an anti-slip mat & you are ready to go.

 Cleaning & Maintenance

If you are living in a home full of messy eaters & muddy paws a rug will be a more sensible choice. Carpets tend to be very tough to wash as they cannot be removed for simple cleaning or drying. Of course, there are ways around this, however, it might need you to purchase a costly carpet cleaning machine, hire professional assistance or spend a great amount of time scrubbing & drying your floor. On the other hand, a rug can simply be removed from the area. It’ll keep your floors protected as its cheaper to replace than carpet. It can also be moved & hung up to dry quicker.

You can make your carpets clean without any effort with Colors Dry Cleaners.

 The people using the space

Lots of people do not consider the safety & risks which come with using a rug. For instance, when stepped on a rug could slide along the floor, a potential safety & health hazard. This is not the case with carpet, which is level throughout the room & tends to be attached to your floor. If an older person were to trip on the corner of the rug or lose their balance, it could cause a very serious injury to them. This can be managed with an anti-slip mat, however, rugs should still be used with a level of caution.

 The vision

The way you want your room to look is a large part of the final design, & this should be a considering factor for your choice of flooring. A wooden floor looks good with a feature rug because it can accentuate & add a focal point to space. Whether you select a geometric, tribal, or traditional design, a rug can give an additional bold element which might be overwhelming as part of a wall pattern or carpet. It allows for changing tastes, making it the ideal alternative for the non-committal home design as well.


  1. A carpet is larger than a rug.
  2. When the carpets are attached permanently to the floors & cannot be eliminated easily, rugs are specific for the area, cover just a small area, and can be removed with ease.
  3. Rugs can be simply taken from one place to another. But in the case of a carpet, this isn’t possible.