Determining Which Outdoor Rug Sizes Will Work Best for You:
An Outdoor Rug Buying Guide

Buying a contemporary outdoor rug is a great way to keep dust and dirt outside where it belongs. It's also a nice way to simply brighten up your patio. Whether you're buying your first outdoor rug or you're looking for a fresh replacement, learning more about the various sizes available to you can help you make a better purchasing decision. 

Things to Consider 

First of all, how much space do you have for the outdoor rug? This is going to be one of the primary decision factors and limits the overall size you can choose from. If you want the rug to be placed underneath existing furniture, you'll need to decide what kind of image you want to portray and whether you're trying to enlarge a space or create a cozy atmosphere.

For a floor mat, its primary job is to trap dirt from people's footwear, so you'll want it to cover as much space as possible. If you foresee yourself having to clean the rug regularly, sticking with the regular synthetic materials used in many rugs is the smart choice. Synthetic outdoor rugs are often resistant to stains, mildew, mold, and UV, as well as being quick drying. If you're trying to protect the rug from the sun, use the available shade to your benefit.

You might have a lot of space, but a smaller rug could be more appropriate for several reasons. You won't need a large rug if your seating area has just a few small chairs around a small table. You can also break up larger spaces by using multiple smaller outdoor rugs.

Choosing from the right types of outdoor rugs saves you money as well as creates the kind of ambiance you're after. A rug that lasts longer under a lot of foot traffic is a good investment, whereas a beautiful rug with intricate designs makes a big difference to your outdoor seating area. If you're keen on helping the environment, consider choosing an outdoor recycled rug. They're great for high-traffic areas and they look beautiful, too.



How Rug Shape Affects the Space 

As outdoor area rugs come in a variety of shapes, this is another aspect that will affect the size you pick. Certain shapes don't work as well when you increase their diameter by too much and that can be limiting. Picking the right shape to fit the overall size you want has a positive impact on the space.

For a more intimate gathering, circular rugs work well. This is especially true when you only have a small amount of furniture, such as one or two chairs or benches and maybe one table. There are plenty of circular types of outdoor rugs, and they're often overlooked in favor of the more popular rectangular outdoor rugs.

Rectangular outdoor rugs have more uses than their circular counterparts. They're often easier to size up and to link furniture together. Many seating spaces benefit from a rectangular outdoor rug rather than another shape, and there tends to be more variety from which to choose.

An oval rug is a fantastic mix of rectangular and circular outdoor rugs. If you're looking for a rug to place along an entryway, oval rugs are a great choice because they share the length and width of rectangular rugs and also have the aesthetic qualities of circular rugs.

Another good compromise between beauty and functionality is the half-circle. This kind of outdoor rug is perfect for placing at doorways because the straight edge can be measured to fit the doorway, which in turn defines the size of your rug. The dirt and dust on people's shoes have more chance of being caught by it, too, because of the snug fit to the doorway.

Choosing an Appropriate Size for Your Space 

When you're deliberating between different outdoor rug sizes, keep a few things in mind. If the rug is too small for the outdoor space, the area looks bare. A circular rug is a smart choice in this situation as you can measure out from the exact center of your space, and once you have your desired radius, you also have your rug's diameter.

If you pick an outdoor rug that's too big, the existing decor becomes muted and the rug takes over. Using the furniture legs to determine the size of the rug gives you a great idea of how big or small to go. You can place all of the furniture legs on the rug, just the front legs, or no legs at all, depending on your preference.

Larger rugs often have larger patterns that can complement or detract from your outdoor space. If you want to make the area look busier, a large rug with an intricate pattern does wonders. Big outdoor rugs with large patterns lend themselves to the idea of a spacious area.

If you're buying an outdoor rug for an entrance or your front steps, you don't want it to be so big that it becomes a tripping hazard. A good rule of thumb is to measure the base of the step or entrance and leave a couple of inches on the other three sides, so the rug will cover most of the step but not all. This way there is no overhang, and the coverage is perfect without becoming a hazard.

Picking the right size for your outdoor rug is as important as its shape, material, and color. The types of outdoor rugs you choose from depend upon their intended function, and the size you pick complements that.