There have never been more ways to shop for a rug online. From vintage styles to contemporary, low price points to “I can’t believe how expensive that rug is,” chagrin, there’s literally something for everyone. “The amount of gorgeous rugs available to us with the push of a button is wonderful,” says interior designer Allison Pierce. “And the fact that we can now buy them directly from dealers all over the world saves all kinds of money.” Indeed, the access we have when shopping for rugs online compared to keeping it strictly IRL is unparalleled. And thanks to the advent of sites like eBay and Etsy, the online marketplace can be a great place to score a deal, too.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to shopping for rugs online. The most obvious one is not being able to memo it (i.e. try it out in your space before committing to buying it), first. The second, semi-soul crushing condition is that most online rug purveyors don’t allow returns. But, to Pierce, the rewards that come with shopping for rugs online far outweigh the risks. (If you do take the plunge and happen to find yourself with a rug that doesn’t work, she suggests re-selling it on Facebook Marketplace or to a friend.)
However, there are steps you can take to try to ensure this scenario doesn’t happen. Los Angeles-based interior designer Mia Dalton says a common issue she encounters is that most people opt for a rug that’s too small. “A small colorful rug can work in a secondary space, but I prefer when a rug is 18” to 24” offset from the frame of a primary room (but not under a beside table),” she says. Another designer tip: “I always opt for a natural fiber, and good texture is key,” Dalton reveals. “If you can find a rich texture from a natural material, you’re in good shape.” This means getting to know the difference between commonly used materials and considering how much foot traffic your prospective rug would see. For instance, a wool rug is much more durable than one that’s made of silk.
Given all the online rug retailers out there, there are only a few that Dalton and Pierce turn to on repeat. Keep scrolling for their top eleven online rug store recommendations (and more designer tips), below.
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Designed in Melbourne and manufactured in India, Zouzou offers limited-edition drops of bamboo silk rugs inspired by modernist European designs. Given the short runs and ‘here one day, gone the next’ mentality, Dalton looks to the design house when she’s looking “for something unique that isn’t necessarily vintage.”
Offering more than 20,000 carpets and free shipping, RugVista is a shopper’s paradise when you need some space to figure out exactly what you want. One of the more affordable options on this list (smaller rugs start in the low hundreds), Pierce touts them for their “great quality, solid colors and interesting contemporary rugs.” They’re also one of the few retailers who allow returns.
Tom Atton Moore
Model turned textile designer, Tom Atton Moore uses deadstock yarn in a lush wool to create hand-tufted, one-of-a-kind rugs in rich color palettes which can either be hung as art (his work has been shown at galleries in London and L.A.) or used in the traditional sense. A favorite of Dalton’s, if you’re looking for something truly special Moore’s artistry is not to be missed.
Dalton likes Armadillo for its, “natural tones and great texture,” which the brand achieves by employing artisans trained in ancient methods like interweaving jute with virgin wool by hand. While a good neutral rug can help tie a room together, Dalton warns that she “typically avoids solid neutrals as they can wash a space out.” Showing a dedicated commitment to the environment and transparency, Armadillo is the first American and Australian rug company to become a certified B Corp.
From Jaipur With Love
From Jaipur With Love has been supporting local Indian artisans since 2013. Each flat-woven dhurrie is handmade in Rajasthan using time-worn techniques that have been passed down for generations. Pierce calls their work, “jute with a twist” because of their interesting use of color and pattern.
Founded on the “Scandinavian tradition of functional design with a minimalist aesthetic,” Nordic Knots is hard to beat for high quality rugs at competitive prices. According to Dalton, they “offer some fun designs and patterns that are quiet enough to work well within a range of spaces.”
Blue Parakeet Rugs
“For extremely well curated antique rugs, nobody does it better than Blue Parakeet” says Pierce. Based in Los Angeles, Blue Parakeet focuses on old world, handwoven rugs, most of which date back at least a century. While they ship all over the world, if you’re local they offer an onsite personal styling and install service.
Alberto Levi Gallery
“1st Dibs is generally a great resource,” says Dalton, “but you have to commit to sorting through the extensive inventory,” which can get overwhelming, fast. That’s why being let in on a secret like the Alberto Levi Gallery’s 1st Dibs curation feels like such a godsend. Focusing on 20th Century Art Deco and Modernist rugs as well as midcentury Moroccan, Persian and Turkish tribal rugs, the Alberto Levi Gallery boasts some truly stunning investment pieces.
Both Pierce and Dalton cite Etsy as a good option for finding unique rugs at a lower price point. Like 1st Dibs, it’s a hunt, but the payoff can be tremendous if you’re willing to put in a little work. Plus, if you ask, Pierce says you can almost always get at least a 10% discount. To make the process easier, she’s shared a few of her go-to Etsy stores, below.