Choosing the Right Nursery Rugs Matters!

Author: Fran Donegan

April 19, 2018

Author, Fran Donegan, has years of experience in design. She shares some things to consider when looking for a nursery rug- from the materials it’s made from to where to position it!


The area rug you select for your nursery will have to do more than anchor the decor of the room. Eventually, your child will be spending time on the floor, crawling, playing and learning to walk, so make sure your choice is safe and comfortable. Here are some quick tips on how to pick the right one.

1. Choosing your material…

Whether the rug is placed on a hard-surface floor or spread out over carpeting, the ideal nursery rug should be soft to the touch and provide some cushioning—and it should be easy to clean. There are many options out there, so know which types of rugs are best for your nursery:

  • Wool is a natural material that resists stains and moisture—most spills can simply be blotted out. It has a soft feel, and a high-quality rug will provide a decent amount of cushioning. Wool also resists dust mites and has antibacterial qualities. It’s a great choice for a nursery!
  • Cotton is another easy-to-clean natural fiber. Many cotton rugs are machine washable. However, most cotton rugs have flat piles, so they don’t provide much cushioning. They are a good choice if the rug will be placed over wall-to-wall carpeting rather than a harder floor. You could also use a thick rug pad to add some extra cushioning.
  • Sheepskin rugs are popular options for nurseries. They are incredibly soft and fluffy, and they naturally resist dirt and stains. They’re also machine washable, and when you no longer need it on the floor, you can drape a sheepskin rug over a chair or place it on a bed.
  • Chenille rugs consist of twisted yarn that produces a soft finish. They aren’t a good choice for high-traffic areas, but they do provide a cozy, cushioned play space.
  • Sisal and sea grass are natural fibers widely used in rug making, and they are smooth and easy to keep clean. However, rugs made of these fibers are usually kept in their natural state, and do not offer the wide color selection you’d find with cotton or wool rugs.

If you are concerned about allergies or you just want to provide a natural environment in the nursery, stick to these rugs made of natural materials. A natural rug is also a good idea if the nursery already has carpeting because most carpets are made of synthetic fibers, and you could run into problems with VOC’s.

2. Pick the Right Size for the Room
The size of the area rug should correspond with the design of the room. You have a few choices that depend on the size rug you purchase.

For a large area rug, you can either place the crib and other furniture on the rug, or place the front legs of the furniture on the rug with the back legs on the wood or carpet. Either one is a matter of taste, but the room will appear more cohesive if you stick to one arrangement rather than a combination of the two.

If you have a smaller rug, group your furniture around the rug rather than directly on it. This helps tie the room together. You can also use a smaller rug to define a space within the room. For example, a cozy rug in a corner of the nursery can designate a reading or play area.
3. Keep Up with Rug Care
Taking care of your rug is fairly straightforward: vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. This will help keep it looking good, and will prevent dirt from settling in a deep pile rug. You should also rotate your rugs occasionally to help them last. This is especially important if one area of the rug sees more foot traffic than other areas. For spills and stains on natural fiber rugs, clean with soapy water and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Whether your nursery is carpeted or has wood or other hard-surface floors, adding an area rug can up the style factor in the room and provide a comfortable and safe space for your child. Choose a soft, easy-to-clean rug, and you’ll have a beautiful, fun space for years to come.

Fran Donegan is a long-time DIY enthusiast and author who writes for The Home Depot. She has authored the books Pools and Spas and Paint Your Home. To view Home Depot’s assortment of nursery rugs, including styles discussed by Fran, you can visit Home Depot online.

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