We Tested (and Rated!) All the Rugs at West Elm — Here Are the Best to Suit Your Style and Space

We Tested (and Rated!) All the Rugs at West Elm — Here Are the Best to Suit Your Style and Space


We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

One thing you might not have anticipated when it comes to shopping for the home is just how many rug options are available online. Sure, thanks to the internet, there’s an abundance of virtually every kind of furniture and decor. However few retailers seem to have as much inventory as rug retailers. Even with so much variety, you’re still likely to have a difficult time finding a suitable rug for your living space merely by looking at photos and reviews. It’s one thing to try to decipher a rug’s actual color by photos on a website and a completely different experience when you see and touch it up close. And with cheaper floor coverings, you never truly know if your purchase will feel more like a mat than the plush bedroom accessory you’re looking for. That’s where our Personal Shopper series comes in.

For each installment, we visit the brick-and-mortar stores of your favorite home retailers, including Pottery Barn, Burrow, and Ashley, to test their furniture and decor. Afterward, we give you a detailed breakdown of which sectional, bed frame, coffee table, or rug is best for your space.

For this installment, we went back to the very first retailer that started this series: West Elm. Specifically, we viewed the rugs in their Chelsea, Manhattan, store. In total, there were more than 50 rugs on display, so to make this shopping guide less overwhelming, we’ve narrowed the number down to 15. There’s still plenty of variation among our picks, so whether you’re looking for a low-shed shag rug or a floral piece for the dining room, you’ll find it here.

West Elm is an editor- and reader-favorite store for all things home and kitchen, including rugs. Their impressive selection not only looks good, but you can also trust that their products are made of premium materials that’ll hold up amid daily use. West Elm also offers free furniture customization and design guidance, if needed, as well as complimentary swatches to help you find your ideal materials and colors. Below are the exact rugs we tested — both store bestsellers and newer models we were excited to finally see in person.

We judged every West Elm rug we found in-store based on the following five criteria, giving each category an average rating between 1 and 5. These scores helped us determine whom the rug suits best, from the busy parent to the year-round patio dweller.

In-Store Placement: Where was the rug positioned in the store? Does the area get lots of foot traffic, like in the front or along major walkways? Is it in an area with low foot traffic, such as back corners or hanging up?

Aesthetic: What decor scheme or mood does it best suit? Does it have bold lines, patterns, or colors? Does it play nice with other decor elements, or does it steal the show?

Feel: Is the surface soft to the touch? Or is it roughly textured?

Fluff Factor: What is the rug’s pile height? Is it tufted with long threads or otherwise voluminous? Is the rug flat or thin — in other words, tightly woven with minimal volume?

Versatility: Does it work indoors and outdoors? Can it be layered? Is it reversible? Does it come in a wide range of colors and sizes?

Every Editor-Tested Rug at West Elm

What impressed us: The natural materials and old-world motif.

One of West Elm’s newest offerings, the Kai flatweave rug is impossible to ignore — and not just because it was hung front-and-center when we entered the store. This floral number stuns with its handwoven motif and distressed finish, which lends a vintage vibe. Despite its rugged feel, the low-pile rug is made to withstand heavy foot traffic, thanks to its blend of wool, jute, and cotton. What’s more, it comes in four colors. Sand and Marina Blue will imbue your space with a sense of calmness, while the Dijon and Terracotta hues are great for adding warmth. Although nothing’s stopping you from placing the Kai rug in your bedroom or living room, its materials best lend themselves to spaces like the dining room, entryway, or even the hallway (and yes, there’s a runner version for that).

What impressed us: The different color options and layering potential.

Considering that the Kay rug was placed on the floor right next to the store’s main entrance, it didn’t look too shabby. We were instantly drawn to its intricate pattern, which was also handcrafted by artisans. Upon walking on it, we noticed that the rug is incredibly thin, and not in a low-quality way. Rather, this rug is made to last a long time without shedding, meaning you can regularly vacuum it but don’t have to. Small tassels on the short ends serve as another interesting design detail, but where the Kay rug really shines is in its reversibility. On one side, you get a faded maroon and cream color scheme, and on the other, you get the same pattern in black and cream. Senior commerce editor Alicia owns and loves this rug, noting, “It’s cozy, doesn’t slide much (even though I don’t have the recommended rug pad underneath), and it has tied my space together, giving it a cohesive look.” You’ll also find this thin floor covering to be great for layering.

What impressed us: The ribbed texture and simple design.

Truth be told, we can’t think of a home or lifestyle the Lumini rug wouldn’t be suitable for. Although it’s handcrafted and 65% wool, it’s tough enough for bustling households; its dense ribbed pile is just thick enough to be both cozy and easy to clean. The rug also comes in four neutral colors — two warm tones and two cool tones — so it’s fit for a variety of decor styles. This understated accessory could not only blend into any room but also tie the entire space together without overwhelming it. If you prefer bold colors and patterns, you’ll want to opt for another rug on this list, but the Lumini is for those after an easy, reliable solution for rooms that could use a little extra something. No matter how many times you move or redecorate, this pick is going to remain a staple in your decor rotation.

What impressed us: The velvety feel and shiny fibers.

If you don’t count the three or so shag rugs on the floor, the Modern Bands TENCEL rug was the plushest rug we walked on in the store. Although it was placed under a dining table, it would be a foolproof choice for the bedroom — especially if you want to counteract the chill from hard floors. The Sable color looked more mauve in person, and it had a noticeable sheen. The pile was velvety to the touch, and the edges were slightly frayed in a couple of spots, solidifying that this piece is not for busy, high-traffic areas. Instead, you’d lay this down to make the surrounding space feel homey and calm. Still, what sets this rug apart from other plush floor coverings is its paneled design. Instead of a block of mauve, the broad strips of pile add texture and dimension. It’s dazzling — literally.

What impressed us: The faded motif and surprisingly soft material.

Those who want their home to look like everything was bought at a flea market or antique shop — without having to actually dig through antiques — will love the Tuspa rug. Its geometric print might be intentionally faded, but it still managed to catch our attention in the store. The subtle orange hues play well with both light and dark tones, so the finish of the surrounding furniture doesn’t really matter. What’s more, at first glance we anticipated the Tuspa rug to be coarse in texture, but its thin, low-pile construction proved surprisingly soft yet still strong enough for spots like the dining room or hallway. Of course, you can expect little to no shedding with this vintage-inspired accessory. Just lay it down, add the rest of your decor, and revel in your thoughtfully curated sitting area.

What impressed us: The thicky, knotty texture.

Although jute rugs are practical, they’re not always the most exciting to look at. And if a store carries more than one model, they tend to blend together in a sea of tan. That’s not the case with this jute rug, though. Most of it is comprised of thick woven knots that are large even for a natural fiber rug, while the border is punctuated by a smaller weave. The knots are noticeable under your feet as you walk across, so if you prefer a smooth feel underfoot, this isn’t the rug for you. But we think it’s perfect for a kids’ playroom or screened-in porch. Additionally, we appreciate that the rug’s material isn’t uniform in color. Instead, you get a good mix of light, tan, and brown fibers, which only makes this piece that much more striking. And did we mention the rug was handcrafted by artisans? Well, we probably didn’t need to.

What impressed us: The shed-proof weave and terracotta motif.

To give your living room a light, airy feel, try the Sahar rug. It’s one of those floor coverings that’s almost mat-like, and if you don’t plan on layering it, we definitely recommend placing a rug pad underneath. Although it’s not heavy, the Sahar’s flatweave construction is sturdy and can withstand lots of walking over the top. And, despite its beautiful handcrafted pattern, it’s not too busy visually. For this reason, we deem this rug the best one for layering. Place it over or under a natural fiber rug like the one above for an earthy look, or pair the Sahar with something that has a large-scale print. It would even look fabulous with a white shag rug. The options are endless.

What impressed us: The abstract pattern and plush feel.

Once again, West Elm surprised us with how soft their rugs are. The Distressed Foliage rug is medium pile but somehow stuffed animal-soft, so don’t be surprised if you opt to lie on it instead of your sofa. That being said, this isn’t the most durable rug West Elm carries, so that’s something to keep in mind if you have young kids or pets. Its hand-loomed pattern is meant to resemble “cascading vines,” albeit in an abstract and subtle way. We also enjoyed feeling its pebbled texture, which is noticeable without being obtrusive. Opt for the rug in Pearl Gray or Mellow Rose for a sunnier look, or try one of the two cool tones for a more tranquil aesthetic.

What impressed us: The stunning design and pops of color.

This rug is much more vibrant in person, and we’re not exaggerating when we say that it took our breath away when we flipped to it on the hanging rug wall. As its name suggests, the rug mimics a serene landscape — perhaps a lake at dawn. The closer you look, the more vivid the colors appear. We think it would be a wonderful pick for a home office, as such spaces can often look drab and lifeless. Even if you don’t change your desk setup, this piece is enough to transform the entire room. It’s neither too rough nor too soft, so it’s just utilitarian enough for a workspace. Unlike a lot of the other West Elm rugs we’ve covered, the Sun-Kissed Landscape rug is tufted and printed, not woven, but it’s still 100% handcrafted.

What impressed us: The emerald-green trapezoids and raised texture.

Although we love West Elm’s modern, organic aesthetic, the Faceted Tile Rug was still a refreshing departure, thanks to its punchy pattern. The trapezoids and unique color scheme create an almost art deco appearance, but you can still pair the rug with either modern or vintage-inspired decor — in fact, a stronger contrast could elevate the entire look of your living space. You’ll also find that the diamonds and emerald-colored trapezoids are raised, which creates a 3D effect and makes this pick appealing not just visually but also texturally. Aside from that, the rug is low pile and of medium thickness. If you like to entertain, we suggest placing it wherever you and your guests like to congregate.

What impressed us: The warm color scheme and glimmering finish.

Color-blocked decor, whether it’s wall art, a rug, or even a shower curtain, often comes in bold, in-your-face hues. That’s why the Colorblock Shine Rug is such a pleasant deviation from the norm. We were instantly charmed by its warm rose-gold color scheme, which would look right at home next to a fireplace. And, as its name suggests, this low-pile piece has a subtle yet unmistakable sheen. It’ll certainly make your space feel cozy and feminine, even if it’s not the softest rug we touched in-store. Just place some deep seating around it, and lounge away.

What impressed us: The vibrant colors paired with a traditional design.

If you’re not a master decorator, we suggest sticking with neutral furniture (in both color and design) and opting for a lively rug that ties everything together. The Ruby is a prime example of this principle because of its loud color scheme, but its vintage-inspired design prevents the rug from looking garish. Of course, you could pair it with other colorful furniture and accessories, but why create extra work? Of all the rugs we viewed, only a couple could serve as living room focal points, and this is hands-down one of them. We also love that it comes in a runner version, which you can place in an otherwise boring hallway to doll it up. The rug’s low pile construction and natural fibers make it tough enough for such areas anyway.

What impressed us: The complex pattern and shed-free flatweave.

The most apt word we could use to describe the Indra rug is simply “cool.” We viewed a lot of rugs with interesting weave patterns that no doubt took a lot of effort to create, but this one takes the cake in terms of intricacy. That’s largely because the individual shapes that make up the grand overall motif are so small; we could look at it and marvel at them for minutes on end. The tiny tassels on the short ends complement the rest of the rug perfectly, too. In addition to looking cool, the Indra is also soft and thin, like a mat, and immune to shedding. Even though its navy-and-cream color scheme is pretty subdued, this rug is still a knockout.

What impressed us: The thin but strong construction and vibrant colors.

It doesn’t get more versatile than a rug that can be used indoors and outdoors, so if you have a deck or patio, we recommend the Framed Arrows rug. It’s almost more like a tapestry with its thin construction and colorful motif. Still, you’ll be able to get plenty of wear out of it without having to tread carefully atop the rug’s tight weave and weather-resistant fibers. These features also make the rug easy to clean and maintain, so you can rest assured that it’ll last years, regardless of the elements. Just rinse it regularly with soap and water, and allow it to dry after rainfall. Simple as that!

What impressed us: The ultra-soft feel and not-too-dense pile.

It’s a good thing this rug was hanging in the store. If it had been on the floor, we might’ve done something unseemly — like lie down on it. The Cozy Plush rug was easily the softest rug we touched out of more than 50 models, so if you want something inviting enough to curl up on, look no further. We also loved its alabaster color, which is close to the white hue available but more reminiscent of a toasted marshmallow. Even though the rug is made of shed-resistant fibers, it’s not the most durable option, so we think it would be great for the bedroom. After all, stepping onto its curly shag each morning would help prolong your dreamy state for a couple more minutes. When caring for the rug, just make sure your vacuum is powerful enough to withstand its long fibers. 


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