How Do I Choose the Best Shag Rug?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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To choose the best shag rug for your home, decide on whether you'd prefer short or long pile. Traditional decors tend to suit shorter pile rugs, while most other interior designs can usually be enhanced by long piled versions. When choosing the appropriate size and color of shag area rug, look at your living space to determine what would work best. Material is another important consideration when purchasing a shag rug as synthetic and natural varieties typically vary greatly in maintenance and price.

Natural shag rugs are usually either made of cotton or wool. The distinctively textured fibers of cotton shag rugs tend to have a creative, funky sort of appeal. That quality, along with their relative affordability and ease of care, often make cotton types of shag rugs the ideal choice for furnishing a dorm room, first apartment or artistic space.

Wool shag rug versions tend to be more luxurious and elegant than cotton types in style. Their price reflects the difference, but they are a durable, natural option to consider. If you are looking for a shaggy textured rug that doesn't requires professional cleaning though, a wool type isn't likely to be the right choice.


Synthetic shag rugs, such as those made of nylon, often repel stains rather than absorb them if you blot, then gently wipe the stain with a damp cloth. Professional rug cleaning typically isn't needed with most synthetic shag styles, so this option may be right for you in a family room or other high traffic area. Be sure to always read the label for care instructions on every area rug you're thinking about buying though since all synthetics aren't the same. Picking a color of shag rug most likely to hide pet hair or tracked in dirt can also be a good idea for high traffic areas.

A high piled shag style of rug in a color such as moss green can have the appeal of looking like grass for a novel, yet nature-like effect. It can be a good choice in rooms in which you can't or prefer not to have plants or other greenery. The same carpet in ocean blue or rose pink is going to set a totally different mood in your home, so take the time to choose a colorful shag rug carefully. If you want a light, airy, elegant look that's quite timeless, a white shaggy rug can blend well in most decors and rooms. White shag rugs also have the versatility of being able to coordinate with rooms even if you change the color of your accessory pieces such as throw pillows, drapery and lamps.

In living rooms and bedrooms a shag rug that's slightly larger than the furniture it sits under can define the area visually. Smaller shag rugs can add texture to a hallway, kitchen or bathroom. Be sure to get an under-padding to avoid the shag area rug from moving around when it's walked on as well as help prevent someone from slipping and falling on it.


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