This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which gray rug is best?

Gray is a staple in interior design. Whether it’s warm or cool, the neutral tone can tie any room together. Rugs are the perfect canvas for this understated color because they function as the background for your detailed decor to flourish. Both modern and classically inspired homes can benefit from a good gray rug. Which you choose, however, will come down to your personal taste.

If you’re seeking a gray rug that is aesthetically versatile, look no further than the Charlton Home Paloalto Geometric Area Rug.

What to know before you buy a gray rug

Advantages of styling with gray

Despite its plain appearance, gray is a complex and dynamic color. The right shade can change the entire feel of your home. Filling that infinite spectrum between austere black and harsh white, gray fits into just about every interior design scheme. Not only is it compatible with every palette, but it also softens the room. This makes gray the perfect candidate for a rug, which can serve as a humble platform to elevate your furniture and art. 

Colors that go with gray

Gray is chameleonic. It blends right in. The trick is getting the temperature and tone right. Warm grays have tinges of the yellow-red end of the spectrum in them. Couple these grays with other colors from this part of the spectrum. Use warm grays in rooms with less light to enliven the space. Likewise, cool grays — which have a hint of blue-green in them — go nicely with the cooler half of the color spectrum. These work best with lots of light so as not to turn your living room or bedroom into a dungeon.

Patterned vs. solid color

Patterns and solid colors can be used to great effect in a number of ways when decorating with rugs. Ultimately, your choice depends less on your interior than on how you use either. Patterns are great at toning down a shade of gray by pairing it with another color, such as beige. You can also use intricate and complex patterns to create a focal point among minimalist decor.

Solid grays on the other hand provide a weighty anchor if rich and saturated. If you want to add some levity to your room, opt for a lighter gray, which looks especially strong on dark-wood floors.

What to look for in a quality gray rug


The material of your rug will affect how long it lasts, how easy it is to clean and its cost.

  • Wool: This is the most common material. It’s soft, warm and durable, but doesn’t do well with excessive moisture. Use in high-traffic rooms.
  • Silk: Luxurious and finely woven, silk requires professional cleaning, so use it in low-traffic areas. 
  • Cotton: A cheaper alternative to wool, cotton is just easy to clean but slightly less durable. Use it as a rug you won’t be afraid to replace.
  • Grasses and fibers: Natural fibers such jute, sisal and sea grass have that thick textured, matted look. These are great for outdoor area rugs, but their coarse weave can be a pain indoors.
  • Animal skins: Real and faux animal skins are stylish yet hardy. They’re a bit expensive, so while they stand up to heavy use, you may want to save them for office or den statement pieces.
  • Synthetics: Using materials such as viscose, nylon, polyester and polypropylene to mimic natural fibers, synthetics are perfect for children’s bedrooms. They’re stain-resistant and durable but lack the handwoven authenticity of other rugs.


  • Hand-knotted: Dating back to ancient times, this method of crafting rugs by hand yields an heirloom piece that will last generations. Just be prepared to pay up for it. 
  • Tufted: Instead of woven knots, this method pulls lops of fabric through backing material, after which it is cut down and glued in place. Tufted rugs are machine or handmade. You get a thick, soft and inexpensive rug this way, but it won’t last as long, and the glue can smell for the first few weeks of ownership.
  • Flatweave: Made on a loom by hand or machine, this reversible style of rug has no pile. Their rugged, two-sided weave suits them well to high-traffic, spill-prone areas. 


Pile describes how high off the backing your rug’s threads are, and how densely they’re clumped together. A high-pile rug, such as a shag, will be thick with a sumptuous texture underfoot. These are more prone to shedding but do cushion your floors better than zero-pile weaves. A rug with a low pile will last longer and shed less. 

How much you can expect to spend on a gray rug

Rug cost depends on the material and size. Smaller, synthetic rugs cost anywhere between $25-$150. Handmade wool, silk or natural-fiber rugs — especially large area rugs — can exceed $200, even coming in at $700 for a high-quality, one-of-a-kind rug.

Gray rug FAQ

How should I size my rug?

A. A helpful general rule is to size your rug according to your seating area. When used this way, rugs are good at further breaking down a room. For example, a rug that’s just larger than your dining-room table accommodates your chairs and creates a designated space for gathering and sharing a meal. Likewise, a living-room rug can bring your chairs and sofas together around a coffee table.

How do I clean my rug?

A. Not all rugs are machine washable. No matter the material, your best course of action is to begin by dusting. Bring the rug outside and beat it over a washing line. Then, using proper shampoo, scrub it down with a brush (don’t do this for silk). Rinse with a hose or buckets of water, blot with towels if you can and then let it air dry. Before you use your shampoo, be sure to test the soap on a small dab in the corner. You don’t want to accidentally wash out all of the pigment from your rug. 

What’s the best gray rug to buy?

Top gray rug

Charlton Home Paloalto Geometric White Area Rug

Charlton Home Paloalto Geometric Area Rug

What you need to know: Featuring a subtle Oriental pattern in gray on cream, this area rug fits into the midcentury modern living room just as well as the vintage-inspired den.

What you’ll love: Machine-made from synthetic material, the Paloalto rug is soft yet durable with a low pile. It’s available in six sizes and other colorways if you’re looking to experiment with this classic pattern. The rug’s design is artificially aged. 

What you should consider: This won’t be as durable as wool or hand-woven rugs.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Top gray rug for the money

Gkluckin Shag Ultra-Soft Area Rug

Gkluckin Shag Ultra-Soft Area Rug

What you need to know: Wake up every morning and step down onto this divine, plush shag rug. 

What you’ll love: With a thick, high pile of dark, warm gray fibers, this solid-color rug immediately softens any room. It looks best with contemporary decor on light floors. The nonslip backing eliminates the need for a rug pad. Available in eight sizes, you can also get this rug in a light-gray shade.

What you should consider: Because it’s shag, this rug is more prone to shedding.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kaci Animal Print Silver_Gray Area Rug

Kaci Animal Print Silver/Gray Area Rug

What you need to know: Upscale your minimalist or contemporary rustic home with this refined, faux-animal carpet.

What you’ll love: This rug has all of the class of animal hide without any of the cruelty. Its soft-gray/silver tone fits in with rustic decor. Made from 100% acrylic, this rug is stain-resistant. It comes in three sizes.

What you should consider: Available in just rectangular sizes.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.