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Which mid-century modern rugs are best?

Mid-century modernism is considered a timeless style in interior design. Even as other fads come and go, this theme remains to provide inspiration and foundation for future trends. 

The AllModern Jarrell Handmade Tufted Gray Area Rug has a classic, yet modern design that fits living rooms, bedrooms and office spaces. The soft geometric patterns are mutely colored and the fabric is soft and low, making it a practical choice for any household.

What to know before you buy a mid-century modern rug

You should consider mid-century modern characteristics when choosing a new area rug. There are certain color schemes and styling techniques to know before committing to this vital decorative piece.

What is mid-century modern?

The mid-century modern look is identified by its minimalistic and functional style. There is minimal clutter and the decor, such as plants, lamps, books, throw pillows, blankets and rugs, serves an additional purpose. 

Most furniture is made of natural wood, metal or faux animal hide, and all of the patterns and embellishments are geometric-style. You can find vintage and newly constructed pieces that befit the label of mid-century modern.

Look for toned colors

Mid-century modern decor embodies the tone of the 1950s. With this in mind, most rugs are shaded varieties of yellow, gray, teal, green, orange and black. Beige and off-white rugs are also common options. The basic rule is that retro colors are subdued but still present.


You want a rug that fits your theme and room. Measure the dimensions of the space where you intend to place your rug and remember that you want it to rest evenly beneath all furniture. There should be 18 inches of exposed floor on all sides, unless your rug is against a wall. Without exposed floor space, your room will seem cramped and not at all mid-century modern.

You may need to purchase an additional rug pad that is 1 inch smaller than your rug on all sides. A rug pad keeps a new rug from slipping and scratching your floor.

What to look for in a quality mid-century modern rug

The best type of rug is up for debate, but both vintage and newly-constructed rugs are in the running. Depending on their fabric and level of craftsmanship, either one can make a fine rug for your home.

Vintage vs. new

Vintage rugs tend to cost far more than new rugs, despite their old age. Rugs from the 1950s were handwoven and the result of months or years of production. These rugs are highly durable and unique. Ironically, they are treasured even with outdated styling and minimal fading. 

New rugs are not produced like vintage rugs. Most modern-day rugs are mass-produced and not made to last more than 2 to 5 years on average. However, newer rugs are far more affordable and tailored to your preferences in terms of color and size. You do not need to worry about being scammed when purchasing a new rug, as it isn’t being peddled as an “authentic” piece. Ultimately, vintage rugs are better crafted but new rugs are more practical. 


Most mid-century modern rugs are made from wool, synthetics (polyester, polypropylene or nylon) and cotton. Wool and cotton blends are more popular in vintage styles, while synthetics dominate the current rug-making industry.

Wool is an expensive but luxurious material. It is common in vintage rugs, proving that this textile can last decades if cared for properly. These rugs are naturally flame and stain-resistant. Cotton is often blended with wool to make it more affordable and decrease shedding.

No synthetic rug can last long enough to be vintage, but they are cheaper with other perks over wool. Using unique blends that sometimes include wool and cotton, today’s rug manufacturers can make stain, fade and water-resistant fabrics. Some of these rugs are even machine-washable, making it easy to clean up grime and dirt.

No irregularities

Whether made by machine or by hand, your rug should not have irregularities in its fabric. Streaks of uneven color dye or jutting structural pieces are signs of a poorly-made rug. 

How much you can expect to spend on a mid-century modern rug

A mid-century modern rug costs between $90-$1,000, but authentic vintage pieces cost far more.

Mid-century modern rug FAQ

How is mid-century modern different from modern design?

A. Mid-century modern has many similar stylistic aspects to modern design, but differs in that it has functional decorative accents — a modern design typically avoids decorative ornaments altogether.

How can you tell if a rug is handmade?

A. If you check the underside of a rug and the knots and weaving are not perfectly uniform, it signifies handmade work. 

What’s the best mid-century modern rug to buy?

Top mid-century modern rug

AllModern Jarrell Handmade Tufted Gray Area Rug

AllModern Jarrell Handmade Tufted Gray Area Rug

What you need to know: This handmade rug is made from a blend of fabrics to make a lightly-colored geometric design.

What you’ll love: With a low 0.31-inch pile height, this rug was hand-tufted from a blend of 80% wool, 10% nylon and 10% cotton. It has a muted green, yellow, blue, brown and beige color block pattern and is perfect for any mid-century modern style room.

What you should consider: You need a rug pad to keep it in place.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Top mid-century modern rug for the money

Well Woven Mystic Geometric Gray Area Rug

Well Woven Mystic Geometric Gray Area Rug

What you need to know: This polypropylene rug has a blue-and-gray triangle pattern.

What you’ll love: This rug has a 100% jute backing that is safe for wood floors, though a rug pad is still recommended. It is heat-, water- and stain-resistant and can be cleaned in a washing machine.

What you should consider: The rug is thin with a low pile and not very soft.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

Worth checking out

George Oliver Wimbled Abstract Area Rug

George Oliver Wimbled Abstract Area Rug

What you need to know: This is a polypropylene rug with an abstract gray and black pattern.

What you’ll love: This rug was sustainably produced and is certified as clean by Wayfair. It is minimal and modern, a perfect low pile rug for any living area.

What you should consider: It is not stain-resistant.

Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair

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Gwen Swanson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them a lot of time and money.

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