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Rug vs. Carpet: What’s The Difference? (A Comparison Guide)

By: Allan Bryce
Types Of Rug - Polypropylene

Some of us may still confused about when to call it a rug or a carpet. Basically, they are the same flooring type. However, they have different characteristics and details in some ways.

This article is going to give you a guide to tell the difference between rugs and carpets. This shall help you to decide which one you would love to use as your decoration or flooring accessories for the rooms in your house.

The Key Differences between Rug and Carpet

Both rugs and carpets are indeed similar in terms of looks and materials. But what makes them different?

Rugs and carpets feel almost the same underfoot. However, the key difference between them is their movability. Carpet is generally stuck to the floor and able to the wall to wall installation.

Meanwhile, rugs are typically movable. Therefore in terms of the size rugs are smaller because it is usually more versatile to be moved to another part of your room.

They don’t have another significant difference in terms of anything other than their movability, though. Therefore people use rugs for the accessories at most, and carpets as the main flooring.

Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of carpets and rugs you should know.




  • Rugs are generally smaller, so it is easier to clean and dry in many ways possible.
  • It can be used as an accessory or beauty value to your room design.
  • Due to its movability, you can change the location to match the color to a more suitable room style whenever you want.
  • It is okay for you who have allergic because rugs are easy to clean and dry.
  • Sometimes people slip while walking because they kick the edge of the rugs not on purpose.
  • The look from rugs is not as rich as what carpets could provide.
  • Carpet is one of the cheapest flooring types for the room. This feels very smooth and famous in many big buildings.
  • As a flooring option, carpet is the best option to reduce the noise from the steps or any moving things.
  • Carpet is easy to install once you have got the precise measurement for the room.
  • It’s common knowledge that carpet has that wear and tear effect on the surface which requires you to change it in some years.
  • Your work is harder in cleaning a carpet because you can only vacuum clean it without washing and drying it easily like rugs.
  • As a flooring option, carpet is limited in terms of installation that it could not be installed in wet areas.


Let’s go to the visual comparison between rugs and carpets. In terms of looks or presentation, rugs and carpets are nearly the same.

However, there are some things that you can see to distinct their difference.

The first thing you can clearly see is the size. As you have read earlier in this article, carpet is the wall-to-wall kind of flooring where it is usually permanently installed on the floor and you are not likely to be able to change it or wash it easily.

Therefore, you’ll be able to tell that it is a carpet when it is big and stuck to the floor for the main flooring option.

On the other hand, rugs are smaller. The rug has that mattress size where you can move, change, or wash it easily.

Finally, in terms of visual, you can easily see that carpet is bigger than the rug and the rug can be moved easily while the carpet can’t.

Another thing you can notice is the thickness of rugs and carpets. Both look similar but their thickness is different.

Carpet, as the main flooring option which is a wall-to-wall installation kind, is thicker than rugs. That’s because sometimes it’s gonna be dealing with absorbing the sound from the steps.


Speaking of resistances, both rugs and carpets have the same level of resistance. It all depends on the fiber material that forms the rugs or carpets.

If it has the water-resistant material just as most synthetic material has, then it is water-resistant.

Since all rugs and carpets generally have the same fiber material, then they also have the same resistance. It does not matter whether it is stain, color fading, water, or heat, both rugs and carpets are resistant to it, depending on the fiber material.


In terms of installation, both have different advantages and different advantages. Here is the point you can read.


Rugs are often used as accessories or the complimentary element in a room. Since it is movable and interchangeable, you can install it just like that.

What I meant by that is you can just unroll the rugs and put it on your main flooring.

However, since it has that edge that could curl or a slippery base for some fiber materials, you may want to install rugs on an anti-slip flooring type.


Carpets, you see, is the main flooring that is installed wall-to-wall. That means you’re gonna need more struggle to install this in your house.

But no worries! You can glue it or nail it down to your floor after having the right measurement of the length of your carpet and your floor.


Speaking of durability, it is gonna be different depending on which materials the rugs or the carpets made from.

However, one thing for sure is that most of the carpets and rugs are made from the same fiber construction.

Therefore, they do not have so many points to compare in terms of durability. If you ask me, most of them are not water-resistant because they are made of fiber materials that absorb water.

Nevertheless, the carpets are easier to get pale or dirty because it is permanently installed and it has more potential to be accessed by high traffic and other exposure such as sunlight, or water spill, which could be a chemical too.

Meanwhile, rugs are usually there under furniture or exist to be seated or laid by the user, instead of just getting stepped on.


At this point, rugs win. Rugs are easier to clean because it is movable so you can just wash it and dry it. The process of washing could be very maximum because you can do it just like you clean or wash your clothes. The small size is the rugs’ advantage.

Although, in some cases, people tend to wash their rugs in public laundry to get more professional washing treatment.

Carpets, on the other hand, are just able to be cleaned by vacuum. You can sweep it to get rid of the dirt or dust.

But the dust and allergens can still be trapped there because the access is still there, even right after you vacuum your carpet. In comparison to rugs, carpet is harder to clean.

The Verdict: Which One is Better?

Comparing both carpets and rugs, I think it is tied, isn’t it?

Carpets and rugs have nearly the same construction technique, same fiber materials, and the same usage in the house. What makes them different is the difficulties in their installation, size, and cleaning.

However, those differences exist because they both exist for different purposes on the floor of your house. Therefore, small rugs or big carpets do not really matter.

That’s because rugs are generally used as the complement or accessories on the floor, meanwhile, carpets are installed wall-to-wall as the flooring option in the house.