13 Better and Cheaper Area Rug Alternatives

Last updated on October 30, 2023

Traditional area rugs can be expensive, and plain rugs are dull. Here then, are some viable alternatives to consider.

Even though traditional rugs are seen as expensive and formal, you can also find them in casual living rooms and bedrooms.

But why use the old area rug when it’s unrightfully expensive and looks old-fashioned? Traditional rugs are not environmentally friendly as, well.

Here are the alternatives for a traditional area rug. These are mostly cheaper and more sustainable options than their traditional counterparts.


cork flooring

Look no further than cork flooring if you’re looking for a fresh, modern approach to decorating your home.

In addition to being fireproof and resistant to mold and mildew, cork is also stain-proof. The best option for any yogi is a cork yoga mat; they’re great.

The cost of cork flooring, which ranges from $3 to $8 per square foot, is in line with that of hardwood, carpeting, and tile.



Most jute rugs can be cleaned with just regular vacuuming. You can use a mixture of water, white vinegar (50/50), diluted laundry soap, and a clean, damp rag to remove stubborn stains.

The flexibility of jute rugs is slightly improved over that of sisal, but this also makes them less long-lasting and more difficult to maintain.

Because of this, professionals recommend placing them in bedrooms and other low-traffic areas instead of public places like hallways and living rooms.

Avoid jute rugs if you’re looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance option because they’re more expensive than other options like rush and grass.

Sisal Rugs

Sisal Rugs

The long leaves of the agave plant create a robust and stiff fiber used to make sisal rugs, which can feel rough on bare feet.

If you keep up with the latest flooring fashions, you’ll know that natural sisal rugs have stood the test of time.

Sisal cannot be wet shampooed, or steam cleaned because of its porous nature, making it vulnerable to stains.

Sisal is long-lasting because it is tough, but its toughness also makes it rough to the touch; if softness is more critical, you may want to look into alternatives like wool or jute.

Prices for sisal weaves in broadloom format, suitable for floor-to-ceiling installation, can vary from $40 to $150 per square yard.

Vinyl Mat

Vinyl Mat

Vinyl matt paint, an emulsion based on water, is flat and non-reflective. This one is the least reflective of the four most common sheens: matt, satin, eggshell, and gloss.

It can be applied to any flat interior surface quickly and easily, making it a popular option.

Longevity is not an issue with vinyl flooring. Ten to twenty years is possible with proper installation and care. Still, vinyl works wonderfully in high-traffic areas of the home.

The top wear layer of vinyl flooring is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and resist stains and scratches.

Vinyl has worse durability than wood floors, but not by much. Resale value is unaffected or even decreased. Primarily if used adhesive during installation, it is challenging to remove.

Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, costing only $1 to $2 per square foot for vinyl sheet flooring and $2 to $3 per square foot for vinyl planks.

Repurposed Blanket

Repurposed Blanket

We always seem to end up with something that needs to be thrown away, whether it’s a piece of furniture, an article of clothing, or even our bed linens.

You can make different things from old blankets and other used bedding. It’s possible to obtain a low-cost carpet.

Repurposed Tablecloth

Repurposed Tablecloth

Embroidered pillow shams, hand or tea towels, decorative napkins, gift wraps, reusable bags, and eco-friendly food packaging are just a few of the many creative ways to put old sheets and towels to new use in the home.

A rug of your design can be made for no additional cost.

Hemp Rug

Hemp Rug

A significant benefit of hemp for busy homeowners and people with allergies or asthma is that it does not attract dirt, dust, and debris like many area rugs.

Naturally resilient, plant-based fiber is an excellent option for busy family homes with children and pets.

The fiber is more complex underfoot than sisal, jute, or Sisal Wool blends, but they are long-lasting and look beautiful in shades ranging from deep brown to copper.

Since hemp is more durable than cotton, rugs woven from it can withstand the elements and use in high-traffic outdoor spaces.

It’s best not to leave the carpet in the rain for long periods, but a little moisture is fine. If that is the case, just let it dry naturally by hanging it up. There is no risk of damage to the rug from the water itself.



Coir, a natural fiber extracted from coconut husks, is used to make ropes, sacks, brushes, floor mats, doormats, tiles, rugs, and carpets.

The husks of coconuts are used to create coir carpeting, a highly durable and long-lasting flooring option.

Coir stands out as exceptionally stable when it comes to natural fiber carpets. The bristles are commonly used to make doormats because of the material’s durability and strength.

Coir is a renewable material that lasts long, doesn’t get dirty, and can be easily cleaned. At the front door, a coir doormat can serve you well for 6-10 years.



Adding a rug made from bamboo can give any room a soothing, organic vibe. It can be used as indoor decorative rugs and in covered outdoor areas.

They hold up well under foot traffic, don’t collect dirt and debris in their fibers, and maintain their good looks for years.

One of the most long-lasting options is a rug made from bamboo. It’s hard to find a more luxurious flooring option than a bamboo rug, which is both soft and aesthetically pleasing.

Canvas Rug

Canvas Rug

Specifically developed cotton-covered nylon thread is used for the sewing of canvas rugs.

After getting wet, this will expand and seal any gaps caused by the stitches.

However, water will always find a way to seep in through the seams.

Canvas is great because it is waterproof, lightweight, and highly breathable, making it an excellent choice for various uses—size and color impact pricing and availability.

Regular Carpet

Regular Carpet

Simply a carpet cut down to fit a specific room’s dimensions, “area rugs” go by various names.

Like most home furnishings, the cost depends on factors such as the item’s quality, the materials it’s made from, and its size.

Typically, the lowest price for a high-quality rug will be around $400, with the highest-end luxury rugs costing $10,000 or more.

Area rugs made of cotton are incredibly soothing to the skin. Cotton rugs are less maintenance than wool rugs because they don’t shed as much.

Cotton also wears out faster than other materials. It is most commonly found in plain, flat-weave patterns.



With enough time and perseverance, anyone, regardless of skill level, can make a rug.

Then you can add “rug maker” to your resume. It’s an effortless procedure. Make a floor covering out of your cozy blanket.

A throw rug can now be taken quite literally by transforming a blanket or soft fabric into a functional bed covering.

The simple solution for slippery floors is to sew the non-slip material onto the back of a throw.


seagrass rug

Rugs made from seagrass are a kind of natural-fiber woven variety. The cost per square yard begins at $20.74.

Wall-to-wall seagrass carpet is ideal for living rooms, while seagrass custom runners are practical in high-traffic areas like hallways and foyers due to their durability.

Due to its lack of absorbency, seagrass makes an excellent material for use in kitchen and dining room rugs due to its lack of absorbency.

Besides its use as a floor covering, seagrass has many other practical applications around the house. Wall-to-wall seagrass carpet is ideal for busy living rooms, while seagrass custom runners are suitable in high-traffic entryways.


Can you use a carpet instead of a rug?

Layering carpet over carpet successfully requires using mats of varying textures. A short pile or looped carpet is ideal for placing an area rug on. Putting down a thick, plush shag rug is a great way to bring coziness and sophistication to the room.

Can you use a wool blanket as a rug?

Make a rug out of your cozy blanket. A throw rug can now be taken quite literally by transforming a blanket or soft fabric into a functional floor covering. A simple solution for hard floors is to sew the non-slip material onto the back of a throw.

What is cheaper than a rug?

If you’re looking for an alternative to rugs that is both affordable and simple to maintain, consider using a blanket instead. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to use this approach. As a first rule, unless it’s a very thick woven blanket, you shouldn’t throw it on the floor.

Do you need a rug on hardwood floors?

Hardwood floors do not require the use of area rugs. There are, however, advantages to placing rugs over wood flooring, such as aesthetic harmony.

How do you make wood floors cozy?

Personalizing and livening up a space is a breeze with the help of throw pillows, curtains, and rugs. Tweed and tartan are great examples of patterned fabrics that can make any room feel cozier, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, especially in a smaller space.


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