Which shag rugs are best?
There are few things more homey than a thick, plush shag rug under your bare feet. Characteristically soft and cozy, shag rugs are a versatile option that works with most decor and in most rooms. Choosing the right one comes down to a few key factors.
For its versatility, price and quality, the Safavieh Hudson Shag Collection rises to the top as a favorite shag rug to buy. It’s easy to clean, affordable and the collection features several designs to fit any aesthetic.
What to know before you buy a shag rug
Adding an area rug to a room brings the whole design together. If you want to choose the best shag rug for your home, understand these key factors:
One of the biggest mistakes buyers make is purchasing a rug that’s too small. Most rugs are sold in standard sizes: 3 feet by 5 feet, 4 feet by 6 feet, 5 feet by 8 feet, 8 feet by 10 feet or 9 feet by 12 feet. You should choose your rug size based on the furniture arrangement rather than the room size. This will ensure you get a rug that looks appropriate in your existing decor.
A great way to figure out what size rug you need is to use the tape trick. Grab painters tape and a tape measure and map out where the rug would sit on your floor. Try a couple of different sizes. This will give you a visual of how the rug will look in relation to the rest of your furniture.
Pay attention to how a rug was dyed. Depending on the dying process, your rug will be more or less resistant to stains. Solution-dyed rugs are the most stain resistant. These have the color added during the manufacturing process rather than being applied to the fibers later. This allows the fiber to go all the way through the fiber, making it highly stain resistant and easier to clean.
Keep in mind where you’ll be putting your shag rug. Because shag rugs have long, loose fibers, they are harder to clean compared to their lower-piled cousins. Spills use the longer fibers to travel down into the base of the rug, making catching and treating stains difficult.
Because of that, you may want to reconsider placing your rug in your kitchen or a playroom. If you’re set on having a shag rug in a room where spills and mess will happen, go with a synthetic fiber. These tend to be easier to clean compared to natural fibers like wool.
What to look for in a quality shag rug
Face weight and fiber twist
Two factors will tell you about the quality of a shag rug: face weight and fiber twist. The face weight of your rug refers to the amount of fabric used in the construction. Fiber twist is the number of times each fiber was twisted.
The higher the face weight and fiber twist, the better the rug. It means it’s denser and better constructed, indicating it will likely last longer. This will correlate with a higher price point.
Pay attention to any warranties offered on your rug. While lower-quality synthetic rugs typically don’t have warranties attached to them, higher-quality rugs likely will. Warranties that cover stains, wear, quality and fading are important to understand. Like any warranty, there will be exceptions they don’t cover. Read through any warranty a rug has before you buy it.
The best shag rug won’t shed. Shedding is when the fibers come loose from the rug backing. It’s a messy phenomenon that usually indicates poor or lower-quality construction. It will make your rug look worn out much faster.
Many rugs have nonslip pieces on their backing to keep them in place. If you can, get a rug that has these built in. It will eliminate the need for a nonslip rug liner and make sure your rug stays put.
Polypropylene or wool
If you want the softest shag rug, go with a wool shag rug or a polypropylene synthetic shag rug. As a natural fiber, wool is inherently soft and durable but comes at a price. To stay within a budget, you can choose a polypropylene synthetic rug. It has the same feel as wool, but it’s easier to clean and more affordable.
The higher the pile, the shaggier your shag rug. A good shag rug will have a pile of at least 1 inch. The best shag rugs have a 2-inch pile. This will feel great and look better longer because the risk of crushing the fibers is lower the longer they are.
How much you can expect to spend on a shag rug
The price of your rug depends on the construction, material and size. A decent shag rug costs around $50-$500, while higher-quality rugs cost about $2000-$10,000.
Shag rug FAQ
How do you clean a shag rug?
A. First, shake out your shag rug and then thoroughly vacuum it. You should do this a couple of times per week to stay on top of the dust and debris buildup in the fibers. After you vacuum, rake your fingers through the fibers to lift the pile and keep it fluffy.
When your shag rug needs a deep cleaning, follow the same steps as regular cleaning. Then, sprinkle some baking soda into the fibers. This will remove odors and brighten the fibers. It will also trap dust. After that, use a dry carpet shampoo per the instructions on the product. Finish by lifting the pile as you would with regular cleaning.
How long will a shag rug last?
A. The longevity of your shag rug depends on the construction and material of your rug, as well as the time and effort you put into maintaining it. A low-quality rug coupled with poor maintenance will only last at most a few years before it looks worse for wear. In contrast, a high-quality shag rug with good maintenance habits can last decades.
What are the best shag rugs to buy?
Top shag rug
What you need to know: For a quality shag rug that looks good in any room, this is the best option.
What you’ll love: Machine-woven and nonshedding, this versatile, synthetic shag rug is the plush shag rug you’ve been looking for. It has a reputation for being easy to vacuum and the range of styles lets you find exactly the right accent piece for your home.
What you should consider: It’s more expensive per square foot than other options, but that reflects the craftsmanship.
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Top shag rug for the money
What you need to know: You won’t find another shag rug this size and this quality for such a low price.
What you’ll love: One of the things users love is the sponge interlayer that makes this rug so soft to walk on. It’s made with a high-quality, eco-friendly material that’s soft to the touch and it’ll stay in place with the rubber pads on the bottom.
What you should consider: Though it’s machine washable, you have to hang it dry.
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Worth checking out
What you need to know: A quality synthetic shag rug, this is a great option for just about any room in the house.
What you’ll love: Made of soft polypropylene, this synthetic rug is super plush with a 2-inch pile to sink your toes into. Its quality construction means a durable weave with minimal shedding so your rug will look great for years.
What you should consider: Some users noted an unpleasant smell from the rug when they first got it.
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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