Aileen from the interiors & lifestyle blog At Home in Love gives her advice on what to look for in a rug for your nursery. 

So, you’re designing a nursery … the space where your child will sleep and play and where so many sweet memories will be made. You want to get it right, but there are so many extra factors to consider! Safety comes first, of course. You know that you need a tight fitting crib mattress and cordless window treatments. You’re planning to secure all furniture to the walls to prevent tipping. You’ve got outlet plugs ready for when your baby starts crawling. But what about the rest? When designing a nursery, there are so many decisions to be made, and the rules are a little different than in other rooms of the house. Where to begin? Let’s start from the ground up: with the rug.

Nursery with cream SmartStrand rug

Sizing

There’s a rule of thumb when sizing a rug for the living room, that the front legs of every piece of furniture should overlap and anchor the rug. Not so in the nursery—in fact, it’s the opposite. In the nursery, a rug should either be big enough to go all the way under your furniture, or small enough to sit independently of it. You don’t want the crib to be sloped (no matter how slightly), and you’ll want the dresser drawers to open easily too. Personally, I prefer going with a bigger rug. You can always layer a smaller rug on top to highlight a certain feature (like a cozy reading corner). Ordering a custom size (like custom bound SmartStrand rugs) is super helpful for this. You can measure the room and figure out exactly the dimensions you need.

Baby on SmartStrand carpet

Softness

It’s important to give babies tummy time every day. As they get older and start scooting and crawling, even if you set a blanket down on top of the rug, they won’t stay on it for long. So a soft, plush rug makes a lot of sense in the nursery. A thin flatweave rug won’t provide enough cushion, and a rough natural fiber rug could scratch up a baby’s fragile skin. Look for something with the right mix of thick cushioning and luxuriously soft fibers like SmartStrand that you can feel good letting your baby lay on.

Babies playing on SmartStrand rug

Durability

Kids are messy, no way around it. So rather than freaking out if a little juice or dirt gets on the rug, plan ahead and set yourself up for success. SmartStrand rugs are remarkably stain-resistant, durable, and easy to clean. They’re made with built-in spill and soil protection that won’t wear or wash off. The fiber of this rug actually has a 0% absorption rate, meaning liquids literally cannot sink in.

Baby lying on SmartStrand rug

Content

In a nursery more than any other room, you’ll want to make sure the rug you choose doesn’t contain toxic chemicals that can off-gas into the air. Unfortunately, a lot of the cute, affordable synthetic rugs are treated with chemicals that could be harmful to your baby. For a healthier environment, look for a rug that is OEKO-TEX® certified free from harmful substances like SmartStrand, so you can feel safe letting your precious bundle of joy play on top of it.

SmartStrand in the playroom

Design

Of course, looks will likely play a big role in your choice of rug as well! A rug can either make a statement, if you choose something with bold colors or a decorative pattern, or it can create a neutral backdrop for the rest of the room. You can even do both, by layering a big neutral rug with a smaller patterned rug on top. If you plan to have more kids in the future, I recommend going neutral with all the big investment pieces (like the crib, rug and rocking chair). You can always accessorize with smaller pieces that are more colorful and theme-y (like pillows, art, and crib sheets).

Hope these tips give you some confidence to know what to look for in a nursery rug!