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The Best Rugs for Your Nursery

a little boy lying in front of a crib on a soft cloud-shaped rug

Decorating your baby’s first room can be an exciting adventure into your personal style and parental approach. When it comes to actually implementing those style choices, creating a room from scratch is a daunting task. Start from the ground up by addressing a place that you and your baby will be spending lots of time—the floor. From diaper changes to the first time they roll over, the floor will be a constant visual and tactile experience that translates to their brain development. With the right balance of function and fashion, the floor can become a beautiful space for babies to explore their new world. Here are some wonderful nursery rugs we recommend.

Purchasing a Nursery Rug

Keep these things in mind when selecting the perfect rug for your baby’s room:

  • Wash Requirements: As many parents know, children are talented at creating messes. Young babies will be prone to making messy situations, so consider a rug that is machine washable or is tolerant of spot cleaning. Make sure to check the product description for individual instruction. Parents will want to avoid bleach on colorful rugs.
  • Material: Synthetic fibers are durable and sometimes machine-washable, making synthetic rugs ideal for messy babies. If you are worried about allergies, look for non-shedding fabrics or rugs with low piles. Shag rugs are perfect for little hands to yank on, so avoid using these as play mats. However, these soft rugs are great for comforting parent’s tired feet and add aesthetic texture to a room’s decor.
  • Color: Visual stimulation is important during early development, as it helps the brain stimulate visual information that creates color detection later in life. Newborn retinas can only detect high contrast between light and dark colors, so the soft shades typically used in a nursery can be underwhelming to a baby’s visual center. Rugs with distinct lines and lots of contrasting shades will help develop this area of the brain. Parents can change up the soft pastels of the room by adding a rug that contrasts with the flooring or one that displays well-defined images.
  • Size: Nursery rugs should span the length of the walkable area of the space. Avoid rugs that tuck under furniture, as they will be more difficult to remove for washing. If your home already has carpeted floors, take advantage of small rug designs by populating different areas of the room with interesting designs. Shag rugs in front of the baby rocking chair would be a comfort to the parent’s feet, while a playmat would function well near the toy basket.

Best Design: kroma Carpets Machine Washable Faux Sheepskin

a fluffy, white, cloud-shaped rug on a wooden floor

Nursery rooms should be full of dreams of the future as parents prepare for their children to flourish. Bring that dreamy aesthetic to life with the help of this soft white cloud rug that creates a sky wherever you place it. The faux fabric mimics the soft fluff of animal fur without the price tag of real sheepskin. The overlock edge backing makes this adorable rug durable to last through the baby’s first night to their first steps. This shag rug cradles parents’ feet to provide comfort and stability during the late nights and early mornings. While messes in a baby room are inevitable, this machine washable rug can handle the worst spills and stay soft as the child grows up.

Best Design

Best Animal Design: GABWE Round Giraffe Rug Carpet

a baby sleeping on a circular rug with a cartoon giraffe head on it

This playful animal rug adds a bit of imaginative design to a nursery room without taking away from your original room design. The high-contrast fabric colors are stimulating to the baby’s brain, while the soft fabric provides a welcoming embrace. With a 35.4-inch diameter, this rug is large enough to serve as a crawling mat in their first days and play mat as they grow older. The short pile of the rug and cotton material reduces the chances of babies pulling out strands of fabric. If you have a baby with a wilder personality, trade in the giraffe for the lion print to match that fiery personality.

Best Animal Design

GABWE Round Giraffe Rug Carpet Cotton for Kids Floor Play mats Kids Room Decoration 35.4 inches

Introduce your baby to their first wild animal through the welcoming portraits of a giraffe or lion.

Best Play Rug: Mybecca Kids Rugs Street Map

a rectangular rug with a cartoon town with roads drawn out

The challenge of keeping toy cars and figures following the road of this make-believe town challenges your baby from a young age. While crawling around the map with their favorite toy in hand, young children will develop fine motor skills and problem-solving skills through the twists and turns of the grey streets. Babies will love the stimulating colors and open crawl space of this 5- by 7-foot rug. The rug is made from a high-quality nylon loop pile and constructed with surged edging, resulting in a highly durable rug that resists wear over time. The low pile fabric is supported by a nonslip rubber backing that ensures secure footing while carrying the baby around the nursery.

Best Play Rug

Mybecca Kids Rugs Street Map in Grey 5' X 7' Childrens Area Rug - Non Skid Gel Backing (59" x 82")

The twisty streets and colorful buildings of this large play rug can stimulate your child's imagination from a young age.

Best Color Options: PAGISOFE Soft Girls Room Rug

a closeup of a pink soft rug with a bouquet and a pillow on it

A newborn baby’s memories will largely consist of their very first bedroom, so adding an extra-soft rug that fits your creative style is the perfect way to introduce them to your personality and begin creating special moments. With 19 vibrant colors to pick from, this shag rug can fit any style from basic neutrals to neon hues. The high pile creates a plush feeling on your feet that will welcome you as you enter your baby’s room. Rocking the baby to sleep will be worry-free as the rubber backing of this rug stabilizes your body. When your child is ready to explore their room, the nontoxic materials keep them healthy and happy on the soft rug.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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