3 Places Where Financial Experts Love to Buy Rugs

updated May 26, 2020
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Rugs can add warmth, texture, and color to virtually any room. But they aren’t just home decor staples, they’re also investment pieces—ones that can cost hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.

So, we turned to savvy financial experts—those who are usually fielding questions about paying off debt or saving up for a down payment on a house—to pose a wild card question: “Where do you buy your rugs?” 

Ahead, their go-to spots and tips for rug shopping from people who are brilliant at making the most of a dollar and spending wisely on just about anything, including rugs. 

Facebook Marketplace

Anna Barker, personal finance expert and founder of LogicalDollar, moved from New York to Cologne, Germany, a few months ago and needed to furnish her new apartment. She found a just-right rug on Facebook Marketplace, which allows you to buy and sell items with others in your community.

Apartment Therapy: Describe your style.
Anna Barker: I love Scandi minimalism, which aligns with my overall frugal nature. My dream room has a few pieces in white and grey, with a pop of color. 

AT: What do you look for in a quality rug?
AB: Natural fibers like wool and cotton last longer than synthetic fibers. At the same time, they’re also more expensive and it can be hard to tell the difference just by looking at a rug. If you’re shopping secondhand rugs, this can be tricky because you can’t always check a tag like you could in a store. The question of low pile or high pile can also affect a rug’s durability, with low pile rugs generally being easier to keep clean and thus tending to last longer. In an ideal world, I’d stick exclusively to hand-woven rugs, which can last forever. Unfortunately, they tend to also have a fairly steep price tag. I consider where I intend to put the rug. That is, if it’s going somewhere that will have more foot traffic, durability becomes more important. I also like to promote sustainability as much as possible, meaning more durable rugs are the way to go in order to reduce waste in the long run. 

AT: What are your best tips for shopping for rugs?
AB: While I’m happy to find secondhand rugs online, I always make sure to go and see them in person. The color can often be very different on a screen compared to reality, plus you always want to be sure you’re happy with the condition that it’s actually in, not just what the advertisement claims.

Credit: Tamara Gavin


Wayfair has a wide range of rugs to choose from at varying price points, says Sandy Yong, a personal finance expert and the author of “The Money Master,” who recently purchased a rug for her living room on the e-commerce site. Plus, the free shipping is a perk, she says.

Apartment Therapy: Describe your style.
Sandy Yong: Modern and classic with gold accents. 

AT: What do you look for in a quality rug?
SY: Since I have two pet rabbits, they tend to chew on things like baseboards. I wanted to find a low-pile rug so that it would discourage my rabbits from tearing it to shreds or trying to burrow into the carpet, creating scratch marks. Low-pile rugs are great for rooms like living rooms that experience a lot of foot (and paw) traffic because they are easy to vacuum.

AT: What are your best tips for shopping for rugs?
SY: Measure the space you have and be sure you find a rug that is proportional to your furniture. You don’t want to have a rug that is too short or too long or else it will look out of place. 


The variety of rugs on Rugs.com was a selling point for Jen Smith, a personal finance expert, author, and creator of ModernFrugality.com, who recently purchased a rug for her living room in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Apartment Therapy: Describe your style.
Jen Smith: Thrifted minimalism.

AT: What do you look for in a quality rug?
JS: Great reviews. I wanted a rug that would hold up in high traffic areas and I knew that meant a short pile and sturdy underside but even if it looks like it has those features you don’t know how it’ll hold up in the real world. I relied on reviews to tell me if I was getting what I wanted.

AT: What are your best tips for shopping for rugs?
JS: Don’t overthink it. I put off many purchases due to analysis paralysis but in the end, a rug purchase is not something you want to devote a lot of time or energy into. If the rug doesn’t work, many stores offer free 30-day returns. If you wake up one morning and decide you want to redecorate you can sell the rug on Facebook Marketplace.

Ready to shop for a rug of your own. Here are 10 commandments that help make rug shopping easier.