Why Are Area Rugs So Expensive? (Five Factors)

When shopping for a carpet, you may have come across an expensive area rug without understanding the reason for its high price point.

This article breaks down why area rugs are costlier than other types and how much they cost to help you budget correctly.

What Makes Area Rugs Expensive?

Various factors influence the price of a rug. But generally, area rugs are more expensive than other carpeting types mainly because of the fabric and the style used in making them. Most manufacturers hand make area rugs, making the process long and tiring. To compensate for this, they will sell them at a higher price. Also, these rugs feature a high-quality yarn that’s durable. It’s why area rugs are passed to generations.

Five Factors Influencing the High Cost of Area Rugs

Several aspects make the cost of these rugs go up or down. These include;

1. The Material Used

The material a manufacturer uses in making an area rug greatly influences its price.

This material determines the rug’s quality, durability, and clean-ability.

If the material is durable or difficult to get, the price will be higher. The vice versa is true.

Most people use natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool or synthetic materials like polyester and nylon when making area rugs.

Natural fibers have to be grown and cared for, making the rugs expensive compared to synthetic.

Let’s break down the different materials used in making these rugs:


This is the most expensive option as the material is strong and soft.

Wool rugs have a plush soft texture compared to synthetic ones.


Many people around the world love the look and feel of silk rugs.

But, they are expensive since they offer a shiny texture that gives out luxury from every area of the rug.

Cleaning is best done by professionals to leave them feeling and looking good.

As they are quite luxurious, they aren’t recommended for heavy traffic areas or places visited by kids and pets frequently.


If you want an inexpensive option, this stain-resistant rug can be perfect for you.

Polyester reacts mildly to spills.

But, it is not as durable. So rugs made with this material have a short lifespan. The fibers loosen up quickly and more easily than rugs made of natural fibers.


A better alternative to polyester is nylon. The material is versatile and long-lasting.

Plus, it can be used on houses with kids and pets and which experience heavy foot traffic.

But, it’s not an imperfect material.

The disadvantage is that nylon quickly absorbs water. Therefore, if there are any spills, your rug may be easily damaged.


It’s a soft and fluffy material. It makes rugs that you can clean easily.

However, compared to wool, the material is not as durable.

So, it is not recommended for rooms receiving high traffic.

But, it is suitable for areas with kids and pets. Plus, if you are looking for an affordable rug made of natural fibers, it is a great alternative to wool and silk.


This material enhances the visual of the rooms it is placed in.

Although light brown, it can be dyed into different colors.

But, it sheds a little, making it unsuitable for those who love perfection. Jute has a similar nature to sisal and seagrass, which are also used in making rugs.

2. The Method Used When Making the Rug

There are two methods of making rugs; hand-making and machine making.

Handmade rugs are generally costlier as they require time and skills than machine-made ones, produced in masses.

The knots are weaved by hands individually to form a specific loom.

The process is highly time-consuming, even for expert artisans.

But, the craftsmanship involved makes the rugs highly durable.

The artisans ensure that every knot is woven safely and secured.

On the flip side, machine-made rugs are easy to make, and one can make several of them.

For this reason, they are readily available and a cheaper option. But, they aren’t as long-lasting compared to handmade rugs.

There are also hand-tufted rugs made partially by hands and partially by a mechanized tool.

They take less time and skills. Therefore, making them cheaper than handmade rugs and a slightly more durable option compared to machine-made.

3. The Dye Used

Fabric dyes influence the prices of rugs.

Manufacturers either use natural or chemical dyes. Natural dyes are usually lightfast, meaning they will stay for a long time.

Therefore, they make the rug more durable but costlier.

Also, rugs dyed this way are labor-consuming, making them more expensive.

Chemical dyes are cheaper and often give vibrant colors.

But, they usually fade quickly depending on the dye and the method of dying used.

Don’t be surprised to see your rugs fading after a few months of sun exposure to heavy foot traffic.

4. Knots Per Inch

Area rugs are sometimes expensive since they are works of art.

Every knot tells of the labor and time the designer used to weave it. The more knot density a rug has, the more time it takes to make it.

Therefore, it will be sold at a higher price. High knot counts lead to shiny and plush rugs.

That is why most Oriental or Persian rugs are expensive. All knots are handwoven, making them unique to your rug.

5. Size and Country of Origin

Size is an obvious factor influencing the cost.

Rugs pricing depends on the square foot or square meter.

For this reason, more oversized rugs will always be costlier than smaller ones.

Additionally, bear in mind that the cost of labor and skills involved varies in countries.

So this affects the prices that the consumer will be offered.

A hand-knotted rug from a Moroccan artisan will not be the same as a power-loomed rug from China. That is because the latter requires fewer skills and labor costs.

Three Tips When Shopping for an Area Rug

1. Buy Used?

If you don’t have a big budget, think of buying a used rug.

This way, you can get a good deal at an affordable price.

You will have much more value than a new, better-made one if you can get an older rug.

You can check whether the local estate has rugs for sale to see them in person. Or, you can also check online from an auction shop.

2. Long Lasting

Additionally, please buy something that will last.

Even if your budget is tight, it’s better to add some extra money and get a high-quality rug that you won’t need to replace.

Handmade wool is an excellent option as it will last for many years.

But, if your budget doesn’t fit pure wool, consider getting a blended material.

3. Natural Fibers

Again, always opt for natural fibers as they hold color and are scent repellent.

Plus, they are easier to clean. If you have to buy a synthetic fiber, please avoid polyester.

Although it is waterproof, this material is stiff and attracts and holds dirt easily.

So, you will need to vacuum your carpet often to keep it clean.


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