Today’s list rounds up the best neutral area rugs that are both affordable, high quality, and under a budget of $400. It’s the list I wish I had when I first moved out (before I made the mistake of buying the wrong sizes, spending too much on cheap materials, and ultimately replacing all of my under-researched purchasing decisions)!
How much a good quality rug cost was the BIGGEST shock to me when I started decorating my first apartment. My bedroom at home was completely carpeted, so I had basically gone 24 years without needing to look at rugs. I would browse online and see cute rugs in passing, but only glancing at the prices. Not to mention how deceiving rug prices are for people like me, ignorant to what size rug my space required, and how drastically prices increase as you size up. I’m sure some of you can relate. 2’ x 3’? That’s basically a bath mat. So when I realized I needed an 8′ x 10′ area rug at LEAST for my first living room, the $199 rug I had my eyes on suddenly jumped to $2,099 for the size I actually needed. Welp.
But by then I had already fallen in love with rugs way outside of my budget… pinning hundreds of inspo images of vintage moroccan patterns… airy concrete lofts with plush wool rugs covering the floors. I basically went from not caring about rugs to considering them art… except instead of hanging on the wall, they hang out on the floor. I researched and pinned the heck out of them, learning about the years of tradition and symbolism woven into the patterns from each region. I could basically write a thesis on rugs at this point, lol. (If you too would enjoy a deep dive into the history behind tribal rugs, start here).
So while my new life long dream is to own an authentic vintage rug, I’ve found some AMAZING and affordable alternatives for all of us on a millennial’s budget. This round up includes my favourite rugs of all time, that are 1) good for large spaces, 2) neutral and timeless, and 3) made out of natural materials — and all under $400. These are the “holy grail” rugs that I find myself constantly recommend friends who face the same rug pains that I did as a new renter.
I will note: while you can definitely find an area rug for under $400, I’m an advocate for spending a little bit more upfront for better quality that will last you years. In the long run, you will spend more replacing something low-quality every year (especially with rugs, which get walked on and spilled on more than anything else in your home). It’s about spending smarter, looking for natural materials like wool, over synthetic, that are more durable and naturally stain resistant.
So with that said, this list rounds up my favorite neutral, area rugs all made out of natural fibres – and under $400!
I would buy this in a heartbeat had it not been on backorder. To be totally honest, I dislike 99% of the rugs that try to replicate traditional Beni Ourain rugs, a type of berber rug that comes from the Beni Ourain tribes in Morocco (you know those cream wool rugs you see with geometric patterns — this is where they come from). BUT this one comes pretty close and is still made of real wool.
Jute is generally a really affordable material. Less soft than wool, but durable. I’m really picky with jute rugs since most of them are a quite warm tan colour — usually too warm/yellowy for my liking. But this colour is the perfect neutral, greyish beige that goes well with any style.
This is exact rug I have sitting in my living room! After a year I still love it as much as I did when I first bought it. I like that it doesn’t have the tassels you usually see on jute rugs, which can read too bohemian sometimes. It started darkening from ivory to a warm beige after a summer of sitting in the sun (as jute does), but I flipped it over and it looks brand new!
This is the rug I recommend to all of my friends and family who ask. It’s SO cozy and works with everything. 100% wool too!
Another super affordable option made out of cotton. If jute is too scratchy for you, cotton is a softer alternative that won’t shed as much as wool.
I love how organic this cotton/wool blend looks. The pattern is still subtle enough but helps break up a big room.
So that wraps our list! Any more finds that you know of that I’m missing? For more rug porn, head to my Rugs Pinterest board, or to my list of budget finds here on the blog.
And if you guys like these posts, let me know. I’d love to continue doing these budget roundups and have them as a resource for you guys (and for myself)!
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