Which Persian rugs are best?

Persian rugs come from a long cultural tradition of carpet weaving in Iran. These gorgeous rugs are known for their intricate patterns and heirloom quality. Whether you’re decorating a contemporary or vintage-style home, a Persian carpet is the perfect area rug for any room in the house. With a luxurious texture underfoot, you’re sure to feel like royalty everywhere you walk.

Which Persian rug you choose comes down to a few factors: how you style your home and how large of a rug you need. That said, you can’t go wrong with the Luxe Weavers Distressed Cream Area Rug

What to know before you buy a Persian rug

What is a Persian rug?

These beautiful carpets are characterized by their complex geometric patterns and motifs. Typical Persian rugs have a center region cast in rich color with tendril-like designs in it. This field can take up the whole carpet or be framed within one or more large borders. The patterns and images woven into Persian rugs come from tribal or Islamic tradition and require considerable planning and master craftsmanship. 

Types of Persian rugs

Dating back over 2,500 years, Persian rugs are made from hundreds of different patterning and weaving traditions. The following three categories are by no means comprehensive but give a general idea of what aesthetic to expect from Persian rugs and other rugs inspired by them:

  • Tribal: Tribal rugs are made from patterns passed down within the various ethnic and tribal groups of Iran, each with their own history and tradition. Patterns range from symmetric to asymmetric on wool or cotton.
  • Village: These rugs are traditionally made and sold in local markets. They have less complex designs than city carpets, and they’re smaller. Because they’re made without a reference pattern, they’re more stylized and often have a few idiosyncrasies woven in. 
  • City: These are mass-produced rugs sold as examples of the highest quality crafted by centuries of honed skill. Larger and intricate, city rugs have one border and can be woven from wool or silk.

How to style a Persian rug

Despite their ornate appearance, a Persian rug can fit into even the most austere of interior design schemes. When considerably worn or aged, a Persian rug adds a touch of patinated texture to your home. Limited color palettes are best for minimal or modern decors. If you’re lavishing your room in antique sophistication, deep, saturated colors and complex designs are the go-to aesthetic. 

What to look for in a quality Persian rug

Color

Persian rugs are commonly a mixture of deep reds and blues, with red serving as the dominant color of the whole carpet. If you don’t want something so vivid and primary, look for carpets that use the spectrum of colors around red and blue, such as rust orange, turquoise and even warm beiges. Aging and artificial aging are also great ways to tone down a Persian rug’s colors. 

Material

  • Wool: Most Persian rugs are wool. This high-quality material is durable and soft. Look for Kork or Kurk wool, which is premium wool taken from sheep grown in Central Asia. 
  • Cotton: A cheaper alternative to wool or silk, cotton is a little less durable but easy to clean. 
  • Silk: Identifiable by its satiny sheen, silk is one of the finest materials found in Persian rugs. These are the most expensive and require professional cleaning. 
  • Synthetic: Many retailers use materials like polyester and viscose to mass-produce their own interpretations of Persian rugs. If you’re looking for that aesthetic on a budget and don’t mind the inauthenticity, synthetic Persian carpets are a solid choice. 

Size

The size of the rug you choose depends on which room you’re putting it in. Persian rugs can be quite large, but smaller options are great for hallways, vestibules and other spaces. For larger area rugs, you’ll want to think about the space you’re trying to fill. Rugs are best sized as a means to divide a room up. For example, a rug just large enough for a couch, chairs and coffee table creates a space for gathering by bringing these disparate pieces of furniture together. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Persian rug

While an authentic Persian rug could set you back thousands of dollars and is quite difficult to get, a quality Persian-inspired or Oriental rug can easily be purchased for $80-$300. 

Persian rug FAQ

What’s the difference between Persian and Oriental rugs?

A. Persian rugs are rugs made solely in Iran or by the various nomadic ethnic groups from the region. Oriental rugs are a similar visual style of rug produced around the world. 

How do I care for my Persian rug?

A. Whether authentic or Persian-inspired, upkeep is crucial. Make sure to dust off your carpet regularly, and wash it according to its material requirements. It’s always a good bet to test a small portion of the carpet with soap and water before washing the whole thing; you don’t want to find that the dyes come right off when doing the whole thing. Lastly, never wash a silk carpet yourself. Get it professionally cleaned. 

What’s the best Persian rug to buy?

Top Persian rug

Persian Area Rug Carpet

Luxe Weavers Distressed Cream Area Rug

What you need to know: A refined and aged take on the Persian rug, this beige and turquoise carpet looks great in boho and minimalist decors. 

What you’ll love: This store offers a number of Persian-inspired rugs. Each is artificially aged for a soft-colored, patinated look. They’re available in many different sizes from small foyer rugs to long runners and large area rugs. These rugs are synthetic, so they’re easy to clean.

What you should consider: This doesn’t have the fringe of an authentic Persian rug.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Persian rug for the money

nuLOOM Gracie Machine Washable Distressed Medallion Area Rug

nuLOOM Gracie Machine-Washable Distressed Medallion Area Rug

What you need to know: With a design inspired by the traditional Persian medallion motif, this distressed rug features subtle coloration for seamless integration in your modern home. 

What you’ll love: Made from polyester, this nuLOOM carpet is as close as you can get to an authentic Persian rug on a budget. Its stitched edges retain that frayed look and the detailing recalls the aesthetic of village rugs. It’s 4 by 6 feet, so it’s best as an area rug in a living room, dining room or bedroom. The nonslip backing eliminates the need for a carpet pad. 

What you should consider: This rug has a low pile, so it won’t be soft and plush underfoot.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Safavieh Vintage Hamadan Collection OrientalTraditional Persian Non Shedding Area Rug

Safavieh Vintage Hamadan Collection Persian Nonshedding Area Rug

What you need to know: Woven in luscious reds and blues, the Safavieh Persian-inspired rug is a stunning statement piece for any living or dining room.

What you’ll love: Featuring a geometric pattern, this carpet evokes an antique aesthetic with a contemporary vibe. It’s synthetic, so you can clean it easily without worrying about stains. The pattern comes in a few color options, including monotones. The size ranges available are near infinite. 

What you should consider: Some feel the pattern isn’t as clear in real life as it is in the photos. Specifically, fuzzy, desaturated areas were noted by a few customers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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