Tiptoe Through the Tuftness
February 3, 2021 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Wanting to buy a high-quality rug online and not get burned again

Looking for a runner rug of a specific size (~3'x8') and I want something traditional in style, high-quality so I won't want to throw away in a few years. I recently bought a large Persian wool area rug at an online retailer and then learned enough about rugs to detect it had been artificially aged (noticeably streaked fading). Also, the contrast on the online photo had been turned up quite a bit so the colors seemed significantly brighter and darker that in person, etc...

I'm not a car owner so it's difficult to go rug shopping and I love the ability to access stuff online...the big sites let you search and filter by all kinds of criteria but then I suspect they're actually ripping me off.

-- What online rug sellers do you recommend?
-- Also, is hand-knotted significantly better?
-- What other signs of quality would I be able to look for online?

Thank you!
posted by BeatriceB to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've purchased several rugs through RugsUSA and have always been happy with them, except for the one that I had to return because I hadn't read the description fully enough to realize it didn't meet my criteria. Of course, I've been in the market for wool area rugs and indoor/outdoor rugs, not aged Persian rugs so YMMV. Their search engine is quite good, too.
posted by DrGail at 9:43 AM on February 3, 2021

I frequently end up with products of a higher quality than I want or need. (Like floss that doesn't fall apart after one use.) This is because I look for ethically-produced products. You might try searching for direct-trade or fair-trade rugs made with ethically-raised wool.
posted by aniola at 11:18 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

I got this one, and other than the fact that it filled the vacuum cleaner with blue fluff for quite some time I've been happy with it for being wool and being thick (and enormous, and cheap for what it is, both requirements). It's wearing well. Living Spaces have more in their range that meet your more modest size requirements.

I don't think Ikea's too bad either - I have a fake Persian style in polypropylene that has lasted forever and I have no complaints with - but it's a bit of an outlier in their range, they tend more towards European modern styles I don't much like. They also do natural fibres, if that is a consideration.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 3:23 PM on February 3, 2021

I’ve usually found Crate and Barrel and West Elm to be reliable.
posted by matildaben at 6:04 PM on February 3, 2021

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