4 Expert Tips To Choose A Hallway Runner

It can be hard to figure out how to add some style to hallways. They're these functional spaces, meant purely to pass through on the way to somewhere else without giving the space much thought. However, if you're trying to design a cohesive home style, adding little details in hallways can pull the whole home together. One easy way to add instant style in the hallway is with hallway runners.

Below we'll cover what materials, sizes and styles of hallway runners work best in which home situation.

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Which Materials Are Best for Hallway Runners?

Below are some of the major types of materials you'll find in hallways runners.


These are made out of polypropylene, polyester, nylon or viscose, as a few examples. Synthetics are used because they are easy to clean. They are also on the more affordable side and can be made to be soft. Plus, they're fade-resistant, so you will see them used most commonly in hallway runners because they can withstand plenty of foot traffic.

Yellow Nylon Looped Synthetics Rug
Modern Striped Gray Viscose Synthetics Rug
Blue Polypropylene Power Loom Synthetics Rug
Yellow Polypropylene Power Loom Synthetics Rug
Navy Polypropylene Oriental Synthetics Rug
Polyester Tufted Gray Synthetics Rug


This durable material can often last generations. However, it can be on the more expensive side as a result. It's also good for high-traffic uses, like hallways. It's also soft and can clean easily.

Striped Handmade Tufted Wool Blue Rug
Hand Tufted Wool Beige Rug
Animal Print Tufted Wool Ivory Rug
Navy Blue Hand Tufted Wool Rug
Handmade Tufted Wool Navy Ivory Rug
Floral Tufted Burgundy Wool Rug


Silk is used in rugs to create that high-end shine and softness. However, these can be very delicate, so they're not great for high-traffic areas. It might seem counterintuitive to get a hallway runner in this type of material given that fact, but silk can add a luxury style to out-of-the-way hallway areas.

Handwoven Flatweave Silk Navy Ivory Rug
Hand Knotted Silk Brown Tan Rug
Handwoven Flatweave Silk Gray Orange Rug
Hand Knotted Silk Beige Rug
Silk Oyster Hand Knotted Rug
Flatweave Silk Gray Ivory Rug


You'll often find cotton in a style with a woven look to it. It tends to be more inexpensive. However, it absorbs stains and doesn't retain color as well, making this another material that might work best in hallways with less foot traffic.

Orange Cotton Handmade Looped Rug
Cotton Black Beige Hand Knotted Rug
Handwoven Flatweave Cotton Blue Rug
Flatweave Handwoven Cotton Turquoise Rug
Cotton Sage Handmade Tufted Rug
Cotton Terra Cotta Green Flatweave Rug


This is also on the more affordable end. It also has a very natural texture to it, making it good for casual spaces. Certain rugs may be stain and fade-resistant.

Jute Sisal Handwoven Blue Natural Rug
Handmade Flatweave Multicolor Jute Sisal Rug
Multicolor Jute Sisal Flatweave Rug
Geometric Jute Sisal Navy Blue Rug
Hand Woven Orange Jute Sisal Rug
Ivory Jute Sisal Power Loom Rug
Jute Sisal Natural Latex Rug


This is often in a hand-knotted shag-type texture. Choose leather for tons of texture and a higher-class luxury style. One downside is that they attract and show dirt, so they may need cleaning more often. Also, some styles can curl.

Leather Handmade Shag Saddle Rug
Handwoven Flatweave Leather Natural Cowhide Rug
Hand Knotted Ivory Black Leather Wool Rug
Hand Woven Leather Ivory Rug
Flatweave Handwoven Leather Black Rug
Purple Leather Handwoven Flatweave Rug

How to Choose the Right Size for a Hallway Runner?

What size of hallway runner you choose will depend on the size of your hallway, so start by measuring the space where you plan to put the hallway runner.

A key feature of hallway runners is that they are long and narrow to fit traditional hallway spaces. They also come in a wide variety of sizes to fit almost any hallway. 

Some runner size examples include 2-feet 3-inches by 8-feet, 2-feet 3-inches by 10-feet and 2-feet 3-inches by 12-feet.  The ideal runner size will leave from 10" to 15" of free space between the runner and the walls of your hall. If your hall is particularly long, there might be more space left at the opposite ends of the hall. In this case, make sure you place the runner in the middle of the hall and the free space is distributed equally.

Another tip to remember is that the runner should be aligned with doorways allowing you to walk directly on it when you enter the hall.

Which Styles of Hallway Runners Are Appropriate for Different Home Looks?

You also have many styles to choose from, each of which works with a certain decorating theme.

  • Solid neutral: If you're going for a casual, understated look, choose a solid neutral like gray, brown or black. These can also look good in modern spaces that make use of contrast, such as putting a black rug among white walls.
  • Geometric pattern: These types of patterns are popular in rugs. They work well in modern homes that make use of stark geometry. Certain classy patterns like trellis designs can also work well in both classic and transitional spaces.
  • Floral: Floral area rugs are a very popular design. They can add a romantic look or some natural textures. They're often a good way to add some color to areas that are artsy or make use of accent shades. Intricate floral patterns can also give a regal or classic style a needed accent.
  • Abstract: It's also popular to find abstract patterns on rugs, most commonly in some type of swirl pattern. This is another way to get some color into the space if you go for a colorful design. They can also work well in retro Mid-Century homes, when abstract art was at its height of popularity.
  • Bright colors: This design can work well as a solid color on a rug, if you want to breathe some color into a space, such as if you're working with accent colors or monochrome styles. Multicolor designs are great for artsy spaces or children's rooms.
  • Oriental: You can also find this regal rug type in hallway runners. These are must-haves in classic or upper-class styles.
Oriental Polypropylene Orange Navy Rug
Floral Polypropylene Power Loom Rug
Geometric Polypropylene Gray Black Rug
Solid Plain Black Power Loom Rug
Polypropylene Power Loom Neutral Color Rug
Abstract Polypropylene Blue Power Loom Rug

What is Piling and Is It Important?

While shopping for area rugs of any size, you might see the term "piling." This refers to the density and length of the fibers. You might see it referred to as low/high, short/long or flat/shaggy. In layman's terms, piling means how fluffy the carpet is. In general, low pile is less than ¼- inch, medium is ¼ to ½-inch and long is ½ to ¾-inch.   

In general, short rugs tend to be more durable. They can also be cleaned/vacuumed easier than long pile rugs. That means if you are considering different hallway runners for a high-traffic hallway, you may want to look into lower piles. However, you don't need the shortest pile, as those can often be too delicate for high-traffic areas.

So what do you do if you just like the style and softness of shag/high-pile hallway runners? Consider putting them in hallway spaces with lower foot traffic, like a back hallway around rooms that are used less frequently.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.