The majority of carpet materials are made from synthetic fibers. They are less expensive and resistant to stains.
This might be a small exaggeration since every carpet feature matters in making a durable carpet. After all, a chain is only a strong as its weakest link. But the carpet fiber will have the biggest impact in how your carpet performs. It’s worth spending some extra time on this section. Each carpet material has unique properties that impact its ability to come clean, stain resistance, and comfort.
There are six specific types of fibers widely used for carpets. They can be used individually or combined for additional features.
6 Types of Carpet Materials
Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that appears and feels like wool. It is resistant against moisture, mildew, fading and staining. It is widely used in both velvet and plush level loop carpets. Even though it is durable, it is not appropriate for high traffic areas.
Blends are made up from both nylon and olefin materials. The two fiber types lend to uneven stain resistance rendering stains become noticeable.
Indeed nylon is homeowners most popular choice. This isn’t surprising because nylon is disputable the best in two of the most important performance categories. Such as stain resistance and durability. If comfort is important, soft nylon is also an option.
Another popular carpet material but for different reasons than nylon. Olefin may be the cheapest carpet material. And when you are getting quotes for carpet, cheap sounds good. Another benefit is olefin has impressive spill resistance.
Where olefin lacks is durability. It attracts oils making it look dirty, and it gets matted down prematurely. This can spell disaster for high-traffic areas.
Polyester is usually found in a cut pile carpet. It’s like an environmentally friendly version of olefin. It’s not that the two materials are related, but the way they perform is. Standard polyester looks great when it is new, is comfortable, is relatively inexpensive, and can have great stain resistance.
Recycled Carpet Materials
Polypropylene is almost as soft as nylon. Also known as olefin, polypropylene fibers are similar to natural wool and are often used as a synthetic wool substitute. This fiber is highly stain-resistant but is prone to soiling, or holding onto oils which in turn collect dirt. It is also not as resilient as nylon and is therefore commonly used for loop-style carpet, such as Berber.
Wool is a natural, luxurious, long-lasting material that is the softest carpet fiber you can find. Unfortunately, low-grade wool is more susceptible to staining, while high-grade wool is extremely expensive. Some manufacturers combine wool with synthetic fibers to create a carpet with the benefits of both.