Choosing and purchasing new carpet can be a daunting task, especially with how many options are out there. You have to consider nap length, color variations, and whether or not it is made of synthetic fibers. While it would be great if one type of carpet was definitively the best, that unfortunately isn’t the case. However, we’re going to explain some of the Pros and Cons of synthetic and wool carpet to help you determine what would be best for you and your home.
There are three types of synthetic carpeting: nylon, polyester, and polypropylene (AKA olefin). Each of which has slightly different benefits.
- Nylon is the most sustainable of the synthetic fibers and durable. It does not crush as easily, resists abrasion and with proper treatment can resist stains.
- Polyester does not fade easily, is available in a variety of colors, and is stain resistant.
- Polypropylene is inexpensive, the most resistant to stains (excluded those that are oil based) and does not fade easily in sunlight.
Given the general stain resistance and durability of synthetic carpet, it would be better suited for homes with pets or children that are more prone to accidents. However it is good to be aware of some of the drawbacks to synthetic carpet.
- Nylon is more susceptible to static electricity, if it is not treated for that particular problem.
- Polyester is more likely to have pilling, shedding and matting (in high traffic areas).
- Polypropylene is inexpensive but not very resilient to abrasion, and crushing can occur. It also is available in limited colors due to the way in which it is dyed.
Wool has been the main material for making carpets for centuries, and for good reason.
- Wool carpeting is softer to the touch, and naturally repels dirt.
- Because it is a natural fiber it is environmentally friendly, and helpful to your indoor environment. It can absorb around 30% of its weight in moisture and can thus act as a de humidifier.
- It is resistant to crushing, and does not melt.
- Can come in a variety of colors because of how well it accepts and retains color.
Despite all these great attributes of wool carpeting, there are a few things to keep in mind with wool.
- It is much more expensive than its synthetic counterpart.
- Because it accepts and retains color so well it is more susceptible to staining.
- Depending on the condition of the fibers and the ingredients in a cleaning product, the fibers can be easily damaged.
- It is loved by moths and carpet beetle larvae. But can be treated with an insecticide.
Both synthetic and wool carpeting can be a great addition to a home, as they both have excellent attributes. However it is important to consider where in your home the carpet will be and who will be on it. If it is in a high traffic area, or an area with high potential for spills perhaps synthetic would be a better option. Whereas if it is an area such as a bedroom where the feel of the carpet an the air quality is more important, you would probably prefer wool.