Different Types of Carpets and Materials

Different Types of Carpets and Materials

Carpets are floor coverings made of textiles that are used to bring a room together, on top of providing visual interest and insulation. Carpets can also be a statement piece in your home, making a room that has felt a bit dull feel more unique and interesting. Choosing a carpet, however, can be a challenge. But before we discuss how to choose your perfect carpet, let’s cover some basic carpet terminology.

Carpets are made of 4 main elements:

  • Fiber - the material that the carpet is made of (either natural or synthetic)
  • Pile - how each fiber is arranged on the carpet (cut, loop, cut and loop pile, etc.)
  • Grade - the quality of a carpet; how long a carpet will last depending on the type of fiber, how the carpet is made, and the face weight (the amount of yarn you can find in a given pile - the higher, the better)
  • Backing - the back of the carpet that generally consists of primary (where the fibers attach) and secondary backing (the barrier between the floor and the primary backing)

Now that you know how carpets are made, we can go over some other carpet details.

Carpet Material Types and Characteristics

The material a carpet is made of defines its quality, visual appearance, and cost. Carpet materials are divided into two main categories:

  • Natural fibers
  • Synthetic fibers

Let’s see what materials fall into each category and explore their benefits and drawbacks.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are derived from plants and animals, and are usually biodegradable. Below, we’ll go over the most common carpet materials made from natural fibers.


Cotton carpets are extremely soft and luxurious, are their price tag reflects that. Even though it’s quite easy to clean, cotton is a material that requires a lot of maintenance to prevent fading, similar to cotton clothes, so it’s not the best option if you have pets or small children.


Wool carpets are quite popular due to being natural, durable, stain and flame-resistant, and luxurious. They’re often handmade, so they’re perfect for people with allergies and those sensitive to chemicals.

They do come with a couple of downsides, though. If used in moisture-rich environments, there’s a possibility of mold development. Moreover, they’re prone to tearing after being used for a long time due to their natural origin. Wool can also be combined with other synthetic fibers to improve its durability, however, it won’t be 100% natural.


Another type of natural material that’s used for making carpets is the fiber derived from the Sisal cactus plant. This is a tremendously strong type of fiber which makes these carpets really durable, so they’re great as both indoor and outdoor carpets that are especially perfect for patio spaces.


Last but not least on our list of natural carpet materials is leather, a material used for luxurious carpets that’s known for its durability. Leather can be used either on its own or in combination with wool or even viscose. Due to it being such a versatile material, it can be incorporated in a lot of different interior design trends ranging from traditional to contemporary. A leather carpet is the perfect statement piece that’ll last you for years to come.

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are made using a chemical synthesis process, and here are some popular choices.


Polypropylene is a heavy-duty synthetic material that’s commonly used for indoor and outdoor carpets. Due to the similarity these fibers have to wool fibers, polypropylene carpets are often used as a more budget-friendly alternative to wool carpets. On top of that, polypropylene carpets are fade-resistant, low-maintenance, and moisture-resistant, a perfect choice if you have small children or pets.


Nylon is one of the most popular materials for carpets due to being easy to clean, soft, durable, stain-resistant, and abrasion-resistant. Since nylon carpets dry easily, they’re perfect for outdoor and bathroom use. Furthermore, nylon has high elasticity, so it really holds its shape, even after it’s been stretched. These carpets come at an affordable price (more expensive than polypropylene but cheaper than wool) and are a great substitute for silk.


Polyester carpets are the more economical version of their natural fiber counterparts. Consumers love them due to the vibrant patterns and colors they have, but also because they’re fade and stain-resistant. Just keep in mind that the weaving of the carpet isn’t very flexible, so it can get damaged if heavy-weight furniture is placed on top of it.


Acrylic carpets are commonly called “synthetic wool carpets”, and they come at a lower price point but offer many of the same features as wool carpets. These rugs are resistant to stains and static electricity, but also to fade and moisture. For all of these reasons, acrylic carpets are often used in spaces around the home where there’s a lot of movement. The only downside is that this material tends to turn brown if you spill chemicals on it.


Triexta is a famous synthetic fiber made from corn which makes it a renewable and sustainable source of fiber for carpets. It has similar features to polyester and nylon, and is also pretty dense. It’s stain-resistant, durable, and soft, however, due to its fine fibers, it can be a bit difficult to vacuum.

How Materials Influence the Aesthetics and Design of a Space?

Materials are probably one of the most important design aspects to consider when designing spaces. They can emphasize the shape, contrast, proportion, symmetry, and size of a space, but they can also act as statement pieces when used as decorative pieces, or for larger furniture pieces.

On the one hand, they can act as a feature that brings the whole design together, and on the other hand, they can be the feature that makes a space feel overwhelming. Therefore, the materials you intend to use in a space and their texture should be carefully considered before implementing them into your furniture, carpets, and other interior design items.

Adding Carpets to Enhance the Ambiance of a Space

Adding a carpet can complete a room’s design and bring all the other elements together, but it can also damage a room’s balance. To enhance the ambiance of a space, keep the following in mind:

  • Texture. A carpet’s texture can either relax or irritate you, depending on how easy it is to clean, your preferences regarding patterns, and so on. Texture can also be a way to make a carpet feel unique. You can go for different patterns, colors and color variations, and you can even mix and match a few different carpets in a room. It’s a good idea to choose textured carpets for busy households that can easily be cleaned in case of spilled drinks, dirty footprints, or child and pet accidents, while it’s best to leave plush carpets for lof traffic areas.
  • Color. Color affects our mood, which is why choosing the color of a carpet that will cover most of our room is extremely important. Even though color preference is subjective, there are a few basic guidelines when it comes to carpets. Red, orange, and yellow are high-energy colors, so it’s best to save them for living rooms and spaces where you plan to host people, while yellow is also suitable as an entryway color. Blue and green are relaxing and refreshing colors that are perfect for calming spaces, such as a bedroom, nursery, or library. And neutrals are ideal for spaces that have too much color already.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Carpet in Your House

As with every item that you add to a room, there are also pros and cons to adding a carpet. Let’s start with the advantages:

  • Comfort - they make a room a comfortable environment where you can relax and play.
  • Thermal resistance - they keep warm air in the room and act as insulation.
  • Noise reduction - carpets act as a sound barrier.
  • Color - they give a room visual interest.
  • Safety - they reduce falls and injuries, which is especially important if you have small children.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of having a carpet are the following:

  • Allergens - carpets are a trap for allergens, such as dust mites, mildew, and pet hair.
  • Upkeep - they need a fair amount of upkeep to keep them clean.
  • Sensitive materials - most carpets gather dirt and stain easily, so you’ll need to take good care of them.
  • Changing trends and preferences - trends change and personal preferences evolve, so you’ll often need to switch your carpets if being on trend is important to you.
  • Durability - synthetic carpets have a shorter lifespan compared to most flooring options.

Final Thoughts

We hope that our article helped you learn more about carpets and decide whether to add them in your house or not. As we’ve mentioned above, there are a lot of pros but also a few cons when it comes to adding carpets, but in the end, you know the best choice for your space and needs.