Best rug and carpet materials for your home

Rugs and carpets infuse color, texture, and softness and quickly transform any space. In addition, they play a functional role, like offering protection to the flooring, sound absorption, and insulation. Rugs and carpets are available in modern, transitional, and traditional designs and different weaving styles like hand-knotted, hand-tufted, flat weave, and handloom. One can pick from various colors, patterns, shapes, textures, weave types, and materials.

When buying a rug, one must consider its material because it determines the look, durability, softness, and ideal placement area. Note that rugs with a flatter pile height or thickness are more durable, easier to maintain, and clean than thicker rugs that provide a cozier underfoot. There are two categories of rug materials like natural fibers and synthetic fibers. Learn about the individual characteristics of each material and choose the one that is best suited for your space.

Natural Carpet Fiber

1. Wool

Wool is a warm, luxurious material with soft piles and rich fibers that provide excellent comfort. It is ultra-durable and springs back when compressed. In addition, wool is flame, stain, and crush-resistant, which makes it suitable for homes with kids and pets. Since sheep’s natural oils are resistant to dust and dirt, wool rugs will always be thick and colorful. As a precaution, avoid using wool rugs in damp and moist areas, as it tends to absorb moisture and is susceptible to mold and mildew. Wool carpets are available in beautiful colors in hand-knotted and hand-tufted varieties. It has excellent sound absorption and insulating properties and provides a cozy underfoot. However, one drawback of wool is that it tends to shed for a few months but eventually settles down. These rugs suit high-traffic areas like the entryways and the living room.

Designer: Gordon Rug Company

2. Cotton

Cotton is a versatile material that is used for making soft-weave rugs that provide a relaxed, natural look alongside a soft underfoot. These rugs are affordable, durable, and easy to clean and are also available in reversible designs that can renew the look of the space. Cotton can absorb colors and dyes well but is highly absorbent and has a shorter lifespan. Use these in areas like the kitchen, children’s room, and casual spaces, as these rugs are prone to staining and fading but can be easily cleaned in the washing machine.

Designer: Thrifty Treasure

3. Silk

Silk is one of the most expensive rug materials that fuses elegant shimmer and luxurious softness — and looks nothing less than a work of art. These rugs have more knots per square inch, resulting in beautiful intricate details that look glamorous. It is soft and delicate but has low durability and requires high maintenance. Silk can permanently stain, so it should be cleaned professionally.

One can combine silk and wool fibers to achieve the look of silk with more durability, making it easier to maintain. Bamboo silk is an alternative to silk rugs and is best suited for the bedroom and low-traffic areas as its delicate fibers are prone to wear and tear.

Buy From: Hadi Maktabi

4. Natural Rustic Rugs

Invite nature and a sense of calm into your home with natural rustic rugs like jute and sisal. These rugs are textured, affordable, and can be dyed in earth tones. They are hand woven by local weavers, are extremely durable, and have a prickly texture that can massage the barefoot. The organic weave rugs have a rope-like construction, so it does not hold allergens. Alongside, the material is extremely durable and adds an earthy vibe to the space. Jute is not recommended for the outdoors as it can get wet, may result in mold growth, and does not do well with direct sunlight.


Designer: Jaipur Rugs


Designer: Floorspace

Seagrass rugs are durable, resistant to stains, fade-resistant, and available in limited color options as they do not dye well. As seagrass grows in water, it is resistant to moisture and is suitable for the outdoors and medium-traffic areas.

Designer: Floorspace

Hemp is resistant to dirt, water, and allergens, making them perfect for high-traffic areas or homes with pets. These rugs have a muted, lustrous sheen and are hand-woven or loomed to give them a coarse texture.

Designer: Janine Myska

5. Leather

The organic texture and timeless elegance of leather add richness to a traditional, transitional, and modern décor. Hides like leather and sheepskin are soft, durable, and easy to clean but unsuitable for damp and humid areas. These rugs look best when layered with other rugs and make a refined addition in bedrooms, offices, dens, and entertainment areas. It is commonly used as a throw on a sofa or chair for extra warmth and comfort.

Sheepskin rugs are expensive and suitable for low-traffic areas as they have an organic outline and a long plush pile.


Designer: The Nordic Hide Collection

Cowhide and leather can be introduced in high-traffic areas as they are comparatively easier to maintain.


Designer: ObjectsHQ

Synthetic Carpet Fibers

Synthetic materials are affordable; they mimic the look and feel of natural rug materials and are woven on a machine loom. These rugs are affordable, easy to clean, and stain resistant but may not be eco-friendly. One can introduce these rugs in the hallway, high-traffic areas, and the outdoors, like pool areas, patios, and basements. Note that synthetic fibers do not fade in sunlight, but one drawback is that oil stains are difficult to clean.

1. Viscose

Viscose is also known as rayon. It mimics the smooth texture and low silk pile and has an exquisite sheen. However, it is delicate and needs careful cleaning, as it is prone to shedding, especially if it comes in contact with water.

Designer: benuta

2. Nylon

Nylon offers a soft touch. It is high-performance and one of the most forgiving rug materials. These carpets are affordable, durable, and stain and abrasion resistant. In addition, it has elasticity, does not lose shape, and can hold heavy weight. Since it dries quickly, it is perfect for the bathroom and outdoor areas.

Designer: RugSmith

3. Polyester

Polyester is woven in a loop or cut loop and is not elastic like other synthetic rug materials. It is soft, stain-resistant, and fade-resistant, but the biggest drawback is that it can flatten if heavy furniture is placed on it.

Designer: Momeni Rugs

4. Polypropylene

Also known as olefin, polypropylene fibers mimic the look of wool and are resistant to mold and mildew. This material is highly durable, water resistant, easy to clean, and can withstand indoor and outdoor weathering. However, one disadvantage is that it is highly flammable and should not be used in areas like the kitchen. Polypropylene rugs are available in bold and trendy patterns, are affordable, and are perfect for creating a cozy, bright, and stylish space.

Designer: Theory of Living

If you love fur rugs but don’t want to use real animal hide, then acrylic rugs are a guilt and cruelty-free alternative to leather rugs. In addition, these rugs add warmth, look sophisticated, are stain-resistant and moisture-resistant, and are highly recommended for cold climates or the winter season.

Designer: Everything Beautiful Store

5. Recycled Rugs

The eco-friendly rugs are made from yarn that is spun from recycled plastic. These hand-woven rugs are stain-resistant, hard-wearing, and perfect for high-traffic areas.

Designer: Interiors from Spain

Choose the most suitable rug material to pull the décor together and create a warm and inviting space.