One of the most important things to prioritize when buying a rug is whether you love the look and if it fits into the overall design of the room you’re placing it in, but it doesn’t hurt to save a little money too. When it comes to deciding between rug materials, you’ll discover that many expensive rugs have cheaper alternatives. Sometimes these cheaper alternatives are blends of an expensive material and an inexpensive material to reduce the overall price, while other times, the cheaper alternatives are simply less expensive fibers.
Other factors that help reduce rug price is whether the rug is handmade or machine made, where the materials come from, whether it is natural or synthetic, and how long the entire rug creation process takes. Here are the 6 cheapest rug materials to help you save some money on your next rug purchase.
The only natural fiber on this list, jute is the cheapest of all natural fibers. Jute is environmentally friendly too, so if that is something you’re concerned about, you can feel even better about purchasing jute. Jute is derived from a tropical plant and is a high-quality fiber that is common in rugs as well as mats.
Another reason jute is less expensive is because so many people love the natural color of jute, which means it doesn’t always require lots of dyes. Its natural shade is somewhere between off-white and brown, giving it the nickname “the golden fiber.”
If you are looking for an earthy rug to add to your home, but you don’t want to buy something incredibly expensive, jute is a perfect choice. Jute is so popular that it is only second in production to cotton. Sometimes jute is blended with other materials and sometimes the rug is 100% jute. Depending on the blend, some jute rugs may run a little pricier than others.
When shopping for a good deal on a rug, polyester is a remarkable choice. This is a very popular material used in rugs. Polyester fibers are incredibly soft and come in bright colors. After looking at a polyester rug and feeling it with your hands and feet, you’ll think the rug must be expensive. Polyester has the look and feel of a pricey, high-quality rug, but these rugs remain affordable.
While being affordable, polyester rugs have some other added benefits, including not being damaged by moths, mold, or mildew. Polyester fibers repel water, making them resistant to water-based stains as well. The only downside to polyester is that it doesn’t resist matting, but you can avoid matting by placing the rug in low traffic areas in the home. You can also prevent matting by rotating polyester rugs in and out each season. Because the rugs are affordable, it makes it easier to have more than one for different times of the year. Store the rugs safely and play around with a summer rug and a winter rug!
The biggest benefit to polypropylene is that it is versatile. In addition to being an affordable rug material, polypropylene is great for indoor and outdoor use. This tough fiber can handle high foot traffic as well as resist abrasions, mildew, UV-rays, and water. As if polypropylene couldn’t get any better, it is also one of the most colorfast of all rug fibers. Polypropylene comes is vibrant colors that you can be sure will last whether indoors or out in the sun. Polypropylene is easy to clean and because it is durable, you can use heavy cleaners without damaging the fibers.
How is polypropylene so affordable?
This rug material is machine made. Any machine made rug will have a significantly reduced cost. Despite its durability, some may find it surprising that polypropylene is a soft material. Just because polypropylene rugs make great outdoor rugs doesn’t mean they aren’t ideal for the indoors too!
Nylon is a very popular fiber that is commonly used in rugs and carpets. This material was originally made to replace silk for a cheaper alternative. Like silk, nylon is soft and bright. While more affordable than silk, nylon is actually more durable and easier to clean. In fact, nylon is the strongest synthetic fiber in rug production. This makes nylon an easy choice when shopping for a rug bargain.
However, nylon is not the cheapest synthetic material. Depending on the rug, nylon can be an affordable choice, but you may also find it expensive at times. If you are looking for the look and feel of silk, go with nylon for a cheaper option, but otherwise, another synthetic material may be a better option. Nylon is a resilient fiber that springs back after being crushed, which makes it ideal for high traffic areas and for areas where furniture will be placed on top of the rug. Nylon is a very easy material to clean and the solution dyed colors are long-lasting.
Olefin is second to nylon when it comes to popularity in carpets and rugs. It is not as high of quality, but it is much more affordable. Olefin is still a durable material with a soft underfoot that is sometimes compared to a wool rug. One advantage of olefin is how easy it is to clean. Unlike most other rugs, olefin is chemically inert which means you can use any strong chemical cleaner on it without damaging the fibers. Olefin rugs are also water resistant, so they are less likely to attract mold or mildew.
If you go with an affordable olefin rug, you’ll want to avoid placing it in high traffic areas in order to help it last a long time. You can help prevent matting by buying an olefin rug with a low pile or low loops. Olefin is vulnerable to oil staining, so discourage people and pets from lying on the rug for extended periods of time.