What is most important to you when it’s time to buy a new area rug for your home? The size, color, pattern, texture and overall style are usually the first considerations for any consumer, followed by price. Savvy homeowners also think about how easy it will be to clean and maintain the rugs. You don’t want to spend a lot of time washing, vacuuming or even replacing worn-out rugs.
It’s not surprising that synthetic materials make up the bulk of our list. Man-made rug materials are manufactured for affordability and come in almost limitless styles and colors. However, natural fiber rugs can last a long time if you choose the right ones for your home and put them in suitable locations.
Check out our list of the six longest-lasting rug materials. You’ll find that one or more of them may be perfect for your lifestyle.
Wool and wool blends give you beauty and a natural feel as well as durability. Wool can be dyed easily, offering hundreds of color options. It remains good as new for years with basic care. Wool is soft on bare feet and safe for kids and pets. There’s no danger of off-gassing or yellowing, which you can occasionally experience with rugs made from synthetic fibers. Most rugs are made from sheep’s wool, although rugs are also made from alpaca or goat wool. Strong, durable wool is insulating and cozy and is a great addition to apartments or homes if you want to create a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere.
Wool is dense enough to resist liquids. It won’t soak up moisture for some time, which lets you clean up spills before serious damage occurs. Wool rugs usually maintain their shape and color over years or even decades. This natural material is usually thicker than synthetic fibers and may shed or pile more easily. If shedding poses a problem in your household, buy a flat weave wool rug instead. Remember that wool from sheep raised at high altitudes is the best you can buy.
Wool is definitely the most durable choice when it comes to rug materials.
Polypropylene is a synthetic material that looks like wool. It may have a sheen or matte appearance, and many people think they are the best-looking synthetic rugs. Rugs made from this material resist mold and dry quickly, so they are excellent for outdoor use or as area rugs in damp basements. The color on these synthetic rugs will hold longer than other man-made fibers, so you don’t need to worry about your rugs getting a bleached out look even if you’ve had them a long time. However, you should keep them away from long bouts of intense sunlight, which may cause fading.
Polypropylene is great for busy households because its stain-resistant. You’ll spend less time cleaning these rugs if you have pets or young children who spill food and liquids a lot. Not all polypropylene rugs are machine-made. This hand-loomed, navy and silver polypropylene area rug by Safavieh fits in with most décor. Consumers give this 5/8 inch pile rug high marks for durability and pet-friendliness so you can use it in most rooms.
You should be careful when placing polypropylene rugs in your home, as they may not be resistant to marks from furniture legs. You can use most cleaning products to maintain your polypropylene rugs.
Long-lasting nylon rugs are practically indestructible. They come in a variety of colors and patterns and are among the most affordable area rugs. Nylon rugs are great for stairwells, entranceways, and other high-traffic areas. It repels dirt and debris, and its silky appearance gives it the same sheen as a natural fiber.
A nylon rug will exhibit some wear and tear after lots of foot traffic, but you can remedy that by hanging it outside on a clothesline and spraying it with foam rug cleaner. Once the foam dries, you can vacuum the rug. Many nylon rugs come with built-in stain protection.
Nylon may fade easily if it has been acid dyed, and they have a tendency to yellow after you’ve had them for a while.
Polyester rugs are inexpensive, like other rugs made from synthetic materials. You can choose from an almost endless array of patterns and colors. Polyester rugs run the gamut from traditional patterns commonly seen on Turkish rugs to solid colors and gingham. Polyester is easy to clean and you can use polyester fiber rugs outdoors, in bathrooms, or in kids’ rooms and high traffic areas.
If oil-containing substances are spilled on polyester rugs, the fabric may soak up the oil and leave a hard-to-clean stain.
As the name indicates, seagrass rugs are made with fibers from grasses found in or near the sea. It’s the least expensive of the natural fiber rugs.
Seagrass area rugs aren’t as colorful as synthetic options, but they’re hypo-allergenic and environmentally-friendly. These rugs are a pale green when you first buy them, but they turn beige after a bit of wear. These lightweight rugs are excellent for your bathroom or kitchen, but they’re too delicate for outdoors or busy areas like hallways. Some seagrass rugs have geometric designs with limited colors.
Sisal is the strongest natural fiber used for area rugs. This fiber is made from the fleshy leaves of Mexican agave plants. Sisal is sometimes combined with wool to make a more attractive, durable rug. Sisal is a great choice if you or a family member has allergies. There are no toxic chemicals or treatments used along with this material.
This biodegradable rug material can be used for larger areas, like an entranceway or living room. It feels a bit rough to the touch, so it’s not appropriate for kid or pet-heavy areas and it won’t be pleasant if you like to lounge on the area rugs in your home. The fibers may give bare feet an invigorating massage, though.
Avoid using a sisal rug in a bathroom or near a pool, as water discolors and stains the fibers.