When looking for a rug, especially in a high traffic area, you want to find a rug made of low maintenance rug materials. There are several reasons why, but the main reason is it is easy to take care of. That means you won’t have to work to make it look nice or stay in good condition.
Think about how much traffic a rug at your home’s entry gets in a day. Every time you leave and return — your rug is there. If anyone knocks at the door, you get the mail or perhaps you look out the door — you’re walking on that rug. All that traffic adds up. On top of that, consider rainy or snowy days and muddy shoes tracking the outside in. It’s the life of a rug.
Natural vs. Synthetic Materials
Many materials used in rugs are either natural or synthetic materials. Natural materials include fibers that are from a plant or animal. This list includes sisal, cotton, seagrass, silk, wool, bamboo, and jute.
Having a wool rug means a soft and durable texture. This renewable resource is considered low maintenance because it’s resistant to stains. Generally, it’s more expensive than other options, but there’s a good reason. It’s durable and long lasting. Wool is also fire-retardant and helps with temperature regulation by keeping rooms warmer during colder weather and cooler during warmer months.
It’s advised though to keep wool rugs out of an area that might be humid or wet. Instead, they’re best in a living room or bedroom. Some wool rugs can also shed, but this problem typically improves after the first couple of weeks.
Nylon rugs are some of the highest quality rugs made from synthetic materials. A nylon rug is fade resistant and strong enough to hold heavy furniture. It’s also very affordable and easy to clean. Nylon rugs are resistant to moisture so you can use most cleaning methods.
While they’re very durable, they aren’t the most comfortable option, especially when compared to wool. Nylon rugs will work great for any area of the home that has a lot of foot traffic or is particularly messy, but wouldn’t be a great option for a bedroom or living room rug.
Polypropylene is a synthetic material that’s similar to wool. Polypropylene and olefin are often used interchangeably, but actually, olefin is produced from polypropylene fibers. This rug type is more cost-effective than wool but isn’t as high quality. Some benefits of this rug are that it’s resistant to fading, aging, and mildew. It’s also lightweight, dries quickly and is easy-to-clean.
While polypropylene is stain resistant, some oils could harm the fibers. It also doesn’t have as long of a lifespan as other rugs. Be sure to remove any oil-based stains completely to prevent permanent damage. It is advised to wear socks or slippers on this material to reduce the effects of oily skin. Polypropylene is a good rug material to use inside or outside but isn’t suggested for high traffic areas.
Putting a cotton rug in your home means going with a durable and easy-to-clean option. Various styles are available with this popular material including braided and flat woven rugs. The fibers in this rug are strong and soft while being extremely low maintenance. You’ll often find a combination cotton-wool option is a very stylish low-care option. You can even throw small cotton rugs in the washing machine.
A negative to be mindful of is that cotton rugs do wear out quicker than other options such as wool. Depending on the rug’s maintenance instructions, you may only need to vacuum occasionally. As with most rugs, rotate it every few months to help even out the wear and tear.
Bamboo is another excellent option for someone who is looking for a rug that is both natural and low-maintenance. It isn’t a super soft material but it is decorative and environmentally friendly. Bamboo rugs are low maintenance because they hide dirt and are easy to clean up with a mop or damp cloth. They’re also typically available at a low cost.