Carpet is one of the softest flooring materials out there, providing a cushioned surface for your feet in almost any location. So, it’s important to know the characteristics of the different types of carpet materials available, to ensure you get the appropriate one for your space. Even though the number of carpet choices can be easily overwhelming, taking time to break it all down will make your purchase decision easier.

So, let’s start with the two most common types: cut pile and loop pile. There are various styles in these common types.




beige carpet under office desk

This carpet type gets its durability through the fiber used, the density of the tufts, and the twist of the yarn. There are five popular cut pile carpet styles to choose from:

-Plush: Plush style, sometimes called “velvet cut pile,” features short, luxurious, densely packed fibers that create a rich surface for your feet.

-Textured: This style uses low density fibers that have uneven height. Even though the textured look helps hide dirt, it isn’t the ideal choice for high traffic areas.

-Saxony: Saxony pile is made of individual strands standing straight up to create a lush fuzzy surface. This is one of the most popular styles out there today. The only disadvantage to this style is that it can be easily crushed by feet, furniture and vacuuming so it’s not great for high traffic areas.

-Frieze: The frieze carpet style features long fibers with more twists, which gives the texture a more casual look. It’s known to hide footprints and other annoying marks that usually show up on other carpets. Though it has this great advantage, it’s still best if used in low traffic spaces.

-Cable: Cable style is made heavier with thick and long fibers to provide a cozier feel to the carpet making it great to walk on.


Carpet in a bedroom

Loop pile carpets do not have to cut the yarn tips, which makes the loops visible. They are durable in construction and are considered an “all-purpose” carpet. There are various carpet styles to choose from:

-Berber: The Berber carpet style features packed short looped fibers. This provides a durable surface for high traffic spaces with a casual appearance. Some color flecks in the fiber may make it easier to hide dirt, but the height of the fibers might make the seams more visible.

-Patterned Multi-Level Loop: This kind of carpet features loops of varying heights to create a texture and or even a pattern.

-Cut and Loop: This carpet style is a mixture between cut pile and loop pile fibers. The variant makes for a textured appearance that’s ideal for highly trafficked areas. As an added bonus, this type of carpet also hides dirt and stains.


carpet in a loft bedroom

The durability, look and feel, and price of carpet are partially determined by the fiber used to make it. The most common carpet fibers are:

-Nylon: Nylon fiber is the most frequently used carpet fiber. It’s highly desirable due to its exceptional durability, abrasion resistance and texture retention. These types of carpets are made in endless colors, numerous styles and textures and even offer a variety of pet-friendly styles for your four-legged friends.

-Triexta: This is a relatively newer carpet yarn to the industry and has become known for its exceptional durability and stain resistance. Triexta is branded under SmartStrand Forever Clean and has become a very popular carpet fiber choice because it adds softness and fiber protection from stains; making it a great option for busy households and for homes with pets.

-Polyester: Polyester carpet offers good color clarity, colorfastness and resistance to water soluble stains. With the technological advances in the manufacturing process polyester is also known to have exceptional softness and improved strength. And, if you are looking to make an environmentally conscious decision in your home design you’re in luck as some polyester is made out of recycled plastic bottles!

-Polypropylene:  The polypropylene fiber is also referred to as Olefin. Polypropylene is solution dyed which means that the color is actually built into the fiber when it is formed in the manufacturing process making it so the color is an inherent part of the material that cannot be removed. This offers you a fade-free solution for your carpeting needs, even when it may be exposed to intense sunlight or bleach.

brown with white stripe carpet

-Wool: As one of the more expensive options for a carpet fiber, wool is a natural fiber with moderate soil and stain resistance qualities. A non-allergic and naturally fire retardant option paired with excellent wear properties since the natural fibers restore themselves, makes wool carpet a great choice for any room in the home.

Armed with this information, you will be able to determine the best carpet material for the rooms in question and the available budget for the project. When properly cared for, carpet can last many years and be an excellent investment.