Choosing carpets

Manmade fibres Vs Wool

Carpet is still one of the most popular flooring choices around, providing comfort, softness underfoot, and a finished look. But deciding which type of carpet is right for both your budget and your needs is sometimes puzzling. For example, should you choose wool, which has been used for centuries to weave fine carpets, or should you invest less and choose a synthetic fibre, and if so, which one? To help you decide which carpet fibre is right for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of synthetic carpet vs wool carpet …

Synthetic carpet can be nylon (the most popular), polyester, or polypropylene. These are the most common synthetic fibres used for carpets, and each has its pros and cons. Synthetic fibre carpets are becoming more and more popular, but why?

The Pros of Synthetic Carpet

  • Nylon– is durable, easy to clean, the most sustainable of the synthetics and resilient. It has good yarn memory which prevents crushing, good abrasion resistance, resists stains well with treatment and holds colour well.
  • Polyester– is fade resistant, stain resistant, and available in a variety of colours.
  • Polypropylene – is inexpensive, has superior stain resistance (except for oil-based stains), and resists fading from sunlight.

The Cons of Synthetic Carpet

  • Nylon –  is prone to static electricity, unless it’s treated for the problem.
  • Polyester – is susceptible to pilling, shedding, and oil-based stains, and can mat in high-traffic areas.
  • Polypropylene – has poor resiliency, which can lead to crushing, and colours are limited due to the way it’s dyed. It also has poor resistance to abrasion.

The Pros of Wool Carpet

  • is soft and pleasing to the touch
  • is environmentally friendly (made from natural wool without using chemicals)
  • is good for the indoor environment too (it absorbs about 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp, making it a good natural dehumidifier).
  • resists compacting or crushing
  • is naturally dirt-repellent
  • accepts and retains colour well
  • is flame retardant and doesn’t melt

The Cons of Wool Carpet

  • It’s fuel for moths and carpet beetle larvae, though it can be treated with an insecticide to prevent the problem.
  • Alkaline substances found in some detergents can damage wool fibres.
  • It’s more expensive than its synthetic competition.

Aside from price and colour, think about where you’ll install your new carpet.  If it’s in a high-traffic area of your home, it’s best to choose a fibre that resists dirt and stains and doesn’t crush easily. If on the other hand, you’re installing carpet in a bedroom where you’re most likely padding around in your stocking feet or a pair of slippers, those qualities may not be as important.

Carpets are still a very popular choice because of the following;

  • Soundproofing
  • Prefer the look, feel and warmth
  • To provide a non-slip surface on stairs
  • Because pet dogs find laminate too slippery to walk on
  • It can easily be lifted to do work on floorboards or plumbing below
  • Objects dropped on a carpet are less likely to break than those dropped on a wooden floor
  • They’re easier to lay over uneven surfaces and can do a better job of disguising the problem.
  • Easier to buy and install
  • Cheaper than other options

We have a wide and varied selection of Wool and Synthetic carpets to choose from in our Cheltenham showroom with all the big names on display. We can advise on colour, texture and suitability as well as book you in there and then for fitting by our own team of extremely experienced fitters who have been working with us for years.


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Brilliant. Great choice and good advice when needed with lovely service.

S, Cleeve Prior