Rugs provide comfort, softness underfoot, and a finished look. But deciding which rug material is best for your home and budget is sometimes puzzling. Should you choose wool, which has been used for centuries to weave fine carpets, or opt for a more affordable synthetic fiber?
To help you decide which area rug fiber is right for you, here's some more information with 6 key factors to consider:
- Price. Synthetics are usually more affordable as they're produced by machines in bulk. They typically don't have the same luxurious feeling underfoot compared to natural rugs (which are often hand-made). That said, there are plenty of affordable organic rugs on the market.
- Durability. With equal care, natural material rugs tend to last longer than synthetics.
- Color. Not all natural materials absorb dye as well as synthetics. As a result, synthetic fibers are often the choice for vibrant, bold-colored rugs. Certain types of natural fibers can color well and the shades tend to be deeper, creating a rustic feel.
- Chemical use. Synthetic rugs are made from materials like nylon, polyester, polypropylene, viscose, and acrylic. They are often chemically treated to make them stain-resistant. With natural rugs, you don't need to worry about toxic chemicals diffusing through your home.
- Outdoor/Indoor use. Some natural materials aren't suitable for use outside. If you want a rug for your patio, certain synthetic fibers work better to avoid moisture and mildew buildup.
- Biodegradability. At the end of a rug's life, you can give back to nature with natural area rugs.
More About Natural Fiber Rugs
Natural material rugs are made from wool, silk, cotton, jute, and other plant/animal sources. They bring an earthy, rustic quality to your space. Some of these materials have rich and interesting textures which synthetics can't match.
Wool is the best & most common choices in many scenarios. It's long-lasting, soft, and undergoes high-quality manufacturing methods. Materials like silk, bamboo, jute, and seagrass are also great.
Natural fiber rugs are perfect for indoors, adding plenty of style and comfort to any space through their warm textures and colors.
More About Synthetic Fiber Rugs
Right off the bat, the term "synthetic" may be a turn-off to homeowners as it implies the rug is "fake". The fact is, however, that synthetic rugs are the modern way to provide durability and softness at an affordable price point.
Synthetic rugs can be heatset polypropylene, bamboo silk, polyester, art silk, acrylic, petyarn, viscose, and more man-made sources.
The big advantage of synthetic materials is the affordable price, stain resistance, and a silky soft touch that's been engineered to perfection at scale.
The Bottom Line
There's more to rugs than just price. Remember to consider the room it will be in and how it fits your lifestyle.
If you're willing to invest in a high-quality, organic, and sustainable rug, a natural rug is the best choice. These are true pieces of art that are a preservation of history and tradition, sometimes even appreciating in value over time.
If you're looking for more flexibility in design and price with a rug that's lighter-weight and stain resistant, a synthetic rug is a great choice.
We specialize in hand-picking rugs from around the world in both natural and synthetic materials. We encourage you to experiment and discover what works for you and your home, depending on your space and of course your preference. Have fun shopping and we'll be here to help every step of the way.