Nylon carpet vs. Polyester carpet vs. Smartstrand carpet, how to know which carpet has the highest quality? Indeed, purchasing a great carpet is simple, but selecting the correct one is complex.
There are many types of carpet fibers out there, from natural to synthetic ones. However, I will not cover all of these types in this post but mainly focus on 3 types such as nylon, polyester, and Smartstrand carpet instead.
So if you are interested in these 3 carpet fibers, keep reading for further information.
The Overview Of 3 Carpet Fiber Types – Nylon, Polyester, and Smartstrand
First, all of the objects here are made from synthetic fibers. And I guess that many of you have heard a lot about nylon and polyester carpet before, right? So how about Smartstrand? What are they made of? Here is some general information about them.
Nylon can be seen as the most common carpet material choices in both residential and commercial. They come at a high price with many many choices in styles and colors.
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There are 2 main types of nylon that manufacturers use to produce nylon carpet: Polycaprolactam (the shorter name is Nylon 6) and Polyhexamethylene adipamide (as Nylon 6,6). And these materials are hard to make, resulting in a hefty price tag for a nylon carpet.
Regarding this fiber’s origin, nylon was first emerged in 1935 by the head of research – Wallace Hume Carothers at DuPont – a famous American chemical company.
The polyester invention was the work of many scientists. Wallace Hume Carothers was the first one who attempted to research this material, but he quit to focus more on nylon. After a decade, James Tennant Dickson and John Rex Whinfield finally introduced polyester to the public.
Today, polyester carpet is famous for their lower cost. They are not premium carpets like nylon. Therefore, if the budget is what you are most concerned about, you can check this type of carpet. Similar to nylon, they also come in various colors and styles.
This type of fiber is pretty new on the market. Smartstrand carpet is made of triexta (Polytrimethylene Terephthalate, or PTT in short) fiber (1). The primary manufacturer of this carpet type is Mohawk – an American flooring company that launched this carpet in 2005.
Many people think Smartstrand shares the features of nylon and polyester carpets. For example, this carpet material has a high price like nylon and is environmentally friendly like polyester ones.
But please also remember that not all Smartstrand carpets contain 100% triexta. Some manufacturers also blend polyester with this type of fiber to produce Smartstrand. So you should check the percentage of the carpet’s material first when buying.
A short introduction of the latest technology in the carpet industry – Smartstrand carpet. You can see this video to know more:
The Battle Of Nylon vs. Polyester vs. Smartstrand Carpet – Who Is The Winner?
When I talk about the winner, I mean the most suitable type of carpet in your own perception, which is based on your own needs, goals, and priorities. Thus, the winner might be varied among people because everyone has different requirements and purchasing intentions.
So to find the most satisfactory carpet material, there are 8 significant factors that you need to consider, which are briefly shown in the below table.
|Characteristics||Nylon Carpet||Polyester Carpet||Smartstrand Carpet|
|Durability||Excellent (10 to 15 years with good care)||Excellent like nylon|
|Softness||Less soft with a rougher texture||Softer than nylon and polyester|
|Stain Resistance||Relatively good||Good (but not suitable for oil-based stains)|
|Mold and Mildew Resistance||Good||Good|
|Maintenance||Good (suitable with steam cleaning)||Good (suitable with steam cleaning)|
|Eco-friendliness and Sustainability||Is not a biodegradable material essentially, but some are made from recycled content and can be recycled||Ideal for the environment as they are made with corn glucose|
|Price||$2 to $5/ square foot||$2.29 to $4.48/ square foot|
|Warranties||10 to 15 years||25 years to lifetime|
The durability might be the top priority when buying a carpet, that’s why I put it first in this comparison. In terms of this factor, nylon, polyester, and Smartstrand (or triexta) carpets have their own distinctions.
The resilient degree of nylon fiber is better than polyester. These fibers can stand up straight again after the compaction easily, making them one of the most durable options on the carpet market.
If you are looking for a durable carpet in high-traffic areas, like the living room, hallway, stair, or playroom, nylon could be your best bet. Plus, a high-quality and well-maintained nylon carpet can last from 10 to 15 years.
PET polyester carpet is less durable than nylon as its resilience is poor. After years of use, you will spot their wear and tear, especially in high-traffic areas. Therefore, their lifespan is just from 5 to 15 years, but it also depends on how you treat them.
The carpet that is made of triexta is different. They are relatively strong and durable like nylon, or some sorts’ quality might be even better, making them have a long lifespan similar to nylon carpetings.
But remember: these 3 carpet fibers are varied in qualities. Some high-end polyester types can work better than low-end nylon. So when you compare them, ensure they are of the same quality.
If you are looking for a long-lasting carpet, polyester might not be too ideal for you.
The carpet made of nylon can provide you a softness underfoot, but not as good as polyester. Most nylon carpeting is thick with a rough texture as well.
Therefore, it would be better to opt for polyester-material carpets if you want something soft and cushy for your foot. They particularly fit well in your children’s bedroom, thanks to their texture.
Another Smartstrand’s advantage is its softness. They are even softer than nylon and polyester. The reason for that is because Smartstran carpets are not treated with harmful chemicals to increase their stain protection.
3. Stain Resistance
The stain resistance capacity of nylon is good in general. However, this factor can be affected negatively as nylon can still absorb water-based spills.
Once it happens, if you do not tackle the cleaning right away, they will leave a permanent stain on your nylon floor covering. So it is hard to conclude they are excellent in stain resistance.
In contrast, polyester and Smartstrand come out as perfect solutions to treat carpet stains. They are hydrophobic materials, making them low in absorbing liquid or spills. But both polyester and Smartstrand carpet do not cope with oil-based stains well.
To sum up, if you live in a big family with kids and pets, polyester or Smartstrand can benefit your home. For more information, there are also various ways to remove stains on carpets effectively.
A stain-resistance test on Mohawk Smartstrand carpet to show you how good they are.
4. Mold/Mildew Resistance
This factor is the common characteristic of nylon, polyester, and Smartstrand carpets. As they are made from synthetic fibers, their moisture resistance is relatively good.
You can install either of these 3 carpets in the basement, where mold/mildew issues mainly occur. But it does not mean they are 100% moisture protected.
In fact, the dampness can still be locked under the carpet backing or padding, providing a good environment for harmful fungi to thrive. In this case, you can use some good-quality mold and mildew cleaners at the cleaning stores.
Or as long as you deep-clean your carpet often, there is nothing to worry about. Besides, if you are an allergy sufferer, these material carpets can control this problem.
Overall, these 3 objects can be cleaned easily. With nylon carpets, the hydrogen molecule is the key factor that allows them to work well with steam cleaning. The heat from the steam cleaner will make the fibers bounce back and look new again.
The cleanability of polyester-fiber carpet is also effortless, but remember to clean the spills immediately with light detergent and avoid bleach. Plus, do not let your polyester carpet contact directly with sunlight.
With Smartstrand carpet, it is recommended to deep-clean by a steaming method like nylon type. And there are many tricks for steam cleaning that you should know to ensure your safety.
In general, to keep your carpet looking and smelling good all the time, regular vacuuming (daily or weekly) is a must. You can easily find many high-performance vacuum cleaners for carpets on the market. For steam-cleaning, you can do it annually or every 6 months.
6. Eco-Friendliness and Sustainability
Nylon is not essentially a biodegradable resource, making them not a good option for the environment. But with the advanced technology in producing recently, some nylon carpets are made from recycled content and can be recycled to remake a new nylon carpeting.
Polyester carpet, similarly, is an ideal eco-friendly choice since they are made from recycled materials (e.g., plastic drink bottles or caps). The only drawback regarding their sustainability factor is they are difficult to recycle at the end of their lifespan.
How about Smartstrand? They are, without a doubt, another fantastic item for the environment. Mohawk Smartstrand carpet is free of petroleum. Instead, this sort of carpet contains corn glucose for up to 37%.
Generally, the primary purpose of identifying their degree of eco-friendly and sustainability is to ensure that you can live in healthy indoor air quality as some synthetic carpets can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which might harm your health in the long term (2).
Another consideration I believe has a huge effect on your decision, which is about the price.
Nylon is famous for its high price. Nylon is the heftiest material in synthetic fibers as they are hard to produce. Their price might range from $2 to $5 for 1 square foot. If you want to add the pad to your carpet, you have to pay an extra $1 to $2 per square foot.
So if nylon does not fit your budget, polyester can be a great choice. Installing whole carpeting with this material only costs from $1 to $3 per square foot.
Finally, Mohawk Smartstrand carpet’s price is relatively high, like nylon, from $2.29 to $4.48 for 1 square foot.
The warranty time mainly depends on the carpet’s producer or its quality. But when put these 3 types of fibers in a comparison, Smartstrand is more likely a winner.
In reality, many nylon and polyester carpets have a 10 to 15-year warranty. But Mohawk Smartstrane can provide 25 years to the lifetime warranty, based on other factors like fade resistance, texture retention, or wear-and-tear warranty.
So obviously, you can receive better and more comprehensive warranty qualities from using Smartstrand carpet than the similar quality and price that you pay for nylon carpeting.
How are nylon and polyester different after all? Here is a short presentation about them.
Analyzing Their Pros and Cons For Final Verdict
Let’s summarize the comparison between nylon, polyester, and Smartstrand carpet by understanding their positives and negatives with some following highlights.
Nylon Carpet Pros and Cons
Though they are premium carpets, nylon still has good and bad sides that you need to consider before choosing.
- Excellent durability and resilience
- Suitable for high-foot traffic areas
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Good at mold/mildew resistance
- Suitable for allergic people
- High price
- High static electricity
- Not too soft with a rougher texture
Polyester Carpet Pros and Cons
The second popular choice in the carpet market is polyester. They have various benefits, but it does not mean that you can use them forever. Let’s compare its pros and cons as below.
- Lower price
- Provide soft and velvety feeling underfoot
- Low static electricity
- Good at stain, water, and mold/mildew resistance
- Poor durability
- Sensitive to UV
- Poor stain resistance with oil-based spills
- Poor texture retention
Smartstrand Carpet Pros and Cons
Smartstrand is relatively new in customers’ perception, but they are doing really well in providing an excellent floor covering in many households. And here are some advantages and disadvantages when using Smartstand carpet.
- Long warranty
- Good at durability
- Good at mold/mildew resistance
- Good at stain resistance
- Softness and plushness underfoot
- Easy to clean and maintain
- High price
- High installation cost
Before ending this article, let’s look at these short questions to learn more about 3 types of carpet material for the best buying decision.
Old Choices Vs. New Choice – What Would You Choose?
It is not simple to choose a decent carpet. However, after learning all of these 3 materials’ characteristics, you will have enough knowledge to make an informed conclusion.
So what do you think about these 3 carpets, which one would you choose? Nylon, polyester, or Smartstand. Please let me know your thoughts and experience in the comment section.
And please like and share this post with your beloved people so they can have an informed decision like yours. Thank you!
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Polytrimethylene Terephthalate – Wikipedia.
- Kraus, M., Juhasova Senitkova, I., 2020. ‘VOCs Emission Simulation of Common Flooring Materials’. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 960. Available at: researchgate.net