Wool Carpet Vs Nylon Carpet Vs Synthetic Carpet
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Guidance Of Wool Carpet Vs. Nylon Carpet Vs. Synthetic Carpet

Synthetic Carpet
Synthetic carpets occupy 97% of the carpet industry. Such a remarkable number!

Wool carpet vs. Nylon carpet vs. Synthetic carpet, what kind of material is preferable? More importantly, how do they differ regarding the properties or characteristics?

There are various carpet fibers on the market. Each of them has distinctive strengths and weaknesses that you need to review before selecting an appropriate one.

But in this article, wool, nylon, and synthetic are the primary subjects to be covered. Alright! Let’s have a look at what they are and what they can offer now.

Wool Carpet – The Natural Choice For Your Floor Covering

Wool Carpet Texture
Wool carpet is a premium household item that comes at a high price.

Wool is a well-known material that people use to create carpets. Besides, there are other natural options in the carpet and rug industry, such as cotton, sisal, jute, silk, coir, or seagrass, but wool can be seen as the most popular fiber to make up this floor covering.

As they are natural and organic, wool carpet is known as an environmentally friendly and biodegradable item. They are also great at fire resistance.

Besides, various manufacturers do not use chemicals to produce this carpet type as the main wool source is from sheep worldwide (but mostly from New Zealand and the UK).

Another notable characteristic of wool carpets is their price. Compared to other materials, those made from wool are more expensive; that’s why their market share in the carpet industry is relatively small.

Synthetic Carpet – Amazing Products That From Human Hands

Synthetic carpets are made from artificial fibers, which come in 5 different types: Nylon, Polyester, Triexta, Acrylic, and Olefin carpets. And, of course, various materials have unique characteristics that distinguish them from another.

Here are some of the significant characteristics of each material so you can check and find out the suitable one for you.

Nylon Carpet

Gray Nylon Carpet
Nylon carpets are not a good choice for those who are environmentally conscious.

Advantages: High in durability, abrasion resistance, and elasticity.

Disadvantage: Higher prices than polyester types, not eco-friendly, can accumulate static electricity.

Other Information: Polycaprolactam (Nylon 6) and Polyhexamethylene adipamide (Nylon 6,6) are 2 common nylon fibers to make this item. They are both costly and difficult to manufacture.

Polyester Carpet (PET)

Gray Carpet Polyester Texture
A closer view of polyester carpet’s texture.

Advantages: Cheaper and better in stain-resistance than nylon, comfortable, and eco-friendly. Have various colors.

Disadvantage: Resilience and durability are not as good as nylon.

Other Information: Though polyester carpet is pretty good at stain resistance, it cannot cope with oily stains.

Wonder whether polyester or nylon is more suitable for you? Here is a quick rundown of them.

Watch this video: What type of carpet is best?

Triexta Carpet

Advantages: Good at resilience, elasticity, cleanability, eco-friendly, softer, and more durable than polyester carpet.

Disadvantage: Tensility is a little bit lower than PET ones, not good at resiliency and abrasion-resistant, limited color options

Other Information: This type is the newest type of carpet fiber that has been acknowledged under the name poly trimethylene terephthalate (PTT) in 2009 (1).

Acrylic Carpet

Advantages: One of the cheapest choices, pretty good at mildew and moth resistance, suitable for allergic people

Disadvantage: Low lifespan (poor durability), not really good at stain resistance as it can accumulate dirt.

Other Information: Can resemble a wool-like feeling, making it become an ideal wool carpet alternative after 1950.

Olefin Carpet (Polypropylene)

Advantages: Another cheap carpeting option, stain and fade resistance.

Disadvantage: Less durable than other synthetic fibers, easily abrasion.

Other Information: If you prefer loop carpets (e.g., Berber), olefin fiber is a great option.

General Comparison Between Wool Carpet And Synthetic Carpets

What I just presented are the popular features of wool and 5 types of synthetic carpets. For a clear view, below is a comparison table between wool and man-made carpets regarding their properties.

Natural Carpet/ Synthetic CarpetsWoolNylonPolyesterTriextaAcrylic Olefin
CleaningFair (spot clean only)GoodFairGoodGoodFair
Stain ResistanceFairGoodGood (but not ideal for oil-based stain)ExcellentFair (can accumulate dirt)Excellent
Pest, Mold, and Mildew ResistancePoorGoodGoodGoodGoodGood
Fade ResistanceFairGood (for solution-dyed nylon)GoodGoodGoodExcellent

This brief guide will make it clearer in choosing carpet, especially for wool, nylon, polyester, and triexta types.

Watch this video: How to choose the right carpet


It is tough to have a suitable choice regarding this aspect as it is based on synthetic fiber type. But in general, the lifespan of wool carpet is outstanding as high-durable is one of the best features of this material.

However, with some synthetic fibers, for example, olefin material cannot cope with high-traffic areas, while nylon is superb in durability.


Wool carpet is made from 100% organic and biodegradable components; therefore, it is more eco-friendly than synthetics.

However, synthetic fibers can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which will harm the environment (2). Wool carpet, which is a natural product, cannot release VOCs. But if you buy a carpet made from mixed natural and synthetics, the VOCs process still happens.


Cute Dog On Carpet
Synthetic floor covering would be a better choice for you and your fur babies.

Wool carpet requires professional treatments when it comes to full carpet cleaning. You can clean them by yourself, but for spot clean only.

So if you have a pet or young children, human-made carpeting is preferable as it is easier to clean.

Stain Resistance

Red Wine Glass On Carpet
Wool carpet can resist stain from spills, but once it happens, please clean it right away.

Wool carpet is relatively fine in stain resistance but not as good as synthetic carpet varieties. Though wool is covered by microscopic scales, once the spill or stains contact the fiber and are not cleaned immediately, it will be challenging to get rid of it after that.

Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are likely to please you in this aspect. However, it still relies on the sort of man-made fiber or the way you treat it.

For example, oil-based stains are hard to remove on PET fiber, or acrylic carpet’s stains should be cleaned quickly. Otherwise, it will stay there forever. It also requires tricks to remove stains out of the carpet, but overall, it will not be too hard to perform.

Pest, Mold, and Mildew Resistance

Sadly, wool carpets can be a good place for moths, which can barely be found on synthetics. Wool fibers are not ideal for a moisture environment either, like basements. Thus, mold or mildew can appear on wool carpets.

But you will not have to worry about it when you use man-made fiber carpeting as they are really good at moisture resistance.

Fade Resistance

Wool color can fade if they are exposed to the light regularly. But synthetic carpet can work really well in this property. Some artificial carpets, for instance, nylon, are excellent outdoors.

In the case of dyed nylon carpet, the color will permeate the fiber completely, making it more resistant to fading than natural carpet.


Natural fiber, like wool, generally has a higher price tag and maintenance cost than human-made fiber carpets. Wool carpet prices range from $5 to $26 for 1 square foot, while synthetic ones are around $2 to $15 per 1 square foot.

It still depends on the specific synthetic type; however, you have a wider price choice in buying these artificial carpets, making them better for your budget.

Even though natural or human-made carpets have different properties, they should have proper care. And based on what type of them, carpets will have different cleaning solutions.

So, wool vs. synthetic carpet, which one is the champion after all?

Watch this video: 6 Benefits of Wool Carpet, Compared to Synthetic

A Closer Look At Wool Carpet Vs. Nylon Carpet

When it comes to buying carpet, wool and nylon ones are the 2 most common choices. Therefore, they deserve to have a separate section to analyze and explore their characteristics as well as their positives and negatives in greater depth.

Before moving on to the detailed parts, here’s a short comparison of wool and nylon in the table below.

ComfortProvide softness and comfort underfoot
Make rooms cozier
Also provide softness and comfort underfoot but is not as good as wool
Resilience Good resilience but can be abraded in high traffic areasBetter than wool in resilience, even in heavy traffic areas
Fire ResistanceCan be burned slowly, self-extinguished, and leave soft ashCan be burned slowly and leave serious melting
Stain Resistance And CleanabilityFairly good at stain-resistance
But do not use the soil-resistant spray to clean
Good at stain-resistance
Suitable with chemical cleaning treatments and easier to clean
Mold/Mildew And Static ResistancePoor mold/mildew resistance as it can absorb water
High static resistance
High mold/mildew resistance
Low static resistance
LifespanMuch longer than nylon (can last up to 50 years)3 to 5 years even with good care
PricingHigher (as twice as nylon's price)Affordable
Allergic and Eco-FriendlinessHigh eco-friendly
Not good for allergic people
Not eco-friendly
Good for allergic people


Wool Floor Coverings
Softness is one of the key advantages of wool floor coverings.

When walking on woolen carpet, you will feel its softness and comfort. It also enhances the coziness of your room. So if you live in a cold climate, wool can maintain the warmth in your house as it can lock the heat into the fiber.

Moreover, woolen carpeting comes in many varieties, including twist, level loop, modulated, and plush pile, all of which give softness and comfort.

The carpets made from nylon are also soft and pleasant but not as good as other fibers (like wool). So if your priority is softness, nylon carpet might not be your best choice.


Wool fiber is easily abraded in high foot-walking areas, yet it is still considered a carpet with good resilience.

On the other hand, the structure of some nylon carpets can withstand heavy traffic areas. That’s why you can find them in businesses, commercial stores, and private residences.

Fire Resistance

Wool is famous for its fire resistance. It is slow to ignite and can self-extinguish. But it will leave crushable ash. In general, wool carpets have a higher safety degree than others regarding the level of flammability.

Similarly, nylon carpet’s fire resistance is also better compared to other synthetics. It is slow to burn, but once they burn, it will result in a serious melting.

Stain Resistance And Cleanability

Overall, if you treat your wool carpeting well by regular vacuuming routine, they are totally fine. You may also find many high-quality vacuums for wool carpets on the market. Besides, wool carpets have lanolin oil which improves the efficiency in stain-resistant.

Wool is porous fiber; therefore, using soil-resistant spray to protect woolen carpet is a bad idea. So if you want to clean your carpet, use dry foam. But remember: spot cleaning on a woolen carpet is preferred if you do it yourself because deep cleaning needs expert hands.

In contrast, nylon carpet is nonporous material which means their level of stain and spill resistance are really good. The moisture absorbency in nylon fiber is also excellent. They can tolerate various kinds of chemical cleaning solutions, making them easier to clean.

Mold/Mildew And Static Resistance

Mold Mildew Static Resistance
Mold can thrive well on a wool carpet due to its high level of water absorption.

As wool is a porous fiber, its ability in water absorption and locking moisture is very high, which is around 10 times compared to its actual weight.

And it results in a good environment for mold and mildew development. Nylon, on the other hand, is nonporous, which means they can resist these fungi effectively.

Moreover, since wool can absorb moisture, the static electricity is low. So if you use wool carpet, you are less likely to get a shock. Unfortunately, nylon is a static material, so you might have some slight shocks when touching other metal items while walking on a nylon carpet.


Surprisingly, natural fibers like a wool carpet have a long-lasting lifespan. If you treat them well, they can last for up to 50 years.

Nylon, compared to other synthetic carpets, is better in durability. But it will never last as long as woolen ones. So even if your nylon carpet is taken care of very well, their life span is just around 3 to 5 years.


As mentioned above, wool carpeting is heftier than nylon, which might be twice as expensive as nylon ones. Therefore, pricing can be seen as the biggest weakness of wool-fiber carpets.

Allergic and Eco-Friendliness

If you are concerned about which type should be better for allergic people, you should go with nylon carpet. Wool fiber, particularly in a humid climate, is an ideal place for mold thriving. So it can cause many serious allergies.

But wool carpets are 100% friendly to the environment as they are made from a natural material, while nylon is a man-made fiber that is not biodegradable. So regarding the eco-friendly factor, the winner is wool.

Let’s listen to the expert instruction in comparing wool and nylon carpets.

Watch this video: Wool vs Nylon Carpet


There are a few more questions relating to these sorts of carpets that I believe some of you are also interested in learning about. Continue reading for more information.

How long can wool carpet last?

Normally, woolen carpets can last for 20 to 25 years. But if they are in good care and well-maintained, it can even last for up to 50 years.

Is there another way to recognize the difference between wool and synthetic carpet?

You can try with a lighter and burn a little bit of them. If they smell like burnt hair and are crushable easily, it is wool. But if they smell like burnt plastics, this one is synthetic fiber.

Wool vs. nylon carpet, which one is better?

It is hard to have a final answer for determining whether wool or nylon is better as they all have pros and cons, and it also relies on your preference regarding safety, quality, price, etc.

For example, wool is costly but has a longer lifespan, while nylon is easier for you to clean, making it more ideal in a big family with children and pets.

Is nylon carpet good for stairs?

Man-made carpet, like nylon, could be your best choice for installing stair covering, thanks to its durability and safety. But wool is not a bad option in this case. So if you are willing to pay more money, you can also choose wool fiber for your stairs.

Can wool and nylon blend?

Yes, you can find some blended carpets available on the market. The popular one is wool and nylon with a typical ratio of 80% wool and 20% nylon. This fiber is a mixture of advantages from both wool and nylon, such as durability, resilience, warmth, and stain resistance.

Natural Or Man-made Carpets? Which Team Will You Follow?

Go grab a pen and paper and write down your priority and requirement for a suitable carpet, then compare it with the pros and cons of these carpet sorts to find out which one is the perfect choice.

Indeed, there is no best or worse carpet as they all carry different properties, which some of them are good for you, but some might not. 

Lastly, the main purpose of this article is to offer you complete knowledge about wool and synthetic carpeting so you can have the right purchasing decision. So if you find it helpful, please like and share it. Do not forget to share your thoughts if you have any.

Thank you for your time!

Wool Carpet Vs Nylon Carpet Vs Synthetic Carpet


  1. En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Polytrimethylene Terephthalate – Wikipedia.
  2. Kraus, M., Juhasova Senitkova, I., (2020). ‘VOCs Emission Simulation of Common Flooring Materials’. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 960.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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