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Wool Carpets vs. Synthetic Carpets: Which Is Best for You?

According to Good Housekeeping, tufted and woven are the two most popular styles of carpet sold in the UK. But this overlooks another question the discerning carpet buyer needs to tackle: wool vs synthetic carpets – which is best?

Wool has been used to make carpets for thousands of years, and with good reason. The ancient Persians could hardly shear nylon off their flocks, could they? While wool carpets are still extremely popular, is it time to start looking at synthetic fibres too?

Let’s take a whistle-stop tour through the pros and cons of synthetic and natural fibres so you can decide which is best for you.

The Pros and Cons of Wool Carpets

When it comes to premium carpet materials, wool is the standout choice.

The reason Persian carpets that are hundreds of years old still look incredible is that wool is very durable and hardwearing. It has a natural springiness which means it keeps its shape for longer than many synthetic fibres and it’s more luxurious underfoot.

Wool also has excellent thermal insulating properties. Thick wool carpets laid on quality underlay may save as much as 8-13% in heating costs.

Wool is natural and sustainable. When it comes to the end of its useful life, it is biodegradable and will nourish the soil as it decays. This gives it some serious eco credentials.

On the downside, wool carpets can fade. It’s important not to expose them to strong sunlight, otherwise you will develop light patches as the UV rays interact with the wool fibres. Ironically, even though it’s susceptible to sun damage, ordinarily it provides good stain-resistance.

They’re also not the best in busy office environments that get a lot of daily traffic. If used in this context, you’ll eventually get ‘runways’ of worn carpet marking where people most frequently travel.

As wool is a premium material, it also comes with a heftier price tag than most synthetic carpets.

The Pros and Cons of Synthetic Carpets

Synthetic carpets are an affordable flooring option that could be the best choice in some settings. The most common materials for synthetic carpets are:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Olefin
  • Blends of synthetic fibres

Nylon is a popular choice for high-traffic areas. It’s great in commercial settings, and it’s easy to keep clean. It’s usually treated to give it a high level of stain-resistance.

Some carpets made from synthetic fibres use recycled materials in their manufacture. This makes them more eco-friendly than traditional artificial fibres. Some types of carpet, such as nylon, can also be recycled.

On the downside, few synthetic fibres can match the luxurious feel of wool. Those that can, like olefin, are not as hardwearing. Some also generate static electricity.

Sometimes, wool and synthetic fibres are blended to give you the best of both worlds.

Wool vs Synthetic Carpets: The Verdict

If you’re redesigning a busy commercial building, synthetic carpets may be the way forward. But if you’re looking to create a cosy, luxurious vibe in your own home, wool carpets win every day of the week.

At The Flooring Group, we have the perfect flooring solution for you, whatever your project. Contact us today for a free quote.