Undecided whether to choose a polyester or nylon carpet for your home? Which type of carpet is right for your home?
Making the Choice
Points for Polyester Carpet
Polyester is softer under the foot. It is more pleasant to walk on.
Polyester is the better choice if you want to enjoy walking across it but don’t want the higher cost and concerns that come with wool or silk carpets. It feels a lot like wool but for a fraction of the price. If you really want that woolen feel, PET Polyester is a cheaper alternative to wool.
Polyester has the advantage of customization if you want to dye it a specific color, and it holds the color for a long time. This is less of an issue than it used to be as nylon carpets come in many more colors than they used to.
The biggest draw of polyester carpet is its price. It costs about half as much as nylon.
Polyester has more moisture resistance, so it is the better choice for a basement that may flood. The material is naturally moisture repellent. In contrast, nylon actively soaks up moisture, allowing mold to grow in humid environments or fostering its growth if you have a water spill.
Points Against Polyester Carpet
Polyester carpet will flatten and stay flat sooner than nylon carpet; nylon carpet fibers, even high pile, bounce back faster and take longer to be permanently crushed flat.
Polyester carpet on average wears out much faster than nylon carpets. Polyethylene Terephthalate – Triexta (PTT) polyester carpet lasts longer, but costs even more than standard polyester carpets. Triexta has the added benefit of better stretch recovery than mainstream polyester carpets.
Points for Nylon Carpet
Nylon gets points for being much more durable than polyester. Nylon is thus the better choice for high traffic areas just because it won’t wear out as fast.
Nylon has much better abrasion resistance, such as when strollers, vacuum cleaner wheels or carts are rolled over it.
It doesn’t rip up on exposure to these wheels like polyester sometimes does. This is why nylon is often used in atriums, hallways and lobbies.
Nylon is available in low pile, medium heights and high pile.
Nylon survives repeated professional carpet cleaners better.
Nylon does a better job hiding soil stains.
Points Against Nylon Carpet
Nylon has a good chance of fading if under a window or skylight.
Nylon carpet is prone to static electricity.
When it comes to stain resistance, there are nylon carpets that are as resistant to stains as polyester, but this depends on the nylon carpet brand and how it is manufactured. Because of that, there isn’t a clear winner regarding stain resistance. That said, nylon carpets do better overall when they are treated for stain resistance than untreated polyester carpets that often cannot be treated without affecting its gentle texture. Polyester carpets are particularly prone to problems when subject to food spills, cosmetic spills and oil based stains.
Nylon carpets have been recycled for a long time; polyester carpets are increasingly eco-friendly, with some of them made in part from recycled soda bottles.
Wear and cost usually count for more than color and feel. Polyester is a good choice for rooms that don’t see much traffic, while nylon is the better choice for high traffic areas. Nylon is the better choice for areas prone to food spills like a cafeteria or break room, while polyester is the better choice for other types of stains.