Making a decision is almost never fun. There are always several factors to consider and multiple people you don’t want to upset with your choice. The pressure can be overwhelming. Choosing an area rug is no different.

From size and placement to style, there is an endless array of things to think about. But one of the first choices you’ll need to make is the type of rug you need.

Of all of the options out there, many homeowners like yourself arrive at either a natural fiber or synthetic area rug. And to help you decide between the two, we’re pitting them against each other in a natural vs. synthetic rugs showdown.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Natural Fiber Rugs

Built with fibers that are 100% natural and sustainable, natural fiber rugs have a wide range of benefits. Made with plant fibers like sisal, jute, hemp, seagrass, and more, natural fiber rugs can come in a variety of textures and colors that match any interior design style. They can also come in unique patterns to liven up your home and create eye-catching pieces.

Beyond their fun styles and comfort level, natural fiber rugs have practical benefits as well. For starters, they are static-free as they are very absorbent. Their ability to hold moisture means your hair won’t stand on end and will lessen your chances of getting a nasty shock. In addition, natural fibers are good at collecting dust in their weaves, which eliminates the amount of dust particles in the air. If you suffer from allergies, this means there are fewer particles in the air that could trigger your allergies.

With the benefits out of the way, it’s time to flip the coin. Remember the high absorbency we mentioned earlier? This can also be a bit of a drawback. Because natural fiber rugs absorb lots of water, you need to be very careful with how you clean them. In fact, water saturation should be avoided altogether to avoid damaging your rug’s color or fibers. In addition, some natural fibers have very thick weaves. While thick weaves make great dirt catchers, they can also feel coarse on bare feet.

The bottom line? Natural fiber rugs are perfect for the indoors, adding plenty of style and comfort to any space through their warm textures and colors. But if you need an area rug for your patio or a high traffic area in your home, you may want to take a look at a synthetic option.

Pros

Cons

Static-free

Requires careful cleaning

Reduces allergens

Some weaves can be tough on bare feet

Sustainable

 

Plenty of soft, silky, or woven textures

 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Synthetic Rugs

Right off the bat, the term “synthetic” may be an immediate turn-off to you as a homeowner as it implies that they are “fake.” But as a maker of high-quality natural fiber area rugs, we also know that synthetic rugs can look and feel amazing while offering superior durability.

Synthetic rugs are most commonly made from polypropylene, nylon, or polyester. In fact, our own outdoor sisal rugs are made from polypropylene for maximum durability. These materials have been specially manufactured to be incredibly durable and easy to clean, making them a cinch to maintain all year long. And unlike their natural fiber counterparts, water is no issue allowing them to resist mold build-up as well. They also won’t fade in direct sunlight, making synthetic rugs the perfect outdoor option.

However, there are a couple of cons to a synthetic area rug. For starters, moving heavy furniture across the rug can create an abrasive friction that could permanently damage the material. This can easily be avoided, though, by making sure you lift furniture pieces instead of dragging them. In addition, synthetic rugs are susceptible to oil-based stains if they’re left on the rug for too long.

The bottom line? If your area rug will be placed outside or in another area where messes are going to be a regular occurrence, synthetic rugs are the most durable and easiest to clean option out there.

Pros

Cons

Easy to clean

Prone to show abrasive scratches

Durable

Oil can leave a stain

Mold/mildew resistant

 

Won’t fade in the sun

 

 

Before You Make Your Decision

At the end of the day, choosing the right area rug for your home is no joke. If you’re still unsure which rug is right for you after weighing all of the pros and cons, check out when you should choose a synthetic rug over wool