Polypropylene vs Wool Rugs: Which One Is Right for Your Home
Choosing an area rug is no small decision. Whether you want a statement piece to add style and sophistication to your bedroom or living room, or you’re looking for something more functional and dependable, a polypropylene rug can be a great option.
But, what about other types of rugs, like wool? You know and love the fiber for your winter hats, scarves, and sweaters, so there’s a good chance you’ll love wool area rugs, too. Wool is a comfortable, natural, and sustainable fiber that works in whatever space you place it.
So, which of these types of rugs is right for you? Read on to uncover the pros and cons of polypropylene and wool rugs, and discover which is the best fit for your home.
Polypropylene vs. Wool Rugs: Which One Is Best?
There are many criteria on which you can judge each type of rug fiber. We have collected some of the most common considerations rug buyers take into account as they are browsing for rugs. Evaluating each of these factors may help you zero in on the right rug for you.
Eco-friendliness: wool rugs
Wool rugs are the eco-friendlier choice. As a natural fiber, wool is a renewable and biodegradable material, making it a sustainable option. Polypropylene rugs are made from synthetic materials and therefore do not have the same environmental credentials. If sustainability is a priority, wool rugs are the way to go.
Kid-friendliness: polypropylene rugs
Polypropylene rugs are a more practical choice for homes with children. Their durability, stain resistance, and easy cleaning make them a sensible option for areas where kids play and spill. Wool rugs, though soft and luxurious, may not withstand the wear and tear that comes with active kids.
Better for pets: polypropylene rugs
Polypropylene rugs are a pet owner's best friend (or, second best friend). Their resistance to stains and moisture and ease of cleaning make them an excellent choice for homes with furry companions. Wool rugs are more vulnerable to pet-related mishaps and may require extra care and attention.
Overall lifespan: wool rugs
Wool rugs have a longer lifespan compared to polypropylene rugs. With proper care and maintenance, a wool rug can last for decades, making it a worthwhile investment for those looking for a long-term solution or even a family heirloom.
Although polypropylene rugs are durable, their synthetic fibers will eventually break down—at least, they’ll break down faster than wool. This means polypropylene rugs have a shorter lifespan and therefore may need to be replaced more frequently.
Durability: polypropylene rugs
Polypropylene rugs are champions when it comes to durability. They are resilient, with excellent resistance to wear and tear. They are also stain resistant and easy to clean, which makes them ideal for heavy foot traffic areas.
Wool rugs, while durable, are better suited to low to moderate foot traffic areas. Their natural fibers can show signs of wear more quickly than polypropylene and they can be prone to matting.
Softness: wool rugs
Wool rugs are particularly well known for their natural softness. The fibers are plush and comfortable underfoot, providing a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your home.
Polypropylene rugs, while comfortable, don't match the inherent softness of wool. Still, they can provide a nice and comfortable surface to walk on and are great for adding a bit of comfort, especially to outdoor spaces. To make it even softer, consider adding an outdoor rug pad.
Easier to clean: polypropylene rugs
Polypropylene rugs are known for their easy maintenance. They are inherently stain-resistant and can be cleaned with a simple solution of mild detergent and water. And because they are mold and mildew resistant, you don’t need to worry about drying them quickly.
Wool rugs, while luxurious, require more care. They are prone to staining and should be cleaned with greater caution. Spills on wool rugs can be spot cleaned, although bigger stains may require professional cleaning to avoid permanent damage.
Better for allergies: both!
Wool rugs and polypropylene rugs are both great choices for allergy sufferers. Wool's natural properties make it hypoallergenic, as it resists dust mites and other allergens. Polypropylene’s synthetic fibers are mold and mildew resistant and repel allergens. If you’re looking for a rug that won’t make you cough and sneeze, you can’t go wrong with either wool or polypropylene!
Cost: it depends!
When it comes to cost, it all depends on what your overall goals are. That said, polypropylene and wool rugs fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. The decision here largely depends on your budget and the intended use of the rug.
Polypropylene rugs are a budget-friendly choice for those looking to spruce up their living space without breaking the bank.
Conversely, wool rugs are considered a more premium option, and their price reflects the natural, high-quality material they are made from.
The Benefits of a Polypropylene Rug
Polypropylene rugs are designed to look and feel like wool, sisal, and other natural fibers, but are made from synthetic material. This makes them the most durable and easiest to clean option for both your indoor and outdoor spaces. Not only are polypropylene rugs comfortable and resilient, but they’re also extremely versatile, functional, and—believe it or not—soft!
Learn even more about polypropylene rugs.
The Benefits of a Wool Rug
Wool is a warm, cozy, soft-to-the-touch fiber that works well in nearly any space. It’s a natural, sustainable, fire-resistant option for your home, that’s also surprisingly durable. This is mostly due to the wax, or lanolin, that naturally rests on the surface of wool fibers. This lanolin coating prevents spills and messes from seeping in and staining your new wool rug.
For more facts about decorating with wool rugs, read up on these five qualities of wool rugs.
Now that you know the differences between polypropylene and wool rugs, how can you determine which material is right for your home?
First things first, ask yourself where the rug will go. Are you redecorating a bedroom or living room, or are you giving your bathroom or kitchen a facelift? Do you need comfort or durability?
Bedrooms and living rooms typically encounter less foot traffic and fewer spills than other rooms, so a soft and comfy wool rug is a great option. Your bathroom and kitchen, on the other hand, are high traffic areas where water and other products may spill at any moment. For these reasons, a durable and easy-to-clean polypropylene rug is likely a better fit.
The Right Fit Underfoot
Whatever rug material you choose — polypropylene, wool, or another natural fiber like sisal or jute — understanding their benefits can help you make an informed decision for your home. Whether you’re decorating indoors or out, there’s a rug out there for you.
Ready to shop? Check out our vast selection of polypropylene rugs or 100% wool area rugs. If you’re not sure what your room needs, fill out your custom style profile and our in-house interior designer will find you the perfect match!