Before going to purchase a rug for your home there are several factors to consider like what type of rug material is used in that rug, how much traffic will it receive, how much is your budget for the carpet, what are the properties of each material and so on. Each rug material has its own pros & cons and is different from one another in their durability, affordability & versatility. Here we have covered a number of rug materials with their pros & cons that are commonly used in area rugs that will help you to choose the best rug type for your home.

Natural Fibers

Wool - Wool is a common rug material known for its durability. Wool rugs are soft & comfortable and are the most popular choice among the homeowners. They are also stain, dust and flame resistant. Wool is an extremely versatile fiber that allows for an endless amount of color options and holds its appearance for a longer period of time. They are a bit expensive and don’t hold up against humidity. Wool rugs are best suited for high traffic areas like living room or dining room.

SilkSilk rugs look luxurious and are very soft in touch. Silk is also a versatile material that dyes easily and gives you a number of color options. They show footprints when you walk on them. They are expensive and are not very durable on their own, but work well with a combination of wool. They require professional cleaning and are best suited for low traffic areas. 

CottonCotton is an inexpensive rug material that serves as an alternative to higher cost rugs made of wool or silk. Cotton also allows for many color options. They are soft, easy to clean and can even be put in a washing machine. Cotton rugs tend to fade quickly and are fairly durable. Best suited for kitchens, children’s rooms or casual places.

Jute & Sisal Jute fiber comes from the outer layer of the stem of a jute plant, and sisal fiber that is also known as the strongest plant fiber comes from the leaves of a sisalina plant. These textured natural fiber rugs are affordable, very strong, and free from chemical processing and is a good alternative for those who have wool allergy. These rug materials are dyed with earth tones and the construction of these types of rugs allows for textures & weaves that no other type of rugs can achieve. They feel rough on feet and difficult to clean. Can be used in high traffic and in sunny areas. 

Bamboo Slat & Seagrass These highly durable rug materials are natural, eco-friendly and are water & stain resistant. They don’t dye well and due to which color options are limited. Bamboo slat is a fiber which comes from the bamboo plant and can be woven into silk like threads or cut into planks. Avoid high moisture and some varieties can be coarse and difficult to clean. Best suited for areas such as living room, bedroom or hallways.

Sea grass is another rug material made using grass cultivate in water making it waterproof and is primarily found in India & China. They don’t attract dust or dirt and are suitable for those who have allergy sensitivities. The color options are limited to light green hue which fades over time to a beige color. It can be used in areas prone to water like bathroom or kitchen.

Hemp Hemp fabric is made using fibers from the stalks of the cannabis sativa plant. They are resistant to dirt, water & allergens. Hemp rugs are not soft as wool or cotton and are coarser to the touch than sisal rugs. They are also very durable and affordable with low maintenance. They are good for high traffic areas or home with pets.


Polypropylene/OlefinIt is a commonly used synthetic fiber used in rugs. These rugs are soft like wool, holds color well and affordable. Have the ability to repel stain & moisture and can withstand indoor & outdoor weathering. They also have low maintenance and are easy to clean, but furniture marks are difficult to fix, and also due to their chemical makeup they are highly flammable. Avoid placing it near intense heat areas and can be placed near a swimming pool or in a bathroom.

Polyester Polyester is a strong fiber which has almost the same properties as the polypropylene fiber except they are slightly less durable. Polyester rugs are soft, affordable and resistant to mildew & staining. They are also solution dyed which makes them resistant to bleaching fading and other wear & tear, but are not oil resistant. It is a highly absorbent material, but difficult to dye, so color options are limited. It can also withstand outdoor weathering and can be placed in high traffic areas.

Nylon Nylon is another common rug material which is tough, affordable and similar to polyester fiber except is less durable and cannot be machine washed. They are developed as a substitute for silk. Nylon rugs are soft, holds color well and known for its high elasticity and resistant to staining & moisture. It is easy to clean but difficult to fix furniture marks. It can withstand outdoor weathering and dries quickly which makes it ideal for bathrooms or outdoors.

Viscose Viscose is the man-made answer to silk which is very beautiful and affordable. It looks & feels like silk but cheaper to produce than silk rugs. And due to its low cost, huge range of colors and designs are available in this category of area rugs. But the fiber is weak and the rugs made are extremely fragile which results in shredding when come in contact with water. They are also a bit expensive and difficult to maintain. Suitable for medium to low traffic areas.

Faux Fur Thick, soft faux fur rug is an affordable alternative to real animal hide. They are made up of acrylic and synthetic blends for low budget customers. They get dirty easily and are not easy to clean as the real hides, but many can be machine washable. They are also prone to shredding, so avoid placing them in high traffic areas.


SheepskinSheepskins are expensive but pretty hides acquired from sheep. These sheep skins looks luxurious & soft and are best suited as décor in low traffic areas. Sunlight, moisture, stains & machine washing can be fatal to these types of rugs. They hold dirt but are easy to clean, just shake them out or regular vacuum cleaning will do the job. Some hides can shed and curl up from the edges but can be fixed easily with a low heat of iron from the backside.

Cowhide & LeatherCowhide & leather are also expensive but unique, stylish & highly durable to foot traffic. They are easy to maintain but don’t hold up well against water or spills. Cowhide is the natural skin & hair of cow which is often used without dyeing and chosen for their patterning & intact condition. These extremely durable rugs are sometimes colored with soft prints & textures. Also it holds dust over time but regular vacuuming will do its job.