Are you considering buying nylon or polyester carpet? Nylon and polyester are two very popular carpet types in the synthetic carpet fiber market. Your needs, your environment, and your budget will determine which one is best for you.
About Nylon Carpets
Nylon carpet is the most popular choice for living areas. It is in high demand because it is easy to care for, durable, and available in many designs.
Nylon is one of the most wear-resistant plastics also has good chemical resistance. A nylon carpet withstands daily wear and tear and is therefore suitable for placement in heavy pedestrian traffic areas.
About Polyester Carpets
Polyester is another popular choice for synthetic flooring for homes and offices. Polyester fiber is much cheaper than nylon and is a bit more environmentally friendly.
If cost is a major concern polyester rug or carpet may be a better option for you.
Polyester vs Nylon Carpet
Durability is one of the most important factors to consider when you buy a carpet since you don’t replace it often. You want your carpet to withstand daily wear and tear for the next several years.
Nylon has high durability and resistance to wear and tear. This is the plastic of choice when resistance is an important consideration. But what really makes nylon an excellent material for carpet is its ability to spring back to its original shape after compaction.
Polyester has less durability when compared to nylon. It does not have the high strength of nylon and shows signs of wear and tear from pedestrian traffic in a relatively short period of time.
While nylon is generally stronger, both fibers come in various grades so that high-quality polyester can outperform low-quality nylon. Go for high-grade fibers such as nylon 6.6 or 6.0, which can last up to 15-20 years.
Durability Winner: Nylon
This is where polyester trumps nylon. Polyester is a hydrophobic material, which means that the fiber itself repels liquids. Hence the polyester carpets have high stain resistance.
Nylon on the other hand is very absorbent, so it absorbs liquid and stains the fiber.
But this doesn’t mean that nylon carpets are stain magnets. In fact, most carpets on the market today have some stain protection. While nylon without any treatment is less stain-resistant than polyester, treated nylon carpets can be stain-resistant. The treated fibers prevent spilled carpet from clumping and discoloring the carpet.
Some nylons are solution-dyed, which means the color runs completely through the fiber and not just on the surface. The dye solution significantly increases the stain resistance and light resistance of nylon. Unfortunately, due to the production logistics, only a few nylons made for residential areas are solution-dyed.
Softness can be an important factor when choosing a carpet as it is often one of the main reasons people prefer carpets to hard floors. Fortunately, the plastic carpets are now softer than ever, thanks to the manufacture of carpet fiber in increasingly fine yarns.
When we compare nylon vs polyester, I would say, the latter has a slightly more cushioning effect. If you are after a plush carpet that provides ultimate comfort, you might want to take a look at the wool carpet.
Design and carpet textures need to match the interior of the home or office and hence is an important factor. Carpets made of nylon and polyester are available in many designs made of soft fibers without the feel of the fiber noticeably different from fiber type to fiber type.
Texture Winner: Both
In our guide on plastic carpets, we discussed carpets made of recycled plastics. They are made of recycled PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) polyester bottles and hence considered as the eco-friendly choice. Shaw’s Clear Touch and Mohawks Continuum are two popular collections made from this recycled fiber.
In recent years, great strides have been made in improving the environmental friendliness of nylon fibers. Some of the nylon grades are also recyclable and more and more nylon carpets are made with recycled content. So, they will end up in landfills where the carpet lies indefinitely. Some nylon carpets can be fed back into the nylon carpet, creating a cradle-to-cradle loop with significant environmental benefits.
But be careful as not all plastic grades have these eco-friendly properties. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s labels and talk to your seller about environmentally friendly carpets.
Maintenance of the nylon carpet is easy as it contains a hydrogen molecule, which can be easily restored after steam cleaning the fibers. If the fibers of your nylon carpet flatten over time due to heavy pedestrian traffic or heavy furniture on the carpet, heating it with a steam cleaner can liven fibers up. To care for your nylon carpet, vacuum it weekly and steam clean it once or twice a year.
To clean the carpet spills, you should use a mild laundry detergent that is safe to use on nylon fibers. Do not use bleach on nylon fiber floors as this type of fiber is sensitive to harsh chemicals.
On the other hand, polyester carpet maintenance can be easy if you do it regularly. It is important to vacuum regularly to avoid wear and tear from dirt. Also, do not let direct sunlight fall on polyester carpets, as they will fade over time. It is recommended that you clean up spilled carpet immediately with mild soap to avoid stains from settling.
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Nylon is perhaps the best anti-allergic carpet fiber available today. This is because nylon fibers resist dirt and powdery mildew. Unlike natural fiber rugs, these carpets do not contain harmful dust or allergen particles.
However, I strongly recommend you vacuum your carpet regularly to remove the fine dust particles. This is important to reduce the chance of allergies.
Allergy Resistance Winner: Nylon
Another crucial factor when choosing a carpet is cost. Overall, nylon is the most expensive synthetic fiber that can be made. Therefore, a nylon rug generally costs a little more than a comparable polyester rug. It’s all about comparing two carpets of the same quality. There are cheaper nylons and more expensive polyesters but overall, it is important to know that nylon is a more expensive fiber.
Overall Winner: Polyester
Nylon Carpet Pros and Cons
- It is more suitable for high-traffic areas
- It has excellent retention
- It is easy to clean
- High stain-resistance
- It is easy to maintain
- It has resistant to mold and mildew
- It doesn’t induce allergic reactions
- It is more expensive than other synthetic carpets
- It produces a lot of static electricity
- It does not as soft as other carpet options
Polyester Carpet Pros and Cons
- It is relatively inexpensive
- It has a low static electricity
- It is an eco-friendly carpeting
- It has a soft, velvety texture
- It absorbs less water
- It is resistant to mold growth
- It has a low retention
- It does not stain-resistant to oil spills
- It is sensitive to UV rays
Polyester and nylon carpets are great choices for homeowners, as long as you take your needs into account. Both carpet types will add warmth and comfort to your home. But nylon will last a long time, even if it’s not stain-resistant or as plush as polyester.