There is no denying that an area rug finishes off an interior space. Sometimes the scheme for a room is inspired by a beautiful rug too! But many of my clients are surprised by the vast amount of rug materials available. Some didn’t even realize the huge differences (and similarities) among these materials.

If this is you too – don’t worry – this is very common!

As a homeowner, an area rug is quite often left to last and therefore the decision gets largely influenced by the budget. This is perfectly understandable but you may be left choosing from materials that aren’t suitable for the room or use and regret it further down the line. 

This is where working with an interior designer can be extremely beneficial! I love making area rugs have presence within a space and work with homeowners in terms of durability for the particular room. When you choose the right rug for a space it can last many years.

Rugs are a fantastic piece to include in most rooms, but which construction material is best for you and your family? I have put together this guide to rug construction materials to help you make the right decision when it comes to purchasing area rugs for your home. (Are you also interested in learning how to select a rug for open concept spaces? Then read about that here.)

Let’s explore the options…

Area rugs are a great decorative addition to any space. They help to ground seating areas and provide extra comfort to create that homely feel!


Wool Rugs

Wool is one of the most luxurious construction materials for rugs and provides a soft and unique “bounce back” pile.


Wool rugs are undoubtedly one of the softest available. Imagine your favorite sweater but made with a thicker pile and placed underfoot – perfect for walking barefoot around your home. 

What I really like about wool rugs is the rich fibers that they are made from and their resiliency. These fibers are actually crush-resistant so even if you have kids and pets at home, the rug will bounce back for years to come.

In terms of maintenance for wool rugs, some stores offer “easy-to-clean” wool rugs that mean the wool fibers repel water, dust, and dirt. It is best to perform spot cleans on your wool rug to ensure it’s looking its best, and most especially after any spillages. It is recommended to vacuum wool rugs regularly, and for the first few months as natural shedding occurs you may need to vacuum additionally to combat this.

Wool rugs are fantastic for use in high-traffic areas if you’re looking for something that feels luxurious.

$$$ Wool rugs are one of the most expensive options on the market but are very durable, soft, and sustainable.


Jute Rugs

Natural fiber rugs such as jute and sisal make fantastic additions to modern farmhouse or Scandinavian-inspired interiors, however lack the comfort underfoot like wool rugs.


Jute rugs are made from natural fibers that create a chunky, woven pile. These rugs are extremely inviting visually but do have a prickly texture that isn’t appropriate for lounging or playing with the kids.

The great aspect of jute rugs is that they are less likely to hold allergens, making them a healthy choice. The natural coloring of them makes them a popular choice for those looking for a natural, modern farmhouse or Scandinavian look to their space.

Jute rugs are particularly good in high traffic areas, such as the foyer or hallway however the natural fibers will absorb moisture so you should avoid spillages.

$ Jute natural fiber rugs are relatively inexpensive and have a medium durability. These rugs will need to be professionally cleaned.


Sisal Rugs


Sisal rugs are very similar to jute rugs in that they are constructed from natural fibers and also create a similar look within an interior. However, there are some advantages to choosing sisal over jute… Sisal is generally a more durable fiber. Many are also washable which makes them perfect for busy family homes.

$ Sisal rugs are inexpensive but are more durable than jute as many are washable.


Polyester Rugs


Polyester rugs are an affordable alternative to natural fiber rugs such as jute or sisal. They are extremely comfortable underfoot, are stain-resistant, and fade-resistant.

You should be made aware that polyester rugs generally don’t wear very well but with regular vacuuming and spot cleaning, you can make them last for longer. Generally, we don’t recommend these rugs for families or high-traffic areas because of this.

$$ Polyester rugs are medium-priced, durable, and washable. However, they are not suitable for busy family households.


Nylon Rugs


Nylon rugs are well known for their durability. They are made from synthetic fibers but work similarly to wool rugs in that they will bounce back.

In terms of maintenance for nylon rugs, they have good stain resistance and rank very high among other synthetic fiber materials. This makes them ideal for busy family homes  

$$$ Nylon rugs are expensive but extremely durable and washable. They make a good long-term option for all types of households.

Runners are a great addition to foyers or hallways – like this project example here. We used the client’s existing nylon-based runner because of its durability and low maintenance for this family home.


Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns and we love them because they are soft, reliable, and inexpensive.


Cotton rugs help to create a relaxed and natural look to a space. They are generally soft and are available in a variety of pile lengths depending on how they are made.

Cotton rugs aren’t as durable as polypropylene or nylon rugs but are still a great option for high-traffic areas. They can also be used within kitchens, bathrooms, entryways – almost anywhere in the home that needs a little extra color or pattern. Many of these rugs are reversible so if you do end up with large stains you always have another side to use.

$ Cotton rugs are typically very reliable, soft, and washable.


Polypropylene Rugs


Polypropylene rugs are an affordable wool alternative. If you love the glamor and density of wool rugs but can’t meet the price tag of them, polypropylene could be a great alternative for you. They are blanket soft, the pile mimics the fibers of wool rugs and many are strong enough to be used both indoors and outdoors.

These rugs are extremely durable, water-resistant, and easy to clean making them fantastic for busy households or those who love to entertain family and friends. 

$ Polypropylene rugs are inexpensive, extremely durable and long-lasting, washable, and soft to the touch. A great option for busy family households.

Polypropylene rugs are a great option for busy family households or those who entertain often. Their durability and washable qualities will be hugely beneficial for you.



If you are looking for a runner for your kitchen or a rug under your dining table – look for a low pile construction.


For those who have a busy family household, perhaps even have pets as well as kids, polypropylene rugs should be at the top of the list because of their durability and budget-friendly price tag. Should you wish to have something more premium, you should consider wool or cotton for a soft area rug. 

Always remember to examine the room for which you are considering a rug for and keep in mind what this area is used for. Does it get used regularly, infrequently, and so on. For dining rooms and kitchens specifically, you should prioritize durability, washable options, and those that are stain and moisture resistant too.


I wish you luck on your journey to finding the perfect rug for your home! And hope that this blog post has provided you with some helpful information to help inform your decision. If you have any questions or have made a decision based on the information shared here, please drop us a comment below and let us know! As always, we’re here to help so don’t hesitate to reach out for a mini design consultation!