When it comes to carpet, nylon and polyester are two of the most popular synthetic carpet fibers on the market. If you’re trying to decide which is best for you, considering a few of the key differences between nylon and polyester is a good place to start.
One of the biggest factors to consider in any carpet purchase is durability. A carpet that will stand up to daily wear and tear and still manage to look good for the next decade or so is definitely important.
Nylon carpet fiber has a long reputation for being the most durable synthetic carpet fiber available. The secret to nylon’s durability lies in its ability to literally “bounce back” from compaction.
Polyester is slightly less durable than nylon. It lacks nylon’s high resilience, and will typically begin to show signs of wear due to foot traffic in comparatively less time.
Although nylon is generally more durable, both fibers are available in a wide range of qualities, so a high-grade polyester could outperform a low-grade nylon. When shopping, be sure to compare carpets of equal quality.
When it comes to stain resistance, polyester takes the lead. It is a hydrophobic fiber, which means that the material itself repels liquid, whereas nylon is extremely absorbent and soaks in liquids – and therefore spills.
Both polyester and nylon carpets are treated to help prevent spills from setting in and staining the fibers. Even though nylon on its own is less stain-resistant than polyester, nylon carpet that has been treated can be very stain-resistant.
If you’re choosing carpet over a hard-surface floor, softness is probably one the top bullets on your list. The good news is, thanks to the production of carpet fiber in thinner, finer strands carpet is now softer than ever before. Both nylon and polyester carpets have many soft styles available with no noticeable differences in the feel from one fiber type to the other.
Pricing is often one of the biggest considerations in flooring selection. Overall, nylon is more expensive to produce, so it usually costs quite a bit more than a comparable polyester carpet of equal quality – although lower-priced nylons and higher-priced polyesters do exist. In general, nylon is a more expensive fiber.
PET Polyester is well-known for its environmental benefits. It is often made from recycled materials such as plastic drink bottles and results in a more sustainable carpet
Recently, advancements have improved the eco-friendliness of nylon fiber, as well. Many nylon carpets are now recyclable at the end of their useful life, which helps to reduce the amount of carpet sitting in landfills for the indefinite future. More nylon carpets are also now made from recycled materials. Some nylon carpet can be recycled back into nylon carpet, which causes substantial environmental benefits.
Both nylon and polyester carpets can be eco-friendly, but not all carpets have these features. Speak to your salesperson about environmentally friendly options for more information.
Each fiber has its pros, as well as its cons. If you are looking for a carpet that will stand up to heavy foot traffic over the next 10 years, nylon is likely your best bet. If budget is your biggest concern, then polyester is probably best for you. Consider your needs, environment, and budget and determine which fiber type is best for your home.