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The synthetic carpet fiber market is dominated by nylon and polyester materials but is nylon carpet better than polyester?
After reading this post, you will have enough information to know the best answer to this question. Several factors determine which one is best for you, depending on your preferences.
Some of them include your budget, how the carpet material feels, and how much you care about the environment.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the difference between nylon and polyester carpet.
Nylon carpets are more durable and more resistant to wear and tear. They are equally more expensive than polyester carpets.
Similarities Between Nylon And Polyester Carpets
- Both are synthesized from petroleum products.
- Both are quite easy to clean and maintain.
- Both offer a range of styles and color options.
- Both can be recycled after use, depending on the manufacturer.
Is Nylon Carpet Better Than Polyester?
When talking about nylon vs polyester carpeting there are a few unignorable things one must put into consideration. Some of these are:
Factor #1: Durability
An important factor people consider before buying carpets for their homes is the durability of the material. Everybody wants a carpet that will stand the test of time.
You want one that will survive the wear and tear of daily use and still look good for many years.
Dirt and stains on the carpet cut through the tiny fibers of a carpet, ruining them over time. The strength of nylon slows this process down.
Nylon carpet fiber has a solid reputation for being durable, often maintaining its quality for long periods. It is the most durable synthetic carpet fiber out there.
Nylon fibers can bounce back from compaction from people walking on them. They easily become upright again after someone’s feet impact them. This texture retention explains its remarkable durability.
If you need a really strong carpet for a residential house with high foot traffic, nylon carpets are suitable. It is also better for commercial buildings.
Tip: A close competitor on durability is the PTT triexta.
In contrast to nylon materials, polyester is known to have inferior durability. It is not resilient to foot traffic and wears out faster.
Bear in mind that this comparison on durability is not absolute. Both nylon and polyester come in a wide range of qualities.
Even though an average nylon carpet is more durable than polyester, a high-grade polyester will outperform a low-quality nylon material.
Note: This comparison assumes that the two materials are of equivalent quality.
Factor #2: Stain Resistance
Polyester beats nylon hands down on stain resistance due to a more favorable chemical composition.
Polyester fiber is hydrophobic, which literally means that it “does not like water”.
It repels liquids like drinks and water and does not absorb them. This protects it from getting stained so easily like nylon materials.
If you own pets or have kids, polyester is better because of its stain resistance. It is also cheaper to replace if you have to.
Unlike polyester, nylon materials easily absorb liquids that stain them.
This difference in chemical composition has become less significant. This is because most carpets used in residential buildings are fortified with some stain-resistance properties.
A treated nylon carpet can show good stain resistance quality, despite its unfavorable chemical composition.
Some modern nylon fibers are solution dyed. Instead of the color from spills staying on its surface, it passes through the whole fiber down to the bottom. This prevents its surface from getting discolored.
Making nylon fiber solution dyed not only protects it from staining but also makes it fade resistant too. You can use it for several years without it losing its original color quickly.
Not many nylon carpets in homes are solution dyed though. This is due to the complex and more expensive logistics required to manufacture it.
Note: Beware of nylon if your home is dry as it can store static electricity which might lead to shocks.
Factor #3: Impact On The Environment
PET polyester is renowned for its eco-friendliness. Most of them are made by recycling materials like plastic water bottles and beverage bottles. If you want to go green, go for polyester.
Two of the most prominent polyester carpets made from recycled plastics are Shaw’s ClearTouch and Mohawk’s Continuum.
As caring for the environment became more mainstream over time, more research and advancements were made in making nylon fibers more eco-friendly.
A lot of nylon carpets can now be recycled at the end of their life cycle.
This prevents it from being disposed of in ways that can harm the environment, like sand fills and incineration.
Some nylon carpets are also made from recycled materials, and can even be made from another recycled nylon carpet. This has a positive impact on the environment.
Carpet fibers, whether polyester or nylon, can be made and used in an eco-friendly way. Not all manufacturers care for the environment, though.
Note: You can check the labels on the product or ask the salesperson at the retail outlet to confirm how eco-friendly it is.
Factor #4: Softness
How carpet material feels on the foot is a major factor you should consider when buying one.
Softness and a comfy feeling are one of the main reasons people choose carpeting over a hard surface or bare floor.
Modern carpets are generally softer than they used to be years ago. Advancements in manufacturing equipment have enabled the production of thinner carpet fibers with fine strands.
While nylon’s hardness makes it durable, it also makes it less soft than polyester fibers.
If you need a really soft carpet, then polyester has an edge here.
This is one major difference between nylon and polyester carpet.
Tip: In recent times though, advances in technology have enabled both to be made with soft fibers and with different designs and styles.
Factor #5: Price
Price is a major factor you need to consider before selecting carpet material. This depends on your budget.
Nylon is a synthetic fiber with a higher cost of production. This translates to a higher price in the market compared to a polyester carpet fiber of similar quality.
Polyester fibers are cheaper because they are mostly made from recycled plastic soda bottles.
Nylon fiber carpets cost about $3.25 – $7.50 per square foot, while polyester fiber carpets cost about $0.85 – $5.50 per square foot.
This price comparison assumes that both fibers are of similar quality.
Even though nylon fibers are generally more expensive than polyester fibers, a high-end polyester carpet can be more expensive than a low-grade nylon carpet.
The quality grade of the particular fiber mostly determines its price. With good research, you can get a great deal from sales outlets.
Note: Polyester carpets are about half the price of nylon carpets.
Factor #6: Production
Both nylon and polyester fiber are petroleum products synthetics.
However, the way they are made results in differences in eco-friendliness, durability, and costs.
Nylon is manufactured in factories using petroleum derivatives as raw materials.
The polyester used to make carpet fiber is mostly made from P.E.T. ( Polyethylene Terephthalate). And this is mostly from recycled plastic bottles.
Factor #7: Allergies
If you or a loved one has allergies or asthma, then you would want to know which nylon or polyester fiber carpet is better.
Nylon carpets are easier to clean and are effective anti-allergy carpets.
Make sure mold and mildew don’t develop on whichever fiber you chose, and that it doesn’t trap dust mites.
Tip: Vacuum cleans the carpets frequently to make sure particles and other allergens don't gather.
Is nylon carpet better than polyester? There’s no clear-cut answer to this question as each fiber has its own benefits and disadvantages.
Your choice will depend on the factors you consider to be more important to you.
If durability is your major concern, and you want a carpet that can last for decades despite significant foot traffic, nylon carpet is your best option. If you have a small budget and want to cut costs, then polyester material is the best for you.
Both materials are soft and feel comfy, so this factor might not be your major concern.