No one fibre is best for everyone – the best carpet choice for you depends on where it will be, who’ll be using it, how much traffic it will get, and the size of your budget.
Just like your favourite jumper, wool carpet is warm, luxurious and durable. It’s also generally more expensive than other fibres. Wool is good for living areas where appearance is important. It’s naturally stain resistant in that it resists liquid-based spills and releases dirt easily, but you’ll want to clean up spills quickly. Cheaper wool carpets are likely to pill.
Nylon is a tough and durable man-made fibre. It’s very popular for carpets – it’s cheaper than wool and some even look as good but with added stain resistance. Nylon carpet will hold its colour against cleaning and sunlight, and it’s ideal for use in high-traffic areas for families with children or pets.
Polypropylene is a synthetic fibre, popular because it’s inexpensive, water resistant and durable. It’s often used for rental properties, garages or playrooms. However it looks and feels cheap – because it is.
Wool and nylon blend carpet can give you the benefits of both, at a lower cost than pure wool carpet.
The luxurious Axminster and Wilton carpets use an 80/20 wool/nylon blend, and offer the same quality and durability as pure wool. 50/50 wool/nylon can be difficult to clean, as stain-resistance can’t be added to the nylon when it’s blended. These blends also tend to use poorer-quality wool yarn that will pill.