Nylon vs Polyester Carpet

Nylon vs Polyester

Carpet is a popular flooring choice for both residential and commercial applications. It has plenty of attractive qualities, such as comfort and warmth, noise reduction, and aesthetic appeal, but not every carpet is created equal.

Traditionally composed of wool, carpets now tend to be made up of synthetic fibers, created using different processes that involve oil and natural gas. These fibers are twisted together and heat-treated to maintain their shape. The varying processes used during manufacture lead to different types of fibers used to create different types of carpets, with unique properties, pros and cons.

Two of the most common synthetic fibers used to make carpets are nylon and polyester. Let’s take a look at each type to help you decide which carpet is best for your space.

Nylon carpet pros and cons

Nylon is regarded as the most luxurious synthetic fiber, making it a popular choice for many rooms within the home and various commercial property types.


  • Durable – Nylon is a desirable carpet material due to its durability. It’s naturally crush-resistant and it ‘bounces back’ after compaction. This is handy for high-traffic areas or rooms where heavy furniture is often moved around, as no indentations will be left on the floors and the fibers wear down much slower than other carpet materials. Nylon has an expected lifespan of around 12-15 years depending on the level of traffic the carpeted area receives.
  • Allergy-friendly – Out of all the synthetic carpet options on the market, nylon is the most allergy-friendly. For applications where allergens are a big concern, wool carpet is the ideal choice, but nylon is the best choice out of synthetic fibers.
  • Comfort – Nylon fibers are very soft, making the floors very comfortable to walk across.
  • Eco-friendly – Some nylon carpets are recyclable at end-of-use, but if this is a priority for you, be sure to do your research before purchasing a product as not every nylon carpet can be recycled.


  • Low stain-resistance – Nylon is an absorbent material, so it can stain more easily than polyester. Nylon carpets are treated to prevent spills from setting in, but this doesn’t make them immune to staining. Due to its absorbent nature, spills can embed within the carpet and trigger mold growth if not properly cleaned.
  • High static electricity – Synthetic carpets are poor conductors of electricity and have a high resistivity. The fibers generate static electricity during production and processing, so receiving static shocks from your nylon carpet is not unheard of.
  • Smaller color range – Most nylon carpets are available in a diverse color range, but compared to polyester, this range is somewhat limited. You’re more than likely to find your desired carpet shade in nylon, but it’s worth bearing in mind that other carpet fibers are available in a wider choice of colors.
  • Cost – Nylon is the most expensive fiber out of all synthetic carpets, but there is a range of qualities of nylon available on the market to suit varying budgets.

Polyester carpet pros and cons

Polyester carpet is a direct competitor of nylon, being widely chosen for a range of applications.


  • Eco-friendly – Polyester is regarded as the most eco-friendly synthetic fiber, as all polyester carpets are fully recyclable at end-of-use.
  • High stain resistance: Polyester fibers are hydrophobic, meaning they repel liquids, contributing to high stain resistance. This does not mean that polyester is immune to staining, but it’s more resilient against stains than other carpet fibers.
  • Cost – Polyester tends to be lower cost than nylon, with a range of qualities available to suit different budgets.
  • Comfort – Like nylon, polyester is very soft underfoot, making it a popular choice for applications where comfort is a priority.
  • Color range – Polyester fibers are much easier to dye than nylon, so a wider color range is available, including very vibrant shades.


  • Durable – Although polyester is somewhat durable, it can’t compete with the strength of nylon. Polyester carpets are much quicker to show wear and tear, and damage from high traffic. The expected lifespan of a polyester carpet is around 5-15 years, but reaching the top end of this average requires very minimal foot traffic throughout the carpet’s use.
  • Allergens – Polyester can trap allergens in its fibers much easier than nylon, causing concerns for anyone with allergies, sensitivities or respiratory problems. Like most carpets, vacuuming is often not enough to remove deep-rooted allergens from polyester fibers, so investing in a regular professional carpet cleaning service is recommended.
  • Static electricity – For the same reasons as mentioned above, polyester carpets are known to give static shocks. However, the risk is slightly lower in polyester than it is in nylon.

Nylon vs polyester carpet

Nylon and polyester are very comparable materials often used for similar applications, however, there are some applications where one type of fiber stands out as the best choice.

High-traffic areas like stairways, hallways or commercial spaces can benefit from the increased durability of nylon to ensure that your initial investment in the floors pays off over its long lifespan. Nylon is also a more suitable choice for homes or commercial properties where allergens are a concern.

Polyester is an ideal carpet choice for homes with pets or children due to its stain-resistance properties. For commercial premises, polyester may be the material of choice due to its extensive color range, making it easier to match the floors with brand colors if this is the desired aesthetic.

Always have your carpets installed by a professional to ensure maximum safety and longevity.

Unsure if carpet is right for you? Check out our handy comparison articles to see how carpet shapes up against alternative flooring materials: