This post may contain references or links to products from one or more partners of our parent company and/or subsidiaries of our parent company. For more information, visit this page.
April 22, 2022
If you’re looking for info on nylon carpet pros and cons, allow us to paraphrase Lady Gaga at the Oscars: “We got you.”
There are so many types of carpet to choose from that it can be incredibly overwhelming to know what’s what.
Of course you want the best flooring for your home—but how do you know which floor that is? Unfortunately, you can’t just pick the one that looks best; you need to know it’ll be the best fit for your space.
That’s why we’re here! Below, we’ll walk through all the pros and cons of nylon carpet you need to know about.
First, we’ll examine precisely what nylon carpet is and your different nylon carpet options. From there we’ll take a deep dive into all the pros and cons of nylon carpet, from the highs to the lows. Then we’ll compare it to other synthetic carpets, and round things out by sharing some of our favorite nylon carpet brands.
You’ll learn a lot, we promise. So, are you ready? Let’s jump in!
Nylon is a man-made material that’s used to make many products. Technically speaking, it’s actually a type of plastic—which may feel a little surprising given that it’s one of the most comfortable types of carpet you can buy!
DuPont first invented nylon in the 1930s, and it soon became a popular alternative to silk in making women’s stockings. Nylon proved to be such a comfortable, durable fiber, that manufacturers soon started using it to make other textiles; today, it’s used in all sorts of goods, including wall-to-wall carpets, rugs, and even peel-and-stick carpet tiles.
Is Nylon a Good Carpet Choice?
There’s a reason that nylon is incredibly popular. Perhaps the main reason is that nylon can take a beating! Plus, it’s a cinch to clean—so it’s wonderful for busy families with kids and pets.
If that sounds like your family, well, there’s probably a reason you’re looking into nylon carpet pros and cons! Nylon products are some of thebest carpets for pets and kids.
The Different Types of Nylon Carpet
It’s tempting to assume that all nylon carpets are the same. But that’s not the case! In fact, not all nylon carpets are created equal.
Simply put, there are two main types of nylon, and which one you choose can make a significant impact on which of the pros and cons of nylon carpet you’ll experience for yourself.
Nylon 6,0 vs Nylon 6,6
The two varieties of nylon carpet are nylon 6,0 and nylon 6,6. Weird names, right? Don’t worry, there’s a logic behind these designations. The numbers refer to the number of carbon atoms that each type contains. Ok, that’s pretty nerdy, but still kinda cool.
Nylon 6,6 is widely considered the better choice. It’s more durable than 6,0 and also gives off less static electricity (a common issue that pops up on lists of nylon carpet pros and cons).
Nylon 6,0 simply isn’t as high-performing as its sibling, although carpet manufacturers are working to close the performance gap between the two. One absolute win for nylon 6,0? It’s easier to recycle than nylon 6,6.
Nylon Carpet Pros and Cons: The Full Skinny
Alright, let’s get right into the meat of the matter. Does nylon carpet cover all of your bases, or will it leave you lacking in the areas that are most important in your home?
Nylon Carpet’s Advantages
There’s a reason that nylon is the best-selling fiber for home carpets. Well, several reasons, in fact. Don’t let the fact that nylon is technically a plastic fool you into thinking these carpet types are undesirable. Here are the pros of nylon carpet:
Nylon Carpet is Very Durable
Yes, nylon is a super durable carpet. As in: the nylon fibers are super strong. Nylon is a super material for high-traffic areas; your kids have finally met their match. This durability translates into a long-lasting carpet.
So, go ahead and run that marathon through the hallways of your home—your nylon carpet can handle it!
Nylon Carpet Ranks Highly in Stain Resistance
Certain types of nylon carpets can be unbelievable in terms of stain resistance, however, it’s not a quality that’s natural to all nylon carpets. It all boils down to how the carpet has been dyed.
Solution-dyed nylon provides the most opposition to stains. This method of carpet dying means that the fibers are colored during the nylon manufacturing process. The result is that the fibers are more resistant to absorbing anything they come in contact with.
The other method for adding color to nylon carpets is acid-dying. Here, the color treatment is applied to the fibers post-manufacturing; they absorb the dye, and can then absorb any other liquid they come into contact with. Typically, a stain treatment is applied after this process to help reduce the likelihood of stains. Which isn’t great, though, if you’re hoping for low-voc flooring.
Science alert! Buckle up! (Puts on lab coat and gets ready to explain.)
The fiber structure of the nylon carpet contains one hydrogen molecule. When an area of the carpet gets crushed down, it essentially deflates this hydrogen molecule. All it needs is a little bit of heat to revive it.
So, steam cleaning has a very powerful effect on preserving and maintaining your nylon carpet, because it uses heat while cleaning. It will resuscitate a flat carpet at the same time as giving it a deep scrubbing. Frequent steaming preserves and extends the life of your carpet. Now you can see why nylon products are some of the best carpets for stairs and other high-traffic areas!
Allergy Sufferers Appreciate that Nylon Carpet is Hypoallergenic
Allergy sufferers, rejoice! If you’re looking to breathe easier at home, nylon is worthy of strong consideration.
Nylon doesn’t trap and hold dust deep in its fibers. Instead, dust and dirt stay on the surface of the fibers, making them a breeze to vacuum up. So, frequent vacuuming will quickly eliminate some of your most frustrating allergy sources. And with hardly any effort at all!
For this reason, people who suffer from year-round allergies often choose nylon carpets as their bedroom flooring. They sleep easier at night and wake up feeling refreshed.
Nylon Carpets are a Breeze to Clean and Maintain
Carpet cleaning can make quite an impact on your home’s comfort. When your carpet requires a lot of attention, it’s tempting to avoid this task. And that never has positive results.
If the thought of a floor that’s simple to clean has you considering something as effortless as wiping up laminate, you don’t need to give up your carpet dreams! Compare nylon carpet vs. laminate and you’ll probably agree that they’re equally easy to clean. The occasional steam clean once a year (or every other year) and a regular visit with the vacuum cleaner is all this carpet will require.
You Can Recycle Nylon Carpet
If the environment is one of your concerns, it can feel a little icky choosing a synthetic fiber. Natural fibers are typically sustainable and greener to produce. However, here’s an environmental reason to celebrate nylon carpet: it’s recyclable!
Old nylon carpets are turned into new carpets or used in manufacturing wheel parts or parts for washing machines. Imagine that!
No Mold Grows on Nylon Carpet
This is another advantage in the nylon carpet pros and cons list: because of the stain treatment applied during manufacturing, nylon fibers don’t absorb water. This means that there’s never an opportunity for mold to develop on your carpet. This is one of the great advantages of not having natural fibers.
Keep in mind, though, that there’s still the carpet backing and padding to consider, so nylon carpets aren’t entirely mold-proof. It can still seep through and destroy even the best carpet padding. You’ll still need to clean accidents ASAP and keep your nylon carpet as dry as possible.
Even the most sought-after types of carpet have their dark side, their skeletons in the closet. You know, if carpets had closets. After all, this article is about nylon carpet’s pros and cons!
Anyway, here are the cons of nylon carpet.
Nylon is a Bit Pricier Than Other Synthetic Fibers
You aren’t likely to pay huge amounts of money for a nylon carpet, but do be prepared to pay more than you would for a different material like polyester. Then again, you get what you pay for. Like we said, there are distinct pros and cons to nylon carpet!
On the other hand, nylon is still relatively cheap compared to natural materials like wool. When you compare it with wool carpet pros and cons, you’ll see that nylon isn’t particularly pricey.
Nylon Carpet Holds Static Electricity
Is the air in your home dry? Well, prepare to be shocked. No, we really mean it!
Nylon carpets can hold static electricity, which is… annoying. You can pay extra for an anti-static coating, but then you’re adding to your costs.
We know, it’s not a huge deal, but it’s something important to consider when weighing your nylon carpet pros and cons (even if it won’t exactly have you looking into the cost to replace carpet with hardwood).
It’s Not the Absolute Softest Material
If you’re looking for cozy flooring, nylon has you covered. It’s one of the softest synthetic carpets, after all. But if you’re looking for the absolute softest of all-time flooring, you might want to look elsewhere—like wool or polypropylene.
If you don’t want to lose out on the durability of nylon carpet, but ultra-ultra-softness is still important to you, you could consider layering an area rug over your carpet. This will allow you to have the durable carpet you need while giving you something super-soft on top.
If you’re debating between carpet vs. hardwood, the great debate likely stems from whether you want to give up a cozy, fluffy flooring. In that case, you should probably rule out nylon.
Other Carpets are More Environmentally Friendly Than Nylon
Because nylon fibers are manufactured and not natural, they require the use of extra energy to produce them. Since natural fibers are grown and not produced, they carry a lower carbon footprint.
On the other hand, nylon has such a high durability level that it doesn’t need to be replaced as frequently as many other carpets do. This may help to offset your carbon footprint, somewhat, so it’s worth remembering.
Nylon Carpet vs. Other Synthetic Carpet Options
Nylon isn’t the only synthetic carpet on the market. How does it compare to some of the other widely-used synthetic carpet materials?
Pros and Cons of Nylon Carpet vs. Pros and Cons of Polyester
Polyester isn’t just for your dad’s 1970s tuxedo! It’s a runner-up to nylon in the world of synthetic carpet. It’s widely embraced because it’s inexpensive, soft, and less staticky. And it’s also a surprisingly environmentally friendly flooring choice.
Of course, there are some downsides, as well. It doesn’t spring back into place as well as nylon does. It isn’t terribly durable, either. It can also be prone to fading and doesn’t handle oil-based spills very well. That said, solution-dyed polyester is pretty tough stuff.
Pros and Cons of Nylon Carpet vs. Pros and Cons of Triexta
Triexta was created by DuPont relatively recently, and it’s most commonly used by Mohawk in their popular SmartStrand line. It’s very similar to polyester in many ways—because it’s actually a type of polyester.
Triexta is typically less costly than nylon, although there are some variations that run more than inexpensive nylon carpets. It’s also comparable to nylon in many ways, if not quite as robust as 6,6 nylon.
However, a major bonus for triexta is that it’s partially made with corn glucose instead of petroleum. This is so much better for the earth… and for you! A carpet that doesn’t contain petroleum has fewer VOCs, and that’s always a win for your health. If you’re looking for affordable low-VOC carpet, triexta is a strong contender. That said, most nylon carpets these days are low-VOC as well.
Triexta also has a natural resistance to stains. Thanks to this, companies don’t need to pre-treat the carpet to make it stain-resistant. Oh, yeah, another win! Easy to clean spills!
Pros and Cons of Nylon Carpet vs. Pros and Cons of Polypropylene (Olefin)
Olefin is more water-resistant than nylon so it doesn’t often absorb dye as well as nylon does. The result is that you’ll find limited colors in carpets made from olefin.
However, olefin does offer excellent stain resistance and isn’t going to fade easily. Fortunately, it is also slightly less costly than nylon.
When choosing an olefin carpet, be sure to opt for a loop pile, rather than plush. It’s more resilient, if less comfortable. Remember, cut pile vs. loop pile can mean the difference between comfort and durability.
Our Top Nylon Carpet Brands
Many brands that deal exclusively or at least heavily in nylon carpet top several lists of the best carpet brands. They are each so fantastic that it’s really hard to narrow down the list. Here are some of our favorites.
Proximity Mills has an excellent reputation among carpet manufacturers for offering durable, long-lasting, high-performance carpets. They have hundreds of nylon 6,6 offerings that are all priced affordably, compared to many other nylon brands.
You’ll find offerings in all styles, including cut, loop, and cut & loop. We love their variety and their cost-friendly approach.
Newton deals in more than just nylon carpets, but they sure bring their A-game in this category. Newton specializes in very traditional carpets, so there’s nothing here that’s going to be a game-changer, but with over 170 carpet choices you’ll likely find something to love.
Part of the reason their selection is so extensive is that you can choose any style in any color they offer. So you’ll never be told that the style you’ve selected doesn’t come in the shade you want. You get to have your cake and eat it, too!
Because all of Newton’s nylon carpets are nylon 6,6 you can count on their durability. However, they are unique in their pricing; Newton’s carpets are offered at a low, low price that’s amazing for nylon. And they offer a pretty good warranty, too, so you can feel safe in your coverage should anything go wrong.
Lees carpet sells products from several major manufacturers—including Mohawk—so you’ll find all sorts of nylon and triexta options here. And you’re likely already familiar with the Mohawk brand and its good reputation for all sorts of excellent flooring, including hardwood floor alternatives like their amazing RevWood.
The ability to fight off stains is a major attraction for many buyers. However, these carpets aren’t quite as high-performing as you would like for their cost. Their durability and resiliency lack slightly in comparison with other nylon carpet brands.
Paradiso is a quality flooring brand that’s definitely worth considering. They do have some nylon offerings, although this isn’t their main focus.
Their greatest contribution to the world of carpeting is that all of their carpets are woven, rather than glued and tufted. Not only does that help the carpet to last longer, but it also avoids the chemicals of the glue used to attach the fibers to the carpet backing.
Tigressa carpet is a brand to look into when you’re on a tight budget. All of their carpets are nylon 6,0 and do quite well in durability and stain tests. With all of nylon carpet pros and cons to sort through, Tigressa includes one major point from the pro column: their carpets are all made from recycled nylon! How cool is that?
Nylon Carpet Pros and Cons: Our Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are lots of nylon carpet pros and cons to consider when choosing your new floors. There are so many gorgeous types of flooring to choose from that it can be difficult to narrow down all the options. Knowing what your needs are ahead of the process really helps, but it’s also important to be honest with yourself about your wants. Does a very soft carpet matter, or is durability going to make you happier?
And you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start looking! Check in with your local flooring retailer and have one of the experts answer any questions you have.
And for more info on all things flooring, check out:
Courtney is a freelance writer who wears many other hats: kindergarten teacher by day, Broadway diva in the shower. She is a transplant Hoosier who originated in New England. When she isn't writing in her spare time, you will find her reading history books, arguing with her latest knitting project, or being beaten by her kids at most games.
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