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March 23, 2022
Are you looking into different types of carpet and wondering about the pros and cons of wool carpet? Good news—you’re in the right place!
People have used wool in textiles since the beginning of, well, the use of textiles! It’s a natural fiber that offers more flexibility than one might expect.
Below, we’re going to take a peek at the two types of wool carpet you can find; then, we’ll journey through all the wool carpet pros and cons you should know about. You might be surprised to notice that several categories can be both a pro and a con, a blessing and a curse—we’ll explain a bit more about that further down.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with some recommendations of our favorite wool carpet brands.
We promise it will be a wooly good time!
Types of Wool Carpet
Did you know that there’s more than one type of wool carpet? Just as not all types of carpet are made the same way, neither are all types of wool carpet! Specifically, you have the choice between:
Neither choice is any better or worse than the other. It just means that, when weighing your wool carpet pros and cons, you have a couple more things to think about.
Natural Wool Carpet vs. Blended Wool Carpet: Pros and Cons
Pure wool carpet is sometimes called “natural wool” or “100 wool”. If you want an all-wool carpet, we’d recommend looking for string wool from New Zealand or Britain. Each has different qualities: Britain’s wool is weighty and textured, while New Zealand’s wool is soft and pale, which is better for light-colored rugs.
Wool blend carpets are sometimes called “80/20 wool” since the ratio within the blend is generally 80% wool and 20% alternative fiber, typically synthetic. Therefore, you might hear this called “wool mix”.
Wool blend is a prevalent option because, when you weigh wool carpet pros and cons, you’ll find that blends have many of the pros and fewer cons! For example, it is more durable and has better stain resistance.
Which is Better: Synthetic or Wool Carpet?
Before we get into the pros and cons of wool carpet, let’s take a step back and answer one big question: is synthetic or wool carpet better?
To determine the answer, you need to consider what’s most important to you. For example, what do you value most in a carpet? Also, think about your space, your budget, and how long you need the carpet to last.
Wool can last longer than synthetic carpet, and it’s a more sustainable, eco-friendly flooring choice. However, synthetic is much more affordable, durable, and stain-repellant.
For this reason, synthetic carpets are a very popular choice, so they usually sell better. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your space. It is worth weighing wool carpet’s pros and cons before choosing! And on that note…
Wool Carpet Pros and Cons: Everything You Need to Know
It’s essential to be realistic about what you can expect from any carpet. These products all have their limitations, just like they all have their perks! To make a well-informed decision on your carpet investment, it’s imperative to look at these wool carpet pros and cons side by side and weigh them for yourself.
The Advantages of Wool Carpet
Let’s start with the good stuff! Here are the big perks of installing wool carpets in your home.
You Can Count On Its Natural Durability
Wool is one of the longest-lasting carpets on the market. Seriously, this is a crazy strong material! If you were to compare the longevity of wool carpet vs. laminate flooring, you’ll find that properly-maintained wool carpet will probably last longer.
One of the most fantastic perks of wool carpeting is that heavy traffic or furniture won’t crush its fibers. Wool has a natural elasticity, so it will still bounce back years down the road. Of all the wool carpet pros and cons, this has to be one of the pro-iest pros!
Wool Carpet Repels Dirt and Stains
As a natural fiber, wool has inherent oils that repel dirt. This means that natural wool will resist oil-based soiling.
Wool is also an opaque fiber. Why is that good? We’re so glad you asked! Dirt that gets in your wool carpet will be a challenge to spot—meaning the fibers mask dirt for you! This puts it among the best carpets for stairs and other high traffic areas.
Wool is a Sustainable Flooring Option
Environmental concerns rank high on any list for flooring, and no list of wool carpet pros and cons would be complete without mentioning the material’s sustainability.
Wool carpet is possibly one of the most environmentally friendly flooring options you can find. It comes from a plentiful source, meaning it’s very sustainable! And even though it’s sourced from animals, no animals are actually hurt in the process. On the contrary, shearing a sheep’s wool actually helps it stay healthy!
Wool Carpet is Environmentally Friendly
Wool carpet is greener to manufacture, as well. Producing wool carpet uses less electricity and fewer pollutants than producing synthetic carpet.
But wait, there’s more! Wool carpets are also biodegradable, and you can recycle them. So landfills won’t be suffering when you (finally) decide it’s time for a new floor. And because wool carpets are so long-lasting, companies expend even less energy output to manufacture them.
Nothing Is as Soft and Comfortable as Wool Carpet
There’s an age-old debate between using carpet or hardwood in the bedroom. There are definite advantages to each—but we can’t resist the comfort and warmth of carpet in the bedroom!
Wool carpet is some of the best flooring for bedrooms because it is unbelievably soft and cozy. Nobody enjoys having cold feet in the morning, and you’ll avoid that misery when you have a wool floor to wake up to.
However, the bedroom isn’t the only place in the home where wool belongs! So while we think of wool as some of the best carpet for bedrooms, why not make all of your rooms warmer with wool carpet?
It’s Insulating (for Warmth and Efficiency)
Speaking of soft and comfy, much of that comfort comes from wool’s insulating quality! It’s so thick that it can soak up cold.
If you’re debating between carpet vs. hardwood in your home, consider the energy efficiency of each option. Wool carpet prevents heat loss and keeps your rooms warm when it’s cold outside—your heating bill will thank you.
Hardwood, on the other hand, is cold. Few types of wood flooring will insulate your home the way carpet will, and heating a wood floor is another checkmark against energy efficiency. Even the best hardwood floors don’t keep out the cold as well as carpet does.
Moisture Regulation Can be a Wool Carpet Pro and Con
It may seem odd that moisture regulation can be a wool carpet pro and con, but hear us out. We’ve already established that wool is a very absorbent material. This can be both good and bad!
Wool carpet can act as a natural dehumidifier, pulling water right from the air. When it does this, it helps to regulate your room’s environment. In humid weather, your wool carpet can make your room feel more comfortable than your other rooms.
On the reverse end of this, your wool carpet can also release some water particles when the air has dried out. It’s tremendous for balancing the humidity of your room!
However, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to choose exactly how much wool carpet will regulate humidity in a room. You might want a more humid room, or a drier one. That’s why moisture regulation could be in the advantages or disadvantages section of this wool carpet pros and cons list!
Wool is Fire-Resistant
This perk is courtesy of wool’s tendency to absorb water. The moisture within the fibers, including its natural oils, makes it incredibly difficult to burn. As a result, wool carpets may melt but are awfully difficult to catch fire.
So if you’re looking for the perfect carpet in a room with a fireplace (or if you’re the type of person who loves to burn candles frequently), a wool carpet may offer some peace of mind. Seriously—did you think you’d see something about fire on a wool carpet pros and cons list?
Plus, it Absorbs Sound Really Well
If you close your eyes and concentrate, you can probably visualize the sound of somebody walking across a wood floor. Heck, if you live in an apartment building you can hear the sound of a person walking across the floor above you!
However, wool carpet is super quiet. It muffles the sounds of footsteps, but it also makes the whole room quieter because it insulates sound.
It doesn’t matter whether you go all in for the best laminate flooring or the best vinyl plank flooring—neither of these floors is any good in muffling sound. The only wood or fake wood floor that comes close is WPC flooring. This type of EVP (engineered vinyl plank) floor does manage to be quieter, but still can’t compare to wool carpet!
Wool Carpet is Hypoallergenic
Do you suffer from allergies? Then, you may find that wool carpet is exactly what you need for more comfort in your home.
Wool doesn’t only absorb water, cold air, and sound—it also absorbs allergens. Irritants like smoke, dust, and fumes get trapped in the wool fibers, preventing them from floating in the air and bothering you. When you vacuum them up, the carpet releases these allergens, giving you another motivation to clean your rug regularly.
So if allergies get you down, you aren’t confined only to sustainable wood flooring for floors that are healthy for you and your environment. Pro tip: the best cork flooring is also hypoallergenic, but it’s not nearly as comfy as carpet.
Wool Carpet’s Pros Include Colorfastness
Hey, have we mentioned how absorbent wool carpeting is? (Just joking.) One of the benefits of wool fibers sucking in liquids is that it soaks up dye very well. Meaning? Well, wool carpets come in so many color options, with a vast range of patterns and color subtleties. There are so many beautiful choices!
And because wool is super colorfast, it won’t fade over time. It is similar to the fade-resistance of Lees Carpet by Mohawk, only made from natural fibers. The only exception to this is if your carpet sits in direct sunlight; it’s pretty sensitive to UV rays.
Unfortunately, your carpet’s color isn’t entirely safe from chemicals. Certain cleaners don’t do well for wool and may ruin your pretty color. It’s essential to use a recommended cleaner when cleaning up potential stains, or else you’ll create your own stain.
Once again, wool’s porous nature leads to more wool carpet pros and cons.
The Disadvantages of Wool Carpet
Of course, this is an article about the pros and cons of wool carpet—and the material does have some disadvantages! Here are some of the biggest downsides to putting these types of carpets in your home.
Its High Cost Can be a Drag
The price of wool carpeting is one of its most significant drawbacks. Wool is actually one of the priciest carpeting options—but of course, you’re paying for quality.
But if wool is such an abundant material to find (hello, sheep!), why does it cost so much money? That answer lies in the production. It costs more to produce this natural fiber than a blend or synthetic. It’s also costly to have installed. Unfortunately, carpet isn’t exactly do-it-yourself flooring, so you won’t be able to cut cost corners that way.
Remember, though, that a wool carpet will pay for itself over time. Because it can last for years beyond other carpets, you’ll get your money’s worth. So your payment evens out over your carpet’s loooooong lifetime!
Moisture Can Ruin Your Wool Carpet
If you spill a large volume of liquid onto your carpet and don’t manage to soak it up quickly, your carpet may be in trouble. And because wool can’t dry well on its own, it is prone to developing mold and mildew. In addition, water quickly saturates this carpet, causing odor and unhealthy mold spores.
So if you have a finished basement and are considering what flooring to use, wool carpet may or may not be an ideal choice. If your below-ground level doesn’t flood but often has high humidity, wool carpet may be one of the best basement flooring options for you.
However, areas prone to leaks or flooding will require water-resistant wood flooring at the very least (though you’ll probably have better luck with totally waterproof hardwood flooring or waterproof laminate flooring). Otherwise, you’ll be looking into how to replace flooring sooner than you’d hoped!
Moths Love Wool
As you may have learned with your wool sweaters over the years, moths and beetle larvae love wool. As in, they love to eat wool.
While we’d love to say this is one of wool carpet’s pros and cons, it really is just a con. Bummer!
However, using mothballs on your carpet isn’t realistic, so what else can you do to protect your investment from bugs?
Well, some brands pre-treat their wool carpets with a chemical insecticide called Permethrin, but then your carpet isn’t all-natural and chemical-free. If you don’t like that idea, regular vacuuming may help keep your rug pest free. Otherwise, you may quickly be researching the cost to replace carpet with hardwood.
And It’s Susceptible to Stains
Sadly, wool carpets are easy to stain if you don’t clean spills up immediately. Like we’ve said over and over, wool is crazy absorbent—so it will soak up any color that gets into the fibers. However, it should clean up reasonably well if you don’t leave the stain to sit.
Translation: wool carpets may not be the best flooring for pets. If you are searching for the best flooring for dogs and really want carpet, consider looking at some other different types of carpet. Wool has a lot of pros and cons, but all the negatives indicate that wool isn’t suitable for most pets.
That said, a regular visit with the vacuum cleaner does wonders for maintenance. The individual fibers are so dense that dirt tends to collect near the surface rather than sink low between the strands. This makes dirt removal a snap.
Our Favorite Wool Carpet Brands
Ok! Now that you know all about the pros and cons of wool carpet, you may be wondering where to begin your hunt for the best products. Fortunately, we’ve done some research in this area and just so happen to have a couple of favorites.
Doma flooring is one of the best carpet brands when it comes to wool. Every one of their carpets is either 100% wool or a wool blend! Doma is also known for its hyper-fashionable textile styles; they offer tons of bold, trendy designs, many of which are entirely unique.
Best of all, Doma actually sells 100% wool carpet for less than $6/square foot, which is an absolute steal.
Paradiso flooring is another brand we just love. And while Paradiso offers many different types of flooring, the majority of their carpets are made from wool or a wool blend. If you’re looking for more luxurious types of carpet, this is a company we’d recommend.
More impressively, all Paradiso carpets are woven (rather than tufted-and-glued), which makes them supremely durable. It also makes them exceptionally low-VOC carpet. Some are even woven by hand. Durable, non-toxic, and hand-made? Um, yes, please!
Wool Carpet Pros and Cons: FAQs
If you still have concerns after examining the pros and cons of wool carpet, we’re here to help! Let’s talk about some FAQs.
What Type of Pile Does Wool Carpet Have?
Great question! Fabrics aren’t generally limited to only one type of pile. So, wool can come as a cut pile carpet or a loop pile carpet. However, we can’t tell you if you should consider cut pile vs. loop pile—that’s a personal choice! And it doesn’t affect the wool carpet pros and cons listed above.
Can I Save Some Money on Wool Carpet Installation by Doing it Myself?
This isn’t advisable. Installing carpet is best left to professionals who know the proper way to stretch the carpet and securely attach it to the subfloor. Self-installation leaves you open to all sorts of errors, least of all being carpet bubbles.
If your heart only desires wool carpet, but your wallet desires something more affordable, you might consider peel and stick carpet tiles. These are less expensive than broadloom carpets, and you can install them yourself. And if you don’t know how to install carpet tiles, just know that it’s a piece of cake.
What’s the Average Cost for Wool Carpet?
As with all types of flooring, you will find an extensive range of price points. On average, you can expect to spend approximately $14 per square foot for wool carpets; the minimum amount is generally around $8 (though again, Doma does sell top-quality wool carpets for less than this).
Don’t forget to look at the higher cost as one of wool carpet’s pros and cons. Sure, it hurts to shell out a lot of money upfront, but with proper maintenance, you’ll be saving money in the long run. By the time you are ready to replace your wool carpet, you would have replaced another type of carpet two or three times.
So, Do Wool Carpet Pros and Cons Add Up to the Right Choice for You?
Well, we’ve laid out the wool carpet pros and cons as best we can. The rest is up to you; weigh this list and see how it balances out for you. We can’t tell you if wool carpet will be the best choice for your home, but we can say with absolute certainty that we would love to see more wool carpets in the world!
We hope we’ve exhausted all your questions, but if you would like to discuss wool carpet pros and cons in greater detail, let us help you reach out to a flooring store near you. They can help match you with the exact right choice!
And for more information on all things flooring, don’t forget to check out: