Nylon vs Polyester Carpet (Differences & Types)

Here’s our nylon vs polyester carpet guide with advantages of each type of carpet material, cost and which is best for your interior design.Nylon vs polyester carpetOriginal wool carpeting, used in various ways, dates back more than 1000 years ago. By the 20th century, wool was switched out for newer materials. Although wool carpeting is still available, it comes at a high cost.

However, fibers made from olefin, polyester, nylon, and acrylic are affordable options found in almost all homes and are available anywhere carpet is sold.

The two most popular materials are nylon and polyester, both synthetic fibers used in manufacturing carpeting, single area rugs, and self-stick carpet tiles.

Polyester and nylon carpet each have characteristics that may or may not fit your carpeting needs. Shopping for carpeting means wanting the best choice for comfort and wearability.

Read on to discover the differences between both types of carpet material to help decide what type of carpeting is best for your home or office.

Is Nylon Or Polyester Carpet Better?

Nylon and polyester carpeting are offered in a range of quality levels. A high-grade polyester carpet, typically not as durable as nylon, will outlast a low-grade nylon carpet. When comparing carpeting, always choose the same level of quality for each type.

Both nylon and polyester carpet have different characteristics, each offering advantages and disadvantages in several categories. Below is a breakdown of each type with the pros and cons.

Nylon Carpet

Living room with nylon carpet fireplaceExcept for wool carpet, which is a natural fiber, nylon is the longest-lasting and most durable synthetic carpet fiber. It’s most often used in residential homes and is easy to maintain. Nylon stands up to everyday wear and high foot traffic.

Nylon is Durable: Nylon has excellent retention meaning the carpet fibers don’t hold compression indents from heavy furniture very long. The fibers decompress rather soon after heavy objects are removed and return to their original height. Installing nylon in family rooms, bedrooms, and hallways is appropriate due to its durability.

Nylon is Stain Resistant: The materials that make up nylon carpeting have built-in stain resistance. Liquid spills such as wine, coffee, coke, and other darkly colored beverages will not leave a permanent stain. Using a wet rag and a nylon-safe soap will easily clean up the stain.

Texture: Nylon carpeting is rough, but manufacturers can weave thinner fiber stands to make the carpet soft. This poses a problem with durability as the thinner strands will wear down sooner.

Upkeep: Nylon contains a hydrogen molecule in its makeup, making it easy to clean and revive if it’s worn down. Vacuum nylon carpeting weekly and steam clean the carpeting once a year.

Read more about the nylon carpet pros and cons here.

Polyester Carpet

Living room with polyester carpetNext to nylon, polyester carpeting takes second place for popularity. It’s the next most installed carpeting on the market. Polyester is more affordable than nylon and is an eco-friendly choice when installing carpeting in your home or office.

Polyester is Not as Durable: Polyester fibers don’t have high retention and do not spring back once they are matted down by heavy items and foot traffic. Polyester shows wear early on and isn’t as durable as nylon.

Stain Resistance: Although polyester carpet is stain resistant, it will stain from oil-based liquid spills. Oily lotions, juices from greasy food, or oil-based wood stain tracked in the house under a shoe will leave a stain. The carpet will need to be cleaned professionally, but many stains leave some discolorization.

Texture: Polyester carpet is soft and velvety, making it comfortable to walk on bare feet or for children to sit and lay on it. The smooth fibers provide a warm and comfortable room.

Upkeep: As with nylon carpeting, vacuum polyester carpet each week to prevent carpet wear from dirt and debris. Be careful with carpeting in an area with prolonged direct sunlight as the carpet fibers will fade.

Best Nylon Carpet

Bedroom with nylon carpet gray painted wallsThe top five nylon carpet manufacturers are listed below:


Shaw offers various types of flooring, and their highest-quality nylon carpeting is their ANSO Nylon. It’s available in numerous colors, styles, and textures and is stain resistant.

ANSO Nylon is also very stain resistant against pet stains, making it an excellent choice for those who own pets. ANSO nylon carpets and all other nylon carpets manufactured by Shaw are recyclable.


Dupont stands out as the carpet industry leader with a long history in the carpet business. In 1935, nylon carpet was invented by Wallace Hume Carothers, who was the head of DuPont’s research department.

Dupont made nylon carpeting available in the mid-1950s. Its nylon carpets are the softest and longest-lasting in the industry and are mold-resistant.


Stainmaster has a home covered for all types of living situations. The company offers four levels of nylon carpeting to meet the needs of any homeowner.

Essentials – For affordable classic protection, Stainmaster’s Essentials carpeting is perfect for guest rooms and areas with little foot traffic.

Active Family – For a large family with lots of children and grandkids, Active Family carpeting from Stainmaster offers excellent durability and stain resistance.

Pet Protect – Stainmaster manufactures this nylon carpeting with fibers that are solution-dyed nylon polymer with superior stain resistance. Pet Protect carpet fibers repel pet fur, making it easier to vacuum up.

TruSoft – This is the softest of Stainmaster’s nylon carpeting and very comfortable. The luxurious feel still includes the durability and superior stain resistance of other Stainmaster carpeting.


Stainmaster is now part of Invista’s carpeting line, and the Stainmaster nylon carpeting made by Invista is called 6,6, a higher quality nylon fiber.

This nylon carpet has fibers made from dual carbon allowing the rug superior retention. Invista creates carpeting with the highest level of stain resistance and is a popular brand for homeowners.


The Duracolor Premium Nylon Carpeting choices at Mohawk are guaranteed as forever stain-free, forever-sustainable, and forever beautiful.

They offer 300 color choices, and all their nylon carpeting is made from 30% recycled materials. Mohawk is one of the oldest carpet manufacturers in the United States.

Nylon vs Polyester Carpet Prices

Master bedroom with polyester carpet four post bedPolyester is typically less expensive than nylon, depending on the quality of the carpet fibers. Plush polyester carpeting from DuPont is likely to outlast Essentials carpeting from Stainmaster. Pricing is based on the type of materials, texture, color, and pattern.

Below is a chart of the top five nylon carpet manufacturers and their price for comparative carpeting.

Brand Style Type of Fiber Price per Square Foot
Mohawk Interpret Nylon $1.61
Shaw Keynote Textured Polyester $1.58
Dupont SmartStrand Nylon $2.29
Stainmaster PetProtect Shimmer Nylon $3.88
Invista Signature Nylon $5.48

When shopping for nylon vs polyester carpet its best to consider your individual needs and budget, to help make the best buying decision between these two types of carpeting for your home.

For more related information visit our article about carpet colors that don’t show dirt.

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One Comment

  1. I’ve got nylon carpet in all of my rental units and in my experience nylon holds up much better than polyester carpet. I mentioned in another article that I’m removing my laminate in the kitchen and bathrooms in exchange for vinyl flooring which is another that has shown to be better especially for water resistance.

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