Carpet Fibers: What are the differences? What are the benefits?

Today, I’d like to focus a little attention on carpet fibers and what is the difference and benefits of each. There are not really that many different types of carpet fibers which makes for a relatively easy comparison. For the most part, your carpet will be made of one of the following 3 fibers:

  1. Polyester (PET)
  2. Nylon
  3. SmartStrand (also known as Triexta).
Polyester is affordable, it is soft, and it is inherently stain resistant.

Polyester (PET)

This fiber type is the lion’s share of many carpets you find in the marketplace today. It is an affordable fiber, it is a soft fiber, and it is inherently stain resistant. The main drawback to polyester is its durability.  It is not the most durable fiber a customer can buy. Additionally, it does not have the bounce-back qualities of a nylon fiber and thus will tend to lay down over time.

Depending on what it is treated with, Nylon can often be a stain resistant fiber; however, is always known for its durability.


This fiber type is known for its quality and durability. You might remember the name STAINMASTER™ as a carpet. Well, STAINMASTER™ was simply the brand name for the highest quality nylon fiber in the marketplace. Most (if not all) STAINMASTER™ carpets are made of their proprietary nylon fiber. Nylon can be a stain resistant fiber depending on what it is treated with, but predominantly it not known to be a very good stain resistant fiber. What it lacks in stain resistance, it makes up for in durability. Nylon is a highly durable fiber and can maintain its look and appearance for a long time. This durability and quality come at a price however, as nylon carpets tend to be the most expensive carpets in the marketplace.

SmartStrand (Triexta) is a softer fiber with better colors and styles. The main drawback to SmartStrand, much like nylon, is its higher price points.

SmartStrand (Triexta)

This fiber type is relatively new to the marketplace but has been around for quite some time. Think of it is a blend between polyester and nylon fibers. SmartStrand has better stain resistance than nylon and is more durable than polyester. It may not be the best in each of those categories, but it brings both stain resistance and durability to the table in 1 fiber type. Also, with the latest technology it has now become a softer fiber with better colors and styles. The main drawback to SmartStrand, much like nylon, is that this “best of both worlds” combination can lead to higher price points for SmartStrand carpets.

So, that is the quick Cliff Notes version of carpet fiber types. One last important piece of information to note is the ounce weight of a carpet. Think of ounce weight as how heavy or how much material is used to produce that piece of carpet. A good comparison for ounce weights is TV sizes:

LOW: A carpet with a low ounce weight (let’s say 25 to 30 ounces) is comparable to a small TV of 16″ or 18″.

HIGH: A carpet with a high ounce weight (let’s say 50 to 60 ounces) is comparable to a large TV of 40″ or 42″.

 The higher the ounce weight, the more thickness in the carpet there will be. The lower the ounce weight, the thinner the carpet will be.


Let us know your thoughts on carpet fiber types and what you think are the best ones for your home.