Synthetic Area Rugs

Choosing the design, size and color of an area rug when decorating a room is difficult enough, but factor in the fibers and it can set your head spinning.  Find the right rug for the right area by knowing what you’re getting.  Check materials, many rugs are blends of different fibers, with two or more natural or synthetic fibers together to get the best benefit of each material.

Synthetic fibers tend to hold color better, be soil resistant and more durable.


The most popular synthetic for rugs, nylon is stain and soil resistant, as well as easy to clean and durable.  One of its best characteristics is its resiliency - it can be crushed by furniture and foot traffic and bounce right back into shape. 

Nylon rugs are a good choice for family rooms and dens, and are a good low cost alternative to natural flooring materials.  However, if you’re looking for a valuable flooring investment that will hold its value, nylon is not for you.


Viscose is a low cost silk alternative made from wood pulp.  Its shine makes it an attractive choice for synthetic blends, but it does become matted in high traffic areas and is not the most durable fiber.  It’s best for the lesser used rooms such as dining and living rooms.


Acrylic is a synthetic that holds color well and is usually used a lower priced wool alternative in area rugs and carpet.  Although it is a nice soft, resilient material, it does tend to fuzz and pull easily.


Rayon is another synthetic that resembles silk and is also a wood product.  It is not durable and can melt in the event of a fire.  Rayon also does not hold color well, and tends to have color runs if it becomes wet.


A low cost, durable synthetic that’s petroleum based, it’s so durable that it’s the primary synthetic used for outdoor rugs.  Olefin rugs are lightweight, soil resistant, stain resistant, mold resistant and colorfast, and can be used as a low cost wool alternative.  Because of the lightweight nature of the rug, it may not be the best alternative for high traffic rooms, but can certainly stand up to the great outdoors.

While synthetics are the perfect low cost area rug and carpeting choices, don’t expect a hand woven masterpiece, but a good, durable and colorful look to take on an interior design challenge.