Ever have to come from home after a long day on your feet, only to have to stay on your feet to make dinner for you and the kids?
Not so nice on your feet, is it? Especially if you’ve got a hardwood floor or cold tiles.
And you know what’s worse? Listening to the kids running up and down a hardwood staircase when you’re trying to watch your favorite program.
But don’t worry – there’s a solution to both these two issues – you can get yourself a nice, plush carpet.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the benefits of having a carpet, and provide you with a buying guide outlining what to look for in a carpet.
Then we will go on to discuss some of the top brands on the market, before answering some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
Benefits of a Carpet
Carpets are way more comfortable than hard flooring.
If you like to go about your house barefoot, you’ll appreciate the difference between hard cold flooring and a luxurious plush carpet.
And, have you ever tried to do yoga or Pilates on laminate flooring? Not good.
And then think about what would happen if you fell down the stairs? Your injuries would be lessened if you had carpet in place, as your body would be slightly cushioned by the fall.
Carpets look so much more cozy, comfortable and snug, compared to more sterile looking hard flooring. It’s really nice to come home to a snug carpeted home after being out in the cold.
Better Heat Retention
And speaking of the cold outside, it’s so much more relaxing when you come into a warmer environment. And carpet can help with that too.
It helps to retain heat in the house and keep everyone nice and warm. You’ll appreciate it in the colder months.
In a house where all the floors are hard, you can hear every single step someone makes.
This can be quite annoying when you just want some peace and quiet, but this is made worse when the kids decide to carry out dance-offs.
But with a carpet in place to absorb footfall, you may barely notice any sound.
Carpet Buying Guide
So, now that we’ve established having carpets is definitely a good idea, let’s move on to discuss what to look for in your new carpet.
We’re going to go through the key things to consider.
The Thickness or Pile Density
Soft deep pile carpet is quite luxurious and very comfortable indeed. And better yet they have a very effective cushioning effect in the event of a fall.
Carpet is expensive to replace, so you don’t want to have to replace them frequently. The longer the lifespan, the better.
This is of particular concern for rooms that see a lot of footfall traffic, the rooms that are walked through the most.
Carpets with closely knitted fibers won’t wear as easily as their counterparts and this gives them extra durability.
Polyester is one of the most common materials found in carpets. It looks good and is easy to clean, but will need regular maintenance.
Nylon is very durable and easy to clean, and is surprisingly soft to the touch.
Natural fibers like wool can look really good in carpets, but you will have to be careful when cleaning them so they don’t get damaged.
Polypropylene is great for extensive use because it’s very hard-wearing. It’s also colorfast and really fights back against stains.
Then there’s triexta, a man-made material that has proven to be very tough and stain-resistant.
We’re going to level with you here and be honest and say that carpeting a whole home can be quite expensive, especially if you’re going to go for the best quality stuff from a top brand.
But it’s important to note that you can get quite a lot of variation in price even within a brand. This is because they often use different fabrics and different techniques in making their carpet.
And you have to remember, once you have paid for the carpet, you then have to pay extra to have it fitted in your home.
5 Best Carpet Brands
OUR TOP PICK
The Shaw brand has become a household name and is very readily available amongst carpet retailers. They have a wide project range, with something to suit every home.
Some people find the brand a little expensive, however, you have to weigh that up against its plus points. Their carpets are designed to be durable, hard-wearing, and able to stand up to frequent use.
They’re very easy to clean and maintain too, with strong resistance against heavy staining.
And it’s also important to note that Shaw is a brand that’s dedicated to sustainability and they encourage debate on what can be done with their carpet once it’s reached the end of its lifespan.
Their warranties are pretty good too – they cover the entire carpet, rather than just the top layer, which is more common.
- Household name
- Durable & hard wearing
- Easy to clean, no staining
- Dedicated to sustainability
- Premium product at a premium price
Mowhawk is one of the biggest names in the industry, especially after buying out the Karastan line.
They are famed for their specialist carpeting, and also for carpeting for everyday use.
They’ve certainly raised their game in recent years, and are quite the competitor against the Shaw brand.
They seem to have got that perfect balance between durability and softness that the consumers are searching for.
But what really stands out about Mohawk is the use of polyester in their carpets. But while polyester is not known for its stain resistance, Mohawk has been quite innovative with it, and has even turned this fabric into one that can resist tough household stains.
Mohawk carpet has proved popular with pet owners, who have found the carpet easy to hoover up shedding pet hair. And better yet, they offer a lifetime guarantee against all pet accidents on the carpet.
Their color range is also pretty good, and you don’t have to stick with boring neutral colors if that’s not your thing.
Their carpet is not as affordable as we would like, however you have to weigh that up against other factors such as their lifetime protection against heaving staining, which is not something that every carpet can offer.
- Big name in the industry
- Specialist and everyday
- Popular with pet owners
- Protects against staining
- Not as affordable as we’d like
As you may have guessed from the brand name, Stainmaster is dedicated to producing carpets that are designed to resist spillages and staining.
For this reason, they target families with small kids and pet owners.
Their carpets are designed to endure everyday life, and they have some great specialist options in their range, including the likes of waterproof and allergen-free options. As well as offering plenty of cushioning and comfort.
Despite all their efforts, they have yet to become as big a brand as the likes of Shaw and Mohawk, though we would argue that they outperform these brands in a handful of ways.
Their carpets are resistant to dirt build-up and very are easy to clean.
Their product range is divided into categories by room, which is very handy for buyers and helps to make choosing the right carpet for the right room that much easier.
And it’s certainly worth noting that they too also have a stain-resistant carpet in their product offering.
In terms of their price tag, their carpets come in at what we would consider to be a mid-price level. And this may appeal to the more budget conscious amongst you.
And by undercutting the prices held by Shaw and Mohawk, they could become a real threat. Especially when you consider how readily available they are amongst carpet sellers.
- Resists spillages and staining
- Comfortable yet durable
- Great for small kids and pet owners
- Waterproof and allergen-free options
- Mid-price rather than a bargain price
Beaulieu is relatively new to the industry. However, it has still managed to become one of the world’s largest makers of carpeting products.
They use a variety of materials in their carpets, including the likes of nylon, polyester and polypropylene, and even combinations of each, in order to get the best of both worlds, and achieve a durable yet well-cushioned finish.
They’ve been really innovative with features such as Magic Fresh odor, and Silver Release antimicrobial treatment. This has served to make them very popular with families with small kids and pets, since it means you don’t have to worry too much about carpet stains.
They have over 80 different designs in their product offering, and many more in the way of colors. And their products are not just limited to regular carpet, you can buy carpet squares too, which are great for using in place of rugs.
- One of the largest carpet makers
- Use a variety of materials for best results
- Popular with pet owners
- Wide range of carpet products
- Still new to the industry
- Complaints by customers seem to be very few and far between, but you can find them out there
Another well-known brand is Anderson Tuftex. Popular across the US and beyond.
They specialize in twist carpeting and tight, patterned weaves. And it is this feature that makes it so very durable, and able to stand up to heavy family use with virtually no wear and tear.
Their color range is really nice, with lots of nice, cozy, warm, yet natural colors. And they remain looking just as good as the very day you bought them, thanks to their superior fade resistance.
Interestingly, the Anderson Tuftex brand falls under the Shaw Industries umbrella. But is however strictly its own entity, and you won’t ever risk confusing the two, especially when it comes to the price tag, where Anderson Tuftex is clearly the more affordable option.
- Tight, patterned weaves
- Gorgeous color range
- Fade-resistant finish
- Not known for stain resistance
What is the best quality carpet?
We would argue that the best quality is that produced by Shaw. Their carpets offer excellent cushioning properties, excellent stain resistance properties, and they’re very long-lasting and durable to boot.
Moreover, they also have a very wide product offering, and their carpets are very widely available – you can get them with just about any carpet retailer.
There is a drawback however, and that’s the price tag. But if the quality is important to you (and why wouldn’t it be) then it could be worth the extra few dollars.
What is the most durable type of carpet?
The most durable type of carpet you can get is nylon carpet. It’s particularly wear-resistant, so it’s great for areas that see a lot of footfall traffic, such as hallways and stairs.
And to make your nylon carpet last longer still, we recommend getting stain protection.
What is the best carpet for the money?
We would argue that the best carpet brand for the money is Stainmaster. Their carpets can rival the likes of high-end brands such as Mohawk and Shaw, but are available at a much more affordable price.
That said, Stainmaster is not the cheapest brand around, you can find cheaper ones out there. But with Stainmaster’s clear emphasis and dedication to stain resistance, you’ll probably decide it’s worth the mid-price price tag.
Is Mohawk or Shaw carpet better?
Now, this is a tricky one to answer, because both options are really good.
The warranty is way better with Shaw, and you’re more likely to find the exact shade you want with Shaw. But where Mohawk is better, is in their stain removal power, which makes them super popular with pet owners.
So, we would argue that Mohawk has a slight edge over Shaw.
So, as you can see, there are some great carpet brands out there, and some to suit every budget.
And to be honest some of the best brands are so good that it’s hard to choose between them. I guess it all boils down to budget in the end.
And remember, you don’t have to buy a carpet that has already been treated for stain resistance – you can do that yourself.
And before you do get up and buy a carpet, you could also give some thought to whether you really need a carpet, or whether a nice rug will suffice. They’re much more affordable!