Nylon vs. Polyester Carpet Fibers: A Guide To Help You Choose

By Samuel N •  Updated: 02/03/23 • 

If you’re in the market for a new carpet, then you already know there are different carpet fibers to choose from. These include nylon, polyester, polypropylene or olefin, wool, and acrylic. Each fiber is different, and depending on the reason for choosing a carpet; you’ll prefer one over another.

In this post, I’ll compare nylon and polyester fibers. These two are popular synthetic fibers you’ll get around. Let’s take a closer look at both to help you make an informed decision.

Nylon Carpet Fiber

Nylon is one of the popular carpet options in the market today. This is because nylon carpet is durable and easy to clean and maintain. Nylon carpet suits a busy family or a family with kids and pets. If that sounds like your family, then nylon carpet is an excellent choice for your home. See the pros and cons of nylon carpets.

Nylon Carpet

This is a Nylon Carpet

Polyester (PET) Carpet Fiber

Polyester is another popular synthetic carpet option in the market known for its soft and luxurious look. Polyester also has a high stain resistance compared to other carpet options. It is mainly used in bedrooms and other light traffic areas where a softer underfoot is preferred. See the pros and cons of polyester (PET) carpet fiber.

This is a Deep Pile Shag Polyester Fiber Carpet

This is a Deep Pile Shag Polyester Fiber Carpet

Differences Between Nylon and Polyester Carpets


If you’re looking for a carpet that will stand up to wear and tear and still look good for a long time, then nylon carpet is your best pick.

Nylon carpets are known for their durability and ability to withstand wear and tear over time. The nylon fibers are hard, and it takes more action to destroy them. Nylon also has better texture retention. This is the ability to return to an upright position even after walking on it or placing heavy furniture on it. This makes nylon carpets good for high traffic and heavily used areas like stairs, hallways, and active family rooms.

Compared to nylon, polyester is a less durable carpet fiber. Polyester lacks nylon carpets’ resiliency and will usually show signs of wear if subjected to heavy foot traffic. The texture retention is also very low, so polyester carpet fibers will lay down when walked on compared to the high texture retention of nylon carpet fibers.

If a durable carpet is what you need, a nylon carpet fiber will serve you for years to come. However, even polyester carpets are available in a wide range of qualities. So, a high-grade polyester carpet will outperform an inexpensive nylon carpet.

Stain Resistance

Most carpets today are treated with some level of stain protection. A carpet with good stain protection can make a difference in its appearance a few years later. Both polyester and nylon carpets are stain-resistant. However, polyester is better compared to nylon.

Polyester is the best option if you’re looking for a high stain-resistant carpet. Polyester is an oil-based carpet material that is hydrophobic. This means polyester does a very good job of repelling spills. Most polyester carpet manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on stain resistance. This is because polyester is very good. For pet owners, a polyester is a great option you can use without worrying about stains destroying the look of your carpets.

Nylon is also stain-resistant, and this has improved over time. There are solution-dyed nylon fibers today, meaning the color goes through the fiber rather than just being on the surface. This increases the stain resistance of nylon carpets. However, not many nylon carpets are solution-dyed.

Comfort and Softness

The comfort and softness factor is essential if you’re choosing carpet flooring over other hard-surface floorings, such as hardwood. Nylon and polyester carpet fibers feature thinner and finer strands, making them very soft.

Nylon carpet is durable and has better texture retention. This deducts its marks on comfort and softness. Polyester is a softer material; if this is a deciding factor, go with it.

However, over time, the gap in softness between these two carpet fibers is closing. Nowadays, nylon carpets are available in very soft fibers, and you’ll hardly notice the difference in comfort and feel between these two fibers.


The production of nylon is more expensive than other synthetic fibers like polyester. This makes nylon carpets more expensive compared to polyester carpets. Polyester carpets are made from recycled materials such as plastic water bottles. This makes polyester 35 to 50 percent cheaper compared to nylon carpets.

Although there are low-priced nylon and high-priced polyester carpets, on average, nylon carpets will usually be higher-priced than a comparable polyester carpet.


PET polyester carpets are made from recycled materials, particularly the plastic used for packaging convenience-sized soft drinks, water, and juices. Mohawk’s Continuum carpets are a good example of eco-friendly carpets in the market. However, once the useful life of polyester carpets is due, they cannot be recycled.

The manufacturing process of making nylon carpet fibers is not eco-friendly. However, nowadays, most nylon carpets can be recycled once you decide to do away with them. This helps keep them from piling up in landfills. Nylon carpets can also be recycled back to nylon carpets, making them a green product than polyester carpets.

Which Should You Choose?

Both of these carpet fibers have their pros and cons. Nylon carpets will perform better in heavily trafficked areas and should last a few decades. On the other hand, polyester carpets are cheaper and have better comfort. Choosing which one to pick will depend on your preferences. With this information, I hope you’ll have an easy time considering which carpet suits your home.

Samuel N

Samuel N is the founder of Improve Floor and has been in the flooring industry since 2005. Since then, his mission has been to make flooring easier for everyone. He helps countless people with flooring installation, finishing, maintenance, and repairs each year.