Polyester Carpet vs Polypropylene Carpet

  • Carpet, Choosing
  • Published: 29 January, 2023
  • Updated: 29 January, 2023
Hero image of carpet in a bedroom.

Polyester Carpet vs Polypropylene Carpet

If you are looking for an alternative to solution-dyed nylon carpets that provides good value for your investment, you’ve already narrowed down your options to polyester and polypropylene.

These are by far the two most affordable carpet options that you can find, but the story doesn’t end there. Which has better stain resistance? Which will offer better comfort? Which one will last a longer time?

If you’re ready to find out, here’s our FloorVenue guide to polyester vs polypropylene carpets.

What is Polyester Carpet?

Polyester carpets are made out of synthetic or man-made fibres. Specifically, they are created by processing and melting down PET pellets, a type of plastic. They are then hardened and turned into the polyester fibre we’re all familiar with.

In many cases, polyester carpets can also be made out of recycled materials as well. This includes plastic water bottles and other similar items.

What is Polypropylene Carpet?

Polypropylene carpets have quite a lot in common with polyester carpets. They undergo a similar process of heating and cooling to create their particular fibres. The difference however is the ingredients, not the process. The make up of polypropylene is different to polyester on a molecular level and ultimately gives polypropylene different feel and absorption properties, despite the fact that they both look nearly identical to the naked eye.

polypropylene carpet

Polyester Carpets vs Polypropylene Carpets

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of polyester and polypropylene carpets, it’s time to find how just how much in common they really have.

Durability and Resilience

When it comes to durability, polyester and polypropylene are pretty much neck and neck. Both synthetic carpets will generally last a few years before they start to show fraying or other forms of wear and tear. Neither polyester or polypropylene is designed to be a long term carpet, and is more often used in rentals and investment properties.

This is more applicable when it comes to crush resistance and overall form retention. In more subtle aspects of durability like colour fade resistance or staining, polyester tends to perform slightly better than polypropylene.

Winner: Tie – Polyester and polypropylene carpet typically last up to 7 years only.

Comfort and Softness

Despite the similar production method and looks, there is a noticeable difference in feeling between these two synthetic fibres.

Generally speaking, polyester is a better bet when it comes to comfort to your touch. Your mileage may vary as a thicker and better quality polypropylene will probably feel nicer than a low-pile polyester carpet. But across the board, polyester tends to feel a little bit nicer underfoot. Polyester is also known to cause less allergic reactions when in contact with skin. Furthermore, some lower quality polypropylene carpets may feel scratchy to touch.

Keep in mind though that at the end of the day, both carpet fibres are ultimately made out of plastics, meaning that they aren’t designed to be the most luxurious products in the first place.

Winner: Polyester is softer than polypropylene.

Cost and Budgeting

As mentioned previously, both polyester and polypropylene are known for their budget prices. There are no other carpets out there that can beat the affordability of these two. Ultimately though, there can only be one winner when it comes to budgeting – polypropylene carpet is slightly more affordable.

Polypropylene carpet can be installed for as low as $35 a square metre, with higher quality options peaking at $50 per square metre.

Polyester carpet on the other hand ranges from $40 – $60 per square metre, fully installed.

Winner: Polypropylene carpet can save you a little more money than polyester.

Environmental Friendliness

When it comes to being environmentally friendly, it can be difficult to determine which of these two is the better option due to their similar manufacturing methods. Instead of looking for which material the carpet is made of, explore whether they are made of recycled plastic or virgin plastic. Recycled plastic is of course better for the planet.

Winner: Tie – depends on whether the plastic is recycled.

Cleaning and Maintenance

No matter which carpet you choose, you are in luck when it comes to cleaning. Like most synthetic carpet fibres, polyester and polypropylene carpets are generally easy to clean provided you address spills and stains quickly. They key is to get rid of the spillage before it becomes a stain.

All it takes to clean them up is simple, periodic vacuuming. At least once a week is all it takes. For spills, all you need to use is some soap and cold water.

Winner: Tie – Both options are easy to clean and maintain.

Stain Resistance and Absorption

Related to cleaning, stain resistance is another category where both polyester and polypropylene carpets perform extremely similar to one another.

Both carpet types have very solid performing stain resistant qualities. This is partially due to their chemical treatment, but it is also thanks to how tightly constructed their fabric patterns are. They’re essentially built like an impenetrable fortress as far as most liquids are concerned.

Again, that emphasis is on the word most. Regarding liquid absorption, it must be noted that polypropylene is actually less water-absorbent than polyester. As a result it ends up being a better choice for installation in areas that have more moisture than average, such as basements. This also means that polypropylene is better at fighting off mildew build-up.

It should also be noted that neither of these carpets are particularly good at fighting off oil stains, as they are both oil absorbent. That means you really ought to keep oily foods or oily kitchen ingredients away from these fabrics.

Winner: Tie – both have average stain resistance.

Polyester carpet

Conclusion – Is Polyester or Polypropylene the Right Carpet for You?

When it comes to just about any two-way carpet fibre comparison, this one may be the most difficult. This is because no pair of carpet fibres has more in common than a polyester and polypropylene comparison.

Despite that, here’s what you need to know: if your priorities are superior water resistance and especially a cheaper budget, polypropylene will be the logical choice.

But if you don’t mind spending just a little more money to get more durability, softness and a carpet fibre that’s probably going to be easier on the environment, polyester carpet will end up being a better choice.

It’s worth repeating that polyester and polypropylene have more similarities than differences. They are both very stain resistant, both very quick and easy to clean and they are both the most affordable carpets that money can buy. There’s no need to stress out too much when it comes to deciding between the two.

Looking for additional information on either options? We have a complete guide to the pros and cons of polyester carpet and polypropylene carpet options.

Contact Us at Floor Venue for More Expert Carpeting Advice

If you still haven’t come to a decision and need some expert level advice on figuring out which carpet will be the best for you and your home, please feel free to contact Floor Venue for any questions you might have. We will gladly answer any polyester or polypropylene-related question you have for us!

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