Which Area Rug Material is Right for Your Apartment?

By Kerrie Kelly, ASID


One of the biggest frustrations for apartment renters is the difficulty of designing a homey space and truly making it your own.

Luckily, area rugs can lend just the right amount of flexibility to personalize your apartment and add instant aesthetic flair—regardless of the size of your space. Here are a few things you should know about different rug materials and how they can play with the other decor of your rented home.

Wow ’Em with Wool

Wool fiber is easy to clean, hides any messes you can’t entirely scrub out and is super resilient, making it an excellent choice for a living room or bedroom that endures frequent foot (or paw!) traffic. Wool comes in so many patterns, colors and types that you are bound to find a style that will go perfectly with the rest of your room. As accessible as wool rugs can seem, watch out for high price tags and tough cleaning requirements—wool is sensitive to some chemicals, including chlorine or bleach.


Sizzlin’ Sisal

An organic choice, sisal rugs are textured and tough, making them a great statement piece underfoot. You can rest heavy furniture like tables, benches and beds on sisal rugs without worrying about indentations.

Sisal is a great option for heavily trafficked areas due to its durability and resistance to static and dust. Because it can feel itchy or uncomfortable against bare skin, this material is better suited for a living room rooted in practicality than for a family room built for kids’ play dates. When it comes to upkeep, sisal is a natural fiber and therefore won’t respond well to harsh cleaning solutions—so know that you may end up having to live with some stains.


Not Your Average Nylon

Nylon is a popular carpet fiber because of its affordability and wide range of available colors and patterns. Boasting excellent elasticity and some of the best abrasion resistance on the market, nylon is an all-around versatile material. Even more durable than wool and sisal, nylon is tough against heavy furniture, foot traffic and messes, making it a great solution for an area rug if you have little ones, furry friends or just like to move your furniture around often. A downfall of its artificial makeup is that it can be tough to scrub if a pet or child has an accident.


Poised in Polyester

If you’re in the market for the hardiest rug around, look no further than polyester. Polyester fibers can withstand even the toughest bleaches and spot cleaners, bouncing right back to its original color and shape even after a tough scrub. Its resistance to liquid stains from fruit juices, alcoholic beverages and soaps makes it a great choice for a family-friendly entertainment area like the living room or den.


Now that you know which rugs are great for kids, dogs, entertaining and relaxing, it’s up to you to choose the prints and colors that work best in your space. Best of luck!


Kerrie Kelly is an interior designer with an expertise in floor coverings, including rugs. Kerrie writes about her decor and design implementations for The Home Depot. Kerrie is also the author of the book My Interior Design Kit. A wide selection of rugs available online at The Home Depot, including styles reviewed by Kerrie, can be found here