Cotton Vs Wool Rug: Tips to Choose the Best Rug Material


Choosing a rug made from natural fiber like cotton and wool is a wonderful idea! Wool and cotton rugs are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Both are naturally sourced. It can make choosing between the two challenging, but this article will tell you everything that you need to know to pick the best rug for your home.

Wool Rugs

Wool area rugs are often considered one of the best rugs to buy. This material is designed to protect sheep that live outside, so it makes sense that it is a durable material.  Rugs made from wool have the same resiliency that an animal’s coat of fur should have.


Stain Resistant

Wool has a protective layer of oils on every natural fiber to help prevent stains. Because this coating is made of oil, it helps protect against oil stains while repelling a certain amount of water.

However, it’s important to note that this coating does not make wool area rugs completely stain-resistant. They can still be stained from large spills because wool is slightly absorbent.

Easy To Clean

Wool is extremely easy to clean. You can use a spot cleaning method of baking soda and vinegar when you get a small stain on your rug. Washing your wool rug just like you do your wool clothes is another option.

When washing your rug, make sure to use the delicate cycle and set the washer on the setting for the smallest load. Water can make wool shrink, so it’s best to only wash it when you have a large stain that you can’t scrub out.


These rugs are exceptional for helping you combat your allergies. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic, which means that it’s less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than other materials.

Naturally Bouncy

This is one of the best features of wool. It has the natural ability to bounce back after being walked on, making it a great choice for high traffic areas. This thick texture also makes wool a wonderful choice for both sound proofing and added insulation.


These are a wonderful choice for anyone that would like to help the planet. They come from a renewable source and are biodegradable. Wool rugs will last approximately fifty years if taken care of, which means that you’re not adding a new rug to landfills every five years like you would if you purchase a synthetic rug.

Naturally Flame Retardent

Wool rugs are not coated in harmful chemicals in order to make them flame retardent because they are naturally flame retardant. This makes them a wonderful choice if you need a non-toxic rug to place in a room with a fireplace!


Various Qualities Of Wool

Wool is known for being a high quality material, but that doesn’t apply to every type of wool. When determining the wool quality, it’s important to look at the country of origin. In general, wool produced in New Zealand, India, and Australia are of high quality. The wool produced in China rarely is. It’s best to avoid Chinese wool.

Stains Easily

Wool is resistant to certain stains but prone to other types of stains. Wool tends to absorb water very well, hence why it is able to be washed in the washer. Because of that feature, wool rugs also absorb most drinks, such as juice and wine, very well. It’s best not to put this rug in your kitchen.

High Price

Wool is generally priced higher than other rug materials. This is due to the high cost of manufacturing the wool, turning it into yarn, etc.

Cotton Rugs

Cotton rugs are the most popular alternative to wool. These are a cheaper substitute to wool rugs. We all have experience with cotton because most clothing is made from cotton. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing a cotton rug.



Cotton is very budget friendly. You’ll find that you spend significantly less on a cotton rug than you do a wool rug. This makes it a great choice for anyone that is decorating on a budget.

Machine Washable

Washing your cotton rug is as easy as tossing it into the washer, just like you do your clothing. When cleaning your cotton rug, make sure that you read the instructions on the tag. Some rugs contain ingredients other than cotton, which can make it unsafe to put them in the dryer.

Renewable Source

Cotton is another renewable source, just like wool. That means that we will never run out of cotton. If we do start to run low, we can simply grow more.

Decomposes Quickly

Cotton is very environmentally friendly! It only takes cotton five months to decompose. To make sure that you are buying an environmentally friendly cotton rug, double check the tag to see if it is 100% cotton. Rugs that have a backing on them are not 100% cotton and can take much longer to decompose.


Not As Durable As Wool

Cotton looks wonderful, but it simply does not bounce back the same way that wool does. This makes it a bad idea to put a cotton rug in areas that have a lot of traffic. Instead, these rugs are best suited for areas without traffic, such as to bring attention to an accent table.

These rugs do not last as long as wool. The fibers will slowly start to break down on their own, even when the rug is placed in an area that does not have a lot of traffic. You’ll discover that you need to replace your cotton rug every five years.

Stains Easily

Cotton is very absorbent, just like most of your clothing. It stains very easily. Cotton rugs are best used for aesthetic appeal, and should not be placed in areas with a lot of spills, such as the kitchen or dining area.

Which One Is Right For You?

Cotton tends to be better for people that are shopping on a budget. It’s more affordable for anyone that needs a cheap rug.

However, wool is wonderful for people who value quality over quantity. Most people consider a beautiful wool rug to be an investment because these rugs last for so long.

The location of the rug also plays a key role in deciding the type of rug you would like. For high traffic areas, such as hallways, wool rugs are best. Homeowners that want a rug solely for decorative purposes should consider a cotton rug.

When choosing a rug, always consider placement, price, and preference. After you’ve decided which material you would like, browse through our gorgeous collections to find your next rug!