Polyester Vs Polypropylene Rug: Top Differences of These Materials

Persian Rugs San Francisco Bay Area - Vaheed Taheri

Finding the perfect rug for your home or business means learning about different types of rug materials, and finding the right rug material to suit your needs. Two of the most common rugs you will come across are rugs made from polyester and rugs made of polypropylene. Both of these materials are very common, so it’s important to learn the differences and similarities that they share. This will guarantee that you purchase the ideal rug for your home.

What Are Polyester Rugs?

Polyester rugs remain a popular option due to their ability to both take and hold vibrant colors well. These rugs are made by melting PET plastic pellets. The pellets then go through a hardening process to form a fiber. These fibers are used to create rugs.

Some polyester rugs are made from recycled plastic instead of PET plastic pellets. To determine if a rug is using recycled plastic, take the time to research the company that manufactured the rug.

What Are Polypropylene Rugs?

Polypropylene rugs are made with the same heating and cooling method that is used to make fibers just like polyester rugs are.

However, different materials are used to make polypropylene. These fibers are made from a combination of natural gas and oil. Polypropylene was once a waste product from natural gas and oil factories. They managed to connect the small molecules of this gas together to form solid plastics.

These plastics are now used to create fibers just like polyester is. This is why there are so many similarities between polypropylene and polyester rugs. However, because the plastic used is made from different materials, there are several differences as well.

Polypropylene Vs Polyester Rugs: Similarities

Rugs made of both of these materials share several similarities. As you browse among the rugs available, keep in mind that both polypropylene and polyester rugs offer these things.

Affordable Price

Both polypropylene and polyester rugs are extremely affordable. Both of these rugs are often machine manufactured, so buyers will not have to pay the same high price that they would for a hand knotted rug.


Generally, these synthetic rugs will only last approximately 3-5 years. They are far less durable than hand knotted rugs, which can last hundreds of years.

Synthetic rugs that are used in high traffic areas, such as an entryway or main hallway, can last less than three years. They tend to show more signs of wear than other types of rugs. The fibers simply do not bounce back into place the way that they do when rugs are made from more natural materials. Place them in low traffic areas to make them last longer.

Low Maintenance

Both of these rugs are easy to take care of. Simply vacuum or sweep them as needed to remove dirt and debris. You can spot clean stains as they happen.

Stain Resistance

The one area where synthetic rugs tend to truly outshine hand knotted rugs is in their ability to resist stains. These rugs have synthetic fibers and tight construction that make them less absorbent than natural materials.

Polypropylene Vs Polyester Rugs: Differences

There are several differences you’ll need to consider when comparing polypropylene vs polyester rugs. These key differences can tell you which rug will be right for you to purchase.

Polypropylene Is Less Water Absorbant

Polypropylene is more stain resistant than rugs made from polyester. If you spill something on a polypropylene rug, it will sit on top of the rug until you wipe it away. This makes it a great choice for a rug underneath your dining room table.

Because polypropylene does not absorb any water, it is mildew resistant. You’ll never have to worry about your rug drying all the way or growing mildew. This is one of the key differences of polypropylene vs polyester that you’ll need to keep in mind when shopping for rugs.

Polyester rugs are still mildly stain resistant. They will not absorb all of a spill quickly, but instead will slowly absorb the stain. They are slightly absorbent.

Polypropylene Has Less Heat Resistance

A quick tumble dry will kill your polypropylene rug. You’ll also notice that the colors fade quicker when you expose this rug to direct sunlight.

When deciding which rug to purchase keep in mind where you are going to be putting the rug to decide if a polypropylene rug is going to work out well. If you’re going to be placing the rug in a sunny location, a polyester rug will maintain its vibrant colors longer.

Polypropylene Is Softer

Polypropylene remains a popular choice for indoor rugs because it has a soft, cozy feel that resembles real wool. If you’re searching for a bedside rug that feels comfortable on your bare feet, polypropylene is a wonderful idea.

However, you should remember that both of these rugs are made out of plastic, so they do not feel as soft and luxurious as a natural rug does.

Make Sure That You Know What The Backing Is Made Of

Most synthetic rugs have a backing. It may be made of plastic, but there is a chance that it will be made of a different rug material.

It’s common for synthetic rugs to have a Jute backing. If you have a rug with a jute backing, you’ll need to treat the rug just as you would a jute rug. That means it should not get wet, and it is prone to grow mildew.

Deciding Which Rug Is Right For You

Both polypropylene and polyester are affordable options that offer quite a few benefits. However, it’s important to look at the differences when deciding which rug to purchase.

Homeowners that plan on placing their rug in an area that has direct sunlight or is prone to spills, such as in the kitchen or under the dining room table, should purchase a polyester rug. Customers that plan on walking barefoot on their rug should consider the comfort of polypropylene.

Synthetic rugs are often the choice for those that are decorating their homes on a budget. Browse through the rest of our blogs to learn more about rugs today!