Wool Rugs vs Polypropylene – Pros and Cons of Each


When choosing a new rug for your home interior, there are several factors to consider. Pattern and color are essential style factors, but things like pile and material are crucial to choosing an interior rug. 

There are different materials for rugs; two popular options are wool and polypropylene. Which makes for a better carpet? It depends on what you’re looking for in your home. The answer may not be as obvious as you think.

The main difference between a wool rug and a polypropylene rug is that the former is made of natural material, while the latter uses synthetic fiber. However, there are pros and cons to each, and we will break down their differences and what fits your interior and budget best. 

Wool Rugs

Modern geometric wool rug on hardwood living room floor

Wool has had an excellent reputation for hundreds of years as a high-quality, durable material for rug making. The wool fiber itself is pretty strong, can be dyed in multiple colors, and weaved into intricate patterns. This has remained a popular carpet choice for centuries because of its durability in busy home areas or the business and hospitality professional sectors. 

Natural wool rugs made from 100% wool come from sheep; depending on the rug, they have a few different types of wool. For instance, string wool originates from Britain and New Zealand, while Merino wool is mainly from New Zealand. Wool can also originate from llamas, goats, and alpacas and vary in price and quality. 

Wool is a viable option for an interior area rug, so let’s review the pros and cons of owning a wool rug. 


Wool is the best option for you if you’re looking for a naturally made material. It has an origin you can directly trace, and even a country of origin depending on the sheep or animal breed. Because sheep grow their coats back and there is always a fresh supply, wool is generally sustainable. What’s more, wool is biodegradable and produces essential plant nutrients like nitrogen and carbon dioxide when it decomposes. 

Wool is extremely durable and meant to last a lifetime. Wool rugs that are 100% wool will last significantly longer than wool-synthetic mixes. Their durability allows them to maintain a good appearance over decades. 

These synthetic rugs are often machine washable and easy to clean, whereas a wool rug can shrink. It has high stain resistance and, depending on its construction, can be very durable in a busy home. 

Wool is also very good at holding in heat since that is how sheep keep warm during the year. It can be quite the energy-efficient investment in your home to have a few wool rugs throughout the interior, especially in the living room or bedroom areas. 


There are, however, some cons to owning a wool rug. The most obvious one is its price. You will often see wool rugs in handmade specialty rug stores; they are pricier but can last a long time in your home. This kind of area rug is a home investment, so ensure you know what would suit your interior best. 

Before you decide if a wool rug is out of your budget, do your research on the rug material, size, and style you are looking for and compare prices online and in stores. That way, you can see if a wool rug is within your budget. Otherwise, there may be better choices for your home interior. 

Just like white furniture, wool does not have good stain resistance. Staining your wool rug could prove challenging to remove because colors can stick to the wool’s fibers. 

Wool is very absorbent, so do not keep a wool rug in the kitchen or bathroom. Oversaturation of fibers can cause mildew and mold, and you’ll soon wonder where that foul smell is coming from. 

Polypropylene Rugs

Polypropylene is a synthetic material made of man-made fibers, such as polyester, nylon, or acrylic, to name a few. Their source ingredient is often petroleum, made into a fiber like nylon and woven into rugs in a factory setting.


Polypropylene is a synthetic material, and because it is made and tufted by a machine, it produces a uniform thickness. Unlike wool, it can be softer and smoother, which is excellent for being barefoot around your home. Wool can be scratchy and take time to stop pilling, whereas polypropylene is solid and smooth throughout. 

Since it has a uniform texture, it is colorfast, easily absorbs dyes, and can produce rich colors. If you’re looking for a bright and colorful rug, the best options might be made out of polypropylene materials. 

The best part about a polypropylene rug is its price point. It is much more affordable than a wool rug and can work great in your home if you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to decorate your floors. 

These synthetic rugs are often machine washable and easy to clean, whereas a wool rug can shrink. It is highly stain-resistant and, depending on its construction, can be very durable in a busy home. 

The smoothness of polypropylene is excellent for somewhere like the bedroom for a luxurious, soft feel beside the bed. 


Since they use artificial fiber, polypropylene rugs do not have the same texture as wool rugs. It has an artificial texture that can wear over time. While it is durable, it does not have the decades-long longevity that wool rugs often do. Expect your polypropylene rug to last ten years or less, depending on the material and make. 

This is especially true if you have children, pets, or any lifestyle that tracks dirt around the house. Polypropylene shows dirt very easily because the fibers aren’t opaque. The material is not as long-lasting as wool. So, if you are worried about dirt and stains, wool might be the better option for you. 

Close up of a woman running her hand over a soft grey polypropylene rug


The right rug can make your space come together. If it’s between wool rugs vs polypropylene, then it depends on your personal preference. The short answer is that it depends on your budget and how long you want the carpet in your home. 

A wool rug is the better option if you’re looking for something long-lasting but pricier. Many vintage wool rugs on the market or at antique stores can suit your living room decor, but they are an investment. However, if you like to change up your interior often or want good value for your money, then a polypropylene rug is the way to go. 

Either way, there are many rug companies and home goods companies online and in brick-and-mortar stores that provide high-quality rugs of either material. Knowing how your rug is made and what it is made from is an important aspect of your living space, especially when matching your furniture and color scheme.