Are Wool Rugs the Best Option For You?

When you think of wool, you likely think of itchy sweaters. Unfortunately, wool has gotten a bad rap due to this perception and, thus, many likely assume wool rugs would be anything but comfortable. The truth, however, is that wool is often considered to be the gold standard when it comes to rugs—so much so that five-star hotels often use wool rugs in their luxury suites. Along with cotton, wool is also considered to be an all-natural fiber, although nylon, propylene, acrylic, and polyester are fibers that are often used in rugs. The bottom line is that there are many benefits and drawbacks to wool rugs so if you’re waffling in your decision for your business or your home, you’ll likely want to weigh these when making up your mind. We share the benefits and drawbacks of wool rugs below. 

Benefits of Wool rugs

Wool Rugs are Resilient and Can Be Easily Cleaned

One of the most challenging aspects of having rugs in the first place is getting it cleaned, especially if it’s in a high-traffic area. That’s basically rugs 101. Thankfully, because of the way it’s woven and its resilience, wool can last for decades if handled properly. Spills are easy to manage as long as they are dealt with immediately. Wool fibers inherently prevent dust and soil from attaching and penetrating. Because of this, dirt and dust tend to remain on top and, therefore, can be easily vacuumed. And because it’s so elastic – especially in comparison to many synthetic fibers – wool retains its natural thickness and its ability to spring back after furniture and other things are placed on it.

Wool Rugs Aren’t Flammable

While smoking indoors isn’t nearly as common these days as it was in the past, it’s still a concern – especially in crowded public places that have designated smoking areas. Wool rugs are naturally flame-retardant and have a higher ignition point than their synthetic counterparts, making it ideal to put in places like airports and casinos.

Wool Rugs are the Greener Option

Going green isn’t just a fad, as many are starting to realize that the climate crisis is quite real and our carbon footprints are part of the problem. Wool is not only sustainable (sheep grow thick, new coats that have to be sheared at least once a year), but it’s also biodegradable and recyclable. This means it won’t be clogging landfills for years to come, which synthetics often do. 

Wool is also a natural insulator, making it the energy-efficient option. Losing heat through your floor reduces efficiency and will cause a lot of harm to your bottom line when it comes to your heating bill. Wool rugs insulate the floor, preventing heat loss and, in turn, reducing heating costs. Winter isn’t the only time that wool rugs come in handy, though, as it also absorbs water vapor from the air. This moderates the unbearably high humidity many of us encounter during the summer months.

Wool Rugs Retain its Color

The structure of wool readily accepts dye and locks it in, making it a color-fast option. Not only will the color look the same for many years, but wool’s natural luster and light reflection makes it available in a wide variety of patterns and colors.

Drawbacks of Wool Rugs

Wool Rugs are Higher in Price

As we mentioned previously, wool rugs are generally more expensive than its synthetic alternatives. In fact, the most desirable wool rugs are typically twice that of polyester or nylon.

Wool Rugs Risk Mildew

Its benefit of grabbing moisture out of the air to reduce humidity can become a drawback as well. This moisture can ultimately become mildew. This can be avoided if wool rugs aren’t placed near an area where it risks getting wet, such as near a bathroom, mudroom, or hallway.

Wool Rugs Can Stain

Yes, we discussed that a benefit of wool rugs is easy cleaning if you get to a stain quickly. But when the spill is oily or greasy, wool rugs actually has a greater chance of permanently staining. To boot, some household cleaners can be damaging to wool rugs, so it’s best to go with professional cleaners when the need arises.

Wool Rugs Can Attract Bugs

Yes, it’s true! It’s not very common but moth and carpet beetle larvae are naturally attracted to wool fibers. You can prevent this with a mild insecticide called Permethrin, but some people don’t like the idea of having any chemicals inside their home.

Making Your Choice

As with anything, your choice of going with a wool rug or an alternative will come down to what you want to use it for, and what matters most to you in regards to your interior design goals. Contact us today to tell us what those goals are and our expert team will help you choose the best rugs for your lifestyle.