14 Major Pros and Cons of Polyester Rugs

Polyester is an affordable material that has gone through a refinement evolution over the past two decades. It has become a viable option for rugs and carpets that is soft to the touch and incredibly durable. When you want to choose something for your home or office, this material creates more options because the limitations of natural fibers will go away.

You also have the flexibility to blend polyester with natural products, such as a poly-cotton blend, to create specific results for your interior.

The popularity of polyester rugs might rise and fall as tastes and preferences change, but the pros and cons of using this product remain the same. If you’re thinking about making an investment for your home or office, then these are the crucial points you’ll want to review before agreeing to anything.

List of the Pros of Polyester Rugs

1. The cost of a polyester rug is usually less than for one made with natural fibers.
Polyester is less expensive to manufacture, which means a rug made from this synthetic material will be lighter on your budget. This advantage also applies to carpets made from this option. Prices begin at less than $1 per square foot in many geographic regions, which is significantly less than the $3.25 per square foot that you’ll find for other materials.

You won’t need to compromise on the pile either to gain this benefit because cut-and-loop, loop, or cut options are all available.

2. You have plenty of choices to consider from the color palette.
Polyester fibers dye well. That means you have a diverse selection of color tones, shades, and patterns from which to choose when browsing through rugs made with this material. You can replicate virtually any style from around the world to compliment your interior décor because of this advantage. You’ll receive an extra benefit in the fact that this synthetic material is exceptionally fade-resistant, which means it can interact with sunshine inside without the same threat of fading.

3. Polyester rugs feel soft under the feet.
The lush nature of polyester when it is made appropriately will feel very soft on your feet when it is a rug. If you have ever felt a high-quality microfiber material before, then you have an idea of what this experience is like at home. Although there can be a few challenges with cleaning since vacuums can develop static charges over this material, you can avoid them by brushing out the strands. Professional cleaners can also help you to keep the materials clean over time without difficulty.

This advantage means that you can avoid many pitfalls of scratches, discomfort, and pile flattening that occur when you use a natural material instead.

4. You have more options to use a polyester rug outside.
Polyester rugs are a popular option for outdoor use because of their enhanced durability. Even if the product doesn’t feel as comfortable as others do, it can stand up to the various weather changes that you encounter in almost any climate. That’s why you’ll often see them in use as a welcome mat, on a back porch or deck, or in a high-use hallway. These options can mean more maintenance for the rug over time, but it won’t disintegrate in the elements as one made from cotton or wool would in those circumstances.

List of the Cons of Polyester Rugs

1. Staining is a significant issue for polyester rugs.
Polyester is exceptionally stain-resistant when you have a water-based stain that occurs. It will release the problem area without much effort, often with a quick rinse of the spot and standard cleaning procedures. Oil-based stains are a different story with this material. You may need professional intervention in that situation, and even then, there is no guarantee that the problem area is going to come out.

The issue that owners face with polyester rugs is that the natural oils of the skin can produce stains just as readily as household items. If you walk across the rug in bare feet, then the oils accumulate over time to create a “muddy” effect on the colors of the strands.

2. There are static electricity issues to consider with polyester rugs.
Polyester rugs generate high levels of static electricity when you walk across them. This issue can result in you getting a zap after touching a metal component afterward. It is a feature that makes microfiber such an effective cleaning tool, but this problem can create a bigger mess for you in some ways if you’re purchasing a whole-room rug.

The static field of the polyester fibers will attract pet fur, loose debris, and dust so that it all conglomerates on the material. That can be useful if you have hardwood floors and cats or dogs at home, but it can create the need for dialing cleaning.

3. The pile on a polyester rug will still go flat over time.
When you choose to use a polyester rug, then the pile will eventually flatten with regular use. It’s a disadvantage that you will see with every material, synthetic or natural. The issue here is that when it does eventually go flat, it won’t spring back to life like other materials. That means placing a heavy object, like a dining table, on top of a rug made from polyester is not the best of ideas. It could leave permanent indents that become unsightly if you decide to change your décor options.

Any furniture footing can create this problem over time. You’ll also discover this issue developing in high traffic areas of your home. The only way to avoid this disadvantage is to be strategic with your rug placement decisions.

4. You must avoid having a heat source touch your polyester rug.
The problem that some polyester rug owners encounter with their product involves melting or scorching. If you have a source of high heat, including a baseboard register, then there is an ongoing threat of damage that can occur. This problem can also happen when a space heater sits too close to the material. If you drop a curling iron or hot air dryer on the surface, you could experience a melting issue. Cigarette burns are also a concern in some homes.

You must be proactive about this disadvantage to maximize the value of your investment. It only takes one mistake to end up ruining the entire rug.

5. Some polyester rugs are prone to unraveling.
If you purchase a polyester rug that was made in the traditional way, then you will find that it can quickly begin to untwirl itself. The pile unknots quickly because the material doesn’t have the same holding fibers as cotton or wool do. Older rugs have this same problem when using synthetic materials. That means your area rug is not going to look as sharp over time as it would if you purchased one made from a different option.

You’ll gain several short-term advantages in durability when you choose a polyester rug. There are fewer long-term fading issues with this product, but the durability in other categories becomes questionable when compared to natural fibers as the item ages.

6. You will need to clean a polyester rug more often.
When you have a rug made from natural materials, then there are pockets in the construction of the product that can hide dirt and grit for you. That means your space is going to look great even if the rug itself is dirty. This issue doesn’t apply to polyester because the plastic fibers are smooth and solid instead. There’s no place for the debris to hide, so it will display on the top of the material and spread out around the surrounding floor.

If you would clean a wool rug every two years from your usage activities, then you’d want to schedule one for your polyester rugs every six months or so.

7. Polyester rugs can develop a yellow tone over time.
If you purchase a polyester rug that has white or light color components to it, then you’ll still want to keep it out of the sunshine. This material can actually start to yellow faster than cotton or wool because of the synthetic nature of the strands. It is a problem that won’t come out when cleaning the rug, so you’re stuck living with it or looking for a replacement option. A better choice to consider if you want synthetics and are concerned about this disadvantage is nylon, since it will hold the color better and stand up to heavier traffic levels.

8. Most polyester rugs offer a jute foundation.
Jute is an absorbent plant fiber. It looks and feels like straw to the touch when it is woven into a rug. This element of rug construction creates an issue because the natural fiber can absorb the odors of the polyester. It will also pick up pet issues, spills, food, and smoke so that you have a stale, musty odor filling your room. Deodorizing the rug can be an impressive expense, especially if there is pet urine involved, and there is no guarantee that the experience won’t repeat itself immediately.

9. You are purchasing a rug made with fossil fuels.
Polyester rugs might be marketed sometimes as being an eco-friendly option, but that is only the case when the synthetic components have a plant-based source. Petroleum refinement is often the foundation of this material because it is a much cheaper option. That means you’re contributing emissions to the atmosphere that could be contributing to global climate change. It might be more sustainable in the home or office from a durability standpoint, but there are rug options made from carbon-neutral products that can provide a similar look and feel without a massive change in the price.

10. There is no investment value in a polyester rug.
When you purchase a hand-woven rug made from natural materials, then you’ve got something of potential value for your home. It’s worth can increase over time because of the rarity of what you possess. A 17th-century Persian rug once sold at Sotheby’s for $33 million. You can often find antique rugs in good-to-excellent condition running for more than $100,000. Even a hand-knotted modern rug begins at $5,000 or so.


Polyester rugs are an affordable option to consider when you need something that will look fantastic instantly. There are some unique challenges that you will face with this material, but nothing that will outweigh the overall positives that are possible.

The key to a successful experience with a polyester rug is to place it in a consistent environment. Clean it with a soft brush every so often, and then consider limiting vacuum brushes to reduce the threat of pulling.

The pros and cons of polyester rugs listed in this guide help to address the common concerns found with this product. There may be specific issues for your home or office to also consider. Evaluate the entire situation with this information, and you are going to come to the correct conclusion.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.