Rugs are not just about adding class and elegance. They play functional roles such as adding warmth and reducing noise. Area rugs also brighten a dull room and serve as a perfect playground for kids and pets.

Besides all these, rugs come in different pile heights. A rug's pile generally determines its lifespan and durability. Yet, many homeowners barely consider it when buying their rugs.  So, in this guide, we'll walk you through the different types of rug piles and how to choose the right rug pile for your floors. First, how do you identify a rug's pile?

What is a Rug Pile?

rug pile

A rug pile is the density of fabric loops woven into a rug. It can be thick, soft, or loose. It can also be thin, short, and tight. A close look at your rug will reveal the type of material your rug's pile was made from. Sometimes, it is made from natural materials like wool and cotton. Other times, from synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester, etc. In general, rugs' pile height is either high, low, or medium.

How to Differentiate between High Pile Rugs and Low Pile Rugs

To be sure of your rug's pile height, measure from the back of the rug to the top of the loop. 1/4 inches and below means it is a low pile rug, 1/4 to 1/2 means it is a medium pile rug, and 1/2 to 3/4 inches means it is a high pile rug.  Nonetheless, some plush carpets have more than 3/4 density.

If you are looking to buy a new area rug, below are the pros and cons of the different rug piles you'd find in stores.

Pros and Cons of High Pile Rugs


1- High pile rugs are attractive.

High pile area rugs have an inviting appeal and add a luxurious feel to a room. You'd find yourself going to that room always, just to touch and feel your rug's loops. You can use high pile rugs as entryway rugs to make a statement of elegance and make visitors more comfortable.

2. High pile rugs give extra warmth

These types of rugs are a source of warmth during winter as there's more space between your feet and the cold floor.

3. High pile rugs are absorbent

They are quite efficient at insulating and dampening sounds. You'd hardly hear any sound from your feet while walking. In cases where your phone or a glass cup drops, a high pile rug helps to soften the blow. Your kids would also suffer fewer injuries when they fall on high pile rugs.

4. High pile rugs are durable

High pile rugs stay fluffy for a long time and can last for many years without wear or tear. Your family can enjoy many years of happy memories on this type of area rug without having to worry about its fibers becoming flat and sparse.

Cons of High Pile Rugs

1. High pile rugs are difficult to clean

They trap dirt and dust too easily. You need specific vacuum cleaners to get them into a pristine condition as not all cleaners can work on them. And even with this, it takes a longer time to vacuum a high pile rug than a low pile rug.

2.High pile rugs increase allergies

If you're allergic, then high pile rugs are not for you. You would be better off with low pile rugs in your home and office. High pile area rugs have long fibers that trap dirt and dust easily. And when you walk or sit on your rug, the dust is thrown into the air and circulates the room. This will increase your allergies and can be dangerous if you are asthmatic.

3.High pile rugs are easily marked

High pile rugs get indented fast because they are soft and fluffy. Putting furniture on them for a long time will cause marks and indents, making them unattractive. Foot traffic can also flatten them out and make them less appealing. So, avoid putting high pile rugs in places you or people in your home go often. Avoid placing your furniture on them.

4.High pile rugs are expensive

High pile rugs are costly because they are made with more materials. They are hardly the best option if you're looking for something affordable to spice your home as they can be way above your budget.

5.High pile rugs are bad for pets

If you have pets like cats and dogs, you may want to stay clear of high pile rugs. These rugs won't just appeal to you. Your pets will equally find them appealing and start to claw and chew at them every chance they get. This can get the fibers caught in their claws, and cause injuries while trying to get rid of the fibers. You may want to learn how to choose the best rug for your pet before parting with your money.

Pros and Cons of Low Pile Rugs

Low pile rug in a kitchen


1.Low pile rugs are easy to maintain

They are easy to keep clean because they do not trap dirt like high pile rugs. Their tight weaves and smooth surfaces make them less likely to be stained. Also, low pile rugs do not need special vacuum cleaners or take a long time to clean.

2- Low pile rugs are affordable

Low pile rugs are not just beautiful, they are cheap too. You can always get one within your budget. And they come in different textures and colors.

3- Low pile rugs prevent falls

Low pile rugs are made with fewer fibers so they rarely have loose ends that can cause you or your kids to fall. Their smooth surfaces make them ideal for children's rooms.


1- Low pile rugs are not as appealing

Low pile rugs are less attractive and do not have plush look or a soft feeling like high pile rugs.

2- Low pile rugs are likely to flatten faster

They flatten faster because they are made with lesser material quantity. This can make them less appealing over time and require you to change them.

Which of these pile heights is best for you?

Choose a high pile rug if:

1- You are looking for comfort and warmth.

2- You don't have a pet.

3- You want less sound in that area.

4- You want something luxurious and attractive.

Choose a low pile rug if:

1- You have a pet.

2- You're allergic.

3- You want something affordable.

4- You want a rug for your kids or a high-traffic area.

5- You want something you can clean easily.

Need the Qualities of the Two?

Medium pile rug

Buy medium pile rugs. With a medium pile height, you get to enjoy increased warmth, soft landing, and alluring aesthetics from your area rug - all these at an affordable price tag.  To start, shop through Luxe Weavers' large collection of stylish, affordable, medium pile rugs today!


October 08, 2021 — Luxe Weavers