One of the best ways to ensure you'll be satisfied with your new carpet is to stick with carpeting you can maintain easily. Homeowners with young children or dogs and cats may want to avoid hard-to-clean shag or high-end rugs. Stain-resistant carpets can eliminate the frustration associated with spills and may cut your cleaning time.
Always ask a salesperson about cleaning and maintenance requirements before you commit to buying. Find out how often you'll need to clean and what special equipment or products the manufacturer recommends. Skip carpets with extensive maintenance requirements unless you have the extra time to perform these tasks.
The type of material and carpet style you choose can also have a major impact on maintenance. Pick textured rugs to conceal footprints and vacuum cleaner tracks. In high traffic areas, look for textured Saxony, level loop or high-density loop carpets to resist dirt and make cleaning easier. You should only install cut pile and multilevel loop carpets in low- to medium-traffic areas, as both of these designs tend to trap dirt and resist cleaning efforts [source: Consumer Reports].