Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How to Choose the Right Type of Carpet

Choosing Carpet: Comfort

If you're looking for a carpet on which you can take a nap or roll around with the kids, it's important that it be soft, not scratchy. That's why you should carefully consider comfort when choosing carpet for your home. The feel of carpet depends mainly on the style of the carpet and the fiber from which it is made. Generally speaking, cut pile carpets are softer than loop pile carpets, with plush being the softest of all styles. Wool is perhaps the softest fiber, but it can be very expensive, so you might look into nylon or polyester as a gentle alternative.

Comfort isn't just about how carpet feels; it's also about how it affects your health. You've probably been in a home or business with recently-installed carpet and noticed that distinctive "new" smell. While the odor may seem harmless, it's actually caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, which are emitted from the carpet and padding. VOCs contribute to poor indoor air quality and are known cause numerous health problems, including asthma and allergies. If your budget allows, check out carpet made from natural products, like wool and jute, as well as organic or chemical-free dyes.