Wool Rugs vs. Cotton Rugs

It’s no secret that we highly recommend the use of chic area rugs throughout the home, both as stylish, decorative pieces and as valuable protectors of your floors underneath. No matter what motivates you to start shopping for a rug, colors and design patterns are surely important parts of your decision-making process to match the rest of your interior design.

However, rug material will also make a big difference in your purchase and how the styles you select will ultimately serve your home. Two common and attractive material choices are a wool rug or a cotton rug and both materials have compelling reasons for you to bring them home! Here’s a quick guide to the advantages of wool rugs versus cotton rugs.


As they say in the real estate business, location is everything! An excellent way to start narrowing down your material decision is to consider where you will place the rug and how you will use that space. Two of the most important things to ask about the location are whether there will be a lot of foot traffic and whether there will be a higher risk of liquid spills and tracked-in dirt reaching your rug. Your answers to these questions will then determine how the durability, maintenance, and cost factors help you reach your decision.


As much as they are prized for their woven texture and fiber strength, wool rugs are also widely respected for their ability to resist stains and dirt and can last for years when they are well-maintained. This prized durability allows a wool rug to typically hold up better in areas with more foot traffic, such as a foyer or hallway, or potential for liquid spills, such as in a living room or other hosting area. Thanks to their lower cost, cotton rugs can be a great choice when there is less activity, like an adult bedroom, guest room, or where they might need replacement more frequently like a child’s bedroom or playroom. Since cotton fiber is more absorbent than wool yarn, cotton rugs may also keep their color longer, while the color in wool rugs can fade some when exposed to direct sunlight over time.


You will probably not need to clean a wool rug as frequently as a cotton rug because of its fantastic durability. When a wool rug needs cleaning, the recommended method is to have it professionally cleaned. While you will need to clean a cotton rug more often, you can usually throw it into the washing machine, making the cleaning of your rug easier and less expensive. If you have an active home with kids and pets where spills and stains can occur frequently, this low maintenance quality can make cotton rugs an absolute lifesaver!


Wool rugs are made from a more expensive raw material and have a more complex manufacturing process, thus they will typically cost more than a cotton rug. Even with the higher cost of proper maintenance, a wool rug can last a lifetime and even be passed down through a family. On the other hand, the lower purchase cost of cotton rugs can make them a perfect fit for the budget of new families and be more economical to replace if children, pet activity, or general wear-and-tear in the home take a toll.

Of course, the most fun part of shopping for your new rug will be exploring and picking from the dazzling array of color and pattern design options. Visit the Design Waterville where you will find fabulous wool and cotton choices for the entire home!

Striped Area Rug