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Best Carpet for Active Kids

Everyone knows that carpet is the most comfortable flooring surface for kids to play on. From infant hands and knees to rambunctious ten-year-olds, a nicely padded carpet will save your kids from a lot of bumps and bruises.

But sometimes, kids aren’t always as kind to your carpets as the carpets are to them. Spilled food, muddy shoes, soda, blood, snow, and so on will all reduce the lifetime of your carpet and leave unsightly marks if you’re not prepared for them. When you’re deciding what kind of carpet to put in your kids’ bedrooms, living rooms, and family rooms, there are a few things to keep in mind.

What Kind of Material Should You Choose?

If you anticipate a lot of spills on your carpets, natural fibers are a strict no-no. They look nice, but materials like cotton, wool, and sisal are too absorbent to be installed in such heavy traffic areas.

For good stain protection, you’ll want to choose from the three popular synthetic fibers: nylon, PET (also known as polyester), and triexta. 

  • PET is generally a less expensive fiber, so if you’re carpeting a large area like a finished basement or expecting a heavy amount of wear, polyester carpet might be a good choice.
  • Nylon has been the number one choice for synthetic carpet fibers for a long time, offering the best of appearance, comfort, and durability.
  • Triexta is somewhat new on the scene but is taking the carpet world by storm. With unprecedented durability and built-in stain and soil protection, triexta might be the perfect carpet you’ve been looking for.

All of these fibers are completely synthetic, which gives them a natural stain resistance that simply can’t be matched by organic materials.

What Style of Carpet is Best?

There are a few options for carpet styles, and it can be hard to keep track of exactly what your options are. Carpet styles fall into three major categories:

  • Cut pile carpet is a series of loops of carpet that are cut so that the top surface of the carpet looks like single strands. It’s not ideal for heavily trafficked areas, since the long fibers tend to hide dirt and wear out faster.
  • Level loop pile is made from loops just like cut pile, but the loops are left intact. The loops are usually shorter and packed close together, making a denser surface that’s much easier to clean. Some loop piles are what’s called multi-level loop, meaning the loops aren’t the same length. This gives the carpet a little more texture.
  • Cut and loop carpet is a mix of the two — some loops are cut and some aren’t, combining the softness of cut pile with the durability of loop pile carpet.

For high-traffic areas with kids, we recommend Berber carpet. Berber is a level loop style of carpet, but instead of being arranged in straight rows, the loops are crossed and tangled into a dense surface that keeps dirt on top rather than letting it infiltrate into the fibers.

Stain Resistance Treatments

One of the biggest factors in carpet durability is keeping stains out of the carpet in the first place. When stains get ingrained in carpet fiber, they can gradually wear down the fabric and result in premature wear and tear.

The best stain resistant fabric comes out of the factory with the treatment already applied. Factory treatments like Scotchgard cover every side of every fiber, which means it will never wash away or wear off under heavy foot traffic.

If your carpet didn’t come with a built-in stain resistance treatment, you can have it treated after the fact. Professionals can inundate your carpet fibers with Scotchgard, sometimes mixed in with cleaning fluid, that will help resist stains.

The Best of the Best

Our favorite type of carpet for high-traffic areas is Sorona SmartStrand, which is one of the best carpets available today. Its stain resistance, wear resistance, fade resistance, and eco-friendliness are unmatched, and you can get it right here at Sloane’s! Is triexta ready to take over from nylon as the best residential carpet fiber on the market? You’ll have to come see for yourself.