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Why Carpet Pile Matters and How it Impacts Your Home

There’s more that goes into your home carpet choice than you might realize at first glance. You’ve probably heard terms like cut and loop pile tossed around. But what do they mean, really? They’re easy terms to dismiss, but understanding what they mean and how the impact the longevity and feel of your carpet is important to your decision.

Pile Types

Carpet pile will determine how your carpet feels, looks, and holds up against your family’s wear and tear. All styles are available across the spectrum from low- to high-end and in a wide variety of fibers, construction, and quality. Understanding what makes each pile different will help you maximize your carpet budget.


Cut and Loop

This pile is a combination of lower loops and higher cut piles on a single carpet. The result is a carpet with pattern and texture. While cut carpets are generally softer underfoot, loop carpets are generally more durable, so this combination may be the right choice if you are hoping to land somewhere in the middle. This pile type offers the widest range of patterns and textures.

Commercial Carpet | Sloane's Carpet SecretLevel Loop

A level loop carpet is usually short and even with densely packed loops creating an easy-to-clean surface. Level loop carpets are a great choice for game rooms and offices because of their durability and ease of clean, but they will rarely be the plushest, most comfortable carpet out there.

Multi-Level Loop

Carpets featuring multi-level loop pile will typically feature 2-3 varying levels of loops. This technique produces abstract or geometric patterns. The widest range of patterns will be available in this type of carpet, so if you’re looking for carpet that doesn’t have a single solid color and creates visual interest using patterns, a multi-level loop carpet may be the perfect choice for you.


Interestingly, cut carpet starts as loop pile (all carpet does, really) and is then sheared to a common height. There’s a wide range of cut carpet styles including Saxony, plush, textured, frieze, and shag. Typically, a carpet featuring cut pile will be softer to the touch with a more luxurious feel. Cut pile carpets are a great choice for homeowners looking for a classic elegance and a touch of drama. However, they are also a little harder to clean.

Why it Matters

As you can see, there are trade-offs for each carpet pile choice. Balancing these qualities with your taste and preferred design style will help you choose the best carpet to meet your needs. By arming yourself with the knowledge of which pile types offer which benefits, you can go into your renovation with confidence. After all, your carpet choice is going to be a part of your home for years to come, so it pays to pick the right one.

How to Use This Information

Carpet pile and style is just the tip of the carpet buying knowledge iceberg. To understand the full picture of what you need and how to balance that with what you want, check out our full Carpet Buyer’s Guide. If you’re ready to get serious about that home renovation, schedule an appointment with us online to get started with your personal carpet expert.