Low-Pile Vs. High-Pile Rugs

Choosing a rug isn't just about color, pattern, and size - it's also about the pile! Rugs come in all different piles, from very low to very high, and you should always consider which one is right for your space before making a purchase. Since there are so many different facets of selecting a rug, it can be an overwhelming task. We've decided to make it a little easier for you by putting together our guide on rug piles!

First of all, we'll get one thing straight: what exactly is a rug pile? This term refers to the fabric loops in carpeting. Low pile carpet has shorter and tighter loops, while high pile carpet has taller and looser loops.

Low/No Pile

  • Low pile rugs are 1/4" or shorter.

  • Typically, we use low pile rugs in a space like a kitchen or mudroom (ie: indoor/outdoor rugs with a flat weave). However, we don't limit our use of low-pile rugs to only these areas - sometimes a bedroom or lounge area just calls for this type of rug!

  • Low pile rugs are great because they are easy to clean, they prevent allergens from getting stuck within the fibers, and they are a smooth surface, which is perfect for high-traffic areas.
  • Keep in mind that a low-pile rug won't provide the same comfortable and warm feeling as something more plush.
From the Windsong Project 

From the Windsong Project 

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From the Park City Canyons Remodel (shop vintage rugs here) 

From the Park City Canyons Remodel (shop vintage rugs here

Medium/High Pile

  • Medium/high pile rugs are anything taller than 1/4".

  • We like to use medium-to-high pile rugs in living rooms and bedrooms, where we want things to feel more cozy. Higher pile rugs work better on carpet than low pile rugs.
  • These rugs are known for their comfortable, warm, and luxurious feel.
  • A high pile-rug will show indentations from furniture legs more than a low pile. It's also important to remember not to use vacuums with a rotating brush because it can catch the fibers. Lastly, high pile rugs are harder to keep clean because it's easy for dirt and debris to get trapped in the fibers.

One last quick tip: a higher pile rug does not mean better quality and durability. Often times we see that lower-pile rugs last longer because they are easier to maintain and less susceptible to wear and tear. It is important to pay attention to fiber content, because long-lasting rugs will be made of good quality fiber, regardless of the pile (our favorite is a hand-tufted wool!).