Synthetic rugs and carpet are made from manufactured materials like nylon, polypropylene, ECONYL®, vinyl, poly silk, and polyester, as opposed to natural fibers like sisal, seagrass or wool. These manufactured fibers create versatile weaves that are durable and easy to clean, which is why they are often suitable for both commercial and residential settings. Some synthetic weaves can be crafted into custom area rugs for outdoor spaces like terraces, pool decks, or patios. Synthetic rugs offer many of the same stylistic advantages as their natural counterparts, including a variety of colors, patterns, and textures, plus softness underfoot.
Our Rug Materials Comparison Chart is a great resource for learning more about different rug materials, both synthetic and natural fibers.
Design flexibility: The variety of colors, structures, and patterns available with synthetic rugs make it easy to find the right vibe for your design style. Additionally, synthetic rugs can be a less expensive way to update and bring new inspiration into a space.
Resilience: Durable materials contribute to the longevity and performance of these rugs. Synthetics like nylon, polypropylene, and vinyl create rugs and carpet with smart design, high appearance retention, dimensional stability, UV stability, and contract-grade potential.
Easy to clean: If you need a pet-friendly rug or a carpet that can handle all the hustle and bustle that children bring, then a synthetic weave is a savvy choice. Easy to clean with normal household cleaning agents (sometimes even just water) and great stain resistance.
If you need to know how to buy a rug online, which material is right for your lifestyle, or what size rug to purchase, head over to our Rug Buying Guide - Everything You Need to Know.
Polypropylene rugs are high-performing synthetic options that resist stains, fading, mold, and mildew. Polypropylene is impervious to moisture and is therefore a common material used for woven indoor-outdoor rugs. Because polypropylene is not as resistant to abrasion over time as nylon, the polypropylene area rugs that we sell are flat weaves with loop piles (as opposed to cut or shag piles), a construction that resists crushing. Oxford and Bolinas are polypropylene indoor-outdoor rugs that feature the faux-sisal look, with a flat, tight weave and soothing colorways.
SynSisal® is the premiere synthetic sisal on the market and the best solution to get the authentic sisal look without the pitfalls of natural sisal like staining or coarseness to touch. SynSisal® is soft underfoot—made from ECONYL® StayClean 100% regenerated nylon—and stands up to heavy use throughout homes, hotels, and offices.
Nylon and polypropylene are the most common synthetic fibers used in flooring today. Nylon has excellent appearance retention because it is fade, heat, and stain resistant. Commercial-grade carpeting often uses the highest grade Nylon-6, which has even greater stain resistance due to its tight, molecular structure. Our Hospitality collection includes heavy contract-grade nylon options, like Medina or Bowen, for your next commercial project.
ECONYL® is emerging as the best synthetic fiber because it is durable, versatile, and sustainable. Not only is it a solution-dyed Nylon-6 yarn, but it is also regenerated from recycled fishing nets, nylon carpet, and other repurposed materials and contributes to a circular economy. SynSisal® is our collection of synthetic sisal rugs made from 100% recycled ECONYL® that showcase the beloved sisal look with soft fibers, easy maintenance, and contract grade rating.
Woven Vinyl is also a popular material for outdoor floor coverings, boats, and RVs, and for active spaces like gyms or locker rooms. It is impervious to moisture, hard-wearing, and often has a cushioned feel, like Seaboard or Tidepool. Synthesis, with its lovely woven structure and variety of neutral colors, is an annual best-seller.
The placement of your synthetic rug depends on the rug or weave itself. In general, unbacked synthetic rugs are great for outdoor use and can easily add personality to open-air living spaces like a pool area or covered patio. The colorful Tulum or diamond-patterned Madrona infuse any space with positive energy. These unbacked weaves can be used indoors as well, we just recommend using a rug pad underneath to prevent slipping.
Poly silk is another fiber that can transition between interior and exterior realms. Rugs like Seaside or Gold Coast are handloomed from UV-stabilized poly silk and even though they have a backing, they can be placed outdoors in covered areas.
Some synthetic rugs are meant only for indoor use. SynSisal®’s Langley or Sydney and Amsterdam are synthetic weaves with a refined and stylish look, perfect for busy households or boutique hotels. Our indoor synthetic collection offers weaves with different usages, sizes, and materials, so when browsing the collection, be sure to read the Specifications tab for each weave to find the right one for you.
Absolutely. Our SynSisal® collection is Class 1 certified for commercial and hospitality settings. SynSisal®’s traditional sisal structures are woven from regenerated nylon and bring a natural aesthetic with ease of maintenance to commercial office spaces, store design, conference rooms, hotel rooms, corridors, common areas, and more.
Indoor synthetics offer a range of usability, with some weaves ideal for residential settings only and others perfect for contract-grade or commercial projects. For a refined look and contract-grade rating, see our sophisticated Copenhagen or Perth weaves. Information about a weave’s use class is available under the Specifications tab for each weave.
Synthetic weaves are soil and stain-resistant, mold and mildew-resistant, with fibers that don’t absorb water. Spills can easily be soaked up with a clean cloth. We always recommend regular vacuuming, a walk-off mat upon entry to your home, and a “no shoes in the house” policy for all our weaves. With a little attention to care and maintenance, a polypropylene area rug or a nylon carpet will look fresh for many years to come. All of our weaves come with care and maintenance guidelines that are accessible under the Care tab on each weave page. For more general care guidelines, please visit our Care Guides page.