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The Best High Traffic Area Rugs

The high-traffic areas of your home need floor coverings that stand the test of time – and stand up to all the people who are going to be walking on it. This is especially important in commercial spaces where foot traffic is even higher than in a home. What are the best materials and types of high traffic area rugs? Keep reading to find out.

Best Materials for High Traffic Area Rugs

The choice of material is very important for high-traffic areas. Using a more durable option like the ones listed below ensures your carpet will look great for a long time, no matter how many people walk all over it day after day. The following materials are some of the best for carpets in heavily trafficked areas of your home or business.


Wool is a classic choice for a durable area rug. It was likely one of the first materials ever used for woven rugs. Lanolin, a wax secreted by wooly animals, coats the fibers, which makes it stain-resistant and easy to clean. It is also naturally water-resistant, and hypoallergenic. So, it is great for placement in homes of allergy sufferers. Plus, it is all-natural, renewable, and biodegradable. Most importantly for high-traffic areas, wool fibers naturally resist compression.

Natural Fibers

Most natural fiber rugs are made from jute, sisal, or seagrass. Jute is a fiber made from a plant of the same name. It is the second most popular plant fiber after cotton. Sisal is a fiber made from a Mexican agave plant of the same name. Seagrass is made from dried grasses that grow under the ocean near India. Seagrass is typically more tough and textured than jute, making it a great candidate for welcome mats. Like wool, these fibers are renewable and biodegradable. These are easy to clean, often just requiring a quick sweeping or light vacuuming. Many enjoy the natural color of this material—dark tan or light brown—as part of a coastal decorating style.


While not as long-lasting as wool, cotton rugs are a pleasant and durable alternative, especially for those who are allergic to wool. The colors tend to fade over time, but the material itself is durable. They are also easy to care for. Many use a small cotton rug in the kitchen or bathroom because you can throw it in the washing machine when it gets dirty.

Synthetic Fibers (Nylon or Polypropylene)

Nylon is one of the most durable rug materials. It is also stain-resistant, and fade-resistant. So, not only will the carpet itself degrade slower than other materials, it will look great. While polypropylene is not as durable as nylon, when used in low pile loop carpets, it is quite resilient. Polypropylene carpets may last longer because they are stain-resistant. The material does not absorb water or other liquids, meaning stains do not sink in as long as you clean them up quickly.

Best Types of High Traffic Area Rugs

The material of a rug is not the only consideration for high-traffic areas. You should also consider the type of rug.

Low Pile Rugs

low pile rug

Low pile rugs are carpets made with small loops that are not very plush. They stand up better to foot traffic than higher pile rugs no matter what material they are made from. Low pile rugs have an added benefit for people with allergies. There is a smaller chance of allergens getting buried deep in the carpet fibers.

Dark Colored Rugs

Rugs with dark colors will hide dirt and stains better than lighter colored ones. They require fewer cleanings and less upkeep. Over time, they may hold up better than white or lightly colored ones for this reason. When shopping for a dark-colored rug, keep in mind that some rug materials are more prone to fading, depending on the colors used. Nylon, polypropylene, and wool are the best options for a fade-resistant rug with a strong color.

Patterned Rugs

Patterns also help stains and dirt to fade into the background on a rug. The best combination is a pattern with dark colors that helps to hide stains or dirt. Again, you won’t have to clean a patterned rug as often as a plain bright or light one.

Rug Types to Avoid in Heavy Foot Traffic Areas

The following types of floor coverings are better as decorative options in less heavily-trafficked spots in your home or business. They make great area rugs in a bedroom or sitting area.

Shag Rugs

Shag rugs were very popular in the 1970s, but they are making a bit of a comeback. What’s not to love? They feel great underfoot and add a certain style to a room. However, due to their plush nature and long fibers, they are not good for high traffic areas. The shagginess will get trodden down over time, and the rug will start to look raggedy before long. Shag carpets are also harder to clean and may trap allergens more than low pile ones. High pile frieze rugs, are similar. You should also avoid them for high-traffic rooms.

Furry Rugs

Furry and fuzzy rugs are also not good for high traffic areas. Whether they are animal fur or skin, like a sheepskin rug, or synthetic, the furriness will quickly fade away. They become flat if walked on too much, changing the look and style of the rug.

Silky Rugs

Silk rugs are beautiful, but they are better suited as decorative options or even wall hangings. They are delicate and get worn down quickly with a lot of feet walking all over them. Viscose is a synthetic silk that is more affordable than actual silk, but this material is not much more durable than the real thing.

High Pile Rugs

High pile carpets are warm and cozy, but they will get worn down more quickly than low pile ones in areas with a lot of traffic. They do make a great option for bedrooms and play areas where kids will be playing on the floor and want a comfortable rug to sit on.

White or Light Color Rugs

Lighter colored rugs show more dirt and stains. When there is more traffic, there is simply more opportunity for tracking dirt and spills. Instead of using a white rug in an entryway or mudroom, where they will get dirty footprints and other stains on them, use them in sitting areas or bedrooms to bring light into the space.

Our Picks for High Traffic Area Rugs

We have many wonderful options for both high traffic and low traffic areas in your home or business. Browse our site to see more options than those listed below!

Monte Carlo Rugs

Our Monte Carlo Collection is a popular option for low pile rugs and comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. The patterned polypropylene rug has a low pile height, making it ideal for high foot traffic rooms. It does come in some lighter colors, but the medium and dark options, like grey, black, brown, navy blue, or burgundy, are perfect for hiding the extra dirt that comes with high-traffic placement.

Kashkuleh Gabbeh Rug

Our machine made Kashkuleh Gabbeh Collection is full of intricate patterns based on traditional hand-knotted designs. The colors, material, and pile height make it an ideal choice for higher-traffic areas in your home.

Lattice Frieze Rug

Our Lattice Frieze Collection comes in several shapes, colors, and sizes. It is a low pile polypropylene option with a classic lattice design. Color options including dark grey, black, or navy blue are a good choice for rooms with high traffic.

Modern Ziegler Oriental Rug

A low pile wool rug like this Modern Ziegler Oriental rug with a brown pattern is perfect for hiding dirt and stains. The size makes it perfect as an area rug in a living room, large hallway, or any other place in the home where people walk often.

Chenar Persian Runner Rug

This is a semi-antique authentic hand-knotted wool Persian rug. It is between 40 and 50 years old. But don’t let its age scare you from placing it in a high traffic area. These rugs are beautifully crafted and incredibly durable. Plus, the unique pattern and colors will high dirt from foot traffic.

Explore Our High Traffic Area Rugs

We have some amazing options for rugs for heavy foot traffic whether you are looking for a machine produced rug, a hand-knotted carpet, or even an antique or semi-antique rug. Browse our website to find more low pile rugs, and rugs in dark colors that will work perfectly for these areas in your home or business.


    • Rugs.com says:

      Hi Darlene,

      Wrinkles and creases are normal for rugs after shipping. They should settle out over a few days. You can help your rug along by gently rolling it in the opposite direction of the crease, vacuuming thoroughly, and placing heavy furniture on top of your rug to hold it in place.

      You can get more details in new owner’s FAQ post!

  1. Alice Carroll says:

    Thanks for the tip that darker rugs might not need as much cleaning as lighter ones. I’m thinking about browsing for an antique area rug collection soon because I’d like to have some rugs in my living room. That way it would be easier to sit on the floor in case I will need to use my low coffee table when working on my laptop.

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