A carpet is one of the most expensive buying decisions you’ll make. Our guide explains what to look for.

You want a carpet that keeps its appearance and will last at least 10 years? There’s more than just the fibre to consider. The way a carpet’s manufactured (its “style”) and how much foot-traffic it gets will also influence how well it keeps its looks.

Note: this report does not contain test results or brand recommendations for carpets – it is a general buying guide only.

Which fibre is best?

There’s no simple answer. A cheap wool carpet will always keep its looks and resist soiling better than a cheap synthetic carpet, but it may wear out more quickly.

Wool is considered the “gold standard” for carpets.
Wool is considered the “gold standard” for carpets.

At the other end of the scale, a premium carpet – wool or synthetic – is excellent at resisting wear and keeping its appearance. Become a paying Consumer member or log in to read our pros and cons for each type.

Carpet types

The look and feel of a carpet depends on the way it’s made (tufted or woven), the density of its pile and the degree of twist. Become a paying Consumer member or log in to find out about the different types of tufted and woven carpet.

Durability

The best guide to durability is the carpet’s grading, which should be on a label on the back of the carpet sample.

Woolmark, Fernmark and Australian Carpet Classification Scheme logos.
Woolmark, Fernmark and Australian Carpet Classification Scheme logos.

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Underlay

Become a paying Consumer member or log in to read our information about rubber waffle, slab rubber and foam chip underlays.

Carpet shading

In some carpets, patches of pile lie in a different direction from the rest of the carpet (“permanent pile reversal”) and reflect light differently. This gives a watermark effect known as shading. Become a paying Consumer member or log in to read our advice on shading.

Getting a quote

If you’re in the market for new carpet, make sure all your quotes are calculated on the same basis. Become a paying Consumer member or log in to find out more about quotes.

Installation

Get your carpet installed professionally, to AS/NZS 2455.1:2007. The standard requires the contractor to prepare a plan of the area to be carpeted showing where the seams will go.

Get your carpet installed professionally, to AS/NZS 2455.1:2007.
Get your carpet installed professionally, to AS/NZS 2455.1:2007.

Become a paying Consumer member or log in to read more about carpet installation.