Olefin area rug: good or bad?
November 4, 2010 7:50 AM   Subscribe

We're looking at getting a new area rug and we've found several that we like, but they're made of Olefin/polypropylene. This rug will be maybe 8' by 10' and for the living room. A couch with a chaise will be sitting on top of it but not a whole lot of traffic goes through that area. Googling provides info on what Olefin is, how it's made, pros/cons, etc., but does anyone here have any personal experience with owning an Olefin rug? How does it wear or feel after a while? Should we rule it out and go for wool or nylon or something else? Any insight is appreciated.
posted by jroybal to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've had a 5x7 100% Olefin area rug in the living room for several years now. Medium-high traffic. Easy care, still looks and feels new. No problems here. It replaced a wool rug which I loved but wore out - I chose the Olefin because it's the only one I could find made in USA. Must say I preferred the feel of the wool on bare feet, but the Olefin is fine, really. Hope that helps.
posted by evilmomlady at 8:50 AM on November 4, 2010

Olefin is excellent from an anti-stain perspective, they can be hosed off and cleaned easily. We have olefin berber carpet in the game room that looks exactly as it did the day we moved in (newly installed) now, 5 years later, with 2 kids and 2 dogs. No wear or change in feel at all.
I personally think olefin orientals or other formal rugs look odd. But it depends on the formality of the room and the carpet. Wool rugs are definitely more luxurious looking and feeling.
posted by southeastyetagain at 9:00 AM on November 4, 2010

We have a run in our sun room that is olefin, and it has held up very well. The rug it replaced was wool, but had faded a great deal due to all the natural light, but this one seems almost as vibrant as it was when we brought it home. I would agree with southeastetagain, having a modern or casual style seems to fit the material far more than some formal look might.

It did shed quite a bit when we first brought it home. The first few times it was vacuumed and the first time we steamed it, I was surprised at the amount of lint that came off it, but it doesn't seem to have affected the durability.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 9:47 AM on November 4, 2010

A slight derail but wool is often more expensive than olefin, and you might be tempted by the cheaper wool rugs at IKEA. We were, and now regret regret it. They have shed wool fibers from day one and have continued to do so for over a year. Enormous drifts of blue wool pile up in the corners and stick to our kids and show up in our cat's puke if we dont vacuum EVERY day.
posted by werkzeuger at 9:52 AM on November 4, 2010

Just know that olefin has a low melting point and the fibers can fuse with too much heat. Not like you're going to use it to set your hot pans on, but just a precaution to keep it looking nice.
posted by Knowyournuts at 10:01 AM on November 4, 2010

If price is a concern, we got some really cheap wool rugs on Overstock.com. They seem to be holding up pretty well, and don't have that funky new carpet smell that synthetic rugs do. Feels better underfoot too.
posted by electroboy at 10:21 AM on November 4, 2010

If you have kids olefin works great. I have debated the IKEA wool rugs but have no direct experience.
posted by jadepearl at 10:57 AM on November 4, 2010

We have had an oriental olefin rug for about 8 years. After years of extremely heavy use it still looks pretty good despite two kids and a dog doing all the terrible things that little kids and dogs do to rugs. I don't think the "feel" of the olefin has changed much over time. We also have a wool oriental rug and I would say the olefin is much easier to clean. For years the wool carpet also sloughed off loose pieces of fuzz which I found to be obnoxious.
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 11:23 AM on November 4, 2010

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