As a homeowner, you will likely value a rug for the many benefits it brings to your space. It defines your décor, sets the mood for the room (cozy or elegant, traditional or bold), and helps make the rooms look larger and more cohesive.
However, some rugs might be less suited than others if you or someone in your family suffer from allergies. If you take good care of any rug, they shouldn’t cause any significant health problems, but the composition of some rugs make them more susceptible to keep allergens trapped inside their fibers. In turn, you’d need to clean these rugs more often, and take them to a professional cleaner more frequently.
By choosing the right type of rugs and following a few simple cleaning tips, you reduce the chances of making your allergies worse without having to spend too much time and money cleaning your rugs.
Previously, there weren’t many options for floor covering in the homes of people with allergies. Carpets were a choice even worse than rugs, as they are much harder to clean and replace.
Nowadays, the diversity of synthetic and natural fibers and innovation in weaving techniques put a broad variety of rugs more suited to the homes of allergy sufferers in the market.
As a rule of thumb, natural fibers are better than synthetics, but there are a few exceptions. If you must use synthetic materials, look for polypropylene or olefin rugs; these wash more easily than others like rayon.
Natural fibers of vegetable and animal origin offer a broader range of options for people with allergies. Fibers made out of plants are not as soft as wool or silk, but they fit perfectly in high traffic areas, which are also prone to trapping more dust and allergenic elements.
When you’re browsing for rugs made of natural fibers, consider some of these materials:
Sisal: a plant-based material, the rugs made with it are sturdy and less flexible, which helps with sound absorption.
Bamboo: this is a durable, inexpensive material of great quality, which makes them perfect for traffic areas like entry halls or stairs.
Jute: made out of plant fibers common in Asia, these coarser rugs retain fewer allergens, but they stain easily and require more care than other materials.
Cotton: cotton area rugs bring softness to any room; they’re lighter, easier to clean and move, which makes them a top choice for homeowners with allergies. Just make sure the cotton is eco-friendly, that natural dyes were used, and that the cotton is not blended with wool.
Wool: this material is antibacterial as well as hypoallergenic, as long as you buy a short-pile rug. Heavier piles collect dust and allergens more easily.
After you’ve decided on a design and material, make sure to keep your rug clean by vacuuming the rug every week and scheduling yearly appointments with a professional cleaner. You can enjoy your décor fully with rugs that’ll make your style and keep your allergies to a minimum.