Guide to the Best Soft Carpet

By Mohawk Flooring

Who doesn’t love soft carpet? The feeling of sinking your bare toes into the lush pile of soft carpet is so luxurious. But when shopping for soft carpet, your tootsies will only tell you part of the story. What about staining? What about durability?

This guide will walk you through the information you need to choose the right soft carpet for your home…and your feet.

What Makes Carpet Soft?

There are three aspects of carpet that affect softness. Yes, the information is a bit technical, but keep reading—we promise to make it painless!

Fiber Type: The most popular carpet on the market is made from one of three materials: polyester, nylon or triexta. All three fibers are soft underfoot, and generally speaking polyester tends to be a softer fiber than nylon, but if you’re interested in enhanced softness, triexta fibers labeled “Silk” offer the ultimate softness.

Strand Density: The density of the strands of fiber, known as the denier, also affects a carpet’s softness. Manufacturers have developed carpets made of finer nylon and triexta fibers to increase the softness. The problem is that thinner fibers tend to be less durable, so the trick is to devise yarns from fine fibers that can stand up to daily use in an active household.

Carpet Construction: The way the yarn is used to construct the carpet affects how soft the carpet feels under foot. There are dozens of terms to describe the different constructions, but we’ll focus on three general categories.

  • You’ve probably heard of Berber, the name of a specific kind of carpet that has become a general term for any carpet made with looped yarn. Loop carpets do a great job of standing up in high traffic areas, but they don’t rate high on the softness scale.
  • Shag carpets have risen in popularity in recent years. Their frieze or twist construction results in long, loose twisted yarns that feel springy underfoot, but not necessarily soft.
  • Texture construction is currently the most popular for carpet. The crimped yarns are cut for a dense, deep pile that creates the softest construction on the market.

So, which soft carpet option is best?

Ultimately, the decision about which soft carpet is best for your home comes down to a balance of softness versus durability, cleanability and budget.

Softness on a Budget

Polyester carpet made with a texture construction can offer wonderful softness at great prices, so if your budget is tight, this may be your best bet. And another bonus, polyester is inherently stain resistant.

However, be prepared for wear to show sooner than with other carpet fibers. Keep in mind that you will likely need to replace polyester carpet in fewer years than with nylon or triexta, and even sooner if you have an active home with pets or children.

Longer Lasting Softness

Nylon carpet designed for softness can give your toes the cushy feeling they crave, but if durability is higher on your list than softness, skip the lower denier options and look for longer warranties instead.

Nylon is not inherently stain resistant, however, so if you opt for nylon, look for carpet with added stain protection to improve cleanability.

Ultimate Softness

Triexta carpets, like SmartStrand products, offer the ultimate in softness, cleanability and durability. For active households, especially with children or pets, triexta offers the most comprehensive solution.

Products labeled “Silk” are made from yarn that bundles hundreds of triexta strands for luxurious softness without sacrificing durability. And triexta fibers have permanent, built-in stain protection so they are easier to clean and keep clean.

Most carpet is soft. So when you go shopping, remember to factor in durability, stain resistance and budget to be sure you find the right soft carpet for your home.

How Often Should I Vacuum?

By Mohawk Industries, Inc.

How Often Should I Vacuum?

We hear this question a lot. The best carpet in the world won’t perform well if you don’t vacuum regularly. To get the most out of your soft surface flooring, it’s important to adopt a regular maintenance routine. No matter the product, you can extend your carpet’s life by vacuuming frequently and diligently.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is waiting to vacuum until the carpet looks dirty. You won’t always notice the tiny soil particles that land on your carpet, and it’s most important to remove that soil when it’s on the surface of the carpet and not embedded in the fibers. When regular vacuuming is neglected, soil particles become embedded in the carpet fibers through normal use. Since most soil is gritty and abrasive, the particles will begin to damage the carpet fibers unless vacuumed regularly. This damage is the main reason carpets age prematurely, so don’t skip routine vacuuming just because your floor doesn’t look like it needs it.

Maintenance Frequency

See our general recommendations below for keeping carpet and carpet-bound rugs clean and looking like new. Also, be sure to read through the maintenance and care information for each of our products.

  • Vacuum high traffic areas daily with slow repetitive motions that overlap. Make sure you get right up to the edges where debris and pet hair can accumulate.
  • Medium traffic areas should be vacuumed twice per week.
  • Vacuum all areas at least once per week even if your carpet or rug looks clean.
  • Every 18 months, clean the carpets with professional hot water extraction to remove deeply embedded particles and oily dirt. Professional deep cleaning will also refresh the carpet’s texture and appearance.
  • High traffic areas may require professional cleaning more often. Clean these areas as soon as they begin to show soil to stop dirt from spreading and to extend time between professional cleanings.
  • Use vacuums and other equipment with the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval.

More Vacuuming Tips

  • Readjust the vacuum height for each flooring surface in your home. Setting too high above the surface will cause soil attraction to be weak, allowing gritty, heavier soil to stay in the flooring. Setting the vacuum too low could damage your carpet or rug by fraying the surface pile.
  • To determine the optimal height setting, test the vacuum in an inconspicuous area, like a closet.
  • Check the beater/brush bar regularly for burs or gouges that might damage your flooring.
  • For thick loop, casual frieze, long pile or premium soft carpets and for hard surfaces, completely disengage the beater/brush bar or use a vacuum without a beater/brush bar.
  • Ensure your vacuum has efficient airflow to avoid tight or sealed suction on the carpet’s surface, which makes operating the machine difficult and may damage fibers.
  • Check your vacuum cleaner bag regularly, and change it when it becomes half to two-thirds full. A full vacuum bag will cause the vacuum to clean less efficiently and less thoroughly.

Floors Made for Bringing the Outdoors In

By Mannington Floors

Decorating with plants is more popular than ever, especially this time of year. Studies show that houseplants are good for health. They release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, removing up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. Seeing greenery and nurturing its growth reduces stress and create feelings of calm, which leads to more productivity and happiness.

But as any nature lover knows, caring for plants indoors can take a toll on floors. The solution? Floors that’ll weather what happens when Mother Nature retreats inside your warm, cozy home during cold winter months. 

With its abundance of natural light, this garden room is a perfect place for plants to thrive whether grouped near the French doors or on the wall as a vertical garden. For messy tasks like repotting, watering and drying herbs, Mannington’s Horizon LVS is a good pick. This concrete-look floor is waterproof, won’t trap dirt or other allergens and is easy to clean (most spills clean with gentle soap and water).

In this sunroom, Chart House (part of Mannington’s new ADURA®Max APEX collection) plots a stylish -and sensible- course with its spin on one of the hottest trends in home design—shiplap. This luxury vinyl plank floor is also a good pick for spaces like this sunroom because it’s fade resistant, stain resistant, waterproof, easy-care and made with Mannington’s exclusive ScratchResist® protection that creates a surface so tough it wears away the ridge on a quarter.

Floors made for bringing the outdoors in make it easy to welcome Mother Nature and invite her to stay for a good, long time!


Written by: Mohawk Flooring

For homeowners everywhere, especially families on the go, it’s a battle as old as time: beautiful carpet versus an active home. On one hand, you love the idea of a plush, soft carpet that the family can lie on and play on together, but then you think of the constant messes from kids, pets and even adults. You may feel like hard surface flooring in the home is a necessity, allowing you to easily clean up the chaos when it strikes. But it is possible to find carpet that works for you, your family and your beautiful home.

SmartStrand carpet has been tested and proven for over 12 years in homes across the country and has lived up to its claims to be the most durable, easiest to clean carpet on the planet. SmartStrand has survived some of the most extreme situations that you can imagine. It was even put it in a pen with a 5,400 pound Rhino! SmartStrand’s unique combination of built-in stain protection, inherent durability and Nanoloc Spill and Soil Shield have provided a carpet that can withstand pretty much anything any family can throw at it.

Inherent Durability

The original Rhino Challenge took place in 2009, pitting SmartStrand carpet against the playful 1.5-ton Ricko the Rhinoceros in his Birmingham Zoo living quarters for two whole weeks. It’s hard to imagine, but SmartStrand carpet was even able to resist the crushing and matting that Ricko presented. The unique spring-like shape of the SmartStrand fibers provides impressive durability, maintaining its beauty and softness with ease, even under Ricko’s weight.

Its durability was proven again in 2010, when SmartStrand traveled to the Dallas Zoo and endured the tracks of rhinos, giraffes, camels and even an elephant! In light of its ability to withstand enormous zoo animals, it is no surprise that Mohawk SmartStrand is the only carpet to feature All Pet Protection and Warranty, covering all pets and all accidents. If SmartStrand can stand up to this wildlife, it can most definitely handle your family’s wild life.

Built-In Stain Resistance

Fast forward to 2012, when Mohawk searched the country to find America’s messiest kids. Morning shows across the nation picked up on this adorable quest and showcased the cutest messy eaters, but not one could stain SmartStrand. Stain resistance is engineered into the SmartStrand fiber without dye sites, so stains cannot chemically bond to the carpet. Unlike most carpets with topical treatments, the stain resistance is permanently built into SmartStrand, so it won’t wash or wear off, ensuring your carpet will always be easy to clean.

The License to Spill Carpet Showdown in 2013 then saw SmartStrand carpet take on 12 food festivals and every recipe you can imagine. Still shining after all foods were intentionally spilled on the carpet, SmartStrand proved it can survive every morsel thrown its way.

Nanoloc Spill and Soil Shield
SmartStrand Forever Clean’s Nanoloc Spill and Soil Shield was truly put to the test in 2015, when carpet was placed at the finish line of Tough Mudder races around the country. Can you imagine thousands of mud-caked feet stomping through your home, yet your carpet cleans up like a dream?

Ultra-fine nanoparticles bond to encapsulate every SmartStrand fiber with a complete stain and soil shield. So the carpet repels dirt, dander and, yes, MUD before it can reach the fiber. As a result, SmartStrand is tremendously easy to clean and was crowned the true champ at every Tough Mudder race.

The SmartStrand Difference

SmartStrand carpet is soft and comfortable for your family, yet tough and resilient enough to handle all of daily life’s challenges. It’s no secret that a messy home or stained carpet will add to the stress of an already hectic household. Choosing a carpet that has faced every imaginable test and been proven to spring back and clean up easily and effectively may give you at least one less thing to worry about.