What is Good Pile Height For Carpets

  • 07 October 2019
  • 6 Min Read
  • By Jaipur Rugs
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Choosing the best carpet for your home can be one of the easiest ways of adding a personal yet artisanal touch to your décor. A carpet will instantly transform your home's vibe to make it more welcoming and warm while also adding your personal styling touch.

However, besides design, color, and material, there is one more factor you should take into account- carpet pile height, which often goes unnoticed. But measure carpet pile height? Choosing the right carpet with the right carpet pile height isn't as simple as it might appear. 
So, today, we're bringing you the expert's guide on how to measure the carpet pile height and determine which pile will work best for your home. But first, let’s understand what carpet pile height means. 

What is carpet pile height?

According to Jaipur Rugs experts, a rug’s pile height refers to the density of the fibers in the rug- flat (short pile) or shaggy (long). In simpler words, the rug pile height indicates the thickness of carpets and rugs measured from the surface of a rug to its backing. Now you know how to measure carpet pile height. 
And depending on the usage, foot traffic, and where it lays, the rug's pile can significantly influence its durability and suitability. 
The pile height of a carpet is measured using a small ruler or a measuring device going from the top surface of the backing to the top of the pile. Remember, While measuring the pile, the backing's surface is not included. The pile is solely the soft surface that rises from the rug's backing.

carpet pile height

Why rug pile height makes a difference:

Pile height impacts a rug in many ways, the two major being its durability and maintenance. It is worth noticing that the carpet pile height is not a determiner of the rug's quality. A thick pile does not necessarily mean the carpet will be of high quality. Some of the finest artisan rugs have a low pile. However,  the pile height plays into the individual purpose and utility that you buy a rug. For example, high-traffic areas can benefit from rugs with some density.

Benefits of Shorter Pile Height

(1/2 inch or less):

Rugs with shorter pile heights tend to last longer than those with longer piles. Short pile artisan pile rug height is less likely to be caught on objects, pulled at, or even accumulate dirt and retain stains. It is also why households with children and/or pets often opt for shorter piles. They are also easier to clean because short pile rugs can be cleaned by a vacuum cleaner more thoroughly. Why? Simply because it's easier to get to the base of the rug without ruining it, as opposed to longer carpet pile height.

Benefits of Longer pile height

(1/2 inch and up):

Long pile rugs, like shag rugs, are way more luxurious as it offers maximum underfoot comfort because of the additional fabric that makes them softer on the feet. The longer pile's added cushioning also makes it harder to clean deeply and often has to be sent to rug cleaning experts. That is why they are best suited for areas like the bedroom and study room with lower foot traffic and preferably less furniture as they’re more susceptible to crushing and marking, which is to say that the legs of furniture will leave indentations more easily on them. Even though they can’t compete with shorter pile artisan home rugs in durability, if cared for sincerely, they can last you ages.

carpets pile height

Three Things You Must Consider To Help You Choose The Right Carpet Pile Height:


Not only do you need to know how to measure carpet pile height, but also need how to apply that knowledge and find the perfect carpet with the right pile height to suit your home's needs. And this requires significant consideration of its practicalities.
For instance, where will you be placing the rug? Does your house have a lot of pets and kids? Is the space used for entertaining guests often? Is it close to a source of dirt and dust? Taking these into consideration will help you narrow down your choice.
Typically, the rule of thumb is that the thicker the carpet and rugs, the lower the durability. The shorter the pile, the more footfall it can endure. When it comes to making a big purchase, the practicalities of a rug have to be the number one factor to consider.
After all, you wouldn't want to make the mistake of choosing thick piles like shags – that are highly difficult to clean – for your hallway. While shag rugs are high on the luxury and comfort front, they go best in low foot traffic areas to avoid dirt accumulation and over time, irreparable wear and tear.
Practicality must lead the conversation when it comes to finding the right rug pile height for your home.

thick carpet

Usage and weight:

Different carpet pile heights have different resilience levels; how a carpet and rug will be used will help determine if a short or thick pile is best for your home.
For instance, rugs with longer or thicker piles are softer to the touch and more luxurious, but at the same time, it is less durable and can withstand less weight. Hence, placing them in your bedroom or the study without keeping the furniture legs on it is one of the best ways to place them.
To its counterpart, short pile carpets have shorter strands and tend to be less fuzzy or delicate to the touch but are sturdier. If you're planning to place furniture on top of a rug, it's best to opt for short rug pile heights like loops or Berber as they do not show indentation or leave marks. Short pile artisan rugs are perfect as centerpieces in your living room or dining space where you entertain guests.

difference between flat-weave and hand knotted rugs pile


Once you've got the first two factors out of the way, you should consider your style to choose the perfect carpet pile height.
Mix and match your heart's content or choose carpets and rugs that align with your overall theme. For those of you with a traditional Indian interior design aesthetic, short pile styles like our Lacuna wool and silk hand-knotted rug in Emerald Green offer a classic touch of the patterns that are still practical and meticulously handcrafted by our skilled artisans.
And there you have it: now you can find the perfect rug pile height for your home by considering its practicalities, its usage, and how it fits with your aesthetics. You can browse Jaipur Rugs' short pile, flat weave rugs for handmade carpets made to last. You can also customize artisan home rugs with us by working closely with our weavers to bring home a one-of-a-kind piece of art that truly speaks of your personality.

You can also Read: Feature and Benefits of Shaggy Rug


What pile of carpet is best?

If the footfall is heavy, then you can consider buying a flatweave rug, or if the footfall is less, you can consider a high pile rug.

What are the different types of carpet piles?

High pile, low pile, and flatweave

What is a good pile height for a bedroom carpet?

You can go with high-pile rugs because they will keep your room warm and cozy.

Is low pile carpet good?

Yes, low-pile carpets are good and best for the living room.

Is high pile carpet good?

It depends on the material and what you're using it for. High-pile carpet can be a great option if you have pets and kids because it is easier to clean. However, it also tends to be more expensive. So many people choose this type of flooring because they feel it's worth the price, but there are always exceptions depending on the person's individual needs. Generally, a high-pile carpet is easy to maintain, and people like its natural look. It's an upgrade from the low-pile carpet people used to have and can last a lot longer. Some people have had theirs for over ten years without significant issues. This is especially true if you get high-quality carpeting.

Pic Credits

Jaipur rugs / Abil Dase

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