Rug Density or Pile Height: What to Prioritize if You Want Your Rug to Last

Rug Density or Pile Height: What to Prioritize if You Want Your Rug to Last

For first-time buyers, it can be quite tricky to determine the best rug for your space beyond its appearance. Rug specifications like density and pile height may mean nothing to you while browsing a wide selection of gorgeous designs, but understanding them can help ensure that you’re investing your hard-earned money well. 

What is rug density?

Rug density refers to elements of its construction, or how it’s made. As a result, density is usually a good indicator for the quality, and therefore, longevity of the piece. This number is determined by the number of points per square centimeter. 

Understanding the build of rugs can help actually simplify the concept of rug density. A great example is a tufted rug, which is made when fiber loops are stitched in close rows through a backing material. Their density is usually a bit higher, as fibers are secured more closely together.

What is rug pile height? 

When these tufted loops are stitched through the rug backing, the rest of the fibers will be pulled through to the surface, or “face,” of the rug. These remnants may be left the way they are or trimmed down to a particular size. The length of these fibers on the face of the rug by the end of its construction determine pile height. 

How are they different?

Density is a good tell for the quality and durability of a rug. A higher density simply means that fiber loops are stitched even closer together, forming a really tight and secure body of the rug. 

Rug pile height, on the other hand, can be used to create a certain style or aesthetic for the piece. Ultimately, this measurement is going to determine how the rug feels under your feet and maybe even how easy it is to clean. Lower pile heights usually feel more dense to the touch, whereas higher pile heights are often considered “shag” rugs. Typically, the higher the pile height, the harder it can be to keep clean. 

So, which matters more? 

In short, that’s up to you. But if you want our opinion… it’s rug density. 

Pile height plays an incredibly important part in determining the look and feel of your piece, which is just as much a factor in finding that perfect area rug to spice up your living room. 

We recommend deciding on an ideal texture and aesthetic you envision for your rug, and hunting down a piece with the highest density you can find. Why? If you want your rug to look as good as new for as long as possible, a higher rug density is going to help immensely. Especially when placed in high-traffic areas, rugs can suffer the effects of “pile crush.” This describes a rug’s loss of thickness from being compacted by feet or furniture. With the appropriate density, your rug can fight pesky pile crush and maintain the structural integrity of its fiber tufts. 

Still on the hunt for a brilliant piece to brighten up your space? Check out our new line, The Persian Culture Collection, for a number of stunning options. With high density construction, these rugs are sure to keep their vibrance and flair for years to come.

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