Pros And Cons Of Olefin (Polypropylene) Carpet Fiber

Olefin, also referred to as polypropylene is a synthetic material that is widely used in the making of several products such as carpets and rugs. When we compare this material with other synthetic fibers, olefin offers so many different properties. Although it is less expensive, there are a few reasons that make this fiber not as good as others. The first reason is its poor resistance to oiling and secondly, it is not as long-lasting as other synthetic materials. But, olefin carpets are good for damp basements and outdoors. Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of olefin (polypropylene) carpet fiber to help you make the right decision. Read on:

  1. Appearance

Ranging from low luster (matte) to a high sheen, olefin’s finishes are valuable in the industry of carpeting. The main reason is its wool-like appearance. Olefin (Polypropylene) is often used in area rugs and looped Berber styles.

  1. Durability

One of the major downsides to having olefin carpets is their low durability as compared to others. Being a bit resilient, it cannot bounce back when compressed with higher foot traffic. This is the reason these fibers are used in looped styles of broadloom, for example looped Berber styles and level-loop commercial carpets. However, olefin with low-pile and tightly looped styles are more durable. So, olefin is a good choice for lower foot traffic be it residential or commercial.

  1. Soiling vs. Staining

When it comes to olefin, the issue of soil resistance and stain resistance can be a bit confusing. So, first, you need to consider the differences between the two.


Soiling is caused mainly due to two reasons:

  • Improper removal of cleaning solutions
  • Bottom feet oil

The leftover residues for these two reasons coat the fibers and attract dirt.


Staining, on the other hand, can occur when any substance falls onto the fiber and alters its appearance by opening the dye sites. For example, a cup of tea or a glass of red wine spilled on your carpet will result in a stain.

Now that you know clearly the differences between stain and soil resistance. When it comes to olefin carpeting, unfortunately, it is not good soil-resistant but it is highly stain-resistant.

  1. Use in Basements

Being mold-resistant and quick-drying, olefin is a good choice for damp basements. An outdoor olefin carpet would work well in exceptionally moist basements.

  1. Outdoor Applications

Being hydrophobic, olefin is great for outdoor and marine carpets. It can’t attract mold and mildew because of moisture. Moreover, the solution-dyed nature of olefin makes it ideal to resist excess exposure to sunlight or UV rays.

  1. Cost

The major reason why people prefer installing olefin carpets is its low cost as compared to other carpets. But it is not as durable as other carpets. However, if your budget is low, you can go for olefin (polypropylene) carpet fiber.

In general, we can say that olefin is not a good choice as other synthetic fibers because of its low durability and its incapability to bear higher foot traffic. If you are considering this fiber, then it is good to install a heavy olefin Berber for kids’ playroom or basement.