We’ve never taken a survey, but if we had to guess, Berber carpet would be the most recognizable carpet style. A couple of features make Berber carpets stand out. The first is it’s a loop pile that is distinguished by alternating big and small tufts. Most residential carpets are cut pile. The second defining characteristic is its color pattern. Berber’s are generally light colored with darker flecks spread patternlessly throughout the carpet.
Advantages of Berber Carpet
Stain resistance is Berber’s biggest strength. It’s a tight weave that makes it tough for stains to penetrate. Many people are attracted to its unique “handcrafted” appearance (Berber carpets are made in factories like every other carpet, so they are not truly handcrafted.) It also doesn’t show footprints or vacuum marks. As long as the carpet is clean and taken care of, it maintains its original appearance. The cherry on top is that if you like Berber carpets, they typically don’t break the bank. Depending on the fiber used, it is a relatively inexpensive style.
Disadvantages of Berber Carpet
The loop design presents Berber with many of its downfalls. Cats, other animals, and even kids can snag the loops. Snags lead to unraveling of the carpet that often requires it to be repaired. Also, Berber carper can be difficult to clean. The same tight weave that makes it resist stains makes it difficult to clean stains if they occur—the offending liquid get trapped within the fiber. You’ll also want to watch for matting/crushing of the carpet. Many people are told it is a resilient carpet, which it can be, but the fiber type and loop size matters. Olefin Berber carpets are common but do not hold up nearly as well as Berber’s made of nylon. Also, larger loops crush easier. Choosing a smaller looped Berber in areas with more foot traffic will allow the carpet to last longer.
Captain’s parting words: Berber carpets are growing in popularity. The looped and flecked look can be refreshing if you’re not used to seeing them. Berbers provide very good stain resistance and can be durable. If you are flooring commonly used rooms, avoid buying a Berber made of olefin fiber. Olefin Berber carpets may lure you in with their small price tag, but they will quickly look old and worn out. If you love the look of Berber and know your carpet will be in a hallway, main living area, or commonly used bedroom, spend the extra to buy a nylon Berber. For added durability, buy a nylon Berber carpet with small loops.