Smartstrand Carpet Review

Smartstrand carpet is the new carpet material, but is it improved?

It depends on who you ask and what category. The goal of this article is to break down whether it’s the best carpet material for your home.

I’ll review Mohaw’s Smartstrand in categories I think are important to homeowners.

After the review, you’re welcome to ask questions, give your opinion, or browse other readers’ opinions in the comments below.

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Captain grades smartstrand carpet

*Explanation of report card categories

Let’s clear up the naming confusion (or try to)! There are 4 different names for the carpet described on this page: Smartstrand, PTT polyester, Sorona, triexta, or any combination of the above. Pretty confusing, but here’s what you need to know when you’re out shopping: The carpet material is actually PTT polyester. However, PTT polyester sounds too close to PET polyester. To make it less confusing, manufcturers renamed PTT polyester to triexta. A more environmentally friendly version (because it’s partially made with corn sugar instead of petroleum) of triexta is named Sorona. Currently, Mohawk is the only manufacturer who produces PTT polyester/triexta/Sorona carpet, and they call the carpet Smartstrand. To clean up this messy confusion, here’s a quick summary, PTT polyester = triexta. Environmentally-friendly triexta = Sorona. Smartstrand = the brand name for triexta or Sorona carpet.

Excellent stain resistance

Smartstrand’s stain resistance is developed within the fiber, not a coating. Mohawk proudly proclaims on their website, “engineered-in stain resistance reaches new levels of protection, allowing tough stains such as mustard, red wine, and cherry Kool-Aid® to be removed simply with warm water and a mild detergent.” They continue to state that it can resist discoloration from bleach. While we haven’t heard of anyone testing these claims, the general consensus is that this carpet does an extremely good job at stain resistance. Homes with children, frequent spills, and carpeted kitchens all could benefit from Smartstrand’s stain protection. When properly treated, all of the other fibers provide pretty good stain resistance but Smartstrand seems to be the winner in this department (but I still wouldn’t pour bleach on it).

Environmentally friendly (Sorona only)

Sorona is made of 37% renewable materials. What are “renewable materials”? It typically refers to a plant because they can be re-grown. In this case of Sorona, corn sugar is the renewable component. Mohawk’s website boasts that manufacturing this carpet requires 30% less energy and environmental emissions compared to nylon. The only reason Sorona is graded less than an A is that PET polyester and wool carpet have a slight edge in being environmentally friendly.

The other drawback for being environmentally friendly is Smartstrand does not have a take back or recycling program. This means when the carpet is eventually worn out, it will go to the landfill.

Is it durable?

The short answer is yes. Smartstrand appears to be a very durable and resilient carpet. However, we are hesitant to list this as one of Smartstrand’s advantages. Nylon carpet is the current king of durability. Smartstrand is the first fiber to give nylon a run for its money in this department, but nylon gets the edge because it is proven over many decades, and there are some conflicting opinions on Smartstrand. As long as you make sure to get a well-constructed Smartstrand, its durability shouldn’t be an issue. If you skimp on the construction, it may wear faster than a comparable nylon.

Mildew resistance

Like nylon and polyester, Smartstrand is synethic material that doesn’t absorb water. This means it should be resistant to mold and mildew. A win for high humidity areas or the basement with occassional moisture problems (but remember you still have the carpet padding to worry about!).

Is Smartstrand toxic?

Toxicity is a hot topic with flooring. And rightfully so as more and more people are taking a proactive approach to their health.

Smartstrand gets good grades from me in the toxicity category. The reason is Smartstrand is naturally stain resistant, so it doesn’t need potentially harmful stain protectants. It also gets the Carpet and Rug Insitutes Green Label Plus certification, which is a well-respected certification for floors that have low VOCs (indoor air pollution).

You can read more about new carpet smell and toxicity here.

What’s the deal with Smartstrand Silk?

Whenever you buy a brand name nylon carpet, you’ll find many different “lines” of carpet within the brand. These “lines” can stand for certain exclusive colors or patterns, a certain environmentally-friendly way the carpet is certified or made, or a softer version of the carpet. Smartstrand is no different. You’ll find many different lines of Smartstrand.

One of Smartstrand’s more luxurious lines is Smartstrand Silk. This a softer version of Smartstrand. The technical difference is more but thinner strands of Smartsrand are used to create the soft feel. I have an article dedicated to soft carpets–sometimes they can require special care or considerations when buying. But overall, if you’re thinking you want Smartstrand and plan on laying down on your carpet, consider taking a look at the Silk line.

Captain’s tips on what to do next:

Turns out Smartstrand or Sorona or triexta, nearly lives up to its extreme hype.

I think it’s stain protection is the best of any carpet material–making it great for people who entertain, dining rooms, or kids playrooms.

I’m not as convinced on it’s overall durability, especially compared to nylon. This is up for debate, and I get polar opposite opinions from readers (some love it, some hate–see the comments below). Even though it’s been out 10 years, that’s new as far as carpet goes. There aren’t many old Smartstrand carpets out, so we’ll probably learn more in the next decade.

Here’s what steps I recommend you take next:

Let me know in the comments below if you have any opinions or questions on Smartstrand.

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Scott Juhl

So any info on the durability/wearability of SmartStrand Ultra? How would you compare it to a a good wearable nylon. No kids or pets, but don’t want to see wear pattern where we walk.

Experttickler

This carpet has been amazing so far – I have three rescue dogs and with the elderly one accidents are inevitable – I can clean it quickly and with no staining or residual smell. Very happy, about to buy again for my FiL’s house:-)

TimR

This carpet is absolute and total garbage, not sure how you are getting to these A and B scores, but give it a couple of months and you are going to be handing out some big fat F’s!

Gerald

I recently had a Smartstrand Silk installed. I can’t speak to durability or stain resistance but it is quite soft and looks nice. It does show footprints and vacuum marks but that doesn’t concern me much. There is one major downside, however, that I did not know prior to purchase. Your vacuum will likely be useless for cleaning them. Mohawk is aware of the issue and thus recommends a handful of alternative vacuums but they are not cheap and the pickings are few. So when considering this carpet, factor in an additional $300+ in cost for the special vacuum you… Read more »

Howard Perry

We’re thinking of buying a 12′ x 15′ Mohawk “Distinct Flair” (2S68) rug in the color “Drifting Cloud” (506) to replace a Fabrica carpet that has several urine stains by our dog. The biggest reason for this choice is the advertizement that “Smartstrand is stain resistant pet-friendly carpet.” I have 2 questions: (1) is the level of stain resistance significantly higher that other carpeting? and (2) is the level of stain resistance the same for this very light beige color as it is for darker colors?