Mohawk’s SmartStrand Carpet Unbiased Review (AKA Triexta Carpet)

Average Cost To Install Carpet Price Range: $845 - $1,650
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Last update: March 2022

SmartStrand carpet is the new carpet material, but is it improved? It depends on who you ask. Mohawk’s SmartStrand carpet, which is made of Triexta (more on this below) is one of the more controversial topics I write about.

I get emails and comments from customers, salespeople, and store owners who are both strongly for and against this carpet. On both sides of the aisle, some people get mad at me for sharing my opinion–that tells me I’m probably doing something right 🙂

Either way, the goal of this article is to break down whether it’s the best carpet material for your home. We’ll review Mohawk’s Smartstrand carpet in categories that I think will be most important to you.

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

Report Card - Smartstrand

*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, manufacturers 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 that 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.

What is Triexta carpet?

It helps to make this clear (because it’s confusing). So let’s review, what exactly is triexta carpet?

Triexta is a new type of polyester carpet material. It is commonly sold under the brand name Smartstrand, and it was designed to overcome the poor durability of traditional polyester carpet. Whether or not it lives up to the marketing hype is up for debate.

In other words, triexta and Smartstrand are more or less the same thing, so you’ll learn all about triexta in the paragraphs below…

Excellent stain resistance

Smartstrand carpet’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, allowingtough stains such asmustard,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 of 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 SmartStrand carpet durable?

Smartstrand Carpet, Shoes on Durable Carpet

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.

Is Smartstrand carpet resistant to mildew?

Like nylon and polyester, Smartstrand is a synthetic 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 occasional moisture problems (but remember you still have the carpet padding to worry about!).

Is Smartstrand carpet toxic?

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

The Smartstrand carpet 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 Institute’s 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.

Average Cost To Install Carpet Price Range: $845 - $1,650
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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 carpets.

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 that the Smartstrand carpet, also known as triexta, nearly lives up to its extreme hype.

I think its 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 of its overall durability, especially compared to nylon. This is up for debate, and I get polar opposite opinions from readers (some love it, some hate it–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:

Did you know that Mohawk has a subsidiary brand named Karastan and they sell smartstrand too? Check out the Karastan brand review here.

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

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110 thoughts on “Mohawk’s SmartStrand Carpet Unbiased Review (AKA Triexta Carpet)”

  1. wendy tennyson

    Hello, have a question about Sorona, the corn-based product. We have lived in our completely remodeled house since October of 22, and so far LOVE the carpet. Having pets but disliking hair everywhere, I am an unapologetic neat freak and run a stick vac daily to skim off the hair and then use a Shark Pet Plus weekly to deep clean. So here’s the question: I began noticing a very fine, almost flour-consistency material every morning in the stick vac cup about 3 months ago. I thought of winter skin and dry skin cells sloughing off, pet dander, everything, but we really have NONE of those things going on. Our three cats are bathed monthly and groomed daily and I even find this strange powder in the closets where they do not go. We had the HVAC system professionally cleaned and drywall dust cleaned up so it isn’t a remodeling by-product. An interesting detail…I am a naturalist and into insects and other wildlife and began finding dermestid beetles in the kitchen and one bathroom in late winter but I didn’t panic because those locations ALSO happen to be where the ladybug beetles congregate for winter and also die, and the dermestids are just polishing off the corpses. Now here’s my question…I know the dreaded “carpet beetle” can destroy organic carpeting like wool and silk but ignores synthetics. However, is it possible they have found the corn-sugar derivatives in the Sorona to their liking as well and have moved on to the carpet? Only thing making me doubt this theory is the fact that I am seeing fewer, not more, adult beetles as the weather warms. I am fearing that this tremendous uptick in the cornstarch like material I am seeing in the vac cup might be either a sign of beetle feeding or simple breakdown of the carpet. I am unsure exactly how long the corn-derived variety of Triextra has been available so user feedback may be limited. Any insight? Thanks, CC!!

  2. We bought Karastan Smartstrand Silk carpet – livingroom, stairs, landings. Definitely on the high end of expense, but beautiful and soft. Amazing when it first went in. But 1 year in, very disappointed. Still looks great where it isn’t stained, but stain resistance is a joke. And we don’t have a pet rhino! The nylon carpet that it replaced was in place for more than 30 years with multiple dogs and a young family and never got stained as badly. Now with a couple of seeming-permanent dog-pee stains (that would have come out easily with our old carpet), cleaned multiple times with a handheld vacuum-type “steam” cleaner, our new carpet looks awful. Trying to get the company we purchased from to do something about it, but not going well. And, as another comment pointed out, our Dyson canister vacuum bogged down completely – not useable. Had to replace our vacuum at considerable extra expense. That would be fine if the carpet was going to last longer than the new vacuum cleaner!

    @CarpetCaptain, why do you think is there such a large discrepancy between real-world experience and advertising (and your own claims), as other comments and my own experience would suggest?

  3. We purchase Mohawk’s Smartstrand carped in January 2021 with high expectations. We have pets, and the 25 year wear pattern and stain guarantee was hard to pass up, despite the huge cost. The carpet failed within 6 months despite two professional cleanings, and while Mohawk has agreed with our assessment, we have been fighting with our installer for months trying to get it fully replaced. For someone single or a couple who never has guests and is never home, it’s great. For the real life of a family with pets, not so much.

    1. i bought smart strand may 2022. it is crushed and shows traffic patters on my stairs in y hallway and into my bedroom. everywhere i have been. i am always in socks at home. it is me and my 22 Tyrol at home. my carpet dealer said the rugs were dirty it was maintenance issue!! 4 months ? i avaaccum 2x a week because of animals. they are willing to replace carpets but i must pay install NO WAY! i was sold on the 15 year or more traffic policy no crush etc. carpet is trash. still fighting with them!

  4. Thank you so much for this website. I have learned a lot! I am trying to decide between nylon and smart strand, weighing both durability and cost. I found a good price on a Mohawk Smart Strand Ultra “Exceptional Choice” and I was hoping I could get your opinion on if it is a good enough carpet for bedrooms/stairs in a house with two adults and two cats (and maybe a kid in the next couple of years) – Face weight 35oz, density 2940, pile height .42. I haven’t found information about its twist level yet. Thanks!

  5. Linda Hasman-Williams

    I am going to buy carpet, I am trying to educate myself. Thank you for all the good information, I have learned a lot. One of the things you mentioned is asking the place I am buying carpet from to air it out for a week. This would cut down on fumes. I am wondering if Carpet places would accommodate this request. Do you know of anyone who has asked for this and did the Carpet place say “yes”? I am asking this because I live in a cold climate but don’t want to wait until the end of May for better weather.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Hi, your best bet is to call your carpet place several weeks in advance and ask if they can air out your carpet in a warehouse or well ventilated area. We aren’t immediately aware of carpet places that have done this, but it can’t hurt to check. Thank you!

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  7. Best site.

    1. When I do the math, the density number for a lower pile/ lower face weight carpet is higher that for a higher pile same face weight – of course. So which is more important for durability and also for comport, pile height or face weight? And how important is face weight with a half-closed-loop weave? Thanks.

    2. Another thing: I have had cheap poly carpet for 11 years in a highly trafficked room…..just now showing matting. Had to replace on stairs after five years because hydrogen peroxide spill took out solution dye completely. So when you say durable, how many years are you talking about? Do people keep carpet for 25 years? I would think the dust mites would pile up, regardless of vacuuming.

    3. You and others say triexta is great. I have seen no good consumer reviews of it, here or elsewhere.

    4. I have found no way to find out if the nylon in any carpet is 6 or 6,6 and I have found no way to find out the durability of theR2X or other stain coatings……it appears they shampoo off quickly? This is the main drawback to nylon carpet, which I want to get. I have had wonderful experience with regular polyester stain cleanup. Help! I keep getting apples and oranges when I try to compare.

    1. 1. It depends on the difference of the face weight and pile height. I think face weight is more important overall, but density is the best indicator (so in some cases a slightly lower face weight is okay because of a lower pile height). 2. There are people who keep carpet 20+ years, but also sometimes people with a lot of kids of animals just need a more durable carpet. But you’re right, one way to go would be less durable and replace more often. 3. I wouldn’t say that I say triexta is “great”. I prefer nylon, but triexta does have some good features like stain resistance. 4. That’s where brand names of the nylon can come in – sometimes you can’t find the details you want.

  8. Hello,

    I’m interested in purchasing a Mohawk Berber SmartStrand carpet in Pure Admiration for my home. I’m looking to cover 3 bedrooms a hallway and 4 flights of stairs. I live in a townhouse with a 30 year old contractor grade carpet so for me “ANYTHING” is better than what we have. I’m used to feeling the floor through the carpet and it being very short. I have 2 Cocker Spaniels, a very active 11 year old and a 25 year old who’s in an out my house like grand central station. Needless to say we have a very active household and an extremely heavy foot traffic. I’m not trying to break the bank here but we need something durable which can take the wear. Do you think this option would be good for our household? My budget is a max $3,500.00 for everything. Any insight or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


    1. Very frustrated with Mohawk! Put in Smartstrand also, loved it for about 3 years when it started matting, looked awful! There comment it was dirty, which is a joke, had a professional clean it and he even wrote a letter stating it was not dirty! The 2 of us in the house and we are gone 2 months of the year, hardly never wear outside shoes in the house. Would not recommend their product, they do not stand behind their product.

      1. Curious. Did you buy the 100% Triexta Ultra or the Smartstrand Blend or Smartstrand Silk or …??? I’ve been trying to compare them and deciding if they are as good as advertised.

  9. Arghhh…We had Smartstrand installed 7 years ago as I wanted a good quality carpet that was stain resistant. After all, if a Rhino could live on it for 3 months and the carpet came clean ( as the commercial claimed ) how could I lose? We had carpet installed on 2 stairways (front & back) 4 bedrooms and a hallway so not cheap. It felt luxurious and when a small spot appeared, the cleaner they gave me took it right out. SCORE!!….And then it happened…Hallie Berry..(our new puppy) escaped upstairs and yes…pee’d in the hallway! Never fear.. I have the magic spray AND this carpet survived a rhino…not some 2 lb. little pup! And that…was the beginning of the end. Stain NEVER came out..even with professional cleaning. It just got bigger! Called business we purchased the carpet from and “Billy” gave me Mohawks #…I called and they would be happy to come out…oh wait…You did use a certified Mohawk carpet cleaning person, right? Uh no…they didn’t tell me that when I bought it. Oh and you have to have your carpets cleaned every 18 months (which I did) and only use their cleaner. The list goes on. The Mohawk reviews are not favorable as they DO NOT stand behind their product. A lot of loopholes. The front stairs look great..very little use. The back stairs are totally worn…mashed down. Most spots do not come out. Cutting my losses and definitely putting hardwoods in hallway and bedrooms but would still like carpet on the stairs..( I’ve gotten elderly and want to be safe)…Sorry for the long and winded post…My question is…For a stairway…that gets considerable use ( my husband and I) 2 dogs…what do you recommend that will be stain resistant and hold its pile? Any favorable brands. Thanks so much, Robin

    1. Carpet Captain

      Sorry for your experience. This is why I hate warranties. They’re often used for marketing purposes, and it works because salesman can say this is a 20-year carpet and it’s “backed up by the warranty.” I don’t generally recommend specific brands, but if you go through the carpet guide, it should help you pick out a great carpet. My article on branded vs unbranded nylon may also help.

  10. I was wondering if I could get your opinion on Home Depot’s Gemini II collection? It has a pile height of .631, face weight of 58, density of 3309, and 4.75 turns per inch. I need to carpet two bedrooms and stairs. The stairs would have moderate traffic. After reading a lot of negative reviews of Mohawk’s carpet, I am not sure if this is a good carpet. It looks and feels nice.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Is the material polyester or Smartstrand? That would be a big difference–when I’ve seen Gemini it was polyester but maybe there are multiple versions (you can read about polyester here.). The other specs like face weight look good, but the material will make or break this carpet.

        1. Carpet Captain

          For long-term durability, I’m not a big fan of polyester (unless it’s a very light trafficked room).

  11. Hi. I’ve found a very good price at a local store for Mohawk’s Westwind Bay, 100% Triexta (Smartstrand Forever Clean). The price is more in line with PET polyester, but the twist count is pretty low (4.25). Here are the complete specs … Face Weight: 40, Density: 2714, Twist: 4.25, Pile Height: 0.531.

    Should the low twist keep me from buying, despite the attractive price point? It will go on stairs, hallway, and 2 bedrooms. Low to moderate traffic. Thank you, your site has been a great help!

  12. I had Mohawk carpet laid and it’s been a disaster. My dogs and cats will occasional scratch the carpet (as pets do, remember this is supposed to be pet friendly). Edges of the carpet are loosing strands, lots of loose strands everywhere, Carpet Court is refusing to even visit and see the problem. it is so bad I’m getting quotes to replace all the new Mohawk carpet after only 4 months!!!!!
    Yep brilliantly stain resistant, but it is falling apart????

  13. 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.

    1. I believe Ultra refers to more styles and colors, so different appearance but no difference in performance compared to other Smarstrand carpets. From the Mohawk website, “SmartStrand Ultra offers all the benefits of SmartStrand Forever Clean, but with a wider variety of enhanced styling and color options”.

  14. 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:-)

  15. 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!

    1. I agree! I just got my carpet installed six weeks ago and it sucks! Doesn’t matter if it’s stain resistant if every step shows footprints and shading. I’m the only person in the apartment and very clean. Worse carpet ever!!! Total waste of money!

  16. 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 will need.

    1. Thanks for the input Gerald. What is your issue with vacuuming? Does the vacuum get stuck, or it’s not picking up debris? Getting stuck with happen a lot with “softer” high face weight carpets.

      1. The problem is that normal vacuums stick and become very hard to push. I read somewhere that they can also damage this type of carpet. I wish the salesman would have flagged the issue before we had it installed.

        1. Yeah you’re not the first person I’ve heard with this problem, and it’s more common with the newer soft and dense carpets. If you have an adjustable height on your vacuum, moving it up can help quite a bit.

  17. 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?

    1. 1. I do think Smartstrand has great stain resistance. There are a few other types of carpets that may be comparable, but there are many that are worse. 2. Beige will have the same level of stain resistance as dark, but no carpet is 100% stain proof. Dark carpets are nice because even if they’re stained, you may not see it.

      1. I would assume that the interior wefts/warps of the rug are jute and possibly cotton, wrapped around with the synthetic Smartstrand. If this is the case, and there are pet accidents, if there are not visual stains but still an odor, then the issue will be in those interior absorbent fibers. So this means the rugs need to be soaked and decontaminated to reach those interior fibers. Just an FYI in case anyone has some heavy pet activity that visually gets cleaned up but there is still a strong odor issue.

        1. Agree–there are a lot of homeowners who get pet urine stains cleaned but can’t figure out why it still smells. It’s usually absorbed deeper either in the floor backing, pad, or worse, floorboards.

  18. I have had smartstrand carpet installed it was rubbish called the Store I bought it from they sent an independent fellow to look at carpet he said it was faulty so the store replaced it with same carpet and it looks like it has been down for 20 years there is only my husband and I in house and both elderly we absolutely hate it have paid over a thousand to buy a rug to cover the lounge room would not recommend it to anyone

  19. Hi I was thinking about buying smart strand. Carpeting ., sales men gave me a dark blue sample and a cream. He said go home and put bleach on the blue. I did. It did not stain. The cream I put coffee on it and wiped it off immediately with s white dry cloth then a wet cloth. Stain immediately. I needed the cream color. So I do not think the light color is stain proof or resistant Was very disappointed

    1. Carpet Captain

      Bleach is one of their go-to demonstrations because it does hold it’s color exceptionally well. I think it’s good with stain resistance too, but I haven’t met a carpet that completely resists coffee. Bummer to hear it didn’t. Wonder if the coffee could be removed easily?

  20. My builder is specifying a Shaw BCF Cleartouch Platinum PET Polyester carpet for our new home. I am little confused and unsure if this is the “traditional “ polyester or an improved type of polyester carpet?

    1. Carpet Captain

      Sorry for the delayed response–I hear a lot where people try to separate PET polyesters from others, but at the end of the day, almost all PET polyesters will perform alike. And just for clarification, it’s not a Smartstrand/PTT polyester.

    1. I’m not 100% sure, but I think Ultra has a better warranty. It’s the same fiber but maybe they leave that label for Smartstrand carpets with slightly better specs. But maybe someone else can chime in and say for sure.

  21. We are looking at Dreamweaver polyester carpet, style 7160 Casual Comfort III. Do you know anything about the longterm durability of this carpet? It has a 25 year texture resistance warranty, though is this really possible with polyester? How does the durability compare to that of Smartstrand? Smartstrand also has a 25 year warranty, I believe.

    1. Both this and Smartstrand will have great stain resistance, but I don’t buy 25 years of life. Polyester just doesn’t last that long. Smartstrand I don’t really consider a polyester (even though technically it is, it’s a completely different class) and verdicts still out on how durable it is. My thought is it has a little more resilience than standard polyester but you can read this article and some of the comments to get a better opinion.

  22. As a carpet cleaner of 25+ years I can tell you this- ALL POLYSTER CARPET IS GARBAGE. Example, I cleaned a one year old carpet today (Smartstrand, polyester) and it looked 20 years old. Not from the dirt, but from the wear. I clean carpet, I don’t sell it, so my opinion is unbiased. I don’t care what the salespeople tell you- you will be sorry if you buy anything but nylon.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Appreciate the opinion, and I hear mixed things on people’s experiences with Smartstrand’s durability. Wish I could take a poll of homeowners who own Smartstrand and what they think of it. The problem is I couldn’t pull this off because 1. people in the industry on both sides would likely complete the poll to push their agenda and 2. it would be biased toward people who didn’t like it because those are the ones to voice their opinions (in general). Carpet cleaner and Smartstrand owners opinions are always valued, though.

      1. I bought SmartStrand Forever Clean Flawless Vision, installed it in Feb 2018, per warranty req’s I had it cleaned May 2019 (have to have it cleaned every 18 months by certified co). I have it in 3 bedrooms, all rooms were pronounced as worn out. It’s just my husband and I and we have no pets. We’re in our 40s. After seeing pic’s Mohawk immediately gave us full credit for new carpeting. I wish they’d give us the money back, but they don’t do that. Being it’s a pain to remove everything from the 3 bedrooms, we had another company clean, and AGAIN, the verdict came as dead/worn out.

        1. We also had SmartStrand, top of the line Karstan. Its well made and looks and feels great, but our experience was similar. Durability is poor for such an expensive carpet. We looking at new carpet, probably will be nylon.

        2. I’m having the same problem with mine. It’s just my husband and I and the carpet looks old and matted in places .

    2. Within the Smartstrand line there are different types: those made of 100% Triexta & those with a blend of PTT & PET. Also, there are many different qualities too, e.g. higher face weight, density, etc. just as with nylon carpets. I don’t think it is fair to lambaste the complete line of Smartstrand just because you have a client who has a poor wearing carpet. I’m just a consumer who has been doing research on the different fiber types and feel that a high quality Smartstrand (Karastan) will be the best choice for our household.

      1. Ok, they have different qualities. All qualities shd have a good performance. If not, then the company should notify the client of each quality’s performance since from what I read, no DOLLAR refunds are accepted. Very unprofessional way to use to achieve good sales figures and promote the brand.

    3. I had the SmartStrand Silk installed in my front room and hallway less than a year ago. A few months ago I noticed that the carpet in front of the couch and loveseat is matted where your feet hit the floor and it looks dirty. It’s only my husband and I and we take our shoes off before we come into the house . I called Mohawk and they said I would have to file a claim and someone would come out and take pictures. I just can’t believe that the carpet would look matted and worn in less than a year. Especially after I paid so much for it . Not happy.

    1. I have a section on wool carpets here. Since it’s a non-synethic fiber and most fibers are synthetic now, it can have unique pros and cons. Overall, wool can be one of the most durable fibers in the right settings. A lot of wools shed because they are staple fibers (not BCF like many other carpets). This is normal but should only last for a fairly short period of time.

  23. The Smartstrand carpet, installed in our house about 6 years ago, is the WORST carpet we have had
    in the 40+ years of purchasing carpet. While it did wear well, it was terrible to clean and I am just
    talking normal dirt and spills. It stretched out after about 2 years. The only recommendation I would give
    Smartstrand carpet is to never purchase it.

  24. I am looking at Mohawk Smartstrand vs a Beaulieu Stainmaster. I have found a lot of negative reviews on the web about Mohawk. What are your experiences?

    1. I don’t personally own Smartstrand carpet (I currently live in a rental, so I don’t have personal experience), but from what I’ve heard, it’s definitely not a negative experience for most people. The thing with Smartstrand is it’s a completely new fiber. This is very unusual in the carpet industry. That means a couple of things 1. If something goes wrong with the carpet, people often blame the Smartstrand fiber, even though it’s possible the same problem would have occurred no matter what brand of carpet they bought. 2. There is some bashing within the industry of the fiber just because its a new threat to other fibers. This might explain you seeing a lot of negative reviews. With all this in mind, I also don’t think Smartstrand is a revolutionary fiber that makes all other fibers obsolete. It does have some flaws. The article explains where I think it falls in areas like stain resistance and resilence. Hope that helps.

      1. I understood this product came to the market in 2009 – TEN years ago. I don’t understand why it’s still being spoken of as though it was introduced a few months ago. I’ve actually seen comments from 2004 that claim to be triexta (from new Zealand) so I am confused/. I mentioned “Triexta” & ‘SmartStrand’ to a salesman at a prominent carpet store that featured Shaw products yesterday and he did not know what I was talking about! [I do appreciate the (irony of?) names like ‘SmartStrand Forever Clean Flawless Vision’!]

        1. I agree that a carpet store should definitely be familiar with it, but it is “new” as far as carpet materials go. The other common carpet materials have been around for about 100 (nylon) to 1,000 (wool) years.

  25. HI , I am looking at a Mohawk carpet that is 75% SmartStrand silk BCF Triesta and 25% BCF P>E>T>
    How does this compare to what you describe?

  26. Dear Carpet Captain,

    Thanks for very informational material which helps make the carpet shopping process very efficient.

    I have narrowed down to 2 carpets, with slight different spec and also different material. Curious about your feedback about which one is better.

    1. Loewe STAINMASTER Active Family Stellar Carpet. Material: Nylon. Face weight: 56oz, Density: 3073, Twist: 5.75. Lifetime warranty for food & beverage stain, soil, pet urine, and 25 year warranty for abrasive wear, and texture retention
    2. Home Depot Lifeproof Superiority II. Material: 50% Triexta/50% PET. Face weight:60oz , Density: 3291, Twist: 5.25. Pet Stains: Lifetime, Pet Urine Only Food, Beverage & Soil: Lifetime Texture Retention: 25 years Stair Warranty: Included

    We will use the carpet for the whole house, including stairs and hallway with heavier traffic.

    If just based on specs, #2 looks better. However, I don’t know if the mix of Triexta and PET will result in a carpet that’s less sturdy. In addition, Stainmaster is a better brand then Lifeproof I believe.


    1. As far as durability, I’d go with #1. Specs aren’t too far different to outweigh that I like the fiber in #1 better.

      1. I worked in the research and development of PTT (polytrimethylene terephalate) polymer that is the triexta fiber. Hands down, I would go with triexta, but I wouldn’t go with a blend. The chemical structure of triexta fiber is like a unextended spring–it is very difficult to get liquids between the coils of the spring regardless of whether it is treated with stainmaster or any other stainproofing material. Nylon, on the other hand, is like an extended spring–fluids easily are absorbed by the fiber because it is easy for fluids to access the core of the fiber. Stainmaster is used on nylon to inhibit fluid absorbtion, but eventually the Stainmaster wears off and the nylon is exposed. There is no need to use stainmaster or any other stain prevention chemical on PTT fibers. Further, the spring-like nature of the PTT polymer fiber makes it very durable. I recall a durability test that was run on PTT in which a roller was continually run over the carpet in order to approximate a year of foot traffic on the carpet. The PTT carpet was so durable that the testing company accused us of substituting a new swatch of carpet in place of the tested carpet since the tested carpet showed almost no wear. The one negative with respect to the PTT carpet relative to other carpet fibers was the potential flammability–it wasn’t particularly good at the “pill test”, a standard carpet flammability test, but it didn’t fail the test. Just not as good as other fibers.

    2. Please keep in mind that as a consumer its easy to walk into Home Depot and Lowes and buy, which I understand for busy people is tempting. How ever as a former house flipper, and landlady I have found that there are a lot of good local owned carpet store that are intact cheaper than Lowes and Home Depot. The box stores have lots of add ons and the installers are free lance and don’t care. On top of that the local stores are providing a living wage to the store owner AND employees . If we all keep buying for places that pay minimum wage and pocket the big profits what will happen o our communities?

      1. Good points–I’m a big believer in supporting our communities as well. Big boxes have their place, but I think many people might be surprised at how competitive local stores can be.

      2. Unfortunately I have found that local stores are open only banking hours, so if you work full time you are forced to use a national retailer that caters to those with day jobs. I would rather shop local but it appears they don’t actually want to sell anything.

        1. That’s a bummer, but it’s an area to area thing. Almost all local floor stores in my area are open weekends. If you’re serious about buying, I’d see if they would stay open later for you. I wouldn’t be surprised if a local store would keep someone around by appointment.

        2. We have the same but our local store came to our house directly to measure and discuss options, all after hours.

  27. I have narrowed my choices down to two. A Karastan blend of 65% Smartstand Silk BCF Triextra and 35% BCF P.E.T. AND a Mohawk 100% Smartstrand Silk. Can you please tell me which would be best choice. They both have 25 year warranty. The Karastan is $2K more than the Mohawk. The Mohawk feels more plush as I am sure you know better reasons than I do. I could see it leaving foot prints because it is much more plush. The Karastan feels great too, it just has tighter placed strands together if that makes sense and I don’t want to make it sound like it isnt thick, it is just different kind of look and feel. I believe I read the blends have tendency to make the colors “pop” or stick out more, which is a good thing if true. They told me Vacuums such as Dyson would not be able to be used on this model of Mohawk which I am sure you know. I have 3 teenage kids and two dogs if that helps. I have stone tile in kitchen, bathrooms, entry, laundry room..etc, but 1550 square foot of my home is carpeted.

    1. As far as carpet fiber performance, I’d go with the 100% Smartstrand Silk. But you’ll also want to look at other features that will impact durability. This article will cover most of what you need, but I’d also go through the carpet buying guide.

  28. Lynda Tottenham

    We love our carpet, put moisture barrier padding under it, but after 2 years would like to clean it, can I steam clean? Use solution? What? Help!

    1. Carpet Captain

      Professional cleaning (hot water extraction) is definitely acceptable and actually recommended by Mohawk. Keep in mind, most carpet warranties have acceptable cleaning agents, and if you don’t use one, it can void the warranty (although almost no one actually references these cleaners). As for the moisture barrier padding, it shouldn’t be an issue, but I’d see if you can find a care guide/warranty specific to the pad. Although, if it says you can’t steam clean, seems like they should be selling the pad.

  29. What does the A rating for mold and mildew mean?
    It is mildew and mold resistant?
    How did they figure that out.
    I am concerned bedside we had the carpets cleaned and I was not satisfied that they didn’t get more water out and that with overhead fans and such it took a while to dry.
    And we are concerned about mold and mildew.
    Thank you

    1. Carpet Captain

      Smartstrand is synethic, so it’s resistant to mold and mildew. However, the padding beneath would be my bigger concern. Depending on the amount of moisture damage, sometimes the carpet needs to be pulled up to allow the pad to dry.

    2. SmartStrand is also not a porous fiber, unlike traditional fibers (Nylon, Olefin, Wool) which absorb moisture over time, especially when acidic liquids are spilled (Wine, Coffee, Soda Drinks, Fruit Juices). When removing any spill from SmartStrand use very hot water and dab the affected area. This should remove pretty much any household spill.

  30. Thank you so much for your website, it is truly incredible and I am so much more informed. We are a large family of six, 4 kids and decided Smartstrand is right for us. In regards to pad for these what do you reccomend. Durability is important to us, but I have not yet priced out the frothed foam or the slab rubber. Given the reliability of Smartstrand should I go with the 8lb 7/16th rebound or price out the other two?

    1. Carpet Captain

      Glad the site helped you with your carpet decision; sounds like you have plenty of other stuff to worry about with the 4 kids! I think you’d get a great pad with 8lbs rebond if you aren’t looking for any bells and whistles. Can’t go wrong with frothed foam or slab either, but I’m assuming you’d be paying significantly more for those. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, our padding guide should help:

    1. Carpet Captain

      Thanks for the question, Susan. I thought it might be one many people have, so I added a section on it to the bottom of the article.

    2. SmartStrand Silk is a much softer product. Think of it like buying bedding sheets, the higher thread count the softer the sheet. In this case Silk is Egyptian cotton like. When shopping for your SmartStrand please ask the sales associate if you can step on the sample with your desired cushion. Their is a big difference between hand softness and foot softness. This is why we carry an assortment of softness levels.

  31. I love this website, thank you so much for the great information! I went to the carpet store armed with facts about density, face weight, and twist level but was sorely disappointed when the saleswoman had no idea what I was talking about. She pushed Karastan’s SmartStrand and said that they don’t use ratings like that these days. I did my own twist level analysis and determined it is a 4.8. She also told me it was a nylon carpet which is wrong. It is 50% Triexta and 50% PET. She didn’t even know what PET is. So, this particular SmartStrand carpet is half polyester. I am not impressed (with the carpet or the saleswoman) although we found one that would look great in our home. The second SmartStrand she showed me was the Silk which I love. It is very soft and is 100% triexta. No normal polyester. I am thinking about giving it a try but am nervous, given the lack of proven record and their lack of disclosure of specifications.. I did ask the saleswoman to call the company and find out face weight, density, etc. She said she would try but doubts they have such information. Carpet Captain, what do you think of this?? For me, durability is #1. I do not want a matted carpet in high traffic areas. Does anyone have experience with Karastan SmartStrand Silk and the Karastep pad? Thanks again for all your information. I read through your site and ended up knowing more about carpet than the saleswoman, who was very nice and helpful and initially came off as knowledgable.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Thanks! Don’t want to bash the saleswoman (after all, you said she’s a nice lady), but I think it’s crazy to not know (and in the case of the material, get wrong) the carpet you’re selling. There’s a big performance difference in 100% nylon vs triexta/PET. Face weight will make a huge impact on how the carpet will perform. I’m okay with not knowing the twists–many times it’s not listed unless it’s high, and you can count yourself. But if you don’t have any of that material, what are you paying for? You don’t know. If I’m throwing down good money, I’d want an answer. Best of luck. Let me know if you have other questions.

  32. Bought SmartStrand (Karastan version) and dog urinated on it and smell is horrible and will not go away. When complained,
    was told carpet was guaranteed not to stain but had no guarantee on smell. Had to replace carpet that was 1 year old. In my opinion, do not buy this product. Had carpet steam cleaned and washed and everything else and horrible smell remained. Am a very dissatisfied customer. Smell seems to have settled into rug backing or glue. Tried everything but carpet had to go. Beware.

    1. Sorry to hear this. You’re right that the urine most likely absorbed into other areas–possibly even the floor boards. Smartstrand has great stain resistance because the fibers won’t absorb stains, but pet urine can still soak through to other areas (the carpet material can’t make a difference here). Sometimes there’s no fix for pet urine, but moisture barrier padding potentially could help: Hope it gets figured out.

      1. Karastan sells their own pad called Karastep which claims to block moisture and reduce pet odors. Does anyone have experience with this? I assume it is more costly but may be worth it given Carole’s experience.

      2. Gee, this would have been a good time to try out their claim that a bleach solution will not harm this fiber treated carpet. What was there to lose? I believe bleach and polyester are harmless on clothing so tend to think it would disinfect/deodorize. I am sorry for your trials.

        1. When I was checking this carpet out I took the sample and soaked it in bleach and let it sit for a while before I washed it out. It did not take the color out at all. Took it back and told them about it. Love it.

          1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! There’s no question Smartstrand is excellent when it comes to resisting stains/color changes.

    2. I would recommend using an enzyme spray for eradicating pet smells – or any organic smell for that matter. Available from specialist pet shops or veterinary practice. Have used it many times over the years with excellent results. Just spray the soiled area and keep it moist for a couple of days with water. The enzymes ‘eat’ the odour producing bacteria and totally eradicate the smell. Worst case we had was spilt milk in the car! After a week of trying to wash the smell away, we were on the verge of scrapping the car. A veterinary friend told us to try the spray. Kept the carpets and upholstery damp for a week then allowed it to dry out. Smell TOTALLY gone!! Even parking in full sun did not cause it to come back. Hope this helps!

  33. I bought a high end Smartstrand “Organic Luxury” ( textured) in October 2013. It looked splotchy, crushed, very unsightly and has no resilience. Thanks to Mohawk’s 60 day customer satisfaction guarantee I exchanged it in December 2013 to “Prestigious Manner” , a frieze style that I was told hides footprints. That is just not true. It looks just as splotchy and awful. Since none of my Dirt Devil or Hoover could be pushed I bought a Bissell 89Q9 from Mohawk’s list of approved vacuum cleaners. While it is “normal” to push it leaves parallel lines about 2 inches apart. I am incredible disappointed in this carpet. If I would have known then what I know now I would have bought an old fashioned, well proven Nylon.

  34. Hi Silvia – that’s a very unfortunate experience. The durability of Smartstrand vs nylon is a good debate, but I’m certain your carpet going bad in less than a year wasn’t because it was made of Smartstrand. If it was defective (bad luck), I’d contact your retailer because they’ll likely replace it under warranty. Also, you may want to check out other factors that contribute to carpet durability: Hope that helps

  35. Good points — however, it is worth mentioning that many carpets are petroleum based (olefin/polypropylene, polyester as well), so none of these carpet are naturally fire resistant. Usually fire resistance of carpet is only a concern in commercial buildings to prevent spreading over a large area. There are also chemical applications that can be added to carpet to help make them fire resistant–personally I wouldn’t want to add the chemicals to my home. If you want the best natural fire resistance, you’ve got to go with wool–just keep in mind it is typically a great deal pricier than other carpets.

    1. Carpet Captain, I think she means the out-gassing a carpet does from it’s fiber material, stain resistance treatment, etc., not what happens when it burns. I’m very curious about this also since indoor air quality has a huge impact on the health of humans and pets living in the house. I’m looking for a carpet to put on a cat structure and wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be breathing chemicals that would impact their liver, etc. and cause cancer. Would love to know if you have any info on that. I’m reading your guide but don’t know if it will be covered anywhere…..but maybe you can add more info about this? : > a lot of folks with chemical sensitivities would probably also be keen on info about this.

      1. Hi Kathrin – the comments are out of order from a site design change. The response to the comment you’re referring to is above it. This response (you replied to) was regarding the question below it. Let me know if you don’t see the response you’re looking for.

  36. Very surprised to see that Smart strand etc (ie corn derived bio fuel carpet/mixed with pet recycled plastic bottles) is called eco+ plus and soft touch etc in Austrlia. The major drawback of this carpet is the fire rating. There seems to be none, so this most likely means that it does not pass fire standards for high rise buildings and public areas. I guess considering it uses petrolium or bio fuel from corn and pet plastic as it’s 2 base ingredients, It is not possible to pass the fire rating spread of flame tests. I assume it does not, as any manufacturer in it’s right mind would do the simple test to prove the carpet can pass fire tests so they can sell can be installed to all markets legally. Any ideas on this? Are we increasing fire hazards with these so called “eco friendly” carpets?? Hmmm Sometimes all the hype really irritates me. Especially when you point out that wool carpet (naturally fire retarding) is more eco friendly than carpets marketed as eco friendly.

  37. Hi Dave, what’s your experience with Smartstrand? We do our best to include as many opinions as possible, so feel free to let us know here or via our contact page.

  38. You sound like a Shaw rep! You really need to get your facts straight before you print false information. Check your facts next time!

    1. You sound like a Mohawk rep. Mohawk blows. I’ve been selling product for years and dislike this manufacturer more than anything. Triexta is a joke. 100% stainmaster fan over here when selling to clients.

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