What Are the Different Types of Berber Rugs?

Nick Mann

Berber rugs are high quality products that first originated among the Berber tribe in North Africa. Today these rugs are popular all over the world because of their durability, cleanliness and lack of maintenance. Though they are all crafted similarly, there are four different types of materials generally used to create these rugs. These include the traditional wool, polyester, nylon and olefin.

Berber rugs are renowned for their durability and lack of maintenance.
Berber rugs are renowned for their durability and lack of maintenance.

As a result of their low maintenance needs, berber rugs are commonly used in places like schools and other social institutions with many visitors. They are constructed using a particular type of yarn loop that is superior to many other types of rugs. In addition, their design often prevents them from developing pressure marks from furniture sitting in place over time.

Many brands of polyester berber rugs are made from recycled items like old car tires.
Many brands of polyester berber rugs are made from recycled items like old car tires.

Wool is the most traditional type of berber rug available, and was the original material used by the Berber tribe. Many people consider wool to be the ideal material because of its natural, earthy feel. Wool tends to provide an ample of amount of cushioning which makes for a high level of comfort. It's also easy to clean and is completely non-toxic. The drawback is that wool is usually the most expensive choice.

Polyester berber rugs are a new spin off from traditional wool. Many environmentally conscious consumers are proponents of this material because many brands are made from recycled items like bottles and tires. Another benefit of polyester is that it is extremely stain resistant because liquids tend to be unable to soak in. The downside is that polyester rugs are some of the least durable berber rugs.

Nylon is another material used to construct many of the newer rugs. Many people consider nylon to be the best in overall quality after wool. This is often a good choice when on a budget because it's slightly less expensive than wool. An added benefit is that nylon is stain resistant and usually quite durable.

Berber rugs can also be made from olefin, a synthetic fiber which has increased in popularity. Perhaps the biggest reason for its popularity is that olefin tends to be the least expensive variety. This material is therefore often the best choice for people who want a quality look on a budget. Another plus to olefin is that it is largely stain resistant. The main drawback is that olefin is more likely to develop pressure marks than the other types of berber rugs.

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Discussion Comments


I have two high traffic areas in my house where I have rug runners put down. I looked at several different kinds, but because there is so much traffic here, I went with the durable berber rugs. I was looking at some that I liked better as far as the design, but I realized they would not hold up as well as the berber would.

It has been a good choice as we have lived here for 5 years and the runners are still in pretty good shape. When it is time to buy something new, I will probably go with berber material again.


The family room in my house has hard wood floors which I love because they are easy to keep clean. I also have a big berber area rug in the room. This gives the advantage of having something soft for your feet, yet it is a great type of rug to have when you have small children spending a lot of time in there.

If I get a spill on the rug (which seems to happen often), it is quick and easy to clean up. They come in a wide variety of colors so it is not hard to find something that will match your decor. They are not the fanciest looking rugs, but I go for practical any day for a room that gets that kind of use.

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