Sahand Carpets

Choosing the Right Pile Height for Your Rug

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Sahand Carpets

Selecting the right rug for your home is one of the simplest ways to add a touch of personal style and artistry to your décor. A rug can quickly transform the ambiance of your space, making it feel warmer and more inviting while reflecting your unique taste.

However, pile height is another crucial factor to consider beyond design, color, and material. Often overlooked, rug pile height significantly affects your rug’s aesthetics and functionality. But how is pile height measured, and how do you choose the right rug pile height for your home?

In this expert guide, we’ll explore the world of rug pile height and help you determine the ideal pile for your space. But first, let’s clarify what rug pile height is.

What is Rug Pile Height?

According to rug experts at Sehand Carpet, rug pile height refers to the density of the rug’s fibers—either short (looped) or long (shaggy). In simpler terms, pile height is the thickness of the rug, measured from the top surface of the fibers to the rug’s backing.

Pile height can significantly impact a rug’s durability and suitability for a particular space depending on its intended use, foot traffic, and placement.

Why does the pile height of a carpet matter?

A carpet’s pile height affects various aspects, especially its durability and maintenance. It’s important to note that the pile height is not the sole determinant of carpet quality. A high pile doesn’t necessarily mean better quality.

Some of the best carpets have short piles. However, pile height plays an important role depending on the purpose and use you have in mind when buying a rug. For example, carpets with higher density (pile) perform better in high-traffic areas.

Advantages of short pile height (12 millimeters or less):

Carpets with short pile height tend to be more durable than those with longer piles. The likelihood of short piles getting caught on objects pulled or even accumulating dirt and stains is lower. That’s why households with children or pets often choose short-pile carpets. Cleaning them is also easier because vacuum cleaners can clean short-pile carpets better. Unlike with higher-pile carpets, one can easily access the carpet’s base and fiber depth without damaging it.

Advantages of long pile height (12 millimeters or more):

Long-pile carpets, like shag carpets, are more comfortable due to having more fibers, which makes them softer underfoot. The extra height of these long piles makes cleaning their depth more complex, and they often need to be professionally cleaned. For this reason, these carpets are more suitable for areas with less traffic and preferably less furniture, as they are more prone to matting and indentation; in other words, furniture legs quickly leave impressions on them. While long-pile carpets may not compete with short-pile carpets in terms of durability, they can last for years with proper care.

Three essential points for choosing the appropriate pile height of a carpet:


Consider the space where you want to place the carpet. Do you have children or pets? Is this space frequently used for entertaining guests? Is it close to a source of dirt and dust? Taking these factors into account helps narrow down your choices. Generally, there’s a rule of thumb: the thicker the carpet, the less durable it is.

Shorter piles can withstand more traffic. When finding the right pile height for your home, usage takes precedence.

Usage and Weight:

Different pile heights offer different resistance levels; how you use the carpet helps determine whether a short or long pile is more suitable for your home. For example, carpets with higher or thicker piles are softer but less durable and can withstand less weight.

Therefore, they are best placed in areas like bedrooms or studies, provided that furniture legs don’t rest on them.

Compared to long-pile carpets, short-pile ones have shorter fibers and appear finer but are more durable. Opt for short-pile carpets if you intend to place furniture on the rug. Short-pile carpets are excellent as focal points in living rooms or dining spaces.


After considering the first two factors, you should choose the pile height that matches your preferred style.

Mix and match carpets according to your taste, or select carpets that complement your decor theme.