Cut Pile Carpet vs. Loop Pile Carpet

There are many types of carpet out there, which makes it hard to remember the specific names and details of each. But, it’s alright, because when it comes down to it, there are two types you really need to be familiar with: cut pile and loop pile.  And we’re here to help you decipher between the two and choose the right style for you.

What is Carpet Pile?

The pile is the surface layer of a carpet, so it is the part that you see and feel on a daily basis. The carpet weaving process involves looping the fibers back and forth through the backing, so the pile is determined by whether these fibers have been clipped or left in their looped form. Your carpet’s pile has significant impact on its appearance, comfort, durability and ease of maintenance.

What is Cut Pile Carpet?

Pawparazzi collection with Stainmaster® PetProtect® available at Avalon Flooring

Cut pile is the most popular style of carpet and is created when the fiber loops are cut, hence the name. When they’re cut, the result is an upright pile and the ends of the carpet fibers are exposed. Cut pile carpets come in a wide variety of different lengths, thicknesses, colors and are typically made out of polyester and wool.

Cut pile also contains a twist which helps it stand up and resist matting and crushing, which is one of its advantages. Another advantage is that they’re softer underfoot than loop carpet, making it a great choice to use for most of your home. However, cut pile can be more difficult to clean and maintain since the loose fibers allow dirt and liquids to spread into the carpet.

The most popular styles of cut pile are Frieze, which is sometimes referred to as the “modern day shag carpet,” and Saxony, which is the most traditional cut pile carpet. To learn more about each style, check out our Frieze carpet blog and our Saxony carpet blog.

Even better, to see the cut pile carpet collections we carry, check out our website here!

What is Loop Pile Carpet?

Abbey’s Road loop pile by Tuftex available at Avalon Flooring

Loop pile carpets are exactly how their name sounds. They’re left as loops, not sheared like cut piles are. They’re constructed in many different weights, thicknesses and are typically made from nylon, wool or olefin.

What’s great about loop pile carpets is that they’re very durable and can stand up to heavy foot traffic, which makes them an ideal choice for hallways and stairs. Loop pile is also trackless, so no vacuum or walking tracks will show. Unfortunately, the fibers can get snagged and pulled loose by sharp objects and pets’ claws. While this doesn’t affect its lifespan, it can make a loop pile carpet look disheveled over time.

The most popular styles of loop pile carpet are Sisal, which comes in a variety of beautiful patterns and textures and Berber, which is the most popular type that’s known for its durability, spill resistance and versatility.

To learn more about Berber carpet, check out our blog here. And to see more loop pile carpet we carry, check out our website here!

Cut and Loop Pile Carpet Combo

Bungalow cut and pile carpet collection available at Avalon Flooring

We know the name might be difficult to understand, so we’ll explain it. This type of carpet is a combination of, get ready for it, both cut AND loop piles. Yeah, it’s a hard one!

This combination has a variety of unique, abstract geometric design patterns that will definitely add visual interest to your space. However, it’s not best to have it installed in high-traffic areas.

To check out some cut and loop pile carpet, check out our website here!

We hope you now feel like you have a better understanding of the difference between cut pile and loop pile carpet—as well as can identify the common four carpet styles (Saxony, Frieze, Berber and Sisal). Let’s recap! Cut pile is simply carpet loops that have been cut, whereas loop pile is when loops remain in their natural state. Now it’s time to stop by one of our locations and see them in person to further help make your decision!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.