For warmth and softness underfoot, carpet is the right selection. A carpet has two components: face pile and backing. Due to the fact that the face pile (yarn fibers) is subject to all the wear and tear, it is your key consideration. Backing is almost never seen once the carpet is installed.
Carpet face pile comes in two variations: cut and loop. In cut-pile carpets, individual yarns stand up straight from the backing. In loop-pile construction, the yarn comes out of the backing, looks over and returns into the backing. Loop-pile carpets with a level surface are called level loops. If the loop height varies, the carpet is a multi-level loop.
Most loop piles will perform better than cut piles over the long haul because the loops help evenly distribute the impact of foot traffic. One caveat: Loose loop-pile products, such as Berbers, will not hold up well over heavy traffic.
Cut-and-loop, or cut/cut carpets combine both pile types and add surface texture, and often blend multiple yarn colors. Sometimes referred to as “sculptured,” these multitexture, multicolor carpets hide footprints and soil well.
Generally, the heavier the carpet, the better it will hold up, however, the weight should not be the only consideration. The carpet’s density, pile height, and fiber type should be considered when comparing different varieties.
Many carpets come in good, better and best choices. These will be similar styles and colors, the difference is usually weight. If you are budget-conscious, select the heavier product for high-traffic areas and the lower-weight carpet for less-used rooms.