How to Pick the Best Carpet for Stairs

The best carpet for stairs are synthetic options like nylon, triexta, or polyester. These carpet fibers are stain-resistant and can handle high foot traffic and wear better than natural options like wool.

Carpet for stairs

Why Install Carpet on Stairs?

  • Safety: Stair carpet keeps kids, pets, and older adults from slipping and falling. They provide a better grip when walking up and down the stairs.
  • Aesthetics: Stair carpet comes in many designs and colors.
  • Better Insulation: During winter, carpets trap heat and warm your home. They also provide better cushioning and feel comfortable underfoot.

What to Look for in a Stair Carpet

Here’s what to to consider before purchasing carpet for your stairs.

Carpet Material

The type of carpet material you choose determines its longevity. Nylon is the most durable material, while wool carpets are the best natural option.

Most homeowners opt for nylon carpets, but other materials to consider include polyester, triexta, and olefin. 

Stain Resistance

Pick the most stain-resistant stair carpet if you have kids or pets around. Treated nylon, triexta, and polyester are all stain-resistant. 

Carpet Pile

The most common carpet piles are loop piles and cut piles. Loop-pile carpets have yarns that aren’t exposed, making them last longer. For this reason, they’re ideal for high-traffic areas such as the staircase.

Carpet Density

Density refers to how close the fiber strands are at the base of the carpet. The total number of fibers also determines the overall density. Carpets with a higher density perform better under pressure. A carpet density of 5,000 or higher is ideal for areas with high foot traffic.


Buying carpet is a big investment. If you’re spending a substantial amount of money, make sure the warranty guarantees quality, appearance, and texture retention for a specified amount of time. Manufacturers of high-end stair carpets may offer a limited lifetime warranty.

Warranties should also cover issues like abnormal wear and tear and stain resistance. Some brands may not cover carpets installed on stairs. Check if the warranty remains valid after installing the carpet in a high-traffic area.

Top Carpet Brands for Stairs

1. Anderson Tuftex

Anderson Tuftex carpets have dependable warranties, and the brand also sells pet-proof products. They have multiple products, and their nylon fiber carpets are tightly woven to withstand high foot traffic.

Tuftex uses 6.6 nylon which is suitable for all stair types. They have many colors and designs available. Anderson Tuftex carpets are also known for their thermal resistance.  Carpets from this brand resist pet hair and are fade-resistant.

2. Mohawk Flooring

The SmartStrand (triexta) carpet by Mohawk is ideal for stairs. Mohawk claims it lasts three times longer than nylon carpets. SmartStrand carpets are easy to clean, odor-resistant, and have built-in stain protection. They’re also suitable for homeowners with pets.

SmartStrand carpet fibers are made of corn sugar, making them environmentally friendly. SmartStrand comes with All Pet Protection & Warranty. The warranty guarantees stain resistance against spills. Depending on the style, Mohawk carpets cost between $1.50 to $8.00 per square foot

3. Newton

Newton uses select independent retailers to sell its flooring. Its carpets are low-VOC certified, with over 150 varieties to choose from. They’re also CRI Green Label Plus certified. 

Most of Newton’s carpets are made of solution-dyed polyester with dense fibers, making them ideal for stairs. The material resists fading and stains. Newton carpets are available at competitive prices, costing between $2.00 and $3.75 per square foot.

4. Proximity Mills

All Proximity Mills carpeting options are low-VOC certified. To make its carpets durable, Proximity Mills uses 6.6 nylon. The material feels soft underfoot and bounces back after constant compression. Carpets from Proximity Mills are stain-resistant.

You can choose cut-pile, patterned, looped, cut-and-loop, residential, or commercial carpet types. The brand also sells solution-dyed polyester carpets, which are more fade-resistant. Proximity Mills carpets cost from $3.00 to $8.00 per square foot, depending on the retailer and type.

Wall-to-Wall Carpets vs. Stair Runners

If your stairs are hardwoods and you want to soften them, install a carpet runner instead of wall-to-wall carpet. Those with DIY experience can install their own carpet runners, saving costs on material and labor. 

Wall-to-wall carpets are better at noise dampening but will completely hide the floor underneath. They also require professional installation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What carpet color hides dirt the best?

Dark brown is among the best carpet colors for hiding dirt. It conceals dirt and powder better than lighter brown. Earth tones are worth it if you want a pop of color while hiding stubborn stains and dirt.

What carpet density is best for stairs?

A carpet with a minimum density cushion of 6lb should suffice. You should also consider installing a carpet with a maximum thickness of 7.16″.

Which carpet pile is best for high-traffic areas?

Low-pile carpets are ideal for high-traffic areas. They can be made of all fiber types. It should have a high density if you want one that hides dirt and debris.