What is the Best Carpet for Stairs with High Traffic?

carpet for stairs high traffic

Busy household? Booming business? Carpeted stairs with high traffic can take quite a beating as the months and years go by. And, if the carpet isn’t designed to cope with such heavy use, it can start to look very sorry for itself very quickly indeed. That’s why it’s worth taking a little extra time when choosing your new stair carpet or stair runners to find those with sturdier properties that are built to last. That way, no matter how many pairs of feet (or sets of paws) run up and down it, your stair carpet will stay looking smart and tidy for years to come.

So which is the best carpet for stairs with high traffic? We’ll take you through the properties you need to look for to find the right kind of carpet to suit your needs, whether domestic or commercial.

Carpet for High Traffic Stairs: What to Look For

In short, you need to search for hardwearing stair carpet runners, most of which will be clearly labelled as such. Hardwearing, durable carpet runners and carpets are better equipped to handle high levels of footfall due to the way in which they are manufactured and the materials used.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly what they’re made of:

The Materials


carpet for high traffic stairs sisal

One of the best hardwearing stair carpet materials to look out for when you’re carpet shopping is sisal. An entirely natural material, sisal is a species of agave plant, which is cultivated especially for its stiff fibres. Widely regarded as the single toughest and most durable natural fibres used in stair carpet, sisal is practically indestructible, making it perfect for busy households with children and pets. The natural fibre look is also highly stylish and popular with interior designers thanks to its organic texture and ability to take on rich colours.

We have a wide range of stunning sisal stair runners for you to choose from.  Click here to view the full collection:

Sisal Stair Runners from runrug.com


carpet high traffic stairs polypropylene

This man made fibre is extremely popular for use in hardwearing carpets for high traffic areas; particularly stairs. Polypropylene is incredibly versatile as a material and can be made to resemble attractive, natural fibres for a fraction of the price. It is also 100% bleach cleanable and stain resistant, making it even more immune to the everyday strains of heavy domestic use.

The Weave

It’s not just the materials themselves that make a stair runner durable. A lot of the strength and resilience also comes from the way in which the fibres have been woven and constructed. Here are the strongest and most reliable types of carpet weaves to look out for when choosing a high traffic stair carpet runner:


Also commonly known as the basketweave, a flatweave carpet is exactly how it sounds: woven in a flat design using a loom as opposed to knotted into pile. Created by interweaving warp and weft threads, flatweave stair carpets are commonly crafted using strong, natural materials including sisal, however a flatweave can also be achieved with man made fibres such as polypropylene. The appeal of flatweave when it comes to high traffic stair carpeting is the fact that there is no pile, which means the carpet will never appear ‘flattened’, even after continued heavy use.

Shop our full range here:

Flatweave Stair Runners from runrug.com

Wilton Weave

The Wilton weave has been used for hundreds of years and is still widely regarded as one of the most durable methods of manufacturing carpet. It involves interlocking the pile yarns with the backing yarns to secure each fibre firmly in place. This means no threadbaring and no unsightly tufts, even after years of heavy use.

Shop our full wilton weave range here:

Wilton Weave stair runners from runrug.com


The needlepunch carpet-making process involves short staple carpet fibres being mechanically punched together using a barbed felt needle. The process creates a very dense and highly durable carpet, most commonly found in offices, schools and other commercial settings due to its resilience to damage.

stair carpet high traffic needlepunch

All of the above types of carpet can be used in both domestic and commercial settings, though needlepunch is certainly more commonly used for the latter.

And the best news of all? All of these carpet types are both affordable and aesthetically pleasing, meaning you will never have to compromise on style for the sake of durability. So let the kids loose and stop worrying about the cat’s claws; these carpets can handle the lot.

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