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Wool vs synthetic furnishings: Which is the better buy?

Image by @corcovadostore

Natural or man-made carpet? Fibreglass or wool insulation? Whether you’re renovating your home, styling the office, or planning a new build, make an informed furnishing decision with our guide to the pros and cons of wool versus synthetic fibres.

Which is better for your home, your health, and the planet?

Synthetic options are easier on the bank balance.

At face value, synthetic products are generally much cheaper than the wool equivalent. For many consumers, new wool products are simply outside of their price point. However, a nylon option is generally less hard wearing and will need to be replaced much sooner than a wool-based equivalent.

Select for tomorrow, not just today.

When buried in soil, wool will readily biodegrade. In contrast, synthetic materials can remain in the environment for many years to come. What's more, microfibres from synthetic furnishings are polluting the ocean and posing a genuine threat to our global ecology.

Protect your family from indoor pollutants

Indoor pollutants could be negatively impacting your health. Whether it's from synthetic furnishing, pets, or pollen, these sneaky airborne irritants can lead to respiratory illness, hayfever, or general irritation. Choosing natural furnishings is one of the best ways to improve the air quality in your home. When it comes to purifying indoor air, wool carpet consistently outperforms nylon alternatives.

Strength vs flexibility

Foster resilience

Resilience is the ability to return or ‘spring back’ to the original form following a stressing event. In people, this is our ability to bounce back after grief, illness or natural disaster. In furnishing, it’s a matter of elasticity.

A nylon fibre is generally stronger than a wool fibre of the same thickness. In fact, several man-made synthetic fibres perform well in terms of strength, durability and abrasion resistance. However, nylon is less resilient than its sheepish rival and can not stretch as far as wool can without breaking.

If nylon is a strongman, then wool is a yoga instructor. This resilience or ‘flexibility' is part of what makes a wool carpet feel so nice underfoot.

For timeless luxury, go with wool.

Luxury is a feeling that can define a space. From a grand tapestry in a mansion to a lush wool comforter, wool furnishings are simply more luxurious than their man-made counterparts.

To live in a luxurious interior is to make life more beautiful. Synthetics are more utilitarian and offer stain resistance, colour fastness, and affordability. In contrast, wool provides warmth, ambience, comfort and individual style.

Nothing beats comfort.

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