New carpeting can sometimes be an expensive investment, which is why you want to take the time needed to shop around and carefully compare your options before making a selection. It's also good to make a choice based on more than just price alone, as your home's carpeting should be comfortable underfoot, easy to clean and durable enough to last for years before it needs replacing. Here is a quick guide to different carpet cuts and styles so you can make the best choice for your home.

Loop pile

Carpet is made from threads that are sewn through a backing. If the thread along the carpet's surface is not cut, it will leave behind a loop. Level loop is when all these loops along the carpet's surface are the same height. A level loop carpeting is typically very short so that the threads don't hold much dirt. Many people refer to level loop as Berber carpeting.

Multi-level loops, as the name implies, have loops of varying heights. These carpets will usually have more texture and will feel plusher underfoot than Berber or level loop styles.

Cut pile

When the loops of the threads that create carpeting are cut rather than remaining closed, this is called a cut pile. As with loops, a cut pile can be of varying heights, which will affect the appearance and comfort of the carpet. Textured cut pile will have several varying heights; this will create a carpet surface that appears busier and less smooth than other cut pile styles.

Shag carpeting is technically known as frieze and has very long fibres that tend to get matted down easily. Saxony and plush cuts are also very long so that the carpet is especially comfortable underfoot. However, both of these styles will show more footprints, vacuum marks and the like. Saxony fibres are twisted as well as tall and may hold more dirt in those twists. You may need to clean a carpet with Saxony fibres more often than other styles, especially if you have pets or children in the home!

Cut and loop

As the name implies, cut and loop styles have both closed loop and cut loops on the carpet's surface, giving the carpet a lot of very soft texture without the longer length of Saxony or plush carpeting. This style is often best for hiding dirt and stains, so if you need a comfortable carpet that is easy to keep clean, look for a cut and loop option.