When it comes to selecting rugs, one of the questions we get most often from clients is “how long will this rug last?” And rightfully so–rugs are an investment and choosing the right material for the right space is important in making sure they stand the test of time (and kids and pets and whatever else your household may bring!). There are four main types of natural fiber rugs – wool, sisal, jute and seagrass—and they all vary in terms of their durability, clean-ability, softness, and versatility (think patterns and colors). Before you select which is the right rug for your space, it’s important to know how the different types vary from one another.

1. Wool

This is probably the most common material used in rugs and comes in a wide range of patterns and colors. While wool is a natural fiber, it stands apart from sisal, jute and seagrass–which are made of plant fibers.

What we love: Wool rugs are durable, cleanable, usually soft and very versatile

What to consider: Some fading and shedding can be expected

To sum it up: Given its softness, durability and clean-ability, wool rugs are great for high traffic areas, kids and pets!

2. Sisal

Sisal is the coarsest of all the natural fiber rugs and comes in different earth-tone colors and patterns.

What we love: Extremely durable and versatile (particularly with patterns

What to consider: Less soft and less cleanable

To sum it up: Sisal’s durability is great for high traffic areas, but be mindful of areas where you’re worried about spillage!

3. Jute

Jute is known for its chunky look and can be found in both its natural brown color and dyed colors.

What we love: Soft and versatile (particularly with color)

What to consider: Less durable and less cleanable

To sum it up: If you want texture without the course feel of sisal, then jute is the answer. Keep in mind though that jute is still a porous material and stains need to be treated as soon as possible.

4. Seagrass

Seagrass is made of non-porous fibers and is naturally a light green color that fades to khaki overtime.

What we love: Extremely durable and cleanable

What to consider: Not versatile (cannot be dyed)

To sum it up: Seagrass’s non-porous fibers repel water and stains–making it great for high traffic areas. But keep in mind your options are going to be limited.