The debate between carpet and hardwood is alive and well, with hardwood seeing an increase in popularity in recent years. However, there are some places in the home that are just better suited to a soft floor covering than a hard one. One of the best examples of this is the bedroom. For most people, the bedroom is a cozy sanctuary from the bustle and activity of the rest of the home. The softness, quiet, and warmth of carpet often make it the best flooring option for this private oasis.
Most people tend to prefer quiet when trying to sleep. No one wants to be woken up by the sound of someone else clomping through the bedroom. Carpet is quieter to walk on than hard flooring, and it helps to mask the sound of a partner walking around the room. This can be especially beneficial when partners have different schedules. Also, carpet absorbs sound—while hard flooring reflects it—reducing the noise of speech and other activity.
Warmer, Softer Step
Most people don’t enjoy waking up to an alarm every morning and having to leave the warmth of a bed. But it can make matters worse when your first steps are made into a cold, hard floor. By contrast, carpet provides a nice transition between the comfort of the bed and the reality of facing another day. At the end of the day, when your feet are tired and sore and you retreat to your bedroom, it’s nice to have a soft, cushioned feel underfoot. The softness of the carpet can be intensified by choosing a high-quality pad.
Before the art of carpet weaving was born, humans used animal hides and furs to cover cold ground or floors. The oldest surviving knotted carpet, the Pazyryk rug, dates from the fifth to the third century BCE and was excavated from frozen tombs in Siberia.
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The Safer Choice
Slips can happen easily, particularly if you’re half asleep. Stumbling to the bathroom in the middle of the night when you’re not quite awake could be hazardous on a hard, slippery floor. For kids’ rooms and nurseries, carpet is the logical choice. Young children are more prone to falling out of bed and will benefit from a softer landing place. And for babies who are crawling or learning to walk, carpet is much softer on the knees and much more forgiving during crash landings.
Easier to Breathe
With all the time people spend in the bedroom—albeit much of it sleeping—air quality is an important consideration, especially for people with asthma and allergies. Numerous studies over the past several decades have shown that carpet reduces the number of allergens in the air as compared to hard flooring. Carpet prevents allergens from becoming airborne by trapping them in the fibers of the carpet, helping to keep them out of the air and out of your lungs. Vacuuming the carpet then removes the trapped allergens completely.
A Possible Compromise
If you're having trouble going one way or the other, perhaps the best solution is a compromise. You can reap many of the benefits of carpeting by using an area rug to cover a hard flooring in the bedroom. It's best to have a large area rug that goes under the bed and extends beyond the bed on all exposed sides. If you prefer small rugs, create cozy spaces by placing a rug at each side of the bed (for stepping onto when getting in and out of bed in bare feet) as well as in front of a bench or other seating or dressing areas in the room.