Sisal versus Seagrass Area Rugs – Pros & Cons

Why seagrass?

I get numerous email messages with questions regarding the difference between sisal and seagrass rugs. My answer is always to use Seagrass. Why? In my opinion, seagrass is really an outstanding product, much preferable over sisal. You will find, there’s a realm of distinction between the two.

Seagrass is made of seagrass of course – mainly found in China and India where the majority of the Seagrass fibers originate. Because Seagrass is cultivated in water, the product is essentially non-absorbent while being a strong, durable fiber.

The absorbency element is important because seagrass isn’t easily stained.

If anything is spilled on Seagrass – coffee, wine, food, etc– it can be cleaned out using a damp towel and water – and this will ultimately dry without leaving a spot.

Sisal on the other hand is made of a hemp (agave) plant. Spill anything on a light-shaded sisal rug, and you might as well throw it out. By trying to get a spill out with any type of wet cleaning product, you are certain to get a permanent spot.

The only method to avoid the spot on the sisal is to make the entire rug a watermark by spraying water over the entire rug. – not really a practical solution.

Other favorable seagrass rugs qualities

1. Seagrass is great for allergy-free surroundings.
2. Seagrass does not attract dust or dirt and is static-free. Vacuum just like other carpet or area rug.
3. Seagrass is durable and very affordable. significantly less than sisal – another selling point.  Also, Seagrass is less than most cheaper synthetic carpet
4. Seagrass, when fresh is going to be distinctly green, however as time passes, it mellows to a more khaki color. Furthermore, this variegated look aids to really make it seem cleaner, instead of sisal’s more even color overall look
5. Seagrass is the least expensive and the most versatile of all the natural floor covering and is a wonderful addition to any area of your home.
6. Seagrass features a lovely warm tone that’s very well-liked with designers. It’s very versatile and will accentuate room furnishings, therefore it makes a great option for any space.


Seagrass is ideal for informal decor or also for a more traditional area and since it is flat, you are able to layer a rug over it. I’ve had no issues with my area rugs. The seams have been held and pet spots can be removed, instead of all the problems cleaning sisal or other carpets. . But mainly, I simply adore the way looks and the way its natural texture is the perfect complement for fabrics. Wall to wall, it’s at is most attractive.

Could it be a trend? Hardly. Natural fiber area rugs have already been utilized ever since the 17th century as well as in Europe and Britain specifically, they’ve been a mainstay in homes for decades, much more than in the US. Seagrass is certainly not going away.

I’ve existed with seagrass for more than 25 years now, in my store and my beach home, and just can’t voice its praises enough. It appears to be the ideal flooring, simple to maintain, also it keeps its overall look with little if any wear.

Below are Seagrass custom rugs and a wall-to-wall stair runner in my home: custom

Seagrass Wall to Wall on Pie Shaped Steps

Seagrass Wall to Wall on Pie-Shaped Steps

Yes, you can put Seagrass rugs on steps.  Most installers of carpet companies will tell you it can’t be done because they don’t know how to install it.  The Seagrass needs to be glued down and tacked under the step lip. This seagrass rug has been on this set of stairs for 10 years.  We also have 4 dogs and a lot of guests as this is a beach home.

Seagrass Rugs with Leather Binding

Seagrass Rugs with Leather Binding

These custom rugs in the living and dining area are back to back with leather binding.  This makes for an elegant finish and adds another texture to the seagrass

We send free samples of seagrass carpet styles and bindings.  Contact us if you would like to see some samples of various seagrass patterns.

We reply to each inquiry within 24 hours.  Our owner typically replies directly. Don’t hesitate. Call us today so we can begin creating your custom rug as quickly as possible.

About Rug Rats Fine Carpets and Rugs

Rug Rats incorporates a strong dedication to customer satisfaction. Every custom rug we create is really a distinctive work of art. Call us today via email or at 434-392-7068. We’re looking forward to working together with you!

Read my opinion about What is the Difference Between Binding and Serging an Area Rug?



About Sandy Henderson

Sandy Henderson is owner of Rug Rats Fine Carpet and Rugs, a small town business with a national presence. Sandy was drawn to materials and design and wanted to explore how we can take charge of the beauty and happiness of our own homes. She earned a degree in Clothing and Textiles, from historic Longwood College (founded over two hundred years ago as a teachers’ college in Farmville, Virginia). Sandy now draws on her 36 years in the custom rug business to help clients all over the US with their custom & logo rug decisions.

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30 thoughts on “Sisal versus Seagrass Area Rugs – Pros & Cons

  1. Debra Kitchin says:

    Is seagrass a good covering for cat trees (which naturally the cats will claw😊). Will it hold up to that? Thanks for your time.

    1. Seagrass will pick and unravel, probably over time. I would think a low pile carpet or commercial carpet would last longer than seagrass. Although Seagrass is bumpy and might appeal to the cats. You probably could get extra, and replace it more often.

  2. Carolyn Jackson says:

    Just how green does seagrass look when it is new, and approximately how long does it take to become more neutal? I want to use it in a blue and tan living room.

    1. The seagrass will only come in green if it hasn’t cured yet and is fairly new. Most of the time the rolls have been in a manufacturers warehouse for a while and have already turned to more of the brown tones.
      Also we can call the mill to find out how new the Seagrass style they have in stock is. If the Seagrass happens to be new and green, it will not take long especially if you have a dry room with sunlight, maybe a month at the most.
      We can send sample swatches of you like.
      Thanks for the inquiry.

  3. Denise Smith says:

    Hi Sally-

    Is seagrass soft to walk on vs. sisal? And does seagrass always have to have the fabric binding? I am looking for a rug to use in a high traffic dining area and think the fabric binding would not hold up well in this application.

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Seagrass requires a wide finish, like a fabric as the weave will ravel with a narrow edging. The fabric edgings will hold up well in high traffic. Usually the issue is the fabric getting dirty. We recommend spraying with a stain protector like Scotchguard. Also rotate your rug every year or 6 months to even out the wear.
      You can choose other edgings like leather or a blend. I find that leather holds up very well and looks better with age.

      You can see some various edgings on the Fibreworks site, Let us know if you would like to see samples.

      1. Gay McNair says:

        You did not answer the question regarding softness to walk on vs sisal

        1. Seagrass is more smooth than sisal, and the fibers get more smooth with wear. Both sisal and seagrass are not soft to the bare feet, but seagrass would be the less rough choice. Also, seagrass is less expensive than sisal and overall is easier to clean than all of the natural fibers.

  4. BT says:

    I have cats. One of them gets hold of plastic bags or coverings, eats them, then pukes up his dinner. I have regular pile rug in the great room, a seagrass rug in my dining room and an indoor outdoor carpet in my living room. I have no problem removing puke from seagrass and indoor carpet. Forget the regular pile carpet. It has to be professionally cleaned. My husband refuses to change the great room carpet because it’s soft on his feet. Meanwhile, he always sits in the same chair right at the edge of the carpet. He only walks about two steps on the carpet. Go figure.

    1. I have 3 doggies, one is a puppy and one not trained well. I found a great product called FurryFreshness. It is an enzyme cleaner. the lael says cleans Pee, Poo, Puke and more, and it does! It is a little more expensive than most but for me so worth it. You can find it on their site Good Luck.

  5. Amanda Wright says:

    Hi, I have stumbled upon your website and have found it really informative. I have fallen in love with seagrass but unfortunately it’s quite pricey to buy rugs here. I was wondering if you could tell me how you find seagrass on stairs. I was going to secure with stair rods. With wear does the tread become slippy ? What are the advantages with the different weaves ? Are they just smoother and or softer ?
    Thanks in advance
    Amanda (U.K.)

    1. Seagrass in the US is fairly inexpensive. In fact I usually recommend it as it is less expensive than most cheaper carpets and looks much nicer.
      We have had no problems with Seagrass on stairs as long as it is secured under the lip and glued down properly, so it does not shift. You can’t secure carpet on stairs with stair rods. They are just decorative.
      I do not find Seagrass slippery on steps. We have Seagrass on our steps in a beach home. It is the plain weave regular seagrass which is the one I would recommend. The other weave is Basketweave which would work, but might be slightly more rough and harder to install.
      If you have any more questions please feel free to email me directly

  6. Amy says:

    What type of rug pad should I use under seagrass? We have manufactured wood floors (handscraped).

    1. Seagrass comes with a polyurethane backing which is non skid. Sometimes with humid conditions it will stick to the floor when the rug is moved or turned. We use a thin nonskid pad called Nomuv. Any non skid pad will work as long as it is thin.

  7. What about seams on a larger (16 x18) Seagrams area rug?

    1. We do not seam seagrass, neither do any of the mills that we work with. There are carpet installers that will seam seagrass. You will need to look for them though. They ususally seam two selvage edges together. You will see the seam, but it shouldn’t ravel like a cut edge. Good Luch and thanks for the inquiry.

  8. Virginia says:

    I am replacing wall to wall pile carpeting in 3 bedrooms. Concrete Is under the pad. I was considering sisal in a grey tone but now you have me considering seagrass. The accent colors thru my house are grey.
    I like the density and compact look of sisal. Is there a type of seagrass that has that dense texture? Or is seagrass thick and bumpy?
    Also with wall to wall is a seam risky?
    Thank you for your input.
    Hoping to make a decision!

    1. Both Sisal and Seagrass don’t seam well. You will need to find a good installer to install either one. The best way to seam is to put two selvage edges together so there are no raw edges to fray.
      You can’t put wither over the pad. It will need to be glued down. There is a Seagrass that has a padding attached. It is made for wall to wall.
      You can see both Seagrass and Sisal patterns at There are patterns of both seagrass and sisal that are thick and bumpy. Sisal comes in more patterns and Seagrass only has a few patterns. Seagrass is usually considered less scratchy and is less expensive than sisal
      We can send samples if you like. Email your ship to address to Also let me know if there are any particular styles you would like to see.

  9. Katie says:

    Hi, I have a multipurpose room that is most often used by me for exercise – everything from cardio (sometimes barefoot) to yoga to foam rolling. What are your thoughts on a seagrass rug for this purpose? I had a similar room years ago with a basic sisal rug, texture wise it worked fine, however I completely agree that ANY water stains or elderly doggy accidents really stand out.


    1. I think this would be a personal preference to use the Seagrass in this type room. I personally would feel it is somewhat rough laying on the floor. Although if you use a yoga mat on top of it, it should be OK. Seagrass will clean up very well if you are looking for a product in that area. We can send samples if you like. That way you can feel the texture. If you would like samples, email me at and give me your address.

  10. Sheryl says:

    Does seagrass have an odor (like jute)?
    Also I’d like to use it for my lanigh (small outdoor room off condo)
    this room does have cover but when it rains sometimes floor can get wet. Would you consider seagrass? And if not what would you use out on the lanigh? I was looking for a round natural looking rug with a blue stripe. Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. Yes, Seagrass has an odor as all-natural fiber carpets. It does go away after a while. Seagrass is not used for outdoor use but does take to water well. You can clean Seagrass with any liquid product and even steam clean, as opposed to other natural fibers.
      We have had many customers over the years that put Seagrass on their outdoor decks and areas and replace it after it starts to break down. Seagrass is inexpensive, and some people will just replace it after a few years or so.
      You might want to look at some outdoor carpet styles. Several look like Seagrass. One that we have used a lot in your type situation is Madagascar by Stanton:

      Check out their other indoor/outdoor products. There are some that have blue in them. If you see anything you like, let us know the style and color and we will send a sample. Send an email to, along with any questions.

  11. Nicholas Zavolas says:

    Hi Sandy – I’m hoping to identify a natural (grass?) material for rugs thorough out my house. Of particular importance is a smooth feel when walking with bare feet (living room, bedroom). Is there a particular grass (sea grass?) and a particular weave type that you could receommend?

    1. Most all the Seagrass has the same feel. There are a few different weaves, but it really doesn’t change how the Seagrass feels under foot. In my opinion, Seagrass is the least rough of all the natural fibers. Seagrass is not soft like regular residential carpets though.
      We can send samples of various styles if you like. Look at
      Send your style choices to

  12. Katie Marino says:

    Hi Sandy,
    So many beautiful options here and great information. You mentioned you have 3 dogs. We have one large one that is mostly out of the puppy phase and loves to spend most of his time in our tiled mudroom but occasionally comes into our TV room where I’m considering getting a seagrass rug. do you find you dogs every claw or try to dig on the seagrass? I’m just wondering if the smell will make him start scratching at it and pulling up the loops or weaves.

    1. None of my dogs have ever wanted to chew on the seagrass and have left it alone. The smell goes away after a few days if it is fresh seagrass, but never bothered my dogs. Also, their claws do not bother the weave. Seagrass is generally a lower cost floor covering that cleans up well. If you have any other questions, please email me at

  13. Marcie s MAXFIELD says:

    I’m looking to add/layer rugs over concrete floors. The concrete looks fabulous but is killing my knees. Can a seagrass rug be used with a cushioned pad. My main concern is comfort and softening the impact of walking on concrete.
    Please advise.

    1. Yes, you can use a pad under Seagrass. It would need to be a dense felt or non-skid pad. This will help with your issues with the concrete floor and your knees. If you would like pricing or further questions, send an email to

  14. Margo Parmenter says:

    The information that you have provided has been very informative! I, too, have a question. My dog is allergic to grass (like the lawn). Do you think he will be allergic to sea grass, too?

    1. All grasses are different. Humans and animals can be allergic to different species of grasses. Seagrass is a reed that is grown in water. It is different from our lawn grasses. An allergy test is the only way to determine what types of grass your pet is allergic to.

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