What is the difference between carpet padding and carpet pads

You’ve decided it’s the right time to purchase a new area rug or carpet.

After learning the differences between carpet and rug, you’ve decided on the color, design, and material.

It’s time to start thinking about pads.

Good pads will make Your rug look, feel, and last much longer.

The best rug or carpet pad will protect and preserve your carpet and minimize the chances of slipping.

RugPadUSA has created a comprehensive guide to help you understand the different types of carpet pads available.

What is carpet padding

A carpet pad is an extra-thick layer of material used to install carpets.

Many types of carpet padding exist, including those made from other materials, sizes, and thicknesses. Most carpet padding is made of polyurethane, the same material used to stuff furniture and mattresses.

Installation is simple. You only need to glue it so it won’t move during the carpet’s structure.

Carpet padding vs. rug pads

Both have “pad” as part of their names, so they are the same, right?

Not exactly. Carpet padding adheres directly to the carpet and floor. Rug Pads are used under the area, and runner rugs can be moved around.

Rug pads are placed under the rug and can be moved around.

Rug and carpet padding serve different purposes and won’t provide the same benefits.

Check out our guide to selecting the right rug pads for your area rugs if you are looking for the best pad for an area carpet.

Why do carpets need padding

The carpet padding is not just for making you feel like you are walking on clouds.

The best carpet padding will protect the carpet’s backing and increase its lifespan. The padding also provides cushioning, noise reduction, insulation, and stability.

Extends carpet life

The carpet is made up of fibers that are woven together. The backing will crack if it is not cushioned. The carpet will begin to age once this occurs. The carpet loses its shape and looks worn.

The carpet padding will help absorb everyday foot traffic and reduce fiber crush, which occurs when fibers are under pressure. You can use a couch as an example.

The carpet padding prevents this and ensures that the carpet remains in good condition.

Did You Know? According to a study by the Carpet Cushion Council, carpets with no padding lose up to 19% of their pile. Carpets with padding only lose 5-10%.

More comfort

Carpet pile is the loops of carpeting fabric — the soft surface. A high carpet pile is a sign of looser and taller fibers, as on a shag rug.

Regardless of the thickness of the carpet, it will not be comfortable without carpet padding.

A good cushion will reduce walking fatigue by absorbing the impact of footsteps.

Acoustics is improved

Installing carpets with padding is a great way to soundproof an area. Have you ever seen recording studio rooms without carpeting or rugs?

Carpets and carpet padding reduce reverberation, the amount of sound that echoes in a room. They also eliminate noises from children running, chairs scraping, and footfalls.

Practical Guide for Soundproofing Floors in Your Home

Insulation against heat and sound

You may not have carpet padding if you hear your neighbors upstairs stomping.

Padding will also add thermal insulation to your home. It will keep heat in your home and prevent cool air from escaping.

This is a great trick to reduce your utility bills. Insulated foam can regulate temperature without costly AC or heating systems.

Seven types of carpet padding

Many different types of padding can be used under wall-to-wall carpeting. RugPadUSA does not offer carpet padding, but we do have rug pads. We want you to find the best under your carpets.

Our Rug Pad is the best solution if you want to place a rug over your carpeting.

Rebonded foam

The most popular pad and often the least expensive is Rebond. Rebond pads come in various colors because they are made from recycled foam.

Thickness Medium

Weight/Density: Medium

Insulation High

Longevity: High

Cost: low



Eco-friendly — Made of recycled foam

Durability — The bonded padding provides durability


Not suitable for areas with high traffic

Foaming foam

Carpet padding example from Home Depot

The most durable option is made of high-density foam. Foam padding is ideal for residential carpeting in high-traffic areas or commercial spaces with high traffic, like hotels and waiting rooms.

Thickness High

Weight/Density: High

Insulation: Medium

Longevity: High

Cost: High


Durability — The carpet is likely to last longer than the carpet itself

Density — Denser foam padding than any other type


Price — This pad is more expensive than others on our list, but it’s worth it because it can last for at least two carpet installations.

Prime foam

This is another affordable pad that performs at a mid-range level. This type of cushioning is made from polyurethane, which means it’s not recycled. Instead, the foam is cut from a large mass.

Thickness High

Weight/Density: High

Insulation: High

Longevity: Low

Cost: low


It is used for upholstery and couch cushions.

Buy Cheap


The best option for heavy traffic

Not durable — Air pockets collapse over time, particularly if they are used in areas with high traffic.

Not recyclable — Made from polyurethane foam

Memory foam

You probably already have a memory foam mattress. It has that luxurious, cushioned, gel-like feel. Using it as carpet padding, your feet will also feel luxurious.

It is perfect for bedrooms or living rooms where you wish to relax.

Thickness Medium

Weight/Density: Medium

Insulation: high

Longevity: High

Cost: High


Durability — Made from durable foam

Soft and comfortable — This fabric is extremely soft.


Prices are higher than recycled pads

Squishes over time — Not suitable for heavy traffic

Stretching the carpet backing can lead to wear on carpets

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