Updated at: 31-08-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Choosing a carpet may be a lot of fun. You get to choose the carpet’s texture, thickness, and color. When it comes to choosing carpet, there are a plethora of alternatives ranging from carpet tiles to broadloom to Berber! The process of purchasing carpet padding is a little more complicated.

Carpet padding is less about fashion and more about practicality when it comes to your home. This is the part of carpet purchasing where you have to deal with the details. There’s no avoiding it; it’s an absolute must!

A lot of big-box stores will sell you carpet with a random carpet pad and tell you it’s fine, but we believe there is more to padding than that.

Choosing the correct carpet pad for your house is critical. After all, it is the padding beneath your carpet that will keep it comfy and long-lasting. Numerous possibilities exist when it comes to important characteristics like thickness, weight, and type.

Is it difficult to determine which type of carpet padding is best for you? This information will assist you in making a decision.

What is Carpet Padding?

Carpet padding is often a foam underlayment developed for use with broadloom carpet. Insulation, acoustics, support, and comfort are just few of the many functions it fulfills.

Polyurethane foam, which is found in furniture, mattresses, and even car seats, is the primary material in carpet padding. Your carpet will endure longer because of the support provided by this foam.

Why Do I Need Carpet Padding?

In order to reap the full benefits of having carpet, cushioning is required. It’s what keeps your carpet cozy, but it’s also what keeps it looking good for as long as possible.

Carpet Pads vs. Carpet Padding: Which Should You Get? - RugPadUSA

Carpet cushioning isn’t just for squeezing your toes. In reality, it accomplishes much more. How much is that? Look at that.

Extends the Life of Carpet

Without a carpet cushion, the thick, sumptuous carpet you purchased will not last long. Padding your carpet is a great way to keep it looking new for a long time. The truth is that carpet that hasn’t been padged will not endure as long as carpet that has. As a result of the lack of a shock absorber, normal wear and tear has caused this.

After a 150-lb. weight was rolled over fibers 20,000 times, the Independent Textile Testing Service found that without a carpet cushion, carpet lost 19.3% of its thickness. To put it another way, without the underlayment, the test results showed that the carpet lost between 5 and 10 percent of its density.

Reduces fiber crushing and prolongs the life of your carpet by using carpet padding.

Provides Comfort

Comfort and softness are two major selling points for carpet. When it comes to making a carpet pad, it doesn’t matter how thick or high your pile height is; it’s all about the padding.

Walking on carpet is made more pleasant by the cushioning provided by the padding. With its shock-absorbing capabilities, it also reduces walking weariness.

Improves Acoustics

To increase the acoustics of a property, any underlayment is essential. There is a need for sound-absorbing materials in apartments, condominiums, and two-story houses. No one likes to hear other people stomp around.

Carpet padding greatly improves impact noise ratings and reduces measured noise levels, according to research.

Thermal Insulation

Finally, carpet padding helps to insulate your home, which is a bonus. Carpet padding can help keep your home warm if you live in a chilly climate. Carpet cushioning will keep cool air from escaping if you live in a hot climate.

Carpet padding’s insulating abilities help you save money on your energy bills and keep your house warm.

How Thick Should My Carpet Padding Be?

Thickness and weight are the two most important factors to consider when selecting carpet padding. In the meantime, let’s talk about thickness first.

When it comes to carpet padding, thicker isn’t necessarily better, unlike with other flooring options. In fact, lighter padding is better for some carpet kinds.

Carpet padding shouldn’t be thicker than 12″ in most cases. The Carpet & Rug Institute advises no more than 3/8″ of carpet padding for Berber carpets.

Let’s have a look at how different carpet uses and types are impacted by different levels of thickness.

  • Heavy traffic areas, such as commercial settings, do not necessitate thicker carpet padding. In these cases, you’ll want a carpet pad that is both thinner and heavier.
  • The living room, bedroom, and den are the best places to invest in a thicker carpet padding because they are the most often used areas of the house.
  • Berber carpet: Carpets with thin pile, such as Berber, might be damaged by using a thick pad. This is because the carpet pad is too “soft” for a short-pile carpet, which requires a lot of “give.” Because of this, you’ll need a less dense carpet pad.

Thicknesses of All Kinds:

  • 7/16”
  • 1/2”

What is Carpet Padding Weight?

The weight of the carpet padding, also known as its density, is a crucial consideration when looking for the ideal cushioning.

Most carpet pads lie around between 3 and 10 pounds per cubic foot in terms of weight.

We recommend a 6-lb. pad for a household carpet to get the most value for your money. An 8lb pad provides the optimum combination of durability and comfort.

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  • 6 kilograms
  • The weight is 6.5 kilograms.
  • 8 pounds

Features of Carpet Pads

Carpet pads are not all created equal. Vapor barriers and eco-friendly materials are just two examples of additional features that might make your life easier. These handy additions are available to you, so take a look at them!


The majority of pads are composed of foam, although there are others that are constructed of recycled plastic bottles. As a result, they not only provide comfort and warmth to bare feet, but they also reduce the amount of garbage sent to landfills. Win-win!

Vapor Barrier

Foam cushioning can quickly soak up liquid spills since it is extremely absorbent. If you’re not careful, this could result in damage to your flooring. Many carpet pads now come with a vapor barrier, which is good news for those who have allergies to vapors. Using a barrier like this can keep spills and pet accidents out of the cushion for up to 24 hours, depending on the product.


It’s no secret that installing carpet rolls can be a hassle, but pre-attached padding takes care of a lot of the legwork. A carpet with a built-in pad might save time and work if you’re in the market for both carpeting and padding.

Types of Carpet Padding

Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals, let’s move on to discussing the various carpet cushioning options.

Because there are so many alternatives, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The ideal carpet padding for your installation can be determined by a variety of variables.. Let’s see what you have to offer.

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Rebonded Foam Carpet Pad

Rebonded foam carpet padding is the most popular underlayment for carpets.. Is this a common occurrence? In the United States, rebonded foam constitutes 85 percent of all carpet padding, according to the Carpet Cushion Council. A “major recycling success story,” according to Carpet Cushion Council’s Bob Clark, is rebonded foam since it is made entirely of recycled foam, saving millions of pounds of virgin material from the garbage.

It’s the multi-colored appearance of rebonded foam carpet pads that sets them apart from other varieties of carpet padding. You may choose from a wide range of densities and thicknesses with these, making them an excellent investment.


  • While it’s not always the best option, in this instance the most popular selection turns out to be a great one. The popularity of bonded foam pads is due to their durability and value.
  • If you’re looking for bargain, bonded foam is the best option because it comes in a wide range of pricing points and density levels.
  • Carpet pads made of bonded foam are the most environmentally friendly option. Recycled foam is used in the manufacturing of these products.
  • Many options for density and thickness allow you to match the density and thickness of your carpet pad with your carpet.


  • If you have a lot of foot activity, such as in a commercial setting, you may want to consider something even more robust.

Prime Foam Carpet Pad

“Virgin” polyurethane foam is used in the production of Prime Foam padding. Foam used in furniture is a lighter version of this.

As a carpet cushioning, prime foam padding is made by slicing a vast mass of foam. However, it sinks more quickly than other carpet cushioning options.


  • Step with ease thanks to the prime foam’s air pockets.
  • It’s a low-cost alternative because of the wide range of density and thickness options.


  • Remember the air pockets we talked about earlier? As the air pockets in prime foam wear down, it becomes a less-than-ideal choice for high-volume areas.
  • Prime foam isn’t the ideal choice for high traffic locations because the foam will collapse.

Memory Foam Carpet Pad

In essence, memory foam carpet pads are frothed foam that has been given an additional component to give it the distinctive memory foam sensation. With a memory foam mattress, you’ve experienced the softness and comfort firsthand. Your carpet will be equally as comfortable to walk on if you use a memory foam carpet pad.

If you’re looking for a way to protect your carpet from the frequent stretching of its backing, memory foam is a great option. Because of this, memory foam isn’t a good choice for places with a lot of foot traffic.


  • Most comfortable: Memory foam carpet pads are top-of-the-line. There’s a good reason why so many people prefer memory foam mattresses over traditional spring beds.
  • Durability: Memory foam is as durable as frothed foam and bonded foam pads. However, it may not hold up as well under high traffic.


  • Durability: Memory foam is as durable as frothed foam and bonded foam pads. However, it may not hold up as well under high traffic.
  • Memory foam, like frothed foam and bonded foam pads, is as durable as memory foam. Under heavy traffic, however, it may not hold up as well as expected.

Fiber Carpet Pad

This isn’t foam, but rather a combination of different types of fiber: nylon, polyester, felt, etc. For Berber carpets, fiber pads are usually recommended, and may even be required to keep the warranty intact. But don’t be alarmed; they’re extremely robust.

For Berber carpet and other industrial carpet, fiber carpet padding is ideal since it is flat and dense. This option isn’t ideal unless your warranty requires it.


  • Affordability: Fiber carpet pads are among the most cost-effective options on the market today.
  • Low-profile, dense padding is best for looped carpets, such as those used in commercial settings. Carpets with minimal pile won’t be damaged, however plush carpets will be more comfortable.
  • Fiber pads can handle a wide range of traffic, including light, medium, and heavy.


  • Fiber carpet pads aren’t the most pleasant option when it comes to overall comfort. It’s typically chosen in high-traffic areas and for situations requiring a warranty.
  • There are synthetic fibers and natural fibers in carpet padding, however natural fibers are more susceptible to mold.

What Carpet Padding is Best for My Floor?

The only question that remains is: which carpet padding is ideal for me, now that I’ve read all of this?

Every case is different, but we’d like to offer our best recommendation regardless. Here are some of the most popular sorts of installations, as well as our top recommendations for what to buy.

Residential Carpet

Residential carpet installation is all about making a home more cozy. As a result, a thicker carpet pad is an option. What we suggest is as follows:

Commercial Carpet

When it comes to commercial carpet installations, long-term durability is usually a top priority. This necessitates the use of a less dense carpet pad. For industrial carpet, even a rubber roll underlayment may be the ideal option.

Remember that looped and Berber carpets necessitate unique cushioning. Recommendations for you:

Looped Carpet

Carpet with a looped surface is most commonly associated with Berber carpets or other industrial carpets with a short pile. Synthetic fiber pads are typically required for these types of setups.

High Traffic

Installations in high-traffic areas round out the list. Commercial environments, such as retail and offices, typically see a lot of foot traffic. This type of installation necessitates a thin but dense pad.

How to Choose the Best Carpet Pad

After learning about the many varieties of carpet padding materials, it’s time to talk about how to pick the right one for your purposes. There are numerous carpet padding manufacturers, including well-known names like Shaw and StainMASTER. Choosing the best carpet pad requires careful attention to detail, as a subpar pad will quickly wear down your carpet. However, quality control is only one consideration.

Carpet Pad Density

You’ll hear the phrase density a lot when it comes to carpet padding. A good salesperson can explain things pretty clearly when you walk into a carpet store, and you’ll hear it as soon as you enter. However, this isn’t always the case, therefore it’s important to know about density when working with any kind of carpet padding.

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, the density of carpet padding might range from 2 to 10 pounds. A foam pad is going to register differently than rubber or a felt pad because each style has a varied range. Even if math isn’t required, the poundage per cubic foot is used to calculate the density.

Carpet cushioning weighing 6 to 8 pounds is ideal for the majority of homeowners. This is the recommended density range for residential carpet, but as usual, follow the recommendations of the carpet manufacturer.

Carpet Pad Thickness

Another area where consumers might get themselves into trouble if they aren’t well-versed is the thickness of the carpet pad. In the realm of flooring, thicker flooring is preferable since it is more durable and will last for a longer period of time.

A thicker cushion may really do more harm than good when it comes to carpet padding. Low-pile carpets like looped Berber require padding that is no thicker than 3/8″ in thickness, but it’s best to stick to a 12-inch minimum regardless of the design.

Prior to going into a carpet store, it is helpful to have the Carpet Cushion Council’s minimum recommendations for home use in your back pocket.


It is HUD and the US Department of Housing that employ CCC standards, which can be divided into two categories: Class 1 and Class 2. Areas of your property that receive light to moderate foot activity are classified as Class 1. Most domestic rooms fall within this category: bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms. For example, Class 2 generally relates to multi-family houses, staircases, and areas that get a high volume of visitors.

At least 0.375 inches in thickness, and at least 5.0 pounds per cubic foot of density are suggested for bonded foam. Class 2 has a higher density of 6.5, but the minimum thickness remains unchanged. Mechanically frothed foam is something you might be interested in purchasing. You’ll need a density of at least 10.0 lbs/ft3 and a thickness of at least 0.250.

Class 1 rubber has a density of 18.0 lbs/ft3 and a thickness of 0.220 inches. Density is significantly better for synthetic fibers, but their minimum thickness is still comparable to glued foam. That’s only the “minimum” recommended guidelines, and the whole table can be seen online at the Carpet Cushion Council.

Carpet Padding Installation

Most homeowners hire a professional carpet installer unless they simply want to carpet a single room. According to our instructions, installing carpet yourself can be a lot more work than it’s worth. Preparation and padding are essential if you’re going to install carpet on your own.

The first step is to empty the area and ensure that the subfloor is ready for carpet pad installation. Regardless of the approach used by the manufacturer, ensure sure your floor is clean, free of clutter, and level.

Preparation of the subfloor should begin before you begin installing any padding, such as tack strips. Depending on the design and brand, you may need to dig to discover the “top” of the carpet padding when you’re finished. The smooth side normally goes up if both sides are identical, unless otherwise specified.

Ensure that all carpet seams and padding seams are aligned at right angles to each other. Overlap seams will generate ripples in the carpet, so avoid them at all costs. While it isn’t necessary to use tape, it is best to stagger the placement of the staples so that they aren’t directly across from one another. Make sure to keep the padding away from the tack strip so that your carpet can be properly anchored to the floor.

In addition to saving you time, a hammer-tacker will help you adhere padding to the edge of tack strips, as well as to the padding itself. If you need to use an adhesive, be sure it’s low VOC and rated for the padding you’re using.

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Before putting in the new carpet, clean up the work area by trimming any exposed areas and removing any leftover padding scraps. If you have a certain type of carpet padding, these instructions should work for you, but be sure to check with the manufacturer if you have any questions.

Carpet Padding Cost

When it comes to carpet padding, there are a few manufacturers that perform better than others. Carpet padding costs can be difficult to comprehend if you’re new to the industry or aren’t a carpet expert. You can use the table below to get a sense of how much carpet padding costs across the most popular types.

How to Clean Your Carpet Pad

It is possible to clean your carpet pad if it has been contaminated by dirt, dust, or any other type of grime. However, carpet pad may be cleaned in the same manner as ordinary carpet with the help of a few basic housecleaning appliances. Fortunately.

Step 1 – Thoroughly Dust the Carpet Pad

Your soiled carpet pad will need a thorough dusting before you can begin the process of cleaning your carpet. Mini vacs, vacuum cleaners with brush attachments, brooms and dustpans, or any combination thereof can be used for this phase. You can move on to the following step when you have removed all visible dust from the carpet padding.

Step 2 – Choose a Suitable Cleaning Solution

Using commercial carpet cleaners, such as Blue Magic or Resolve, is the next step if you’re comfortable with doing so. It’s good to know you may make your own DIY cleaning solution with some basic household products if you’re not fond of the several powerful chemicals included in many commercial cleaners. The first step is to find an empty spray bottle and fill it with a mixture that includes:

A quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda

White wine vinegar, one-fourth

Half a cup of lukewarm water

To begin, mix all of the components listed above in a tightly sealed bottle. Then, vigorously shake the bottle. Your carpet pad can now be cleaned with your homemade cleaning.

Step 3 – Apply Your Cleaning Solution

The next step is to apply your carpet cleaner to the padding of your carpet. Your homemade or commercial carpet cleaner can be applied to the padding using a spray bottle, paying extra attention to stained or dirt-ridden regions. Allow the homemade cleaning solution, which was previously mentioned, to settle for 3 to 5 minutes before continuing. For commercial cleaners, consult the product box or manufacturer’s website to find out how long the cleaner should sit.

Step 4 – Clean Your Carpet Padding

When the carpet cleaner has had time to work through any tough dirt or stains, you’re close to being done! Using a sponge, washcloth, or paper towel, begin the final step by thoroughly scrubbing the carpet pad. If you run into stubborn stains or spots of filth, you may need to use a hard-bristled scrub brush or some more elbow grease.

Use warm water to rinse out the cleaning solution once you’ve removed all traces of dirt from the carpet padding. Blotting with an absorbent washcloth or paper towel can remove the leftover moisture from your carpet padding if you cannot wait for it to dry in a well-ventilated location.


Q: What’s the best type of carpet padding if you have pets?

When it comes to pads for pets, the most important consideration is a pad that has a moisture barrier in case your pet has an accident inside your house.

Q: What type of carpet pad should I use with Berber carpet?

In most cases, a thin, firm pad is the ideal option. A fiber or slab rubber pad should be used for your carpets.

Q: Are VOCs a concern with carpet padding?

You can check to see if the products are certified by the CRI’s program before purchasing the best carpet padding.

Q: Do carpet pads come with a warranty?

You may have seen this when you were digging through carpet padding. A: That’s a wonderful question! The warranties offered by different manufacturers might range from five to ten years.

Q: Can I use a radiant heat system with carpet padding?

A: You’ll want to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations, but a waffle or thin rubber pad is usually the best choice as it allows more heat to get through the carpet pad.