Best Types of Carpet Padding for Your Home

Jenna Jonaitis
Written by Jenna Jonaitis
Updated February 21, 2022
A living room with a wall-to-wall soft carpet
Photo: Aleksandra Zlatkovic / E+ / Getty Images

Floor your feet for years to come with durable, comfy padding

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

The long-term comfort of your floors isn’t just about the carpet itself: Carpet padding offers softness, insulation, and durability. But not all carpet pads are equal. Our expert guide will help you pick the best carpet padding for your home, so you can protect your investment and give your floors a feel you love. 

1. Rebond Carpet Pad

Rebond carpet pads, also known as bonded urethane and bonded polyurethane, are a top option for residential carpets. You've likely seen rebond carpet padding before. It's made of multicolored recycled foam pieces connected together. 

Rebond carpet padding offers durability and holds up to frequent traffic without the higher price tag of frothed foam pads. The padding tends to last 10 to 15 years, the same as most carpets.

Before buying rebond carpet padding, ensure your carpet warranty allows for rebond padding. Most carpets accept rebond, though some call for fiber or flat rubber padding, such as loop carpets and Berber carpets.

2. Memory Foam Carpet Pad

Made of frothed foam infused with viscoelastic gel, memory foam isn't great just for beds but for carpets too. Firm memory foam carpet padding is extra comfy and supportive.

Memory foam padding is more expensive than rebond padding, but it tends to be more comfortable. It generally lasts 5 to 10 years with regular traffic such as in a bedroom. It might be best to choose more durable padding such as rebond or rubber for high-traffic areas.

Check with your carpet's warranty to ensure that memory foam meets the padding guidelines.

3. Fiber Carpet Pad

A professional installing a carpet padding on the floor
Photo: bill oxford / E+ / Getty Images

Fiber carpet pads—also known as synthetic felt, felt pad, or jute—are made of recycled fabrics or natural wool. They're flat, dense, and durable. Fiber pads aren't as comfortable as other carpet pads but are great for Berber and other carpets that need fiber pads for their warranty.

You can choose between synthetic and natural fiber padding, and in most cases, synthetic is the better choice. If you're choosing fiber pads in a high-traffic area or basement, you'll want to opt for synthetic. Natural fiber pads can grow mold with water spills or pet accidents. 

Fiber padding tends to be more expensive than rebonded padding, but it's a necessary investment with some carpets.

4. Flat Rubber Carpet Pad

Flat rubber padding, also known as slab rubber padding, is a premium pad that's great for high-traffic areas. It's durable and heavy. It's also pricier than the other carpet pads on this list but lasts up to 15 years or longer. 

If you plan to live in your house for more than a decade, flat rubber padding might make sense. It's likely to last through at least two rounds of carpet. But if you're choosing a budget-friendly flooring, forgo this investment.

5. Moisture Barrier Pad (For Pets)

The best carpet padding for pets is moisture barrier padding. It has a protective layer that prevents liquids from seeping into the floorboards. It can help cut down on bacteria and odor from pet urine, reducing the likelihood you’ll need to replace the carpet and carpet pad altogether.

Moisture barrier pads can experience cracks over time, meaning liquid can still leak through, so it's not a foolproof solution. Depending on how many accidents you expect, the potential benefits of a moisture barrier may not be worth the extra cost. Either way, you still need to make sure you soak up all the liquid after an accident so it doesn't sit on top of your carpet pad and breed bacteria.

If you decide to go with moisture barrier padding, ensure an experienced carpet installer near you handles the job. The correct carpet pad and carpet installation ensure liquids stay on top of the barrier and don't soak through. 

6. 7/16-Inch Thickness

No matter the material your carpet pad is made from, look for a thickness of at least 7/16 of an inch. In fact, most carpet warranties call for this thickness. The only exceptions are some low-pile carpets and Berber carpets that need a thinner pad. 

Check your carpet's warranty for padding guidelines. With a thickness of at least 7/16 of an inch, your carpet will also last longer and have more durability.

7. 8-Pound Density

Most residential carpet warranties call for a minimum density of 6 pounds. But for the highest durability and longevity, flooring experts recommend 8 pounds of density per cubic foot (or per square yard). Denser padding offers better support, insulation, sound absorption, and longevity.

If you're planning on keeping your carpet for at least 10 years (most carpets last that long), then a density of 8 pounds is the way to go. The slight cost increase over 6-pound density is often worth it, except for perhaps lower-traffic areas such as the bedroom. 

Talk to your local flooring pro to determine the specific needs of your home. They can help you assess the best carpet pads for each room in your house.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.