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Which carpet underlay should I buy?

Which carpet underlay should I buy?

Buying carpet underlay can be tricky. There are so many different styles and brands to choose from, all claiming to be the ‘best’ on the market. How do you know which to add to your basket?

Luckily for you, here at the Carpet Underlay Shop, we have many years’ experience in the industry. Our knowledge of the available products is second-to-none and – to choose an ideal underlay for your needs – we believe there are three main factors that you should always consider.

1. Type

The right ‘type’ of underlay for you depends on where it will be installed and the final look and feel you wish to achieve. Numerous options are available, but the most popular include:

PU Foam carpet underlay

This is a great all-rounder. Made from recycled furniture foam, it is reasonably priced and boasts an impressive range of properties. For example, it:

  • is environmentally-friendly
  • has a soft and comfortable feeling underfoot
  • demonstrates excellent thermal insulation
  • is durable and hardwearing
  • successfully absorbs sound
  • is fitter-friendly

PU foam carpet underlay is, therefore, an ideal choice for around the home – particularly in the living room or bedroom. For these areas, we recommend the Rocket Super Carpet Underlay

Memory foam underlay

Memory foam products, such as the Plushwalk 10mm and 12mm, are constructed from ‘bounce back foam’. They have become known for their:

  • exceptional underfoot comfort
  • excellent thermal and acoustic properties
  • thickness and durability
  • resistance to furniture indentations

They’re often regarded as a ‘luxury’ type of carpet underlay. Most commonly chosen for a lounge or bedroom, they’re used to create a plush and cosy feel and ensure impressive results every time.

Wool underlay

This is a natural type of carpet underlay – manufactured from 100% recycled synthetic material – that has many advantages. For example, it demonstrates:

  • excellent thermal insulation (to help keep energy bills to a minimum)
  • incredible durability
  • resistance to heavy and continuous levels of footfall
  • a comfortable underfoot feeling
  • high impact and airborne noise reduction.

It’s also very environmentally friendly. As such, wool underlay is a popular choice for busy areas in the home (e.g. the hallway, stairs etc.).

Crumb rubber

Crumb rubber underlay is a heavy-duty option, particularly ideal for commercial properties. Constructed from the rubber of a car tyre, it:

  • has a firm feel underfoot
  • is resilient and recovers well from furniture indentations
  • successfully reduces impact and airborne noises
As a result, it is regularly chosen for high-traffic areas – such as an entrance, reception, or office space.

The Best Choice

 Plushwalk 10mm                   Plushwalk 12mm

2. Thickness

Once you’ve decided on the best type of carpet underlay for your needs, the next step is to choose a thickness. Most products come in three standard thicknesses – 8mm, 10mm and 12mm – and it’s important to consider which is the most compatible with your carpet (and will create the best results!).

8mm can be a fantastic cost-effective option, but it is particularly best for thicker carpets allowing a flusher fit against the gripper which fitters love. But if you’re looking for something a little softer and more sumptuous, be sure to opt for a thicker product such as Plushwalk 10mm also works well for stairways and extra thick carpets. However, in most cases, we recommend a 12mm underlay but be sure to tip your fitter as they are harder to fit, and you might need longpin or mechanical gripper to make the job easier.

3. TOG

TOG (Thermal Overall Grade) ratings can vary greatly between underlays. Therefore, before you buy, it’s always worth taking a look at the product information and checking that it meets your needs.

As a general rule-of-thumb, you should look for a product with TOG rating of 2.5 or more. This is the minimum required to ensure an adequate level of thermal insulation. The only exception is if you have underfloor heating – in which case, you will need underlay with a much lower TOG rating. More information on this can be found in our blog ‘underfloor heating underlay’.

Contact our ‘carpet underlay experts’ today

Still feeling a little confused? Not sure which underlay to buy? You’re always welcome to get in touch. Our team of experts are on hand and happy to help. Just tell them about your carpet – including where you plan to install it – and they will advise on the best carpet underlay product for your specific needs.

You can give us a call at any time on 0203 887 0994. Or, if you prefer, send an email to and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

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  • Carl Smith