Materials that are good for carpet runners in hallways are usually the most durable, such as sisal, wool, cotton and synthetics. Most homeowners tend to place runners in high-traffic areas, making durability a priority when choosing this type of rug.
Some of the most durable materials for hallway runners are natural fibers, such as sisal, cotton and wool. Sisal is a coarse fiber that is the most durable of all rug materials. Cotton combines softness and durability, and wool, the classic choice for rugs, delivers thickness, durability and softness.
A number of synthetic materials, including nylon, polyester and polypropylene, combine durability with easy care. The most durable of the three is nylon, which readily resists stains. Polyester runners tend to have a comfortable, plush feeling. Polypropylene is soft, easy to clean and resists moisture.
Placing a rug pad under the runner helps extend its life. Without a pad, the runner is worn down on top and bottom. The pad protects both the rug and flooring underneath.
If the hallway gets little traffic, silk or a silk-wool blend is an option. For those who prefer a natural look, jute or sea grass provide an earthy palette. Runners that include silk have a sheen to them, and sea grass is a softer alternative to jute.