Why are wooden steps more hygienic than carpet?

With the situation the world is in right now, hygiene has become more critical than ever. People have started to be more conscious of their surroundings, especially those frequently being used or touched by others. And while it is hard to control such factors in public areas, there’s a lot we can do to make sure our homes stay more hygienic. 

It’s very common in the United States to have a carpeted staircase. After all, there is great merit in having so. According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than 1 million Americans injure themselves on stairs each year. While most cases only result in minor injuries, it is estimated that these accidents’ direct and indirect costs amount to $92 billion annually. Carpet staircases provide better cushioning and traction compared to wood. They also trap heat, which helps warm your house during the colder months.  

However, carpet staircases are very unhygienic. They harbor all kinds of dirt, dust, pet dander, pests, etc. They are also painfully hard to clean. What makes it worse is that staircases are high-traffic areas within the home, making them more susceptible to these. 

Having a wooden staircase is a more hygienic option. You may find yourself sweeping it often, but it is only because the dirt doesn’t sink deep into it, unlike on carpet. 

Think about all these things that may have been hiding under your carpet staircase: 


Carpets can be a home for different kinds of bugs. Bed bugs, fleas, dust mites, and carpet beetles are notable ones. The environment lets them proliferate and makes them difficult to remove. You wouldn’t want your staircase to be a breeding ground of pests. They can bring you and your family all kinds of diseases.  


Another big problem with carpet is that it absorbs many fluids and moisture. If you spill any food or drink on it, it will seep deep into the carpet fibers very fast. That creates a perfect environment for growing molds. Molds can give your house an unpleasant smell, and the spores they produce can trigger allergies.  


Yes, skin. The average human sheds about 8 pounds of dead skin each year, leaving a trail of dead skin cells wherever they go. If you have a carpeted staircase, some of those probably got trapped between the fibers, where they become food for dust mites. Nasty.  


At certain times of the year, pollen becomes a real problem for those suffering from hay fever. Carpet staircases don’t help at all. When pollen seeps into the house through the doors and windows, or even by hitching on your clothes, they may find their way to the carpet, sticking there for a long time.  

Pet dirt

If you own a pet, it’s pretty much automatic that some of their dirt gets trapped in the carpet. But even without a pet, your shoes pick up bits of animal waste just by simply walking outside. This dirt gets wiped off onto the carpet when you get home. 

These things are what’s lingering in your carpet staircase, even if you thought you’d cleaned them thoroughly. It’s challenging to be sure that your carpet staircase is completely clean; that’s why it’s more advisable to have a wooden staircase at home. You won’t have to worry about the things mentioned above with a wooden staircase. After all, there are things you can do to make your wooden staircase less accident-prone. 

So if you’re planning to switch to a wooden staircase, contact iStairs! We are your number 1 custom stair builder in Northern California! We can build a staircase for you just the way you like it. Call us at 844-STAIR-4U, and let’s get started