Buying Guide

Best Carpet Padding for Your Floors

Purpose of Carpet Pad
A boy and a puppy lying on a grey carpet in a living room.

Installing quality carpet padding under your new carpet will help it feel softer, reduce noise and provide insulation. It will also help extend the life of your carpet by reducing stress put on the carpet backing and fibers.

Tip: Carpet padding should be replaced when new carpet is installed, whether you do it yourself or use The Home Depot’s carpet installation service.

Carpet pads should be thick enough to provide sufficient cushion but thicker does not always mean better. The type of carpet you select can dictate the thickness of the padding because too much cushion can damage some carpet types.

  • Cut pile residential carpet, such as those with textures and twists, should have padding with a thickness of 1/2-inch or less. 
  • If you choose a low-pile carpet, which includes berber, loop pattern carpet and commercial varieties, the carpet pad thickness should be 3/8-inch or less.

The density of the carpet pad foam is another factor to consider. It is measured by pounds per cubic foot and those in the 6-pound and 8-pound range provide comfort and durability for residential uses.

Features and Types of Carpet Pads
An installer placing carpet padding in a room.

When shopping for carpet padding in the store, step on samples of padding to get a feel of different thickness and density.

Carpet pads are most commonly made from bonded foam, and in many cases, it is recycled material. Foam padding identified as "prime" is new material and is recyclable. When removing old padding, look for recycling programs in your area to reduce landfill waste.

Memory foam carpet pad provides a very soft and comfortable surface. This type of carpet padding should be used in lower-traffic areas, such as a bedroom, so that it retains its luxurious feel.

Less common carpet padding types are made of fibers such as polyester, nylon or felt. This type isn’t very soft but it can be ideal for commercial uses and may even be required for some berber carpet types. 

The best carpet pad for basement applications should be made of a synthetic material.

Soundproofing carpet pad is a type of carpet underlayment designed to reduce noise from lower levels.

Carpet Pads at a Glance
Tempur Material with SpillSafe Moisture Barrier 7/16 in. Thick 8 lb. Density Carpet Pad
StepAhead - Carpet Padding
TrafficMASTER - Carpet Padding
Description Premium carpet cushion exclusive to The Home Depot. Made with high-grade, finely-ground Tempur material to provide a luxurious feel. This environmentally friendly carpet pad is exclusive to The Home Depot. As part of Nike's recycling effort called Nike Grind, unused shoe scraps are sent to Future Foam, which converts the scraps into the cushion. Rebonded foam provides excellent comfort and strength for all your indoor flooring needs, for commercial or residential indoor applications.
Feature/Benefits Excellent thermal insulation and noise reduction. Equipped with a high-quality SpillSafe moisture barrier film to keep spills from reaching the subfloor. Inhibits the growth of mold and mildew. Moisture barrier. Made of 90-percent recycled content. Moisture barrier. Made of 100 -percent recycled material.
Other Considerations 7/16-inch thickness with 8-lb. density. 7/16-inch thickness with 8-lb. density. Available in 6-lb. and 8-lb. density; 5/16- and 7/16-inch thickness.

When transportation of carpet padding is a challenge, The Home Depot truck rental can help. From pickups and vans to moving trucks, we've got you covered.