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which makes the better carpeting plant?

Depends on how you define "better".

Consider how each will fit into the aquascape design.

Eleocharis is easier and probably lower maintenance, has a darker green colour and obviously different texture.

Some folk have trouble getting HC started but its actually a fast grower once established. The mini haigrass is a relatively slow Eleocharis.
i like the look of both , and i was originally going to go with the HC , but i would like to have some corys once my carpet got established and rooted . ive seen a few people comment that HC doesnt root very well , and tgm says that the eliocharis mini is 1 of the most secure carpeting plants ( i interpret this as meaning holds firmest )

i do think the HC +would suit my planned scape better , perhaps use a finer grain substrate would help it hold down ?
Agree with what George wrote personal choice you can use both together HC for sure a bit more difficult to maintain as eleocharis but is faster growing and covers the substrate completely.You can use corydoras such as pygmaeus or hastatus no problem with HC.Cheers mark
excellent . would you reccomend using a finer grained substrate in the areas where HC will be planted ?