Finding non toxic rugs has become just as easy as finding ethical fashion or sustainable bedding.... You just have to know what to look for and where to look. So if you want to lighten your footprint and make your home a little greener in this area, let’s dive right into what you need to know about getting your hands and feet on some more eco-friendly rugs.
We’ll start by going into why it’s important to buy non-toxic rugs and then discuss the best materials and practices to reach for. Lastly, I'll list some of the brands you can trust to offer better options.
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Why buy a non toxic rug
Unfortunately, shopping for the perfect rug is not limited to finding just what you need aesthetically. Conventional rugs are often made with synthetic materials like polypropylene and treated with flame retardants which are toxic. If natural materials like cotton and wool are used, unwanted chemicals are also involved where these materials are not responsibly sourced.
Conventional rugs also tend to include other sketchy raw materials like unhealthy glues and dyes; as well as backings and underlays made of similarly sketchy materials like polyester and other synthetics like synthetic rubber or nylon.
What’s the difference between an eco-friendly rug VS. a non toxic rug?
The difference between eco-friendly rugs and non-toxic rugs mostly comes down to the materials used and sourcing.
For non-toxic options, I look for rugs made using the most sustainable fabrics possible, preferably those made of responsibly sourced natural fibers like organic cotton, wool, jute, hemp or sisal fibers.
I also check out what the underlay or backing is made of in order to avoid any toxic materials there too. Here better alternatives include jute, wool, natural rubber or natural latex.
To make sure the materials used are sourced sustainably and free of harmful chemicals at all stages of production, third-party certifications like the GOTS certification for organic materials, and the OEKO-TEX® certification which tests for harmful substances, are also helpful.
Where ethical sourcing is concerned, I look for brands that make sure to get their raw materials and labour ethically and sustainably. For raw materials traceability is paramount. So brands who can verify where all of their materials come from are at the top of my list.
As for ethical labour practices, fair trade standards are essential to avoid having anything to do with modern-day slavery. Workers must be of legal age, paid fairly, and be working under safe conditions.
Certifications like Fair Trade are also helpful here to verify both the origin of raw materials, as well as labour standards.
To avoid brands that are greenwashing I also favour brands that go beyond materials used and ethical sourcing. Are they going above and beyond to promote ethical and sustainable business practices? What else are they doing to reduce their impact on the environment?
Plastic-free shipping, recycling programs, and sustainability efforts like regenerative agriculture and career development initiatives are all great indicators that brands are really walking the walk.
Top Picks For Non Toxic Rugs
Organic Weave Shop offers a wide selection of rugs made of the finest pure organic fibers and all-natural dyes—hold the pesticides, flame retardants, toxic detergents and harmful chemicals. All of their rugs are also handmade under fair working conditions and are GOTS certified organic, making them an excellent option if you’re looking for non-toxic and organic rugs.
Choosing Organic Weave means opting for traceable, organic and ethically sourced materials. You can also rest assured that no harmful chemicals or detergents are used at any stage of production and that all of the water involved in the production of your rug is used sustainably.
Their wide selection of handcrafted rugs is available in cotton and wool in a number of designs and sizes, making it easy to see why they are one of the best options when it comes to organic rugs. They also make a fine option if you’re looking for non-toxic rugs for kids.
Based in the United States, Safavieh specializes in offering some of the finest rugs and home furnishings. With that, a longstanding background in weaving, and a commitment to providing uncompromising quality, Safavieh offers a wide selection of rugs made of natural fibers.
A great option if you’re looking for more sustainable materials, their selection includes products made of a variety of preferred fibers like jute, cotton, hemp, sisal, seagrass and more. To get right to what you’re looking for shop their selection by materials.
Also one of our favourites for slippers, pj’s, socks and sustainable men’s clothing, Rawganique is a small-scale manufacturer dedicated to providing clothing and other essentials without any toxic chemicals or dyes. They also ensure that no PVC, BPA, dioxin, bleach, pesticides, formaldehyde, rubber, or synthetics are used in any of their products.
Their selection of rugs are made of natural materials like organic cotton, hemp, and wool. And they make a particularly good option if you’re looking for organic wool rugs or organic cotton rugs.
You will also find options for any room in your home, made of natural materials like jute and cotton; all of which are ethically produced by expert craftspeople in Panipat, India, in an 80-year-old heritage textiles factory.
The brand is also OEKO-TEX® certified which means you can trust that their products are free from harmful chemicals and synthetics.
They even offer a non-toxic eco rug pad made of handwoven organic jute and all-natural rubber.
Hook & Loom is a rug company offering mindfully handcrafted rugs, making sure to withhold any questionable materials like latex, toxic dyes and other chemicals.
Low and behold they still manage to offer a wide selection of earth-friendly options made of upcycled cotton from donated textiles, and wool. Where virgin cotton was requested by customers, Hook & Look makes sure to use only GOTS certified organic cotton.
With a commitment to safe and fair labour practices, smart design choices, and options that help to divert textile waste from landfills, Hook & Loom is definitely a great option on the hunt for healthier, more sustainable rugs.
Also one of our favourite black-owned Canadian sustainable businesses, 54Kibo offers a great selection of natural rugs made from Egyptian cotton and wool.
Inspired by Contemporary African design, founder Nana Quagraine created 54Kibo to offer a platform for African designers who often inspire global design but are largely under-represented. And that is definitely something we can get behind.
Their selection features Egyptian wool and Egyptian cotton rugs that are the stuff of many a minimalists’ dream. You will also find silk and wool carpets in gorgeous abstract patterns.
An industry leader in luxury textiles, Grund has made it its mission to deliver conscious consumption by offering high-quality organic bed and bathroom products.
At Grund, you will find everything from organic sheets and bath towels, to bathrobes and organic cotton bath rugs of course.
Made using natural materials like cotton and rubber, their bath rugs are available in several sizes and colours. They even offer non-slip, reversible, lightweight and plush options, making the choice to reach for a non-toxic bath rug that much easier.
West Elm is a US-based home retailer offering original designs with the earth, our communities and consumers in mind. To this end, they collaborate with artisan collectives across the globe to create opportunities for sustainable employment and to help preserve traditional crafts, particularly in rural communities.
They also make sure to support local makers, ethical production around the world, and have about 60% of their product sales going to at least one of their sustainability initiatives. West Elm is also the first-ever home retailer to join Fair Trade USA, ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions and community development.
Their selection features natural rugs in different shapes, sizes, and materials like jute, hemp, sisal, seagrass and wool. You can use their filters to shop by room and to find their non-toxic nursery rugs, or that perfect rug you’ve been after for your living room.
FLOR offers modern carpet tiles and unique rugs that are durable, stylish, and made of responsibly sourced materials. For example, the backings on their non-toxic area rugs are made of a recycled nylon called ECONYL®.
They also power their manufacturing processes using 100% renewable energy, and have purchased over 5.9K metric tons of carbon offsets in 2021 alone.
Their carpet tiles are also “nontoxic, hypoallergenic and meet or exceed standards for low VOCs, so they are safe for you and your family”. With a recycling program to boot there is lots to love over at FLOR.
Natural Area Rugs offers handcrafted rugs made by expert artisans in the USA. Well-reputed in their industry, Natural Area Rugs pride itself on offering the best all-natural rugs and carpets.
They also make sure to offer both unique and more traditional colours and designs to meet the varying needs of consumers. Choice materials include sisal, seagrass and jute.
Go for their ready-made options, design your very own custom rug, or shop their selection according to the materials used. A great option if you’re looking for rugs made in the USA.
The Citizenry is a home decor brand celebrating the world’s finest artisan skills by delivering modern, handcrafted goods produced in small batches, using time-tested techniques.
With a commitment to fair trade standards, they make a fine option for home decor, featuring a wide variety of handcrafted eco-friendly rugs made of jute and other plant-based materials.
Along with their lovely non-toxic area rugs, be sure to check out their rug pad too; made of eco-friendly felt and natural rubber.
Founded by Treana Peake, Obakki works with artisans and craftspeople from around the world to bring us some of the best ethical home products. Featured as one of our favourite alternatives to Amazon, with great options for non-toxic perfume as well, you can add them to your list for non-toxic wool rugs too.
Their handwoven options sourced from Mexico to South Africa feature materials like sustainably farmed mohair (from the Angora goat), wool, and all-natural pigments.
While not absolutely essential you might want to get a rug pad. They help to avoid slips and to extend the lifespan of your rug.
RugPadUSA offers an excellent option made of all natural rubber and jute for a truly eco-friendly non-slip solution.
In addition to being non-slip and eco-friendly, their rug pad is polyester-free, PVC-free, and free of adhesives. It is also mold and mildew resistant and comes with a 10 year warranty.
Final Thoughts on Non Toxic Rugs
Though it might seem daunting at first, there are lots of options when it comes to finding rugs that are less harmful to us and to the planet. From simple organic cotton rugs to non toxic rugs for children there is sure to be something out there to meet your needs.
And if you’re interested in other ways to detoxify your home, don’t forget to check out my eBook for a complete guide on detoxing your kitchen.
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