Is it time to shop for a new rug or did you just realize how toxic your old one is? Whether you are looking for a small rug or a larger non toxic area rug, this post is your one-stop-shop!
You may not realize it, but even when you see rugs that are advertised as being manufactured with natural materials, that doesn’t mean that they are non toxic.
Carpeting alone can be disgusting just because of what gets trapped in it, but purchasing a brand new rug that contains toxic chemicals isn’t so great either!
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We compiled the best options for you to choose from when it comes to shopping for a nontoxic rug to make your home a healthier and safer place! Skip ahead to our list below.
What Makes a Rug Toxic?
A large number of household rugs and area rugs are loaded with synthetic materials and toxins such as polypropylene, acrylic, PVC, chemical adhesives, and harsh dyes. Some contain forms of pesticides and formaldehyde to make them stain resistant, water repellant, and flame retardant.
How to Find Non-Toxic Rugs
The Global Organic Textile Standard is the leading standard process for organic fibers. When a rug is GOTS certified, this means that the product is truly organic and product sourcing comes from green supply companies. The GOTS standard is rigorous and “covers the processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, trading, and distribution of all textiles made from at least 70% certified organic fibres. There are two GOTS label-grades:’organic’ requiring a minimum of 95% organic fibres and ‘made with organic materials’ requiring at least 70% organic fibres”. You will notice the GOTS seal on products that are certified and can use their database to find companies and products that meet all of the qualifying criteria.
OEKO -TEX offers 6 different certifications based on the material used and other criteria in regards to protecting our planet.
OEKO-TEX Made in Green. This label indicates that textiles and leather goods were tested for harmful chemicals and are manufactured under “sustainable and socially responsible conditions.”
OEKO-TEX Standard 100. This certification pertains only to textiles and means that from start to finish the products were tested for harmful chemicals and passed to receive this label.
OEKO-TEX Leather Standard. The leather standard excludes textiles and can be awarded to semi-finished leather products, finished leather, and leather fiber materials that are not made with harmful substances.
OEKO-TEX STeP. Rather than only considering the products, the STeP certification takes into account the production facility to ensure and promote social responsibility and is analyzed based on chemical, environmental, and quality management, environmental performance, social responsibility, and health protection and safety at work.
OEKO-TEX Detox to Zero. Instead of certification, an analysis is completed in order to ensure proper optimization and monitoring of wastewater and chemicals to implement the criteria of the Greenpeace Detox Campaign.
OEKO-TEX Eco Passport. Chemicals, dyes, and auxiliaries can receive this certification including chemical compounds that are specific to the textile, leather, and clothing industry. With this seal, you can guarantee that these products are not harmful to humans.
Products that receive the Greenguard seal have been through and met the standard for the rigorous process of chemical emissions, reduce indoor air pollution, and decrease the risk of chemical exposure. There are two levels of certification and can be found on these products: building materials, furniture, furnishings, electronic equipment, cleaning products, and some medical devices.
Is it Non-Toxic If It’s Eco-Friendly?
Not necessarily. Eco-friendly simply means that it is not harmful to the environment or it can help conserve resources such as water, energy, etc. For example, some products containing bamboo are considered eco-friendly. This plant is renewable and doesn’t need pesticides to grow. However, once it is taken to a factory to make it into the fabric, chemicals and solvents can be added, making the product toxic.
Synthetic Rugs vs. Natural Rugs
Pros of Synthetic Rugs
- Some are easier to clean
- Stain Resistant
- Usually less expensive
- Low maintenance
- Comes in brighter colors
Cons of Synthetic Rugs
- Releases VOCs due to toxic chemicals
- Typically not eco-friendly
- Not as high quality
- Thicker rugs collect more allergens
Pros of Natural Rugs
- More durable
- Non toxic
- Colors are great for most neutral areas
- Most natural rugs offer more textures
Cons of Synthetic Rugs
- Texture can be scratchier
- Most are not stain resistant
- Needs cleaning on a regular basis
- More expensive
Our Favorite Non-Toxic Area Rugs
Coyuchi Sycamore Organic Rug
These small organic cotton rugs come in three different patterns and are GOTS certified! They are actually machine washable making clean-up and spot treating a breeze! This size is perfect near doorways and beside bathtubs and showers.
Hook & Loom Undyed Natural Wool Rugs
We couldn’t pick just one out of this collection! Hook & Loom offers over 40 natural wool rugs that are chemical-free, latex-free, free of dyes! This collection is great for any space in your home, with the neutral colors it’s easy to match your existing decor. They also come in a range of sizes!
Lorena Canals Washable Rug Mini Azteca
Most natural non toxic area rugs are a little plain, but Lorena Canals has a collection for everyone, even for kids! This small Aztec-inspired rug adds personality without toxicity. It’s handmade, eco-friendly, machine washable, and made from natural cotton!
nuLOOM Elijah Seagrass Natural Area Rug
This natural seagrass area rug comes in a range of sizes and is perfect which you want to add some texture to your space. Great for coastal decorating and it’s easy to clean and maintain. Compared to most natural non toxic area rugs, this one is budget-friendly!
Safavieh Natural Fiber Collection
Jute is a great non toxic material that adds personality into rooms. These are great for layering in a Bohemian style, coastal theme, and even farmhouse. There are 8 natural colors to choose from that come in 6×9. The height is nice when you have to move furniture and is fit for low to medium traffic areas.
Non-Toxic Rugs at IKEA
This handmade wool rug offers a pop of color, and it’s made with only natural ingredients! The Vetterslev would be perfect in a living room or office area.
We are in love with the geometric pattern on this handmade wool rug! It’s flat woven which makes it great for dining and living areas. Wool tends to shed more in the beginning so our advice is to vacuum often when you first purchase.
We love this jute rug! With the small pops of navy, it will surely brighten a room. This is a nice medium-sized non-toxic area rug and looks great in any space! However, we recommend avoiding placing it in the bathroom due to the humidity.
How to Care for a Non-Toxic Rug
Depending on what your natural rug is made of, cleaning instructions will vary.
Most organic cotton is machine washable.
Other materials such as jute and seagrass, you can blot the spills instead of rubbing them. You should also vacuum these regularly.
Wool rugs also need vacuuming. Rotate rugs to increase longevity.
Many people may think that non-toxic rugs lack color and personality, but that’s not always the case! Here we’ve made shopping for different rugs made from natural materials easy! While you are browsing for rugs, ditch your bath mat and grab a non-toxic one. You can thank us later!