Many people don’t realize how important it is to choose a non-toxic rug when shopping for new flooring. However, when you realize how hazardous commercial carpets can be, not to mention how damaging they can be to the environment, you’ll be happy to learn about the brands making stunning, hard-wearing, and all-natural rugs.
Can rugs be toxic?
We don’t often pay too much attention to what’s under our feet. However, when we walk or sit on carpets or rugs, small particles are disseminated into the air which we can absorb, ingest, or inhale.
When this material contains a range of toxic chemicals, these particles could be damaging to our health, especially through long-term exposure. Commercial rug manufacturers use an incredible range of chemicals, from synthetic dyes and flame retardants to stain and moth-proofing treatments.
Wool rugs, in particular, need incredibly strong dyes. Because wool is naturally stain-resistant, harsh, often toxic chemicals are used to force the fibers to absorb the colors.
Furthermore, rugs are often made from synthetic materials like polypropylene, polyester, and nylon, that are made with rigorous chemical processes using materials that can off-gas chemicals for years.
Even natural materials like cotton are often sprayed with pesticides, unless the crops are grown organically.
Formaldehyde is also often used as an adhesive in rug manufacture. This substance is a recognized carcinogen and can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, according to the EPA.
Non toxic rugs are therefor worth considering as not only are these chemicals hazardous to the final consumer, they also cause devastating environmental pollution during manufacturing processes. Working with such chemicals can also be extremely dangerous for workers.
More than 5 billion lbs of rugs go to waste every year; this contributes to a total of 2% of US landfills.
The best non toxic rugs and natural rug brands to consider
These beautiful, non toxic rugs that will transform your space without harmful synthetic dyes. They’re also durable and easy-to-clean, without being made from petroleum-derived materials or treated with toxic chemicals.
1. Earth Weave
Earth Weave makes 100% natural-fiber area non toxic rugs that are fully biodegradable. Their entire collection is made in Georgia and includes a wide array of stylish, woven patterns and designs.
The brand does not use any harsh fire retardants or mothproofing chemicals, or any toxic stain-resistance treatments.
Their collection of organic Catskill rugs have a soft, luxurious texture and comes in either raw wool or organically-dyed versions in a classic, vintage design. The rugs have a pure wool top layer which is joined with non-toxic rubber adhesive to a double-layered backing made from jute, cotton, and hemp.
The rugs in this collection come in a range of sizes, from four by six feet to a large ten by twelve foot room rug. You can also order a custom size to fit your space.
2. Hook & Loom
This brand believes that there is nothing more beautiful than the varied colors of nature displayed in their natural, raw form. Hook & Loom’s collection of undyed, natural wool non toxic rugs display the timeless beauty of this natural material, pure and unharmed by harsh chemical dyes.
Their rugs will add some texture to your space, with neutral beige, gray, and brown tones. They’re hand-woven in elegant, intricate patterns and solid colors.
These safe and affordable wool rugs are completely free from dyes, chemicals, and latex.
The brand is committed to sustainability from the raw materials it uses, through to manufacturing and delivery. It ships its rugs in minimal, recyclable packaging and uses only eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Hook and Loom is a small company that emphasizes fair working conditions. They also offer other eco-friendly flooring options like loom-hooked eco cotton rugs and organic cotton rugs.
3. Lorena Canals
Lorena Canals has built a reputation for offering beautiful non toxic area rugs that will brighten up any boring space. These 100% cotton rugs are handmade in India and are colored using only natural organic dyes.
The company’s range features a wide array of designs, from quirky kids’ rugs to minimalist wool rugs in neutral tones. All of their products are free from any kind of chemical treatment: they are washed with biodegradable detergents after manufacture, with no softeners added.
All of Lorena Canals’ rugs are machine-washable, making them easy to look after even without chemical stain-proofing. These easy-care rugs are ideal for families with pets, kids, or anyone with allergies and sensitivities: not only are they non-toxic, but you can wash them regularly to eliminate dust mites.
The brand even has a RugCycled collection that uses cotton waste from their manufacturing processes to create new children’s rugs. Lorena Canal also supports low-income communities by donating a small percentage of every sale to educational projects in disadvantaged areas.
4. DMI Floors
A pioneer in flooring made from natural fibers, this company first offered sisal plant fiber rugs and carpets in 1979. Today, they work with a diverse group of manufacturers, fiber producers and growers worldwide to supply a range of natural, non toxic rugs and flooring.
DMI stocks their US warehouses with an eclectic range of floor coverings which they distribute to independent retailers and interior designers. Because they’re committed to maintaining a large inventory on hand at all times, they can generally ship their products within a few days to offer the best service to their customers.
Their natural rugs are made from 100% plant fibers like sisal and seagrass, and include a range of styles, textures and patterns in earthy tones.
DMI Floors also allows you to create your own custom rugs: you can select from a range of colors and designs, then choose your desired size and finishes. This also means you can opt for only natural binding and finishing options like cotton and lines.
Loomy offers non-toxic, sustainable rugs that they source ethically from artisans all over the world. They aim to provide unique, elegant and exciting designs that each tell their own story.
Their wide range of handmade rugs include area rugs in dynamic, modern prints to ethnic patterned accent rugs, runners, and cozy kids’ rugs. You can even ask Loomy to come up with a custom design for you based on your specifications.
The brand also offers non-toxic, sustainable pillows and home décor items.
All Loomy’s products are made from recycled, responsibly-sourced, and non-toxic materials, such as recycled PET. They emphasize small-scale and ethical production methods that are kind to people and the planet.
The brand believes that it is its social responsibility to provide a platform to indigenous communities where they can share their culture with the rest of the world.
6. Organic Weave
As the name suggests, Organic Weave offers rugs made with eco-friendly manufacturing processes from organic ingredients. Their rugs are made by skilled artisans along the holy river of the Ganges in India using traditional weaving methods.
This brand promotes non-toxic production processes to avoid exposing their artisans, not to mention their customers, to harmful chemicals. They strive to provide a safe and fair working environment for their employees, and each of their products is certified by GoodWeave as free from child labor.
Organic Weave believes that organic farming is better for the environment, farmers, and animals. They ensure that each and every process involved in making their products has a minimal impact on the environment, including limiting their carbon footprint.
This company was launched with a vision to manufacture flooring that will not only brighten up your room but will also be beneficial for your health. All of their products are made of 100% organic fibers, including GOTS-certified cotton, with no chemical dyes, detergents, flame retardants, or mothproofing.
Rawganique offers clothing, accessories, homewares, and bath products for the “chemically-sensitive and chemical-adverse customer.” They pride themselves on being involved from the cultivation of the raw materials to the manufacture of the final product, to make sure everything they produce is vegan, organic, and will not outgas chemicals into the air or onto your skin.
Their organic cotton and hemp RENOIR rugs are free from toxic chemicals, including PVC and PFAS and are available in a wide range of earthy colors and sizes. It combines the strength of organic European hemp with the plushness of organic cotton to create a durable yet soft and luxurious weave.
Made in-house at the Rawganique Atelier in Europe, the hemp is unbleached and undyed, and you can choose between cotton that is also unbleached and undyed, or in a range of fiber-reactive dyed colors including burgundy, sage green, and earth brown. These rugs are not only organic, but also 100% vegan.
8. Under the Nile
Under the Nile was founded 20 years ago by a concerned mother on a mission to find sustainable children’s clothes that would not irritate her child’s sensitive skin. After extensive research, she became convinced that she had to start her own ethical, organic cotton baby clothing company.
Since then, her production journey has all been about incorporating eco-friendly practices into business processes and supporting the welfare of the communities she works with.
Under the Nile’s ethical, organic, and machine-washable cotton rugs are a long-time customer favorite. These rugs are zero waste, handwoven from the scraps produced during Under the Nile’s clothing production.
They offer modern and timeless designs in various sizes, made from GOTS-certified cotton, free from Azo colorants, fragrances, BPA, flame retardants, formaldehyde, PVC, or lead. Like all the brands’ products, the rugs are sustainably made in an Egyptian facility that is Certified Fair Trade.
Ruggable’s collection is packed with colorful and vibrant designs that are sure to make a statement in any space.
This brand’s rugs are designed to withstand even the most stubborn stains: they say they want their customers to enjoy their rugs without worrying about keeping them clean! Each rug is made of a machine-washable rug cover and detachable backing, making them easy to clean and maintain.
From dirt and dust to tough spills and even pet accidents, these luxurious yet hard-wearing rugs can handle anything. Ruggable offers a beautiful, understated aesthetic for an elegant addition to any home.
They feature stunning designs inspired by the colors of nature, as well as landscapes turned into minimalist, abstract patterns. Their rugs are also available in a more neutral color palette, ideal for if you’re looking for an understated vibe.
The brand uses recycled materials and they fund global reforestation and housing projects for underprivileged youth.
10. West Elm
West Elm aims to create products that are sustainably-manufactured in a way that benefits the environment and the communities involved in the supply chain.
The brand believes that innovation is not limited to just one part of the globe – they collect ideas from different corners of the world and use them to create great designs. They offer a range of rugs using natural materials, from jute and sisal to wool.
West Elm creates their unique designs in their Brooklyn studios and works with local artisans all over the world using ethical production processes. They collaborate with artists from all around the world to preserve global handcraft traditions and provide them opportunities for sustainable employment.
West Elm was the first home retailer to join Fair Trade USA and more than 60% of their product sales go to support their sustainability initiatives.
Commercially-made rugs come with a range of toxic chemicals, dyes, and plastics that may offgas into your home, potentially harming your health, and that of your family and pets. Not to mention that producing this kind of flooring is typically damaging to the environment, and the people involved in the supply chain.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options for natural, non-toxic rugs that are made from responsibly-sourced materials that are good for both people and the planet. Many of the products listed here are also organic and vegan, and many of these brands promote ethical production practices.
Are you ready to replace your flooring with non-toxic rugs? Geck out our guide to learn how to responsibly dispose of your old carpets.