Natural, Non-Toxic Rugs for a Conscious Home

posted:

5/04/2020

When you are looking to create a more natural, nontoxic environment, your home is a great place to start! Reality is, we spend the most time inside our homes. When we sleep our body detoxifies and rejuvenates—and it is an environment where YOU have total control!

While you may not have control over your wall paint if you are renting, you can consciously choose a natural, non-toxic rug! 

94% of rugs sold today are made with plastic and chemicals that release toxins into our home all day, everyday! (source)

Great news—there are plenty of natural, eco friendly rugs to choose from!

Why choose a natural rug?

Synthetic rugs are typically produced with man-made fibers like polypropylene (olefin) —while it is a cheap resource it comes with any questionable ingredients and releases toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into your home.

Synthetic rugs are:

  • made from plastic and petroleum
  • colored with toxic dyes
  • treated with fungicides, pesticides and flame retardants
  • contain phthalates that are endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • made with glues that can contain formaldehyde (typically the backings)
  • increase plastic output into the environment and ocean

Natural rugs are made from natural materials like wool and cotton as well as plant based materials like jute, seagrass and hemp. Natural rugs are durable, sustainable and eco friendly and don’t release VOCs into your home.

VOCs can off gas for 5-6 years, which means your body is coming into contact with these chemicals for a long time! —> This also makes vintage rugs a great option!

What’s the difference between synthetic and natural rugs?

Synthetic Rugs

Fabrics: polypropylene, acrylic, polyester, nylon

Pros: cheaper, resist dirt, can be steam cleaned

Cons: off-gas VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) which can harm your health and the environment, often treated with flame retardant and stain resisting chemicals, made of plastic and petroleum, backings are often composed of carcinogenic chemicals, toxic dyes, use of formaldehyde and other chemical based glues

If you are going to purchase a synthetic rug, look for a vintage or antique rug that has already off-gassed any VOCs and choose one with a natural backing (without glue or chemicals).

Natural Rugs

Fabrics: wool, cotton, silk, jute, sisal, seagrass, bamboo, hemp

Pros: durable and long lasting, made from biodegradable resources, emit low or no VOCs, keep your indoor air environment and health safe, made from natural materials

Cons: more expensive, more difficult to clean or can require professional cleaning

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How to choose a natural, non toxic rug for your home

There are plenty of beautifully designed natural rugs to choose from—it’s important to carefully choose the fabric based off the locations needs.

Oeko-Tex Standard 

This is the gold label—a global network of laboratories operates Oeko-Tex, a certification system for textile producers. They test for harmful substances which are prohibited or regulated by law and chemicals which are known to be harmful to health. This process surpasses all other standards.

Favorite brands: Parachute, Loomy, Lorena Canals, Hook and Loom

Wool

Wool rugs are soft, come in beautifully dyed colors, require minimal cleaning, are durable and naturally flame resistant. Wool rugs are very common, but always double check the backing.

Wool rugs are great in high traffic areas like the bedroom, living room and hallway.

Favorites: Akshay Area Rug, Mini Pebble Wool Jute Rug, Braided Wool Rug, Berber Shaggy, Sand In Your Feet, Textured Wool Rug, More Than Vanilla, Blush and White by Magnolia Home

Cotton

Cotton rugs are inexpensive, soft and easy to clean but they are not as durable or long lasting. They can cozy up a room and come in beautiful colors and patterns.

Cotton works best in the bedroom, bathroom and is great for a kid’s room or playroom.

Favorites: Lorena Canals washable kids rugs, Brighton Eco Cotton Rug, Ryder Denim Rug (made of wool and recycled denim), A to Z rug

Jute 

Jute is the softest of the plant based fibers and very inexpensive.

Jute is best in pet-free homes and lower traffic areas like the dinning room.

Favorites: Zahari Rug (with recycled cotton backing), Diamond Lattice Rug, Round Jute Rug, Jute Boucle Rug, Striped Jute

Sisal

Sisal rugs are very durable, naturally flame retardant and made from a biodegradable resource.

Sisal is great for high traffic areas like hallways and the living room.

Favorites: Custom Sisal Rug (choose your own size), Sisal Almond Rug, Natural Fiber Sisal Area Rug

Seagrass

Seagrass is incredibly affordable, environmentally friendly and water resistant—great for high traffic areas—you don’t have to worry about water damage, dust or stains.

Seagrass rugs are great on the feet and perfect for the kitchen, entryway and living room.

Favorites: Custom Seagrass Rug (choose your own size), Color Bound Seagrass Rug

Hemp

Hemp does not attract dust and dirt like other rugs, so this is a great option if you have asthma or pets! However like many other plant based rugs, hemp is not a soft, cozy feel.

Hemp requires little maintenance and is great for high traffic areas like entryways, kitchens and hallways.

Favorites: Custom Hemp Rug (choose your own size), Tulum Rug

non-toxic cleaning

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