Eco-Friendly Rugs For A Nontoxic Home
When looking to reduce the footprint of your humble abode, look first under your feet! The same rugs that are bad for the environment can be dangerous to be around—luckily, there are plenty of natural alternatives.
When shopping for nontoxic rugs, look for natural and sustainable fibers like wool, jute, sisal, and organic cotton. Pay close attention, too, to the backing and the underlay pads which are often cheaply produced with toxic materials. Natural latex, jute, and wool are great alternatives.
Of course, it’s often more complicated than that. Even when safe materials are used, they are often treated in harsh chemicals to repel water and stains. Toxic dyes, glues, and flame retardants are commonly used and very dangerous. It’s a long list.
So here’s our shortcut for when you don’t have time to do all the digging on your own: a list of high-quality rugs you can trust to be safe in your home and less destructive to the environment.
1. West Elm
Best For | Fair trade natural fiber rugs
Starting At | $30 for 2′ x 3′
West Elm is already our go-to for responsibly made rugs so, of course, it’s one of our favorites for nontoxic, natural fiber rugs, too—made of materials like jute, hemp, and seagrass. We love the company’s commitment to its artisans and the wide variety of ethically made rugs for every room in the house. If you’re looking for a modern take on a natural classic, West Elm has you—and your living room floor—covered.
Best For | Made-to-order washable rugs
Starting At | $89 for 2’ x 3’
Whether you’ve got furry friends who shed or are just stain-prone (we’re not judging!), Ruggable is our favorite for machine-washable rugs. These are made-to-order to minimize waste and they’re not treated with harsh chemicals, so our pets can feel safe, too. There are hundreds of styles and sizes to choose from, ranging from bohemian chic to fun geometric patterns. Ruggable gives back to causes supporting people, planet, and pets, including COVID relief efforts.
Best For | Artisan-made rugs using natural & recycled materials
Starting At | $195 for 3’ x 5’
Burrow keeps it simple with just a handful of rug sizes—which are proportionally designed to complement its most popular furniture. Using natural and recycled materials, Burrow offers ultra-plush, low-pile, and pet-friendly options. And the company works with artisans at weaving houses in India to ensure traditional techniques and ethically sourced materials. Like everything from Burrow, all the rugs ship for free within a week, and financing is available.
Best For | Minimalist woven rugs
Starting At | $69 for 2’ x 3’
Parachute’s simple, stunning rugs are perfect for the minimalist home. Featuring OEKO-TEX certified cotton and wool, you can be sure these rugs are free from harmful chemicals and synthetics. The rugs are also Craftmark certified, which means that they are handmade in India by sustainably employed traditional artisans, in partnership with an 80-year-old heritage textiles factory.
5. The Citizenry
Best For | Artisan-made patterned rugs
Starting At | $145 for 2’ x 3’
The Citizenry is a beautiful source for globally inspired and ethical home decor, including a line of nontoxic rugs. Working in partnership with artists around the world, the company produces a small batch of timeless rugs in bold, modern patterns. The handwoven quality is a testament to the talent and care of the artists and designers alike, and The Citizenry works to provide fair wages, sustaining grants, and safe conditions to each of its partners.
Best For | African-inspired rugs
Starting At | $225 for 3’ x 5’
54kibo founder Nana Quagraine wanted to offer the world African-inspired goods from Ghana, South Africa, and beyond. Today, this brand works across the diaspora, from Egyptian Kilim-style rugs to handmade silk-wool blend rugs. Most are made-to-order and crafted by artisans in Nepal before arriving to your door. Because the patterns are bold in the best way, we recommend trying out the 54kibo samples in your space prior to placing a custom order.
7. ABC Carpet & Home
Best For | Artisan-made fair trade rugs
Starting At | $139 for 2’3” x 3’9”
100 percent of ABC Carpet & Home’s rug collection is handcrafted by artisans—all 1,800+ of them! In a mass-produced world, the abc team focuses instead on artistry, well-being, and evolution, looking to sustainable materials, fair work, and a lighter footprint. From Persian-inspired designs to distressed oversized rugs to Shibori silk runners, there’s a rug here for every home.
Best For | Pet-friendly & outdoor rugs
Starting At | $328 for 3’ x 5’
A durable rug that stands up to shoes, the sun, and paw prints? Yes, please. Loomy’s handmade-to-order rugs are ethically crafted with 100 percent biodegradable and natural materials, a necessity considering a large part of the world’s landfill is from rugs alone. Expertly loomed by certified artisan weavers using jute, banana silk, recycled fibers, and more, you’ll receive endless compliments—and comfort that your rug is going to last.
9. Lorena Canals
Best For | Kid-friendly rugs
Starting At | $89 for 2’ 4” x 3’ 3”
A gorgeous line of nontoxic area rugs (with many designed specifically for children!), Lorena Canals rugs are a safe option to brighten up any small space. Plus, they’re machine-washable! The rugs are handmade by artists in northern India, using only recycled and natural fibers (like cotton and wool) and nontoxic dyes. In collaboration with a school in Haryana serving 100+ children, the company donates a portion of proceeds to support their education.
10. Cold Picnic
Best For | Abstract patterns
Starting At | $135 for 2’ x 3’
Launched by partners Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer, Cold Picnic’s rugs are a sight to behold. Inspired by landscapes and life and turned into abstract designs, these rugs are made with natural or recycled materials, like New Zealand wool and eco-friendly dyes (and sometimes even deadstock materials!). All are artisan made; many hold GoodWeave certifications as well. Cold Picnic’s rugs will be a colorful addition to your home.
Featured image from West Elm
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