Non-Toxic Sofas & Furniture 2019

Updated September 2019

Table of Contents

1) Sofas and couches
2) Furniture 
3) Less conventional furniture/alternatives to wood

For mattresses and bed frames see my post on mattresses and bedding

I recommend all of the products here, some products have affiliate programs and some do not. Upon purchase, I earn a small commission though affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

If you need assistance choosing the best sofas and furniture for your needs and sensitivities, please contact me for a one-on-one consultation. 


1. Non-Toxic Sofas and Couches


For upholstered furniture you want to look for:



  • Natural cushion fill such as natural latex, cotton, down and wool (See my warning about natural latex here. The concerns may be more related to beds, but I can't say for sure) 
  • No chemical/formaldehyde treatments on the fabric (such as Scotch guard and other stain and water resistant coatings)
  • Some of these brands offer leather which some folks may prefer due to the ability to wipe it down. Leather needs to be looked at closely in terms of the dyes and treatments.
  • Solid woods (not formaldehyde filled pressed wood products)
  • Zero or low-VOC glues, stains and varnishes
  • Flame retardant free (my post on flame retardants goes into detail on which ones we want to avoid) 
  • Polyurethane does offgas a little bit, but I don't rule it out completely. Make sure it is flame retardant free (soy foam is still polyurethane with some soy)
  • GOTS certified fabrics, and GOLS certified latex - both are explained in this post on certifications

Many of the companies below also offer upholstered chairs, recliners and non-toxic sofa beds/sleeper sofas. You will have to choose between polyurethane or natural latex in beds. 

Here is a short video I made about the components of a non-toxic sofa. 


The 8 Top Non-Toxic Sofa Brands You Can Buy Online



non toxic couch sofa no flame retardants made in america


Urban Natural: Start at $1900

They carry Cisco Inside Green and Essentials collection, see section below on Cisco. Another line they carry is Younger + Co which is a more or less a standard sofa.

Made in USA. Delivery to contiguous US states.








non toxic chemical free sofa couch recliner, sectional, Canada

Medley: Start at $1500

Medley sofas are made with either polyurethane or natural latex, 0-VOC glues, no flame retardants, fabric options that are all natural, organic, or both, solid alder frames, organic cotton internal frame lining.  You can use code MyChemFreeHouse10 for 10% off.

Made in USA. Delivery to the US, Canada and beyond.





non polyurethan non latex couch sofa, recliner, sectional, USA, Canada




Cisco Brothers: Start at $2300

Any of their sofas can be made with the Inside Green option. The Inside Green option contains natural latex or wool, down, certified solid woods, organic fabrics with no toxic treatments, WOCA natural stains, no flame retardants.

The more affordable green line is called Essentials Collection which contains hardwood (no plywood) typically alder or maple, polyurethane with soy, cushion with goose feathers & down. Fabrics are also washed to remove any residual dust or chemicals.

WOCA water-based stains are used. (Check to see which WOCA stains they are using if you re super sensitive, as there is a discrepancy between what Cisco is saying and the SDS sheets of the product. Some people react).

Made in the USA. Sold at locations throughout the US and Canada. You can also order online from some of the sellers like Urbangreenfurniture which carries Cisco's sofas made with the "Inside Green" option. Those start $3400

non toxic, chemical free couch sofa, handmade, USA America and Canada
EcoBalanza: Starts at $3800

These handmade, customized sofas are high quality and made with traditional methods (and that means less glue and more options for customization). They use organic wool, organic cotton, organic-certified natural Dunlop, GOTS certified fabrics. No flame retardants are used anywhere. Kapok and down are offered in some configurations.

They use non-toxic 0-VOC glues, and Rubio Monocoat stains. They can use a different finish if the customer is sensitive to Monocoat, or they can leave it unfinished. They can also accommodate a latex allergy by completely leaving out and replacing the latex. Solid wood frames made are made of alder and beech and, usually ash for the legs.

This is the most customizable option. The Essential Collection is more of option than a collection, and is a more affordable option.

Handmade in Seattle, they ship to all states and to Canada.



Pottary barn eco sofa review is it really non toxic

Pottery Barn Eco Sofa - $2200-$3000

You choose between polyester and down. The down blend is 50% polyester fiber, 45% duck feather, 5% duck down. They don't contain flame retardants and they have organic cotton covers. What's inside may still bother sensitive people such as glues and engineered wood which likely contains formaldehyde. There is some solid and some engineered wood in here. With Greenguard Gold certification, this is an extremely low level of allowed formaldehyde (0.0073 parts per million).

After emailing the company it sounds like there is no foam in here, but I would double check.

For someone wanting to avoid both latex and polyurethane, and still looking for something affordable, this could be an option.

They deliver to contiguous US states.


non toxic chemical free couch made in seattle order in seattleCouch - Start at $1700

Made with solid alder, low-VOC wood glue, and water-based stains. Made with polyurethane or latex. The latex is either 100% natural or 70% natural /30% lab made rubber, with no flame retardants. Very few of the fabrics are treated with flame retardants. Polyester batting can be swapped out for wool batting.

Made in American, order in store in Seattle, limited shipping outside of Seattle.
non toxic, natural, green, chemica free couch, sofa, latex, order online ships to US and Canada
Savvy Rest Couch - $3800

Made with solid maple, no formaldehyde-filled plywood or particle board. GOTS-certified organic upholstery (hemp and/or cotton), natural latex, option of natural finishes or unfinished. No flame retardants.

Made in America they ship to all states and Canada.




natural latex organic non toxic sofa couch buy onlinePURE - Start at $2900
Natural latex with feather and down wrap, solid maple wood, eco-friendly wool, GOTS organic cotton. Greenguard certified water-based glue. Rubio Monocoat on legs.









Alternative Sofa Options: Simple and Affordable 


Daybeds and Futons

If you are too sensitive for wood and typical sofa materials, or you just want something simpler and cheaper, you could try a metal daybed from Walmart, IKEA or Amazon and put a non-toxic mattress of your choosing on it. This Zinus Daybed will accommodate a MondoKing Thermarest.

IKEA makes a futon and simple metal based sofa which contain polyurethane (no flame retardants) but this option cuts back on other toxic materials used in regular sofas. A simple sofa with a washable cover can be an asset to those with sensitivities and allergies who need to launder items often.
simple affordable non toxic sofa, futon for the chemically sensitive
IKEA Hammarn

An even simpler option from IKEA is the Hammarn little futon pictured for $129. This has a metal frame, and only a small amount of polyurethane (no flame retardants). A simple option like this can be quite non-toxic and offgas rather quickly, especially after a little airing out. The more polyurethane, the more you have to offgas. The more components you have inside a typical sofa, the more offgassing you have from pressed wood products, stains and glues. Futons eliminate pressed wood products and cut down on glue used. They often don't have stains. Metal eliminates all offgassing of stains and wood glues.

If you want a proper futon bed for sleeping made of truly safe or natural materials check out my post on mattresses where I outline a number of options in this category.

Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor sofa as an alternative to toxic sofas, buy online
Amazon wood furniture

You could also look at outdoor furniture to be used inside. The benefit there would be the simplicity of the design. Metal, plastic or solid wood as the base and cushions that can be left outside to offgas or replaced with a cushion of your choice. Cushions are either polyurethane or polyester and the covers can have waterproofing on them, but because of the ability to remove them from the sofa and offgas them, this could be a simple, affordable and healthy option for many. Here are three options from Amazon: solid wood outdoor sofa, metal based outdoor sofa, and a plastic based outdoor sofa.






2. Non-Toxic Furniture

Non-Toxic Tables and Chairs
Safe healthy non toxic furniture solid wood table with safe stains
Urban Natural

For chairs and tables look for solid wood (with zero-VOC stains and varnishes) and zero or low-VOC adhesives. Low odour woods are preferable for some sensitive people. Avoid laminated wood, plywood and MDF board. The exception might be formaldehyde-free pressed wood products like Purebond plywood (though some sensitive folks react to that proprietary glue). 

Many of the same companies above offer green furniture. For example:

Urban Natural uses either natural oils and a beeswax finish or a zero-VOC water-based catalysed varnish finish. The glues vary by manufacturer. One brand uses a Cradle-to-Cradle certified (toxicity level yellow) glue. 

formaldehyde free solid wood furniture, heathy, safe and non-toxicUrbangreenfurniture Their wood furniture is treated with low-VOC stains. They use non-toxic, low-VOC glues.



Viesso - Uses ECOS 0-VOC finishes (which are highly tolerated by the chemically sensitive) on non upholstered items, or natural oil and wax finishes. 0-VOC glues.

Medley - Has some beautiful solid wood furniture, sealed with Wood Shield and made with 0 VOC glues. Code MyChemFreeHouse10 for 10% off.

Vintage or reclaimed wooden furniture might be tolerable for some if you are sure it hasn't been refinished recently with conventional products, and it has not been exposed to chemical cleaning products, smoke, mould, or other chemical substances.


If you can't find what you are looking for in the eco stores or in big box stores, try Amish furniture making companies. 



Non-Toxic Desks
non toxic furniture, solid wood desk with low VOC finish
Urban Green
Here are a few ideas for desks:

Solid wood desk (pictured) with a low-VOC finish from Urbangreenfurniture, Vermont Woods also makes solid wood desks with a very low VOC lacquer. Solid wood desks from specialty stores tend to be pricey.

Solid wood, unfinished - Standard glue, but very little used. 






Bedroom Furniture

non toxic, low VOC, safe healthy solid wood dresser and bedroom furniture
Romina
Pacific Rim Woodworking - This company makes beds and dressers out of solid wood, Purebond (no added formaldehyde) plywood and has options for natural and 0-VOC finishes. 

Romina Furniture - Makes furniture for the bedroom for babies, kids and teens. They use solid wood only, organic natural glues, and a variety of non-toxic finishes. 

Baby Eco Trends - Makes furniture for babies and children. Solid wood, Amish made, with a choice of finishes. 

Green Cradle - This company makes solid wood bedroom furniture for adults and kids, either unfinished or finished with linseed oil. 


non toxic formaldehyde free furniture solid real wood safe and healthyMedley - Makes bedroom furniture our of solid wood and bamboo, with all natural finishes. Code MyChemFreeHouse10 for 10% off.

Zin Home - Makes bedroom furniture, much of it out of reclaimed wood, and some with natural finishes. 

Vermont Woods - Solid wood bedroom furniture (some pieces have veneer), with very low VOC lacquer). 

TY Furniture - A focus on non-toxic furniture, this company uses solid woods, non-toxic natural oils and wax finishes and non-toxic glues. 


3. Alternatives to Wooden Furniture


Solid wood furniture from specialty stores tends to be expensive. Here are some alternatives. These would suite those with severe allergies and reactions to mold, dust and allergens. Non-porous, low toxin furniture that can easily be wiped down with a number of cleaning products is a huge advantage for many. Many of these options are also less expensive which is well suited to those first leaving a moldy or toxic house. 

Glass, Metal, & Plastic

Glass and metal are generally the safest options. Metal may need to be washed down in order to remove factory oils; powder coated metal is the best option, but all metal finishes become inert quite quickly. Hard plastics are generally safe and are tolerable for most people. With marble tables keep in mind that a resin is used to fill in the fissures and a sealer is often used as well. There is no data on the VOC levels of those sealants.



You can find metal furniture at Target, IKEA, Amazon, Walmart and other stores. Home Depot sells basic furniture made of Sterilite which is a highly tolerable plastic. 


Check out These Metal, Glass, Plastic options:

Bertoia style chairsGold and glass tableFaux marble and metal table 

Plastic drawersGlass and metal cartEames style white plastic and metal chairs

Plastic rattan loveseat, White plastic chairMetal mesh drawers





Rattan/Seagrass/Wicker/Banana

You might also want to consider furniture made of rattan and seagrass - it may be made for indoor or outdoor. The outdoor "rattan" is usually plastic. IKEA and Amazon always have a selection of seagrass and rattan furniture, rugs and baskets. 

Check out:

IKEA rocking chairSeagrass chair with ottomanSeagrass pouf

Seagrass coffee table, IKEA rattan living room set, Wicker chair

Bamboo & seagrass chair, Rattan hamper, Banana fiber/rattan chair




Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist with 5 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.


Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.comDid you find this post helpful? If so you can buy me a coffee to support the research behind this blog. Thank you!

23 comments:

Thaddeus Owen said...

Hi - Nice article. It may also be worth noting that the wood finish makes a big difference in emissions. Ask for zero or low VOC wood finishes (many wood finishes can emit formaldehyde, even though solid wood is used). Polyurethane foam is usually OK, if you ensure it is flame retardant free. Also ask for non PFC coated textiles and textiles without antimony (which is a catalyst used in polyester textile).

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corinne said...

Both are chrome so yes would consider both to be non-toxic. Wash metal with soap and water for those extremely sensitive.

StellaLuna said...

You should check out EcoBalanza as a green Sofa maker too!!! My friend just bought beautiful custom stuff from them, and I'm researching but they're not on your list!

Corinne said...

Thanks for the tip. How much did she pay for hers?

Alexis said...

What is the name of the cream 5-pillow sofa above the ciscobrothers.com?
Great article and thank you!

Betsy said...

So sad... Ekla home closed it's doors. I love my couch from them!

Corinne said...

Shoot! Thanks for the update

mgyerman said...

Check out EcoSelect Furniture. (http://www.ecoselectfurniture.com/) They have great customer service and products with no toxins. I got a sleeper sofa. Locally sourced USA wood. Recycled coil springs. And they have great ratings on FaceBook!

Corinne said...

I wouldn't recommend polyurethane because of the levels of offgassing

pisces said...

Hi, I am trying to buy a dresser for bedroom. I am very concerned about the chemical smell / formaldehyde with the dresser / drawers. any brand can be recommended? thanks

N Sims said...

Our bedroom furniture from americanecofurniture.com had a formaldehyde free finish and had no smell at all when it arrived. They are made in the US and they are the most beautiful pieces in all our house.

Be Here and Now Counseling said...

Thank you for this information. I anyhow don't want poliester in my life. But, I guess I need to be informed about wood. So much to worry about.

Carol Budziszewski said...

Loved this article! I would add Quatrine Furniture to the list, as everything is made in the US without formaldehyde and other toxins. The foam is Certi-Pur US, and the sofas are covered in machine washable slipcovers. Prices are comparable to Cisco Brothers.

Corinne said...

Those look like standard couches to me. The only green certification listed is certipur which is really just standard polyurethane which is not non toxic. It does off gas. Any polyurethane could reach that standard. I don't see any steps taken like with the brands listed here.

Richard C. Lambert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parker Edward said...

Incredible post.

Rachel Avery Harrison said...

I'm wondering why you don't discuss secondhand/vintage furniture? I have always assumed that in terms of outgassing, anything a few years old is better than most new things.

Corinne said...

I do mention that option. It works for some but usually ha neither fragrance or mould contamination. Not everyone is that sensitive though.

Animals Need Protection said...

I would avoid the down and wool or any animal based products. The animals bred for these types of products are systematically mistreated. The down is typically plucked for living animals that scream in agony as they are brutalized. If your furniture is from China, then the abuse is far worse since there are no animals protections laws there. Here is a PETA video: https://www.peta.org/features/down-investigation/ Here is another video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnnkHgyqARQ PLEASE protect animals.

Animals Need Protection said...

To the authors of this website, please do not recommend any animals based products. No to wool. No to down.

Animals Need Protection said...

Much of the world's leather comes from Asia where there a no animals protection laws. Animal abuse is rampant in the leather industry. How can you skin an animal humanely, even after it is killed (in some cases) for its skin? Please say no to leather. Sometimes the leather that you believe to be cow's leather is from dogs or cats. PETA VIDEO: https://www.peta.org/features/leather-industry/

Amodi said...

Here is the game to play and win go to our website and play the casino! 300 dollar loan

Post a Comment