There are only a few companies that have gone the extra mile to fully disclose what is in their rugs.
These are the top companies making healthy area rugs safe for those avoiding toxins in the home, as well as safe for nurseries with crawling babies, and sensitive pets.
Those avoiding chemicals should avoid area rugs with synthetic latex backing, glues, synthetic moth treatment which is a pesticide – usually permethrin, and other topical treatments such as stain guard treatments.
For those very sensitive to chemicals, you may even want to avoid rugs treated with detergents, bleach, or dyes (possibly even the eco dyes).
Wall-to-Wall Carpet is Covered Here
This post contains affiliate links, upon purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
1. Earth Weave (Wool)
Earth Weave – Earth Weave rugs are made out of wool, with no mothproofing and no other chemical treatments. The dyes are organic.
The rugs do contain natural latex. Custom sizes are possible.
A 4 x 6 rug is $418
You can order them through Green Design Center.
2. DMI (Seagrass)
DMI makes rugs out of their carpet material. These are seagrass rugs with no dyes, insecticides, or chemical treatments. They do contain natural latex in the backing.
They also make wool rugs.
Contact Green Design Center to choose the custom size.
3. Nature’s Carpet Rugs
These are 100% wool carpets with a backing made of jute and synthetic.
I have seen samples of the carpets made by this company and they were fantastic. This is a great company in terms of quality, additives, and transparency.
They do treat the wool with permethrin or bifenthrin.
A 5 x 8 rug starts at $797
You can order them from Green Design Center.
4. Hook and Loom (Wool or Cotton)
Hook and Loom – is a great choice because of how forthcoming they are, and the fact that they used untreated wool.
The wool rugs are made from undyed natural wool, no dyes, no pesticides, no flame retardants, and no latex.
A 4 x 6 wool rug is around $245.
They also have organic cotton rugs that are made from 100% GOTS-certified cotton. They use no dyes whatsoever and no adhesives. They hand-bind their rugs, so there’s no latex and no offgassing. They are washable and affordable.
A 4 x 6 is around $148
Order them online from Hook and Loom.
5. Lorena Canals (Cotton)
Lorena Canals – What I like about these rugs is that they are washable. That might suit some people more than the other options. They are 97% cotton and made with “eco dyes”.
They do not use any chemical treatments of any kind on the rugs. They are washed and dried with biodegradable detergents and no added softeners.
A 4 x 5 rug is $230.
Buy on Amazon.
6. Organic Weave (Wool & Cotton)
Organic Weave – Another top pick – these are GOTS Certified organic rugs. Their hand-tufted rugs are made from wool and cotton and dyed with all-natural GOTS Certified dyes.
They claim no chemicals are used in the cleaning of the raw material and the dyeing of the yarn or in the final cleaning of the rugs.
No synthetic moth treatments or chemical flame retardants are used. Neem is used for mothproofing.
The wool rugs do have latex. They deliver to Canada and the US without import duties.
A 5 x 8 rug is around $2,400
Buy through Organic Weave.
7. Home of Wool
Home of Wool makes 100% natural wool rugs that are undyed and unbleached with a 100% cotton base. They are not treated with Permethrin.
They come in three natural colors, and one striped option.
A 5 x 8 rug is $567 and you can use code mychemicalfreehouse for 10% off
8. Rawganique (Hemp or Hemp/Wool)
Rawganique – makes wool and hemp mix rugs out of 50% wool and 50% hemp. They are 100% natural and organic. They contain no rubber, no synthetics, and they are not treated with any chemicals including pesticides.
The hemp is unbleached and dye-free, the wool is natural and eco-dyed.
A 4 x 6 rug is $229.
Buy through Rawganique.
9. Novica (Wool)
Novica – has a number of Mexican Zapotec 100% wool rugs dyed with natural dyes. They do not contain any other treatment, they claim, such as mothproofing, stain-resistant coatings and natural latex.
A 4 x 6 wool rug is about $390.
Buy through Novica.
10. Loloi Rugs (Wool/Mixed)
Urban Natural – carries Loloi rugs that are 100% wool as well as ones that are wool/jute. They use vegetable dyes and do not use adhesives.
You can buy samples of the Loloi rugs from Urban Natural.
A 4 x 6 rug is about $220.
Buy through Urban Natural.
11. Cali (Bamboo, Cotton, Jute, Bamboo, Wool)
Cali Bamboo – carries some rugs that are undyed and unbleached but I did not hear back from them with the full specs (about mothproofing, etc.)
They carry a number of lines: rugs are made of various materials from wool mixes, jute, bamboo, PET (polyester), nylon, and cotton.
Rugs made out of denim scraps usually retain the chemical fabric treatment of the blue jeans or might be recycled.
The bamboo rugs are $135 for 4 x 6.
Buy through Cali Bamboo.
What About Conventional Jute Rugs?
I like IKEA because they go much further than most companies to create healthy products in many areas. They don’t go to the extent that companies on this list go to, but I would certainly consider IKEA’s jute and other natural rugs to be the most non-toxic conventional option.
Safavieh sisal and jute rugs could also be considered. The company has stated that they don’t treat the rugs with any insect repellents, stain repellents, or flame retardant chemicals. Their natural rugs are on the way to becoming OEKO-TEX certified.
12. Libeco (Linen)
Libeco – Libeco is a company that makes linen in Europe. All of their linen is either organic or usually grown without pesticides (only on the odd occasion are they used). It is all Oeko Tex 100 which certifies no chemical additives to the rug.
The linen options that are of natural color do not contain any dyes.
Technically they are dry clean only, but you can hand wash them and dry them flat or hang them in a way that they won’t wrinkle.
A 4 x 6 rug is $415
Buy through Libeco.
13. Under the Nile (Cotton)
Under the Nile makes simple 100% organic cotton (GOTS Certified) rugs.
The dyes are low impact – no harmful effluents or toxins are used, and no azo dyes. Everything that goes into the making of the colored fabric is biodegradable.
They use no bleach, no chemical fabric treatments, and no flame retardants.
They are machine washable.
A 4 x 6 rug is $125.
Buy from Under the Nile.
Willaby rugs are also GOTS Certified. This highest level of certification covers all parts of the rug from the dyes to what it can be treated with. They use safe non-toxic dyes and do not add chemical treatments or harmful stain-resistant coatings
GOTS prohibits toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, functional nanoparticles, chlorine bleach, azo dyes, synthetic sizing agent, PFAS, and PFCs.
A 4 x 8 rug is $570
Buy from their website.
Parachute rugs are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. Oeko-Tex is not quite as strict as GOTS, but it’s the nest best thing.
Oeko-Tex means they do limit heavy metals, pesticide residue, chlorinated phenols, phthalates, organic tin, other harmful chemical residues, harmful dyes, PAHs, solvent residues, PFOAs, and PFOS.
They have cotton, wool, and jute rugs.
A 2 x 3 cotton rug is $55.
I wanted to include Burrow because it’s difficult to find wool rugs without mothproofing or polyester rugs without PFAS. Burrow checks both of these boxes.
A 5 x 8 rug is $495.
Get $75 off with this link (if you spend $300 or more)
Bonus, Plastic Rugs
For folks who are highly sensitive to mold, dust, and allergens often plastic woven rugs are preferred. These are some brands that sensitive folks have done well with:
1. Ruggable – Washable Rugs
Ruggable rugs are washable polyester and polyurethane rugs with a backing pad that is made from polyester and a thermoplastic rubber (unspecified plastic). The rugs are not treated in any way, they say, which should mean that they are free of PFAS. (They do have a Prop 65 warning for trace methylene chloride and according to Tamara Rubin they tend to test positive for trace-Antimony, which is very common for polyester).
2. Tumble – Washable Rugs
Tumble rugs are also made of polyester. The backing is made from EVA foam (that is free of formamide) and thermoplastic resin (unspecified plastic). They say it’s free of latex, rubber, and phthalates and that it has no offgassing. It does have a stain guard treatment but they claim it’s free of PFC and PFAS coatings. It does not contain any Prop 65 chemicals like methylene chloride. You can get $20 off here with that discount code.
3. Polypropylene Indoor/Outdoor Rugs
It’s the indoor/outdoor flatweave rugs that are more likely to be very low in offgassing.
Polypropylene rugs from The Company Store have been reported good.
100% polypropylene rugs from World Market (some have said they also like their natural fiber rugs, even though the company does not divulge a lot about how they are treated).
I also sampled UV Stabilized Royaltron Polypropylene from Stanton Carpet which did have a low new carpet odor.
4. Nylon Indoor/Outdoor Rugs (Not Woven)
Nylon washable indoor/outdoor rugs from Pottery Barn have been recommended by some sensitive folks (which do have a rubber on the backing).
Staton Carpet LION indoor/outdoor nylon was low in odor & offgassing, definitely quite good for a nylon rug. The company said in an email they are free of PFAS/PFCs.
- Those with severe chemical sensitivities generally do well with polypropylene (PP). PP does not have added BPA or added phthalates (though some PP contains trace phthalates). Like other plastics, it can leach chemicals into food/drinks with heat, prolonged contact, and acidity but I would not expect these conditions to be met with a rug. (Source, 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Polyurethane when made into a flexible plastic (not a foam) is also highly tolerable for chemically sensitive folks with minimal offgassing that doesn’t go on for long.
Corinne Segura is a Building Biologist Practitioner with 8 years of experience helping others create healthy homes.
Did you find this post helpful? If so you can buy me a coffee to support the research behind this blog. Thank you!
Hi Corinne! First off, I just want to compliment you on your incredibly thorough article and website overall! It’s a little daunting to get into this kind of research, and I’m really grateful for the work you’ve done and provided so freely. Thank you!
My question actually is about pre-owned rugs… I am very drawn to Turkish and Persian rugs and I’m wondering what your take is on purchasing one and having it professionally cleaned. What kind of cleaning process would you recommend?
Also, what are your thoughts on Turkish and Persian rugs as a whole? I have read that they are traditionally made of wool, cotton, and/or silk so would assume they are relatively low-toxin. However, I’m not sure what kind of dyes could be used or if the materials were sprayed with pesticides before harvested.
Thanks so much for your help!
Good day Corinne!
We purchased a Safavieh Hudson Shag Collection 8′ x 10′ Ivory/Grey SGH330A Chevron Non-Shedding Plush 2-inch Thick Area Rug. The off gassing smell, since day one, after unrolling it and vacuuming it is very offensive. It smells the entire house up and causes me to have a sore throat. It is made of Polypropylene. Is this rug supposed to be non toxic? How do you rid the rug from this smell? Will it ever go away or should we return it? Are we jeopardizing our health from this rug?
What 8×10 area rugs in this price tag should we consider if not this one? Others have stated theirs does not have a smell but this one is out of the park very terrible! We can not live with this smell, nor is it safe for our kitties either.
Your advice is appreciated.
In general this type of rug with a pile, made from synthetic fibres has chemical offgassing. That’s why I made this list of better (non-toxic) options. You can take a look through to see if any of the ones on the list suit you.
Hello, thank you so much for all the information and research! I am wondering if you looked into Nordic Knots before, and if you have any thought about their products? Thank you!
Bigg Nutrition says
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K Store says
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Hi! I’m interested in the Tumble rugs. Website says no PFCs… is this the same as PFAs? It doesn’t mention being free of PFAs but lists PFOA and PFOS. I’m confused as to whether these terms-PFC and PFAs are interchangeable and if they are indeed also free of PFAs.
They said in an email it’s free of PFAS which is the category that includes PFOA and PFOS. PFCS is a different class of waterproofing, usually used on exterior items while PFAS are on interior items. They say they are also free of PFCS.
Katherine Jantzen says
Hello. Have you heard of Weavergreen rugs? They make rugs out of recycled PET plastic bottles. They are UK based. Would you consider them safe to use? Thank you in advance.
I consider PET for rugs safe. I don’t know UK options.
Flooring, and rugs in particular, pose a major challenge from a toxin perspective. One downside to a lot of “natural” rugs is that the material of the rug and/or the backing often absorbs moisture very easily (jute is one example) which can create a mold problem. It’s hard to have everything, but it is a consideration worth having on one’s radar.
Only really a concern on a slab or basement floor.
Thank you for this. I am on concrete slab, albeit elevated above subterrain parking but wouldn’t have thought of this with Jute/natural and I am super sensitive to mold!
Even though I am elevated, I have huge temp variations in the floor. I wonder what my work around would be for this no matter which type of flooring I choose. Thank you again for commenting as it helps me consider the options
and puts this on my radar.. Are there ANY air/ breathe friendly rugs at target or home depot? It is my bedroom…..So really concerned with it.
Hello Corrine, hope this message finds you well. My husband and I stumbled upon your website while looking for non-toxic flooring options in our home. Thanks for having a great website with lots of helpful information. We ended up purchasing a Ruggable for each of our kids’ rooms. However, as the rugs were on their way to us, we began having second thoughts. The Prop 65 warning is the cause of our concern. Would airing the rugs outside and washing them before placing them in the rooms eliminate the trace amounts of methylene chloride?
Corinne* I meant Hello Corinne. :\ Sorry about that.
I would guess that it is used on the machinery as a solvent though it’s possible it’s used as a blowing agent for polyurethane foam. It’s a volatile solvent so it only needs exposure to air to volatilize and dissipate. Washing with a strong degreaser and airing things out is a help to almost every new furnishing/clothing item that has any odor or VOCs coming off of it. But if it’s a blowing agent I suppose it’s a little more trapped though technically only trace should be left. I haven’t talked to the company about it as I wouldn’t worry about it too much but if you want to avoid that go with Tumble.
Hello, CORINNE! Could you help me, please!?
I’m searching for Non-Toxic rug (withour common chemicals and no-odor) + Durable (for heavy chair 30 lg + 70 kg human weight = 100 kg at chair roll spots, I can’t replace broken rug every few months) + Without-Geometry-Pattern (I can’t tolerate tileable patterns like squares\rhombs\etc).
1) Is Triexta durable enought? I have found users complains about non-durability of Mohaw SmartStrand (some users wrile it broken after a few months, some what lasts a few years, but I have heavy chair).
2) Can you recommend any compliant Nylon rug? As I unserstand toxins is common.
(“Nylon washable indoor/outdoor rugs from Pottery Barn (which do have rubber latex on the backing)” – is no longer available when follow the link)
3) Can you recommend any other Polypropylene rugs, except with tileable patterns (like squares\rhombs)? For example from The Company Store \ World Market \ Safavieh. Currently I’m waiting for response from The Company Store about chemicals treatments.
4) Qestions about certifications:
Rug for example https://www.wayfair.com/rugs/pdp/dakota-fields-sachiko-geometric-ivoryblue-area-rug-w001803701.html?piid=341480173
– You write “Greenguard is rarely used to certify carpets”. When Greenguard is exists, does it means what carpet is low-toxic or non-toxic?
.. I have found a few rugs with Greenguard:
– Also I have found some rugs with specification “CPSC – 16 CFR 1631 Compliant” does it means what flame retardant is used? 16 CFR 1631 states what letter “T” should be used on tabel if rug is flame retardant treated, but can’t find any “T” letter in names of rugs.
the pottery barn link works, at least from North America IP address location. I would not consider green guard gold useful for a rug, more info in the post on certifications. there are certainly other polypropylene rugs that will be good, especially the indoor/outdoor kind.
Hi Corinne! Thanks for all your research. This is super helpful! I would like to put a rug in our basement. It currently is just an untreated concrete slab. We want the floor to remain breathable. Would a small area rug be a problem with moisture? If not, are there any certain kinds of rugs or even rug pads you’d recommend to make it as breathable as possible? Thanks so much!
I just purchased an organic cotton hook & loom rug through your website. I’m so glad I was finally able to support you at least a little bit. You’ve been extraordinarily helpful over the past year since I moved and needed to do some refurnishing. I’m chemically sensitive and I really need this help. You are awesome. Thanks!
that’s nice, thank you. I’ve had them on this list for years but they only recently became an affiliate. so I do make a small percent on that product now.
Thank you for sharing all of this excellent information, Corinne. I wanted to share my conversation with Hook and Loom following my purchase of a rug and rug pad. I asked about flame retardants in the rug pad. Here is what they said —
~~ Yes – as we state on our website, our non-skid natural rubber rug pads have a FDA approved odorless flame retardant in them. ~~
I couldn’t find that information on their website at all.
Lisa Wagner says
I am a little puzzled that there is no mention, especially in the day of wanting to use sustainable, long life production, no mention of hand knotted wool rugs. A quality weaving, of hand knotted wool, with proper care can last for a century or longer. Considering that every choice on your list has used “chemicals” in creating or processing the fibers, the focus here seems to be rugs that are not releasing issues into the indoor living environment. If that is indeed the focus, then all natural fiber hand-knotted rugs that are years, or decades, or a few centuries, would earn a spot on this list.
There are a few productions today weaving in old world quality but with new world focus on sustainability and chemical-free workplaces. The Anou in Morocco is one of these companies in a region where many harsh chemicals are causing harm to people and the planet, they have built a company around safe, clean wool production, and natural dye processing. However, they do not provide affiliate link partnerships, so they tend to not be on websites that “educate” when there is a desire to only share a link to rugs that give a percentage back. (Which, by the way, I have no problem with, as that is only fair.)
I do have a problem with the plastic rugs on your lists from a sustainability standpoint, in these these are short life rugs. They will last a few years and then go to the landfill, where they will fall apart as the rubber breaks down, but the plastics will never fully decompose, they just break into microplastics and add to more of the issue in our lands and water. Polyester fabric releases issues in washing, as do these rugs. And they are all petroleum based fibers, which of course we are all trying to have less of in our world.
Machine woven synthetic rugs serve a purpose. They offer cheap decorative rugs for $5 or less per square foot to buy new. They will last a few years, and then they will go to the landfill, along with the pad. If you focus on a natural fiber commodity rugs, as you have listed in your main section, rugs that are latex-backed (tufted rugs) create problems for some floors and can void their warranties. Some of these made in India have wool that is heavily bleached and chemically processed, which is why they shed so easily. The wool that is not strong enough to be hand knotted with goes to the hand-tufted and low-cost “handmade” wool rugs – and these can sometimes be more of an indoor air quality, or chemical sensitivity, issue than the plastic rugs are. These are rugs that will be – or should be – $10 or less a square foot to buy new, and they are rugs that last generally 5-10 years with proper care.
Then you have hand-knotted wool rugs which can range from $15-80 per square foot (depending on the knot count and labor, weave quality, design quality) new – The Anou falls on to the low end of that range, as a tribal weave is a good knot count but not a super high one. A room size hand knotted rug would take 3-4 weavers about 6 months to weave, so hand knotted rugs, the quality ones, of which none on your list represent, is a lot of labor. And that is why these rugs can last 50-100 or more years. And you cannot say that about much these days, as all things seem to be disposable and plastic.
Just wanted to speak up for the best rug group that is glaringly missing on your list. I appreciate your education here on the indoor environment. I love the depth that you share. I just thought I would add a little depth from the rug world, since that is where I live. 🙂
Thank you, Lisa
First of all, I NEVER only list affiliates. Most blogs do that but if you looked through the links on this page you would see that almost half of the list is non-affiliate.
Second, there are good quality wool rugs here with absolutely minimal processing, like they need to be washed, but some are not dyed at all etc.
I’m not sure if you actually looked through the links or if this was just promotional. I have removed the link that was posted.
Hello, I am looking for a carpet/ area rugs but I have major chemical and mold allergies. I cant seam to filter through these manufacturers to find a rug that does not smell at any time.
Would appreciate your help.
P.S. Thank you for your research and hard work with getting info out to individuals like me.
Well the natural fibers have their own natural odors so you will have to experiment to see what you are sensitive to.
What do you think about Tumble rugs? They’re similar to Ruggable without the prop 65 warnings.
I had a Ruggable, but then found prop 65 warnings for both DEHP and methylene chloride. They say the materials are safe enough to wear as clothing, but I returned it.
Christie Donnelly says
Also, Corrine, are polyester rugs touted as stain-resistant because polyester is inherently stain-resistant? Or are polyester rugs treated with PFAS? I’m beside myself that my son has been exposed to PFAS from the crappy Target polyester rugs we had when he was first born.
polyester carpets have stain-resistant coatings (PFAS most common) so I would assume rugs to do unless clearly stated otherwise.
Thank you for the great info/research! You mentioned Safavieh… I purchased one of its rug for a kid’s room….it says “Hand Tufted in China,Cotton backing,
100% Polyester Pile” How toxic is this? Should I just return this rug?
Thank you in advance!
I really appreciate your recommendations and all of the work you put into this site.
I tried my hand at a synthetic entry way rug by buying one from Soceity6. The website says the following about its rugs:
-Made from a woven, polyester chenille
-Only topside is printed with a design
-Backing made from a durable cotton/poly canvas
I noticed it off-gassed a lot when I first used it, so I put it outside for two weeks, including during a few summer rain storms. The smell greatly diminished, but even a year later I could still smell it every time I came through the door.
Do you have any tips for how to figure out which synthetic rugs may off-gas?
Thanks for all of your help!
It depends on the materials and I can make a guess from seeing the materials. Otherwise you need to see it yourself. I keep track of brands that sensitive folks like in this post since I’m not able to see most of them myself.
Cole Byrne says
Thanks for sharing this! All the best!
Hello, Can you tell me your thoughts on vintage rugs? Wool rugs? Any help if those are ok to use or anything I should look for? Thanks in advance!
For vintage wool you could ask if they have re-sprayed with permithrin.
Kaelyn Mulligan says
Have you taken a look at Nuloom wool rugs? I purchased a very colorful (Ofelia/Tikal) one and then realized that not all wool rugs are safe. There are bright colors so also worried about the dye. The website says they don’t use anything harmful to children or pets but I’m leary.
Alicia Kelly says
Hi! I have pretty successfully done our baby’s whole nursery without chemicals. I just left out a rug pad because I could not find a nontoxic one. Now that she is starting to crawl and pull up I feel like I should get one so it isn’t so hard when she falls back. Any suggestions?? Thanks so much for your help and work! It’s a full time job trying to build a nontoxic home and it is not my full time job ha
It depends on the type of rug and size of rug. I list the options in the carpet post.
I bought a large Hook and Loom rug, and while it is very nice quality and the company was wonderful to work with, I wouldn’t necessarily buy one again. This rug is still shedding fibers after 6+ months of daily vacuuming as instructed. Every time my toddler touches the ground, he stands up and is covered in fibers and fuzz. The rugs are made of recycled clothing, so small metallic strands from whatever was recycled also found their way into the weave. My rug sparkles in the light, and I constantly worry that a metallic fiber is going to wind up in my son’s eye. In addition, the rugs are from India and arrived with a definite smoky incense smell, which the manufacturer mentioned would dissipate quickly. We can still smell it 6 months later. It is a pleasant light smell though, which are words I never thought I would write since we are an otherwise strictly fragrance free household due to allergies. Just a heads up in case you go with this company. Wonderful thick natural rugs but you’re gonna be cleaning up nonstop. I also wonder what the clothing they used in this rug was treated with prior to being recycled, given the presence of metallic fibers!
Thank you for sharing, this is very helpful to know.
Patricia J Ferris says
Hi There, I was wondering if you looked at the natural grass rug collection from Natural Area Rugs. They claim no chemicals. They state stain-resistant, but I think that is a natural property as I asked via email if any thing was applied for stain protection or mold resistance, and they said no, there no chemicals in their rugs. I am wondering what would be a concern with natural grass in case I am missing something? Thanks,
Thanks for all of this. I have the hardest time trying to navigate all of this. Any thoughts on this company “rug collective” that offer a stain resistant/washable rug that is treated, which I usually would avoid, but looks to be certified to be free of harmful chemicals. I try to balance being as natural as possible while also trying to survive life with three young kids (getting a crypton fabric on my couch but making sure green guard certified , etc). Trying to find something that can survive under a frequented used dining table (where spills and food will be constant). Thanks!
I haven’t looked at that company. I would ask them if they are free of PFAS.
Hello, Can you tell me your thoughts on vintage rugs? Wool rugs? Any help if those are ok to use or anything I should look for? Thanks in advance!
Hi! Do you know if West Elm does permethrin or other pesticide treatments in their wool rugs? The one I am considering is 100% wool with recycled Cotton Backing.
Hand tufted in India.
If so, is there a way to off gas or clean off the pesticides before putting in my home? It would be in a bedroom. Or will it always have pesticide residue and smell?
I would definitely expect it to have permethrin. It does wear off with time and comes out with enough washing.
I found this study today that showed that after 50 washes there was still 26% permethrin left https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231561/
Ok thank you for digging deeper into this! Yikes It takes a lot to wash it out!
I love this site and quite surprised to find so much valuable information. We are in our 80’s and want to carpet two bedrooms without Flame Retardant and feel we find the answer here. Thank you very much and hopefully we can buy you a coffee. God Bless hou
Hi! Great information. Thank you.
Just a quick comment. I recently bought an all cotton rug, washable and was supposed to be organic. However, I reacted and it had an odor. I learned that while it was untreated, no dye (and it was beautiful) it was stored in a warehouse in NJ. So, I hope that merchandisers of such wonderful products may think about what conditions they might have in their storage areas. It can easily destroy the items which would otherwise be bio-“perfect”.
Thanks Sue. yes i agree pesticides, mold and cleaning products in storage or transport can really be a problem for some very sensitive folks. This got worse during covid (the cleaning product part).
Hello Corinne! I’m still having difficulty finding some good rug pads for my basement wool and jute rugs that cushions falls other than natural rubber (which as told are mold prone :(. Do you recommend any brands? Thank you!!!
I would love to hear any thoughts on this too!
Natalie S says
Are Flor tiles (mostly nylon with vinyl backing) safe, non-toxic, low-VOC?
I have a set of their tiles nearly 10yo and was considering another purchase, but then read we should really avoid vinyl at home.
Thanks so much.
FLOR is covered here https://www.mychemicalfreehouse.net/2020/07/the-healthiest-non-toxic-carpet-brands.html
Lindsey Conklin says
Hi Everyone – First off, THANK YOU so much for this incredible site! Second, I wanted to provide some information re: purchasing rugs from Cali Bamboo to save others some heartache. I purchased a jute rug from them (looked *very* different in person). It also smells – STRONGLY. For anyone else dealing with MCS, I’d avoid purchasing their rugs. They also don’t allow returns so now I’m out a lot of money. They also don’t post reviews on their website, so I’m hoping this is helpful to someone else.
Thank you so much for sharing. Was it a strong natural jute smell or something else?
Where you able to find another non toxic seller for jute rugs? Do you mind sharing? Thank you!!!
Sharyn G Hahn says
How safe is chenille for a rug?
That’s a cotton, so it’s not the fabric that is the problem but chemical treatments all the way from crop to final fabric treatments that need to be looked at.
I keep getting mixed reviews. Is polypropylene toxic or non toxic in rugs?
Julie Cooper says
We had two polypropylene rugs we purchased from LL Bean Home series. I left them outside for two weeks, hanging on my fence. Then brought them in and sprayed them with a natural deodorizer. They were great. Very durable and easy to vacuum. When they got dirty, I took them outside, hung them on the fence and turned the hose on them (wait for a really hot day). They looked the same after washing.
Corinne, thank you this is very useful! Could you weigh in on nylon rugs? Some websites I have seen say yes, absolutely safe and others have said no absolutely not safe. You’re the expert, what do you think?
Sorry, I’m thinking specifically for a nursery/playroom
It’s not the nylon itself that is the problem, but nylon carpets (the most common kind) are highly treated compared to other ones made of other materials like wool, cotton, jute and PET.
Amanda Coleman says
Hi! I am trying to understand why all wool rugs are not non-toxic. What makes some wool rugs toxic vs. non-toxic? Thanks!
Not all wool rugs are good. Most conventional ones would be treated with Permethrin for moths. If they are not treated with pesticides they tend to have minimal chemical treatments so they make a good natural option. Certainly not the only option. However it’s more likely that a company dedicated to non toxic dyes and other additives to the rug will use natural fibers as that is what consumers are asking for. It’s not because you can’t have a safe synthetic rug.
All plastic is toxic. Consumers are being hugely misled being told polypropylene rugs are “natural.” It’s sad to see so many people falling for this. It’s like the bpa-free lie. Many bpa-free materials have been shown to be even more toxic. Use your common sense. Do you really think ANY plastic could be non-toxic? Well then…use at your own risk.
Yes many plastics are non-toxic. Especially hard plastics like ABS. Every plastic as it’s in a harder form is less toxic. PP and PE are also considered non-toxic. Of course it depends what you are doing with them. I look for offgassing and leaching and which conditions lead to leaching and offgassing (ie. do you have to cook it or drink from it to ingest chemicals). Some plastics need time to offgas and then are safe.
Sorryyyy ! All plastic is made from petroleum by products ! Not only are they toxic their manufacturing process is highly hazardous and give way to pollution via air and into water! We must educate people to identify what “ingredients” are harmful to all living things ! You are being poisoned everyday by many many things you come in contact with – your life is worth being educated -isn’t it?
This blog takes into account the effects of materials on the occupants though I do think it’s admirable to be thinking of the manufacturing and post-consumer processes as well. I only focus on the health on the occupants, mainly for folks highly sensitive to VOCs and other chemicals as well as those sensitive to mold. Many plastics are safe for use in home decor for chemically sensitive people, especially polypropylene.
I am also having trouble deciding about a Ruggable rug due to the methylene chloride warning-though trace amounts, I haven’t seen prop 65 warnings on any other area rugs I’ve looked at, so it makes me wonder why they have added this chemical at all. We need washable rugs between our pets, toddler, and elderly family visitors. I was so excited about Ruggable until I saw the warning.
I was wondering the exact same thing when I pulled this article up…
Also wondering about Ruggables!
Just realized that there is a conversation about Ruggables further down the page.
Stefani Canin Mullen says
I have a question…I am interested in some rugs from “Magnolia” that are made by Loloi. The first one is Power Loomed, Polypropylene | Polyester Pile, Made in Turkey with a cotton canvas backing. The second is Power-Loomed of 100% Polyester Pile. Can you let me know if you think these are toxic or unhealthful for my home? My son is very allergic to wool, and I love the style of these rugs, as the non-toxic ones I have been looking at don’t have a large selection. Thank you:)
Aren’t polypropylene and polyurethane highly toxic?
Polypropelene is a very safe plastic. Polyurethane – depends on the form that it is in, it will have different chemicals added.
So are you not concerned about microplastic exposure with the polypropylene rugs?
Microplastics come from the long term breakdown of products like these if they are not recycled. This website is about the health of the materials for the occupants. PP is recyclable which would prevent this from becoming microplastics in the environment. I would ask the companies if the rugs could be realistically recycled, which might partly depend on where you live.
Ursula Jakabos says
Would you consider polyester rugs safe or toxic. West elm claims their rugs are organic or low VOC. Some of them are polyester
It’s not the fabric itself but polyester always comes with some kind of chemical treatment or residue on it. But usually, with a wash or an air out it will be acceptable. Whether they add extra chemicals to it like stain guard chemicals I’m not sure. West Elm is not very forthcoming about this however they don’t mention any particular stain resistance on the website either.
Polyester is known to contain formaldehyde. Some of these writers need to do a lot more research
I am the writer. Here are some test results of clothing (on page 42-51) the clothing (cotton/polyester mixes) with non detectable formaldehyde https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10875.pdf
There are polyester (PET) carpets that are 0 VOC in my carpet post.
There are Oeko-tex® 100 Class 1 polyester fabrics (class 1 means no formaldehyde allowed).
So there is plenty of evidence that polyester itself does not contain formaldhdye.
So which are the brands that do sell high quality hand woven rugs ?(the one that was not included on the list ?)
everything I’ve seen that is good is on this list. Most synthetic rugs have considerable treatments and have offgassing. Only a few synthetics made the list.
Wow this is horrible information. They took a study about nylon carpet which is treated with lots of chemicals and falsely implied that a polypropylene rug must have offgassing. I have not tested all polypropylene rugs but many have no offgassing.
So are the ruggable rugs non-toxic? I like the fact you can wash these but wanted to make sure they are non-toxic.
I would consider them low toxin. Plus it will improve with some airing out.
Any chance you could say more? (We have a baby so I’m overthinking the rug situation, but we really like some of their designs.)
Polypropylene is very toxic and should not be used indoors.
I don’t agree with that.
Terrible information and false. Polypropylene is not a toxic plastic. It’s often used in food packaging and is the least leaching and most stable plastic. Where do people read this brain washing and fear mongering information? Lol seriously, stop!
there’s an anti plastic movement that is divorced from people with sensitivities and usually divorced from real life use situations. there are blogs that say things like PP is very toxic. What you said is correct it’s one of the least toxic plastics.
Ruggable rugs are toxic. There is a warning hidden in the website that states the rugs contain chemicals known to cause cancer.
Where does it say that? Did you see it yourself?
The company replied to me: “Currently, there is a trace amount of a chemical commonly used in manufacturing products in our regular rug covers and rug pads (not found in shag covers), called Methylene Chloride. We are actively taking steps to remove all traces to keep our products as clean as possible.”
I’m curious about this too – just searched through the Ruggable website and didn’t find anything. Laura, can you paste the link to the page where it is stated? I’m about to buy one but….yikes!
PS – Corrine thank you for this awesome blog post! I have also consulted your site in the past for furniture and paint suggestions 🙂
Hey Megan! You’ll be able to find the warning if you scroll down from the rug of your choosing. Right in between “About (rug of choosing” and “You May Also Like” you’ll see a “How It Works”, next to that there is “Our Rugs.” If you click that, under “Made to Order” there is a very small “warning” button in blue. There is a link encrypted into that. Click and the warning that whatever is used is known to cause cancer in the state of California will come up. I am on the edge on deciding whether to buy or not, though. There are many other products you can find that will have warnings stating that there is some kind of ingredient that is known to the state of California to cause cancer. My question is. why just California? Why aren’t any of the other states doing the same? Have you decided on buying?
I bought a RUGGABLE for my baby’s room. It’s so beautiful, great quality and I love that it’s machine washable. I was so happy until I went back to the website and noticed a VERY tiny warning ⚠️ on the page that I didn’t notice before. My fault for missing it but I am disappointed that they made it so small. You have to click on the rug, then scroll down to ‘our rugs’ and look at the very bottom and you will see in blue font a tiny ‘warning’. Click on that and it gives you a prop 65 warning.
Hi Jes – thanks for the reply! Ugh, nothing like buyer’s remorse!!
I just went to the site as you described and still can’t find the warning. Maybe they have recently changed things up or maybe it’s not on all rugs? Orrrr maybe I need glasses! In the meantime I did email them asking about chemicals and if they have any certifications and this is their reply:
“Here are Ruggable, we do not chemically treat our rugs in any way and our products do not expel harmful gasses like other rugs might.
Our rug cover consists of 3 layers: the top surface is 100% woven polyester chenille, the internal waterproof barrier is 100% polyurethane, and the bottom is 100% polyester knit.”
I’m still not sold, so I will keep up the good search.