When it comes to toxin-free, I might let a few things slide, but my area rugs are not one of them.
As a kid, I often visited the knitting mill that my dad ran. So I’ve inhaled the eye-burning chemicals it takes to make synthetic textiles directly. And yet, when I started researching what went into our everyday rugs and carpets, I couldn’t believe it.
The vast majority of rugs and carpets on the market today are made from synthetic materials that are laden with toxins. These are dyed with chemical colorants and backed with PVC and chemical adhesives, all of which off-gas into your home. To top it off, they are treated with highly toxic PFAS, formaldehyde, pesticides, and other chemicals to make them stain proof, moth repellent, fire retardant, and water repellent.
Truly Natural & Non-Toxic Rugs
What shocked me more than the chemicals were the so-called “natural rug brands” that seemed great at first… until I read the fine print to see they coated their natural fibers with harsh chemicals. That did not sit well with me, so I dug further to find non-toxic, eco-friendly rugs with ethical standards I could trust.
Here’s what I found.
Hook and Loom: eco-friendly area rugs, upcycled & chemical-free
Hook & Loom offers a beautiful selection of non-toxic rugs made from either wool or eco-cotton — all without chemicals, dyes, latex, or glues. Their wool rugs are undyed, using only the sheep’s natural colors. And their eco-cotton rugs use a unique, chemical-free process to recycle old rugs into new ones. They also offer GOTS-certified rugs made from (virgin) organic cotton.
Check out their “loom hooked” collection if you like a softer and springy feel. Otherwise, explore their “flatweave” collection for a firmer (but still soft) feel. Both styles are handwoven in a safe environment by workers who are paid a fair wage and treated with compassion.Shop Hook and Loom
Lorena Canals: chemical-free rugs, zero-waste
Lorena Canals’ designs are so plush and gorgeous, it’s hard to believe they are so reasonably priced. Her line of eco-friendly and toxin-free rugs is handmade in India under fair trade practices and sustainable, chemical-free production processes. They also recycle their water and give their cotton scraps a second life in their RUGCYCLED® collection, leading them to become a zero-waste company.
Known for making safe textiles for children, the company also offers Montessori-inspired designs that encourage interaction. Each purchase supports their foundation to provide education and daily meals to underprivileged children in India through their own network of nurseries.Shop Lorena Canals
Grund: organic cotton bath rugs, toxin-free
Grund is well-known for high-quality, organic bed and bath products. Their soft bath rugs are thick, plush, luxurious, made from GOTS-certified organic cotton, and contain no chemical dyes. And their non-slip backing is made from environmentally-friendly rubber. Check out their organic sheets and blankets while you’re there!Shop Grund Organic Bath Rugs
Rawganique: natural fiber rugs in earthy styles, biodegradable
Rawganique offers natural fiber rugs from certified organic cotton, hemp, and wool. They are all sweatshop-free, chemical-free, naturally dyed, and biodegradable. They also offer a 100% hemp bath mat handmade by Transylvanian villagers.Shop Natural Rawganique Rugs
Organic Weave: luxury certified organic rugs
Organic Weave mostly works with designers and may be out of reach for many, but I’m listing them here because their standards are top-notch. Not only do they sell GOTS-certified rugs and carpets, but they are all certified free of child labor by GoodWeave. Their wool is sourced from organically-farmed sheep (never dipped in chemicals), while their cotton is farmed organically without the use of insecticides and pesticides. Also, their silk is hand-twisted and woven the traditional way without the chemical baths or synthetic additives often used to soften silk textiles.Shop Organic Weave
Natural Rug Care
Remember, your non-toxic rugs are not chemically treated to be stain-proof, waterproof, or dust resistant. So be sure to vacuum them weekly and, for those that can be washed, do so regularly to minimize the dust, mites, and other contaminants that we tend to bring into the house on our shoes.
Also, lightly dab up any spills, ideally as soon as they happen. Treat anything that lingers with club soda, white vinegar, or baking soda. Enzyme-based stain removers can also help. Just be sure to check the label for unwanted chemicals.
Related content you might like:
- Beyond Thread Count: What to Look for in Truly Natural Bed Sheets
- Tips for Buying Natural and Non-Toxic Furniture
Natural Living Guide
Find practical tips & natural alternatives to the everyday chemicals that invade our lives.