A Safer Home From The Ground Up

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 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, you see? So, then, a shortcut: when you don’t have time to do all the digging, here is a short list of high quality rugs you can trust to be safe in your home and less destructive to the environment.

If you want more sustainable interior inspiration, check out our guides to eco-friendly furniture and artisan-made home decor!

1. Hook & Loom

Best For | Affordable natural fiber rugs
Starting At | $24 for 2' x 3'

Safe, environmentally friendly, and affordable, Hook & Loom is a great place to start. They boast a line of colorful rugs made from wool or recycled plastic that ship with minimal packaging to further reduce their environmental footprint. The company is committed to producing rugs without any chemicals, laytex, or dyes. 

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2. West Elm

Best For | Fair Trade natural fiber rugs
Starting At | $29 for 2' x 3'

West Elm is already our go-to for responsibly-made rugs, so naturally they're one of our favorites for nontoxic natural fiber rugs. We love their commitment to their artisans, and their wide variety of fairly 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. 

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3. Lorena Canals

Best For | Washable rugs
Starting At | $119 for 4' diameter round rug

An adorable line of non-toxic area rugs 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 natural fibers and dyes. The purchase of every Lorena Canal rug helps to fund education opportunities for children in low-income communities.

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4. The Citizenry

Best For | Artisan-made patterned rugs
Starting At | $155 for 2' x 3'

The Citizenry is a beautiful source for globally inspired and ethical home decor, including a line of non-toxic rugs. Working in partnership with artists around the world, the company produces a small batch of timeless rugs in bold modern patterns. The hand woven quality is a testament to the talent and care of the artists and designers alike, and The Citizenry works to provide fair wages, sustainability grants, and safe conditions to each of their partners.

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5. VivaTerra

Best For | Artisan-made indoor/outdoor rugs
Starting At | $25 for 33" x 21"

Dedicated to eco-friendly lifestyles, VivaTerra creates home essentials that are socially and environmentally conscious. Their colorful indoor/outdoor rugs are made from recycled materials and are a great statement piece for your patio, and we especially love their handwoven cotton, jute, and wool rugs for cozying up our homes. VivaTerra is a perfect match for the globally-inspired home.

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6. Under The Nile

Best For | Cotton play mats for children
Starting At | $46 for 2.5' x 3.25'

The colorful collection of Under The Nile area rugs are produced from scraps of cotton left over from their own clothing production. Founded by a mother committed to finding safe apparel options for her children, all Under The Nile products use organic cotton and are produced by factories in Europe which empower women. The company also supports an array of social projects prioritizing child welfare, environmental responsibility, and gender equality.

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