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We’ve searched high and low for the safest, most eco-friendly, and VOC-free wall paints—these are our top picks.

Transforming a space into a sanctuary requires healthy and thoughtful choices. The products we choose to bring into our homes make an impact on our quality of life whether we know it or not. It’s true for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and even the air we breathe.

Indoors, the air that surrounds us nearly 80 percent of the time isn’t always safe for people or the planet. Toxic interior paints are the culprits behind many common ailments that can affect us and our loved ones—including those furry four-legged family members. Even after paint dries, low levels of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be emitted which can contribute to indoor air pollution and poor respiratory health. Eco-friendly paints are a better alternative to traditional paints as many have low-to-no VOC content, minimizing toxin exposure and improving indoor and outdoor air quality. 

What are VOCs?

Volatile Organic Compounds are organic compounds that can vaporize and enter the air as gases. Paint is the leading culprit of VOC’s, with most products on the market containing them. Examples of VOC’s include benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and ethylene glycol. Exposure to these chemicals is at its highest when paint is wet—as it dries VOC’s evaporate into the air, lasting for hours and sometimes even days. Once released into the air, VOC’s lead to poor air quality and also adverse health effects, including headaches, dizziness, visual and respiratory impairment—even memory loss. Knowing these risks, selecting an eco-friendly paint for your home can minimize the negative impacts of VOC’s on your health and the environment. 

What makes a paint eco-friendly?

Describing a paint, finish, or lacquer as eco-friendly means that it doesn’t contain airborne chemicals or gases that will wreak havoc on your health. Eco-friendly paints use lower or VOC-free ingredients in their formulation as well as reduced hazardous chemicals like heavy metals and other toxins. The use of biodegradable and renewable materials also reduces the carbon footprint that most paints have when produced and used. 

The EPA notes that the effects of VOCs are about two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and if you’re stripping paint during a home project, studies show that it can skyrocket up to 1,000 times higher. The good news is that you can be proactive and clean up the air in your home with more than just a few potted plants and air purifiers.

Ready for a fresh start and a fresh coat of paint? Here are the best eco-friendly VOC-free options that are safe for your space, along with our top picks for sustainable furniture, organic mattresses, and nontoxic rugs. (If painting is out of the question, don’t worry! You can check out these eco-friendly removable wallpapers, too.)

Best Overall | Most Color Options | Best Exterior Paint

1. ECOS Paint

American made
Recycled materials

Best For | Odorless, organic paints
Colors Available | 1300
Price | $89+ /gallon

The environmentally friendly ECOS Paint is “paint you can feel good about.” Entirely free of VOCs and odors, this USA-made brand offers a colorful selection of organic paints for interior and exterior walls (and a transparent ingredient list!). Best of all, a gallon covers 560 sq. feet, more than most traditional options. Used by the Louvre, Westminster Abbey, and the Getty Museum, these made-to-order paints mix quality and environmental consciousness like no other.

2. Clare Paint

Greenguard certified
Recycled materials
Woman owned

Best For | Trim paints
Colors Available | 75+
Price | $70+ /gallon

Clare Paint is dedicated to bringing designer-curated colors and environmentally-friendly paint right to your door. 100 percent of its paints are zero VOC and Greenguard Gold Certified, while its factories have low-waste production methods, recycled packaging, and water conservation systems throughout. Not sure where to start? The team offers swatch kits and the Clare Color Genius quiz to help you narrow down your options.

3. The Real Milk Paint Co.

American made
Natural materials
Small business

Best For | Child-safe furniture paint
Colors Available | 56
Price | $70 /gallon

Milk paint, made from organic milk protein, is a healthier alternative than water-based latex or oil-based paint used by many commercial options. The Real Milk Paint Co. has tons of great color options—including loose pigments so that you can blend your own custom color. The Real Milk Paint Co. has been innovating since 1995, and its time-tested formula is as biodegradable as ever. Even the waxes and finishing creams are non-VOC and odorless! Just add water, and it’ll work on raw wood, drywall, and concrete. Shop online or find a retailer near you

4. The Organic & Natural Paint Co.

Family owned
Natural materials
Recycled materials
Small business

Best For | Natural paint
Colors Available | 192
Price | £72 /4 litres

The Organic & Natural Paint Co. was founded back in 2012 to help raise awareness on the importance of air quality in the family home. The founder’s family experiences genetic breathing conditions which propelled the development and production of their eco-friendly, organic, and nontoxic paints. Every single product (including their wood finishes) is VOC-free and uses natural raw ingredients in its formulation like clay, to create a ‘breathable’ paint that’s safe and functional for interior and exterior use. 

5. AFM Safecoat

American made
Small business

Best For | Nature-inspired colors
Colors Available | 1000+
Price | Varies by seller

AFM Safecoat is dedicated to helping create healthy homes and environments through their medically approved building solutions. Each Safecoat recommended product is not only 100% VOC-free, but also completely free of HAPs (Hazardous Air Pollutants), to ensure only the cleanest products are being used when painting your space. With three paint lines to choose from, including a biophilic nature-inspired color line and an ayurvedic palette line, you’ll be excited to bring a bit of the outdoors, indoors! Find a retailer here.

6. Benjamin Moore Eco Spec

American made
Recycled materials

Best For | Environmentally-friendly paint
Colors Available | 3500+
Price | Varies by seller

For the ‘greenest’ paint around, check out Benjamin Moore’s Eco Spec line. This 100% acrylic interior paint contains zero VOC’s and emissions—it’s also Green Seal certified for its protective limits on toxins and sustainable packaging. The brand uses a patented Gennex® colorant on its paints which offers excellent color retention while ensuring the paint remains zero-VOC even after tinting. We love the quick drying properties of this paint and that it’s certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly for peace of mind. 

7. Behr Premium Plus

Budget friendly
Greenguard certified

Best For | Budget-friendly paint
Colors Available | 59+
Price | $38+ /gallon

Behr Premium Plus makes our list for its budget-friendly and low-to-no VOC paint selection. Both LEED and GREENGUARD GOLD certified, these paints are extremely durable while being friendly on your wallet. Stain and mold resistant properties within the formula will help keep your fresh paint job looking its best shape for years to come. If you’re unsure which paint line is best for your home, these Behr’s VOC-free products will help you make a solid decision on what to select for your next interior paint job. You can find Behr at your local Home Depot

8. Backdrop

American made
Climate neutral
Family owned

Best For | Exterior paints
Colors Available | 68
Price | $75+ /gallon

Backdrop spent a year curating 50 of the best colors for homes—and became the first climate-neutral paint company in 2020 along the way! Its line of interior and exterior colors are Green Wise certified, are low odor, and sent in a recyclable can. While Backdrop’s paints are low-VOC, we’ve included them in this list for their highly pigmented exterior paint colors and seamless selection and shipping process (many receive their orders the following day!).You’ll also find a paint calculator and essential painting supplies to tackle the job on your own, instead of paying four times the cost for professionals. From the first swatch to the final coat, you’ll be impressed with how these colors turn out. Backdrop also gives back.

9. Graham & Brown

Family owned
Made in the UK
Recycled materials

Best For | One-stop shop for paint, wallpaper, and wall art
Colors Available | 260+
Price | $90 /gallon

Graham & Brown makes it easy to coordinate your colors by offering eco-friendly wallpapers and paints to match. As a carbon-neutral company, the brand mixes your paints to order and plants trees to offset emissions. Though low-VOC, we’ve featured them on our guide for their nearly 260 water-based paint colors and wide range of finishes (including metallic and glitter topcoats). With all these options, you can be sure that Graham & Brown will have the perfect shade for your home. And if you’re not sure, you can request a color card or order a peel-and-stick sample in your favorite shade.

Featured image is from Clare Paint