Non-toxic rugs and carpets are the healthier choice when it comes to decorating your home.
Sustainable, recyclable and eco-friendly, these non-toxic rugs are grown without chemicals. They’re created without potentially toxic glues and other chemicals and don’t harm fragile ecosystems or kill wildlife.
If you’d like to know more about the dangers of regular rugs and carpets, please read our article on how they can be toxic here.
The real question is, where can you find an alternative?
How do you find these eco-friendly, chemical-free, non-toxic rugs that don’t release harmful VOCs, don’t harm the natural world and don’t break the bank?
Let us explain. We’ll start by sharing which materials are the best choices for your eco-friendly rugs, share a few thoughts on what to avoid then guide you towards the best online vendors in the UK.
What Are the Best Natural Materials for Rugs?
When you’re choosing a non-toxic rug, think carefully about the material you choose. They’re not all created the same, they vary in their eco-friendliness and some will fit with your interior design scheme better than others. Choose natural fibres where possible.
Here’s a quick overview of the materials available and a few points you should bear in mind.
Wool is a renewable and sustainable material which can be a great option as an eco-friendly rug. Naturally stain-resistant, strong and fire retardant, they can bring a touch of luxury and warmth to your interior. However, if you’re an ethical vegan you might prefer not to use it.
If you’d like to use wool, look for non-dyed, non-chemically treated products.
Hemp is a great material to use for a non-toxic rug as it is highly anti-bacterial, durable, lightweight and completely plant based. It works like cotton, helping to keep a space warm in the winter and cool during the summer.
However, it can be harder to find rugs made of hemp, especially in the UK so you might need to do some research to find one.
Sisal is a great choice of material for a non-toxic rug or carpet as it is grown without pesticides or fertilisers and extracted from the Agave plant. It’s also highly durable and attractive.
Jute is one of the best biodegradable and recyclable natural materials used for rugs. It’s also an affordable option that is easy to find in shops across the UK.
Bamboo is another excellent choice as it is usually grown without pesticides, it’s biodegradable and feels wonderful to the touch. It’s less common to find bamboo rugs in the UK but it’s worth keeping your eyes open for as it’s a gorgeous material.
6. Recycled fabric
Many rugs are handmade using recycled fabric and using traditional techniques that go back centuries. These are an excellent eco-friendly choice as they are highly sustainable and zero waste too.
What should you avoid?
Make sure you avoid synthetic materials such as polyester, rayon and cotton (unless organic) as these are often grown using pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals.
Also make sure that the rug has been created without glues, artificial backing materials or any other treatments that could contain potentially harmful chemicals. If you’d like to know more, please read our article on potentially toxic rug materials here.
Where to Buy Non-Toxic Rugs in the UK
You’ll be pleased to know that there are many places you can find eco-friendly, non-toxic rugs in the UK, although though it can often feel like they’re hard to find. We’ve gathered together our favourite online rug companies to get you started.
1. Green Decore
Green Decore is a company that specialises in creating organic, eco-friendly rugs and mats. We love their organic silk rugs, natural jute rugs, designer faded rugs and handmade braided rugs such as this one on Amazon.co.uk. They aren’t just eco-friendly and non-toxic, but they also look fabulous.
Offering a great selection of both bright and natural colours, they’re almost guaranteed to make a fabulous addition to your green home.
2. Braided Rug Company
The Braided Rug Company create a wide range of beautiful 100% organic jute rugs that is sure to add a rustic touch to a room whilst keeping your family.
Available in a selection of patterns, shapes and colours which effortlessly coordinate with any interior, they’re made entirely from sustainable jute which has been harvested in Bangladesh and woven using a contemporary craft mechanism.
They’re also very durable, feel great underfoot, and if you take good care of them, will last you for many years to come.
3. Ollerton Rugs and Carpets
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly toxin-free rug made from 100% undyed organic wool, make sure you check out the selection available at Ollerton Rugs. Although their website looks slightly tired, they do offer a range of minimalist rugs which are highly durable and look great.
Made from your choice of chunky, luxurious, delicate or soft weave and backed with a low- environmental impact backing, they will help your floor become a welcoming surface for kids and adults alike.
In our experience, Etsy is a fabulous place to find many eco-friendly items and it certainly doesn’t disappoint when it comes to toxin-free rugs and carpets.
We highly recommend that you head over to their store and have a browse to find the perfect addition to your home. You’ll find an excellent range including this beautiful vintage Turkish rug, this attractive organic straw mat and this organic handmade chindi rug.
5. William Armes
Although not all of the rugs and carpets available at William Armes are toxin-free or eco-friendly, they do have a few gems on the list which make them well worth mentioning here.
We love the limited-edition Vietnamese circular seagrass mat as it is handmade, 100% natural and provides a durable and attractive addition to your home without breaking the bank.
To protect the health of your family and your pets, it’s better to find non-toxic rugs.
Offering the same level of comfort whilst helping to protect the environment, reducing harmful chemicals and making your home look beautiful, they’re the better choice for everyone.
Start your search with the companies we’ve suggested and find the perfect non-toxic rug for you home and family.
For some more tips, see our guide to chemical-free living.
Charlotte Witts is a writer and entrepreneur who wants to show you how easy it is to live a more conscious, zero-waste lifestyle. A confirmed yoga-addict, trail runner and ocean-lover, she currently lives in the Azores where she enjoys the simple pleasures in life.