Why I Still Love the Safavieh Jute Area Rug – Six Years On!

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

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Safavieh’s Natural Fiber Collection offers sustainable, non-toxic rugs in sizes large and small. Here’s why I still love my jute area rug after six years.

Staff Tested

Safavieh Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug

Highlights: Incredibly hardwearing, attractive, huge area rug. Made with natural jute fibers and nothing else! Great for pets and older kids as it hides stains well.

Overall Score
Durability Score
Toxicity Score
Sustainability Score
User Experience Score
Transparency Score

What we like

  • Incredibly hardwearing – no sign of wear after nearly 5 years of use!
  • Attractive texture thanks to thick, sustainable, and durable jute fibers
  • Reversible and borderless for a clean look
  • A great fit for contemporary, casual, farmhouse, coastal, and bohemian aesthetics
  • Hides some stains well thanks to natural color variations
  • Keeps its shape well

What could be better

  • Very heavy and hard to move by yourself
  • Sheds dust/dirt from the fibers for several weeks (you’ll need to vacuum underneath regularly)
  • Not soft, so not great for infants
  • It’s hard to roll an office chair over this rug!
  • Natural knots and color variation may not be to everyone’s taste
  • Arrives sheathed in plastic
  • The company overall isn’t focused on sustainability

At a glance:

  • Materials: Jute (and some metal clips)
  • Made in: India
  • Price: $256 for a 10 ft. sq. rug
  • Certifications: Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC)
  • Sizes available: too many to list! Starts at 2 ft. by 3 ft., up to 22 ft. long / circular rugs and other shapes also available
  • Pile heights: 0.6-0.75 inches

When I moved home in 2018, my living room was crying out for a giant rug. On a budget, I couldn’t stretch to one of the eco-friendly rugs from Nature’s Carpet or Organic Weave, so I went looking for something durable, simple, and enormous that still ticked the box for sustainability. That’s when I discovered Safavieh. More specifically, Safavieh’s Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug.

After more than six years with this rug, I still love it.

Things I love about it

The Safavieh Natural Fiber (chunky jute) rug is:

  • Durable
  • Sustainable
  • Reversible
  • Borderless.

I’ve found that despite much manhandling and traffic, this rug keeps its shape really well. It also doesn’t slip or slide like cotton rugs and doesn’t require a rug mat. Nor does it easily take on the impressions of furniture, even for heavier items.

The neutral color and style make this rug super versatile, which is sustainable in itself. After all, you don’t want to have to buy a new rug every time you move house or shake up your décor. This rug will work for contemporary, casual, farmhouse, coastal, and bohemian aesthetics.

Even better, this rug will easily last for many years. And, once it’s reached end of life, the natural fibers will break down quickly. You could even use this rug as a natural weed barrier in the garden!

My experience

I bought the Safavieh Chunky Jute Rug for my living room to spruce up a rental and it’s since come with me to my new house and was a perfect fit for my basement office. Formerly a workshop, the room was instantly transformed into a cozy work space just by laying down this rug on the particleboard floor! It also helps that my dog loves the texture, so it gives her something to rub her face against when she’s bored and sick of me ignoring her.

The rug worked incredibly well as a living room area rug, holding up to high traffic, spills, dog hair, and heavy furniture. It now works equally well as an office rug. It adds a little insulation to the floor and generally makes the space feel more hygge.

I love the chunky, natural look and feel of this rug, and it’s great that it hides dog hair, crumbs, and spills really well. (Don’t worry, I do vacuum and spot clean as needed!)

How does it feel underfoot?

While the rug isn’t soft like a wool carpet or cotton rug, the natural fibers aren’t exactly scratchy. In fact, it feels really nice under bare feet – almost like a foot massage!

That said, this rug isn’t a good fit for babies, especially if they’re learning to crawl. It could be a good fit for older kids, though, given how well it wears. It’s also very forgiving of dropped food and dirt, so a nice option if you find it hard to vacuum more than once a week.

My one caveat is that I wouldn’t recommend this rug for anyone with allergies. While it’s great at trapping dirt and dust, that also means those allergens are harder to vacuum up than with a smoother rug or a lighter rug you can shake out easily.

What I don’t like

The main downside to this rug is that the thick, knotted weave makes it impossible to roll an office chair while sitting on the chair. If you’re always on the move between workstations, printer and compute, file cabinet, etc., this rug won’t work for you.

Other things to note are the heaviness of the rug, making the larger sizes rather unwieldy.

With the smaller sizes, I’m sure you’d be able to hang and beat the rug to shake out dust and dirt from the fibers. With the larger rugs, this is impractical, meaning you’ll want to vacuum underneath the rug quite regularly initially. If you don’t and you don’t have a rug pad under it, the fiber and dirt combo may scratch your floor.

The Safavieh rug collection

Safavieh makes its rugs in India using experienced artisans. Many of the rugs are handmade, though some are power-loomed (machine-made). Power-loomed rugs tend to be a little less durable than the best quality handmade rugs but are generally less expensive; you get what you pay for when it comes to rugs.

If you’re not a fan of the ridged pattern of the jute rug, or are looking for a slightly thinner jute rug, Safavieh sells other natural fiber rugs. For instance, it offers various sizes of a jute rug in a traditional woven pattern (View on Amazon) and in a basket weave pattern with fabric edging (View on Amazon).

Skip the seagrass rugs

Safavieh’s Natural Fiber Herringbone Seagrass Rug (View on Amazon) also looks eco-friendly at first glance but isn’t as good an option as the all-jute rugs. The Safavieh Seagrass rugs feature a border made with cotton that is not certified organic and have a polypropylene backing.

However, the rugs:

  • Are made with sustainably-harvested seagrass,
  • Offer a neutral color palette
  • Have a much lower pile height than the chunky or flatweave jute rugs
  • Are easier use under furniture
  • Are power-loomed to ensure a tight weave. 

While these rugs are also available in several colors, Safavieh is not transparent about the kinds of dyes they use. As such, opt for the natural fiber rugs which are undyed. In general, then, check the specifics for each and every rug in the Safavieh Natural Fiber Collection.

Looking for more rug options? Check out our roundup of eco-friendly and sustainable rugs here.

Vs. the competition

With so many natural fiber and jute rugs available, why Safavieh?

This company is far from perfect but is strides ahead of most competition. We favor West Elm’s Jute Boucle Rug in this category, for reasons explained below. However, unlike almost every other company selling jute rugs, Safavieh is certified by the Sustainable Furnishings Council as having demonstrated at least some commitment to environmentally sound manufacturing and ethical labor practices. We’d like to see more, but its steps in this direction are positive and important. 

Now for the negatives:

Safavieh’s marketing around this rug states that it is both handmade and power-loomed, which is confusing. If it is handmade, you could expect it to last up to 20 years with proper care. For a power-loomed rug, a lifespan of around 10 years is more likely.

If you have the budget, go for the West Elm Jute Boucle Rug, which is handmade to Nest standards and likely to last longer and perform better.

Aside from West Elm, and perhaps a handful of one-off jute and seagrass rugs, Safavieh offers your best bet for eco-friendly natural fiber rugs. West Elm’s Sunbeam Jute Rug is another decent option, but this rug is not reversible as it features a cotton backing (which also means it gathers more dust). These rugs are also more expensive but do offer that slight pop of color if a single fiber rug isn’t to your taste.

Final thoughts

Safavieh Jute rugs are a great option if you’re looking for a chunkier rug with a richer hue, but the West Elm Jute Boucle Rug is the winner in this category.

If you’re looking for a paler, more uniform color and intend to use the rug in a high-traffic area, the seagrass rugs from Safavieh are a good option (View on Amazon). However, the Safavieh Seagrass rugs are less eco-friendly overall. VivaTerra also offer seagrass rugs which, like West Elm, are not backed by any eco-certifications but do appear to use eco-friendly materials.

Staff Tested

Safavieh Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug

Highlights: Incredibly hardwearing, attractive, huge area rug. Made with natural jute fibers and nothing else! Great for pets and older kids as it hides stains well.

Overall Score
Durability Score
Toxicity Score
Sustainability Score
User Experience Score
Transparency Score

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