Safavieh’s Natural Fiber Collection offers rugs made with sustainable and biodegradable jute, sisal, and seagrass in a variety of sizes and styles. Rugs range from small 2’ rugs to larger area rugs measuring up to 15’ across. Each rug is made in traditional woven or flatweave patterns, with some handmade and some power-loomed.
When I moved into a new rental suite nearly five years ago, the living space cried 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.
Here’s my experience with the rug and some info on the company.
The long and short of it, though, is that I highly recommend the jute rug from Safavieh, though the rest of the company’s collection leaves a bit to be desired.
Table of Contents
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, though it’s hard to clean and drops quite a bit of dirt/dust from the fibers for the first few weeks.
- 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
- 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
Safavieh Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug at a glance
Country of manufacture: India
Certifications: Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC)
Size: 9 foot by 6 foot (reviewed), also available in dozens of sizes included runners, rectangles, squares, and circular rugs
Pile height: 0.75 inches
My experience with the Safavieh Chunky Jute Rug
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, adding a little insulation to the floor and generally making 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!)
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 very young infants, especially if they’re learning to crawl. For older kids, though, it’s a great option as it wears well and is forgiving if you find it hard to vacuum more than once a week or so. However, I wouldn’t recommend this rug for anyone with allergies as it can trap dust more than smoother rugs that are easier to vacuum.
This chunky jute rug is Amazon’s Choice for natural fiber rugs and is durable, sustainable, reversible and borderless. It keeps its shape really well and doesn’t slip or slide like cotton rugs. The neutral color and style is also very versatile, which it 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, and it will last for 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!
What I don’t like about the Safavieh jute rug
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).
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 suitable for a wide variety of design styles, have a much lower pile height than the chunky or flatweave jute rugs, allowing for easier use under furniture and in other locations, and are power-loomed to ensure a tight weave, which also makes them more durable for high-traffic areas.
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? Check out our roundup of eco-friendly and sustainable rugs here.
Safavieh vs. West Elm vs. VivaTerra
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 are 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 their 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. As such, 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 much smaller, hard to track-down, one of a kind 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.
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 as they feature cotton edging and a synthetic polypropylene backing. VivaTerra also offer seagrass rugs which, like West Elm, are not backed by any eco-certifications but do appear to be eco-friendly in construction.