Our Rating: 4/5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
- Rug has an attractive texture courtesy of thick, sustainable, and durable jute fibers
- Reversible and borderless for a clean aesthetic look
- Works well for a variety of décor styles including contemporary, casual, farmhouse, coastal, and bohemian
|Country of Origin:||India|
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.
From this collection, we recommend only the Safavieh Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug (View on Amazon). This is Amazon’s Choice for natural fiber rugs and has an attractive texture courtesy of thick, sustainable, and durable jute fibers. This rug is reversible and borderless for a clean aesthetic look and works well for a variety of décor styles including contemporary, casual, farmhouse, coastal, and bohemian. They appear to be handmade by artisans in India, although some Safavieh listings also state that these rugs 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.
As these rugs are made with natural jute fibers, they can feel a bit rough and knobbly to some and may be deemed too uncomfortable to walk, stand, or lie on. For others (myself included), these rugs are quite comfortable and even offer something akin to a free foot massage.
Some customers have noted that these rugs do not stand up well to high-traffic areas, dog antics, and the rough and tumble of children playing. In the few months I’ve had it, I’ve found the chunky jute rug to be robust against all of these. The variegated fiber color is also rather forgiving against any lingering stains after spot cleaning. The chunky texture does make this rug hard to clean, though.
This is a natural rug, so it’s a good idea to unroll it outside and give it a light vacuum to remove any residual dust and dirt in fibers before putting it in place. I didn’t do this and have had no issues with dirt, but some reviewers have noticed dust and dirt settling under the rug after a week or so. It’s a good idea to use a rug pad underneath this rug to avoid slippage, protect floors from scratches from the fibers, and to catch any dust and dirt.
If you’re not a fan of the ridged pattern of this rug, or are looking for a slightly thinner jute rug, Safavieh also have a number of other designs including this jute rug in a traditional woven pattern (available in a variety of sizes) (View on Amazon). They also have a variety of sizes available 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 a variety of 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.
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 own 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 offer 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.