Whether you have a microapartment or a sprawling mansion, your living space has a huge impact on your health and happiness. Conventionally built furniture is often riddled with toxic chemicals, from flame retardants to finishes, linked to a variety of serious health risks. If you’re looking to keep your indoor air clean and your carbon footprint low, you’ll want to choose eco-friendly, non-toxic furniture and textiles.
To help you make healthier and more sustainable choices for your home, we track down the most eco-friendly, non-toxic couches, carpets, and more. Hey, we’ve even dug into the details of green home construction, just in case you want to design and build an eco-friendly home from scratch (or get a reputable company to do it for you!).
To get you started, here are our staff picks for a clean, green, and stylishly sustainably living space.
Mandala Homes Prefabricated Eco-Home
For me, Mandala Homes are the eco-prefab builder of choice. This small, hands-on company have a strong reputation for offering patient, insightful advice in all stages of home-building. And boy do they build beautiful homes. Mandala Homes designs range from small cottages to multi-level homes and commercial buildings.
Mandala Homes are based in British Columbia, Canada, and they are my top choice for anyone looking to build a prefabricated eco-home in North America. These timber frame homes have a unique open plan circular design that makes them spacious and welcoming, comfortable and cozy. And if you have land with a view, they maximize that view in style.
As for green credentials, Mandala Homes are a Built Green partner and use sustainable, responsible building practices to create healthy, durable, cost efficient and stunning homes with a lower environmental impact. These energy efficient homes have incredible acoustics, and are inherently strong and stable, making a Mandala Homes prefab home a great choice for areas with heavy snowfall or hurricanes.
Mandala Homes also make it easy to add in off-grid niceties like solar hot water and photovoltaic arrays, and designs can be Net Zero ready and adhere to LEED standards.
Prices range from $109,000-$679,000 (CAD) for a two bedroom to four bedroom home. All Mandala Homes design packages include one on one interaction with your designer, green design consultation, budget guidance, detailed assembly manual and technical support, contractor guidance and education, and lifetime technical support.
Mandala Homes have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and have been voted Top 5 for Best Workplace in the Small Business BC Awards. They have designed, prefabricated, and shipped whole homes all the way to Hawaii! So, if you’re ready to build your dream eco-home, check out Mandala Homes.
Earth Weave Catskill Carpet Collection
Carpets can be some of the most toxic things in our homes, and yet we regularly stomp about on them, kicking up harmful dust we then breathe in. And if you have a baby, kids, or pets that lay around on your carpet, well, imagine how much toxic dust they’re breathing in.
Thankfully, Earth Weave make super-soft, luxurious, eco-friendly carpets that are zero-VOC, and free from formaldehyde, insect repellents, mildewcides, fungicides, toxic dyes or PBDEs (flame retardants).
These high-end carpets are made with 100 percent wool, cotton, hemp, natural rubber, and jute (in some designs). They easily get a 5/5 Leaf Score rating, are made in the USA, and are available in six earth tone colors using natural dyes.
Perfect for the chemically sensitive and anyone concerned about indoor air pollution, the Earth Weave Catskill carpet collection is eco-friendly, made from completely renewable resources and 100 percent biodegradable. Naturally fire-resistant, these carpets trap allergens, dust, and air contaminants, and insulate and absorb sound. They’re also super cozy and can even help your home qualify for LEED certification!
Safavieh Hand Woven Jute Area Rug
I bought this sustainable, eco-friendly all-natural jute rug almost two years ago and am about to buy a second because I love it so much. Made in Indian from jute (and nothing else!), the Safavieh Jute Rug is sustainable and biodegradable and 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.
I bought the 8’ rug for my living room, but rugs range in size from a small 2’ rug perfect for the front entrance or kitchen sink, to a much larger rug measuring up to 15’ across – perfect for creating an eco-home living room aesthetic.
Whether you’re shooting for a contemporary, casual, farmhouse, coastal, or bohemian look, this jute rug fits the bill and is both reversible and borderless. Each rug is made in traditional woven or flatweave patterns and are seemingly handmade (which makes them a bit more durable than power-loomed rugs).
My jute rug has held up extremely well to high traffic and the daily antics of my exuberant dog, who loves the chunky texture. This rug’s natural variegated color is also quite forgiving if spills and other accidents occur. If you’re looking for a flatter weave rug, consider this jute rug in a traditional woven pattern (View on Amazon) or this basket weave pattern (View on Amazon) with fabric edging.
One top tip after a couple of years of owning this jute rug: use a rug pad and vacuum the rug before you lay it down and regularly thereafter. As this rug is made with natural fibers, there’s quite a bit of residual dust and dirt, so roll it up and vacuum underneath and consider taking it outside for a good beating if you can.
Safavieh’s Natural Collection also includes rugs made with sisal and seagrass, but I’m not convinced by their eco-credentials as some contain conventionally grown cotton, are dyed, and have synthetic backings. As such, I only recommend the Safavieh Chunky Hand-Woven Natural Fiber Jute Rug.
Savvy Rest Verona Couch
My goodness is it ever hard to find a genuinely non-toxic, eco-friendly couch! I spent hours (sitting on my couch) trawling through product data sheets and descriptions, wading through greenwashing, hoping for the best and then having my hopes dashed at the mention of foam and polyester.
But, dear reader, I finally did it. I found a couch that is genuinely sustainable, free from chemical flame retardants, petroleum-based foam-free, and uses organic materials to boot. So, if you’re sitting comfortably… check out Savvy Rest’s Verona.
If you’re regular readers at Leaf Score, you’ll recognize Savvy Rest as being one of my favorite companies for mattresses, pillows, comforters, and sheets. It turns out that they also make seriously cool couches, loveseats, and armchairs!
Working out of their Central Virginia factory, Savvy Rest skip the synthetic foam and use Cradle to Cradle GOLD-certified natural Talalay latex foam, sustainably sourced maple hardwood, organic wool batting (which is a natural flame retardant), and certified organic textiles made from hemp, cotton, and a blend of the two. They even use zero-VOC linseed oil and other non-toxic wood finishes, as well as natural coir (coconut fiber with natural latex), and jute webbing.
Things you won’t find in a Savvy Rest couch include glues, stains, and particle board, veneer, or plywood containing formaldehyde, polyester, polypropylene, polyurethane, or feathers and down.
Savvy Rest’s eco-friendly Verona armchairs, couches and loveseats are available with arm heights of 30 inches and 23 inches. You can also choose between a softer or firmer cushion layer or a softer shredded latex layer. And, to make sure you get the color you want, you can order a complete set of organic fabric swatches in advance.
Prices for a couch range from $3,499-$4,099 for a couch (or $3,799 with white glove delivery and set-up), depending on your choice of organic fabric cover.
LG- LW1019IVSM Air Conditioner
Proper air conditioning is more than just a luxury for many homes during the hot and humid summer months. In some places, A/C may be the only way to survive the heat. Now, I’m all for finding creative ways to reduce reliance on A/C, but sometimes your home needs a little extra help. Step forward LG, my top pick for a home air-conditioning unit for almost every size of apartment or home.
LG make incredibly energy efficient and high performing A/Cs that far outstrip those of their nearest competitors. They also use the slightly more eco-friendly R32 coolant in most of their models. Several models achieve an exemplary Energy Efficiency Rating of 14 or more, and LG is also a well-respected, national brand sold by independent and regional appliance retail outlets.
For a mid-powered window unit that will meet the needs of a small home or mid-sized apartment, the LG-LW1019IVSM is just the ticket. This model has a variable speed compressor, annual energy use of 516.3 kWh/yr, a CEER rating of 13.8 and an output of 9,500 BTUs. If these numbers mean nothing to you, check out my guide on how to choose the right A/C for your home.
Put simply, the LG LW1019IVSM (which is new to the market this year) is more energy efficient than comparable single speed compressor units and actually exceeds the Federal Standard by 26.61%. It has smart connectivity, so you can control the A/C using remote, wi-fi, a smartphone app., and through Alexa and Google Assistant. This is ideal for when you’re heading home from work and want to avoid walking into a roasting hot and sticky apartment (but don’t want to leave the A/C on all day, just in case it’s a scorcher).