As you furnish a new space, or just invest in a new piece or two, you may be looking for non-toxic furniture brands to ensure clean indoor air and a safe environment for yourself and/or your loved ones.
Building materials and furnishings are one of the major causes of indoor air pollution, according to the EPA.
What is Non-Toxic Furniture?
If you’re here, searching for non toxic furniture, you’re probably somewhat familiar with the fact that most furniture contains either proven or potentially harmful chemicals and you’re looking for a better way. But what exactly is a better way?
Well, there’s actually quite a bit to consider, so here’s a quick list. (Scroll to the bottom for more details.)
- No Flame Retardants
- No Formaldehyde (Many, though not all, composite woods that use adhesives contain formaldehyde. Some terms to look out for are plywood, particle board, engineered wood, or MDF.)
- Free of Toxic Water Repellents or Stain Guards (These commonly contain Perfluorochemicals, otherwise known as PFCs)
- No PVC / Vinyl (Common in fake leather or “vegan leather” fabrics)
- Zero VOC finishes (Or low-VOC as a secondary option)
- Uses Natural & Organic Materials (such as Dunlop latex instead of polyurethane foam, organic cotton, hemp, and linen instead of synthetic fabrics, and responsibly-sourced solid wood)
- Non-Toxic Certifications (such as GREENGUARD Gold)
Is All Eco-Friendly Furniture Non-Toxic?
A lot of eco-friendly furniture is also non-toxic, but that isn’t always the case.
Some furniture brands advertise their products as eco-friendly because they use engineered wood or particleboard made from repurposed sawmill or other wood waste. But, in many cases (though not all), the adhesives used in engineered wood can be toxic, off-gassing formaldehyde.
It’s also worth noting that engineered wood containing formaldehyde is actually not so eco-friendly, even if it’s making use of waste, as it’s polluting the environment and harming human health.
Is Secondhand Furniture Non-Toxic?
Secondhand shopping is a great avenue for finding sustainable furniture affordably, and I’m a HUGE fan of purchasing pre-loved.
While used furniture isn’t necessarily non-toxic (unless you find used furniture from a brand using natural and organic materials) products do off-gas over time, and so depending on how old the furniture is, you are likely going to be exposed to fewer toxic chemicals than if buying that same piece of furniture new. Just be sure to find furniture that has come from a smoke-free home (and pet-free, if you have allergies/sensitivities).[Related: Tips for shopping secondhand furniture & home goods]
Similarly, not all non-toxic furniture is eco-friendly. For instance, a brand might use natural materials that are irresponsibly sourced, such as harvesting wood from ancient or old growth forests. This guide, though, features brands that sell non-toxic and eco-friendly furniture.
Where to Find Non-Toxic Furniture
These brands are leading the way when it comes to safe, organic, and non-toxic bedroom furniture, living room furniture, dining room furniture, and office furniture.
The price ranges of these brands vary, so you’ll find something that matches your needs — you’ll find everything from heirloom-quality premium furniture to affordable non-toxic furniture. Browse through this guide for some highlights and visit each brand’s website for further details.[This guide contains affiliate links. As always, all brands meet strict criteria for sustainability and are brands we love, that we think you’ll love too!]
1. Savvy Rest
A leader in organic and natural furniture, Savvy Rest is a certified B-Corporation with living room and bedroom furniture made from sustainably-sourced, safe-for-you materials.
Savvy Rest uses only responsibly and regionally-sourced solid wood and zero-VOC stains (or unfinished) for all of their pieces. Additionally, their upholstered furniture is crafted using certified organic cotton and hemp fabrics, as well as Eco Institut certified Dunlop and Talalay latex.
Use code CONSCIOUSSTYLE20 for 20% off!
Categories: Platform Beds, Sofas & Chairs, Tables & Benches
Shipping: Ships within continental U.S.; Contact for shipping quotes for elsewhere
Another exciting brand in the world of non-toxic furniture is Avocado. This B-Corporation creates wooden furniture using either 100% solid FSC-certified maple hardwood, solid walnut, or 100% reclaimed solid Douglas fir. The furniture is completed using zero-VOC finishes and safe fumeless wood glue — all of which are made in the United States.
Avocado also offers several certified non-toxic furniture pieces that have been GREENGUARD Gold certified for low emissions and Formaldehyde Free certified by UL Environment. And, each piece of furniture is made in Avocado’s own FSC-certified LA woodshop.
Categories: Bed Frames, Dressers, Side Tables & Nightstands, Benches
Shipping: Ships furniture within the contiguous U.S. only
As the name suggests, this furniture brand sells futons and futon frames, but they also offer other natural furniture, like side & coffee tables as well as non-toxic couches & sectionals.
The Futon Shop has Amish furniture handmade from solid wood (maple, walnut, oak, or cherry) that was harvested from sustainably managed forests and hand-rubbed with a no-VOC natural linseed oil finish. Each piece is handcrafted by Amish craftspeople in Pennsylvania with care, to ensure your piece lasts a lifetime.
Categories: Bed & Futon Frames, Dressers, Sofas & Sectionals, Side Tables & Coffee Tables
Shipping: Shipping available within contiguous U.S.; custom quotes for shipping elsewhere; offers free in-store pickup
Made-to-order from quality materials in LA, Medley’s non-toxic furniture for the bedroom, living room, dining room, and office is sturdy and sustainably made.
Medley’s furniture frames are made with FSC-certified domestically-sourced alder hardwood and their tables are crafted from FSC-certified solid walnut and maple.*
And the brand offers a few natural fabric options including hemp and OEKO-TEX 100-certified wool. For cushions, choose between organic Dunlop latex (non-toxic option) or CertiPUR-US®-certified poly foam.
Categories: Sofas & Chairs, Bed Frames, Nightstands, Storage, Dining Tables & Chairs, Benches & Desks
Shipping: Ships from the U.S.; Contact Medley for a quote if shipping outside of the U.S.
*(Note: some parts of Medley’s storage pieces are made using plywood. It is low-VOC CARB 2 compliant, but not 100% non-toxic.)
5. Green Cradle
Green Cradle crafts 100% solid wood, non-toxic dressers, storage furniture, and cribs in the United States.
The company sources local, sustainably-sourced woods, including maple, red oak, hard maple, cherry, and walnut and they use a zero-VOC finish (flaxseed/linseed oil) for all of their furniture. This oil is free of synthetic preservatives, heavy metals, carcinogens, polyurethanes, and other toxic chemicals.
And, as one of the only brands on this list with non-toxic cribs, Green Cradle is the place to go if you’re furnishing your little one’s nursery.
Categories: Dressers, Chests & Armoires, Bookcases, Nightstands, Cribs
Shipping: Ships within the U.S. and to Canada
Founded by a husband-and-wife / woodworker-and-conservationist team, Vermont Woods Studios is committed to creating exceptionally high quality and sustainable furniture.
Vermont Woods Studio sources responsibly-harvested North-American hardwoods (like walnut, maple, oak, cherry, and ash) for their non-toxic bedroom, dining room, living room, and office furniture. The company also uses low-to-no VOC finishes, such as a GREENGUARD certified lacquer finish, linseed oil, tung oil, and carnauba wax.
Each piece is expertly handcrafted to order in Vermont by local furniture craftsmen with the intention to last — Vermont Woods Studios’ furniture even comes with a lifetime warranty.
Categories: Beds, Storage, Side Tables & Coffee Tables, Dining Tables & Chairs, Desks & Bookcases
Shipping: Ships to all 50 U.S. states; international shipping has additional considerations
This affordable sustainable furniture company has a simple, yet sophisticated non-toxic sofa and other seating for your living space that is free of formaldehydes or toxic flame retardants.
Sabai uses FSC-certified wood for the furniture frames, domestically sourced maple for the legs, CertiPUR-US certified foam for the cushions, and recycled fiber fill for the pillows. For the upholstery fabric, customers can select between OEKO-TEX 100 Standard and Global Recycling Standard (GRS) certified recycled velvet or GREENGUARD Gold-certified upcycled poly.
Categories: Sofa & Sectional, Ottoman, Chair & Loveseat
Shipping: Free shipping within the U.S. only; shipments to HI & AK incur additional fees
8. Masaya & Co
Originally a reforestation project, Masaya & Co is not only committed to sustainable sourcing, but is actively restoring forests in Nicaragua by planting 100 trees for every product sold. To date, the company has planted nearly 1 million trees.
The heirloom-quality furniture is made from locally-sourced solid hardwood (teak, rosita walnut, and royal mahogany) and crafted in Nicaragua by skilled artisans. The hardwoods are dried in solar kilns on-site and each product is finished with a low-VOC natural oil or water-based poly finish.
Categories: Beds, Sofas & Chairs, Shelves & Storage, Dining Tables & Chairs, Side Tables & Benches, Outdoor Furniture
Shipping: Within the U.S. only
Carolina Morning’s minimalist modular furniture is not only eco-friendly, but “body friendly” too — in other words, their furniture helps you sit in an aligned, healthy position. And, I’d add that it’s travel- and small space-friendly as well, as many of the pieces (like their Floor Desk) are portable.
Depending on the piece, Carolina Morning uses materials like 100% organic cotton, kapok fiber (for cushions and pillows), wool, and regionally-harvested Appalachian poplar wood. And, the brand uses a non-toxic whey-based finish for the wooden furniture.
Categories: Work Station/Desk, Coffee Table, Couch & Seating
Shipping: Ships within the U.S. at specified rates; international shipping rates are calculated at checkout
10. Haiku Designs
As part of their commitment to ecological responsibility, Haiku Design offers several collections of eco-minded and non-toxic furniture made from materials like FSC-certified wood and bamboo hardwood.
In terms of non-toxic furniture, Haiku Design has a line of American-made furniture that meets the GREENGUARD furniture emission standard and many pieces of furniture that achieved Europe’s E-I rating for furniture manufacturing, which means there is little off-gassing of toxic fumes.
Tip: look for the products with the green “eco” leaf on them
Categories: Beds, Dressers & Chests, Nightstands, Sofas & Couches, Coffee Tables, TV Stands & Entertainment Centers, Dining Tables & Chairs, Sideboards & Buffets
Shipping: Free shipping within contiguous U.S.; also ships to AK, HI, and Canada
When it comes to your bedroom, you want your indoor air quality to be as healthy as possible. And My Green Mattress has a non-toxic bed frame to meet those needs.
The mattress brand has a simple and affordable eco-friendly bed frame made from untreated domestically-grown Poplar wood — in other words, it’s free from wood stains, adhesives, or any other toxic chemicals.
Categories: Bed Frame
Shipping: Ships within U.S. and Canada
VivaTerra is a green lifestyle retailer that has a selection of eco-minded and non-toxic furniture and home decor.
You’ll find elegant pieces made from materials like sustainably-sourced solid wood, 100% reclaimed wood, flax linen fabric, seagrass rope, rattan, and sturdy metal. Much of the furniture is also expertly made by skilled furniture artisans.
Categories: Sofas & Sectionals, Chairs & Seating, Benches & Stools, Cabinets & Chests, Desks, Shelves, Dining Tables & Charis
Shipping: Ships within the U.S.
More Information on Non-Toxic Furniture
Further details on what to look for when shopping for non-toxic furniture for your space.
No Flame Retardants
There are hundreds of different types of flame retardants. Evidence shows that flame retardants are associated with harmful health impacts, such as reproductive toxicity, cancer, neurological function, impacts to the immune system, and adverse effects on fetal and child development.
Once commonplace to meet California’s fire safety standard, fire retardants are now banned by the state at certain concentrations and in certain products — and a growing number of states are also taking action against them to some extent.
So furniture without flame retardants should be considered a very baseline measure.
As one of the 25 most abundantly produced chemicals in the world, exposure to formaldehyde is a common concern in furniture as well as a number of other consumer products.
The health impacts of formaldehyde exposure include:
- “Corrosive injury to the gastrointestinal tract”,
- Irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract
- Malaise, headache, irritability, memory and dexterity issues, sleeping disturbances
- Can cause skin disorders and asthma-like symptoms in those who’ve been previously sensitized
- And formaldehyde has been determined to be a probable human carcinogen
And as the EPA states, the primary way you’d be exposed to formaldehyde is by “breathing air containing off-gassed formaldehyde”, often the formaldehyde that has “off-gassed from products, including composite wood products”.
No Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)
If you’re familiar with the DuPont scandal, you’re familiar with PFCs. While typically associated with non-stick cookware, PFCs are also used to repel oil and water on a number of other types of products, including textiles like upholstered furniture.
Why are PFCs a problem? Well they’re persistent not only on products, but in the environment and in people and animals. PFCs can be released directly from manufacturing facilities into the air and water or they can be released from any products you have at home containing PFCs and into your indoor air.
Exposure to PFCs has been associated with several adverse health effects including cancer, liver toxicity, hormone disruption, developmental toxicity, and harm to the immune system.
No PVC (Vinyl)
Many fake leathers (which sometimes come with the euphemism “vegan leather”) are made from PVC. PVC is known as the most toxic and environmentally damaging plastic.
The chemical used to make PVC, vinyl chloride, is a known carcinogen, linked to increased risks of several types of cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Low VOC or Zero VOC Finishes
VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds, include a wide group of chemicals. Examples include: benzene, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, and xylene.
While each chemical will have different levels of toxicity and may cause different health impacts, VOCs have been connected to many health issues, including damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system; headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea; and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Some VOCs are even suspected or known carcinogens.
In an ideal world, you would be able to find furniture that is completely free of VOCs.
A common zero VOC finish is linseed oil, or flaxseed oil. This natural finish is food safe and free of harmful chemical solvents, heavy metals, or other toxic ingredients.
That said, budgetary limits, aesthetic preferences, and other values (such as local, ethically-made, etc.) are factors.
So, finding low-VOC furniture can also be a good option, especially if you’re able to off-gas it outdoors or in your garage for a few months before bringing it into your home.
Organic & Natural Materials
This is an obvious one! Preferable materials include organic cotton, hemp, linen, sustainably and locally sourced wool, responsibly-harvested wood (ideally locally sourced and native to the region), and Dunlop latex.
Some certifications to know are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), and OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
Other Non-Toxic Certifications
One common certification is the GREENGUARD certification, which are products that have been “scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous third-party chemical emissions standards”.
The GREENGUARD Gold certification is the next level. It includes criteria for additional chemicals and requires lower total VOC emissions. It limits the emissions of over 360 VOCs and chemical emissions.
Your Non-Toxic Lifestyle Journey
There is a lot to consider when shopping for non-toxic furniture! Hopefully, this breakdown of elements and red flags to look out for was useful and this list of non-toxic furniture brands gave you a good starting point in your research.
Keep in mind that the journey to green living or non-toxic living is just that — a journey. So, don’t stress if you can’t convert 100% of your home to non-toxic decor and furnishings right away.
Less toxic furniture is still better than conventional super toxic furniture. And implementing air filters or just keeping your windows open each day for an hour can also do wonders. Don’t feel pressured into perfection. Take it slow and do what you can, based on your time and budgetary constraints.
You’re doing great — thank you for caring so much about your health, your loved one’s health, and the health of our shared environment.
Note: This curation is based upon publicly available information and while we do our due diligence, Conscious Life & Style cannot guarantee the claims of the companies featured. See our Website Disclaimer for more.