Sofas, Chairs, and Ottomans

Sofas, chairs, and ottomans frequently contain chemical fire retardants, particularly if the cushion is made of polyurethane foam.[1] As these chemicals leach out into the environment and into your body, your overall risk for diabetes, neurodevelopmental problems, and cancer increases.[2] Fortunately, several companies have begun offering furniture that is either less toxic than traditional furniture or completely non-toxic. Some also select materials that are certified organic (e.g., pesticide-free cotton) and sustainably grown, such as wood from forests certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. The downside is that green furniture options currently tend to be more expensive than toxic furniture. If the prices at non-toxic furniture stores are beyond your budget, we recommend IKEA as a low-cost, less-toxic alternative. IKEA was one of the few mainstream furniture companies to voluntarily phase out a common chemical fire retardant, chlorinated tris, in 2010, and later removed all chemical fire retardants in 2015.

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Best Option: EKLA HOME

In addition to omitting chemical flame retardants from their products, EKLA’s choice of materials demonstrates a strong commitment to protecting human health and environmental welfare. The only downside is that EKLA’s products are among the most expensive that we reviewed.

EKLA Materials Overview

  • FSC Certified Poplar for sofa frames, reclaimed wood, and US grown FSC hardwoods for furniture.
  • Certified Organic Natural Latex for Seat Cushions.
  • Eco® Wool grown and milled in the United States
  • Certified Organic cotton grown and milled in the United States
  • Wood Stains containing zero and low Volatile Organic Compounds for commercial products and are made in the United States
  • Non Toxic Water Based Greenguard Certified Simalfa Adhesive made in the United States
  • Oeko Tex Certified Organic Cottons milled in the United States
  • Recyled Steel Springs made in the United States
  • Recycled Steel Staples made in the United States[3]

 

Other Sustainable, Non-toxic Furniture Options

 

Low-Cost, Sustainable, Non-toxic Furniture: IKEA

IKEA continues to make progress towards a fully sustainable business model. When purchasing sofas, chairs, and ottomans at IKEA, consider selecting furniture with a fabric rather than plastic cover.