Shopping Guide – Carpeting, Furniture, Mattresses & Baby

It is important to choose the products we use in our home carefully.  To learn more about why we need to choose only natural fiber, natural fabric, and natural foam or foam alternatives, read these posts:

Which fibers are safe?  — the true fibers of nature, listed below.

  • cotton
  • linen
  • wool
  • hemp
  • linen (from flax)
  • stinging nettle
  • Latex is a natural foam that can be sought as an alternative to synthetic foam. It is essentially rubber sap, which is extracted from rubber trees grown in tropical climates, mixed with sulfur and soap.  Buying organic is very important for latex.

***Note***
Bamboo, viscose, lyocell, and other biomass pulp fabrics are NOT true natural fibers!
These are toxic!

(You can also search for PFAS-free products, by visiting a list maintained by The Green Science Policy Institute: PFASCentral.org).

Baby Products

Be aware that baby carriers and car seats contain synthetic toxic fabric, which is covering toxic foam.

Blankets

  • Coyuchi
  • The Company Store also offers some organic basic bed items, such as down comforters, down pillows, etc.  They also have organic sheets, but the colors are less beautiful and the design choices are less beautiful in general than Coyuchi or even Target sometimes, depending.
  • MacAusland Mills in Canada sells wool blankets that are 106 x 72″. they don’t super wash their wool blankets (superwashing can include the use of chlorine, acid baths, and polymers).  I don’t know about the safety of the dyes used.  There are some undyed blankets.
  • Organic Lamb.  They don’t super wash their wool: https://www.organiclamb.com/classic-organic-wool-blankets/
  • Cotton throw blankets on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/listing/655861855/soft-organic-cotton-knit-throw-blanket

Throw Pillows

Throw pillows

Bed pillows

Travel pillows

Carpeting

Carpets release hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) over the entire course of its entire lifetime.  During the first 90 – 120 days after installing new carpeting, you’ll smell the big aromas coming from the carpet — a lot of that are the chemicals that the product absorbs during the manufacturing and shipping process, however, Andrew Pace of The Green Design Center has tested carpeting 25 years old and found that it is off gassing more than 400 parts per billion of formaldehyde!   A study done years ago by scientist Dr. Roselyn Anderson found that carpet more than 20 years old was still toxic enough to kill laboratory rats.

Carpet & Area Rugs

Throw Rugs

Hook and Loom

Curtains

Coming soon…

Furniture

In addition to the dangers of toxic fabric/upholstery and toxic foam (cushioning and shaping), there are toxins in the wood framing emitting HAPs.

  • Plywood, MDF, particle board.  These products are held together with adhesives that contain urea formaldehyde and other chemicals.  Some of the new wood-substitute products are free of this, although they replace it with phenol formaldehyde, which is another version.  The phenol is 50-100 times less likely to become air-borne, so it is safer, but it is still toxic.
  • Wood Glues – even the water-based ‘non-toxic’ glues have 100-200 times the legal limit of formaldehyde.
  • Finishes/stains used by comericla furniture makers continue to offgass toxins for 4 years after it reaches a full cure.  there are a lot of safe finishes on the market.

Products/Brands

Additional things to consider

Keep dust down by buying cushions with removable covers.  If the cushions are filled with wool, the wool can also be washed once a year or every couple years.  To wash, place a heap of wool in a tub with boiling hot water, and agitate the water for three minutes.  Drain the tub, or lift the wool out of the water and place in the washing machine on spin cycle and then set aside until fully dry.  Modern cloth furniture with foam interiors are a repository of filth and fumes and a constant source of infectious dust.

Do we really want couches and chairs?  Some cultures squat or sit on the ground — then children could maintain their flexibility into their old age…but for those of us already lost, it would be hard to go without chairs.  I have a friend who got rid of all chairs in her house and her children are extremely healthy for it!  I don’t know how she and her husband deal with it though!  Pretty awesome when people actually try something radical!

Mattress

Read my mattress guide here.

Sheets

Make sure you check the fiber content before purchasing.  Whereas Coyuchi uses 100% natural fiber substances, Target and The Company Store offer both synthetic as well as natural fiber textiles.  Remember to avoid fabrics that SOUND natural, but are absolutely not, including bamboo and viscose, lyocell, etc.

  • Target
  • Solorganix
  • Coyuchi
  • The Company Store also offers some organic basic bed items, such as down comforters, down pillows, etc.  They also have organic sheets, but the colors are less beautiful and the design choices are less beautiful in general than Coyuchi or even Target sometimes, depending.
  • American Blossom Linens
  • Soft Morrow Goods
  • Parachute Home