Comprehensive Guide to Eco-friendly Furniture

Eco-friendly Furniture
Photo by Toa Heftiba

Eco-friendly furniture doesn’t have to mean boring or utilitarian items. A wide range of options is available for someone interested in green living. There’s something special about finding a beautiful chair or table that turns a house into a home.

Like many other products, furniture can be on your eco checklist and be sustainable too. Sustainability encompasses more than the raw materials from which products are made.

This means observing how and where these materials are purchased and processed, by whom, and under what conditions. It also involves thinking about the subsequent use of the product, its durability, and its disposal at the end of its life.

As such, the best sustainable furniture brands might not be the ones screaming the loudest about GreenGuard Gold certification, although that may certainly help!

While most traditional furniture is loaded with flame retardants and volatile organic compounds, that’s certainly not the case with the affordable, sustainable furniture in the catalogs of the best eco-friendly furniture brands.

Whatever your style and decorative preferences, the affordable, ethical, and non-toxic options are almost endless.

Whether you need sustainable furniture for your living room, bedroom, dining room, kitchen, or patio, or if it’s a complete home renovation or a simple update to a room, these ethically eco-friendly furniture companies are here for you to consciously furnish your space and transform your home into a calming oasis.

Looking for the best eco-friendly furniture brands ready to furnish your home with sustainable furniture for every budget? Below, we’ve rounded up the best environmentally friendly furniture companies with safe, non-toxic wood and bamboo options.

From accent chairs and rustic sofas to handcrafted recliners and beds, check out the best sustainable furniture companies ahead.

PS- Don’t forget second-hand furniture is another excellent sustainable option. You can use the list below to research those used brands/products first.

What is Sustainable Furniture?

Before we delve into eco-friendly furniture brands, let’s clearly understand what sustainable furniture really is.

Sustainable furniture, also known as eco-friendly furniture, is furniture made from sustainable materials, using sustainable production processes in a way that has a minimal negative impact on the environment. 

This means that when wood is used, for example, it comes from renewable sources, and the chemicals used in the process do not pollute or harm the environment.

Additionally, minimal resources are used, including keeping transportation and mileage as low as feasible.

Eco-friendly furniture can also be used to describe furniture made from recycled items. This is green living at its best!

Furniture made from recycled materials is the best eco-friendly combination for creating something new and exciting from discarded and unused items.

This keeps waste out of landfills and reduces the need to burn valuable energy to create something from virgin resources. Ideal materials that can be recycled into furniture are railway sleepers, wood cladding, floorboards, etc.

When we talk about eco-friendly furniture, I want to emphasize that the most sustainable way is to buy used furniture, do not ignore it.

You can often find great items in garage sales, salvage yards, thrift stores, or online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or eBay.

There’s so much beautiful furniture that’s been thrown away, and by buying it, we’re keeping it out of the landfill. They are, again, exceptionally environmentally friendly, with the added bonus that they are often inexpensive and unique.

Why is Sustainability Important for Furniture?

In addition to being incredibly resistant and durable, eco-friendly furniture has many other advantages.  When we choose recycled materials, we help reduce our carbon footprint.

In addition, traditional furniture contains many harmful chemicals (lame, water, and stain resistance), which release toxic gases into the air when they reach a specific temperature.

This process, which is known as off-gassing, can cause headaches, asthma, allergies, and serious illnesses.

So the next time you find yourself wondering, “Is the smell of new furniture dangerous?” the answer is yes. This is precisely where ethical and sustainable furniture made from natural, non-toxic materials really shines.

What to Pay Attention to in Eco-friendly Furniture

1. Finishes

Some brands cover their furniture with stains and finishes made with harmful chemicals and petroleum-based solvents. These products emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that can have serious health consequences. 

Common VOCs that can be found in some wood finishes include the known carcinogen benzene, and short-term exposure can cause nausea, skin and eye irritation, and even unconsciousness. Benzene has been reported to cause leukemia with prolonged exposure.

Also, avoid chemical textile finishes that protect against liquids, stains, and fire. They often contain hazardous substances that include toxic chemicals such as PFAS and chemical flame retardants.

Instead, look for non-toxic, no- or low- VOC products that don’t emit harmful gases. Also, be sure to stick to formaldehyde-free brands and products.

Formaldehyde is used in furniture adhesives and compressed wood, and high levels in the home can cause irritation of the eye and skin and other respiratory problems. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies formaldehyde as carcinogenic to humans.

2. Materials

Opt for materials that have a low impact on the environment. Raw materials must be renewable, recycled, or upcycled, including reclaimed, recycled, or biodegradable textiles. 

Some great options include bamboo, rattan, and FSC-certified wood with water-based finishes and organic oils.

Keep in mind that natural fibers are less likely than synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers to contain dyes and finishes that can cause allergic reactions and health problems. 

However, processing some natural materials can also create toxic pollution, so check production methods and look for third-party certifications.

3. Circularity

Make sure the design is timeless and the materials and construction are durable so your pieces can last a long time and be resold or donated instead of going to a landfill. 

Also, buy products that can be easily dissembled, repaired, and refurbished so that components can be replaced. Easy disassembly also means materials and parts can be recycled or upcycled.

4. Production Methods, Transparency, and Fair Labor

Consider the carbon footprint of production and try to buy locally to reduce the impact of transport. Some factories even run on renewable energy. 

Manufacturers can also minimize waste and pollution. As with anything you buy, check for fair labor practices to make sure workers are treated well.

Look for brands that prioritize transparency and third-party certifications, such as Fairtrade International and SA8000.

5. Made in the USA

Buying local or nationwide reduces your carbon footprint and the time you wait for your furniture to arrive. Several of the American furniture brands listed below create their products to strict environmental and labor standards. 

But keep in mind that being made in the USA doesn’t mean the product you purchase is 100% ethical. The United States ranks lower than many developed countries in terms of environmental protection and labor rights, although it ranks above major furniture manufacturers in China, Vietnam, and Mexico. 

If you’re not on a budget, consider UK or European brands where overall sustainability scores are highest, but you might want to consider carbon offsets for overseas shipments.

What to Avoid?

The best advice is to avoid cheap, toxic furniture made from plywood, laminate veneer, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and opt for a solid wood option that will stand up to the test of time. It will be easier to repair and, more durable, easier on your health and the environment. 

As an added bonus, buying good quality furniture that will last for many years, if not a lifetime, is much cheaper than replacing poor quality furniture every few years.

In general, it’s advisable to avoid furniture that has one of the three Ps:

  • Polyurethane foam
  • Plastic
  • Plywood.

It also means skipping chairs, sofas, and other vinyl or PVC upholstered items. In addition to the materials themselves, it is wise to know how they have been handled. This means all flame retardant chemicals, varnishes, dyes, stains, waxes, etc.

Many of them are highly toxic and harmful to the planet, and the people who produce them, use them and ultimately dispose of them.

The Better Materials for Durable, Non-Toxic Furniture

As it is just mentioned, solid wood is an excellent option for eco-friendly furniture. Sustainably sourced softwoods are suitable for rooms that don’t take a lot of impacts, like banging around, while hardwood is a good choice for furniture that can take some impact. 

Ideally, hardwood furniture will be made from reclaimed wood, given the time it takes for hardwood trees like beech, maple, and oak to grow and mature.

If you find rosewood, sapalee, ebony, Merbau, mahogany, and teak furniture, be sure to ask where the wood comes from, as it’s usually harvested unsustainably.

A Tip: You can Consider Unstained Furniture

It’s best to opt for unstained natural wood finishes. Then you can always opt for a stain with natural materials at home, and the advantage is that you can finish all your furniture with the same stain, so they all match!

Metals, including steel, wrought iron, and aluminum, are also good choices for eco-friendly furniture, as steel and iron are generally very strong and durable.

Steel and aluminum are also almost infinitely recyclable, meaning your old steel futon frame could become new furniture in the future. 

The metal is also much less likely to break, warp, or become misaligned through multiple movements requiring disassembly and reassembly. The metal also does not off-gas (unless painted with toxic things).

As for cushions and covers, wool, natural latex, and even kapok or recycled down are good options, as well as recycled steel springs and wooden slats.

Organic cotton, hemp, or linen covers works well when washable, and wool is an excellent material for an outer wrap that meets fire-resistance standards.

Certifications to Look for

There’s no shortage of sustainability certifications for eco-friendly furniture, though some represent little more than industry greenwashing. Those that should actually be looked for to mean something include:

  1. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  2. SCS Indoor Advantage Indoor Air Quality
  3. cradle to cradle (c2c)
  4. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
  5. Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS)
  6. Fair Trade
  7. B Corp
  8. ISO 9001.

Other minor but still essential certifications include:

  1. Greenguard Gold
  2. Oeko-Tex Standard 100 (or, better, Standard 1000).

The Best Eco-friendly Furniture Brands for a Safe and Sustainable Home

Sabai Design

Sabai is one of the best eco-friendly furniture companies, based in North Carolina and with a family-run factory where workers are paid a living wage.

This eco-conscious company produces luxury furniture, including sectionals and sofas, ottomans, loveseats, and chairs, using a variety of mostly sustainable materials.

What you might like about Sabai are its eco-friendly initiatives, including “Sabai Revive.” This program allows you to trade in your Sabai furniture or find a used piece that has been refurbished professionally, helping you save resources and money.

The company’s initiative of “Repair Don’t Replace” offers replacement parts, such as cushions, legs, and covers, to extend the life of your furniture.

Sabai also provides a buy-back guarantee and generous benefits, whether or not your second-hand furniture is sold on the Revive Marketplace.

You can order for free fabric swatches to ensure you get the color and coverage you want, and the furniture is fully customizable, with custom orders and delivery in 2-4 weeks. All furniture is tested to withstand ten years of regular use by a person weighing 275 pounds.

Sabai sources nearly all (90%) of its materials within 100 miles of production, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These materials such as upcycled polyester (an olefin, a by-product of oil refining) and recycled velvet fabric made from plastic bottles. 

The latter is certified recycled (Global Recycling Standard, GRS) and Oeko-Tex standard 100. Their synthetic fabrics naturally stain resistant and pet friendly and have not been treated as such. No furniture upholstery adhesive or retarder flame is used. 

Furniture frames are made of birch and pine plywood with FSC certification. The wooden legs are made of domestic maple and treated with low VOC paint.

Because each part is made with mechanical fasteners instead of glue, it allows for easy recycling at the end of its useful life.

The company customizes all orders and ships flat products in multiple packages, making shipping greener and easier to ship and assemble (which it says takes just 20 minutes!).

The company ships all orders over $100 for free in the United States and at low cost to Alaska and Hawaii, using 100% recycled shipping and 100% recycled cardboard boxes.


Originally a non-toxic mattress brand, Avocado is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council and not only offers some of our favorite eco-friendly mattresses (for people and pets) but now also manufactures eco-friendly furniture.

The company offers a small selection of beautiful bed frames, side tables, and chests of drawers made from recycled or FSC-certified wood, though they deserve mention on this list.

Avocado is a Certified B Company and one of the most ethical furniture brands. The company uses materials that are free of heavy metals, formaldehyde, solvents, and other problematic chemicals and uses a VOC-free sealant on its furniture. 

Thanks to Avocado’s ingenious design, these pieces have no unnecessary knobs or handles, which means there are fewer components that can easily break, get lost, or require gluing.

Certified B Corporation manufactures its mattresses and furniture in its GOTS and FSC-certified organic factory in Los Angeles.

Additionally, most avocado offerings have non-toxic certifications such as Greenguard Gold and the MADE SAFE® seal.

Their solid wood furniture is made from 100% reclaimed or sustainably harvested American wood. Avocado is an ethical workplace that offers a number of employee benefits.

It is also 1% for a Planet member and a CarbonFree® partner, which offsets 100% of shipping and factory operations emissions.


For every category of furniture you want in one place, check out Medley. The founders are brothers dedicated to offering ethically produced green furniture. 

Medley is a California-based furniture company that uses sustainable, eco-friendly materials to handcraft well-designed modern furniture for every room in your home, including sturdy modern sofas, poufs, benches, ottoman, sectionals, storage, accent chairs, accent tables, dining, office, and bedroom furniture, and more. 

The company uses native hardwoods, such as alder hardwood used in the frames (no plywood) from FSC-certified forests, and solid bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants in the world. 

Medley Home wooden pieces are finished with a natural finish using a blend of beeswax, carnauba wax, and olive oil. The varnish is bio-based with USDA certification, free of unpleasant odors and VOCs.

The company does not use harsh chemical treatments or fire retardants and uses zero VOC adhesives, natural jute webbing, and organic fabrics in its furniture upholstery.

Several organic upholstery fabric options are available, and most materials are Oeko-Tex 100, GOTS, GOLS, or Greenguard Gold certified.

For foam, Medley sources only CertiPUR-US® certified foam or certified organic natural latex. For textiles, the company uses GOTS certified organic liners and other natural fabrics such as hemp and wool. 

There is wool in some mixed furniture, mainly as upholstery and stuffing for chairs and sofas. This wool is Oeko-Tex 100 certified and comes from well-cared-for sheep.

Their customer service is dedicated to transparency and answers all your questions about the viability of a particular piece via email or phone call. Medley makes each item to order so that delivery may take a little longer than the off-the-shelf model. 

They ship to all US states and Canada and can also be shipped to almost anywhere else in the world. It gives a lifetime warranty on alder hardwood frames, and most sofas require no assembly (except those with longer legs). The company offers a 100-day trial and free returns.


Emeco was founded in 1944 following an order to manufacture non-corrosive, fire-resistant, and anti-torpedo chairs for the US Navy. So if you are looking for a solid piece of furniture, this is the one for you!

Today, Emeco offers a classic 1006 navy chair, an eco-friendly piece of furniture (built to last at least 150 years), along with a range of other items, including gorgeous bar stools, dining chairs, desk chairs, and shelving, all made from reclaimed and recycled materials. 

These materials include recycled aluminum from post-consumer soft drink cans and post-industrial waste. This metal has a significantly lower energy footprint than pure aluminum but is just as strong.

Other materials include cork, sustainably treated or locally reclaimed wood, recycled PET (from water bottles and the like), and glass.

In 2010, Emeco, in collaboration with Coca-Cola, made a 100% recycled and recyclable chair from 100 post-consumer bottles.

Interestingly, Emeco even invented its own materials, including eco-concrete made from calcium sulfoaluminate cement and recycled glass bottles.

This material is ideal for outdoor furniture as it is weather resistant and uses much less energy for processing and firing compared to normal cement. 

Other Emeco blends include recycled wood polypropylene made from plastic waste from factory floors and sawdust from sawmills.

In addition to using durable materials, Emeco uses zero VOC clear anodized finishes on aluminum furniture and low VOC finishes on wood parts. 

The wooden parts are made by local Amish craftsmen, while the metal parts are made in-house at the company’s family-owned LEED-certified factory in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Emeco is very transparent about its product certifications and environmental commitments. While the designs are created to minimize waste, whatever emerges is reused or recycled.

Products are shipped with packaging materials that are 100% recyclable, and Emeco presents a chair-to-chair recycling program for plastic and aluminum furniture.

Maiden Home

Maiden Home’s variety of options of affordable eco-friendly furniture will help you with upgrading your bedroom, living room, and dining room with non-toxic styles at low prices.

Founded by women, this consumer-focused brand handcrafts beautiful, durable furniture designed to last a lifetime.

Their aesthetic is extremely minimalistic, and therefore all handmade eco-friendly sofas and sectionals, beds, chairs, tables, benches and ottomans, dining tables, chairs, and stools are very clean, elegant, and neutral.

Maiden Home’s timeless pieces are custom-made in North Carolina with the utmost care. The ethical and eco-friendly furniture brand uses solid wood sourced to Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards, CertiPUR-US® soy-based foam, and recycled steel springs. 

Additionally, Maiden Home does not make use of harmful chemicals like flame retardants and works with low VOC water-based adhesives and stains.


An amazing brand for all things bamboo. Whether you’re looking for modern sofas, loveseats, bed frames, dining tables, bookcases and tables with shelves or chairs, and more eco-friendly furniture, you’ll find it at Greenington. 

They strictly use responsibly hand-harvested mature bamboo; Moso bamboo is valued for its exceptional strength and durability.

Bamboo is a grass that grows easily and quickly without chemical additives. When harvested responsibly, it is a renewable material for low-impact furniture. Mainly Mid-Century Modern, their designs fit into any home.

Additionally, the non-toxic brand is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council, which far exceeds environmental requirements.

You can check out one of their unique pieces from the Azara and Rowan lines of Greenington. They give off a modern, chic, earthy feel that is perfect for any room.

Eco Balanza

Did you know that you can source unique, sustainable luxury upholstered furniture from a wide range of certified and natural fabrics and materials?

Eco Balanza is an eco-friendly furniture brand that offers non-toxic sofas and sectionals with finishes of 0% VOC and adhesives.

You can even take advantage of their design services along with their handcrafted couture and basic collections.

Eco balanza is a Seattle-based company that manufactures ethical upholstered furniture locally using time-tested techniques. Handmade furniture contains non-toxic natural and recycled materials, no styrofoam or composite wood containing formaldehyde. 

Ecobalanza uses wool as a flame retardant instead of chemicals. The company also sources eco-friendly fabrics (like GOTS-certified organic cotton) from its women-owned textile partner, Two Sisters Eco textiles, located near Seattle.

The couches feature strong and durable hardwood frames made from FSC-certified alder and western maple. Eco balanza uses sustainably harvested Dunlop GOLS organic latex to pad the cushion. 

Inner coats are made from certified organic merino wool for natural flame resistance. Traditional practices, such as steel coils tied by hand with jute fiber rope, make the furniture sturdy, comfortable and durable.

For a more stain-resistant sofa, you can choose recycled polyester covers with Greenshield stain-resistant treatment or leather.

Eco balanza offers a Couture collection and can create sofas, sectionals, loveseats, ottomans, and more.

The idea is to make the furniture you love, which will last for generations, which is why Eco balanza offers a lifetime warranty on the frame, springs, and structural workmanship of every EcoBalanza sofa, also a 10-years warranty on latex and a 5-years warranty on kapok cushions.

West Elm

West elm is a new player in eco-friendly furniture, founded in 2002 with the aim of furnishing our home with affordable, non-toxic, sustainable furniture in a modern minimalist style. 

They sell modern furniture, household items, and home decor. You can buy more durable wooden tables, chairs, benches, sofas, bedside tables, and furniture from their collections.

It offers a selection of sustainably sourced products that are worth checking out. You can find furniture made from reclaimed, processed, and FSC-certified wood at reasonable prices.

They are also the first home goods brand to join Fair Trade USA, making them a good choice when it comes to fair trade furniture. Moreover, the brand also offers cute and kid-friendly options.

Esty Reclaimed Furniture

While known for its handmade trinkets, Etsy also has a diverse collection of salvaged and refurbished handmade furniture.

Etsy offers amazing, unique, durable, and eco-friendly furniture in its reclaimed furniture category. Their creative furniture makers offer wooden coffee tables, oak wine racks, live edge coat stands, unique headboards and doors, all kinds of woven raffia chairs, benches, tables, and more. 

The most common materials in this category include reclaimed wood, fallen logs, driftwood, pallets, and upcycled metal like iron pipes.

Since these materials have several potential safety issues, you should have a clear idea of ​​what you are buying before entering into a transaction.


Although not all IKEA furniture is sustainable, the company offers a wide range of eco-friendly options. They launched their sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive, in 2012, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

IKEA’s most sustainable line is its indoor gardening collection, which is made from recycled materials. IKEA also offers furniture made from FSC-certified wood and furniture that can be easily dissembled for recycling.


Burrow is a new company known for its excellent eco-friendly sectional sofas, but this sustainable furniture brand has so much more to offer. 

Each product is made from responsibly sourced wood, reinforced steel hardware, and premium Italian leather.

The furniture is made of FSC-certified wood and recycled materials and can be assembled and disassembled without the need for tools. 

With such an easy-to-move design, be rest assured that your new non-toxic couch, durable bed, storage, and the table will fit into your home and the next.

You might think that means eco-friendly furniture will only last you a few years, but that’s not the case. Burrow furniture is designed to be durable and withstand heavy use. 

Plus, it’s stylish and versatile! Most eco-friendly options are highly customizable in terms of color and finish.

The Citizenry

Citizenry offers a wide selection of handcrafted furniture, including poufs, chairs, tables, and mirrors. Citizenry collaborates with workshops and artisans worldwide, from Mexico to Mali, Ireland to India, combining contemporary design and traditional techniques in limited quantities.

From Bohemian wicker chairs to Hinoki wooden bath saunas, the possibilities for safe, non-toxic furniture can be endless.

By cooperating with artisans, you get top quality, and 100% of the products are produced in accordance with the fair trade process audited by the World Fair Trade Organization.

Many of its materials are eco-friendly, but the upholstery is padded with polyurethane foam. Additionally, the company donates 10% of its profits to local artisan communities in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and other countries through business development grants.

Final Thoughts

Did you know that appliances and furniture are responsible for approximately 30% of greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy consumption? Why not reduce your carbon footprint while creating a safe, non-toxic space for you and your loved ones?

The best eco-friendly furniture brands offer a wide selection of sustainable wood furniture and fantastic affordable bamboo options for every room. 

Listed above are some of the best and not limited to eco & sustainable furniture companies. Other companies that deserve accolades for their products include Viva Terra, Made Trade, EBTH, Alabama Sawyer, Floyd, and so on.

Buying eco-friendly furniture is an essential part of green living and is a very beneficial purchase. The ever-growing range of styles and options available means there’s bound to be something for everyone!

On top of that, you’ll know that each piece is lovingly handcrafted by skilled artisans who are paid fairly for their work.

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