The 9 Best Eco-Friendly Furniture Brands of 2021

Make your home a sustainable sanctuary.

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The Rundown
Haiku offers several certifications for almost all its pieces and a concierge to guide you through specifics.
Pottery Barn offers over 250 pieces of furniture, including bed frames, sofas, and more in its Sustainably Sourced category.
With some searching, you can find some great bargains on Etsy's reclaimed furniture section.
Best for Beds:
Thuma The Bed at Thuma.co
Thuma’s eco-cred goes all the way down to the padded feet of the bed frame’s cork legs.
This affordable sofa has it all: Comfort, style, and ease of assembly.
These simple and relatively affordable pieces work with almost any decor style.
Best for Kitchen Furniture:
Crate & Barrel Furniture at Crate & Barrel
Outfit your kitchen with sustainable finds from Crate & Barrel.
This NYC sells Goodwood pieces, which are made from wood from responsibly managed forests and/or reclaimed sources.
Best for Home Office:
Joybird Furniture at Joybird.com
Feel good decking out your home office with these ethically made pieces.

Furniture is one of those purchases that will have a long-term impact on your home, both aesthetically, and on the health of that home’s inhabitants. So, it’s worth doing some research on what best fits your style and who makes it in a more sustainable way

In the case of furniture, sustainability means fewer chemicals used in an item’s construction, as well as materials that are lower-impact on the planet. So you’ll see a number of certifications and eco-labels mentioned below, mostly focused on those two types of impacts: water, energy, and materials used in the furniture, as well as chemicals avoided or disallowed. 

Shopping for second-hand furniture is the most sustainable option, but if you've come up short and need to buy something new, we've found the most eco-friendly furniture brands.

Best Overall: Haiku Designs

Phase File Credenza

Haiku offers bedside chests, console tables, media cabinets, dining furniture, sofas, bed frames, and even magazine racks. The styles trend towards minimalist and modern.

Depending on the piece, it holds at least one of two certifications (exceptions are clearly labeled on the website): E1 is the emissions standard certified by the European Union and it rates furniture on the chemicals used in manufacturing as well as VOC off-gassing. Haiku also carries furniture that’s International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) certified—which ensures that wood is sourced in a sustainable and managed way.

They also carry bamboo hardwood furniture that’s been grown and harvested responsibly. The company offers a concierge who can walk you through the ethical bona fides of any specific piece to drill down into exactly what it does and does not contain and where its sourced.

Shopping Tip

When it comes to furniture, manufacturing processes and materials can change over time. But it's easy it is to talk to someone at a furniture company — they all offer chat, or provide phone numbers. So, if you are going to add a piece to your home, consider taking the time to reach out and get the update and ask all your questions before you buy.

Best Large Selection: Pottery Barn Furniture

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn offers over 250 pieces of furniture, including bed frames, bar and shelving, dining tables, chairs, sofas, and more in its Sustainably Sourced category. A range of styles are offered, including farmhouse, modern, traditional, and rustic.

The pieces are made from a variety of materials, with the majority made from reclaimed wood. Others are GreenGuard Gold certified nontoxic, or Fair Trade certified. You can also find organic linens and recycled glassware. Pottery Barn is known for durable products, and this furniture has good resale value.

Best Budget: Etsy Reclaimed Furniture

RUSTIC Console Table

Not every item in Etsy’s Reclaimed Furniture category is budget-friendly, but if you look around the site, there are some bargains to be found. The savings come from buying directly from the makers, and you're often supporting small-scale makers. You’ll have to read through each entry to find out the specifics of the materials and finishes used, however.

There are low-impact materials like recycled barn wood used to make new pieces, but you’ll have to ask about non-toxic finishes if not detailed on the site. Since many of the items are made to order, you can often customize your order to meet your needs directly with the makers.

Best for Beds: Thuma The Bed

Thuma The Bed

Thuma’s eco-cred goes all the way down to the padded feet of the bed frame’s legs—which are made with low-impact, biodegradable cork. The frame is made from repurposed wood that’s GreenGuard Certified, and the extra-strong support slats are lined with an eco felt made from recycled plastics, which also help keep noises to a minimum.

The padded headboard is filled with nontoxic CertiPUR-US foam fill, and while the cover is 100% polyester, that means it is easily washable and can be line-dried. The headboard is available in two neutral colors. The bed ships in three boxes, and requires no tools to assemble.

Best for Couches: Sabai The Essential Sofa

Sabai The Essential Sofa

This affordable sofa has it all: Comfort, style, and ease of assembly (it can be done by just one person). The sofa is manufactured in the High Point, North Carolina with fabrics made from natural fibers and polyester from recycled water bottles. The upholstery is available in five velvet color options, and three polyester colors. Plus, there are two finish options for the wooden legs.

Frames are made with FSC Certified wood, covered with certiPUR-US foam, with recycled fiber pillows. The shipping materials are made from 100% recycled materials and minimal plastic is used in the packaging. If anything wears out in the future, replacement parts are available from Sabai, to help ensure you can get the longest life possible from your couch or loveseat.

Best for Kids: Sprout Eco-Friendly Wooden Kids Furniture

Sprout Eco-Friendly Wooden Kids Furniture

These simple and relatively affordable pieces are work with almost any decor style, and are designed from the beginning to minimize manufacturing waste. They are all made from sustainably-sourced Baltic birch wood. The furniture is shipped flat to save money and resources. They are easy to assemble and dissemble (many without tools), so they can be moved or stored easily.

The Baltic birch used by Sprout is CARB (California Air Resources Board) compliant, ensuring that any off-gassing is at a safe level. Finishes are created with layers of a water-based paint and sealed with a “non-VOC 100% solids UV cured finish.”

Best for Kitchen Furniture: Crate & Barrel Furniture

Crate & Barrel Lanai Square Fliptop Dining Table

If you’re looking for bar stools, small eat-in kitchen tables, kitchen islands, bars, or dining room table sets, Crate & Barrel has a more-sustainable version of all of them, sometimes with several choices.

Mostly, the company has focused on woods used in its products, many of which are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Council (FSC). Other examples include a kitchen island made with sustainable rubberwood (view on Crate & Barrel), and stools are made from mango wood (view on Crate & Barrel), which is harvested after mango trees stop producing fruit and would otherwise go unused.

Best Splurge: ABC Carpet & Home Goodwood Sustainable Furniture

Oak Stairs Bookcase

This NYC-based store has a huge variety of furniture and home goods, all of which is carefully vetted and held to high sustainability and ethical standards. That includes Goodwood pieces, which ensures furniture is made from wood from responsibly managed forests and/or reclaimed sources. Goodwood also protects old growth forests and the endangered species they include, and promotes a transparent supply chain model.

Many pieces of furniture also have other eco-labels like handmade, non-toxic, cruelty-free, organic, or other considerations depending on materials. It also offers vintage and one-of-a kind antique pieces. ABC’s furniture can be searched by material so if you are looking for natural fibers like linen, cotton, or viscose, you can narrow your parameters that way as well.

Best for Home Office: Joybird Furniture

Florence Desk

Joybird’s furniture is all handmade in Mexico where workers get a competitive salary and benefits, including medical care, according to the company. For every item purchased, more trees are planted than were used in the creation of the piece of furniture.

Office options include desks, swivel chairs, desk chairs, and bookcases. Depending on the piece of furniture, it could include low-VOC adhesives, natural-fiber cushions, or other lower-impact options. For swivel chairs with fabric coverings, look for the Key Largo fabric option, which are brightly colored textiles produced in an environmentally friendly mill.

Final Verdict

For outfitting your entire house with sustainable pieces, you can't go wrong with Haik Designs (view at Haiku Designs). They even offer a concierge who can walk you through the ethical bona fides of any specific piece. If you enjoy hunting for a bargain, then Etsy Reclaimed Furniture (view at Etsy) may have your next treasure.

What You Need to Know About Chemicals in Furniture

There are quite a few chemicals used in the manufacture of furniture, including solvents, glues, sealants, coatings, and sprays. Many in this group of chemicals create a distinctive odor (that smell is often these chemicals offgassing), and they are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These chemicals have been linked to reports of health negative effects—sometimes specifically in relation to people who bought a new piece of furniture. 

In the United States the federal government doesn’t set standards for VOCs but the EPA looked at indoor vs. outdoor air reports that levels of these chemicals are typically two to five times higher indoors. The agency links that to “household materials and furnishings” as well as household cleaning products, and dry cleaning chemicals. 

The chemicals that could be in a new piece of furniture are too many and varied to list here, but some of them include formaldehyde, a known carcinogen (used in the wood treatment of couch and chair frames); and phthalates, a group of chemicals which have been outlawed for use in children’s toys, because they affect young children’s hormones. 

Short-term, VOCs and formaldehyde exposure have reportedly caused eye irritation, coughing, skin allergies, chest tightness and wheezing. Long-term, exposures can increase certain cancer risks and endocrine system disruption, but of course it depends on the dose received, other exposures, and other factors—which is what makes these chemicals tough to regulate. 

It’s not always easy to avoid these chemicals, since furniture doesn’t come with an ingredients list. But when you are furniture shopping you can look for furniture that promises it’s not made with VOCs, wood that’s not treated with formaldehyde, and for natural materials, like organic fabrics and solid wood. 

Consider Shopping Second-Hand

To save both money and Earth’s resources, buying used or vintage could be your best option for new furniture. Even if a piece isn’t originally made sustainably, most VOCs will offgas in the first few years of life, so by the time you bring it home it will likely be relatively harmless. Buying used also keeps usable items out of landfill, too. 

You can try online sites like a Buy Nothing, Yard Sale or Garage Sale Facebook groups associated with your town or neighborhood—search around on the site and join up to see what’s on offer. Before you trek there in person, consider following local thrift and antique stores on Instagram to get an idea of what they might have on offer. And of course, check out Craigslist, which can be a goldmine of great furniture, and can be low-cost or even free if people are looking to get rid of stuff (if you are willing to take it off their hands quickly).   

There’s also plenty of in-person vintage shopping too, from thrift stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill, (and other local charity stores) as well as secondhand or antique stores, which allow you to try before you buy.