*Thanks to Medley for sponsoring today’s post. All reviews and opinions are 100% my own.
If you’re a mother it’s likely that you’ve given a lot of the thought to the world around you. When I began my motherhood journey I changed almost everything about my lifestyle. From the make-up I used to the cleaning products I bought, I questioned everything. Furniture is something I hadn’t initially considered to be dangerous. But the more research I did, the more I knew I needed to make the switch to non-toxic furniture. Keep reading for tips on how to find eco-friendly furniture for your home, and to learn more about a brand that I’ve discovered and fallen in love with!
Tips for Finding Non-Toxic Furniture For Your Home
How is Conventional Furniture Toxic?
Have you ever unwrapped a new dress, mattress, or dining table and noticed it has a distinct scent? It’s not a smell you can necessarily pinpoint, it just smells “new”. Sadly, that scent is chemicals. I’ve talked about indoor air quality before, but basically, conventional furniture is made with harmful chemicals (such as formaldehyde), flame retardants, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Some of these furniture pieces are made with glues that contain formaldehyde. Others are painted with a highly toxic gloss, and some fabrics are soaked in flame retardant. These toxins are not safe for children, pregnant women, or any human or animal if they’re constantly breathing them in. Yet, we continue to buy from these conventional brands because we don’t know better! I had no idea until I did an indoor air quality test in our home. This led me down a rabbit hole of researching harmful chemicals in couches, mattresses, and even dressers or coffee tables.
Many pieces you believe to be wood are made form particle board. While recycling old products into the particle board is great for sustainability, the glues to hold the product together are not so great for our health. The glue that holds this particle board furniture together usually contains formaldehyde, a harmful carcinogen.
So, I’ve shared how furniture can be toxic to your family, but don’t worry! There are ways to combat these harmful chemicals. I’ve listed a few out below.
Tips for Avoiding Harmful Chemicals in Furniture
01. Let your furniture air out outside after opening.
I know it’s inconvenient, but brand new furniture will off gas quite a bit, so please consider leaving it outside for at least a week to let the fumes die down before bringing it into your homes. The baby cribs are the scariest for me. If you can, buy furniture that’s made of solid wood, with no lacquer or coating on it. I share my favorite place to shop for non-toxic furniture below!
02. Buy your furniture used.
If you can’t afford to buy new furniture for your home, then buying secondhand is great for affordability. It’s even better for off gassing, as most of these items will have little to no impact on your indoor air quality.
03. Buy furniture made without harsh chemicals or fire retardants.
I know it seems difficult since there isn’t a wonderful warehouse of non-toxic furniture to look at. But the next best thing is shopping online! With product reviews, and live chat, these things make it easier to find the perfect furniture for your home. Medley is where we got this beautiful sofa in the photos. You can see more about my experience with shopping with Medley below.
4. Buy furniture made from natural materials like solid wood products, rattan or bamboo.
Solid wood with no coating is a very safe option. My coffee table and dining table are both solid wood. This ensures that there won’t be any off gassing from particle board. Medley has wonderful options for solid wood dining tables. None of their products are made with harmful chemicals. Plus they use water-based glues.
Our Sustainably-Made and Non-Toxic Sofa From Medley
For this post, I teamed up with eco-friendly furniture brand Medley to design a family-safe sofa that could be used for several years. I loved the idea of designing our own sofa. I got to choose everything! I chatted with the founder about fabrics. I had a big envelope of swatch samples sent to my door. I even received some helpful advice on which fabrics would be good for kids or pets. I loved that I was able to choose the dimensions, the filling of the sofa, and the fabric. All of which are eco-friendly materials. It was such a different experience than years past when I just went to a warehouse to purchase a sofa that I know several other people owned. I also didn’t like the idea of off gassing in my home with two precious little girls breathing in that air. I knew that a non-toxic sofa would be the best option for our family.
After carefully perusing the website, we decided on the Rio XL sofa. We started by customizing our sofa online. We had to choose the filling, the fabric, and the legs. I also customized the dimensions for my tall husband! The process was foolproof. Although I’d never custom-made a sofa before, I didn’t feel that way. Medley also offers design consultations if you’re looking for some extra help on which sofa would look perfect in your particular space.
If forgot to mention that before we settled on designing, we got a free sample kit. A big envelope with fabric swatches arrived on our doorstep. We got to feel the fabrics, test them with our paint colors, and even read the helpful descriptions indicating how easy or difficult it would be to clean. This was a major selling point for us. I felt like we were making an educated decision about the product we would use rather than blindly purchasing based on aesthetic. Every piece was carefully considered as we crafted the sofa we were hoping for!
Once everything was picked out and ordered, our new sofa was shipped to us in about 5 weeks. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was in our new space. The best part? It didn’t have that “new” smell I feared when I bought new furniture. I could rest easy knowing my children could lay on it, breathe it in, and play around it without any risk. If you’re interested, you can click here to learn more about Medley, the founders, and their mission!
I hope this post about how to find non-toxic furniture for your home is helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading!
I love this couch! I am thinking of getting one as well. Do you mind sharing which seat depth you went with and which fabric this is? Thanks!