Top 5 Affordable Eco-Friendly Sofas & Chairs

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As of October 1, 2010, all of these items are sold out. Click here for more affordable, eco-friendly seating options that are currently available.

As you all well know, eco-friendly upholstered furniture can definitely lean toward the unaffordable for many people. While I would be willing to cut back and save up for an $8000 sofa that will likely last my family a lifetime (perhaps even several), I know that there are lots of readers who won’t, or can’t, do that. If you still want to go green, but not at so high a cost, here are some great sustainable furniture options.

Montego Navy Pennyback Sofa

topsofas-montego

This sofa is the least expensive on the list and it is dripping with retro style. Covered in deep blue microfiber, it features a tufted back complete with covered buttons. I can envision it in a stark, minimal monochromatic room adorned with white pillows.  It looks a bit like it would have been at home in a 70s-era basement family room with wood paneling behind it, but it has a lot more style. It would be great in a small apartment or room, because the armless style will make it feel less bulky. A matching armless chair is available for $599.

  • Why It’s Green: Made in the U.S. using sustainably harvested hardwoods, soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs and covered in microfiber that is Oeko-Tex 100 certified.
  • Price: $999 (aff)
  • Update as of 5/24/09: No longer available in Navy, but available in two neutrals for the same price: Latte and Cocoa. (aff)

Tonto Sofa

topsofas-tontoThis is a beautiful, classically-designed sofa that I have absolutely fallen in love with. From the taut cushions to the chocolate brown upholstery and gold nailhead detail, everything about this sofa screams “expensive” — except for the price. At just $1099, I’m honestly surprised that this sofa has as many green qualities as it does. The matching chair in a complimentary, modern floral fabric (shown above) is available for $599.

  • Why It’s Green: Made In North Carolina using sustainably harvested hardwoods, soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs
  • Price: $1099 (aff)

Zipper-Stripe Biscuit Sofa

topsofas-biscuitI love the subtle stripe featured on this elegant sofa with nailhead trim. It’s not exactly the ideal sofa for a family with young children, because I doubt the light color would stay that way for very long. But it would probably be great for a single person or childless couple, or for a family with older children. The style is very traditional, but I’ve always been a fan of mixing styles. With the right accessories, like some fun throw pillows, it could easily be used in a contemporary space. You can also get the matching loveseat for $999 and chair for $599.

  • Why It’s Green: Made in the U.S. using sustainably harvested hardwoods, soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs and covered in microfiber that is Oeko-Tex 100 certified.
  • Price: $1099(aff)

Timucuan Sofa

topsofas-timicuanI’m not sure if I personally like the lines or color of this sofa, but one thing is certain — it will definitely give your room a vibrant, unique vibe. It is a unique interpretation of a classic Charles of London sofa. Covered in chartreuse organic cotton, it features back cushions with a scalloped silhouette and spindly legs with a hand-carved look. It feels eclectic and bohemian, though the tailored pleats along the arms (which identify it as a Charles of London sofa) give it a sophisticated edge. This is a great price for a sofa that is as unique as you are. A matching chair in a neutral stripe is available for $649.

  • Why It’s Green: Made In North Carolina using sustainably harvested hardwoods, soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs. It is upholstered in 100% organic cotton canvas, and the fabric mill donates portion of each sale to The Nature Conservancy.
  • Price: $1199 (aff)

Captivia Everglades Sofa

topsofas-captiviaIf you love all things mid-century modern, this sofa will definitely appeal to your taste. The Captivia Everglades sofa features the clean lines and spindly legs that are so common in mid-century design, along with a vibrant floral pattern that will ensure it is the focal point of your room.  You have to have an adventurous sense of style to be comfortable with a print quite this busy. The matching chair is available for $599.

  • Why It’s Green: Made In North Carolina using sustainably harvested hardwoods, soy-based cushions and recycled steel springs. It is upholstered in 100% organic cotton canvas, and the fabric mill donates portion of each sale to The Nature Conservancy. The manufacturer is also a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.
  • Price: $1199 (aff)

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26 comments… add one

  • Nani February 24, 2009, 6:39 pm

    I super heart the first set!!! I love your blog… I want to be you when I grew up… I am actually working on it already ;)

  • Nani February 24, 2009, 7:09 pm

    I meant grow… that happens when you do ten things at the time.

    Great great blog!

    Nanis last blog post..Seriously?

  • Victoria July 22, 2009, 5:42 am

    The lines of that reproduction “Charles of London” sofa are perfect for the house we’re renovating…I’d love to get rid of my pre-marriage/pre-kids leather sectional and get something with more classic lines that fits the scale of our new family room. Who makes this sofa? I’m in Georgia…having a really hard time finding eco-friendly furniture!! Thanks!

  • Esther Witte September 2, 2009, 12:53 pm

    I shop at Overstock and didn’t even think to check whether they carry eco-friendly products. Does anyone happen to know whether these contain fire retardant chemicals?

  • christine November 19, 2009, 3:25 am

    Hello:

    I am looking for living room furniture with Hemp, Flax, Linen material and the cushions made of all natural latex. I found a website for a retailer in Portland, Or who carries furniture by Oz. I cannot find their website now. We live in Sacramento, CA . Please advise.

    • Serene C May 14, 2010, 10:23 am

      I’m looking too and will update my finds..so far:

      Christine: I found a great website – but very pricey. http://www.ecosofa.com/shop/dallaterra.html

      Esther: I was looking around Overstock, everything seems very cheap and doubtful about the eco part.

      Good Luck!

      Serene

  • Serene C May 14, 2010, 10:26 am

    PS – The links to the above items are from Overstock. LOL! My bad.
    Make sure you check out the reviews deeper. I’ve been looking at items that have lots of good reviews and then when you dig, you read very poor ones. I have to believe that if you spend $1000 or less on a sofa, you get what you pay for, no? Good Luck!

    • jennae May 14, 2010, 10:35 am

      No need to apologize! That’s what customer reviews are for, right :) These sofas are definitely affordable, but sometimes that means sacrificing some quality.

      But if you are looking for completely green sofas, I can definitely recommend a few. Among of my favorites:
      Ekla Home: http://eklahome.com/
      Viesso: http://viesso.com
      Pure Inspired Home: http://pureinspiredhome.myshopify.com/

      I hope that helps!

      • kim April 7, 2013, 12:53 pm

        I have had an EKLA sofa for about a year. It is very well made, EkLA has great fabric choices, and their cushions are wrapped in wool so that no flame retardant is necessary. Not sure if this is true about the above sofas. The above sofas also have soy “based” cushions meaning there are other materials used. Who knows what those are? As jennae writes, the EKLA sofa is as close to completely green as you are going to get (which would be sitting on the grass outside your house if you don’t use fertilizer or pesticides/herbicides and don’t have radon gas or other chemicals coming up through your soil, on a smog free day) . It cost more, but the latex filled cushions will outlast the soy foam.

  • Marie June 19, 2010, 12:19 pm

    According to my understanding of fire retardant legal issues, all sofas for sale in the United States have to meet a strict standard, and will have to have layers of chemical fire-retardant materials, unless the company uses wool for the fire retardant layer. A sofa can be ecologically harvested, and have “soy-based foam,” but that foam may be soaked with chemical retardants that are toxic and unhealthy for many people. Pottery Barn would not tell me the chemical composition of their fire-retardants. Their salesperson said it is a “trade secret.” Crate and Barrel did disclose theirs — a representative kindly researched it and called me back a few weeks after my inquiry — and gave me the names of the numerous chemicals that are inside their soy-based foam. I appreciated the accurate information, but I do not want to breathe in any of those chemicals. I have given away all my toxic sofas, and now am looking for an organic wool upholstered one, which is the only kind that is both natural and legal to offer for sale, under the existing fire-retardant code in the U.S. A. I think we need new standards for labeling products in this country, a full disclosure of all ingredients, chemicals, and treatments clearly labeled in all consumer products, so we can make a choice.

    • jennae June 19, 2010, 12:38 pm

      Marie, thank you so much for the additional information. There are so many components that go into products like this that it can be a real challenge to find products that go all the way. These ones from Overstock are certainly middle of the road in terms of being green, and their affordability comes with a price — that there are components that aren’t so green.

      Viesso: http://viesso.com is a great company that offers wool upholstery, along with several of the other companies I referenced in a previous comment. I’d love to hear what you end up buying!

    • cate March 14, 2011, 2:32 pm

      THANK YOU! Finally someone really addressing the issues regarding ECO. I am sooooo tired of listings like this one that post eco friendly furniture because the wood is sustainable and something else might be recycled. And, SOY! soy foam is 10-20% of the polyfoam cushion which isn’t eco AT ALL. I’m all for sustainable but I think when someone wants a ‘green’ or ‘eco’ sofa we want a safe and human/world friendly. I want to breathe good air! Sorry for the rant, just so frustrated by so many lame post on “eco” sofas.

      • jennae March 14, 2011, 2:42 pm

        Cate, no need to apologize at all. I definitely aim to be helpful and welcome your opinion :) If you do a search for sofas or check out the seating category, you’ll find a lot more options: http://www.greenyourdecor.com/category/seating/

        There are definitely eco-friendly sofas out there that go a long way in terms of sustainability. They don’t contain flame retardants or poly foam, are made with sustainable fabrics, recycled parts, reclaimed or FSC-certified wood frames, etc. But you’re going to pay for them.

        The way I see it, the more consumers demand products that go all the way, the more products will appear on the market for better prices.

    • sara October 9, 2012, 8:07 pm

      Absolutely, the flame retardants and chemicals are unhealthy. That’s the reason Californians have the most PBDE’s in their bloodstreams causing health and fertility problems. Hey, does anybody care? What about you Jerry Brown?

  • Marie June 19, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Thank you! I really appreciate this information. Sustainability is important, but for personal health the toxin-free materials, all natural, are the most crucial.

  • Marie June 21, 2010, 11:09 am

    Jennae,

    Thank you. I realize also that fire-retardants can save lives. And everyone can’t afford to get wool for a natural fire-retardant layer. However, when I sit on a sofa or lie on a mattress that contains the modern chemical fire retardants, I literally break out in hives. When I go to furniture stores, I get sick (throwing up and worse) violently. It took me years to isolate the culprit — and it is furniture. I found a totally organic sofa from a company named Natura (they have many types of mattresses, but one line is called “Organic” and it has changed my life. Now I am searching for a similar sofa from a reliable company. I have written to Ekla Home, thanks to your recommendation, and when they reply, I will let you know what they say.

  • Marie June 21, 2010, 11:11 am

    Oops. I meant to say: I found a totally organic MATTRESS from a company named Natura…. Sorry. Marie.

  • Marie June 21, 2010, 12:06 pm

    I just received this on buying green healthy furniture:
    http://www.healthybitchdaily.com/2010/04/13/furniture/

  • Joseph July 31, 2010, 1:36 pm

    Here’s a photo of new eco sofa daybed that Organic Comfort Zone will be launching soon. It looks really nice.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5217387&id=59056567610

  • Jennifer Hankey November 15, 2010, 9:18 am

    I have a question! I just got the same response from Pottery Barn yet in addition they stated in each email (I was trying to get them to clarify) that they do not use chemical fire retardants on any of their products other than their children’s sleepwear (don’t get me started on this one). How is this possible???

    Jennifer
    Organic Baby University

  • Mim April 10, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Hi Jennae,
    This is a great article, and while it’s good to see so many companies getting their toes wet in the green furniture business, I found pricing to be prohibitive for my family. I came across your article while I was trying to understand the cost of what was out there, and ended up making my own component, organic sofa for less than $2000. I even got to design my own fabric! I thought you might like to see my project:

    http://www.veganreader.com/2011/04/09/organic-eco-friendly-sofa-for-less-than-2000-how-i-made-it/

    Thanks for all of the inspiring posts you write. The more we think green, the better our ideas will become!
    Mim recently posted { Organic- Eco-Friendly Sofa For Less Than 2000 – How I Made It! }

  • dd June 28, 2011, 9:34 pm

    I thought only California had to have the flame retardant in the sofas and mattresses ALL sold in USA had to have flame retardant (i have the mattress in a wool layer so its supposedly chemical free, there just arent any prices that are really doable for SOFAS!! I found one company that said it only treated its foam cores with halogenated phosphate esters but that seems toxic? not sure though? what do you all think?

  • dd June 28, 2011, 9:35 pm

    oh and also- i’m wondering if you got a leather sofa would that seal some of the chemicals in? wishful thinking probably :)

  • Jeanne / Vintage Renewal July 16, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Come see me at my green online boutique http://www.vintagerenewal.com for Indie Furniture Redesigns.

  • Tina May 23, 2012, 2:26 pm

    We can’t afford to purchase a new sofa, but the Chicago Tribune article on the dangers of flame retardants has me very concerned. I’m wondering if anyone knows of a company that sells slip covers that can prevent the toxic dust from escaping from foam cushions? Thanks!!

  • Ross Endicott March 5, 2014, 5:06 pm

    At Endicott Home Furnishings in Maine, we designed an entire line of nontoxic sofas and chairs. All our designs, including sectionals and sleepers, are bench crafted one at a time in the USA using materials containing zero flame retardants. Because we often customize to help elders stand without help, or to provide lumbar support with both feet on the floor for our petite consumers, we use frames made of sustainably harvested hardwoods combined with furniture grade nontoxic plywood (no added urea formaldehyde or toluene or other nasty chemicals) and many other materials made partly or completely of recycled materials. We completed our removal of carcinogenic flame retardants from all our designs before anyone was concerned, and in the middle of a recession, so we did so at our own cost, because we are our own customers, and have two small children. Our designs are very reasonably priced with a limited selection of USA-made OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified nontoxic fabrics, and we ship to all lower 48 states including California. Feel free to reach us for more info@condofurniture.com.

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