More Affordable, Eco-Friendly Sofas & Chairs

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I’ve noticed that a lot of people wind up at Green Your Decor looking for eco-friendly sofas and chairs — particularly ones that are priced reasonably. The problem is that pretty much all the ones I’ve written about in the past no longer are for sale. So here’s a roundup of some reasonably- and not-so-reasonably-priced eco-friendly sofas and chairs, in order of price. Some are greener than others as well, so be sure to read the descriptions. As a general rule, the more expensive options will have more eco-friendly qualities than the lower-priced ones.

West Elm’s Henry Sofa, $699-849. Frame constructed from sustainably harvested hardwood, pillow fibers are created from recycled water bottles, springs constructed of 70% recycled high-gauge steel, foam in cushions and arms is made from 20% soy-based materials, padding and fiber on the seat is constructed using recycled carpet materials, and made in the USA in west elm’s own FSC-certified factory. Available in cotton and linen/cotton blend fabrics, though none are organic.

West Elm’s Linden Sofa & Chair, $899 (sofa) or $1379 (for the pair). FSC-certified wood frame and legs, fabric is 100% recycled cotton a nd low-impactdyes are GOTS certified, decking and dust cover are organic cotton, foam is partially soy based, and made in the U.S.

Parlour Sofa from CB2, $999. Made with a certified sustainable, kiln-dried hardwood frame, seat cushion made of soy-based polyfoam and fiber, upholstered in cotton (not as good as organic, but better than polyester).

Greenington Magnolia Loveseat, $1319 and Magnolia Sofa Chair, $839. As truly green furniture goes, Greenington is up there with the best of them.  Made of sustainably-harvested bamboo. The style of these is “love it” or “hate it.” They remind me a bit of patio furniture, but I think they could work surrounded by the right colors and decor. (aff)

If you want something really green…

If you want a sofa with LOTS of green credentials, there are a bunch of options, but you’ll have to spend more. Here are a couple of my favorites, with pricing where available.

Camille Sofa from EKLA Home (call for pricing). Upholstered in 100% U.S.-grown and -milled organic cotton fabric, and made with natural Rubber, 100% organic U.S.-grown and -milled wool, organic cotton barrier cloth, FSC-certified alder frame and legs, recycled steel springs and Safecoat no-VOC stain. It doesn’t get much better than that, but this sofa will run you a couple thousand dollars.

EcoBalanza Square Sofa, $4600. Made with FSC-Certified, kiln-dried wood, natural latex foam cushions, 8-way hand tied coil springs and eco-friendly adhesives. Available upholstery options include recycled Polyester along with organic hemp, cotton and wool.

General Tips

When you’re really on a budget for furniture, you have to get creative. Buying used furniture from Craigslist or a thrift store is always a good way to go. Find a good upholsterer in your area, or if you feel adventurous, attempt to reupholster your found pieces on your own. There are tons of tutorials online, and you wouldn’t believe how beautiful you can make your home with used pieces. A great example:

Chloe Vintage Sofa by EcoChic, $1750. A petite vintage sofa was recovered in charcoal velvet fabric and given new wood legs. The price includes two linen accent cushions.

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7 comments… add one

  • rebecca October 14, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Hi Jennae-I love your blog! What a timely post for me since we’re in the market for a new couch.
    My main concern is the cushions (I really want all natural latex) and I don’t want flame retardants or stain guards on anything.
    I’ve been thinking of buying/finding a used couch and stripping it down to the frame, purchasing those natural latex cushions I want and ordering a custom made slipcover for the whole thing. After pricing out the cushions, it’ll still be pricey, but better than a new one.
    Do you know of anyone who’s ever done such a thing?
    I wonder if I’m crazy, or if it’s a good way (although time and labor heavy,) to get the sofa I’m looking for at a more reasonable price.
    Thanks for the post!
    Rebecca

    • jennae October 15, 2010, 2:06 pm

      Hi Rebecca,

      I don’t personally know of anyone who has changed out cushions for natural latex, but I actually think it’s a great idea. If you can find a sofa with bones that you like/love, a good upholsterer will be able to turn it into whatever you want it to be. And while I’m not sure of the pricing for natural latex cushions, I imagine the overall cost would be considerably lower than buying a brand new, flame-retardant-free sofa.

      So the simple answer: No, you’re not crazy! lol

  • Jennifer Hankey November 19, 2010, 10:32 am

    I know I am not a designer but I have done a lot of research about the flame retardants on furniture, etc. The biggest problem is when you uncover the foam that is in there currently you will be exposing yourself to a HUGE amount of PDFEs (fire retardants) in the form of dust. When the foam breaks down over time it forms a dust that contains these chemicals. These chemicals are bio-accumulative therefore never leave your body. I would just exercise EXTREME caution when doing this and where you do it. I would recommend outside and wearing a mask and taking a serious shower afterward. The Environmental Working Group recommends against reupholstering old furniture for this reason. I just wish there were more choices without these toxins that were inexpensive! Hope this helps!

    Jennifer Hankey
    Organic Baby University

  • Sarah September 9, 2012, 11:06 am

    Hi — I don’t see any mention of flame-retardant-free couches on a quick perusal of your website. And since California regulations require any foam padding inside upholstered furniture to withstand a small flame, about 80% of couches sold in the US have nasty flame retardant chemicals, the newest of which replaced old ones like PTBEs that have been proven to be harmful, but those new chemicals are untested. Any suggestions for flame-retardant-free sofas? Thanks.

    • Kim February 10, 2013, 12:34 am

      The sofas from EKLA do not have flame retardant. The cushions are wrapped in wool. This enables them to meet fire safety standards. The EKLA website explains this. I recently bought a sofa from EKLA. The quality is excellent and i feel good knowing i dont have flame retardant in my sofa; however, it is surely in other furniture in my house.
      I highly recommend EKLA.

  • peter c February 1, 2014, 9:07 pm

    any ideas for flame-retardant-free sofa sleepers with natural fiber fabrics not polyester? i’d prefer to latex and not soy.

  • Ann Conlon-Smith September 24, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Flame retardant free — chemical free — gorgeous new custom made sofa FOR SALE! We agonized for months, carefully choosing every part of this custom made sofa made for us by Lancaster Custom Crafted Upholstery. Its insides are solid maple kiln dried hardwood, complimented by eight way hand tied springs without any chemical treatment. The cushions, back, and arms are filled with 100% NATURAL LATEX. 86″ wide and 44″ deep with two cushions on seat and back. It is covered with a sturdy, resilient gray/beige wave patterned fabric. This is a gem and it is BRAND NEW, having just been delivered to our Raleigh, NC condo last week at last. BUT, in the meantime, our old sofa is being completely remade to meet our standards and there is no way that this large sofa will work with that one in the same room or with our chairs. We thought it would all work together, but it won’t. So please contact us if you would like to consider purchasing at a price way below any quotes I ever got from any of the flame-retardant free manufacturers. Our mistake is your gain at $3800. Pix available. Must be seen in Raleigh, NC. Ann 919-389-1599 aconsmith@aol.com

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