Products I Like – Flame Retardant-Free Furniture

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Flame Retardant-Free Furniture

Most upholstered furniture is made with polyurethane foam filling treated with toxic flame retardant chemicals. As polyurethane foam is made from petroleum, you can probably imagine three things – it is toxic, unsustainable, and highly flammable. Most manufacturers who use polyurethane foam use flame retardant chemicals to pass the California TB117 open fire test.  As flame retardant chemicals are extremely toxic to humans and eco-system and cause an array of health problems including cancer, I highly recommend flame retardant-free furniture.  When the California TB117-2013 becomes effective in January 1, 2015, there is no guarantee that every manufacturer will produce flame retardant-free furniture.  The law makers designed the new flammability that way that it is easier to pass it without flame retardant chemicals but the use of flame retardant chemicals won’t be illegal.

The flame retardant-free furniture I recommend in this post is made with 100% natural latex for filling, organic cotton or hemp fabric for covers and has a wool barrier to pass the flammability test. Wool acts as a natural flame retardant. In general, polyurethane furniture is cheaper. However, I have seen very expensive furniture made of polyurethane foam. And if you consider all the health benefits you will be gaining, environmental goodwill you will be making, and the fact that natural latex is a material that lasts longer that polyurethane foam without sagging, you will know you are getting a great value. Here are a couple of places where you can buy furniture free of polyurethane foam, flame retardants, and other toxins.

EcoBalanza Flame Retardant-Free Furniture

EcoBalanza is another maker of absolutely flame retardant-free furniture. Their furniture filling is made from natural latex foam and organic cotton batting. They use an organic wool barrier for its flame retardant property, and the covers are made with organic cotton/hemp muslin. They also do custom orders and ship anywhere in the US. For more information about the EcoBalanza, go to www.greenerlifestyles.com.

Viesso Flame Retardant-Free Furniture

Viesso uses only natural material as well – natural latex, eco wool and organic cotton, and solid locally-sourced wood. They also use recycled fabrics and reclaimed woods. To buy their upholstered furniture, go to Viesso website. Please note that on its website, Viesso sells furniture of other makers and that furniture might not be fully natural and non-toxic. Look for Viesso’s eco-friendly option.

You can also buy Viesso sofas at the Ultimate Green Store. Click on the image below to see different colors and sizes.


Viesso Blumen Sofa – $2,882.00

from: The Ultimate Green Store

Bean Products, Inc. Flame Retardant-Free Furniture

Among other things, Bean Products carries flame retardant-free furniture made of 100% natural Dunlop latex foam, organic cotton batting, and covers made from durable natural hemp. All the other materials are non-toxic: wood, finishes, and glue. There are no flame retardants in upholstered furniture whatsoever.  Bean Products furniture is made in the USA in Chicago and it is shipped anywhere in the US. They can make custom furniture for your taste and budget. To see their flame retardant-free furniture, go to Bean Products website here.

To find out about the furniture I bought, visit here.

 

Posts Related to Flame Retardants in Furniture

TB 117-2013: What Does It Mean For You?

What You Need to Know About the New Fire Retardant Law

Key Flame Retardant Law is About to Change – Updated

 

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43 Responses

  1. Thanks for this post and sharing these resources on such an important topic. I wanted to share another vendor, who makes custom furniture. She is down in LA and made our bed and I love it!

    If you google her, there are a few articles on the work she’s doing.

    Emily Kroll
    EKLA HOME
    http://www.eklahome.com
    310-628-0770

  2. I just saw the documentary Toxic Hot Seat about toxic chemical flame retardants and went to your site to request that you write about the topic and found that you had and I’d missed it! Thank you!!

  3. I’m looking for an ergonomic office chair that is free of FR’s and wondering if you’ve come across any that you can recommend. I’ve contacted Herman Miller to find out if the Aeron has any, but despite repeated efforts, I’ve been unable to get the information.

    • Irina Webb

      I have not researched ergonomic office chairs yet. But will let you know when I find something good.

  4. Our own line of customizable furniture has been made using zero flame retardants since 2012, and we have just received test results showing our furniture components are not only compliant with TB 117-2013, but also comply with the BAN on all chemical flame retardants for CA consumers by January 1, 2015.

  5. Catherine MacRae

    Hi Irina,
    Thanks for all your super helpful info! Just wanted to mention how much we love our sofa, purchased a few years ago from Cisco Bros. in LA (there are showrooms/vendors in SF also). We went with their Inside Green construction with organic wool and cotton and love how clean and non-stinky it is! There were so many choices on sofa styles and fabric options, it was great, albeit a more pricey option that PB, C&B, etc.
    A friend also mentioned that recently Scandinavian Designs is coming out with less toxic sofa/furniture options later this month. Hopefully these new laws will motivate most companies to do the right thing and get things clean and safe for us!
    Again, thanks for your work…
    Best,
    Cathy

    (a fellow smmc and ecomom member)

  6. 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.

    • Hi Ross, thank for letting us know about your flame retardant-free furniture. I agree that your furniture is a good option for people who want to remove nasty flame retardant chemicals from their houses without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend your furniture because it is made of polyurethane foam, a petroleum product. Have you thought about switching to a sustainable alternative? Thanks!

  7. I’m looking for a comfy non-toxic upholstered glider/rocker with ottoman for my twins’ nursery. I’m in L.A. so finding one locally would be great but if none are to be found here I’m glad to order from elsewhere and have it shipped. Thanks for any leads.

    • What is your budget?

      • Hi there,

        We’re also expecting twins and have been on the hunt for a non-toxic upholstered glider/rocker with ottoman that will be large enough for the twins. Jana or Irina, did you end up finding any leads?

        Thank you!

        • Hi Stephanie: How non-toxic would you want it be? You may want to download my non-toxic baby registry guide (click download button on the right panel) that will give overview of what I found. Talk to you soon.

          • Stephanie

            From the research I’ve done, it looks like single gliders/rocking chairs just won’t work for feeding twins, so I will need at least a chair and a half or a wide recliner. I’d prefer it to be as non-toxic as possible, same goes for anything in the baby room, but we also need it to be functional. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

            Also, have you done any research into the Baby Mod Parklane line? Any thoughts on that? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Baby-Mod-ParkLane-3-in-1-Baby-Convertible-Crib-Amber-and-White/5983290#Product+Reviews

            Very much appreciate your quick response and any wisdom/guidance you can impart 🙂

          • Hi, Stephanie! Each time I try to find the perfect product, I spend hours and hours doing so, often to find out that there does not seem to be any such perfect product. It took me a year to complete a database of non-toxic baby products. As I have not done much research into products for twins, I had to look around more. I just got off the phone with a retailer who has great options for you. She has a rocker that is very comfortable and wide to begin with and it can be expanded. Also, there is a very wide comfortable chair that can come with a swivel. Anyway, you should definitely give Rowena Finegan a call at 415.331.9323. And if you tell her that I (Irina Webb) referred you, you will receive 10% off. I am very excited for you!

            And yes, I have done research into Baby Mod Parklane. I certainly hope that you will download my non-toxic baby registry guide. And I hope you will consider hiring me as a non-toxic baby registry consultant. Please see my rates here.

  8. As for our budget, we’ve saved up for a great rocker/glider with ottoman, knowing how much time we’ll be sitting there feeding the twins (due in 6 weeks) so sky’s the limit. Well, I don’t want one that costs as much as a small used car, but we’re prepared to shell out some dough if we have to! Since we’re vegans we’re hoping to get one without wool or down feathers on the inside.
    I’m loving your site and blogs. I found it the other day while browsing “non toxic furniture” and am very impressed with all you’ve done. I could see I had stumbled upon someone who’s a one-woman crusade against the deadly toxins in our midst, I said a silent prayer of thanks for you. Between genetically modified food (GMO), which we know causes diseases, and toxic chemicals used to produce almost everything, we’re doomed unless we do a 180 – and fast. You mentioned in one of your blogs that your husband is an attorney. I’ve always wondered why some brilliant lawyer doesn’t sue Monsanto and all the other companies for endangering the public’s health. There’s now hard evidence – scientific peer-reviewed studies – that prove GMOs and carcinogens used in the products you mention, cause everything from birth defects to fatal diseases. I’d be curious to know if your husband thought there were probably cause (or whatever the term is) to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Americans against these evil corporations. But I digress.
    In addition to wanting to find or custom order a non-toxic glider/rocker with ottoman, what do you recommend for a Moses basket? I’d like the twins to sleep together for a little while since that’s recommended, having been so close in the womb, but I doubt a twin size Moses basket would be the easiest thing to carry from one room to another so I may need help thinking outside the box on where to have them sleep in the fist few months. I ordered two non toxic wooden cribs from Green Cradle in Sherman Oaks, CA but they won’t arrive until after the twins are born so I have to find something NOW! I’m embarrassed to say how much the cribs were but I was green at this (no pun intended) and fell prey to the first place I found in the L.A. that sells non-toxic baby furniture.
    Thanks in advance for leads on the glider/rocker with ottoman and Moses basket(s) or bassinets. I truly appreciate it…Jana

    • To be a brilliant lawyer is not enough to stand up against Monsanto. A lawyer needs a support of general public. I am on a steering committee of MOMAS that belongs to the GMO labeling coalition. This time we have to go through the legislative system because general public votes against GMO labeling. It all comes down to money. Who has more of it is able to convince the general public that knowing what is in your food is bad for you. Anyway, speaking of money… I am building a consulting business to fulfill my dream that every baby deserves a healthy start. I am in a process of completing a database of all non-toxic baby products available on the market. What is published on this blog is a small token of what I do on a daily basis. As you can imagine, I can’t sell my blog space to advertisers so I get paid by people who value independent and in-depth research. Please look at my pricing information here and let me know what you think.

  9. Michelle

    Lee Industries just removed flame retardants from all of their seating. They have down and feather cushion alternatives, as well. Just FYI.

  10. I have some wooden sofa frames that I want to make cushions for. Do you have an idea of where I can buy safe sofa foam? Thank you!

  11. Do you think polyurethane foam is still bad even in products that do not have flame retardants? I was thinking of getting the Monte Glider, and they reassured me that there are no flame retardants in the product. It is Certi-pur polyurethane foam, and the outside fabric is Oeko-Tex certified.

    • Yes, polyurethane foam is still bad. Certi-pur is the foam industry association. If you are talking about Monte Design, their foam is not polyurethane but soybean, which is good.

  12. I calked monte and it is part polyurethane foam. This is what their website says:

    Our foam is locally manufactured in part from natural seed-based oils such as soybean, significantly decreasing the dependence on fossil fuels like petroleum and ultimately lessening greenhouse gas emissions. It is halogen free and free of mercury, lead and other heavy metals. It does not contain any CFC’s, PBDE’s or TDCPP (Tris). Our foam is also free of any harmful flame retardant chemicals (FR’s).

    Our foam is low emission (low VOC) contributing to a safe and clean indoor air quality. For additional information on our foam please visit (www.certipur.us) and BioH (www.bioh.com).

    Certipur is polyurethane foam. Should I stay away from it?

    • I don’t know a safer option for a brand new glider than Monte

    • You are right about their foam. Normally, I recommend to stay away from polyurethane foam. But in this case (considering a lack of affordable non-toxic alternatives), their foam test reports would be very helpful to take a look.

  13. I’ve been doing some research into this and found some good info to share. After contacting a few major brands I found that Crate and Barrel has already phased out fire retardant from some products…”Beginning January 1, 2014, manufacturers can use a smoldering test, which will test the flame resistance of the fabric. This means most upholstered furniture can then be made without adding a flame retardant chemical. By January 1, 2015, all new products sold in California must be manufactured to meet the new TB-117-2013 standard. We are using this same target date to phase out flame retardants. I am happy to confirm the Harborside Chair is one of many upholstery items that we have already phased out the flame retardants.” Also, Bauhaus wrote that they ” currently do not use any flame retardants in our products that are sold to Raymour and Flanigan.” Not sure about their other distributors…I asked about Raymour b/c we own a sofa made by Bauhaus which we purchased there. Others including West Elm wrote they are still complying with TB-117. Best Chairs, makes a bunch of baby gliders, said they are “beginning performance testing of new foam SKUs and planning for a phased migration to
    new foam that doesn’t contain flame retardants over the second and third quarter of 2014.” MilloinDollarbaby wrote “Both Crescent and Sleepytime chairs use foam which is a natural flame retardant and there is no need to add anything.” However, their website is specific that these chairs are PBDE free, which to me seems different than saying fire retardant free so who knows. We’ll probably still go with the Monte but wanted to share!

    • Thank you, Meghan, for sharing the information. It is such shame that the market does not offer many affordable non-toxic gliders. The ones that are flame retardant-free are still made of polyurethane foam, which is a petroleum product – not ideal. This is an outcry to manufacturers – please help!

  14. Monte is not an affordable option for us. We are looking in more of the couple hundred dollar range for a glider. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Tara, unfortunately there is nothing non-toxic in that price range. You might consider getting a simple solid wood rocker with some cozy natural cushion. Thanks!

  15. Still can’t really find any mattresses without these toxins. The law did nothing. I just bought a mattress that I had to wrap in plastic and am now sleeping in a guest bedroom with a mattress that predates this insanity. I knew they wouldn’t give up the chemicals. It’s all about the money. Not sure why the mattress companies would still want to add this crap to their products but it seems someone should light a fire under them.

    • The law change pertains to upholstered furniture, not mattresses.

      • Although this law doesn’t pertain to mattresses, non-toxic mattress options ARE available. I bought a mattress a few years ago from European Sleep Works in Berkeley (https://sleepworks.com). I spent $2,400 on it (HUGE expense in my world) and haven’t regretted it from the moment I spent my first night in it. Both the physical and mental comfort have led to such a significant life change that I cannot recommend a good, safe mattress highly enough! Also, they offer their simple twin size mattress at HALF cost to families so that it’s as affordable as possible $400 (it’s essentially the cost of production). Now both my daughter and myself sleep safe and comfy at night. They do serve the greater San Francisco bay area, I don’t know if they ship nation wide.

  16. Hi,
    I have been looking for a safe, non toxic glider to use with my newborn son and have come to realize there are not a lot of options out there.I was wondering what you think of the Como Pure Latex Glider? It is made by Monte Designs exclusively for a store called Sprouts. According to the Sprouts website:

    “A Sprout Exclusive by Monte Design! The only glider filled with natural latex offered in either Oeko-Tex certified microfiber or Italian wool, this is the most natural glider out there. Both the microfiber glider and the wool glider are completely free of any polyurethane foam and free of fire retardants, making it safe for you and baby. ”

    I also emailed with someone at Sprouts and was told: We currently sell two exterior options for the glider; a microfiber or a combination of wool, nylon and recycled material. Neither of these options can be classified as organic but we feel they are the best options available. Since the microfiber is Oeko-Tex Certified, we are assured that is made without harmful chemicals. For more information on these certification standards, please see here. Monte Designs also complies with all of the California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 Laws and does not use any flame retardants on the exterior of their products.

    Additionally, Monte has always used non-FR foam (no flame retardants) for the interior of this glider. We took this one step further and collaborated with them to offer the “Como Pure” option, which skips the foam altogether and instead uses a natural latex for the inside filling.”

    I was wondering what your opinion is of this glider and/or if you know of a safer glider on the market?
    Thanks, Joel

    • Hi, Joel! I researched Como Pure Latex Glider and came to the same conclusions. I believe in this price range, it is the best the market has to offer. The glider is comfortable but not very big though. If you can pay a little more, you might look into swivel chairs made by Cisco Brothers and sold at the best price by Pine Street Interior Designs. The chair are essentially customizable. And while they are not technically gliders, they will work for nursing a baby even better than Como. Call the owner of the store, Rowena Finegan, at 415-331-9323. Make sure to tell about my blog to receive 10% off. Best, Irina Webb

  17. Another alternative is to buy used furniture that is leather, wool and all wood. If some other material, and if the furniture is used but in great condition, it has already off-gased a lot of its toxins, no? I buy used furniture all the time!

    • As long as the used furniture does not have foam treated with flame retardant chemicals. Flame retardants do not stop shedding from the foam and actually may shed more when the furniture gets older.

  18. I am looking for a new bed, and I found one I LOVE!! The only thing is that the headboard has polyurethane foam. Should I not get it? Does post-2014 manufactured polyurethane foam have flame retardants? Is all foam bad?

    • Hi Michelle: normally post-2014 polyurethane foam should not have flame retardants but there are things to look for and watch out for. I can’t say whether all the foam is bad. It depends on how the foam is manufactured, but also your health and your budget. To better advise you, I need to know more about you and the bed you found. If you’d like to consult with me so I can guide in your search for the bed that works best for your situation, please let me know.

  19. Hi Irina ,

    Thanks for all the useful tips and info . Also , would you be able to confirm if outdoor cushions need to comply with TB117-2013 ? I believe not , but have not been able to confirm this on the internet .

    Thanks ahead for your help !!

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