Homedepot rugs

Sustainable Vegan Rugs for a Cozy, Eco-Friendly Home

Whether you need a rug to make your home cozier, because your downstairs neighbor has complained about footsteps, or to make your little one’s crawling practice a bit more comfortable, the rug-searching process can be a bit overwhelming. There are millions of rugs available online — but finding sustainable rugs that are also non-toxic, vegan, ethically-made, and in your price range can be a bit overwhelming.

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Unfortunately, many rugs billed as sustainable are made from wool. While wool is technically a natural fiber, the wool industry is much more environmentally-destructive and cruel than the wool industry may have consumers believe. Other animal-derived fibers like silk, cowhide, and animal hair are sometimes used in rugs as well. Something else to look out for is the presence of PFAS (aka “forever chemicals”), which are a common additive in rugs, and have been linked to developmental issues, hormone disruption, and more.

The good news is, there are plenty of sustainable area rugs that are completely free of animal products and virgin plastics. So, read on for a list of a few brands that make fairly eco-friendly rugs (though note that many of these brands sell animal-based rugs, too — so just make sure to read the description before making a purchase).

West Elm

West Elm sells a wide variety of rugs made from a variety of animal-free and low-impact materials, many of which have ethical or eco-friendly certifications.

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For example, the company’s Ikat Mix Kids Rug is composed of recycled polyester, and it claims to be sustainably sourced, fair trade, and handcrafted; the handcrafted Rectangular Stripes Jute Rug is made from 100 percent natural jute with a cotton backing; and the Margo Selby Squares Rug is made of 100 percent cotton, reversible, and ethically handwoven to Nest standards. West Elm also sells the Eco-Stay Rug Pad, which is made of 100 percent soybean oil.

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Fab Habitat

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Fab Habitat is a small, sustainability-minded, home goods company, and everything it makes is GoodWeave Certified, fair trade, and doesn’t use any “harmful” chemicals or dyes.

Fab Habitat makes a variety of rugs that are made from materials like recycled cotton, jute, recycled plastic, and reclaimed rubber. Many of the brand’s rugs are also machine washable, which helps extend their life.

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As one of the pricier brands on this list, furniture company Burrow makes some seriously nice rugs, primarily out of recycled polyester. The brand claims that its rugs are all ethically sourced from artisans and partners in India, who are held to a high standard of working conditions. Burrow’s rugs are primarily made from recycled polyester, and the company’s reversible rug pad is made of recycled fibers and natural latex rubber.

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Made Trade

Sustainable marketplace Made Trade offers a variety of rugs, and you can easily filter your search results to only include rugs that are vegan, fair trade, made in the U.S., and more. The website offers rugs from a variety of brands, such as Leah Singh’s GoodWeave-certified cotton rugs, Killim’s handcrafted cotton rugs, and Amante Marketplace’s jute rugs.

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Direct-to-consumer rug company Revival aims to create thoughtfully-made rugs that don’t “cost a month’s rent.” — though some of the rugs on the website certainly do. Revival makes new rugs from materials including cotton and jute (in a variety of fun colors, which is rare for jute rugs), and it also sells a wide selection of one-of-a-kind vintage rugs, which the company professionally cleans before shipping out.

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The Home Depot and Lowe's

Though they are big-box retailers, both The Home Depot and Lowe's have banned PFAS from any rugs they sell. So if the above options are out of your price range, you'll be happy to know that the two widely-accessible stores both offer a selection of area rugs that are made of natural and organic materials.


What's under your feet (or however you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to home. That's why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A to Z guide that'll give you the confidence to make flooring choices you'll love. Check out the A to Z handbook here.

Think of wall-to-wall carpet, and you'll likely remember the orange shag your aunt had in her basement growing up; the florescent space-themed flooring of an old bowling alley; the impersonal grey carpet in your first rental apartment. It's all a little dated.

Fortunately, carpet is making a comeback in a big way, and The Home Depot stocks it all, whether you are looking for a specific color, texture, or feel.

“In years past, carpet was always seen as this plain, neutral flooring underfoot,” says Carisha Swanson, Market Director for House Beautiful. “But if you actually think about why you like standalone rugs, more than likely it's because it has a great pattern in it. You can also get that great pattern now in a wall-to-wall carpet.”

Let us change your mind about just how refined the material can look—no shag required.

Get your footing with terminology

You wanna talk carpet, the first thing to understand is pile. The pile of a carpet—another word for the height of the carpet fibers—are typically categorized as either low, medium, or high.

Gemini II-Color Artisan Hue Textured 12 ft. Carpet

Home Decorators



  1. Low-pile carpet has short, dense fibers, which makes it difficult for dirt to get trapped, and is ideal for high-traffic spaces that might require frequent cleaning, like a living room, playroom or entryway.
  2. Often a popular choice for bedrooms, medium-pile carpet has slightly taller, less dense fibers, adding to under-foot comfort while maintaining a relative ease-of-cleaning factor.
  3. And then there’s high-pile carpet—the most lavish, with tall, loose fibers—that works best for less busy parts of the house, or for a smaller space that’s aching for a little bit of luxury.

    Next up: choose the carpet construction that's right for you, which will generally fall into the categories of cut pile or loop pile.

    • Cut pile refers to carpet where loops of yarn have been cut or shorn after being attached to the backing. The result is soft, and its fibers move more freely, which creates an underfoot experience perfect for a bedroom or family room where you'll often hang out, sans socks and shoes. Within this category, you’ll find cut pile carpet types like “plush” (extremely soft, but shows footprints), “twist” (in which the yarn pieces are twisted for greater resiliency—currently extremely popular) and “frieze” (in which longer piles are twisted tightly several times so that they create a dense texture—soft and comfortable, but can be hard to clean).
    • Loop pile carpet, on the other hand, means that a carpet’s yarn loops are not cut after being attached to the backing, making it generally less gentle on feet and better suited to a heavily-trod area like an entryway or staircase. Level loop refers to when the loops are all one height, and “pattern” carpet means the loops form intricate patterns within the carpet’s design. One of the most common loop pile carpets is Berber carpet (which Swanson recommends), a style often made out of nylon and based on the traditional handwoven carpets of Berber peoples in North Africa.

    Carpet according to room use

    As with most flooring, using your space as a guide to dictate your carpet-of-choice can ensure that you’ll find justthe right combination of pile height and construction to meet your needs.

    Evocative Color Silence Pattern 12 ft. Carpet



    For example, carpet works well for creating cozy warmth for a child’s playroom—but that isn’t the place for a plush, all-white carpet that’s just asking for a slice of pizza land on it.

    For busier spaces that require durability, go with something lower pile that’s built for rough-and-tumble energy, like Lifeproof carpet that has a lifetime warranty against stains and a 25 year warranty against wear. For a more elegant, natural look, explore a higher-pile, yarn-dyed carpet (where the fibers are dyed before being attached to the backing) that will set the mood and provide a touch of low-key sophistication, like many of the options from the Home Decorators Collection.

    “Some people think that when they're making an investment in wall-to-wall carpet that it's something that they can't ever change out,” says Swanson. “But if you're making an investment in a really good area rug, you're not going to change that either, and wall-to-wall prevents any awkward layouts within a space or rug slippage.”

    Leave installation to the professionals

    After you’ve landed on the dream carpet for your space, next comes installation. General contractor Mark Clements of My FixItUp Life recommends calling a professional, a far safer bet than trying to measure, cut, and stretch the carpet on your own. “It's the kind of thing where you’ll say to yourself, ‘Why am I doing this myself, exactly?’" he says, noting that a person tackling the project themselves would have to rent, among other things, a carpet stretcher and install tack stripping—the strips along the edges of a room into which carpet is tacked—to ensure the carpet doesn’t wrinkle.

    He does, however, recommend taking up the old carpet on your own, which will save money in the long run. “The trick there is to cut it up into manageable squares—I usually recommend two by three. You use a sharp knife, you cut it into squares, stack them up and carry them out."

    Peel and Stick Hobnail Gunmetal Texture 18 in. x 18 in. Residential Carpet Tile (16 Tiles/Case)



    Clements also suggests exploring carpet tiles to create the wall-to-wall carpet look with a little bit more flexibility—and if you want to try your hand at a DIY installation. “Carpet tiles are very easy to deal with, they’re beautiful and long-lasting,” Clements says. “Some are solid, some have really cool patterns in them, and you can create any designer pattern you want. They're easy to cut, to carry, to transport. If one gets stained, you just peel it up and stick down another one.”

    And whether your carpeted room becomes the snuggle-on-the-floor, well-loved center of your children’s life, or the high-end bedroom oasis of your dreams, one thing’s for sure: this isn’t your grandma’s carpet.

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    What's under your feet (or however you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to home. That's why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A to Z guide that'll give you the confidence to make flooring choices you'll love. Check out the A to Z handbook here.

    While eye-catching details certainly make a room’s design pop—a whimsical light fixture here, the perfect polished-meets-punk cabinet handles there—you should take it from the experts and start from the ground up.

    “Area rugs can bring all of the pattern and color and interest that you need in a space, so we often start with the rug and build from there,” says Laura Umansky, President & Creative Director of the Laura U Design Collective. Umansky also believes that area rugs can be an asset atop any flooring, from classic hardwood to tile and beyond. “We use area rugs on pretty much any surface, so I don’t think there’s a flooring material you can’t layer a rug over. I think it’s more a choice of space utilization.”

    The Home Depot has tens of thousands of options which, at the outset, can be intimidating. But the variety is, in fact, an asset, especially if you take note of the following guidelines in your search.

    Size up the situation

    Home Decorators Collection Treasures Gray 8 x 10 Area Rug


    People often tend to pick an area rug that’s too small for their intended space, which in turn makes the room feel disjointed. An area rug should be no less than six inches and no more than about two feet away from a wall, and ideally skirt the perimeter by about 12 inches.

    And don’t forget passageways: Runners can breathe life into long stretches of hallway that might otherwise feel claustrophobic and help to unify design between rooms. (Keep just a couple of inches of space on each side to avoid crowding your baseboard.)

    Alternatively, in open floor plans, area rugs can be utilized to define spaces more clearly, creating different environments as you move between them. And, of course, always use a non-slip pad—necessary for ensuring extra comfort and that your rug doesn’t scoot around— which we talk about in detail under letter N.

    RUG SIZING 101
    Different rug sizes will change the look of a living room, bedroom, or dining room.

    Decide on patterns, pigments, and pile

    Safavieh Vintage Hamadan Red/Multi 8 ft. x 10 ft. Area Rug


    “A rug with classic colors is going to work with a range of decor styles, but if you want to be trendy or experimental, a bolder area rug is a great way to do that without bringing in a professional team,” says Jessica Pleasants, Project Manager at Godwin Residential Construction. She notes that many designers are now layering area rugs with smaller rugs—or a couple of area rugs together—for a mixture of textures and colors that creates a lux, relaxed look. (Tip:Use carpet tape to keep rugs secured to one another.)

    But choosing to add an area rug isn’t just an aesthetic consideration—it’s one that can completely change the way you use a space day-to-day. “An area rug really adds warmth to a room, and it’s far more comfortable when you’re sitting on a rug while playing with your kid versus just the floor,” Pleasants says.

    Area rugs can easily become gathering spaces for game nights, afternoon movies, or cocktail hour, which means that these potentially high traffic (or high play) areas need to utilize materials that can weather a good amount of wear-and-tear while still feeling cozy. Look for low pile rugs that might already have a vintage, distressed feel, or Moroccan rugs, which often have a busier, color-saturated patterned that more easily mask the trample of feet day in and day out. Save thick, high pile rugs for places like bedrooms, where a little extra cushion is always welcome.

    Choose low pile rugs, which have low, dense fibers, for high traffic areas, and save thick, high pile rugs for places like bedrooms.

    Think refined or ready for play

    Bazaar Alstead Ivory/Grey 8 ft. x 10 ft. Geometric Polypropylene Area Rug


    “The reason [low pile] area rugs are relatively easy to clean is because the pile is dense and low, so a lot of dirt doesn’t get trapped in there like it would in a regular pile carpet,” says Carolyn Forte, Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Director for Good Housekeeping. She recommends vacuuming once a week with a straight suction cleaner, which is less harsh on the rug.

    When accidents do happen (and, as we all know, they will), tackling the problem quickly is critical. “If something spills, get to it right away and blot it with cool water,” Forte advises. “That goes a long way toward getting it out. If the water doesn’t take it out, I would say a little mild dish liquid and water solution should be able to get out most stains.”

    Don't rule out an outdoor rug

    nuLOOM Rikki Braided Border Jute Area Rug


    Forte also suggests looking at indoor-outdoor rugs as an option for rooms that might be prone to spills, like a dining room or breakfast nook. And then there’s jute: a natural fiber material that’s an eco-friendly, durable, and versatile choice for any busy area that needs a neutral, natural touch (like a home office or bedroom). Jute is also a budget-friendly option that’s less expensive than other natural fiber rugs, like sisal or seagrass, and is ideal for anyone with a rambunctious pet (or several) who might be prone to mess-making.

    Of course, the needs of a home change—as do our whims. Look no further than... the area rug! Pleasants says they're the perfect way to create a big mood without breaking the bank. “It’s definitelyeasier to change an area rug than to change out hardwood floors!”


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