I need to find low-toxic carpet for my rental apartment. What are some reliable brands?


I need to find low-toxic carpet for my rental apartment. What are some reliable brands?

Asked by Linda MacEwen, Santa Monica, CA

I am seeking recommendations of brand names or information about where I can buy this type of carpeting. I've read quite a bit on the various green certification sites but have not been able to find the products.

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David Rodriguez's picture

I havelisted below a few low VOC, CRI Green Label carpetsbelow to help you begin your search.

It can be challenging to navigate certain industry websites, such as the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) website, in search of specific brand recommendations.

The goal of the CRI is to remain neutral toward specific manufacturers and serve as a resource of general information for consumers. However, the CRI does provide the Green Label and Green Label Plus certified product directory, the most comprehensive listing of low-VOC carpet brands. Although the products listed are predominantly commercial carpets, many of them would also be suitable for residential application.

To help you begin your search, here are a few low VOC, CRI Green Label carpets to consider.

  • The Philadelphia carpet line from Shaw Industries is low-VOC and meets all CRI Green Label certifications. It is a base-grade carpet made from 100 percent bulked continuous filament (BCF) nylon. Pricing is normally on a total quantity basis, but you can expect about a $5/yard-and-under range.
  • In the City by Tuftex, also from Shaw Industries, is a slightly more upscale carpet line. Tuftex Mills is considered a boutique mill and gives a more luxurious look with cut-pile construction. Styles such as Pier 66 and Pike Street can generally be expected to be in the $8/square-yard range. Styles in the $15 range are the Grand Ave., Canal St., Essex St., East Broadway, and Lexington Ave.; these vary in type from frieze carpet, to loop/tip shear construction, to multi-level loop construction.
  • Mohawk's EverStrand is another low-toxic carpet. It also contains fibers made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) from recycled plastic bottles. EverStrand carpet can generally be expected to be in the $5/square-yard range.
  • Mohawk's SmartStrand carpet has received CRI Green Label Plus certification. It is made with DuPont Sorona polymers. These specially engineered fibers are made from corn sugar. The technology allows 37 percent of the carpeting to be derived from renewable ingredients instead of petroleum. SmartStrand carpet can generally be expected to be in the $5/square-yard range.

This is not an endorsement on my part of any of the companies or specific carpets listed, but a baseline of a few low-toxic carpets that have been applied by builders in my region.

Use this information for comparison as you research other carpet brands.

For more information:

Check our green flooring Know How section, including the in-depth carpets & rugs section of our overview "Navigating the Flooring Thicket: Find the Greenest Way to Meet Your Needs."