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Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe for Babies?

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Are polypropylene rugs safe for babies? 

This is a common question for new parents. When designing your baby’s nursery or bedroom, you want to ensure you use safe and non-toxic materials. Your child’s health is essential, and you need to consider the types of materials you introduce into their space. 

Polypropylene can be toxic in rug form. There are other natural options for a rug in your baby’s space that are non-toxic and organic. Wool, cotton, jute, and sisal are all alternatives to polypropylene rugs.

Is Polypropylene Toxic?

Polypropylene is a type of plastic that has been approved by the FDA and is itself not toxic. But when polypropylene is manufactured into rug form, the manufacturing process uses toxic chemicals.

This is particularly true when the manufacturing is of poor quality. Not only does it contain dangerous chemicals like BPA, but the chemicals they use to make the rug water resistant and stain resistant can be dangerous for your baby’s health. 

Polypropylene is highly flammable, and to make rugs less flammable, they use flame retardants that are extremely toxic. 

Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe for Babies?

Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe for Babies

Polypropylene rugs may off-gas. This means they release volatile organic compounds that can be dangerous for your baby. You might recognize the off-gassing process as the ‘new carpet’ smell. These compounds can cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. 

Polypropylene is also synthetic petroleum-based substance that is less safe for your baby.

Are Wool Rugs Better than Polypropylene?

Are Wool Rugs Better than Polypropylene

Wool rugs are better than polypropylene if you know what you are looking for. 

Wool is a natural material that is usually hand-woven, easy to clean, soft, and flame resistant. Wool is also durable and can last more than 50 years if cared for correctly. 

But the wool industry isn’t tightly monitored, and you need to do your research when buying a wool rug for your baby’s space. Check with the manufacturer that the wool is organic and has not been treated with chemicals. 

Also, check the back of the rug to ensure that it does not have a synthetic latex backing. These types of backings often contain phthalates, which of very dangerous hormone disruptors for your baby.

What Types of Rug Materials are Non-Toxic and Safe for Babies?

There are many non-toxic and safe rug options for your active baby. 


Wool is a great non-toxic option that is durable and soft for your child. 


Sisal rugs are made from the agave plant leaves and are non-toxic, non-allergenic, antibacterial, and naturally flame-resistant. 


Sheepskin is also a soft, non-toxic, and durable rug material for your child. 


Chenille is another safe rug material that is non-allergenic and non-toxic. 


Cotton is a popular non-toxic rug material option as it is easy to clean, soft, and versatile.


Jute is another option you could try but ,some parents find it rough on their baby’s soft skin.

What are the Best Types of Natural Rug Materials for Babies?


Wool is one of the best types of natural rug materials for babies as it is natural and does not contain toxic chemicals. It is hypoallergenic, naturally flame-retardant and antibacterial. Some people have a lanolin allergy so check for that before purchasing a wool rug. 


Cotton is another natural rug material that is ideal for your baby. Where possible, choose organic cotton that has been sustainably grown and processed. Look for GOTS certification to ensure the cotton is organic. Cotton is breathable, hypoallergenic, and soft. They are also easy to keep clean. You might want to consider a silicone non-slip mat underneath your cotton rug to prevent it from moving around. 


Sisal is another fantastic natural rug material. It is naturally stain-resistant and often uses a canvas board to help it keep its shape rather than a toxic synthetic latex backing. 


If your baby is older, a jute or hemp rug is also a versatile option. Some jute rugs can be rough on your baby’s skin, but they are durable and non-toxic.

How Do You Clean a Rug Used by a Baby?

Having a natural and non-toxic rug is one thing but keeping it clean is another. 

Wool: To keep a wool rug clean, you can shake it out and vacuum it regularly. You should never wet the whole rug but rather resort to spot cleaning for spills and stains. If you can, though, the best option is to have your wool rug professionally cleaned. 

Cotton: Cotton rugs are easy to wash in the washing machine. Simply put it on a delicate wash cycle and use a gentle detergent and cold water. Then you can hang your cotton rug out to a dry. 

Sisal: Sisal or seagrass rugs require regular vacuuming with a strong brush-suction attachment. They work well with spot cleaning if you need to remove a stain. Sisal rugs are hygroscopic so saturating them with water is not advised. Rather use the spray-extraction method for cleaning your sisal rug. 

Jute: Jute rugs respond well to regular vacuuming and spot cleaning. Use a 50/50 water and white vinegar solution and gently buff the stain. Be sure to dry wet spots on your jute rug with a hairdryer to prevent discoloration.

How Often Should you Clean a Rug Used by a Baby?

How Often Should you Clean a Rug Used by a Baby

Babies are messy, and keeping their rugs clean is a regular event. Vacuuming twice a week with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner will help keep your rugs clean, and they will last longer. A deep cleaning wash once a month is recommended. Your baby may mess on the rug in-between washes, in which case you should clean them as needed. A spot clean may work best in this case.

What Companies Make Non-Toxic Rugs?

Many companies make non-toxic, safe rugs for your baby. 

Here are eight companies making beautiful rugs you can use in your baby’s space without worrying about toxic chemicals or harsh manufacturing processes.

1. Rawganique

Rawganique rugs are chemical-free, organic cotton, hemp, and wool rugs and are PFAS-free making them safe for babies.

2. Rose & Rex

Rose & Rex stock a selection of OYOY rugs that are 80% wool and 20% cotton. They come in adorable shapes and prints while still being baby-safe.

3. ecoFiber Custom Rugs

ecoFiber has a fantastic selection of natural rugs. They have a choice of rugs made from nettle, hemp, cactus, linen, cashmere, wool, silk, and mohair. They even use plant-based, making these safe and natural.

4. Peace Industry

Peace Industry create natural wool rugs that are vegetable dyed. The rugs have beautiful, bold designs that are non-toxic.

5. Earth Weave

Earth Weave are committed to natural and earth-friendly rugs. They use raw natural colored wool or organic dyes. There 100% natural floor coverings are free of chemicals, fire-retardants and toxic stains.

6. Hook & Loom

Hook & Loom have a selection of natural wool and cotton rugs. They don’t contain dyes, chemicals, or latex, making them safe for the earth and your baby.

7. Merida

Merida rugs offer 12 different natural fiber options. They are sustainably sourced and responsibly produced. These 100% natural rugs are a great baby-safe option.

8. Lorena Canals

Lorena Canals have a beautiful collection of rugs for babies. They are natural wool and cotton and have a unique aesthetic.

Final Thoughts

Polypropylene is not the material you want in a rug for your baby. There are naturally, safe options like wool, cotton, hemp, and sisal that are non-toxic and beautiful. Choosing a rug may seem simple, but a little extra research will ensure that you make the safest choice for your baby.

Have you been persuaded to ditch the synthetics and try a natural rug? They are functional, fabulous, and earth-friendly so why not give one a go?

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